Patrick Beja is on today and we’ll talk about whether Amazon’s new Dash Button is bringing retail to far into your home.
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Today’s guests: Patrick Beja
Microsoft unveiled the Surface 3 (not the Pro, the regular one) and it has an Atom x7 propcessor in place of the ARM-designed Tegra, according to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley. The tablet starts at $499 has a 10.8” 1920×1280 ClearType HD Display, 2GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. 128GB storage and 4GB of RAM costs $599. Ports include USB 3, Mini DisplayPort, microSD card reader, and Micro USB charging port and will ship with a free one year subscription to Office 365 Personal. The keyboard is sold separately for $130 and the stylus is also separate for $50. You can preorder the Wifi versions from Microsoft today. You can slo get LTE versions sold through T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless stores in the US later this year.
CNET reports Google announced new Chrome OS devices Tuesday.
The Asus Chromebit is an HDMI stick with WiFi and Bluetooth that will sell for less than $100 this summer. The all-metal Chromebook Flip is a tablet with a keyboard for $249. And two new $149 laptops meant for the education market were introduced. You can preorder the Haier laptop on Amazon and the Hisense laptop on Walmart.
Google intends to release about 10 new Chromebooks in the next few months.
Twitter has publicly launched Curator, a real-time search and filtering tool designed for media outlets. Tech Crunch reports the free service lets users create complex queries to find specific content or current trends. Filters include keywords, usernames, location, language, time zone, follower count, number of re-tweets or favorites, verified users, and can be combined for complex queries. Curator can also natively search through Periscope and Vine videos.
The Verge reports that Android users can now make voice calls on WhatsApp as part of an update that rolls out today. Click the brand new Calls tab and select a contact to start talking. Voice calling for the app will come to iOS later.
TechCrunch reports Tidal turns out not to just be owned by Jay-Z but 17 other artist and Softbank as well according to the NY Post. The music service will be partnering with Softbank-owned Sprint. Tidal plans to offer limited time exclusives of new releases from artists at around a week in advance of other services. Engadget passes along a Billboard report that Apple-owned Beats’ Jimmy Iovine has already been trying to steal artists from Tidal.
The Wall Street Journal reports Raptr raised $14 million to support the launch of Plays.tv. The new service lets players record, edit and share key gameplay moments. CEO of Raptr, Dennis Fong equated it to the “Share” button on the PS4 for PC gamers. Raptr will be targeting amateur gamers.
The Next Web reports India has begun its national net neutrality discussion. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued a 118-page long consultation paper March 27. Citizens can voice their opinion on 20 questions about on the licensing of internet services in India by emailing [email protected] before April 24. Interesting ly the Cellular Operators Association of India is lobbying against against net neutrality and counts Google and Facebook as members.
IBM will invest $3 billion over the next four years in a new “Internet of Things” unit according to Reuters. Services will leverage data from building sensors, smartphones, and home appliances.As an example, the first major partnership will let customers of Weather Co do things like advise customers of safe places to park in advance of a hailstorm. Great for insurance companies. IBM expects $40 billion in a annual revenue from cloud, big data, security and other areas by 2018.
News From You:
Starfuryzeta sent us the Engadget report that on Monday the US Supreme court clarified and affirmed that if the government puts a GPS tracker on you, your car, or your personal effects it counts as a search and is subject to the 4th amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure. The clarification came in a unanimous ruling on Torrey Dale Grady v. North Carolina. Grady, a twice-convicted sex offender was made to wear a GPS monitor at all times. Grady sued the state claiming this qualified as an unreasonable search. The case now returns to the lower court, and all lower courts will now need to address the 4th amendment in monitoring cases.
Sunbun noticed Amazon has launched a new program called Dash Button. The program gives you a plastic wifi-enabled button you can associate with a limited number of regularly used products like paper towels or razor blades. Push the button and the product is re-ordered from Amazon. Amazon is encouraging manufacturers to build the system into products like coffee machines that reorder beans or water filters that reorder filtration cartridges. The program is invite only for Amazon Prime members.
Starfuryzeta submitted the Guardian report that the Belgian study determined Facebook tracks web browsing at its site even if a user does not have a Facebook account or has opted out of tracking. EU law requires prior consent before issuing a cookie or performing tracking. A Facebook spokesperson said the report contains factual inaccuracies and the authors never contacted Facebook. The studies authors said they would be happy to hear from Facebook.
Discussion Section Links:
Pick of the day:
Hey Tom, Jenny & Guest,
Came across this cool iphone 6/6 Plus case today and wanted to make it my pick. It’s the ALM mCAMLITE Stabilizer Mount with Video Lens & Mic for iPhone 6/6 Plus.
This all aluminum iphone case turns your stock iphone camera into a wide angle or macro lens, and includes a mic for recording better audio.
I saw an unboxing video/review for this product and it looks really solid. And for $123 on amazon, it’s not a bad price either!
Thanks for a great show as always!
Your boss from BC,
I loved your talk with Molly regarding streaming service. Especially mentioning the Pono service and apathy towards quality of the music. I have to add that regardless of the 24 bit 96/192 KHz lossless files many of the tracks available are just high bitrate versions of blown out and dynamically compressed masters. Something audiophiles snub their noses at. It is a matter of garbage-in-garbage-out. Love the show.
Alisdair in snow covered Moncton (I almost used an expletive instead of snow covered)
Mike in Sunny Beirut:
I personally use Google Music, which offers streaming like Spotify, but also includes my own library to suppliment songs google doesn’t offer. Amazon Prime members have access to a similar service, although with less free storage.
John in lovely Billings, MT :
My service of choice is Google Play Music for one very important reason – you can upload your own music to seamlessly augment the streaming catalog. This came in handy when Taylor Swift pulled her singles when the new album released. You can buy it directly from Google or anywhere else that gives you the MP3s and boom, problem solved.
Rich from Lovely Cleveland:
You briefly touched on this with Molly yesterday, but I think it’s a major point: the fact that albums are becoming a thing again is a testament to the success of Spotify. It’s a major milestone that streaming music has become so ubiquitous that artists now see the benefit of effectively “pre-releasing” their albums ahead of streaming to capitalize on sales, knowing that between Spotify and YouTube they’ll have a consistent revenue stream going forward after the release. This isn’t the death of piracy, but this emphasis on album releases is the validation of the streaming model. Its actually a very exciting precedent.
Sean, on his way to lovely Cleveland:
Re: the Apple Watch. How hard would it have been to use recycled aluminum? Maybe they are, but I don’t recall seeing it mentioned. If an 80’s K-car can become paperclips why can’t old beer cans become an apple watch. Apple uses so much metal that does not need to bear a large load. Maybe they are using recycled material but I have not seen anything to say that they are.
Garin (as in “guarantee”) from Los Angeles:
My “brother” (who is actually my friend *wink*) I have added as one of my family members on my Prime account contacted Amazon Customer service when he had a package that missed the estimated 2 day delivery. The CS agent went ahead and credited MY Prime account with a free month, without any hesitation. Though this might not help the potential “congestion” of Amazon Prime, I thought Molly and other listeners might find this tip may ease their frustrations caused by a missed delivery estimate. Thanks for the show!
As a follow-up to Molly’s problem with late Prime shipments, I just wanted to let you guys know that if your package is late, be it the fault of Amazon or UPS, they will extend your Prime membership one month, no questions asked.
In total, since I’ve been a Prime member, I’ve gotten six months free. Just contact them via chat support and getting it extended takes 2 minutes.
Wednesday’s guests: Allison Sheridan!