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Today’s guest: Justin Robert Young, DTNS contributor and co-host of Night Attack and Weird Things
Engadget reports Microsoft has made the MSN suite of apps available for iOS and Android in addition to Windows Phone. The News, Sports, Health and Fitness, food and Drink and Money apps are available now. MSN Weather is out on Android and coming to iOS in a few weeks. That news comes along with Microsoft’s acquisition of multiplatform mobile test environment maker HockeyApp, similar to Apple-owned TestFlight on iOS.
TechCrunch reports Ford’s new Sync 3 is faster, sleeker, more intuitive and NOT powered by Microsoft anymore. Sync 3 switches to Blackberry-owned QNX OS running on TI hardware. And yes that means your old Ford will not get Sync 3. Ford worked with select app developers for the Sync 3 launch including Spotify, Pandora, Stitcher, NPR One, SiriusXM Radio and iHeartRadio. The system rolls out to new vehicles next year.
So Microsoft wins some and loses some and then takes your BitCoins. TechCrunch reports the folks at Coindesk noticed that you can now use bitcoins to buy content on Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox. Microsoft confirmed that it is working with Bitpay. However you can only use Bitcoins for MS Wallet or gift cards in the US. Direct payments are not supported.
CNET reports Head of Google News Richard Gingras announced today in a blog post that Google News will shut down in Spain December 16th and Spanish publishers will be removed from Google News worldwide. An amendment to Spain’s copyright law goes into effect January 1st that requires any news aggregator to pay an unspecified license fee to any publisher for listing their content. Google does not run ads on Google News and claims they cannot afford to keep the site going under the new law.
TechCrunch reports Xiaomi confirmed it has stopped selling its phones in India after an injunction from a New Delhi High Court. Ericsson brought a patent suit against Xiaomi for “unfair” usage of a range of wireless technology patents. Xiaomi began selling the Mi3, Redmi and Redmi Note devices in India in July. Ericsson claims it spent three years trying to communicate about the issue. Xiaomi says it is open to resolving the issue amicably.
The Next Web reports that YouTube’s Android app now allows users in India, Indonesia and the Philippines to save videos to their devices to watch offline. The feature is available for select content like trailers, movies and music videos so users can watch buffer-free video in areas without data connections. Users can also choose the quality of the videos they’re downloading and videos can be played back from the app’s Offline section for up to 48 hours.
Peter Wells let us know about a new piracy development in Australia. The Sydney Morning Herald reports the government will enable rights holders to apply for a court order requiring ISPs to block access to overseas websites alleged to provide access to pirated content. Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull is part of the Coalition government, who’s policy is not to support filters. So why the change of heart? Because it’s not a filter! Turnbull said “This is not, repeat, not an internet filter” and called the idea that blocking websites amounts to a filter, “nonesense” and “complete BS.” He did NOT say “You call that a filter? Now THIS is a filter.”
ReCode reports its sources say Sony Pictures Entertainment is flooding file sharing sites with fake or corrupted versions of torrents containing stolen information from the company. One of the sources says SPE is using Amazon Web Services to power the attack. Amazon told Recode such activity is not happening on AWS.
News From You
Hurmoth sent in the report that Verizon Chief Financial Officer Francis Shammo told a UBS investor conference yesterday that Title II regulation of broadband would not influence how Verizon invests in its networks. Just to be clear, Verizon is still against Title II regulation of broadband, but Shammo said “we were born out of a highly regulated company, so we know how this operates.” Verizon sued and won to overturn the FCC’s previous open Internet guidelines which led to the current debate. Would that happen again? Sounds like it’s AT&T’s turn at the plate. Shammo quoted AT&T Chairman & CEO Randall Stephenson saying, “I think it’s going to be a very litigious environment.”
starfuryzeta submitted the Wired article that hackers have figured out a way around the Keurig coffee machine’s DRM on coffee pods. The hack involves snipping a section of the lid from a valid Keurig “K-Cup” and then taping that strip to the top of a non-Keurig pod. Alternatively you can tape the strip to the Keurig machine itself, permanently fooling it.
MrAnthropology sent us a Des Moines register report that beginning next year, citizens of Iowa will be able to use a mobile app as their official driver’s license. The ID will be protfected by a PIN and be accepted by law enforcement and airports in Iowa. Iowa is already one of more than 30 states that allow motorists to show electronic proof of insurance during a traffic stop.
Discussion Links: Adios Google News en Espańa
Pick of the Day: Pushbullet via Geoff in Maryland
Here’s my pick of the day, Pushbullet. It is a very simple yet powerful app that basically lets you send information from one device to another very easily. You can use it to send notes, links, or even files. I use it all the time to send links from my computer to my phone (map directions, recipes, etc.)
It also has the ability on Android (not sure about iOS) to mirror notifications which I use on my desktop to see what the notifications are on my phone. Handy because for instance I can see who’s calling on my laptop and know if I need to run to pick up my phone in the bedroom.
Finally, I don’t use this feature but it integrates with IFTT or Tasker for even more uses.
All in all, it’s an app I use all the time and don’t know how I managed without it. It’s available for Android and iOS, as well as Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Opera. There’s a beta app for Windows and an app for OSX is coming soon. The developer is great and is constantly putting out new features and updates as needed.
Geoff in MD