Here are today's top 10 stories from Tech News Today for December 04, 2013:
- As it turns out, when Andy Rubin left Google’s Android department to work on a secret project he was going to work on androids. For reals. In an interview with the New York Times, Rubin revealed he’s working on a robotics project for Google. The NY Times reports Google has acquired 7 robotics companies over the last 6 months and sources say the aim is to aid in manufacturing, most likely of electronics, as well as competition in the retail supply chain, a la Amazon Warehouses. Read more at nytimes.com.
- An Android smartphone called the YotaPhone that has both a regular color touchscreen and an e-paper display will go on sale later today in Russia and parts of Europe for €499. The YotaPhone has a 4.3-inch 720p LCD display, a dual-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. Its e-paper display at the back is also 4.3 inches, but has a lower resolution of 640 x 360 pixels. Yota describes it as an 'always-on, low power display," which can be used to view ebooks, battery, notifications, and other information. Read more at theverge.com.
- Valve just joined the Linux Foundation officially. The company released a Linux client in February and announced its SteamOS would be based on Linux. With the move to join the Linux Foundation, Valve will be contributing tools for developers to work on SteamOS and hopes to entice hardware makers to support Linux above other platforms. Read more at pcworld.com.
- Brad Saunders, USB 3.0 Promoter Group Chairman, released a statement today announcing the next version of the USB standard will feature a new connector called Type C. Designed for USB 3.1 spec, Type C will be about the size of the current microUSB plug, feature scalable power data rates near 10 Gbps and best of all it will be reversible. So no more jamming it in the wrong way. They hope the spec will be finalized by the middle of 2014. Read more at techcrunch.com.
- A non-profit called EducationSuperHighway - which lets schools test their broadband speeds and secure better connections - has raised $9 million. the round is led by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's Startup:Education fund, and also includes the Gates Foundation. Evan Marwell, CEO of EducationSuperHighway, says slow Internet speeds is a "fairly consistent problem in rural, urban and suburban America. Over 40 million students are being left behind without the Internet access and WiFi they need to take full advantage of digital learning.” Read more at techcrunch.com.
- TheNextWeb found a GitHub repository called Mobile Chrome Apps that would help bring packaged Chrome apps to Android and iOS. The toolkit would allow those packaged Chrome apps to interact with Android and iOS hardware using Apache Cordova. Google hasn't mentioned when the toolkit will be official, but Google's Joe Marini says they hope to have a beta in January. Read more at thenextweb.com.
- The rumored YouTube music service that Google has never announced but has been reported to launch in the summer and then delayed until the end of this year is getting a rumor delay again. AllThingsD reports the licensing deals for music are all in place but Google isn’t yet satisfied with the product itself, so is pushing off a launch. Maybe, just maybe, that’s why they NEVER ANNOUNCED IT IN THE FIRST PLACE! Who knows? Read more at cnet.com.
- Samy Kamkar, a serial hacker responsible for the Myspace-crumbling Samy worm back in 2005 and landed Kamkar in jail, has released hardware and software specs to create a drone-hacking drone. O what fun! You and I can now make an aerial drone that will be able to hunt down other drones, hack into them, and control them. Kamkar is calling it “SkyJack” and it requires a Raspberry Pi circuit board, as well as a Parrot AR.Drone quadcopter, a small battery and two wireless transmitters. There will also reportedly be a version of SkyJack that runs on grounded Linux machines to hack drones within radio range. Read more at techcrunch.com.
- China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology finally issued its TD-LTE licenses to China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. It just so happens that Apple’s latest iPhone supports TD-LTE and it also just so happens that every analyst in the world has been projecting big sales for Apple if and when they could launch an iPhone on China Mobile, the country’s largest wireless carrier. So there are your dots. Have fun connecting them. Read more at reuters.com.
- Is driving with Google Glass on your face legal in California? I guess we'll find out because the person who got a ticket for driving with Google Glass is fighting that ticket in court. Cecilia Abadie's attorney says that Glass was not being used while his client was driving, but was activated when she looked up at the officer as he stood at her window after pulling her over for speeding. They will also argue that the citation for driving with a video screen on should not apply to wearable devices like Google Glass. Read more at sfgate.com.
For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for December 04, 2013.