Tech News Today 468

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Tech News Today
Episode 468

Tech News Today 468: Good News Everyone!

Tim Cook visits a reformed Foxconn, Does Google make more on iPhone than Android? Spotify? How about SpotiFREE!?!

Submit and vote on story coverage at


Top Stories

  • Apple and Samsung could make nice in patent wars
  • Apple’s Tim Cook Visits Foxconn IPhone Plant in China
  • Tim Cook visits Foxconn's newest iPhone production line in Zhengzhou
  • Apple and Foxconn agree to drastically improve working conditions following Fair Labor Association report
    • Could it be the Westphalia of our times? Bloomberg suggests that Apple and Samsung's top leadership could be looking to strike a settlement.
    • "People familiar with the situation, however, note that top-level executives at both Apple and Samsung have communicated lately about potential settlement options," the report today says.
    • "Apple CEO Tim Cook does not seem to share his predecessor's passion about laying all foes to waste," it adds. "Cook appears to view litigation as a necessary evil, not a vehicle of cosmic revenge."
    • Meanwhile Tim Cook is still playing Nixon and going to China.
    • He visited Foxconn Technology Group’s newly built manufacturing facility for the iPhone in Zhengzhou, China, as the U.S. company seeks to improve working conditions.
    • Cook's visit marks the first time an Apple CEO has visited an actual production plant
    • The Fair Labor Association has released its findings from the lengthy investigation of working conditions at Foxconn's Chinese plants where Apple products are made. The watchdog found that in the last year all three factories violated not just FLA code for hours worked, but Chinese legal limits of 36 hours of overtime per month. During peak periods, employees worked more than 60 hours a week on average and many more than seven days in a row. -- Foxconn has agreed to meet FLA and Chinese legal codes by July of 2013, including cutting the number of monthly overtime hours from 80 to 36. To compensate for the lost work hours the manufacturer will boost wages and plans to hire thousands of new workers to help maintain current production levels. A concerted effort is also planned to improve the safety and health conditions at the plants and their accompanying dormitories.
  • Report: Google earns more revenue from iPhone than Android
  • Has the iPhone earned four times as much as Android for Google since 2008? Probably not
  • Stories about Google revenue from Android miss the point: How much it saves Google
    • Reports are surfacing today that Google only generated about $550 million from Android since 2008, and that it earns far less from Android devices than it does from Apple handsets
    • coming from a recent Google court filing that offers Oracle a percentage of Android revenue as patent damages, in which the $550 million figure is extrapolated from a percentage of total revenue it's willing to pay (0.5% + 0.015% of revenue, or $2.8 million)
    • TC Sottek at The Verge notes t's likely that the company is minimizing the revenue for damages as a defendant. In this case, Google is looking at a small portion of the app or ad revenue and not giving the patents Oracle is complaining about credit for all of it
    • And Chris O'Brien from SiliconBeat points out Google pays to be the default search engine on Apple’s Safari browser. Again, we don’t know how much. But imagine for a moment, as I wrote a couple weeks ago, if Apple and iOS had the same marketshare as the iPad. How much more would Google have to pay for that spot?
  • Paper: the next great iPad app, from the brains behind Courier
  • Former Microsoft Courier team members launch hot new apps for the iPad
    • Former Courier team members are at Fifty Three. The Verge interviewed Georg Petschnigg
    • Paper: Comes with fountain pen. For $1.99 each Write (ballpoint), Sketch (pencil), Outline (marker), and Color (watercolor paintbrush).
    • To Rewind - place two fingers on the screen and move them in a counter-clockwise motion. Up to 20 moves. - invented by filmmaker (and FiftyThree designer) Andrew S. Allen
    • Coincidentally: Jay Allard has been advising and financially backing the development of Tapose, a Courier-like application for the iPad.The Tapose team launched their app on the iPad on March 27. It is available for $2.99 in the iTunes store.
      • Georg Petschnigg: Co-founder of Pioneer Studios
      • Jon Harris: Designer who worked on Zune, Xbox and Pioneer Studios brands. Co-founder of the Courier project and of Pioneer Studios
      • Andrew Allen: Filmmaker who worked on Courier
      • Julian Walker: Engineer who worked on graphics and user interface technologies for Microsoft Seadragon, Photosynth, Bing Maps and Silverlight
      • John Ikeda: Inventor who worked on Xbox accessories including the Xbox 360 game controller and Kinect

Discussion Stories

  • Spotify Keeps the Free Music Party Going in the U.S.
  • Facebook’s Big Freemium Funnel Helps Spotify Et Al Find The Pay In Free
    • In US 10-hour/month cap supposed to happen 3 mo. ago, now being extended again indefinitely
    • Sweden, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands and Spain no longer subjected to 5-song/month limit but still capped at 10-hour/month
    • negotiating with the music labels, give users incentive to upgrade free accounts to premium ones, and/or buy music from Spotify or other sources.
    • still need paying tier to access via mobile/tablet or get ad-free experience
    • some artists hate the free terms, won't cooperate
    • ATD speculates: Spotify is raising $, company’s “extraordinary” growth is a big plus. Less free listening=less growth, less interested investors
    • says this is due to FB frictionless sharing, big influx in usage on Spotify and other apps. Ppl curious about Spotify thru FB probably won't pay right away but developing a free relationship is essential.
  • Half of US cellular subscribers own smartphones: Nielsen
  • U.S. Mobile Phone Market Now Half-Smart
  • Nearly 1 Billion Smart Connected Devices Shipped in 2011 with Shipments Expected to Double by 2016, According to IDC
  • Android to oust Windows in connected gadgets (but there’s a catch)
    • According to a new Nielsen report, 49.7 percent of mobile subscribers in the US owned smartphones as of February. That's up from 36 percent a year ago.
    • Two-thirds of those who got a new phone in the last three months chose a smartphone over a feature phone, the research firm says.
    • Android-based phones lead the U.S. smartphone market with a 48 percent share, while Apple's iPhone is at 32 percent, and BlackBerry is at 11.6 percent.
    • The universe of smart connected devices, including PCs, media tablets, and smartphones, saw shipments of more than 916 million units and revenues surpassing $489 billion dollars in 2011, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).
    • PCs running the Windows operating system on any x86-compatible CPU, slipping from a leading 35.9% share in 2011 down to 25.1% in 2016. The number of Android-based devices running on ARM CPUs, on the other hand, will grow modestly from 29.4% share in 2011 to a market-leading 31.1% share in 2016. --- “Android’s growth is tied directly to the propagation of lower-priced devices,” Tom Mainelli, research director of Mobile Connected Devices at IDC said of the forecasts."

Good News Fuse






"If you've mentioned this, don't worry about it, but I wrote a post over at that I thought you guys might be interested in. Here's the back story. A couple of days ago I noticed the new ""Play"" category in the google bar. After poking around, I notice that ""Dark Tide"" was available for rent and said ""see it before theatres"" on the cover. I did some digging and found that it's coming out in early April, so this kinda surprised me since this isn't a ""direct to video"" horror flick, but one with some well-known stars (Halle Berry is an Oscar winning actor after all). What do you all think? Is this the beginning of a new model where they rent new movies for $9.99 (cheaper than two tickets to the theater), DVD/BluRay releases for $2.99-$3.99, and put old stuff on Amazon, Google, HuluPlus, Netflix, etc.? I hope so.

BTW, quick plug. My book "Podcasting Church" will be free on Kindle on 4/1 and 4/2 (not an April Fools Joke). I'd love a mention although that's not necessary at all. Love the show.

Paul Clifford Owner & Chief Creative Officer"

"Hey guys,

I think Simon and I are in agreement, that HTML likes to keep it simple with basic text boxes, buttons, and checkboxes. I will point out that HTML5 does introduce some new controls for mobile which are more subtle, like date inputs ( and number inputs (

But since UI standards move fast, I'd argue that what HTML has kept are the right building blocks while leaving the rest up to developers. Case in point: between Windows 8 Metro, OSX Lion, iOS and ICS (and Ubuntu, and ChromeOS, etc.), the "standard" toolbars and menus and folder trees with their little [+] buttons have been going out of style, in favor of simple search boxes, big buttons, and touch gestures. It's actually great that we get this kind of organic evolution of the interface, so I'm definitely in favor of "less is more".

-- Allen"


I'm working with the producers of a documentary called War for the Web, the documentary that Tom Merritt had mentioned last Friday on Tech News Today. Tom had mentioned during the show that he liked the idea of demystifying the Internet, so I wanted to let TWiT know about a little preview clip that we released yesterday -- a little ""Internet 101"" type video on Packet Switching. We welcome you to share it with your viewers on TNT or elsewhere on TWiT:

And just to show how much something like this is needed, we took to the streets to find out just how much the average person knows about the Internet. Our video is here:

We would love to talk to you more about the film if you have a moment, please let us know if you want any more information.

Best, Nancy"



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Production Information

  • Edited by: Chad
  • Notes:
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