Tech News Today 387

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Tech News Today
Episode 387

Tech News Today 387: Paypal Almost Ruins Christmas

Verizon takes on Netflix, Netflix compares itself to last-place baseball team, NFC is messed up, and more.

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Top Stories

  • E.U. in antitrust probe of Apple, e-book publishers
  • Why Europe's trustbusters targeted Apple's e-book 'cartel'
  • Apple, Book Publishers Face European Antitrust Probe
  • Europe Probing Apple And Publishers For E-book Price ‘Cartel’
    • The European Union's antitrust watchdog says it will “investigate whether these publishing groups and Apple have engaged in illegal agreements or practices that would have the object or the effect of restricting competition.”
    • Apple allowed agency agreements, in which publishers get to set the price at which online bookshops sell e-books to consumers. Until then, publishers were able to set the wholesale price of e-books, while the retailers decided at what price to sell them on.
    • Targets Hachette Livre, a unit of France's Lagardere Publishing; Harper Collins, owned by Rupert Murdoch's U.S.-based News Corp.; CBS Corp.'s Simon & Schuster; Penguin, which is owned by U.K. publishing house Pearson Group; and Germany's Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, which owns Macmillan.
    • follows a similar investigation by the Office of Fair Trading in the U.K. and a class action lawsuit against the same five publishers and Apple filed this summer in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Discussion Stories

  • Apple TV to come in 3 sizes, top out at 55 inches, report says
    • Citing anonymous sources in Japan at a "major" company working on the set's production, Australian technology site Smarthouse reported Sunday that Apple television buyers will be able to choose from three screen sizes, ranging from 32 inches to 55 inches.
    • A6 processor
    • Will use voice recognition, a la Siri
  • AT&T rated worst cell phone carrier for second year in a row
    • Consumer Reports' customer satisfaction survey examines voice, data, and text-messaging service, as well as customer care.
      1. 1 Consumer Cellular--an MVNO that uses AT&T's network and focuses on senior citizens
      2. 2 US Cellular --- Credo--an MVNO that uses Sprint's network and donates to progressive nonprofits--beat out the big four.
    • Verizon top of the majors, Sprint and T-Mobile followed closely (all three scores dropped)
    • ATT rated last (voice/customer care) lower than last year
  • PayPal apologises to Regretsy
  • PayPal in flap over freezing a 'charity' account
  • PayPal Rains On Regretsy's Secret Santa Campaign Over Use Of Wrong Button
  • Why @PayPal is wrong regarding @Regretsy, according to their own policies.
  • CATS 1, KIDS 0
    • Regretsy mounted a toy drive for needy children. Got such good response that they decided to accept cash and pass that along.
    • Paypal took issue with the use of the donate button instead of Buy Now or Shopping Cart. It SEEMS like they didn't like the idea of donate being used for a private corporation to claim to pass money to others. It SEEMS like they wanted donate to either be from a proven non-profit or for a 'good cause' like a podcast or in one of their customer care reps words "a sick cat"
    • Insane conversation with customer care rep led April Winchell, aka Helen Killer to post excerpts from the conversation online. Also Paypal required refunds of all unprocessed donations and a freeze on the account for 6 months. Paypal would keep their cut of all these transactions.
    • After Internet outrage Anuj Nayar, Director of Communications, PayPal posted an apology of sorts announcing regretsy's account was unfrozen, donations could proceed and Paypal would make a donation of their own.

News Fuse





"Hey there TNT!

While it's been a couple of days since Spotify's press event, I want to share this intriguing piece of information with you.

A reporter at Computer Sweden, Marcus Jerräng (@blisk on twitter btw) was the one who broke this news - but I haven't heard it being relayed internationally, even though it offers a very plausible explanation as to why Spotify is reluctant to give us an iPad app.

The article (opinion piece) is here, and if you want you can google translate it, but I'll break down his main points below. Here is a link to the research report he's referencing (it's in English!).

What he basically says is that Spotify is launching its app platform in an effort to cut costs. Reading a research report done by two researchers at the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology, he's found numbers describing Spotify's bandwidth usage. According to the report (which I haven't read fully myself, btw!), he writes, 55,4 percent of the music played in the Spotify client comes from the user's own computer. A majority of users have a local cache of more than 5 gigabytes! 35,8 percent of the music is being streamed from other Spotify users over p2p - and here's the best part: only 8,8 percent is streamed from Spotify's servers, and that small percentage is all the bandwidth Spotify has to pay for.

However, on the mobile clients 100 percent is streamed from Spotify's servers (except, of course, music you've made available offline), making it waaaaaaay more expensive for Spotify. That means that the bandwidth cost for a song played in the iPhone or (yet non-existent) iPad app is more than ten times higher than for a song played in the desktop client.

With that in mind, it's not very hard to imagine why Spotify want to keep users in the desktop client, he argues, and - more importantly, for many users - why they seem not to be able to produce an iPad app. Or can't afford it. :)

I was if not taken aback, then at least very intrigued by these numbers and his ideas on what they mean. What do you think?

Love the show - keep it up you guys, and I hope you enjoy the new studio!

André from Sweden"

"Just thought I would let you guys know that the idea of a microwave reading barcodes is an old idea it was released several years ago but it's no longer for sale. They talked about it on the giz wiz episode 1342. The microwave would have to make a phone call every night to download new bar codes

here is a link to the microwave and if you would like to here what dick had to say about it on the giz wiz it was episode 1342 at 1:08:00

love the show Ken"



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Production Information

  • Edited by: Jeff
  • Notes:
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