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Tech News 2Night 85
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Tonight, the FCC feels the heat to rewrite broadband rules, AT&T might buy DirectTV, and Twitter lets you mute your friends
Tech News 2Night is Next!
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This is Tech News 2Night Episode 85, for Monday, May 12, 2014
I'm Sarah Lane, Let's get right to the Tech Feed!
FCC chairman Tom Wheeler is revising the commission's proposed rules for regulating broadband Internet, to include wording that the agency won't allow companies to segregate Web traffic into fast and slow lanes. The original plan sparked criticism from tech companies like Google, Netflix, and Amazon, and tech investors have warned it will cripple innovation from smaller startups. In the new draft, the FCC will watch deals closely to make sure that the broadband providers don't unfairly put nonpaying companies' content at a disadvantage, according to an agency official speaking to the Wall Street Journal. The draft will also repotedly bring up whether or not "paid prioritization," should be banned outright, and decide whether broadband Internet service should be considered a public utility, which would subject it to greater regulation. An FCC vote is set for Thursday, then the plan would be open to public comment.
AT&T is close to a takeover deal with satellite-TV provider DirecTV and may reach an agreement in as little as two weeks, people familiar with the matter tell the Wall Street Journal. DirecTV's shares were up more than 6%, at $92.50 a share in after-hours trading. A takeover could value DirectTV as high as $50 billion. However the companies have come close to striking a combination before, only to see it fall apart over issues including price, one of the sources said. So strictly in the rumor mill, for now.
And since we're talking about rumors....Billboard is reporting anonymous sources that say Apple could unveil Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre as Apple executives at the Worldwide Developers’ Conference, which begins in San Francisco on June 2nd.. Iovine and Dre are the co-founders of Beats, which is reportedly in talks to sell the company to Apple for $3.2 billion, but an official sale has not been announced by either company. Several industry insiders think the Beats deal is less about hardware and more about Apple’s desire to get in to the subscription streaming space, as download sales fell more than 13% in the first quarter and continued to shrink. Apple’s iTunes Store is the leading digital music store in the United States, with more than 70% of song and album download sales.
Microsoft has issued new warnings that running Windows XP is a bad idea. According to the company's newest Security Intelligence Report, of the versions of Windows that have been released since Windows XP hit the market back in 2001, Windows Vista, which was released in 2007, is the most vulnerable of them all. Its rate of infection is numbered at 3.24 percent. At 2.59 percent, Windows 7 carries less risk. That number dips down slightly to 2.42 percent for Windows XP. Not surprisngly, Microsoft’s report also says Windows 8.1 is the safest operating system, carrying an infection rate of just 0.08 percent. However, older versions of windows, like Windows 7 and Windows XP are both used by many more millions of more people than Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 are, which also accounts for higher security risks.
Goodbye, Square Wallet - we hardly knew you. Square has pulled its geo-fencing app from the Apple and Google app stores, and in its place, is introducing Square Order, an app that lets shoppers place pick-up orders from, and pay at, coffee shops, cafes and other Square merchants from their mobile devices. Square will continue to support the Wallet app for those who have already downloaded it, in part because Order was built with new backend technology so doesn't actually replace it. But Wallet won’t be available for new users to download.
Last fall, Pinterest announced that advertisements would soon show up on its service in the form of “Promoted Pins,” or featured placements from certain retailers and businesses. Today, an official rollout of a paid test of Promoted Pins has begun. Pinterest says these pins will only appear on the search and category feeds. ABC Family, Banana Republic, Expedia, GAP, General Mills, Kraft, lululemon athletica, Nestle (select brands), Old Navy, Target, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and Ziploc are all launch parters in the test. The company says it wants to collect feedback prior to opening up the paid advertisements to more businesses throughout the year.
Coming up... in the future, how will driverless cars decide who to kill in a traffic accident?
Josh Ong U.S. Editor TheNextWeb
-How does it work and does everyone have this option?
-Why would someone use it?
-Why not just un-follow someone instead?
Finally, if you're in a driverless car and forced into an accident, what should the car do? Make sure you live at any cost? Or make a choice whether to save the 4 people who might die if you survive the collision? And who creates the code that decides these rules? Is this a programmer's job? Or something that legislators decided? But someone, somewhere authorized a robot to act. A new story in Popular Science asks these questions, which is both terrifying and pretty interesting, because if driverless cars are to be a reality, robo-ethics is also something we'r[e going to have to deal with.
[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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