Illinois Attorney General Says DraftKings And FanDuel Are Illegal Under State Law

Illinois_Supreme_Court In the words of DJ Khaled: “Another One!” Jumping on the daily fantasy sports bandwagon, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has joined NY AG Eric Schneiderman in deciding that DraftKings and FanDuel violate state law. In a letter responding to an inquiry by state representatives Elgie Simms and Scott Drury, Madigan explains that she believes both FanDuel and DraftKings… Read More

LG Cloud file sync app for iOS, Android, PCs, TVs shutting down on December 30

LG sign Karlis Dambrans Flickr

LG is shutting down much of its LG Cloud service for syncing photos, videos, music, and documents across devices on December 30.

The app for PCs, iOS, Android, and LG Smart TVs will be going away on that date, and the service will no longer sync with the Gallery, Music, and File Manager apps on LG phones. The service’s website will also be going away. A backup site and the PC app will be available through January 31 to allow users to back up their data. LG will delete personal information and data on the service on February 1.

Data won’t be deleted on the LG Backup app on LG phones or the AvatarBook app on LG Smart TVs. Videos uploaded from LG 3D camcorders will also be staying.

The company has been alerting existing users to the changes since September. The service created a splash when LG first launched it in 2012, but LG has not done much to publicize the gradual shutdown of the service to non-users. As of today the website is displaying a pop-up on the upcoming changes.

The service has offered 5 GB of free storage, and for those looking for another place for free cloud storage, the news could be downer. But LG is primarily a hardware vendor, so a cloud service isn’t exactly in the company’s core competency, unlike, say, Box and Dropbox.

Still, LG doesn’t offer a very useful explanation as to why the LG Cloud is becoming unavailable.

“Service scope has been reduced due to changes in LG Cloud’s operation policies,” a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page states.

Fantasy sports contests are ‘gambling,’ Illinois attorney general says

DraftKings event

Illinois on Wednesday became the latest state to ban its residents from playing daily fantasy sports contests offered by FanDuel and DraftKings, after the attorney general said the sites constitute “gambling” under Illinois law.

“In light of the opinion, we expect that both FanDuel and DraftKings will amend their Terms of Use to include Illinois as an additional state whose residents are not eligible to participate in contests,” Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in a statement. (

FanDuel and DraftKings were not immediately available for comment.

From VentureBeat
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The decision comes amid scrutiny at the state and federal level as to whether the games amount to gambling.

Both New York and Nevada have taken action to shut down operations of the companies, the leading fantasy sports sites, although the companies won a reprieve in New York earlier this month.

Nevada in October ordered the two businesses to shut down.

New York’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, in November ordered the two companies to stop accepting bets in New York state, saying the operations were essentially illegal gambling, according to letters to the companies seen by Reuters.

But an appeals court judge in December reversed a temporary injunction that ordered the businesses to close. Under the stay, the two companies are allowed them to continue to operate in New York at least until early January, until a panel of judges rules on whether the original injunction was appropriate.

(Reporting by Kshitiz Goliya and Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Leslie Adler)

Video Ad Startup Innovid Raises $27.5M

innovid Less than a year after its last round, Innovid is announcing that it has raised $27.5 million in new funding. The New York City-headquartered company works with more than 220 advertisers, including Best Buy, Procter & Gamble and Walmart, to create, target and measure their video campaigns. Co-founder and CEO Zvika Netter has said that what really sets Innovid apart is “a… Read More

40 Diverse People In Tech Who Made Big Moves In 2015

Nicole Sanchez, VP of social impact at GitHub Diverse people — people of color, LGBTQ men and women, women in general, people with disabilities, older people, younger people, etc. — have contributed a lot to the overall tech ecosystem this year. Before you dive in, please keep in mind that this list is by no means comprehensive. There are tons of diverse people in tech who accomplished amazing things this year, so… Read More

The Midwest Startup Formula Will Change The Status Quo For Building Businesses

Columbus Ohio skyline As Silicon Valley startups continue chasing private valuations, entrepreneurs in the Midwest are following an entirely different approach. Our goal is the same — to build world-class businesses based on innovative technologies that create new wealth — but our approach is entirely different. We are proving that startup success comes from validating a real market need, then building… Read More

Salesforce Grabs Quote To Cash Vendor SteelBrick for $360 Million

Business man signing a contract. They say there’s not supposed to be much M&A action the week of Christmas, but Salesforce apparently didn’t get the memo, picking up quote-to-cash vendor SteelBrick today for $360 million. According to the 8-K form Salesforce filed with the SEC, the deal is for $360 million in stock, less the $60 million SteelBrick has in cash, but not including Salesforce’s investment… Read More

Source: Palantir raised $350M at $20B valuation in recent weeks, round totals $880M

Palantir employees on Veterans Day in 2012.

Palantir, a company that provides big data services for government agencies and private-sector customers, today disclosed in a regulatory filing that it has raised $879.8 million. A source familiar with the matters tells VentureBeat that the company actually raised $200 million this week and $150 million in the past few weeks at a $20 billion valuation, and that these are extensions to the funding round Palantir started raising back in July, at the same valuation.

Investors cited in today’s filing include Morgan Stanley and San Francisco Sentry.

The company provides software that organizations can deploy to bring together multiple sources of data that end users can then visualize and query. Around 2,000 people now work for Palantir, the source said. Competitors include IBM’s i2.

Palantir has long been known for doing business with intelligence agencies. Nowadays about 60 percent of business is commercial, with the rest coming from government customers, the source told VentureBeat. Customers include the U.S. Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. In the private sector, the company has previously done business with Intuit and JP Morgan Chase, among others.

Palantir started in 2004 and is based in Palo Alto, California. Acquisitions include Poptip and Propeller.

Leaked Mozilla document shows Firefox OS tablet, TV stick, router, and even a keyboard computer


Earlier this month, Mozilla announced that Firefox OS smartphones would no longer be sold via carriers. Because the company refused to talk about what’s next for Firefox OS, aside from saying it experiment with “connected devices,” many were left simply to speculate as to what could be in the pipeline. Today, we have a leaked document, which Mozilla confirmed is legitimate.

Leaked by Spanish blog Hipertextual, the document shows four Firefox OS devices: A tablet, a router, a smart TV stick, and a keyboard computer. Two of these have been done in some capacity before, but all four are labeled as “connected devices.” We naturally asked Mozilla for more information.


“At Mozilla we work in the open and we are still at the early stages of exploring and prototyping new use cases for Firefox OS in the world of connected devices as an open source project with a clear focus on the user benefit and experience,” Denelle Dixon-Thayer, Mozilla’s chief legal and business officer, said in a statement. Great, but what about the above products; is this even a real leak?

“This document represents early product concept work by one of our developers,” Dixon-Thayer confirmed. Like any tech company, Mozilla loves to experiment with new ideas. That said, the company isn’t confirming that these projects are currently in development, so don’t hold your breath. They may never see the light of day.


First up, we have the Firefox Pad. Keep in mind that Firefox OS tablets already exist. If a 10-inch Firefox-branded tablet never materializes, it’s frankly not a huge loss. Firefox Pad is an intriguing idea, as it’s essentially a Chrome OS device without the keyboard, but it would be more of a step backwards than anything (tablets are gaining keyboards and laptops are gaining touchscreens, not the other way around).


Firefox OS smart TVs are also available. In addition, Matchstick already tried and failed to sell a Firefox OS-powered TV stick. Mozilla could try again with the Firefox brand, but it’s a hard sell given the tight-margin competition between tech giants Google and Amazon.

The other two product concepts are more interesting. The router makes a lot of sense while the keyboard computer is a bit of a stretch, but still very intriguing.


The Firefox Hub router (not to be confused with Firefox Hub add-ons) would apparently be a device unsurprisingly focused on security. It could potentially mesh well with Mozilla’s privacy strategy.


The Firefox Pi would meanwhile push Mozilla’s Webmaker initiative, aimed at promoting the building blocks of the Web. The Pi part of the name apparently implies a potential partnership with Raspberry Pi.

Again, these are just concepts. Mozilla emphasized over and over that it isn’t yet ready to discuss the future of Firefox OS.

As it stands right now, we may continue to see Firefox OS tablets and smart TVs (even smartphones not sold via carriers are still possible), but nothing else. That said, given the fact Mozilla is making a point not to share any more details right now, we expect more changes to be revealed in the near future (maybe even as soon as CES).