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Engadget reports Google has stopped accepting public contributions to their Map Maker service following a prank. Map Maker relies on “Google reviewers” and trusted users to moderate contributions. Since the prank, Google switched temporarily to manual checks from in-house teams but that led to a backlog of user submitted edits forcing Goggle to suspend new submissions entirely as of May 12th. Google says its temporary situation until it comes up with an improved moderation system,
The curated iOS app called NYT Now has dropped its $8 a month subscription fee and gone ad-supported. The app is targeted at younger readers and features selected stories from the New York Times as well as other sources around the Web. The newspaper’s main apps still carry a fee of $15-$35 a month.
TechCrunch reports Microsoft announced investments in three undersea cable projects. The New Cross Pacific Cable Network will connect China, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan with the US via Hillsboro, OR. A deal with Hibernia will offer faster connectivity between Canada, Ireland and the UK. The Hibernia Express Cable, launchign in September is the first new transatlantic cable in 12 years and will handle up to 10 Tbps per cable pair. And Microsoft is the first customer of AcquaComms upcoming AEConnect cable between Shirly, NY and the west coast of Ireland.
The Wall Street Journal notes that Nasdaq OMX Group is starting a pilot project to use a blockchain to verify transactions in its Nasdaq Private Market. The blockchain is the public ledger system used to verify Bitcoin transactions. Trading among pre-IPO companies in the private market currently, is often done by hand.
Next Thing Co. based in Oakland CA, is planning to build a $9 computer called Chip according to Fortune. The machine is built around a 1GHz ARM processor from Allwinner Technology in China, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage. It comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity to be save costs integrated video is a composite video port. However a VGA or HDMI adapter add-on is available for $10 and $15. The Chip is available from Next Thing’s Kickstarter which has raised close to a million dollars in 5 days. Well past its $50,000 goal.
CNET reports on a virtual reality theme park called The Void being built in Pleasant Grove, Utah, north of Provo. Starting sometime in 2016 visitors in groups of up to 10 can enter one of seven 60×60 foot rooms, put on VR headsets, and wander around a world that lets them feel real bark and metal under their fingertips, and interact with other players in realtime. Creator Ken Bretschneider designed the park and the headsets and hopes to work with outside gaming studios to create new experiences every three months.
TechCrunch reports IDC’s numbers show China’s smartphone market fell 4% year over year in Q1. It;s the first time smartphone shipments decreased in the country since 2006. IDC suggests excessive inventory might have been the cause. IDC still tracked 98.8 million shipments in China. Apple led the way with 14.7% market share followed by Xiaomi Huawei, Samsung and Lenovo in that order.
Ars Technica reports former Castlevania producer Koji Igarashi launched a Kickstarter Monday for a game called Bloodstained Ritual of the Night. Igarashi was the longest-running producer on the Castlevania series but left Konami last year. The game will be available as a digital download for backers who give $28 or more.
The Verge reports that the Orange Klif, a 3G phone running Firefox OS, is on sale this week for customers of the Orange network in Senegal and Madagascar. The phone costs around $40 US. This follows on the heels of Firefox OS phones shipping in South Africa earlier this year.
News From You:
habichuelacondulce sent us this Verge story on the FCC’s dismissal of a petition to delay the implementation of the Open Internet order submitted by a group consisting of AT&T, CenturyLink, USTelecom, and CTIA. This was the top vote getter on the subreddit today. The FCC stated that its classification of broadband Internet as a telecommunications service falls within its authority and consistent with Supreme Court precedent.
starfuryzeta shared the Huffington Post writeup of the AP report that a source says four of the fifty self driving cars in use in the state of the California have gotten into accidents since September. Three of the accidents happened to a Google Lexus SUV and the other to a car operated by Delphi Automotive. Both companies say the accidents were minor and the self-driving cars were not at fault. Two accidents happened while the cars were in self-driving mode.
michsineath submitted the Slate story about Zappos’s experiment with a management style called Holacracy. The organizational theory replaces titles and managers with a system of tactical and governance meetings. The project began in 2013 but in March CEO Tony Hsieh announced the system would apply to all employees and anyone who was dissatisfied with the decision would be offered severance. 210 employees, about 14% of the company, took the payout.
Discussion Section Links:
Pick of the Day:
Lisa Boban (Co-Executive Producer) – Whiting Indiana
I’ve been a subscriber to Rhapsody for over 10 years. I joined when they were literally the only legal game in town. My requirements were simple: a legal music service to keep my teenagers from stealing music.
But over the years their service has been an excellent resource for my musician husband who needs to be able to find specific tracks. Their back catalog is amazing, and the new stuff appears to be there. Their apps on both IOS and Android are great. And for $15 per month we can stream or download music for offline listening. Every time I look at another services, the available choices don’t come close to the functionality I get from Rhapsody.
I realize that Rhapsody has a bad reputation amongst the Technorati. But if you’re looking for a service, I think it deserves at least a look.
Someone who works for a cable company wrote in and pointed out that when a cable company gives its customers a $20 credit for being late to an appointment, it often charges the $20 to the technician.
The worker writes:
They are listed as WorkForce Not Utilized.
Its been told to us that anytime we run late to a job the company takes the $20 hit from the cable company. Thus, the cable company has eliminated any profit loss.
The only way for the charge to not be passed on to us to make sure our dispatcher is notified and has contacted the customer and noted that account 30mins or more before the end of the scheduled timeframe.
It’s Alan from Moncton New Brunswick, where winter just ended
Long time listener (since the first TNT), first time writer and future boss (I’m in the tell everyone I know category ATM )
Regarding self driving trucks,I’d like to give a ‘four cast’
I think that future ‘truck operators’ will be ‘driving’ multiply trucks (three would be a good number.)
I see one operator in charge of these trucks in convoy. Having the ‘unmanned’ trucks following the ‘manned’ truck.
If they run into any mechanical issue the operator could deal with it (tire issues, etc), making decisions on route and maintenance (fueling, etc)
I’d also see the operator being able to switch to any unmanned trucks controls from his seat, that way he could take over to direct it to specific spot for fueling or parking.
Would be perfect for long haul highway routes from terminal to terminal. It would be like a ‘land train’ if we have self driving truck, doing ‘follow the leader’ should be child’s play
Would solve multiple issues about manpower in that industry and getting loads where needed.
Tuesday’s guest: Patrick Beja