In today’s wrapup of technology and life science news:
- BlackBerry joins with IBM and Samsung to develop a secure tablet
- GSK’s Ebola vaccine advances
- Cablevision hooks up with HBO Now
- Facebook’s latest buy
- Did Lyft cheat drivers?
- BlackBerry’s New Tablet
BlackBerry has launched a new tablet through its Securesmart subsidiary that it says is secure and “enterprise ready.”
The tablet was developed along with IBM and Samsung. It’s based on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S.
It’s called the SecuTablet and was developed for an agency of the German government.
“The tablet is based on a Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5, with 16GB storage and LTE. This means, in terms of specs, the SecuTablet will offer a 10.5in 2560×1600 screen, octa-core Exynos 5 processor, baked-in fingerprint sensor and a 7,900mAh battery,” reports U.K. tech news site The Inquirer.
Read more at: http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2399817/blackberry-makes-tablet-market-return-with-help-from-ibm-and-samsung
- Next Step for GSK Ebola Vaccine
The first batch of GlaxoSmithKline’s Ebola vaccine is being manufactured by Emergent Bio for Phase 1 trials in Africa.
GSK is working with the National Institutes of Health and the University of Oxford on the vaccine.
Reports news website SeekingAlpha:
“Emergent performed proof-of-concept work and manufactured the MVA EBOZ vaccine candidate at a 200L scale in an avian cell line, which eliminates the requirement of eggs in the manufacturing process. The scalable process has the potential to meet the demand for multi-million doses in a few months.”
- Cablevision Hooks Up with HBO Now
Cablevision is offering the new HBO Now online service to itsInternet customers, even though the service could persuade more people to drop their cable TV packages.
The company, which has a few million customers in the New York City area, said Monday that Cablevision customers can sign up for HBO Now through Cablevision. That means they can pay for HBO and Internet access together on one Cablevision bill. It also gives people a way to get HBO Now without an Apple device.
Last week, Apple and HBO said the service will launch in April in time for the new season of “Game of Thrones” for people who have iPads, iPhones and Apple TVs. HBOsaid its three-month exclusivity with Apple doesn’t apply to cable companies.Cablevision is the first such company to announce a way for its subscribers to sign up for HBO Now.
Americans are increasingly “cutting the cord” on traditional TV packages as services like Netflix and Hulu provide shows more cheaply online. Still, HBO, along with sports channels, are major reasons people keep paying for traditional TV. But even those bulwarks may be starting to give, with HBO Now and Dish Network’s new $20-per-month Sling TV online service, which includes ESPN, along with other popular cable channels.
- Facebook to Buy Shopping Search Engine TheFind
Facebook says it bought shopping search engine TheFind to help boost its advertising business.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to close in the next few weeks.
TheFind, which was founded in 2006, will shut down and some of its key employees will work at the social media company. TheFind lets users search for items to buy from websites or in local stores. It is based in Mountain View, California.
In a statement, Facebook said that TheFind will help make its ads more relevant and better for its users.
- Lawsuit: Lyft Cheated New Drivers
The Lyft ridesharing company took new drivers for a ride by cheating them out of promised $1,000 bonuses, according to a federal lawsuit announced Friday.
Hundreds of drivers lost a total of at least $5 million worth of bonuses that were offered last month in promotional programs around the nation, according to lawyers who filed the fraud and breach-of-contract lawsuit on Wednesday in San Francisco.
San Francisco-based Lyft, previously known for the giant pink mustaches that graced the front of participating cars, operates a cellphone application that allows people seeking rides to hook up with private motorists. Like its larger rival Uber, Lyft receives payment via the apps and cuts checks to drivers for the rides, after taking a commission of about 20 percent.
The 22-page complaint says that Lyft tied to lure new drivers by offering to pay $1,000 bonuses to current Lyft drivers who referred new motorists and to new driverswho applied on Feb. 25 or after and completed their first ride on or before March 5.
The bonus programs were offered in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle and Washington, D.C.