Tech News Today 320

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Tech News Today
Episode 320


Tech News Today 320: The Schmidt Schtick

Amazon tablet is real, Netflix and Starz break up, Schmidt says stuff, and more.

Submit and vote on story coverage at technewstoday.reddit.com

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Top Stories

  • Amazon’s Kindle Tablet Is Very Real. I’ve Seen It, Played With It.
    • called the “Amazon Kindle”. But no e-ink. IT's backlit. It displays content in full color. It has a 7-inch capacitive touch screen. And it runs Android.
    • looks similar to BB Playbook form-factor
    • MG: It is multi-touch, but from what I saw, I believe the reports that it relies on a two-finger multi-touch (instead of 10-finger, like the iPad uses) are accurate.
    • 7-inch, available late November. $250. if it's a hit, they'll take a 10-inch version into production
    • same price as Nook color
    • doesn't look like Android, no Android marketplace links. interface fully customized to Amazon/Kindle. running over android 2.2, they don't care about honeycomb because user will never know
    • web browser has tabs, device has no camera
    • wifi only at launch, amazon stil has to work 3g out with carriers
    • free amazon prime with device - $79 a year, gives users access things like free unlimited two-day shipping, no minimum purchases for free shipping. Prime users get access to Amazon’s Instant Video service.
  • Netflix loses Starz Play deal on the eve of controversial price hike (update)
  • Did Starz Turn Down $300 Million a Year From Netflix To Make the Cable Guys Happy?
  • Hastings: Here's Why We Let Starz Walk Away
    • More details on the Netflix/Starz front. Starz content will no longer be available on Netflix Watch Instantly after Feb 28, 2012
    • Starz provided newer movies b/c of its deals with movie studios, NF still has Paramount, MGM & Lionsgate movies and a partnership with Epix
    • LA Times reports NF offered over $300 million to license Starz, but Starz wanted NF to move to a tiered service.
    • Starz didn't want the money upfront, but Starz to be a part of a premium tier. " Reed Hastings to Biz Insider: "Because we’ve licensed so much other great content, Starz content is now down to about 8% of domestic Netflix subscribers’ viewing. As we add more content in Q4, we expect Starz content to naturally drift down to 5-6% of domestic viewing in Q1. We are confident we can take the money we had earmarked for Starz renewal next year and spend it with other content providers to maintain, or even improve, the Netflix experience."
  • Samsung Electronics Would ‘Never’ Pursue Purchase of WebOS, Says CEO Choi
  • Samsung in transition game with Apple
    • Samsung CEO Choi Gee Sung told a group of reporters at IFA that the company would "never" pursue a webOS deal, and bemoaned the trend of "acquiring an operating system."
    • "One thing clear is that Samsung will never buy HP’s webOS patent portfolios and I think that’s not important. We have over 20,000 software experts and Samsung prepares beyond normal imaginations. We are open to strike small M&A deals, though," - Choi Gee Sung
    • "It’s not right that acquiring an operating system is becoming a fashion,” Choi said."

Discussion Stories

  • Apple investigator accused of leading fake police iPhone 5 search
    • A story was floating around that an iPhone 5 was lost in a bar and Apple was looking for it.
    • Sergio Calderón says that six officials claiming to be San Francisco Police officers questioned him and searched his family's home in July for a lost iPhone 5 prototype
    • The San Francisco Police Department told Gizmodo it has no knowledge of the search.
    • Calderon talked to SF Weekly: his account raises the possibility that Apple security personnel attempting to recover the prototype falsely represented themselves as police officers -- a criminal act
    • or that SFPD employees colluding with Apple failed to properly report an extensive search of a person's home, car, and computer.
    • Calderon says he received a card from one of the investigators with a phone number, public profile of the investigator, Anthony Colon, says that Colon is an employee of Apple as "senior investigator."


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"Hey TNT I love the show. I just wanted to mention a merger block that is not too dissimilar from the current AT&T and T-Mobile proposal. In Australia during 1997 there were 3 main operators in the national pay-tv (cable-tv) market. Like the mobile market each of these providers operated their own expensive networks and tied customers into long-term, costly contracts.

Two of these providers were giant telecommunication companies and while Galaxy the 3rd was independent and financially poor. Galaxy together with the leading provider Foxtel proposed a merger but this was blocked by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. It was on the grounds that a merger would significantly lessen competition, which was in principle was true.

But less than a year later the owners of Galaxy went into liquidation. Most of its assets were purchased up by its former merger partner Foxtel at a bargain price and allowed renegotiate some financially crippling contracts. So ironically the merger block made little difference for consumers but significantly helped Foxtel who less than a decade later became the monopoly provider.

Regards, Ben Garrett in Sydney"


"Hi TNT crew!

On yesterday's show Sarah was wondering how important removable batteries are for people. In my case its very important and I won't buy a computer (or most other devices) without one.

I homeschool 5 year-old triplets who love their videos, games and music. When we travel, have down time between classes or one isn't taking the class they work on one of my gadgets. The first day we did this I realized I needed spares and stocked up.

We also took a 17 hour international flight with no dead devices. My husband laughed at me when I pack, buy when his Droid X gets to 10% he is happy.

I imagine other frequent travelers are in a similar boat.

Miriam"

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Production Information

  • Edited by: Jason
  • Notes:
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