Darren Kitchen is on the show and we’ll talk about Apple buying Beats Electronics and the UN debating the need for autonomous killer robots. also Len Peralta will illustrate the whole shebang. Join us won’t you?
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Today’s guests: Darren Kitchen and Len Peralta
How ’bout them apples? The Financial Times reports “as early as next week” Apple will announce a deal to acquire Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion. Beats is the leading headphone seller in the U.S., founded by musician Dr. Dre and record producer Jimmy Iovine. The company recently launched an online music streaming service as well. FT says some details have yet to be agreed on and the talks could still fall apart. The Next Web reports a video posted to Facebook by actor-singer-songwriter Tyrese Gibson had the caption “Dr Dre ON THE night his deal went public that he did with Apple 3.2 BILLION!!!!” It has since been removed.
Apple’s on a tear: TechCrunch reports Apple has hired Ari Partinen, the senior engineer who worked on Nokia’s PureView smartphone camera technology. Partinen confirmed the move on Twitter. Nokia’s PureView technology uses a technique of pixel oversampling to reduce noise in images — enabling lower resolution shots to be produced with high clarity and strong color.
Bad screwdriver! The Verge a federal court ruled Google must pay Oracle for the use of the Java API in Android, overturning a lower court decision. Google built its own version of Java, but used the Java API to make it easier for programmers to write for Android. The district court had ruled the API was “a utilitarian and functional set of symbols.” Oracle appealed the ruling and a federal court says the API is Oracle’s property and as such Google has to pay. Lawyer Sara Jeong tweeted the decision is like “getting mad at a screwdriver for looking like a screwdriver.” Supreme Court, here we come.
Gimme your wallet: CNET and many Netflix users noticed today that Netflix has raised their prices as promised, $1 a month in the U.S. and £1 a month in the UK and €1 a month in the Eurozone. That means monthly rates for new customers of £6.99 per month €8.99 or $8.99. Exisiting Netflix customers are exempt for the next two years. Netflix also says it will reintroduce the old pricing levels, but those plans will only get you standard def and one user per account.
No more passwords. Please? PCMag reports link shortening service, Bitly announced late Thursday it has been hacked, exposing user email addresses, encrypted passwords, API Keys and OAuth tokens. At this time, no accounts appear to have been compromised. The company has secured all paths that led to the compromise and urged all users to reset passwords.
Phablet, tablet: Reuters reports Xiaomi will release its first tablet soon. Reuters says its sources say the tablet will have a 7.9-inch screen and be called the MiPad.The Chinese smartphone company will hold an event in Beijing May 15, but has not said what it will announce. A 4G sucessor to the Mi3 smartphone widely being referred to as the Mi3S is also a possibility.
Dear Pirate, please stop pirating: Engadget reports that UK ISPs BT, Sky, Virgin Media and Talk Talk have all signed a deal with the music and movie industry organizations to send out educational missives to alleged pirates starting next year. So, if someone thinks you’re infringing copyright and you’re a customer of one of these ISPs, starting next year you might get a letter telling you to stop infringing copyright.
News From You
Our top story on the subreddit comes from spsheridan who posted the GigaOm story about new groups opposing FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s Net Neutrality plan. The latest protest letter comes from more than 50 venture capitalists asking for the commission to reconsider the proposal that would allow commercially reasonable discrimination. Several organizations are planning a May 15 protest, the day of the FCC open meeting where the notice for proposed rulemaking will be voted on. Professor Tim Wu writing in the New Yorker proposed a clever plan where the previous rules could go into effect but if companies sued the FCC again, ISPs would be reclassified as telecommunications services, thus discouraging lawsuits.
One company has already started a direct protest, dillydobbs and Aractor both posted this one. Ars Technica reports on Neocities.org, a webhosting company that has throttled any connections to its homepage from IP addresses arising inside the FCC, to 28.8Kbps speeds. Neocities creator Kyle Drake wrote “ I’m not removing it until the FCC pays us for the bandwidth they’ve been wasting instead of doing their jobs.”
KAPT_Kipper submitted the Ars Technica story that Amazon has taken action against the wireless device company Mediabridge Products, that you may remember sent a threatening legal letter to an individual who wrote a negative review of one of their wireless routers. Mediabridge posted an official statement to its Facebook page defending its actions and admitting Amazon has revoked its selling privileges.
And TheFixxer sent us the CNET article about self-healing plastic developed by researchers at the University of Illinois. Jeffry Moore, who worked on the research team under aerospace engineering professor Scott White said the material is nonliving but repairs itself in a way similar to living organisms. When the plastic is damaged, liquids flow into the gap and form a gel, similar to the way blood coagulates to heal a wound. The technology can regenerate a hole created by a nine-millimeter bullet.
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