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Today’s title “Canary in a Cloud Mine” was chosen by tondagossa at showbot.replex.org
Bloomberg reports Larry Ellison intends to step down as CEO of Oracle and hand over CEO duties to president Mark Hurd and president and CFO Safra Katz. Ellison will become chairman, replacing Jeff Henley who becomes Vice Chairman. Ellison will also take on the title of chief technology officer. Ellison co-founded Oracle in 1977 when it was called Software Development Laboratories.
Amazon announced a revamp to its Kindle lineup yesterday. Here’s the list. The Fire HD now comes in two sizes. A 6-inch for $99 and 7-inch for $139 both shipping next month. For $50 extra you can make them Kids editions with a free year of kid-friendly Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, a big durable case and a two-year warranty. The HDX 8.9 got a faster processor and the addition of Firefly among other things. The entry-level e-Ink Kindle stays at $79 but gets a touch screen and more memory in October. Amazon also announced Family Library for sharing books, audiobooks, Prime Instant videos, apps and games among family members. But the star of the show was the Kindle Voyage. The screen is eInk but 300 ppi, high contrast fro even paperwhitier than the paperwhite, ambient light setting that adjusts gradually, a flush glass screen that’s not glossy or reflective, and a function to squeeze the right or left bezels to turn pages. The Kindle Voyage ships in October for $199 for WiFi or $269 more for a 3G-enabled version.
ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley reports Microsoft conducted its second round of layoffs Thursday letting go 2,100 people. Microsoft let go 13,000 in July of a total of 18,000 they intend to cut. That leaves 2900 still to go by July 2015. 747 of the current 2100 were in Washington State with the rest distributed globally.
The Verge reports that the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will go on sale in the US on October 17th. If you live in the UK, the phablet will go on sale October 10th. Pre-orders begin tomorrow in both countries. On the carrier side, AT&T announced it will ship the Note 4 beginning October 14th for $299.99 on-contract, and $825.99 for the unsubsidized, contract-free version. You can also pay for the phone in monthly installments of $34.42 over 18 months or $41.30 over 12 months. If you want a Note 4 from T-Mobile, you’ll have to wait until Sept 24th to pre-order, but it will still arrive October 17th and you can have up to 24 months to pay it off. And Verizon and Sprint ask you to please hold, they will get right back to you about their Note 4 availability.
GigaOm reports Twilio will add MMS support for regular phone numbers. Twilio allows developers to embed multimedia messaging into apps. The new function means companies can use a single phone number for voice, text and multimedia, similar to existing offers from companies like ZipWhip and Bandwidth. No more shortcodes necessary.
News From You
habichuelacondulce passes along another Ars Technica article about the ongoing debate over what is considered broadband. Last week AT&T and Verizon said 4Mbps was sufficient. This week, US FCC chairman Tom Wheeler told a Congressional Committee that 4Mbps is too slow and that Internet service providers who accept government subsidies to connect rural areas should offer at least 10Mbps to avoid a ‘digital divide’ between city and country internet users. Wheeler says he hopes to “have that issue tidied up” by the end of this year.
KAPT_Kipper submitted the MobileSyrup post that Microsoft has changed its developers fee to a lifetime subscription you only have to pay once. One developer account serves for Windows or Windows Phone stores. Developers were previously charged $19 annually for an individual account. Now they just have to pay once to get in and that’s it. That also means existing accounts will not expire.
And diggsalot submitted a Torrent Freak article stating that Simon Bush, CEO of the Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association says some of his members are lobbying Netflix to block users that connect through a VPN. Coincidentally, an estimated 200,000 Australians are estimated to use the US version of Netflix. Quickflix CEO Stephen Langsford renewed his calls for Netflix to block VPN users, accusing Netflix of profiting off “back door” tactics. Of course, banning VPN use of Netflix would affect non-Australian users with a legitimate account as well. So thanks ALOT, Australia. 😉
Plug of the Day: ‘Events of a Different Nature‘ by Tom Merritt
I want to let you know I have a new self-published book out called ‘Events of A Different Nature.’ It’s about two dogs who solve crimes. NOW WAIT. It’s not nearly as cute as it may sound. It’s more Raymond Chandler than Wind in the Willows and they never once admit that they’re dogs or in any way inferior to humans. So if you want to check it out you can find a free version as well as print and versions for various ebook platforms at tommerrittbooks.com
“I bought Knowroaming when it was first announced (on Indiegogo I think) but had the occasion to use it only last week-end. And now I think it’s the best tool for travelling with your phone!
-Good rates anywhere for voice/messages/data
-No need to think about it in advance; you arrive at destination and install the profile and it works. You get back home, you remove the profile and it’s done.
-Switches to the strongest network
-Easy to use app and website where you buy credits. That also mean you cannot spend more than you planned without knowing.
Only drawback for some; it requires an unlocked phone.”
For those with locked phones, Kayo has another option: “”I used xcomglobal in Vancouver and it worked great. It was about $15 per day which sounds pricey but it was the same price as hotel wifi, and all of our phones were locked so we couldn’t rent a SIM card anyway. I took a portable battery with me so my family and I had access to the internet all day. I was so happy that when I sent along a thank you post-it with the returned device, they wrote back and gave me a 10% coupon code (embarrassingly, it’s ‘kayolovesxcom’) to share with others. It’s good for a year from June. (I don’t get a kickback for that and I don’t work for this company, btw.)
In Japan, I used a similar service from Global Advanced Communications and that worked really well too. Their coverage was good and the speed was faster than my Comcast connection at home. My brother recently used his free T-mobile 2G roaming plan in the Tokyo area and he was pleased with it as well. Hope that helps!”
Tomorrow’s guests: Eklund and Len Peralta and maybe a new iPhone.