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Introducing … Slingshot! (For realz): TechCrunch reports that Facebook finally released the Slingshot app for iOS and Android. That’s the app they accidentally published to the Apple app store back on June 9. The app lets you send photos and videos to contacts. The twist is the recipients can’t see what you sent until they send you something back. Slingshot also doesn’t store the photos and videos permanently.
AT&T wins Amazon: Engadget passes along that sources tell The Wall Street Journal that AT&T has signed a deal to be the exclusive carrier in the U.S. for a forthcoming Amazon phone. Amazon has scheduled an announcement for tomorrow morning.
Apple settles civil suit: Re/code reports Apple agreed to settle a class-action suit regarding e-book pricing. Plaintiffs had sought $840 million in damages, but the details of the settlement were not made public. Apple is still appealing the court’s ruling from last year that it violated federal and state antitrust rules. Payment of the settlement is contingent on the outcome of that appeal.
Well, that’s just rude, YouTube: The Financial Times reported today that YouTube would begin blocking music videos from certain indie labels if they did not agree to new licensing terms that include provisions for a new music service YouTube is preparing to launch. Robert Kyncl, Google’s Vice President and Global Head of Business at YouTube, told the FT blocking would happen in “a matter of days.” Kyncl says record labels representing 95% of the music industry have agreed to terms. The remaining labels, represented by the rights agency Merlin are reportedly holding out for a better deal. The independent music companies association, Impala, is asking the European Commission for emergency assistance regarding the matter.
No waving: TechCrunch reports the Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector is now back on sale in the U.S. after two months. The device was removed from sale April 3rd, due to safety concerns. A function that allowed users to wave to silence the alarm, could have prevented real alarms from sounding. That wave feature is now disabled.
News From You
AndrewTerry posted the Privacy International article that the UK’s GCHQ made public the fact that it monitors social network users in the UK on services such as Facebook, Twitter and Google. The policy was made public after a legal challenge by several civil liberties organizations. GCHQ justifies the surveillance based on the fact that such communications are considered ‘external communications.’ Privacy organizations worry that even text messages and email sent through such services could be intercepted.
melchizedek74 pointed out the Android Central story about an Indiegogo campaign for an Android 4.4-powered wireless router called Soap. The router works with an Android app to allow easier administration of the router and the devices connected to it. It can also replace hubs needed for home automation devices. Multiple Soap routers can also form a mesh network. The early bird price is $129 for the entry-level model on up to $229 for the top-end.
Inge_Aning submitted the Verge story that US Senators Patrick Leahy and Doris Matsui are proposing a bill that would requite the FCC to use its authority to prevent paid prioritization of Internet content by ISPs. The Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act would not solve the FCC’s problem over how to justify its authority to enforce such requirements.
metalfreak submitted the Verge article that DARPA is developing anonymity tools to supplement and replace Tor as part of the Safer Warfighter Communications program. One project in particular called Service-Oriented Netcoded Architecture for Tactical Anonymity (SONATA), is decribed as a next-generation Tor. SONATA traffic is “mixed” at each relay in the network by randomly multiplying traditional packets by a constant and adding them together, while also switching up secondary markers that would identify traffic. DARPA is also investing in Cruveball a decoy routing system.
Discussion Section Links: Hey, YouTube, what’s a BLOCK?
Pick of the day: InoReader via Sam from sometimes beautiful NJ
When Google Reader left the cloud for the great RSS reader in the sky, I tried many of the replacement options, but only felt comfortable with InoReader. It uses the same API, so many of the third-party tools work out of the box. The developers are active and responsive to bug reports and community suggestions. I’m addition, they introduced some new and interesting features like rules (similar to email filters) and PDF generation from articles (e.g. for printing or archival).Sam from sometimes beautiful NJ