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Tech News Today for October 19, 2016

Tech News for Wednesday October 19, 2016

Google is working on a new TV service that will be found within the YouTube platform, and it’s expected to premiere in early 2017. Currently called Unplugged, the service will offer a skinny bundle of Live TV options and run from $25 to $40 according to media executives who spoke with the Wall Street Journal. CBS is supposedly the first major TV network to sign up for the service, and deals are in the works with 21st Century Fox and Walt Disney Co. A representative from YouTube declined to comment. Read more at wsj.com.

Finally! Apple has sent invitations to journalists for an event in Cupertino next week on October 27th. The invite said "Hello Again," a reference to the launch of the original Mac in 1984 which was heralded by the word Hello. This implies that we'll get some new Macs, possibly a redesigned MacBook Pro with a touch screen keyboard. Whatever updates they shower upon us will be much appreciated since the machine hasn't been updated since 2012. Read more at loopinsight.com.

"Unlimited" has become a silly word in the world of mobile technology. T-Mobile, for example, would call its services unlimited when in reality, once a data threshold was passed, the customer would see transfer speeds throttled so slow that data might as well be nonexistant. A federal investigation into this type of marketing began last year, and as a result of that investigation, T-Mobile is on the hook for $7.5 million to the government, along with $35.5 million worth of data and discounts for affected customers. CEO John Legere called this a good settlement, saying that more info is best for its customers. Read more at washingtonpost.com.

Today the tech media remembers David Bunnell, founder of PC Magazine, PC World, and MacWorld, who died last night at his home in Berkeley, California. He was 69 years old. Bunnell began his career editing a newsletter about the Altair for Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems, Incorporated or MITS, where his colleagues were Bill Gates and Paul Allen. According to Harry McCracken writing in Fast Company, this was the first publication dedicated to personal computing. Read more at fastcompany.com.

Voice assistants are often criticized for not being as good as humans in detecting and understanding conversational speech, but Microsoft researchers claim they’ve reached human parity for the first time. Their system is called Switchboard, and Microsoft claims its error rate of 5.9% matches that of human professional transcriptionists who were asked to transcribe those conversations for comparison. Microsoft has high hopes that these advances will significantly affect all types of products, including its own Xbox, Cortana and speech-to-text transcription tools. Read more at networkworld.com.

Megan Morrone and Jason Howell are joined today by Iain Thomson from The Register to talk about a big event put on by LeEco in San Francisco today. Tech News Today streams live weekdays at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern at twit.tv/live. You can subscribe to the show and download it on-demand at twit.tv/tnt.

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