Tech News Today 481

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Tech News Today
Episode 481

Tech News Today 481: The Hand Of Ballmer

Windows 8 to come in 3 flavors, Page, Ellison and the Google-Oracle circus trial, Ikea wants to build your next TV, and more.

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Top Stories

  • Microsoft To Sell 3 Flavors Of Win 8; ARM Edition Has Office
  • Windows 8 diet exposes Microsoft's weak ARM
  • Microsoft talks Windows 8 SKUs: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, and "Windows RT" for ARM
  • Announcing the Windows 8 Editions
    • Microsoft officially announced all the versions of Windows 8
    • Windows 8 is the official product name for x86
    • Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, and Windows RT (fka WOA) short for Windows Runtime
    • MS put up a feature chart on its Windows Team Blog and confirms that Windows RT with Office, but the other versions won't. RT also has device encryption
    • RT will only be available pre-installed on PCs and tablets powered by ARM
    • Windows Media Center will be available as an economical “media pack” add-on to Windows 8 Pro.
    • No Windows Media Player on RT
    • Win8 Features: updated Windows Explorer, Task Manager, better multi-monitor support and the ability to switch languages on the fly
    • Win8 Pro: "designed to help tech enthusiasts and business/technical professionals obtain a broader set of Windows 8 technologies. It includes all the features in Windows 8 plus features for encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity."


"Hi TNT,

I was just listening to your discussion about API copyrights and wanted to clear up a few misconceptions. When I program in Java I actually use Oracles version of Java so this ruling wouldn't impact me. When I write iPhone apps I'm using the Apple development kit so Apple's copyright on their API wouldn't cause me problems. My Django and Rails projects are using open source APIs and hence I already have copyright permission.

So if the courts decide APIs are copyrightable this will impact few developers other than Android developers and it probably won't impact them either, Google will just have to license Java from Oracle like they should have in the first place.

- Robert Osborne"

"Greetings TNT crew,

Just wanted to provide a counterpoint to the discussion in episode 480 that APIs should be freely incorporated into programs by developers. APIs are generally used by programs, not found in them. Program developers do not need to worry about infringing on copyrights though API calls because they only use the APIs, not include them in their code. The issue with Oracle and Google, as I understand it, is that they copied the Java environment APIs and incorporated them directly into the Android OS without a license.

That being said, the reason Windows machines, and even my old Palm Treo, could run programs using Java APIs is because the programs run in Java Virtual Machine, which is supplied by Oracle. For free. If Google had only given Oracle the proper credit for their work, this issue may have been avoided.

Those of us who run Windows machines have paid for the usage of the Windows APIs. Likewise, OSX users have paid for the usage of the OSX APIs. One could only wonder, though, how awesome Lindows could have been if APIs could be freely used as you all have eluded to in your discussion...

Andy the Test Engineer"

  • The World Series of IP cases felt more like Cricket, opening with 91 slides
  • All the code-copying, and gaming emails we've mentioned were featured. Arguments ran as expected
  • Larry Page was the first witness, appearing by recorded video from his deposition. (8/24/2011)
  • Focused on presentation "Must take license from Sun". Was it run by Andy Rubin? - gaming email
  • Is Java a platform? Page: "platform is a term that is hazy in my mind." Many people might consider it a platform, is both a language and a platform.
  • Larry Ellison followed on the witness stand in person
  • When asked whether or not it is expensive to develop APIs, Ellison sighed and responded, "Arguably, it's one of the most difficult things we do at Oracle."
  • Discussed licensing and stated Google was the only company he knew not taking a license, even a free license
  • Is the Java language free? Ellison "I don't know"
  • Ellison asked on stand if primary factor in acquiring Sun was smartphone business, Ellison said no. In deposition asked if Oracle acquired Java because interest in smartphone business and compete with Apple, Ellison said yes
  • Played video of June 2009 JavaOne where Ellison praised Sun, saying that it had done "a fantastic job" in opening up Java and giving it to the world.

  • Pebble smartwatch breaks Kickstarter’s $3.3 million record…with a full month still to go
  • Pebble: E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android
    • Kickstarter project Pebble has broken the record for funding on the crowdsourced site with a whole month still to go, grabbing 3.3 million from 23,000 backers.
    • The Pebble is a slim, attractive watch with an e-paper display and a battery life of 7 days, the lens is scratch resistant and it charges via USB. It syncs up to an iPhone or Android device, via bluetooth and a mobile app, to provide customisable alerts when the phone rings and email or messages are received.
    • Pebble initially raised $1 million in 28 hours
    • DoubleFine raised 3.3 million total. previous record.

Discussion Stories

  • Hulu to pitch original programming on Thursday
  • Hulu Plus subscribers top two million
  • Hulu Changes Deal For Advertisers: Now They Only Pay When Viewers Watch The Whole Ad
    • Hulu is 5 years old, 2M subscribers for its $8/month Hulu Plus service in Q1, at the end of 2011 had 1.5M. Revenue from Hulu+ expected to make over half Hulu's total rev in 2012. revenue $420M in 2011, 60% jump from $263M in 2010.
    • 38M visitors a month according to comScore.
    • Upfronts on Thurs in NYC, Hulu pitches advertisers on orig. programming along with cable channels and networks.
    • Crossover young audience w popular programs like New Girl
    • today at Ad Age Digital Conference in NYC Hulu CEO Jason Kilar announced advertisers will only be charged based on a 100% completion rate. In other words, if viewers don’t watch the whole ad, it doesn’t count.
    • in 2007 Hulu rolled out “Ad Select” feature, viewers can choose which ads they see. Now also have Hulu Ad Swap, which allows viewers to substitute out the ad they are watching for one that they feel is more relevant. Ad Swap now has been used over 9M times.
    • Hulu licensed 13 television shows that will appear exclusively online & going into orig. series. Different from Netflix because show are free w/ ads, Netflix is subscription based only.
    • In January, the company said it would invest $500 million in content for 2012. “Battleground,” about a Senate campaign that premiered in February, originally a pilot script developed for Fox. “A Day in the Life,” the reality show from the documentarian Morgan Spurlock, started second season in March, was 1st pitched to cable channels. This summer, Hulu will introduce “Up to Speed,” an unscripted travel series from Richard Linklater, who directed movies like “Dazed and Confused” and “Slacker.”
    • Hulu’s owners: Walt Disney Company, News Corp’s Fox Broadcasting unit, Comcast’s NBCUniversal unit and Providence Equity Partners. tried to sell Hulu last summer, its owners have said they are committed to Hulu for now. Even so, talk of a possible sale lingers. This fall, Providence Equity has a window to exit the joint venture, according to two anon executives with knowledge of Hulu.
  • IKEA to sell TVs integrated in its furniture
  • Ikea Integrates HDTV, Blu-ray Player and Speakers into Furniture Line
    • UPPLEVA, the Swedish word for experience, integrates an LED TV, a sound system with wireless bass speakers, an internet connection and CD, DVD and Blu-ray players, 2 USB ports and 4 HDMI ports — all in one self-assembly piece.
    • electronics are made by Chinese manufacturer TCL - also combined single remote
    • four different sizes, from 24 inches to 46 inches, and in a range of colors including gray, black and blue.
    • sold first in Sweden, France, Poland, Germany and Italy in June, with a few more markets due to launch in the second half of the year. By the first half of next year, it will be available worldwide, with the cheapest costing about 6,500 Swedish kronor ($955).
  • European carriers: Lumia phones are 'not good enough' to compete with iPhone and Android
  • Nokia's Lumia 'Not Good Enough' Say Carriers
  • Verizon, Others See Growth Slow With No New iPhone
    • Reuters reports 4 major European carriers are dissatisfied with the Lumia line of phones.
    • Overpriced, lacking innovation, glitchy, inadequately supported,
    • An executive in charge of mobile phones at one of the big Euro carriers is cited as saying, "no one comes into the store and asks for a Windows Phone,"
    • "Nokia have given themselves a double challenge: to restore their credibility in terms of making hardware smartphones and succeed with the Microsoft Windows operating system, which lags in the market."
    • "In 1Q12, we expect modest postpaid subscriber growth for Verizon and AT&T (T), and a decline in postpaid subscribers for Sprint (S), as consumers take a breather after the frenetic 4Q11 growth when the iPhone 4S launched," wrote Jefferies & Co. analyst Thomas Seitz in a report.

News Fuse






"TNT crew,

I was watching episode 480 where you were talking about the Tupac performance at Coachella. It was quite interesting, to hear you talking about the content, and thought you might be interested in the tech behind the scenes. I worked for a staging company, that actually built the set for the event. While I was not involved with the making of the content, I can tell you about the setup. It is called a ""peppers ghost"" gag and was actually invented in the 1800's. Here is the link to the wikipedia article ('s_ghost). It is basically the same technique as modern teleprompters.

The challenge at coachella was not just scaling up the size to people size, but also dealing with the outdoor conditions. There were 3 projectors used that had to sync up, and chain motors flew a giant aluminum and steel structure, that framed out the performance area for Tupac, away from view when the gag was not being used. There was actually quite a lot of wind, blowing the projectors around, so if you look closely at the video you can see Tupac moon walking a little.

Also important to note, the structure was designed partially while listening to your show. So there you have it. TNT to Tupac in less then 7 steps.

Love the show.

James from Long Beach"



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Production Information

  • Edited by: Jason
  • Notes:
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