Tech News Today For August 26, 2016
Tech News Today For August 26, 2016
If you're buying stuff on Amazon, you might want to make sure they're not gouging you. The New York Times and CNET are both reporting inconsistencies in Amazon pricing that might be bugs in the software or might be features, for Amazon's bottom line. The first complaint is with Amazon's Subscribe and Save, a service that's been around since 2007 and has become much less about saving in the past decade. Customers report that the price for subscriptions fluctuates widely and discounts are not what they seem. CNET also looked into Amazon Fresh pricing and found a possible bug in the software. A membership to Amazon Fresh costs $300 a year and lets customers in a few big cities order fresh fruit, ice cream and other foods. The service offered a "Buy it Again" feature, which would imply that the price would be somewhat the same as it was the first time. Not so. Some products were as much as 5 times the price so customers were given the opportunity to buy an 89 cent snickers bar for $4.95. Apparently products on Amazon Fresh have the same product identification numbers as those on Amazon.com, but not necessarily the same price. Read more on CNET.com.
People familiar with the matter, that elusive bunch of inside information leakers to press outlets like Bloomberg, are saying that Spotify, the number one music streaming service, has been retaliating against artist who give exclusives to competitors like Apple Music and TIDAL. Sources say that Spotify has notified artists that their songs wouldn't be represented on featured playlists once those exclusives find their way to Spotify’s library. As well, sources are saying that Spotify has been actively burying the music of those artists in search results. Spotify has told Recode that the search ranking allegations printed by Bloomberg were “unequivocally false,” however they wouldn’t comment on on the featured playlist allegations. Read more at Bloomberg.com.
Sprint launched a new $80 a month Unlimited Freedom Premium plan that offers you unlimited-ish data. It's 20 more a month than the Unlimited Freedom plan, that is hardly unlimited at all. Here's what you get with Unlimited Freedom Premium, according to the Verge: unlimited streaming at 1080p, a bump in music quality streaming. But you'll still be throttled when you stream music and games. This is clearly an attempt to provide a plan comparable to T-Mobile, which offers unlimited calling, texting and data for $70 a month, including throttling. T-Mobile at least gets props for only offering one plan, which makes things a little less confusing. Read more at theverge.com.
Facebook faced a lot of heat a while back when Gizmodo published a scathing look at its Trends, primarily accusing Facebook staff of suppressing conservative topics. A Facebook investigation at the time found no evidence of such manipulation, but the company still vowed to address those concerns and even met with a dozen leading conservatives at its headquarters to help put minds at ease and discuss options. Today Facebook announed the next phase of Trending Topics, and it involves removing humans from the process entirely. As such, descriptions written by humans would be removed going forward, and the company says this allows the service to scale more effectively. Read more at mashable.com.
The Nikkei reports that the iPhone 7 might be in short supply at launch. But industry experts do say that demand would be lower. Those willing to suffer through the loss of a headphone jack might have to wait for one due to faulty components. An industry source told Nikkei that some suppliers are still trying to fix low yield rates of their components. They added that at launch there will be an estimated 10 million fewer iPhone 7s than there were iPhone 6s last year. Read more at macrumors.com.