DTNS 2218 – Aereo Assault

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comRaj Deut joins us to toss around the Amazon tilt phone rumor and compare the US free TV system to Australia’s, in light of the Aereo case.


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Show Notes

Today’s guest:  Raj Deut, of The Reckoner


Multiple trusted sources told Boy Genius Report that Amazon’s new phone will not only have a 3D interface but also use tilt controls. Tilting the phone will reveal menus, additional information like text labels of icons and even scroll text. Amazon has not confirmed any details but is expected to have an announcement within a few weeks. 

Engadget got a sneak peek at Lytro’s new camera, the Lytro Illum. Lytro’s cameras capture 40 megarays of light on a high-resolution sensor allowing users to change the focus of a photo after the fact as well as alter depth of field. Lytro images can only be processed by Lytro’s own software at this point, but can then be exported in familiar formats. The Illum will release in July and sell for $1,599, though pre-orders will save $100.

PC Mag reports LG just launched a teaser site showing off its upcoming G Watch. The square watch will come on Champagne gold with a white band or stealth black. Also known as yellow or black. The watch will run Google’s Android Wear OS with its standard set of features like the OK Google voice command activation and smart notifications. The watch will also be water and dust-resistant. The G is supposed to launch sometime before the end of June.

The Verge reports Google now lists the Nest thermostat for sale in the Google Play store alongside other Google devices, for the standard retail price of $250. However Google will plant a tree for every Nest ordered today in honor of Earth Day. Google acquired Nest in January.

The US Supreme Court heard arguments over the legality of the Aereo service that delivers over the air broadcasts of television to users. At the heart of the case is whether Aereo is delivering an unauthorized public performance, as the broadcasters believe, or a private performance from rented equipment, as Aereo argues. Justice Stephen Breyer expressed concern that a decision favoring broadcasters could impact cloud storage providers like Dropbox. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg questioned whether the thousands of antennas Aereo uses are necessary, or just a way to get around copyright law. Justices also brought up previous lower court rulings fiunding renting of cloud DVRs to be legal and questioned why Areeo wasn’t treated like a cable company since it seemed to act like one. Overall the case appears too close to call, but a narrow ruling on the copyright issue seems most likely, leaving more details to be fought out in lower courts.

Representatives of the US Department of Commerce are meeting with representatives of various nations at Net Mundial in Brazil this week to discuss a new governing framework for ICANN that removes the Commerce Department’s oversight. A multistakeholder approach, in which private enterprise, academia and government all have a say has been drafted into an “otcome document” for further discussion. 

The Next Web reports Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has launched a simplified domain name for its website at mi.com. Hugo Barra announced the new domain name on Twitter. Barra is in charge of Xiaomi’s marketing outside China. According to the Weibo page of Xiaomi’s co-founder Li Wanqiang, the page cost CNY3.6 million. Xiaomi launched outside China for the first time in February, selling phones in Singapore. 

News From You

metalfreak posted the announcement on Phoronix that OpenBSD developers have decided to fork OpenSSL in the wake of the Heartbleed vulnerability. LibreSSL will be the new project which aims to rewrite code and remove limited or deprecated code in an attempt to clean it up. For now LibreSSL is only supported on OpenBSD and plans to ship with OpenBSD 5.6

tekkyn00b found the Apple Insider article about a leaked slide from Intel outlining the next generation of Thunderbolt, code named “Apline Ridge.” Chinese Blog VR Zone discovered and published the slide. If the slide is correct, Bandwidth would double from 20 to 40 Gbps and power consumption would fall by 50%. Alpine Ridge would release in 2015 alongside a new CPU dubbed “Skylake.”

MikePKennedy pointed us to the Verge article about a research team led by Margaret Livingstone that taught three rhesus macaques to add. The monkeys learned symbols for the numbers 0 to 25 as well. The monkeys chose correct answers well above 50% of the time, but did not show their work. 

Discussion Section Links: Amazon’s smartphone, plus Aereo & The Supremes



Pick of the Day:  Scotusblog via Jennie answering a question from Kevin in Cypress, Texas

Our pick of the day is the answer to a question posed by Kevin in Cypress, Texas. “Since the Aereo case is being heard by the Supreme Court this week, I decided to search the app store for an app so I could listen to the audio feed of the hearing. I can’t seem to find one. Do you know if such a thing does exist? It would be a great choice for your pick of the day.

Sadly there are no live streams of Supreme Court oral arguments. However, audio recordings are released free on the Court’s Web site, www.supremecourt.gov, at the end of each argument week. But don’t despair! Jennie’s pick of the day is ScotusBlog, which is one of the best websites around for reporting and analysis of the highest court in the land. It is available as an iOS app, and they’re working on an Android version. ScotusBlog live blogs opinions as they are handed down, which is helpful when you’re having a hard time wading through the complex legal language that determines whether one guy is elected president or the other guy.

Wednesday’s guest:  Rich DeMuro, technology reporter at KTLA News