Media Daily News reports, Microsoft is Rolling Out Skype For Web . . . . Al Jazeera reports Moinuddin Sarker has leased a 57,000-square-foot facility in Bridgeport, CT. to pursue, with the aid of an investor’s $15 million, a process he pioneered: turning plastic into oil. Apparently it works. . . . Plagued by bad press, Uber has joined with whiskey maker Johnnie Walker to offer 250,000 miles of free rides globally to encourage tipplers not to drink and drive during the holiday season, Sarah Spary reports in Brand Republic News. . . . . Deadline News reports ABC has “the first daily newscast for social media hosted by an evening news anchor. Every weekday on Facebook, World News Tonight’s David Muir presents Facecast: “The One Thing” a one-minute news roundup of the day’s top stories and trending topics shot behind the scenes at ABC News headquarters in New York City.
With auto journalists becoming more proficient in the visual arts, a new platform gives them control –and profits- off every video they upload, Joe Mandese writes in Online Video Daily. The platform is dubbed 8 (like the number, but representing the scientific symbol for infinity), he reports. It is located at www.weare8.com (currently in closed beta mode.). Essentially, a marketplace for content, founder Sue Fennessy is quoted as saying 8 gives 100% control, and 80% of revenues, directly to its users. For a list of other content marketers, Cision offers 50 Top Content Marketers to follow on Twitter. . . . Telematics Update reports the Audiovox Car Connection plugs into a vehicle’s OBD-II port and sends data to a central server. The Audiovox device works with three companies currently offering a UBI (User Based Insurance)policy—Liberty Mutual, American Family Insurance and The General Insurance—at a discount based on driving performance. The Car Connection also monitors a vehicle’s health and fuel economy, tracks its location, allows parents to monitor their children’s driving, and provides driver performance feedback.
Brett Berk writes in Yahoo! Autos of new roads patrons of the Waldorf-Astoria chain of ultra-luxury resorts can enjoy in a Ferrari 458 Italia Spider, McLaren MP4, or Porsche 911 Turbo. A three-hour blast over routes selected by Didier Theys, the Belgian motorsports driver and Ferrari’s racing coach is available at six of the luxury resort chain’s locations for $999. . . . A glimpse of Toyota’s new road to Texas was provided by Madelyn Miller who bowed her redesigned Car Lady News with coverage of the company’s giant “Hello Texas” community block party in Plano, Texas. She reports Toyota gave the city six new Tundras, and a million dollars to a local high school. So far, Miller writes, Toyota’s impending move to Texas has contributed $4.4 billion to the state’s economy and $115 million to its non-profits. Jim Lentz, Chief Executive Officer of Toyota North American shows off the custom HELLO Texas boots Toyota had made for the event.
For a trip down an old road, Jaguar has published The Manual to celebrate the manual transmission experience and share it with others. . . . For the third year, Toronto Star Wheels editor Norris McDonald and a cadre of top Canadian auto writers have produced a special section naming the “Best New Vehicles of 2015” along with their reasons in print and video for picking them – five in each of 12 categories.
And, for a stimulating view of new design, StumpleUpon provides a number of drawings and specs from the Yanko Design Newsletter for a Danish SuperCar, the Zenvo ST1 . . . TU Automotive reports, “Once-mighty MapQuest reclaimed a bit of its pioneer status with a new emergency response feature in its free navigation app. MapQuest app users can now summon a tow truck to their location on-demand for flat tires, dead batteries, lock-outs, empty fuel tanks, you name it. All it takes is a tap of the “roadside assistance” button on a smartphone and a user will connect to a nearby service provider all within the MapQuest integration.
re/code writes Oren Harnevo says his Eyeview startup promises marketers that it can create dozens, or tens of thousands, of versions of a single video ad — and pick the right one to show a Web surfer, in real time. Both mass exposure and specificity in video, which is hard to do. . . . Variety reports: Watchup, a startup that delivers personalized newscasts to Internet-video devices, has raised $2.75 million in funding led by Tribune Media. Founded in 2012 at Stanford’s StartX accelerator, Watchup, culls news from sources including PBS NewsHour, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, CBS Interactive’s CNET, Univision Communications and Sky News. The Watchup service then delivers that content in a personalized video-news stream to iOS and Android tablets and smartphones, Google Glass and Amazon’s Fire TV.
Wrapports LLC, publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times, is launching a new network of local Web sites and apps offering local reporting and news aggregation, serving around 70 cities across the U.S. The company recently sold its chain of Chicago suburban newspapers to Tribune Media. The new project includes partnerships with local journalism and content creators, to complement the company’s own editorial output, according to Erik Sass in Media Daily News.