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Today’s guests: Patrick Beja, DTNS correspondent and host of Le Rendez-vous Tech and Pixels podcast
Facebook launched a new standalone app today from its Creative Labs team, called Groups. Gigaom reports the app– as you might expect– helps users manage their Facebook Groups. Users can create a group, keep up with the latest posts in their existing groups, and search for new groups based on interests. Unlike Facebook’s standalone Messenger App, no one is going to force you to download this one. You can still access your groups through the original Facebook app.
Nokia announced a new tablet called the Nokia N1. The 7.9-inch tablet uses Nokia’s Z Launcher app and runs Android Lollipop and uses an Intel Atom Z3580 processor AND uses the new reversible Type C USB Connector but only at USB 2.0 speeds. Nokia designed the tablet which will be made and sold by FoxConn. It will come to China first around Feb. 19th— Chinese New Year— then to Europe later— and be priced at the equivalent of US$249.
Ars Technica writes up the controversy over Uber Senior VP of Business Emil Michael saying Uber should hire researchers to look into personal lives of journalists and give the media a “taste of its own medicine.” Michael specifically criticized Sarah Lacy of PandoDaily for accusing Uber of “sexism and misogyny” and intimated there was a ‘specific claim’ Uber could prove about her life. The remarks were made at a dinner for Uber execs and journalists in Manhattan on Friday. Uber thought the meeting was off the record, a BuzzFeed editor was not informed of that. Michael stated his remarks were wrong and he regrets them. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick posted several times to Twitter explaining among other things that Michael’s remarks were terrible and do not represent the company.
The Verge reports Apple released WatchKit today, giving developers the tools they need to begin coding and testing apps for the Apple Watch. Watch apps can have their own interface, add a page to the Glances screen and send notifications. All apps must be extensions of existing iOS apps. Tools for native watch apps won’t come until later next year. Still no word on when the watches themselves will be launched.
PC World reports Intel will megre its PC and mobile processor divisions as the line between tablets and laptops continues to blur. The new division will be called the Client Computing Group encompasing Core and Atom processor teams. The Mobile and Communications group will send its Atom processor team to the new group and its modem teams move to a new wireless R&D group. Kirk Skaugen, lead of the PC Client Group will lead the new combined team which takes effect sometime after Jan. 1.
The BBC reports that scientists at Google have created machine-learning software that can accurately describe what a photograph looks like using simple language. The software uses a neural network trained to recognize images, then runs that data through a neural network designed to generate simple language and voila, captions! The software could be used to help visually impaired people understand pictures, provide alternate text for images in places where mobile connections are too slow for images, and put every caption writer on earth out of business.
In a move that sounds dangerously like what HTC was saying a few years ago, Samsung’s head of investor relations Robert Yi told investors Samsung plans to make fewer phones next year, according to the WSJ. GigaOm said the company plans to cut its list of current devices by at least a quarter. So heads up Galaxy Active, Galaxy Star, Galaxy Pocket 2, Galaxy Ace Style LTE, Galaxy J, Galaxy Core Lite LTE, Galaxy Core Advance, Galaxy Grand Prime, Galaxy S III Mini VE, Galaxy Alpha, Galaxy V, Galaxy Avant, Galaxy Mega, Galaxy Mega 2, Galaxy Grand Neo, and Galaxy W.
Reuters reports on IBM’s new email app for business that combines social media, file sharing and other analytics to predict interactions with coworkers. The app– called IBM Verse– does not want to rat you out to the boss– but rather act as a personal assistant and do things like draft response emails based on pervious interactions.
News From You:
metalfreak sent along the PC world article that a Certificate Authority called ‘Let’s Encrypt’ will start providing website owners with free SSL/TLS certificates starting sometime in Q2 next year. The CA will be run by a new public benefit corporation called Internet Security Research Group set up by Mozilla, the EFF and others. IN an attempt to get as many people as possible using TLS, ‘Lets Encrypt’ will automate certification issuance, configuration and renewal processes. Another primary sponsor, existing CA IdenTrust will cross-sign the certificates.
Peter_File pointed out the Verge article about WhatsApp’s Android app adding strong end-to-end encryption by default. WhatsApp partnered with Open Whisper Systems, developers of TextSecure among other apps. Open Whisper CTO Moxie Marlinspike says it took six months to get the code ready for the huge deployment.
metalfreak passed along an Ars Technica report that Honorable Ernest H. Goldsmith of San Francisco Superior Court ruled that Google’s search results qualify as free speech. S. Louis Martin of a website called CoastNews sued Google for violating antitrust laws because it put its site lower in search results, than Bing or Yahoo. The site also sued over Google’s refusal to deliver ads to CoastNews after the site posted photographs of a nudist colony. But the court decided that Google is protected by the First Amendment and has the right to organize its search results as it sees fit.
Discussion Section: Nokia N1 Tablet
Pick of the Day: myfav.es
My pick is myfav.es I use it for my browser start screen on our Win7 HTPC with Logitech K400 to make life easier for my wife. She’s been happy with it, so I’ve never ventured to anything like Plex or XBMC.
Wednesday’s guest: Iyaz Akhtar of cnet.com!