YouTube to Launch New Horror Channel - BlackBoxTV

On Friday, April 13th, YouTube will officially launch BlackBoxTV, a new online television station dedicated to the horror genre. The folks at Bloody Disgusting sat down with BlackBoxTV creator Tony E. Valenzuela and producer Anthony E. Zuiker (CSI) to learn what sort of chills the new channel will serve up. Here are a few of the interview highlights:

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Haunting Halloween Tunes Return to Pandora

Whether you’re seeking classic Halloween hits like “Monster Mash” or spooky instrumental compilations from Beetle Juice or Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Pandora has the station for you. The personalized radio service today announced the return of its eight Halloween themed stations, offering listeners a fun way to get into the spirit of Halloween.

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Google Flights Helps You Find Cheap Airfare

By now, there are at least half a dozen websites out there that help you search for cheap flights. But until now, Google hadn’t offered the same service. Now, the big G is here to help you get from point A to point B for less money  (so long as those points are located within the continental U.S.).

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Google Buys Zagat

In an attempt to provide users with more local content, Google has purchased Zagat, a popular service offering restaurant reviews, shopping guides, nightlife recommendations, and more.

“Delightful deal done; Zagat and Google now one; foodies have more fun,” tweeted Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice president of local, maps, and location services. 

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ICM Registry Bans Celebrity Names From .XXX Domains

Though .xxx domains are now legal, don’t expect to see JustinBieber.xxx or KimKardashian.xxx anytime soon. In an attempt to keep cyber squatters and porn webmasters from capitalizing on stars’ names without permission, ICM Registry has banned hundreds, if not thousands, of celebrity names from the new adults-only domain.

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YouTube Inks Deal With Independent Music Publishers, Ending Lengthy Legal Battle

YouTube has agreed to pay licensing fees to the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), ending a four-year battle between the Google-owned company and over 3,000 independent music publishers.

In 2007, NMPA filed a class-action lawsuit against YouTube, alleging the popular video sharing site infringed on songwriters’ rights by hosting videos that featured copyrighted songs. YouTube will now pay songwriters a cut of advertising revenue from videos featuring licensed music, including videos with covers of a licensed song. The terms of the royalty agreement remain confidential.

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The Dangers of Data Caps

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More Internet service providers (ISP) are imposing monthly limits on the amount of data customers can use, and with these restrictions comes a new threat to people who enjoy streaming video from their smartphones or personal computers.  

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YouTube to Launch Original Channels Next Year?

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Does YouTube plan to launch a series of original channels early next year? Reports on the Net suggest that they are, and the popular video sharing site may also be hosting a high-stakes competition to find the nation’s best producers.

According to All Things D, YouTube is currently searching for professional video producers to create original content for the site’s upcoming channels. Each of the 20 channels will reportedly focus on a specialized topic – for instance, food, sports, and entertainment news – with producers consistently creating unique and compelling content that is also advertiser friendly.

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Amazon Hopes to Overturn California’s Online Sales Tax Ruling

And the battle continues...Amazon.com is supporting a ballot initiative that seeks to overturn California's recent ruling requiring online retailers to collect sales tax.

In June, California passed a new law requiring online retailers to collect sales tax from customers even if retailers do not have a brick and mortar store in the state. In response, Seattle-based retailer Amazon.com shut down its California affiliate program, calling the new law “unconstitutional” and “counterproductive.”

“At a time when businesses are leaving California, it is important to enact policies that attract and encourage business, not drive it away,” Paul Misener, Amazon’s vice president of public policy, is quoted as saying in The New York Times.

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Amazon Threatens to Eliminate California Affiliate Program Due to New Sales Tax

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And another one bites the dust. California could become the fifth state to lose its Amazon affiliate program thanks to a controversial sales tax affecting online retailers.

On Wednesday, California governor Jerry Brown signed a law that will require online retailers to collect sales tax from customers even if retailers do not have a brick and mortar store in the state. Though Amazon is based in Seattle, Washington, California, like four other states before it, has ruled that Amazon’s affiliates (10,000 in the case of California) are enough of a physical presence to warrant a new sales tax. Amazon, however, disagrees and has threatened to cancel its California affiliate program if the law is enacted.

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