Tech News Today 526
Recorded: June 20, 2012
Published: June 20, 2012
Tech News Today 526: Show Me the Hardware
Has Linux conquered the government? Has Microsoft conquered mobile? Has LG conquered TV apps? All that and more.
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- Tom Merritt ( )
- Sarah Lane ( )
- Iyaz Akhtar ( )
- Jason Howell ( )
- Jason Hiner
- Microsoft kept the announcements coming with a presentation at the Windows Phone Summit this morning. Windows Phone 8 will come in the Fall and ship by the holidays. Among the new features discussed the OS will get a shared core with Windows 8 allowing easier cross-platform development. That means when you write a marble game for a PC you can make it work on the phone in less than a day.
- Anonymous sources tell Reuters that Microsoft kept its PC partners in the dark about its Surface launch until at late as last Friday, and didn't offer the name of the tablet or its specs. But sources at Acer and Asustek say they heard zilch before the press conference itself. After 37 years of licensing software to OEMs, it'll be a very interesting year for Windows tablets now that Microsoft itself is a competitor.
- The Samsung Galaxy S III is in for a rough launch on T-Mobile and Sprint. T-Mobile will only sell the phone online and in its top 29 retail markets starting tomorrow. Sprint will delay sales until next week, though pre-orders should still ship by June 21. Verizon and AT&T are already taking pre-orders but won't ship the phone until sometime next month.
- The Waterloo Record reports that RIM has begun slashing its workforce by between 2k-6k in an effort to save $1B by the end of the fiscal year. Sources say hundreds of jobs from the manufacturing team have been terminated in the last 24 hours. A RIM spokesperson confirmed some positions had been cut, but didn't elaborate on numbers.
- The new version of Swype is out - that's the awesome keyboard that allows you to trace out words on your Android device (amongst other things). The new version lets you add spoken words to its dictionary and can now download over 55 languages. There's even a dedicated Dragon button so you can dictate to your heart's content.
- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has requested political asylum from the government of Ecuador, and is under the protection of the country's embassy in London, while the country evaluates his request. Assange is an Australian citizen who is wanted for questioning in Sweden. The UK has approved his extradition and refused to re-hear the case.
- You know what this world needs? MORE ULTRABOOKS! And we're getting some more within the next ten days according to All Things D's Bonnie Cha. Acer announced that its its latest Aspire Timeline Ultra M5 Ultrabooks will be available by the end of the month. The Ultra M5 series gets Ivy Bridge processors and comes in 14-inch and 15.6-inch versions, is 0.81-inch thick and weighs 4.3 pounds. Pricing will range from $680 to $830.
- The Washington Post reports that the Flame malware was jointly developed by Israel and the United States. The goal of Flame was to slow Iran's efforts to develop a nuclear weapon According to one of the Post's sources, Flame and Stuxnet are only a part of a larger assault that is ongoing to this day. Neither nation has officially commented on the matter.
- Google's won't pay a dime for their infringement of Oracle's intellectual property… yet. Oracle filed a stipulation Monday asking Google to pay $0 in statutory damages for the nine lines of range check code they used in Android. This doesn't mean Oracle has given up though, the move speeds up proceedings to get them the chance to appeal faster.
Windows Phone coverage:
- Windows NT coming to phones with Windows Phone 8
- Beyond the kernel: Windows Phone 8's Siri-like speech, VoIP integration, NFC Wallet
- Microsoft brings true, background multitasking to Windows Phone 8
- Microsoft: no upgrades to Windows Phone 8, but some features will come in Windows Phone 7.8
- Windows Phone Marketplace has 100,000 published apps, counts Words with Friends and Draw Something among 'em
- AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon to Carry Windows Phone 8
- Windows Phone 8 shared core will ship this holiday - common code with Windows 8 - Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor.
- Joe Belfiore - manager of the Windows Phone Program at Microsoft.
- Kernel, networking file system
- More choice in hardware, crossover with PC, more apps
- 8 Platform announcement (not all end user features)
- 1. Multi-core chipsets - focused on Dual core. Screen resolutions WVGA, WXGA, 720p, Micro SD support.
- 2. Internet Explorer 10
- 3. Native code developers. DirectX and graphics drivers
- 4. Better sharing with NFC
- 5. Wallet Experience (secure payments with a secure SIM - make payments) will eventually work with ISIS
- 6. Nokia Map Technology - NAVTEQ, offline maps, turn by turn
- 7. Windows Phone 8 for Business, encryption, enterprise management, Office Apps
- 8. Changing the Start Screen
- Multiple sized icons (wide, medium and small), no right rail, more colors for the start screen
- Launch with Nokia, Huawei, Samsung and HTC phones. AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon all confirmed that they will carry Windows Phone 8 devices.
- 100,000 apps including Words with Friends and Draw Something
- You cannot upgrade from Windows Phone 7 to Windows Phone 8.
- WP7 users get Windows Phone 7.8 (gets new start screen interface) Meant to look and feel like a WP8 device.
- WP8 will bring true multitasking. Demoed VOIP and location services as examples. VOIP uses the dialer.
- Devs will be able to take advantage of TellMe
- Microsoft kept PC partners in dark about Surface
- Surface: PC makers offer no comment as reports conflict on when Microsoft gave them the news
- Microsoft will withdraw later from tablet market: Acer founder
- If Surface Tablets Fail to Post Monster Sales, MSFT May Not Care
- Microsoft outsource Surface tablets to Pegatron; expected prices above US$599
- Google exec: "Surface is a very complicated strategy to pull off
- Reuters report says MS told specific hardware partners about its own tablet as late as Friday
- Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer told reporters the company had informed its largest hardware-manufacturing partners about the tablet.
- Digitmes reports that Acer's founder Stan Shih says MS "has no real intention to sell own-brand tablet PCs,"
- "Once the purpose is realized, Microsoft will not offer more models," the report said.
- Shih reportedly goes on to say that the strategy was conceived as way to "encourage" device makers to bring out Windows 8 tablets also citing lower profits on hardware than software.
- Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps, “It’s a typical Microsoft decision where they are not going as big as they could because they’re trying to protect another part of their business.”
- Acc'g to Digitimes, the Surface with Windows RT will cost over $599, the Pro (x86) will be above $799.
- Another Step For The Kindle Fire Abroad? Amazon Launches International Appstore As It Improves Distribution Terms
- Amazon officially opened its Appstore apps outside the US so developers from the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain can submit apps.
- Amazon says more countries in the “near future,”
- www.amazon.co.uk/appstore still not live
- Amazon says it has tens of thousands of apps, Jim Adkins, Vice President of the Amazon Appstore says some devs have doubled their revenue since in-app purchasing was created
- Test Drive is a try-before-you-buy feature for apps
- Kindle Fire launch overseas imminent? needs to be in more markets now that Microsoft's gunning for users
- better terms for devs, 70/30 split revenue share for apps, regardless of whether they are paid apps or free selling content via in-app purchases (paid apps used to have two levels of commission: either 70 percent of the app’s sales price or 20 percent of list price, whichever was greater).
- Ex-Googlers Launch MightyText, An iMessage For Android Users
- MightyText is SMS for Android users, syncs Android phone with computer, syncs with Android phone #. GV similar but requires GV #
- formerly senior technical and product management roles at google, Maneesh Arora and Amit Sangani worked on AdSense, AdWords, and the now-defunct Google Health
- rebranded from "Texty" last year as a Chrome extension. 250K users, 2M messages/day. now web app launched for more users
- MightyText lives in the cloud (and in your browser), it organizes all your texts, picture messages and calls, allowing you to search and store them securely for as long as needed.
- it's basically remote access to your phone from any device, so MightyText isn't paying for cost of SMS, which can be a big burden for SMS apps. cross-platform, can use iPad, whatever
- good for carriers using Android who don't want you to use data to send msgs. MightyText keeps messaging on SMS, these companies are likely going to be more inclined to partner with the startup down the road.
- apparently very popular w students and employees who want to text from their computer. "
- LG, TPV Initiate Smart TV Alliance
- LG announces 'universal' smart TV platform
- SmartTV Alliance Home
- Say hello to the Smart TV Alliance
- current members are LG Electronics and TP Vision (which handles Phillips-branded TVs in parts of the world
- What is it? A single platform for apps. Write an app for one brand of TV, it'll run on others that are in the alliance
- Tools are available free to devs at the end of the year - SDK is based on HTML5 and web technologies. TVs to launch in 2013
- Will this get developers to make apps for TVs (and the general do people want apps on TVs)?
- Jack Wallen writes on TechRepublic today about the US Navy switching the operating system of choice for a particular unmanned drone to Linux after experiencing a problem with a virus. Wallen reports the U.S. Department of Defense is laying out guidelines on how its agencies can use open source code. Use of open source code would alter the GPL, since the military wouldn't release changes they make to the code.
"Tech New Today team,
I listen to Tech News Today on my Samsung Galaxy Tab while eating breakfast. I caught myself yelling at the tablet when you guy were talking about the new remote for Roomba. You totally missed the most important point about this remote. BATTLE ROOMBAS!!
"For a long while I have been a user of Pandora and the Zune Music Pass and its Smart DJ feature (which provides Pandora-like playlist creation) and I've found it works ok for music discovery.
My view on the value of the social in music has changed in the last year and a half. It was my switch to listening to music mostly on vinyl that gave me a new perspective on this. Vinyl devotees congregate on internet forums and in record shops and they like to discuss and recommend what they are listening to. I have found that this analog 'social graph' has been an excellent means of finding new music, with a high level of successful recommendations.
This social graph is not made up of people I would call good friends but of acquaintances with like interests. So perhaps what Spotify should do is not switch to the algorithm model or leverage existing social graphs but create a new graph that consists of 'expert amateurs' and foster vocal community that can share recommendations. It's a matter of having the right social graph for the context- currently context is absent from the equation. Perhaps Spotify needs to look to Google Plus and its circles to help properly set some context for its social graph.
"Hi TNT team.
In your discussion of G+ on Flipboard and the lack of a GPlus app on the iPad, you forgot to mention Google's own Flipboard like news reading app - Google Currents. It already has the ability to add Google plusers to the feed and looks great on the iPad.
It doesn't, however, have the same brand recognition as Flipboard. I quite like Currents, but have been running Flipboard beta on Android for the last month and it still had the edge.
All the best and keep up the great work.
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- Edited by: Jason
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