Eric Olander joins us to discuss whether Facebook drones can help Africa, Japan’s regulation approach to BitCoin and the real story behind the Flappy Bird flap. It’s 4 AM in Vietnam where he is, so be kind.
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Today’s guest: Eric Olander, Vice President, Financial and Business News Channel,Vietnam
Facebook to buy drone fleet. Because internet: TechCrunch reports its sources say Facebook is buying Titan Aerospace, makers of near-orbital solar-powered drones that can fly up to five years at a time without landing. For its 60 million dollars or so, Facebook would be able to use the drones to deliver Internet access to any part of the world as part of the Internet.org project, starting with Africa, according to the sources. One can only assume Facebook will not use its drones to shoot down competing Google weather balloons that deliver competing Internet.
CarPlay powered by QNX: USA Today points out that the new Apple CarPlay system in part is powered by QNX, the embedded OS of choice among automakers, and QNX just happens to be owned by BlackBerry. Ford is actually moving off Microsoft’s Sync to QNX according to Bloomberg. N4BB first pointed out the interesting fact. Paul Leroux, public relations manager at QNX Software Systems, “We have a long-standing partnership with Apple to ensure high-quality connectivity with their devices, and this partnership extends to support for Apple CarPlay.”
Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer to retire in September
Cortana, voice assistant, in action: Unleash the Phones has video of Microsoft’s forthcoming Cortana voice assistant in action. Though no words are spoken by the operator or the phone, you can see the setup system which asks the user some personal questions, like most enjoyable part of an evening, and thoughts on food. No kidding. Cortana is expected to be part of Windows Phone 8.1 and be officially unveiled at the BUILD conference in April.
Microsoft integrates Skype with Outlook.com
Twitter mistakenly sends password reset email to many users
Aether’s Cone Speaker reviewed: Several sites, including Wired, have a review of Aether’s Cone speaker. Unlike say a Sonos system, the Cone speaker has no remote and no Bluetooth connectivity. It uses WiFi to connect to a music service (available services have yet to be named) and then keeps tabs on your behavior to find out what you like to hear. It also has voice recognition in case you want to request something in particular. The only other control is the speaker grill which you can twist right to skip to a new song or twist left to replay. The Cone will sell for $399.
Intel purchases wristwatch health tracker company Basis for around $100 – $150 million
Bring me red page… I can’t… I can’t see you… Broderbund founder Doug Carlston has donated Broderbund’s software and corporate records to the museum, The Strong. Correspondence, photos and other material that reveals the culture of the studio that developed Myst, Prince of Persia, the original SimCity and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, will be preserved. The high school version of our producer Jennie is SO happy. So is the college-aged version of Tom. Who feels really old now.
News From You
Rich_Seattle submitted the Ars Technica story that the US Department of Justice has thrown in on the side of broadcasters, in the Aereo vs. the broadcast world Supreme Court knockdown coming this April. Recode reports the Justice Department made the filing Monday arguing that Aereo gives users access to copyrighted content in the first instance without paying licensing fees. KAPT_Kipper also submitted this story under a different link.
biocow posted the Verge link about Radio Shack closing 1,100 shacks in the US. That’s more than twice the number expected.Radio Shack will have 4,000 locations left. The company lost $191.4 million last quarter. TVSEgon also submitted a link for this story.
dillydobbs & Tekkyn00b submitted the Gizmodo link about Flexcoin shutting down. While not nearly as large as Mt. Gox, Flexcoin says 896 bit coins were stolen from its store. Bit coins that were not stolen will be returned to customers before the shutdown. Polonix also admitted thieves stole 12.5% of its bit coin reserves, but that company will replenish the lost coins itself.
adi_lachman pointed us to a WSJ article about Dish striking a deal with Disney to limit the use of its Hopper ad-skipping feature on Disney-owned channels. Interestingly in return, Disney granted DISH rights to stream Disney channels like ABC and ESPN as part of an Internet delivered, IP-based multichannel offering.
Discussion Section Links: How Japan is dealing with bit coins / Flappy Bird Perspective
Wednesday’s Guest: Iyaz Akhtar of CNET & of the excellent podcast Quest for Peace.