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GigaOm passes along Microsoft announcing a beta rollout of Skype in the browser using a plugin for IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari. Microsoft intends to move the system to WebRTC. The rollout should begin at Skype.com in the coming weeks, according to Microsoft.
The Next Web reports Amazon announced a Kindle update with the new Family Library feature that lets users access their spouse or partner’s accounts as well as manage up to four children’s accounts. Amazon did not say how they plan to confirm who is a spouse, partner or child, or what happens in family’s with five children. Also new: Word Wise, a feature that adds simple definitions above words. You can wait for it to show up on your Kindle or download the update today at Amazon.com.
The Masque threat that can infect iOS by piggybacking on OS X apps continues to make headlines. The San Jose Mercury News reports Apple commented on the matter saying “We’re not aware of any customers that have actually been affected by this attack.” Apple encourages its users to only download software from trusted sources like the App store.
GigaOm reports on IBM’s plan to build two new supercomputers for the US Department of Energy called Summit and Sierra that would roll out in 2017. Both computers will be based on IBM’s Power servers with NVIDIA GPU accelerators and Mellanox networking tech. They should deliver more than 100 peak petaflops, beating China’s Tianhe-2’s current top mark of 55 peak petaflops. Summit will live at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Sierra will go to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. They’ll work on things climate change problems, predicting natural disasters, overthrowing their human masters without detection, stuff like that.
Europe’s Telecom Package including net neutrality rules and elimination of roaming fees is being considered for approval by member states. But GigaOm reports it may be called back for revision before it can be approved. The rules have a tight definition allowing specialized services and sponsored data but otherwise most all packets must be treated equally. The Wall Street Journal saw a “working document” indicating a revamp of not yet finalized laws. European Commission Chief Jean-Claude Junckerrecommends a Digital Single Market Package and the replacement of Digital Agenda chief Neelie Kroes is now VP for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip.
The Economic Times of India reports that German software company SAP has agreed to pay Oracle more than $359 million to settle a longstanding copyright battle. Back in 2007, an SAP subsidiary called TomorrowNow offered software support to Oracle customers at a lower price than Oracle itself. So Oracle accused SAP of stealing software in order to offer those services. A previous US jury had ruled that SAP owed Oracle 1.3 BILLION dollars, but a judge ordered that reduced, and then Oracle got upset, and now here we are in 2014–TomorrowNow has been closed since 2008, Larry Ellison has an island, and a bunch of lawyers just ordered the really GOOD wine.
Reuters reports the FCC has requested AT&T provide specifics regarding their plans to delay Fiber deployment in 100 cities. The FCC is reviewing AT&T’s proposed $48.5 billion bid to buy satellite operator DirecTV. As part of the merger proposal, AT&T agreed to provide high-speed fiber Internet to 2 million homes if the deal is approved.
News From You:
starfuryzeta found out in an Ars Technica post that the Wall Street Journal says the US Marshals Service has been using small fixed-wing Cessnas with Digital Receiver Technology, AKA “dirtboxes” — that mimic cell towers, to gather data from phones on the ground. The intent is to spy on fugitives and criminal phones but the boxes don’t discriminate between criminals and other people. The devices are used only after a court order is issued. The boxes can collect registration info, texts, photos, jam signals and interrupt calls.
gowlkick sent us a Slate article about a German cloud infrastructure company called Cloud & Heat that distributes its servers to people willing to store them in exchange for the free heat emitted. Customers pay to have a Cloud&Heat fire-proof cabinet installed–the cost is comparable to installing a standard heating system. Then Cloud&Heat pays for the electricity and Internet service it needs and the owner gets free heat and hot water. Excess heat is stored in water in a “buffering tank” and vented outside in the spring and summer.
erceth passes along The New York Times report that the prestigious A.M. Turing Award, often called the Nobel Prize of computer science, will now present a 1 million dollar award to the winner, thanks to Google. The Turing Award had carried prize money of $250,000 and was jointly underwritten by Google and Intel since 2007. When Intel stepped away as a funder, Google upped the award amount to match the prize amount for Nobel winners.
Discussion Section: BOL 1089 Net Neutrality
Pick of the Day: TTS Pocket via Rolando
Hi Tom, You said your Pocket is full of articles you wanted to read, but never got a chance to go over them. It happens. But you may want to try the TTS feature of Pocket and then you can listen to them whenever you are unable to read. Thanks for the show. Love it!
– your fan from Paraguay
Monday’s guest: Justin Robert Young, DTNS contributor