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By Kerry Flynn, International Business Times

The world is not wired -- at least, not yet. Governments and businesses must take more responsibility and better address Internet access in areas of poverty, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and U2 singer Bono urged Saturday as the businessman and the entertainer announced their "Connectivity Declaration."

The campaign, a part of Bono's antipoverty ONE Foundation, emphasizes that Internet access is necessary for alleviating poverty and spurring development worldwide. The mission, laid out in a New York Times editorial, urges governments to follow initiatives that prioritize energy investments and Internet access, as well as calls for the tech industry to do more to act on global issues like education, health care and the refugee crisis.

"Where governments lay the foundation, the private sector can build," Zuckerberg and Bono wrote in the editorial. "Silicon Valley should look beyond itself ... We challenge the tech industry to do far more for those most marginalized, those trapped in poverty and those beyond or on the edge of the network."

U2, Meerkat team up on streaming for tour

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by Jon Swartz, USA TODAY

SAN FRANCISCO -- U2's tech-rich tour keeps getting richer and richer.

The legendary rock band, which christened its U.S. tour in San Jose, Calif., last month with a high-tech spectacle of immersive video and sound, has partnered with Meerkat to live stream in each show.

The streams are distributed on Twitter and Facebook, as well as displayed at the venue.

The arrangement started during shows in Phoenix and Los Angeles, and has continued.

The live-streaming experience, filmed by a fan onstage with the band, is projected on a gigantic oblong screen at the show and is available to anyone who uses the Meerkat app.

U2 see company losses top €10.5m

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By Gordon Deegan, Irish Examiner

Accumulated losses at U2's main Irish firm increased by over €2m last year to nearly €10.5m.

New figures for the band's Not Us Ltd show that the firm plunged further into the red, with accumulated losses going from €8.35m to €10.49m in the 12 months to the end of December last.

The firm is being supported by Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr, and Adam Clayton, who provided a directors' loan of €2.25m last year. A note attached to the accounts states that the directors' loan attracts an annual interest rate of 3% per annum.

The figures, recently lodged with the Companies Office, show that the cash pile at the band's firm last year dropped from €545,706 to €160,196.

A former personal assistant to U2 star Adam Clayton has lost an appeal against her conviction for stealing more than 2.8m euros (£2.2m) from the guitarist.

BBC News

In 2012, Carol Hawkins was found guilty of 181 counts of theft from his bank accounts. The judge said she had used the money to fund a "lavish lifestyle"

The expensive items she bought included 22 racehorses and a New York apartment.

The Irish Court of Criminal Appeal has upheld the conviction. It has still to rule on the severity of her jail term.


Couple claim they suffered significant loss due to alleged unsuitable investment advice

by Mary Carolan, Irish Times

U2 drummer Larry Mullen and his partner have sued their former accountants claiming they have suffered significant loss of more than €11 million due to alleged unsuitable investment advice.

The alleged advice related, among other matters, to a €3 million investment in a 'European hotel fund' and a €4.5 million loan for an investment in Romania, it is claimed.

In addition to at least €7 million investment losses, the couple claim they have incurred further significant liabilities related to loans issued in connection with the investments and bank funding costs.

The case relates to agreements dating from late 2000 under which Mr Mullen and his partner Ann Acheson allege they retained Gaby Smyth and Company accountants and/or Gaby Smyth as a sole trader in relation to their financial, taxation and investment affairs.

U2: When Art Becomes the Ad (Guest Column)

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"They might as well be selling Buicks," writes the host of KCSN's morning show

By Nic Harcourt, The Hollywood Reporter

U2 has always been about messages.

In the band's early days in Dublin, beginning with the 1980 album Boy and its hit single "I Will Follow," they openly addressed Bono and the Edge's Christianity, along with commentary on the Troubles in Northern Ireland. As the group got bigger, some 2 billion TV viewers watched in 1985 as U2 delivered their socially conscious lyrics at Live Aid, playing anthemic music with unbound zeal and earnestness. By the beginning of the 1990s, as Communism fell in Eastern Europe, the albums Achtung Baby and Zooropa reflected the hopes of a generation while taking a sarcastic swipe at the commercialism of modern culture that they themselves were a part of.

Make no mistake, U2 are an important part of rock 'n' roll history.

But what happens when the art becomes the ad? Complete with a $100 million media spend and the subtlety of an Ikea catalog stuffed in your mailbox or phone book chucked at your front door? What's the message today: Show us the money?


U2 and Apple: The latest announcement has more to do with medium than music.

by Zack O'Malley Greenburg, Forbes Staff

If for some reason you've still got a collection of cassette tapes, you'll probably find it very difficult to sell, trade, or even give them away. Compact discs are rapidly approaching a similar status. And, if U2′s Apple (AAPL -0.73%) album launch is any indication, so are MP3s.

Last week the band distributed free copies of its latest album, Songs of Innocence, to over half a billion iTunes customers as part of a deal with Apple valued as high as $100 million. Judging by some reactions, however, you'd think Tim Cook's company was offloading bedbug-ridden mattresses instead of new music by one of the most successful bands of our age.

"It's a gift from Apple," said U2 manager Guy Oseary. "If someone doesn't like the gift, they should delete it."

It's fascinating that anybody had to make such an announcement-and, in this writer's opinion, it's much more a symptom of the demise of the digital download than it is an indicator of intense antipathy toward U2.

U2 Destroy 30 Years Of Legacy In One PR Stunt

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U2's album spam PR stunt has destroyed decades of legacy quicker than hitting a delete button. In fact, many millions of Apple customers were looking for their delete button as soon as they were spammed with a product they did not opt-n for.

by Paul Cashmere

Angry Apple customers were loud and fast on social media to complain about the digital violation after hundreds of millions downloads were shoved onto people's devices without permission.

What both Apple and U2 failed to understand is that not everyone is a U2 fan, especially not now. The band's reputation went immediately to tatters but their bank balance is looking good.

Depending on various sources, including the Wall Street Journal, U2 is estimated to have done a $100 million deal with Apple to give their album away "for free". The figure was not disputed by U2 manager Guy Oseary.

What U2's Apple Album Launch Means For U2

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by Zack O'Malley Greenburg, Forbes Staff

Yesterday, I wrote about Apple (AAPL +0.43%) and U2′s decision to team up for the launch of Songs of Innocence and what it means for Apple. As promised, today I'll explore the other side: what it means for U2.

For the Irish rockers, there's little left to accomplish. Already hailed as one of the top pop-rock acts of all-time, U2′s financial success has matched its outsized popularity. The group has sold tens of millions of records, and its last tour grossed $736 million, the highest total in history.

That sort of success has given the band an immense platform for its philanthropic agenda and often placed its members in the most esteemed company-witness Bono serenading Warren Buffett with a customized ode.

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