DTNS 2303 – Uber wants to grab your package

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comMolly Wood is on the show and while we celebrate the movement of Ballmer from tech mogul to eccentric sports owner, we also ponder why Uber and others seem to think they can make Webvan and Kozmo’s business models work again.


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Show Notes

Today’s guest: Molly Wood, deputy technology editor for The New York Times, yo!


The HTC One (M8) for Windows Phone became a reality today and likely the longest name in smartphones. It’s essentially the same as the Android M8 but only available in a 32GB version. It’s available in the US to start, from Verizon for $99 on contract. 

The Next Web reports that former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has stepped down from the company’s board of directors so he can focus on his new role as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team. Ballmer plans to remain Microsoft’s biggest individual shareholder, but wrote in a public letter to CEO Satya Nadella that it would be “impractical” to remain on the board with his other time commitments.

Android Police has some secret unconfirmed source of info about Google’s upcoming subscription music service, which they say will be called YouTube Music Key. The new service will offer offer ad-free music, audio-only playback for background or screen-off listening, and offline playback. YouTube Music Key will allegedly be free for the first 30 days, after which the service will run $9.99/month. According to Android Police, that price will include both YouTube Music Key and Google Play Music Key, the new name of Google Music All Access.

Engadget reports that Dropbox-owned Mailbox has begun rolling out early access to its desktop email client. If you are a current Mailbox user or signed up for the beta, you should be issued a betacoin as well as a few more betacoins to share with friends. The rollout goes in batches so you may not receive your betacoin right away. The software runs on OS X Mavericks and shares several features with the popular mobile app. The company has not decided on a release date for the final version.

The Next Web reports Uber has launched a test service called ‘Corner Store’ in parts of Washington DC. For a couple weeks you’ll be able to choose an Uber driver from the corner store tab who can deliver you various convenience store items like toothpaste, shampoo, aspirin, etc. When you’ve selected an available driver, you’ll confirm your address, then get a link to a list of available items and prices, then choose your items if available, then wait for a call from the driver to place your order, then when the driver arrives you go outside and confirm your order. It’s that EASY! —- Also Uber hired President Obama’s former campaign manager David Plouffe to be Senior Vice President of Policy and Strategy.

The Next Web passes along details from an IDC report that Q2 shipments of smartphones in India grew 84 percent year over year. Overall though feature phones still made up 71% of all shipments, meaning there’s plenty of room for that skyrocketing smartphone market to continue to rocket into the sky. Micromax was India’s overall top mobile phone shipper, while Samsung topped the smartphone category.

News From You

tm204 submitted a subscription only report by The Information that we know not everybody can afford to read — so we also found a story from CNET —about Google’s attempts to find new users by offering some of its services to children. This would include a child-safe version of YouTube featuring a dashboard to let parents monitor their children’s activity. Any new version of the site targeted at kids would need to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which imposes restrictions on web companies targeting children under 13 years old. Most big tech companies shy away although kid-focused businesses like Disney and Nickelodeon have found plenty of ways to work within the law.

magoojc posted the Ars Technica article about a settlement between Personal Audio LLC and Adam Carolla over a patent dispute that affected podcasting. Both sides filed a joint motion to dismiss and agreed to a quiet period until Sept. 30. Both the lawsuite and Carolla’s countersuit were dropped without prejuice meaning they could be refiled. Personal Audio is still suing CBS, NBC and Fox over video-on-demand services. The EFF is challenging the Personal Audio patent in an “inter partes review” being conducted at the US Patent Office.

Sewell2 pointed out the Ars Technica story about Delaware’s “Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets and Digital Accounts Act,” which gives heirs and executors the authority to take legal control of a digital account or device. Right now under California law for instance, if I die, my heir does not have the right to access any of my Twitter accounts. However some oppose the law as it makes no provision for confidential records, such as those of patients stored in a deceased Doctor’s email account.  

Discussion Links: Uber’s doing what now?













Plug of the Day: Alpha Geek Radio

Pick of the Day: Battery Doctor via Jamie Brand

I’ve been using this app for awhile now and I swear by it. It’s called Battery Doctor and it frees up memory on your phone. Whenever I launch a game or memory intensive app, I will run this to free up some memory. It’s free and available for iOS and Android phones.

The real reason I’m making this a pick for you however, is a feature they added recently. You are now able to setup a service called One Tap Boost, and after a quick settings profile is setup, it will add a boost icon to your springboard. One tap will now quickly free up memory for you without having to open the main Battery app, and it also closes automatically once you’re done! A great app for those who use several apps throughout the day!

Wednesday’s Guest: Jeff Cannata, co-host of a brand new comedy podcast called We Have Concerns