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Tech News 2Night 78
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Tonight, Does Oculus own the rights to Rift?, a better look at what Amazon's smartphone might look like, surprise- Microsoft patches XP, and BASIC turns 50
Tech News 2Night is Next!
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This is Tech News 2Night Episode 78, for Thursday, May 1, 2014
I'm Sarah Lane, Let's get right to the Tech Feed!
Game publisher ZeniMax, claims Facebook-owned Oculus VR violated an intellectual property agreement over its soon to be released VR headset, the Oculus Rift. Oculus CTO John Carmack was still an employee of ZeniMax subsidiary Id Software until last November, but Carmack told USA Today in February that part of the reason he left Id was that ZeniMax wasn’t interested enough in the Rift. However, in May 2012, Id and Oculus signed a non-disclosure agreement over the sharing of Carmack’s progress on virtual reality as an Id employee. Although Carmack isn’t named in the NDA, Zenimax’s stance is that all his work — not just code he wrote — as an employee was owned by the company, which expected compensation if that work ever made it into a money-making product. Now that Facebook has purchased the company for 2 billion dollars and received FTC approval, ZeniMax has stepped forward.
Microsoft announced today it's releasing an emergency patch for Internet Explorer to fix a zero-day flaw found in IE6 through IE11, and the company says the update “is fully tested and ready for release for all affected versions of the browser.” Microsoft is also issuing a security update for Windows XP users, even thought Windows XP is no longer supported by the company. In a statement, Microsoft warned “just because this update is out now doesn’t mean you should stop thinking about getting off Windows XP and moving to a newer version of Windows and the latest version of Internet Explorer.” However, XP still has over 26% market share. Time to update, kids.
Amazon is expanding its same-day shipping service by allowing later ordering times in some cities, and adding Dallas and San Francisco to the dozen cities where it’s available. Some customers can now place an order as late as 12:15 p.m. and get it by 9 p.m. that night. Amazon Prime members in San Francisco, Phoenix, Seattle, Dallas and Los Angeles and, later, other markets, will now pay a flat $5.99 fee for same-day delivery for up to about 150 pounds of goods. Previously it was $3.99 for each item.
Now all aboard the Amazon rumor train. Boy Genius Report has what it says multiple trusted sources verify is a real image of Amazon’s smartphone that reveals the handset’s design. Specs reportedly include a 4.7-inch display with 720p HD resolution, a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM, six individual camera modules and a customized version of Android OS similar to the one in Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets.
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Some users of Twitter's iOS and Android clients are now seeing an option to mute accounts that they follow, which keeps another user's tweets and retweets from appearing in their timeline without having to unfollow them. It's already handy in apps like Tweetdeck and 3rd party app Tweetbot for muting event tweets, TV show spoilers, or just people that drive you nuts. No word on an offical rollout yet.
Snapchat claims over 700 million snaps are shared per day on the service, and it just got more interesting - the updated app now lets you text friends, though in true Snapchat form, once you leave a conversation, the messages disappear. The new app also lets you video chat with friends in realtime instead of what CEO Even Spiegel describes is a planned call in advance on services like Skype or Facetime.
Foursquare has announced a brand new app called Swarm that will exist alongside the current Foursquare app. Swarm will be a social heat map, helping users find friends nearby and check in to share their location. A completely rewritten Foursquare app, launching in about a month, will ditch the check-in and focus solely on exploration and discovery, to provide optimal local search.
Vine is expanding its web experience to better mirror its app experience. Now, along with your Vine feed and user profile streams, you'll see a featured section that includes Editors Picks, cool playlists, and special featured videos. You’ll also have access to channels, trending tags, and a popular page, again, just like the Vine app. You no longer have to be logged in to watch any video or peruse any channel.
Coming up, a Smart-bike that syncs with your smartphone and when you can get one. But first I am joined by
Harry McCracken Editor at large for TIME.com and TechNOLogizer
Wrote the article today: "Fifty Years of BASIC, the Programming Language That Made Computers Personal"
- Why was BASIC so important?
- What did it influence?
- Tell us about the Microsoft connection.
- Who created it and why did they create it?
- A one point the creators were dissapointed with what people used BASIC for. Tell us about that.
- It was taught in some High Schools, is it hard to find programming taught in schools now?
- What can the history of BASIC teach us today?
Finally, a new Kickstarter project from a company called Vanhawks is creating a bicycle, called Valour, that incorporates smartphones, GPS, and fitness tracking to track your rides, give you directions, and even alert you to passing cars. A paired app stores riding data and allows cyclists to set up a route so that the bike can display directions. Small LEDs on the left or right handlebar when approaching a turn to signal which direction a rider needs to go , and the bike also senses when cars are getting too close and will vibrate the corresponding handlebar to make its rider aware. If the project is funded, the Valour will be made as a single speed, a fixie, or with a gear hub, with prices ranging from $999 to $1,249 canadian dollars, available in the US and Canada, in October.
[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, tomorrow and every weekday at 10am Pacific, 1 pm Eastern. I'm Sarah Lane, thanks for watching.
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