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Tech News Today for August 7, 2017

Tech News for Monday August 7, 2017

Samsung has a new phone for those of you who are looking for a ruggedized premium smartphone to kick around. The Samsung Galaxy S8 Active is a bit flatter than the curvy S8 we saw earlier this year, with bezels that extend out a bit more to protect against scratches and drops. The metal frame is thicker, with polycarbonate backside that meets military-grade durability. Not only that, the battery gets a big boost, from 3,000mAh to 4,000mAh. Read more at businessinsider.com.

You may have heard about Personal Audio and their persuit to clamp down on podcasts as a whole, using their patent for “a system for disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence” as ammo to do such a thing. For quite a while, the podcast industry has had this cloud overhead, threatening the medium itself. Personal Audio targeted Adam Corolla, HowStuffWorks, CBS and NBC to name a few and the Electronic Frontier Foundation took up the call of podcasters to fight for the format and protect against the broad patent. The EFF wanted to protect independent podcasters so it filed a petition to challenge the patent in 2013, ultimately winning that ruling in 2015 due to prior art. Of course, Personal Audio appealed that ruling last year and today, the appeals court affirmed that the patent is in fact invalid. Read more at techcrunch.com.

YouTube is rolling out a new sharing feature within its Android and iOS app that will allow users to share videos with their contacts in a chat interface inside the app. Up to 30 people can be invited into a YouTube chatroom from any users already in there. It’s perhaps a more controlled environment than YouTube comments, since it revolves around invites of specific contacts. Read more at venturebeat.com.

Netflix, announced its first ever acquisition today: Millarworld, an independent comic publisher responsible for Kick-Ass, Kingsman, and Wanted to name a few. Read more at techcrunch.com.

Did you know that you may have bought Amazon’s very own products when you ordered from Amazon? Mike Murphey from Quartz went digging through more than 800 Amazon trademarks to discover 19 brands that can be found exclusively on Amazon and are actually owned by the company, even though its incredibly difficult to tell on the product itself. Outside of the Pinzon brand that lists itself as “Pinzon by Amazon”, the others listed on the site make no mention of their ties to Amazon aside from a reference to being available “exclusively for Prime Members.” Read more at qz.com

More iPhone 8 rumors, though some of these we’ve discussed already. There’s mounting evidence that the next iPhone will have a new infrared camera to facilitate facial recognition either as an augmentation or even a replacement of the current Touch ID fingerprint security system. Apple’s HomePod firmware update from last week has already shed some light on these upcoming features, buried deep within the code, but another nugget has been discovered. The code makes reference to a “resting” feature that would allow for face unlock when a phone is in a resting state, like as it sits unused on a table top. Read more at techcrunch.com.

Tech News Today with Megan Morrone and Jason Howell streams live weekdays at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern at twit.tv/live. You can subscribe to the show and get it on-demand at twit.tv/tnt.

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