Here are today's top 10 stories from Tech News Today for July 30, 2013:
- If you're jealous of the snappy new Nexus 7 but can't quite make the jump from your old Nexus 7 good news. Brian Klug of AnandTech reports Android 4.3 manages and optimizes the tablets flash memory better meaning it won't get slower over time. 4.3 enables support for fstrim which TRIMs blocks not in use by the filesystem. The program runs regularly keeping your flash memory optimized for input and output. Explain to your friends as 'kind of like defray and keeps your tablet running fast.' Read more at anandtech.com.
- Netflix’s new user profiles have begun rolling out to the Apple TV, that let you use personal accounts in order to keep your viewing info and recommendations separate from one everyone else you share the TV with. The profiles also let you set up per-account parental controls, and make the service’s social features like sharing to Facebook more useful. Your Netflix profile photo is also getting pulled in from facebook. Read more at theverge.com.
- iOS 7 beta 4 has been out for a few days, which means people started digging into it to get some ideas about the next iPhone. The latest code makes reference to biometric controls on the home button, which is in line with rumors that the next iPhone will ship with a fingerprint sensor. 9to5Mac says the UI for the fingerprint scanning system is complete and will be used to unlock the phone. Read more at zdnet.com.
- HTC issued guidance for its third quarter expecting around $1.67 to $2 billion in revenue with an operating profit of anything from nothing to minus 8 percent. Last year in Q3 HTC had $168 million operating profit. CEO Peter Chou blames the decline on higher bill of materials and operating costs as well inventory that needs to be cleared. Chou expects things to turn around after Q3. Read more at engadget.com.
- Google's Chromecast, the streaming video adapter, is the belle of the ball already! Vimeo and Redbox Instant both say they'll support the device, and the team at Plex media center are hinting at support as well. But wait there's more! Code found by Chromecast hackers indicates that Chromecast may bring HBO Go to the platform too. This would be in addition to users streaming media from YouTube, Netflix and Google Play, and number of additional services, including Pandora, AOL and Revision3, are also on the way. Read more at gigaom.com.
- You know what the U.S. smartphone market needs? Another player! Get ready for Asus to enter the U.S. smartphone race starting next year. Asus chairman Jonney Shih says that while they are latecomers, 2014 is a reasonable time for the company to bring its phones to the States. Shih didn't mention any specifics - but maybe a Padfone or Fonepad is in our future here? Read more at hothardware.com.
- The Kingdom of Thailand just became the first country to outlaw Bitcoins. Bitcoin Co. Ltd in Thailand recently met with the Bank of Thailand to make sure they were applying for the proper licenses and registrations in the country. After initially ruling that Bitcoin was not a currency, the Bank decided that due to a lack of existing laws and capital controls, buying selling, sending or receiving Bitcoins is against the law in Thailand until they figure it all out. No word on when the Bank plans to figure it all out. Read more at arstechnica.com.
- Time Warner Cable has begun notifying customers that they'll have to pay more to rent modems from the cable company. for example, Subscribers on their popular Internet plan now pay $3.95 a month, and that fee will rise to $5.99 a month starting in the next billing cycle for customers. The higher rate could generate an additional $150 million in revenue this year. Time Warner Cable has roughly 12 million customers. Read more at reuters.com.
- Facebook just became a game publisher. At the Casual Connect conference, Facebook announced a pilot program for small and medium game developers to provide promotional support and placement in Facebook's mobile apps. The idea is to help indie developers without big marketing budgets get noticed. TechCrunch reports some big names like Brainbow, Kiwi and Gameloft are already part of the program. Read more at techcrunch.com.
- Good news and bad news from Sprint's financials. The good news: Sprint reported $7.2 billion in earnings, which is its highest ever total. The bad news: Sprint took a net loss of $1.6 billion in the quarter due to shutting down Nextel and a large depreciation charge. Sprint says 4 million Nextel subscribers moved on over to Sprint since the transition started in early 2011. Read more at engadget.com.
For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for July 30, 2013.