Tech News 2Night 65 (Transcript)


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Tech News 2Night 65

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Tonight, Google is in the business of making drones, Netflix speeds up after paying out, and Mozilla has a new interim CEO

Tech News 2Night is Next!

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This is Tech News 2Night Episode 65, for Monday April 14, 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 Jason Howell, Let's get right to the Tech Feed!

Google announced that it has agreed to purchase drone manufacturing startup Titan Aerospace, along with its 20 or so employees, for an undisclosed sum. Titan currently produces solar-powered drones that are designed to stay in the air and fly non-stop for years. Why is Google interested in drone technology? Why, for the same reason its been working on Project Loon, which is the company's high-flying balloon project designed to distribute Internet connectivity to hard to reach areas of the world. The Titan team will work closely with the team on Project Loon, as they focus on advanced material design for the crafts, as well as advanced algorithms for determining flight paths and wind predictions.

Interesting to note that a single Titan aircraft, according to the company, was set to deliver up to 1 gigabits connection covering 1000 miles for up to five years. From one craft! Also, Facebook was rumored last month to be getting ready to buy Titan Aerospace, but ultimately ended up buying Ascenta for their own solar-powered drone efforts. Once again, Google and Facebook are playing in the same sand box."

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If you have Comcast and watch Netflix, you’ve probably noticed an increase in streaming speeds. According to their own ISP ranking, download speeds of Netflix are up 65% to 2.5 mb per second in March from 1.5Mb per second in January. Of course this has everything to do with the controversial deal between the companies some have called “payola”. In February the Wall Street Journal revealed that Netflix agreed to pay Comcast for a direct connection to the service. In a blog post today the company said -quote- "This month’s rankings are a great illustration of how performance can improve when ISPs work to connect directly to Netflix."

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It’s been 18 months since the last update and two weeks since the Microsoft Build conference and now developers can download Windows Phone 8.1. The new operating system features the Cortana digital assistant, a new notification center, and tiles for the Start Screen. You’re not a registered Windows Phone Developer? Well you can become one and then get the software. There are some limitations and features not included in this build and some phones may not support it or the software could void the warranty until officially supported, so you make your own decision!

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Coming up... who needs Google Glass if you have Google contact lenses!

and up Next I'll chat with Frederic LAR-DEEN-WA about what the appointment of Mozilla's new interim CEO will mean.

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Alright, I want to welcome Frederic LAR-DEEN-WA, Writer at TechCrunch, to the show, thank you so much for joining me today!

Frederic, you wrote an article earlier today about Mozilla's announcement that they've appointed an interim CEO to the company. But we had to wade through a lot of controversy before we got to this point.

1. So let's start there. How did we get here, for those who haven't been following the story as closely as you?

2. Who is Chris Beard, what will he bring, what can we expect? Is there any chance that he might get the official nod for CEO?

3. Now, as for Mozilla... Firefox browsers aren't necessarily the hotness they once were with Chrome nipping at its heels everyday, Firefox OS is still very early days with great ambition but hasn't really caught on quite yet... Mozilla has a lot at stake and this is undoubtedly a tough time for Mozilla. Will people forget the controversy and forgive Mozilla? What will it take to get Mozilla back on top?

Alright Frederic, thank you for coming on to talk about the future of Mozilla. Where can people find your work online?

And finally, how about a patent story that doesn't involve Samsung versus Apple? This one is about a patent that Google recently filed that might actual bring a sliver of Google Glass functionality to contact lenses. We heard a while back that Google was working on augmented contact lenses for use with monitoring blood glucose levels in diabetics. This patent details a lens that has a number of tiny cameras embedded in them for things like warning the visually impaired of an upcoming obstacle, to snapping pictures from the wearers point of view. Science fiction stuff, people. Now, let's see if Google can take this patent and turn it into something tangible. And like, soon cause.. that's pretty cool.

[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

Don't miss our morning news program, Tech News Today, tomorrow and every weekday at 10am Pacific, 1 pm Eastern. I'm Jason Howell, thanks for watching.

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