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Tech News Today for May 25, 2017

Tech News for Thursday May 25, 2017

Journalist Walt Mossberg has posted his last column on Re/Code, the site he co-founded. He says its his final weekly column he plans to write anywhere. Mossberg had announced his retirement last month. His final piece is worth your time as it describes our ambient computing future where devices that we interact with on desks, in our laps, or in our hands are no more and computing is simply around us, in the air. As a gadget lover, Mossberg writes, this makes him sad. But as a tech believer, its exciting. Read more at recode.net.

Facebook, Google, and Apple all have their own competing formats for speeding up the work of publishers on mobile devices. Facebook’s Instant Articles is opening up to supporting Google’s AMP and Apple’s News formats in its open source dev kit. An extension will allow publishers to create their content in a way that supports all three formats. Read more at techcrunch.com.

This week the US Department of Homeland Security met with European officials to discuss a potential laptop ban on flights. While no specific timeline has been set, Bloomberg reports that some airports will begin tests to determine the feasibility of the ban. There is currently a ban on laptops and other large electronic devices on U.S.-bound flights from 10 airports in the Middle East. Read more at bloomberg.com.

T-Mobile is launching a new program called Digits on May 31 that virtualizes its customer phone numbers in a way that makes them accessible across a number of platforms and devices. The new system is free for all T-Mobile users, and for those who might want more than one number to hand out, they can pay $10 to snag an extra number. One single device can access up to five seperate numbers under the program. Read more at arstechnica.com.

In other news, T-Mobile is appealing to switchers from Verizon who own iPhones or Pixel phones, saying as of May 31, they will pay all unpaid balance related to the switch. That phone can then be used on the T-Mobile network with their new service, though they will be required to enroll in the $15 per month insurance plan for the device. Read more at fortune.com.

Buzzfeed reports that Virginia Senator Mark Warner just introduced a bill that might solve the problem of benefits for workers in the gig economy, like Uber, Lyft and others. The bill would offer the Labor Department $20 million for pilot programs related to offering benefits that aren't linked to employment status. Warner says he wants to experiment with what works for these new kinds of employees created by the tech industry with flexible jobs that aren't exactly full-time workers, but who still need benefits. Read more at buzzfeed.com.

Megan Morrone and Jason Howell are joined today by Spencer Soper of Bloomberg to talk about Amazon's plans to upend the grocery model. Tech News Today 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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