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Apple’s Beats-based streaming music service will be renamed “Apple Music” and integrate deep social networking for artists, according to 9 to 5 mac. The service will allow artists to have pages so they can post samples, photos, video, concert information and content from other artists. iTunes users will have the ability to comment on and like posts from artists but won’t have user social network profiles like Ping. Apple Music will be introduced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference Kickoff keynote on Monday, June 8th.
Meanwhile Rdio has launched a new premium tier allowing listeners to stream music on-demand. Rdio Select costs $3.99 per month and offers unlimited streaming radio without ads. You can stream up to 25 on-demand tracks per day or store them for offline playback. Plus you can swap out tracks for alternatives but you’re still limited to 25 streams or downloads per day. The new tier is available for users in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa. Other countries will be added in the future.
Wal-Mart challenges Amazon with unlimited shipping service for $50 per year. The service promises 70,000 items at launch and 3 day shipping. According to a company spokesman the program will be invite only initially and will evolve with feedback from early customers. Will this be a legitimite comeptitor to Amazon Prime? We pick apart that and more in the discussion section a little later on.
VentureBeat is reporting that Google has announced six new apps for its $35 streaming media stick: CBS All Access, HGTV, FOX Now, FXNOW, Pluto TV, and Haystack. Pluto TV curates over 100 channels of news, music, sports, web, and TV shows while Haystack presents trending TV news. You can get the apps from chromecast.com/apps.
Windows 10 Mobile’s latest build “10080” adds some important updates according to TechCrunch. The biggest is the first look of the Windows Store for mobile which will allow MS to deliver universal Office apps plus music, movies, and TV shows. Other features include an Xbox app, a music app, a new camera app and a video app.
Polygon reports Konami’s big focus moving forward will be mobile, not AAA games, according to a translated interview with the company’s new CEO Hideki Hayakawa.
Excited for the Mario themed Candy Crush knock off? Or Zelda enhanced Clash of Clans? Well you can hold on to your Rupees because according to Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata the venerable video game titan won’t obsess over trends to avoid ‘imitating’ other games as they venture into the mobile space. He adds “I don’t think we can realize what we aspire to by simply imitating a past success formula.”
The New York Times reports that reddit announced an update to its site-wide policies today that explicitly prohibits harassment against users. As of today, users who view or experience harassment will be able to email reddit moderators who can remove content and ban offenders from the site. reddit defines harassment as “continued actions” that would make someone “conclude that Reddit is not a safe platform to express their ideas.” The company said the number one reason reddit users do not recommend their site to others is to avoid exposing friends to hate and offensive content.
So it turns out thieves can bypass Apple Watch passcode to pair a stolen watch with their own phone. The Verge has compiled a bunch of reporting from 9 to 5 mac and iDownloadblog and concluded that the Apple Watch incredibly easy to steal. Because it’s very easy to reset an Apple Watch if you forget the password–just hold the side button until the menu with three options (power off, power reserve, and lock device) apears, then force touch that screen to unlock a hidden option to erase all content and settings. The watch has to be connected to its charger to activate the erase function. Which is exactly what a thief would do the moment he or she stole your Apple Watch. Time for an Activation Lock update, perhaps?
Biz Tech Africa reports that Safaricom a Kenyan mobile network operator has announced the launch of “The Big Box” a set top device that allows subscribers to watch TV and share broadband connectivity. The device will connect to Safaricoms 3G and 4G network and offer subscribers access to several high def TV channels as well as on demand video content. The device also services as a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to ten users. Subscribers have the option of several plans based on their needs.
Re/code is reporting that Sharp secured a $1.9 billion dollar bailout. Under the deal, main lenders Mizuho Bank and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ will inject a combined 200 billion yen ($1.7 billion) in a debt-for-equity swap. In return for the funding, which will be used to repay debt and finance investments, Sharp will also sell its headquarters and said it might seek a partner for its TV business in North America and 5000 job cuts in its global workforce. Sharp posted an annual loss of 222 billion yen. This is Sharp’s 2nd bank led rescue in 3 years.
Engadget reports that Samsung Wallet will stop taking purchases on June 30th in anticipation of Samsung Pay, which is scheduled to arrive in September. Any reservations and tickets in Wallet will still be valid through partner apps, but coupons will not be available.
News From You:
Starfuryzeta wanted to make sure we saw that the US House of Representatives voted 338-88 for the US Freedom Act which rejects the NSA’s bulk collection of phone records. The vote heads to the Senate with support from the White House, intelligence agency leaders and the US federal appeals court. However, the Senate leadership wants to extend the existing language of the Patriot Act through 2020.
Spsheridan sent us the The Verge report that the Wolfram search tool can now identify any item in an uploaded picture. According to creator Stephen Wolfram, “It won’t always get it right, but most of the time I think it does remarkably well.” The Wolfram Language Image Identification Project was fed “a few tens of millions” of images to learn, including tricky images of a cat in a spacesuit, a sloth in a party hat, and Chewbacca. When given an image of Tom Merritt, the image identifier pronounced that he is a person.
Discussion Section Links:
Pick of the Day:
Alex Hanna writes:
Howdy Justin, Andrew Jennie, Roger and crew (too numerous to mention),
I’ve got a pick for you, it’s a website that’s been around for a year or so but arguably has increased in usefulness over time.
It is a very simple site that does one VERY helpful thing, it scans through known data breaches for an email or username that you enter. Why is this helpful? As the saying goes, knowing is half the battle. If you see that your information has been compromised on a website, you can change your password or take other similar actions to re-secure your information.
The site also has some good info on large data breaches that have been in the news if you want the pants scarred off of you. I hope this helps people be more secure!
Yesterday Tom and Scott discussed the announcement of a new Ultra Blu-Ray format which supports 4k video. Joshua Gardner wrote in about that “unspecified audio format” they mentioned:
Just an FYI, the reason the audio format is unspecified is because there is an audio war going on. Dolby is fighting for Dolby Atmos which involves the traditional seven speaker setup plus a subwoofer but also adds two speakers into the ceiling for additional height. Dolby has stated this sound format is expandable to as many speakers as you wish, although, they have stated that most audio will be mastered to support a maximum of twelve speakers plus a subwoofer (discreet channels) requiring the receiver to create additional audio channels for anything over twelve channels.
DTS has yet to announce a sound format but should very soon.
One of the primary differences between DTS and Dolby Digital is DTS uses uncompressed audio (which consumes more disk space) vs Dolby Digital which sacrifices a fraction of audio quality and frequency response both on the upper and lower end to use about one quarter of the required space. It should be noted that most people do not have high enough end equipment to hear the difference.
Friday’s guest: It’s Producers Choice with DTNS contributor Darren Kitchen and artist-in-residence Len Peralta