Asia Pacific PC Shipments Fell 10% In 2013, IDC Says


PC shipments in Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) fell by 10% in 2013 to 108 million units, marking the region’s first ever double digit decline in recent years, according to IDC.

While Lenovo retained its top spot with around 24.9% market share in the region, it still reported a decline in annual growth by 9.5%. HP was the only PC vendor to see growth, thanks to huge Indian government orders it received during the year.

Like elsewhere in the world, PC makers in Asia have been hurt by growing adoption of smartphones and tablets. According to mobile research firm Mediacells, India and China together will buy around half a billion smartphones in 2014.

“2014 is expected to remain another challenging year for the PC market, as competition will only grow among the devices,” said Handoko Andi of IDC Asia/Pacific.

“The year ended on a somber note for the PC market…

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Beats Will Shut Down MOG Music April 15; MOG Founder Joins Stealth Mobile Startup


As Beats Music turns up the volume on its new streaming service (which is now live in the App Store), it is calling it a day on MOG, the streaming service its parent Beats Electronics acquired in 2012 reportedly for $10-15 million, and which forms the backbone of Beats Music: it will shut MOG down on April 15.

At the same time, some news about David Hyman, MOG’s founder who brokered the sale of the startup to Beats: he is now the CEO of Chosen, a mobile video startup still in stealth mode, according to a statement sent to TechCrunch.

The news about MOG is not yet live on MOG’s own site, but it is confirmed on the support pages of the Beats Music site. The company says it will be looking to migrate MOG users to Beats Music:

“The MOG service will remain live until April 15…

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British university accepts course fees in Bitcoin


The University of Cumbria has become the first public institution of its kind to accept its fees in bitcoins – at least, for two courses that specifically deal with currency innovation.

Located in England’s scenic Lake District, the university counts among its many courses a Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Leadership and a Certificate of Achievement in Sustainable Exchange, both offered through its recently-established Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS). For these two courses, it is trialling payment by Bitcoin, via a transaction service such as Bitpay.

A private university in Nicosia, Cyprus, has already said it will accept Bitcoin for everything from course fees to cafeteria meals, but the University of Cumbria is a public institution. According to Professor Jim Bendell, who heads up IFLAS and helped organize a United Nations symposium on crypto-currencies last year, the university is experimenting with Bitcoin because it believes in “learning by doing:”

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From A Failing Product To A Successful Video-Sharing App, Mindie Raises $1.2 Million


Mindie’s story is a great tale for every aspiring entrepreneur. When I first talked with the French team, the startup wasn’t working on its viral music video app, but was working on something completely different called Ever.

In only a few months, Mindie was able to abandon its storytelling app Ever, create another app, release it, get a bit of traction. And now it just closed a $1.2 million seed round from SV Angel and others — it even had to turn down investors. In the coming weeks, the team will also relocate to San Francisco.

As a reminder, Mindie is a video-sharing app with a twist. When you record a video, you first pick a soundtrack and shoot a few seconds of video like you would on Vine. Then you share it on Twitter and Facebook. Music is the story of your video, it’s what makes the app…

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Spotify brings unlimited free music streaming to desktop app and web


After bringing free shuffled music streaming to its phone and tablet apps last month, Spotify on Wednesday announced unlimited free music streaming for its desktop app and on the web. Previously limited to users during a 6-month grace period, Spotify has now removed streaming time limits for users in all countries.

It’s still an ad-supported platform, so you’ll have to endure your fair share of advertising. But it appears that Spotify is succeeding in in creating a profitable balance between paying customers and ad-supported free listeners. That’s a good sign, when some other music subscription services like Rdio are faltering.

The timing on this is interesting as well. Beats Music is scheduled to launch its subscription service next week, with a huge marketing campaign that will include AT&T(s t), Ellen DeGeneres and even a Super Bowl ad. Spotify might be be trying to buy good will and offer…

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