News Fuse for September 18, 2013

BlackBerry

Here are today's top 10 stories from Tech News Today for September 18, 2013:

  1. BlackBerry announced a big new phone. The BlackBerry Z30 has a 5-inch Super AMOLED display, a 1.7 GHz processor, quad-core graphics a 2880 mAh battery and is the first device to run BlackBerry OS 10.2. The device is being marketed to business, emphasizing features like Documents To Go which comes pre-installed. The Z30 hits the UK and Middle East next week and all other regions during the holiday season. Read more at techcrunch.com.

  2. Want to watch YouTube videos but finding yourself without an Internet connection? In November, you'll be able to! As the youtube team assures YouTube creators in a blog post about offline access: “This upcoming feature will allow people to add videos to their device to watch for a short period when an Internet connection is unavailable. So your fans’ ability to enjoy your videos no longer has to be interrupted by something as commonplace as a morning commute.” Read more at gigaom.com.

  3. The WSJ reports that Hulu and BBC Worldwide North America reached a deal that will bring 144 different BBC shows to Hulu in the first year of that deal. The agreement includes top tier programming like Doctor Who and Sherlock. Over 2,000 episodes will hit the video streaming service,. The deal isn't an exclusive, so you'll still be able to see BBC programming on other services as well. Read more at theverge.com.

  4. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the US President's tech policy group, has submitted a proposal to the FCC suggesting all wireless carriers in the country be required to unlock all mobile devices, phones and tablets, to allow easier switching between carriers. In January, the Library of Congress dropped an exemption from copyright law for unblocking phones. Read more at washingtonpost.com.

  5. Google's got a new plan to cut out third-party cookies from online ads called AdID, says a anonymous source familiar with Google's plans. The proposal could offer more control over which ads are shown to customers and to Google as well "The AdID would be transmitted to advertisers and ad networks that have agreed to basic guidelines, giving consumers more privacy and control over how they browse the Web," said the source to USA Today. Google is reportedly planning to secure backing from government agencies, consumer groups, and online advertisers. Read more at cnet.com.

  6. A 23-year old man was attacked in Colindale, north London. Three teenagers allegedly hit him with a brick, stabbed him, then robbed him of his phone, watch, and a copy of Grand Theft Auto V. The attack happened around 1:20AM, just after the midnight launch of the game. A Scotland Yard spokesperson said "The motive for the attack is unclear at this stage." The victim is in the hospital where he is in stable condition. Read more at google.com.

  7. NVidia announced a new reference design for Tegra 4 called Tegra Note. The design supports stylus input, and Nvidia will include Camera Awesome from SmugMug and even manage Android system updates. TegraNote tablets should arrive in October from companies like EVGA, PNY and ZOTAC. Nvidia's suggested price is $199 but manufacturers can charge what they like. Read more at engadget.com.

  8. Windows 8.1 is a free update for Windows 8 users, but if you're running older versions you'll have to buy an upgrade to the latest edition. The basic Windows 8.1 upgrade edition will cost $119.99, with the Pro version priced at $199.99. Windows 8.1 will be offered at retail or via the download option in what the company calls "full version software." The change is in response to feedback from people want to build PCs or run Windows 8.1 in virtual environments. If you buy a copy of Windows 8.1 then it's a full version, rather than an upgrade edition. Read more at theverge.com.

  9. Tesla has joined the rather large group of companies promising to make self-driving cars. Google is the most famous but recently Audi, Mercedes, Nissan, Volvo and GM have all promised to deliver autonomous vehicles sometime in the next 10 years. Musk believes he can deliver an autonomous car within three years, though a human driver would be required for 10% of the miles. Read more at theverge.com.

  10. Pandora won a case in federal court that would allow the company to keep its library of ASCAP songs. A group of songwriters and music publishers were trying to limit the number of songs it would license to Pandora under its 2011 deal and wanted to negotiate license fees directly with Web radio services. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote granted Pandora summary judgment because the language of the contract between ASCAP and Pandora "unambiguously requires Ascap to provide Pandora with a license to perform all of the works in its repertory." Read more at reuters.com.

For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for September 18, 2013.