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Tech News Today for August 29, 2017

Tech News for Tuesday August 29, 2017

If you haven't seen endless stories of human bravery and rescue on Twitter this week, then you are officially following the wrong people. As Hurricane Harvey drops buckets of rain on the Houston area and then moves on to surrounding states, Twitter has erupted with photos of tireless first responders saving children and heartbreaking tweets from people stuck in their homes. The Atlantic says an impromptu group of coders and mappers calling themselves Harvey Relief have used Twitter, Google Docs, Slack, Reddit, and other resources to connect people to help. Their resources include shelter info and remote volunteer logging requests for rescues they've seen on social media. Brooke Binkowski, managing editor at Snopes, is the group's spokesperson. Some law enforcement officials have been urging people not to use Twitter as a 911 replacement, but a Sheriff in Harris County has been communicating thru his Twitter account. Read more at theatlantic.com.

Ahead of Apple’s expected September hardware event, Apple is apparently working overtime trying to secure deals with Hollywood studios to bring 4K UHD video content to iTunes. An updated Apple TV is expected at the event that will support 4K ultra high definition video content, and Apple wants to offer movies that support that format later this year at the $19.99 price point. But the Wall Street Journal says that sources close to the discussions reveal that studios are pushing for more, upwards of $5-10 per title more. Read more at wsj.com.

A French researcher has discovered a spambot that's using 711 million email addresses to unwittingly deliver bank malware all over the world. Because the bot has legitimate login information and email credentials, the emails used to spread malicious spam often defeat spam filters. Troy Hunt of Have I Been Pwned has seen the data and says it's larger than anything he's been sent before and that it basically includes one address for every single man, woman and child in all of Europe. The researcher who goes by the handle Benkow says they spambot has caused at least 100,000 unique infections so far. Read more at troyhunt.com.

The Amazon Echo is getting into the Sonos game, sort of. Echo devices will now support multi-room playback, similar to expensive Sonos equipment and more recently, Google’s own Home and Chromecast Audio products. Audio played on an Amazon Echo within a network can be synchronized to play across other Echo devices on the same network. Not only that, Amazon is releasing a Connected Speaker API which means that 3rd party devices with Alexa integration will soon be able to take part in the multi-room playback as well. Read more at theverge.com.

Megan Morrone and Jason Howell are joined today by Russell Holly from VRHeads to talk about the ZenFone AR phone from ASUS, which uses Project Tango hardware. Tech News Today streams live weekdays at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern at twit.tv/tnt. You can subscribe to the show and get it on-demand at twit.tv/tnt.

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