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Tech News Today for February 14, 2017

Tech News for Tuesday February 14, 2017

We’ve heard about Apple’s foray into original content for the Apple TV, and now we have a trailer for Planet of the Apps to judge it by. And it's not good. It’s basically Shark Tank for app developers, judged by Will.i.am, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba and Gary Vaynerchuk. There is no release date yet, but Eddy Cue says it will premiere this Spring, exclusively on Apple Music and the Planet of the Apps application for iOS. Read more at 9to5mac.com.

You can now encrypt your video chats on signal. Open Whisper Systems, the non-profit behind Signal announced a beta version that adds encrypted video calls and a promise of better call quality. You can activate the new features in the “advanced” settings menu. The Edward Snowden endorsed Signal app has been the secure messaging tool du jour for journalists and other privacy experts for a while, but as of late it has also seen adoption by lots of normals too in this new age of surveillance. Signal even boasts encryption across the great divide between Android and iOS devices. Read more at whispersystems.org.

Facebook is making its plans for your TV set official with its announcement of a new standalone app for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung Smart TVs. The app will bring videos from friends and liked pages onto the TV as well as recommended videos based on your viewing history. Facebook says the app is coming soon. Facebook also announced that videos within the news feed will now auto-play with sound ON, given the volume on your device is turned up. Read more at businessinsider.com.

During his keynote at RSA San Francisco, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith calls on tech compainies to create a digital Geneva Convention. Smith says that as state-sponsored attacks grow, tech leaders need to agree to ban together, if necessary, to protect people from cyber attacks. Tech companies like Microsoft and others are like first responders in cyber terrorist attacks and should commit to collective action. Governments should commit to protecting civilians from nation-state attacks in times of peace, just as the 1949 Geneva Convention treaty resulted in governments committing to help citizens in times of war. Many countries, of course, ignore the non-digital Geneva Convention, so who's to say those same countries won't ignore this one? Read more at blogs.microsoft.com.

EHang, the Chinese company that tested its autonomous drone taxis last summer in Las Vegas, is ready for business. The company plans to roll out its passenger carrying drone service in Dubai this Summer, covering an area of 40-50 kilometers and flying at speeds of 100 kilometers per hour (62 MPH). A remote command center will monitor and pilot the drones to and from their destinations. Read more at mashable.com.

Megan Morrone and Jason Howell are joined today by Ian Sherr of CNET to talk about the rise of niche dating sites. Tech News Today streams live weekdays at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern at twit.tv/live. You can subscribe to the show and watch it on-demand at twit.tv/tnt.

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