Sean Hollister rode the Hendo Hoverboard and chats with us about what the tech might actually be used for and what it was like to be Marty McFly for a moment. Also Len Peralta is hear to illustrate the episode!
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Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported Amazon’s 95 cents per share loss in Q3 was worse than the 74 cents per share loss analysts expected. Although revenue came in at $20.58 billion, a 20% rise from a year ago though analysts expected it to be even better. Amazon is spending a lot, $21.1 billion on operations including new initiatives like Amazon Fresh and Fire devices, though the company barely mentioned the Fire Phone in its report.
GigaOm reports as expected, Microsoft is officially ending use of the word Nokia in the branding of its Lumia phones. New smartphones from the company will be called Microsoft Lumia devices. Microsoft has the right to use the Nokia name until 2023 and will continue to use it on entry level handsets like the Nokia 130.
Recode reports that Paris-based subscription music service Deezer has purchased podcast aggregator Stitcher. Deezer says it will keep Stitcher’s Android and iOS apps as standalone products, and integrate Stitcher into Deezer under the label ‘TALK.’ Stitcher has 35,000 radio shows and podcasts. The terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed.
The New York Times reports that 57-year-old Google SVP, Allan Eustace broke Felix Baumgartner’s word record for a high-altitude jump. Eustace attached himself to a series of high altitude helium balloons and floated up above Roswell, New Mexico. The balloons took more than two hours to ascend to 135,908 feet, at which point Mr. Eustace separated from the balloons using a small explosive device and started his fall down to earth at speeds up to 800 miles per hour, breaking the sound barrier on the way down, before opening his parachute and landing safely on the ground fifteen minutes later. [Then he got re-org’d, according to re/code. ]
MacRumors reports users in its forums report AT&T has locked the virtual SIM in some iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 models. A newly posted Apple support document backs this up saying, “When you choose AT&T on iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, AT&T dedicates Apple SIM to their network only.” The device remains unlocked so you can get a new SIM if you switch off of AT&T. Why is AT&T subverting the every advantage of the programmable SIM? A spokesman Mark Siegel told ReCode “it’s just simply the way we’ve chosen to do it.”
GigaOm reports Bitcasa will remove its unlimited storage plan, known as ‘infinite drive’ as of November 15. The company will also reduce its free tier from 20 GB to 5 GB. Users who signed up for an infinite drive now have to choose from either a Premium account ($10 a month or $99 a year for 1TB) or Pro account ($99 a month or $999 a year for 10TB). Bitcasa claims less than 0.1% of accounts use more than 10 TB and implied many of those abuse the service.
Ars Technica reports Verizon Wireless customers are being tracked with Unique Identifies Header added to each Web request sent through the system. The UIDH is used to help advertisers better target mobile ads. Verizon Wireless claims they do not use the IDs to create customer profiles, keeps users anonymous and changes the IDs after a set period of time. Users can opt out of the program by visiting:
However UIDHs will still be attached to Web requests. Verizon says users who opt out will not have any information associate with those ID numbers. They promise.
A Hacker News post links to an eevblog forum post from FTDI saying the company has removed the driver that bricked Arduino’s that may have had counterfeit chips. TDI CEO Fred Dart said, “The recently release driver release has now been removed from Windows Update so that on-the-fly updating cannot occur. The driver is in the process of being updated and will be released next week. This will still uphold our stance against devices that are not genuine, but do so in a non-invasive way that means that there is no risk of end user’s hardware being directly affected.”
News From You
habichuelcondulce sent us Jon Brodkin’s Ars Technica writeup of T-Mobile’s need for low-band spectrum to help it better penetrate building walls and travel longer distances. The FCC is conducting an auction next year of the 600MHz spectrum, which is currently controlled by TV broadcasters. T-Mobile is asking the FCC to reserve at least 50 percent of that spectrum for competitors with little or no low-band spectrum in their market. According to T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon control nearly three-quarters of low-band spectrum in the US. T-Mobile USA did not participate in the 2008 700 MHz auction which famously carried open access restrictions pressed by Google.
And dmmacs flagged us to a Verge write-up about a new mini-documentary from Nate Silver’s 538 and ESPN which examines the legendary chess matches between Gary Kasparov and IBM’s Deep Blue computer in the latter half of the nineties. Turns out, when Deep Blue finally beat Kasparov, it was due to a computer ERROR. Essentially Deep Blue got stuck in a loop on the 44th move. The computer was programmed to make a safe move when it got stuck. Apparently Kasparov overthought the meaning behind that simple move, which led to his defeat.
Pick of the Day: The Logitech Harmony Ultimate via Tom. You know, Tom! The host! Of this show!
Monday’s guests: Amber MacArthur