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Tech News 2Night 109
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Tonight! The Chinese reveal secret Microsoft patents, should you go to jail for threatening someone on Facebook?, and will there be new rules for driving with smartphones?
Tech News 2Night is Next!
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This is Tech News 2Night Episode #109, for Monday June 16, 2014
This episode of Tech News 2Night is brought to you by iFixit (I-Fix-It). iFixit makes electronics repair easy with free repair guides, plus all the parts and tools you’ll need. For $10 off your purchase of $50 or more, go to ifixit.com/twit and enter the code TN2 at checkout.
I'm Sarah Lane, Let's get right to the Tech Feed!
Microsoft has claimed for several years that it holds a trove of patents that Google's Android operating system infringes on. Now, a list of hundreds of patents that Microsoft says gives it the right to Android phone sale royalties,has been published on a Chinese language website as part of a Chinese government antitrust review relating to Microsoft's purchase of Nokia., which includes technologies developed at Microsoft, as well as patents that Microsoft acquired by participating in the Rockstar Consortium that bought patents auctioned off after Nortel's bankruptcy. Rockstar paid $4.5 billion for those patents, some which went to the Consortium, a patent-licensing company that sued Android makers and Google last October. Other patents were handed off to the companies that participated in Rockstar, including Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson, and Sony. Microsoft is said to be pulling in somewhere between $1 billion and $2 billion per year from Android device makers paying royalties. The company says last year more than 50% of Android devices were made with licensing deals in place, and the estimates now range as high as 70%.
The US Supreme Court has announced plans to investigate whether someone should go to jail for posting violent or threatening messages on social media sites — even if the intent to carry out those threats isn't clear. The court will consider the case of Anthony Elonis, a Pennsylvania man who was sentenced to almost four years in federal prison in 2010 for posting violent threats about killing his ex-wife and law enforcement on Facebook. Lower courts had rejected Elonis' defense that the comments were protected under the First Amendment. The court will take up the case in the fall, when the justices get back from their summer break.
Amazon is expected to introduce its first-ever Amazon smartphone this week, and in preparation, the company has announced its Amazon Appstore now has over 240,000 applications in almost 200 countries and has tripled year-over-year. Compare this to Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference earlier this month, the company announced it had roughly 1.2 million applications, and Google is estimated to have around the same, which still leaves Amazon with a lot of room to grow. However, Amazon's also citing an IDC survey the company commissioned today that points to high revenue potential for developers on the Amazon platform. 65% of the 360 developers said their total revenue on Kindle Fire is the same or better than with other platforms; 74% of those said the Average Revenue per App/User is the same or better on Kindle Fire than other platforms; and 76% said the Kindle Fire helped them connect with new market segments.
Google has announced that its Project Loon initiative, to provide Internet access to rural areas via balloon, are on track, a year in, and tells Wired that it should be able to provide LTE data connections “in one or several countries” within the next year. The company wants to grow a fleet of 300 to 400 balloons that can continuously circle the earth at an altitude twice as high as commercial planes, and stay up for 100 or more days. The balloons have already circled the world in as little as 22 days, which is a world record, and delivering Internet speeds of 22 MB per second to ground antennae and 5 MB per second to phones. Google is planning to partner with local ISPs to connect the balloons to the Internet, and has already done so for tests in Brazil.
In other Google news, the company continues to focus on practical applications for Google Glass, designed for businesses, with its first round of “Glass at Work Certified Partners”: APX, Augmedix, Crowdoptic, GuidiGO and Wearable Intelligence. - companies that cover business software, apps for doctors, broadcast events, and apps for energy and manufacturing. Google says that hundreds of enterprise developers applied for the program, which lets them create business-specific apps for Glass, as well as become eligible for co-branding and listing on the “Glass at Work” website.
And now, a quick checkin on Cloud Wars. Techcrunch is reporting that Dropbox has acquired a company called Parastructure, a startup still in stealth that builds data-analysis software on top of open source infrastructure.Techcrunch reports a source that puts the deal anywhere from $10 million to $50 million dollars, though neither company is confirming the deal. According to the Parastructure's now-pulled LinkedIn profile, it builds “beautiful data analysis software powered by cutting-edge open source infrastructure.” Dropbox has now passed 275 million users and is thought to be close to an IPO, and is branching into both enterprise and consumer content on top of its core mission as a storage provider.
"Speaking of enterprise, Box, the cloud-based file-management service, announced that it has acquired Streem, a company that allows customers to stream files to their desktop environments. The four members of Streem will join Box, and Streem’s product will be folded into Box’s larger offerings, the company tells TechCrunch. Box is currently in the process of going public and is working to expand its set of offerings.
In a blog post announcing the deal, Box CEO Aaron Levie indicated that “Streem has developed enhanced video and media-streaming technology to ensure content is accessible from the cloud as fast as it is locally.”"
Coming up, how you can catch a ride with the real Optimus Prime from Transformers by using Uber.
Next, I'll chat with Harry McCracken about new regulations that could be coming ton in-car devices and your smartphone
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Harry McCracken, Editor at Technologizer
(NY Times story today)""Agency Aims to Regulate Map Aids in Vehicles""
-With more and more technology inside cars, the Department of Transportation wants to get a better handle on how we use tech in our vehicles -- whether installed on a smartphone or other device. Our smartphones are more than phones, they are navigation tools as well. What might these new rules look like?
-The department wants authority from Congress to regulate navigation aids of all types, including apps on smartphones. How will this work?
-When will they hope to have new rules?
-Plus technology is constantly changing and government does not move that fast.
(This will all be solved with self-driving cars! )
Want to take a ride in Optimus Prime? You can! Just hail him through Uber and he'll arrive in the form of a semi-cab truck. If you live in Dallas Texas, that is. Or Phoenix AZ starting on the 19th, and Los Angeles on the 21st. Uber is offering this as a tie-in for the Transformers 4 movie.
[good bye] That's it for this edition of Tech News 2Night.
Subscribe to this show at Twit.tv/tn2, and write us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Don't miss our morning news program, Tech News Today, tomorrow and every weekday at 10am Pacific, 1 pm Eastern. I'm Sarah Lane, thanks for watching.
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