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Today’s guests: Veronica Belmont
The Guardian reports attackers took control of the Twitter account of Italian security firm Hacking Team, and posted allegations that 400 GB of documents had been accessed. Hacking Team says it provides “tools to police organizations and other government agencies that can prevent crimes or terrorism.” Posted documents appeared to be emails, invoices and screenshots some of which showed dealings with countries like Ethiopia and Sudan. Christian Pozzi of Hacking Team tweeted that a lot of what is being posted is not true.
CNET reports that Instagram will let you share pictures that are 1080 pixels by 1080 pixels the first improvement since Instagram launched supporting 640 by 640 resolution.. The feature is gradually rolling out, and let’s everybody take moment to enjoy this terrific update before we start grousing about the lack of support for multiple accounts.
Tech Crunch reports that Amazon has added an iOS app for its Cloud Drive service. Android apps for Google Play and Amazon app store showed up in June and the iOS app became available over the weekedm. The apps are fairly basic, offering a simplified folder list and a way to view and share files but no editing, moving files, uploading from mobile and no automatic sync. Users can also play music and videos stored on Cloud Drive. Amazon’s Unlimited Everything plan costs $60 per year and its Unlimited Photos service is $11.99 per year.
The Verge reports that it has sources that say Microsoft is finalizing Windows 10 for manufacturers this week. Once the release to manufacturing (RTM) build is ready, Microsoft will send the final copy of Windows 10 to its PC partners ahead of a release to the public on July 29th. Though Windows 10 bug fixes and updates will continue even after that. Microsoft also announced its music service, formerly Xbox Music will be named Groove in Windows 10. Xbox Video gets the snappy rename of Movies and TV.
The Next Web reports Bitcoin engineer Ryan X. Charles wrote on Medium that he worked on a decentralized version of Reddit that used bitcoin to fund hosts. Reddit would no longer control content outside of what it wished to host in the official Reddit company version of the service. This is suspiciously close to what Fred Wilson described on avc.com today as he predicted a decentralized media platform using the blockchain was going to happen soon. Meanwhile Reddit CEO Ellen Pao posted an apology and another promise that Reddit will improve tools and communication with moderators. A new Moderator Advocate will serve as a point of contact for mods. I hear Victoria Taylor is looking for a gig.
Mojang has announced a “whole new version” of Minecraft specifically for Windows 10 according to CNET. The new version will feature Creative and Survival modes, as well as online and local multiplayer with the Pocket Edition. It also adds multiple control setups, a GameDVR and a built-in feedback system so players can let Mojang know what they like–and what they don’t. A beta version of the game launches on July 29 for $10 and will be free for owners of the existing Minecraft game.
Google launched its first Android One device in Pakistan in partnership with QMobile according to the The Express Tribune. The QMobile A1 is now available at retail stores across Pakistan. The phone comes with a 4.5-inch touch screen, a 1.3GHz quad core processor, a 5-megapixel rear camera with an LED flash, a 2-megapixel front camera, 1GB RAM and 8GB of built-in memory. The dual-SIM phone runs Android 5.1 Lollipop and will cost 11,500 Pakistani Rupees – about US$113.
The Wall Street Journal reports that McDonald’s Corp. and Yum Brands Inc. are testing digital payment options in China. McDonald’s will test mobile ordering and payment under a pilot program in the current third quarter. The aim is to speed payment and meet consumer demands. Yum said its KFC business began partnering with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in June to launch mobile-payment services for 700 stores in China. Customers can pay for their in-store orders with scanning bar codes generated by Alibaba’s mobile-payment application Alipay.
ECN Mag reports Dan Baechle, a mechanical engineer at the US Army Research Laboratory, is testing MAXFAS, a mechatronic arm exoskeleton, designed to train new Soldiers to shoot. After subjects wore MAXFAS, then performed a shooting trial, tremor was lessened. MAXFAS is modeled from a robotic device to train arm motion of stoke victims at the University of Delaware. Baechle hopes someday that MAXFAS could be used to improve aim on the battlefield under adverse conditions.
News From You:
efc88 sent us The Next Web/Buzzfeed report that Greece’s temporary capital controls, which restricts Greek citizens from taking money out of the country, also mean Greek citizens can’t use their credit cards in the online store of a foreign country. Several people in Greece have tweeted that their credit cards were declined in Apple’s online store, and Paypal issued a statement saying that funding of Paypal wallet from Greek Bank accounts is “currently not available.”
starfuryzeta sent us the Engadget report that in celebration of Amazon’s 20th birthday on July 15th, the company will host a “global shopping event” for Amazon Prime members with allegedly “more deals that Black Friday. If you’re not an Amazon Prime member you can sign up for the free 30 day trial and experience the magic of…wait for it… PRIME DAY.
Pick of the day:
You know how we can get the special characters like ♣ or ♬ or ‰ using the built-in character map apps or even selecting special fonts like Webdings on a desktop. But this has always been more difficult on a mobile device. Enter Notengoenie at http://m.notengoenie.com They have a set of special characters (albeit not a very exhaustive one) that we might need quickly while composing something on a mobile device. I have used this web-app so many times and it is on the top of my bookmarks. Sometimes, owing to the sheer convenience of it, I even use it while I’m on my desktop.
As someone who commutes over an hour one direction every day for work I am all in for self-driving cars. The efficiencies of metering traffic and having cars adjust to traffic conditions would be great. Not to mention I can’t wait until we get to the point that I could have that hour of sleep back in the morning while the car gets me to where I’m going. All of that sounds great as we go down the path of our eventual robot overlords delivering us like packages on drones. However, as a motorcycle rider, I don’t want to get to a point of riding without me in control. Even if we do start getting self-driving motorcycles it would take the fun out of the experience. So while I look forward to the benefits, I hope we never get to a day that manual driving is not possible or even illegal.
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Tuesday’s Guest: Patrick Beja