Tech News Today 454

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Tech News Today
Episode 454

Tech News Today 454: Too Big To Fail Whale

Next Xbox will be disc-free, why FourSquare and Apple REALLY dumped Google, Twitter's making money, and more.

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Top Stories

  • Why Google’s Plan To Make Maps Pay For Itself Could Backfire
  • Why are companies defecting from Google Maps?
    • The fees to use Google Maps probably aren’t what’s starting to put off companies like Foursquare and Apple — it’s probably the ever-increasing reach of Google’s advertising efforts.
    • At the beginning of March it began charging anyone pulling over 25,000 page loads a day $4, $8, or $10 per additional 1,000 loads, and also now offers Premier Tier.
    • Google still requires users to allow ads to be pushed along
    • All other map providers like NavTeq, TeleNav, Tele Atlas charge
    • Foursquare is using a company called MapBox to improve data it pulls from OpenStreetMap, while Apple might use acquired companies including C3 Technologies to add 3D graphics.
  • T-Mobile executive: Key to fixing industry is removing device subsidies
  • T-Mobile exec: Subsidies are hurting wireless industry
  • T-Mobile CMO would like to abolish phone subsidies, but won't actually do it
    • T-Mobile Chief Marketing Officer Cole Brodman speaking at the GeekWire summit in Seattle
    • “It actually distorts what devices actually cost and it causes OEMs, carriers — everybody to compete on different playing fields. And I think it is really difficult, especially from a consumer perspective, because it causes consumers to devalue completely the hardware they are using…. It is amazing hardware, but it has become kind of throw away. So, it is unfortunate, you’ve got dual-core, multiprocessor devices with amazing HD screens that get thrown away at 18 months.” Said if he were King for a day he would get rid of subsidies
    • Mike McSherry of Swype quipped: “You are one of four kings in the country to do that, right?”
    • Brodman says it's hard for T-Mobile to lead the way when other carriers won't follow.

Discussion Stories

  • Twitter’s Ad Sales Are Booming, Says Gawker
  • Twitter’s Secret History As the World’s Worst Tech or Media Business
  • The $1 per month Twitter business model
    • Gawker got their hands on some of Twitter's revenue numbers
    • Twitter is the “biggest blown business opportunity in media or tech,” Tate says, because six years into it, it’s losing money, not minting it like Facebook.
    • ATD points out: In 2010 it generated $28.5 million in revenue. In the first three months of 2011, it came close to matching all of the previous year’s revenue, with $23.8 million. If Twitter’s growth rate never budged after that, that would put it on track to do $95.2 million in 2011.
    • The pace of Twitter’s losses appears to have ramped up, too. Tate says it lost $67.8 million in 2010, and another $25.8 million in Q1 2011. Not a huge surprise, given that Twitter has been on a multiyear hiring binge.
    • It wasn't until Dick Costolo returned that Twitter started getting serious about ads. Probably not until Mid-2011
    • And ad offerings have been continuously ramping up
    • they’ve recently added a “self-serve” option for small advertisers. That’s a crucial step because it allows them to really pick up the pace of their ad sales"
  • Survey: Google ranks high despite privacy fears
  • Search engine users disapprove of data collection: survey
    • Pew Internet & American Life Project found 83 percent of the respondents rated Google as their preferred search engine. Up from 47% in 2004
    • Yahoo 2nd at 6% down from 26%
    • 65 percent of users said it was a bad thing if a search engine collected information about searches and then used it to rank future search results.
    • 73 percent said they would not be okay with a search engine keeping track of searches and personalizing future search results because it would be an invasion of privacy.
    • 38 percent of Internet users said they were aware of how they could limit information about them that is collected by a website.
    • Pew took its survey of 2,253 adults from Jan. 20 through Feb. 19. Google privacy policy changes were announced Jan. 24.

News Fuse

  • Marvel Comics announced that if you buy a printed issue of a comic that costs $3.99 or higher, you'll get a code so you can download the digital copy for free on iOS or Android. Major titles like Captain America, The Avengers, and Amazing Spider-man are already at that price point.



  • GDGT live at the Austin Music Hall on Monday, March 12th.




"Hey TNT Crew,

Regarding the grenade tossing / fire fighting robot you discussed yesterday:

Wouldn't SAFR be pronounced "safer"?... since it's designed to make the ship... safer?

Love the show. :)

Best, Jesse"

"Hi, TNT team,

I am afraid you missed in my opinion the most interesting (and sad) part of the Pwn2Own 2012 story. The reason why Google left the contest is that the exploits are not publicized after the break-in. It changed the contest from the happy celebration of hacking and sharing the knowledge in the open source spirit to the something like WWE-like marketing drive of professional crackers (who's customers are whom? Governments breaking into our computer? Customers from ... I don't want to know where? who knows?). The bitterness in my voice comes from what I consider to be betrayal of the hacker (in good sense of the word) ethic both on the side of participants and organizers of the show.

See for details.


Matěj Cepl (if you want to read the name on air, either just say Matthew, that's my name in English, or, I know Tom knows a bit of Russian, try Матей; I am Czech so we don't use Cyrilic, but this is probably a way how to suggest the pronunciation to English-speaking person via email)."

"Hey TNT Crew!

It appears that the AppleTV software update yesterday has a few annoying bugs. I thought your viewers/listeners might appreciate knowing about them. Hopefully, they'll be fixed in a future update.

1. TV Shows no longer list alphabetically but are sorted by the ""most recently"" modified/added (oldest at the top). If you have a large TV library on iTunes, this is a huge headache.

2. Podcast episodes listed in the ""Favorites"" section no longer show up as having been ""watched"" (the blue dot disappearing) once you actually watch them. This now has to be done manually.

3. Various media (movies, tv, podcasts, etc) will sometimes be missing icon art.

Item #1 appears to be the most problematic while 2 & 3 aren't as widespread. Lets hope these bugs get squashed soon.

LOVE TNT! Keep up the great work!




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Production Information

  • Edited by: Jason
  • Notes:
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