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Hot Off Wire: Ticketfly a pest to Live Nation? Next Firefox promises more privacy control Paypal looks to expand offline DirectTV wants to be king of 3-D | WRAL TechWire

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The horsefly is a plague for the living nation?

Los Angeles, calf. – si live nations entertainment inc. is now the elephant of ticket sales after merging with ticketmaster, ticketfly is one of its pesky new competitors.

The startup is being run by one of the co-founders of ticketweb, an online seller of independent music concert tickets that was sold to ticketmaster in 2000.

ticketfly boasts that its extra fees are on average 40 percent lower than those charged by ticketmaster, and that it doesn’t charge for printing tickets at home. it also offers an easy way for venue owners and promoters to promote shows on facebook, twitter and via email.

On Wednesday, it planned to announce $3 million in financing, including from venture capitalists such as high peaks venture partners and contour venture partners.

The fly analogy is apt.

The company says it is on track to sell 1 million tickets in its first 12 months of operation since last June. the newly merged live nation sold 140 million tickets last year.

ticketfly’s 50 clients are a mix of venue owners and concert promoters. just over half are former ticketmaster or ticketweb customers. Patrons are as large as the 19,000-seat Merriweather Post Pavilion Amphitheater in Columbia, Md., and as small as the 600-seat Troubadour nightclub in Los Angeles.

andrew dreskin, co-founder and co-CEO, said one of the advantages of his company is that it only handles ticketing and is not in the business of booking acts at venues like live nations does.

As a condition of Live Nations’ merger with Ticketmaster, the Department of Justice mandated that Live Nations not be able to access Ticketmaster’s sales data in order to better compete for concert promotion work. Dreskin said some concert promoters doubt the condition can be monitored. to the contrary, dreskin said, “we don’t compete with our customers.”

next firefox promises more privacy control

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new york, n.y. : The next version of the Firefox browser, scheduled to be released by the end of the year, will reduce software menus and certain user options, while giving Internet users more control over privacy.

firefox 4 promises to allow users to better control relationships with websites by more easily describing what information is collected by cookies, which are files that store data about website visits.

In the current version of firefox, determining which websites analyze users’ internet habits is a complex process involving many menus and submenus. With the change, users will be able to see from a single menu what information websites are collecting. users will then have the option to decide which cookies to allow and which to disable.

but mozilla, the creator of the browser, will also remove some user controls to make firefox more elegant. that means removing buttons and menus that mozilla says few people use anyway. mozilla says the change will not only make websites load faster, it will make them feel faster.

“mike beltzner, director of development at firefox, said that the simpler an interface looks, the faster it will appear” in a video presentation posted on his website this week.

firefox said the browser will be more stable, requiring fewer plug-ins for additional features. the program will use the new web programming language, html5, which will allow you to play videos and other multimedia content in the browser without the need for additional software, such as flash from adobe system inc.

firefox ranks second in usage after internet explorer, the market-dominant browser from microsoft corp. Microsoft is also working on an update. Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft’s latest browser offering, will also support HTML5. an older version is already available for testing.

ebay CEO envisions paypal in more offline settings

boston, dough. -the waiter approaches his table and asks: “will he pay in cash, credit or paypal?”

Don’t be surprised to hear that question six months or a year from now, says John Donahoe, CEO of PayPal’s parent company, eBay Inc. Although PayPal is best known as a way to pay people or buy things online, the service is looking for more offline opportunities.

to get there, paypal is letting others do some of the hard work. Last fall, PayPal opened up its system to make it easier for third-party software developers to create web services or mobile apps that use PayPal as the payment engine. Since then, nearly 30,000 developers have signed up to create PayPal-based apps.

Among the third-party applications in development are services that would allow restaurants or retailers to collect payments via paypal on a customer’s mobile phone, donahoe told the associated press in an interview.

accepting paypal is not necessarily cheaper for a merchant than accepting plastic. but it could be very fast for customers who are frequent paypal users and possibly also more secure for them, because paypal does not require the user to share a credit card number or other financial information with merchants.

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so it’s not hard to imagine a restaurant with a paypal-enabled mobile app that allows customers to make reservations on an iphone and then ask after the meal, as donahoe put it, “do you want the bill or do you want us to send you to your phone?”

donahoe is confident that paypal’s huge customer base of 84 million active accounts worldwide will provide an advantage in the still nascent mobile payment market. but he knows that other companies are competing to provide similar services. Various iPhone applications allow people to make quick mobile transactions. payment service companies and startups like square, founded by one of the people behind twitter, are also vying for a share of the stock.

“There’s more innovation on the web right now than I think at any time in history,” said donahoe.

directtv wants to be the ‘king’ of 3-d

new york, n.y. – In the race for supremacy in 3D television, DirecTV Inc. he wants to be king.

exclusive directv nfl sunday ticket package of out of market football games has been a success. now the company has its sights set on creating what it hopes will be its next competitive edge: extensive 3d programming that includes movies, documentaries and events. In June, DirecTV will launch four 3-D channels: ESPN 3D and three of its own channels.

but directv has to get exclusive 3d content to differentiate itself from cable tv rivals who also want to push 3d tv. DirecTV CEO Michael White also acknowledged that the widespread adoption of 3D television requires more 3D content to be produced. more consumers should also buy 3d televisions and feel comfortable with 3d glasses.

“How many consumers will buy a 3D TV? Time will tell,” White said in an interview Friday.

Not all programs are suitable for 3d. white said the best 3d programming is in the areas of children’s entertainment and sports. “Is anyone going to watch the evening news in 3d? Probably not,” he said.

still, 3-d seems to be the next technological trend in television. Samsung and Panasonic have started selling 3D TVs like 3D movies like “Alice in Wonderland” and “Avatar”. hollywood hopes to bring the 3-d experience to the living room. but whether the three-dimensional sticks is another matter.

white said that directv does not plan to buy another company to get more 3d or other content. His rival, Comcast Corp., made the opposite bet with its proposal to buy a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal from General Electric Co.; Federal regulators are reviewing that deal.

on the other hand, white dismissed rumors that directv might be interested in buying sirius xm radio inc. They both use satellites, and DirecTV could add a radio service to its package of TV plans. But White said DirecTV wants to stay focused on providing the best TV entertainment to retain its highest-spending customers.

“We want to be the best, not necessarily the cheapest,” White said.

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