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Tech News Today for July 7, 2016

Tech News for July 7, 2016

Who says it doesn’t pay to be in the browser business? Talks and negotiations for the acquisition of Yahoo have been underway for a few months now, and while we still don’t know who will end up with the company, Kara Swisher at Recode knows that Mozilla, makes of the Firefox browser, might walk away with more than $1 billion dollars from the deal. A clause in the contract is said to guarantee Mozilla yearly payments of $375 million through 2019 if the company decides it doesn’t like the buyer and chooses to walk. This apparently stems from a deal made back in 2014 that put Yahoo in as the default search engine within the Firefox browser. Marissa Mayer added the clause during negotiations at the time, something she assumed would never actually happen. Read more at recode.net

The upcoming macOS update dubbed Sierra is being made available today in the form of a public beta for those adventurous souls out there. And iOS users clamoring for iOS 10 can get in on the beta action as well by heading over to Apple’s Beta Software Program site and registering there. Read more at macrumors.com.

Avast, one of the big names in antivirus announced today that it is working to acquire rival antivirus software maker AVG in a deal that will total around $1.3 billion dollars. Avast is looking to increase its scale and coverage as well as expand in emerging technologies like the Internet of Things. Read more at tech.eu.

Speaking of security, remember the Blackphone? It’s the line of privacy-focused Android devices created by Silent Circle that allowed users to do things like sandbox apps and environments, macro control of app permissions, and Silent Phone for encrypted calls and texts using Silent Circle’s backend. The company debuted its Blackphone and later the Blackphone 2 at a time when the Edward Snowden revelations were hitting hard every day, and they assumed it was the perfect time. It turns out, not so much. A court document from the companies fight with one of their former partners Geeksphone over a currently disputed $5 million dollar payment reveals that the company has laid off 15 percent of its team in six months, and struggling to find out if it can continue to develop future models of the phone. Read more at forbes.com

Amazon is pushing out an update that will allow you to set your default music streaming service on the Echo for commands like “Play Prince” or “Play Gangnam Style.” It can be set to either Spotify or Pandora, but bummer for me cause Google Play Music isn’t on that list of course. Read more at TheVerge.com

Jason Howell is joined today by Fr. Robert Ballecer. The show airs weekdays at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern at twit.tv/live. You can subscribe to and download the show afterwards at twit.tv/tnt.

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