Tech News 2Night 47 (Transcript)


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Tech News 2Night 47

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Tonight! Sony's new virtual reality headset, several States scrutinize the Comcast merger, how to fix a Tesla, and an anti-social social-media app
Tech News 2Night is Next! [TWiT Open]
This is Tech News 2Night Episode 47, for Wednesday March 19, 2014
Tech News 2Night is brought to you by JIRA, an Atlassian product. JIRA is the project management solution for teams planning, building, and launching great products. To learn more about JIRA and try it free for 30 days, visit atlassian.com/tn2
I'm Tonya Hall, Let's get right to the Tech Feed!
Virtual reality took another step toward actual reality this week. Yesterday, Sony unveiled its Project Morpheus, which is a prototype virtual reality headset for the Playstation 4. The device will be made available to developers soon so they can start building games that support it. Then today, Oculus VR rolled out the second version of its dev kit for Oculus Rift. The first version shipped a year ago. The new version is higher resolution and features better head tracking. Both devices present 3D vision in 360-degree virtual screens, providing the illusion of total immersion in virtual environments. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that Microsoft is working on a virtual reality device as well -- for the Xbox platform, of course!
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Now States are jumping into the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger fun-wagon. According to Reuters, Florida and several other unnamed states will join the Justice Department to determine if the merger is legal under US antitrust law. The Florida Attorney General is quoted saying "We are part of a multi-state group reviewing the proposed transaction along with the U.S. DOJ Antitrust Division". The focus is more on the broadband Internet aspect of the deal rather than cable TV service. A combined Comcast-TimeWarner would make up nearly one-third of the US Internet market. In addition to the legal wrangling, the FCC must also approve this deal.
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Twitter has decided to stop work on a project to encrypt its users' direct messages. Encryption would have helped keep private user messages private, and safe from being hacked or surveilled. Last November, news leaked that Twitter had started work on the encryption of direct messages. But now they've dropped the project without telling why. Twitter has a pretty good track record of resisting government requests for data. For example, Twitter didn't cooperate with the NSA on its PRISM program. It's not clear if Twitter will encrypt messages at some point in the future. But for now, it looks like the project is at least on hold.
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Google updated the Android version of its Search app, expanding what you can do with voice control. After saying “OK Google” or tapping the microphone icon, you can say “take a photo” or “take a video” -- and it will. The effect is similar to the same feature on Google Glass. It’s perfect for taking selfies from a distance that’s longer than your arm.
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Coming up.. a social media app for when you're feeling anti-social and want to avoid your friends!
Joining me next is Mike Ramsey from the Wall Street Journal to talk about what's going on with Tesla.
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[Segment #2]
Mike Ramsey is here from the Wall Street Journal to talk about Tesla. Mike you’ve written several stories on the company and followed them closely. New Jersey’s decision to ban Tesla stores strikes at the heart of how Elon Musk sees his company compared to traditional auto dealers. His model is not to make most of their money from repairs. How will Telsa maintain their cars?

-GM is in the middle of a big recall. Tesla cars are so computerized that I wonder: Will it be possible for Tesla to deal with more recall issues by issuing a patch over the Internet?

-Batteries are big component. Can you tell us about Tesla’s Gigafactory for making batteries? Why are they building this?

-The ModelS is reportedly getting Android app and Chrome support by the end of this year. Will yesterday’s Android Wear announcement play into this? Do you envision the ability to control Tesla dashboard functions with a wristwatch?

//Thanks Mike, where can people find your work or connect with you? "
[Kicker!] We’re all familiar with social networks like Facebook and Foursquare, which help you connect with the people you like. Well now there’s an anti-social network that helps you avoid the people you don’t like! It’s called Cloak. Here’s how it works. Just like any location-based social network, you can use the Cloak iOS app to “check in.” The app then monitors the locations of the people you follow on both Foursquare and Instagram -- so you can avoid them! The app was created by the same people who made “unbaby me,” which is a Chrome and Firefox extension that hides your friends’ baby pictures on Facebook.
[good bye] That's it for this edition of Tech News 2Night.
Subscribe to this show at Twit.tv/tn2, and write us at tn2@twit.tv
Our next newscast is tomorrow at 10am Pacific, 1 pm Eastern. I'm Tonya Hall, thanks for watching.
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