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Tech News Today for April 10, 2017

Tech News for Monday April 10, 2017

Last August, a hacking group calling themselves the Shadow Brokers, released small samples of code purporting to belong to a much larger collection of NSA spying tools that were somehow stolen from the agency’s servers. It was big news to think that the National Security Agency could lose such a big score to unknown hackers. Ultimately, the Shadow Brokers put the Equation Group code up for auction aiming for the stars with around $7 million in Bitcoin but only receiving around $9,000. Over the weekend, the Shadow Brokers gave up on the auction and instead released the password to the encrypted collection for the world to see, and security researchers spent the weekend pouring over what was inside. Read more at arstechnica.com.

Minecraft will soon become the most capitalist society made of blocks ever. The company announced the Minecraft Marketplace, coming this Spring to your phone or tablet. The marketplace will allow creators to sell their skins, textures, worlds and more so players can support artists, as long as they're in the Minecraft Partner Program. Developers are free to set their own price for their stuff. Read more at bloomberg.com.

If you were hoping to someday be able to turn your airplane into a telephone booth, it looks like you might be waiting indefinitely. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has proposed to cancel a possible lifting of the ban on in-flight calls that was originally floated by former chairman Tom Wheeler back in 2013. Wheeler argued that airplanes have their own cellphone towers for onboard entertainment and as such, calls from inside the plan would have no ill affects on ground-based relay stations trying to communicate with the pilots inside. Pai says the action would be a victory for Americans who “value a moment of quiet at 30,000 feet.” Read more at usatoday.com.

New research by Piper Jaffrey says 55 percent of US teens don't feel the need for a a cable or satellite TV subscription. They say they spend 3 percent of their time on Netflix, 26 percent on YouTube, and only 23% on cable TV. 81 percent of all US teens check Snapchat once a month or more, likely 800 billion times a month, compared to the 79 percent of all teens who are monthly active users of Instagram. Read more at businessinsider.com.

Chinese smartphone and electronics company LeEco announced that its plan to acquire Vizio for $2 billion dollars will not move forward citing “regulatory headwinds.” LeEco first announced their plans last July but have since clashed with regulators in China over currency restrictions. The two companies instead announced a new partnership to bring LeEco software into Vizio products, as well as bringing Vizio products to the Chinese market. Vizio will stay an independent US company for the time being. Read more at variety.com.

Megan Morrone and Jason Howell are joined today by Kurt Wagner of Recode to talk about the US government's request to reveal the identity of a Twitter account that was criticizing the president's policies. Tech News Today streams live weekdays at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern at twit.tv/live. You can subscribe to the show or get it on-demand at twit.tv/tnt.

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