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Tech News 2Night 59
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Tonight, Microsoft's Build Conference wraps up, Twitter's 15 new ad products, and Samsung's graphene breakthrough...
Tech News 2Night is Next!
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This is Tech News 2Night Episode 59, for Friday April 4, 2014
This episode of Tech News 2Night is brought to you by proXPN (pro X-P-N). proXPN is a virtual private network that allows you to use the internet the way it should be: anonymously and without oversight! For 20% off your new account, go to proxpn.com/twit and use the code TN-TWO-ZERO.
I'm Jason Howell, and
Tonight I'd like to start off by welcoming Mary Jo Foley to the show, live and in person!
Now, of course, your here in the studio because you've just capped off an entire week of Microsoft's Build Conference in San Francisco, and minutes ago, you wrapped an epic episode of Windows Weekly where you discussed everything that was announced at the show. So let's start there:
- What do you think were the top three things that came out of it?
- Is Cortana a true contender in the personal assistant space versus the likes of Siri and Google Now? Or is it in a category all its own?
- Do Windows 8.1 and Phone 8.1 help reset Microsoft?
- And consumers will really like this one: Microsoft announced that they will be making Windows free for a certain set of users. What are the details there and how much of an impact will this have?
Thank you Mary Jo! Check out this week's episode of Windows Weekly for Mary Jo and Paul Thurrotts entire, unabreviated take on Microsoft Build 2014. And of course ZDNET."
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And now to the Tech Feed...
Twitter has announced it will debut 15 types of new ad products and improved ways to target users over the next six months, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. The first is rumored to be a product that will encourage users to download apps through Twitter, and may arrive in the next few weeks. Twitter's current suite of ad products —ads that target select users and receive preferential placements as tweets, trends and recommended accounts - don't appeal to mobile game and e-commerce companies who buy based on app downloads, subscriber sign-ups and purchases. Twitter's advertising revenue more than doubled in the fourth quarter to $219.6 million from the same period a year earlier, but the company has yet to turn a profit. Twitter has also tested a "call-to-click" button that would put users on the phone with businesses, and has been in talks with payments processor Stripe to help allow users to purchase goods directly through Twitter.
In more Twitter news, this week the company updated its web client to display emoji along with text in your next tweet, putting Web Twitter on par with Twitter's mobile apps.
In a step toward creating flexible displays for future mobile devices, Scientists at Samsung's Advanced Institute of Technology and SUNG-KYUN-KWAN University say they've been able to synthesise a crystal of graphene, which the company says is ideal for consumer electronics. Samsung says the material is more durable than steel, and has 100 times greater electron mobility than silicon, making it ideal for flexible-screen smartphones, watches and other wearables. The results will be published in Science Magazine and ScienceExpress, and could help Samsung widen its range of flexible gadgets.
Earlier this week, Amazon launched its Fire TV media streaming set-top box, and today the retail giant is announcing Amazon Dash, a wifi-enabled barcode scanner designed for use with AmazonFresh grocery service. As you run out of items in your kitchen or pantry, you begin to scan cans, bottles, and boxes that you'll need restocked. If you can't scan something, Amazon Dash also supports voice input on a built-in microphone button, and the item will be added to your online shopping basket.
AmazonFresh is currently only available in Southern California, San Francisco and Seattle while Amazon tests market feedback before a larger rollout. The device is free, and you can request an invite at fresh.amazon.com/dash.
[Kicker!] and finally, Google's push to trademark the term “Glass” has hit a snag. According to the Wall Street Journal, the US Patent and Trademark Office said not so fast. The company already earned approval for “Google Glass” but last Fall the trademark office argued that simply “Glass” would lead to consumer confusion and that the term was "merely descriptive". Google has not given up. They responded with a nearly 2-thousand page letter outlining that due to news coverage, consumer confusion was unlikely. If they don't win this time, Google is free to call their product "Glass" but the term would not be protected from trademark infringement.
[good bye] That's it for this edition of Tech News 2Night.
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Don't miss our morning news program, Tech News Today, every weekday at 10am Pacific, 1 pm Eastern. I'm Jason Howell, thanks for watching.
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