Tech News Today 305
Recorded: August 12, 2011
Published: August 12, 2011
Tech News Today 305: Make It Rain, Sarah Lane
Why Google+ hates your name, tattoos replace electrodes, ATT's stupid merger math, and more.
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- Tom Merritt ( )
- Sarah Lane ( )
- Iyaz Akhtar
- Jason Howell ( )
- Eric Franklin, Senior Editor, CNET
- Facebook unveils revamp to games platform
- Did Facebook’s Redesign Just Bring Back Viral Spam?
- New separate stream will display friends game activity
- Scores and achievements will be in a ticker that scrolls while you're playing.
- Frequently played games can be added to home page bookmarks
- You can select what friends see which games
- Full-screen expandibility
- Google+ Punts On Its Kafkaesque Name Policy
- Google+ nymwars rage on, pseudonymous celebrity users are immune
- Google+'s In-Game Transaction Commission: 25 Percent Below Facebook's
- Google’s Saurabh Sharma announced the first significant change in the enforcement policy: a four-day grace period between notice of a violation and suspension, during which users can change their profiles to align them with the policy.
- South Korea is abandoning its nationwide real-name plus resident-registration-number system
- Google engineer Joseph Smarr makes the case for why Google is taking its time.
- Google announced that it will be charging social game (such as Farmville) developers only a 5 percent commission on in-game transactions. Facebook, on the other hand, charges a whopping 30 percent commission
- the current commission of 5 percent is just promotional--at least, that's what Google+ games product manager Punit Soni told VentureBeat
- Temporary tattoos fitted with electronics make flexible, ultrathin sensors
- New research published in Science
- electrical measurements using ultra-thin polymers with embedded circuit elements. These devices connect to skin without adhesives, are practically unnoticeable, and can even be attached via temporary tattoo.
- "epidermal electronic system" (EES)
- adheres to skin using VanDerWaal's force so no adhesive necessary
- water-soluble polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) sheets mean it can work like a temporary tattoo
- Can do solar and possibly inductive - devices continuously captured data for six hours, and the devices could be worn for a full 24 hours without any degradation or skin irritation.
- Google Unleashes Native Client Into Chrome, Next-Gen Web Apps To Follow?
- Also adds better Lion integration and print preview for OS X
- offers both a security sandbox and a set of interfaces that provide C and C++ bindings to the capabilities of HTML5.
- Google has created an API, dubbed Pepper (Native Client is abbreviated NaCl, which is also shorthand for table salt, get it?) which allows the browser to talk to Native Client and means that any web browser could, in theory, implement it. Thus far, however, none have.
- AT&T discloses too much in merger filing
- Leaked AT&T Letter Demolishes Case For T-Mobile Merger
- AT&T may divest $8B in assets to close T-Mobile deal, report says
- Law firm working on ATT-TMOBILE deal accidentally posted a partially redacted document on the FCC site
- letter pegs the cost of bringing AT&T's LTE coverage from 80% to 97% at $3.8 billion --(T-Mobile deal is $39 billion)
- Also some question around timing of decision not roll out LTE beyond 80% (55 million rural users left int he lurch)
- The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that ATT hired Meryll-Lynch to advise on divestment of of customers and spectrum-worth $8 billion or more.
- Start taking bets: September 7 fingered for fall Apple event
- Apple iPhone 5, 'iCloud phone' event set for Sept. 7?vThe Iphone 5 might be delayed to March 2012
- Report: Apple iPod, iPhone Event Scheduled for September 7
- TSMC Kicks Off A6 Processor Trial Production with Apple
- Kodawarisan (Japanese website) reports Apple's autumn event will happen Wednesday September 7th
- Of last 4 Autumn events 3 fell on Wednesday in first week of September
- Inquirer reports no new iPhone 5, but a cheap "cloud iPhone" in October and new iPhone and iPad in March 2012
- Kodawarsian, has accurately reported Apple rumors in past, The Inquirer, not so much
- Bay Area Rapid Transit district just prevented protests over a police shooting by shutting down wireless service. Activists had planned to protest the fatal shooting of Charles Blair Hill. BART stated the activists had said they "would use mobile devices to coordinate their disruptive activities and communicate about the location and number of BART Police." With cell service shut down int he stations, the protests never materialised.
- It might sound like we're repeating ourselves, but here's some potentially bad news for RIM. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Sprint will not carry the WiMAX version of the PlayBook saying the market is too crowded for another tablet. A Sprint spokesperson was quick to add that the move "has no impact on our relationship with RIM." So if you want a super-fast RIM PlayBook on the go, you might be better off getting the WiFi version and a a hotspot.
- Looks like those QR and bar codes are catching on. According to comScore, 14 million mobile users in the U.S. scanned one of those codes in June 2011. That's 6.2% of all mobile users in the U.S and they were likely to scan advertisements at home or at a store. QR codes are so popular that some people even have tattoos of them however, comScore did not report how many people are scanning other people.
- So you want to buy Battlefield 3 and stay clear of this EA Origin/Valve Steam squabble by buying the game in a store? Forget it - if you buy a retail copy of Battlefield 3, it will require you to use EA's Origin so you can access multiple EA services. So enjoy the squabble and continue being outraged.
- A while back we reported that the Amazon Kindle store was being inundated with spam books. These books used cheaply-licensed texts with different titles sold to unsuspecting readers. According to a marketing site called Warrior Forum, these spam books are now being removed from the Amazon Kindle store. Publishers of these books are being told that their work diminishes "the experience for customers." Spammers, it looks like you may have to find another way to make some more scratch.
- A new Android app called Sixaxis allows gamers to use a PlayStation controller to control games on their Android device. The app costs $1.66 and only works on some rooted phones. If you'd like to know if your phone is compatible, the app devs have also released the Sixaxis Compatibility Checker app for free. Using a controller with a phone may seem not-so-mobile, but if you connect a phone to your TV, it could be a nice little mini-console.
- Get ready for the wailing and nashing of game controllers. The gaming industry is in the toilet. According to NPD industrywide sales on hardware, peripherals, and software hit $707.7 million in July, down 26 percent compared to the same month last year when the industry generated $961.3 million in sales.That's the lowest point since October 2006. The Xbox suffered the biggest drop but still outsold the PS3 and Wii.
- A tweet by Dan Nystedt says that Compal, an OEM, will be shipping 2 million Windows Phone units to Nokia in September. That would get Nokia plenty of time to get its first Windows Phones out to the world by the end of the year. "Nokia World' is scheduled for October 26-27 in London, so maybe it will be the big launch? We'll see.
- Up until recently, if you wanted to rent movies on your Android phone via Google Videos, you couldn't. An update to the Google Video app now allows users to rent movies from the Android Market. The app is currently compatible with phones running Android 2.2 or 2.3 - otherwise known as Gingerbread and Honeycomb respectively. Oh, you'll also need the latest version of the Android Market app, too. Update all the things!
- Happy 30th birthday, IBM 5150. On August 12th, 1981, the 5150 was the first machine to run a Microsoft operating system (the recently acquired PC-DOS) on an Intel processor (the 4.77MHz 8088). At a starting price of $1,565, it was cheap enough for people to buy it... and an industry was born.
- The US launch was delayed and you cried and cried, but wipe those tears away because The Acer Iconia Tab A100 — the first 7-inch Honeycomb tablet — goes on sale for $330 this weekend. That's the 8GB price. The 16GB version will be $350.
- Scotland's biggest video games festival has opened in Dundee and runs through the weekend. Thousands of people are expected to attend the event at Caird Hall. The festival was organised by Abertay University and includes an international video game design competition. 3 winning teams will be announced on Sunday who then become nominees for the 2011 Bafta One To Watch award.
- The long-awaited Samsung Galaxy S II US release date will be revealed on August 29th at a press conference in New York, which is basically a press release about a press release.
I don't really recall you covering this, and given that the instructor, Professor Sebastian Thrun, wants to make his class the largest online class ever taught, you may want to promote it as well. He is offering his "Introduction to A.I." course for free to anyone who wants to take it. I'm sure there are plenty of listeners that would be eager to take a free class from Stanford University. And if you read the page about the A.I. class, you'll find out that Stanford offers other engineering course free of charge. You don't have to hunt for the link though, I will provide it down below as well.
Love the Show
Garst in the chat room
"I'm just listening to you discussing the HTC purchase of Beats. Don't worry, I'm not driving as I write this!
I disagree that this is primarily about branding - I am not convinced Beats is a big enough brand.
I think Jason had it right - HTC want to focus on Apple's strongpoint - iTunes is a fantastic media system. But it has a huge drawback on the iPhone - the standard Apple headphones are atrocious. With a decent 'emotional comnection' (ie a good advertising hook), HTC can now push their handsets by advertising them as a 'complete musical experience'. That also differentiates them in the hugely crowded Android space.
Just my £0.02
Love the show
"Sorry if this is a couple of days old but been fleshing out the idea.
Facebook messenger seems to be a good idea, albeit one that has been done many times before. The problems comes down to ease of use and native implementation. While i know it is far fetched for all the device makers to band together, but would it be possible to create a Text Messaging Standard which could be pre-installed in all of the Mobile OS's which would provide this functionality natively and wouldn't route through the cell carriers servers? I know Apple is creating their own messenger, which is much the same idea, but i hate to tell them some of my friends aren't using IPhones so their technology is a little short sighted, a lot like Facetime.
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- Edited by: Jason
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