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ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley reports new details about the next Version of Windows, codenamed Threshold, expected to arrive in Spring 2015. Microsoft reportedly will aim Threshold squarely at disgruntled desktop users still using Windows 7. Some versions of Threshold will be all desktop, while some will focus on the tiled screen or desktop screen depending on whether a keyboard is attached and some version meant for tablets and phone swill have no desktop view at all. And yes word is STILl that the mini Start menu showed off at BUILD will be part of Threshold. A preview version of Threshold should arrive in the autumn and one more update to Windows 8.1 will arrive before Threshold does.
Reuters reports Google is finally pulling the plug on its social network from 2004 called Orkut on Sept. 30. Orkut was popular in Brazil and India, but Google says they’ve had more success with YouTube, Blogger and Google+. Orkut users can continue to post until Sept. 30 and can retrieve posts after that dat from an archive of all Orkut communities. I will miss you ‘fans of turn signals’ community!
Facebook got in some hot water as attention as called to a March publication of a study in PNAS that manipulated 689,000 users News Feeds from Jan. 11-18, 2012 in order to study emotional contagion. For the affected users either positive or negative emotional posts had a 10-90% chance of being removed. The study found those with fewer positive posts in their feed used 0.1% fewer positive words in subsequent posts and those with fewer negative posts in their feed used 0.07% fewer negative words. Controversy broke out over whether the Facebook Terms of Service sufficed as informed consent for the study.
VentureBeat reports Google Glass is now banned in some UK movie theaters over piracy concerns. Vue and the Cinema Exhibitors’ association trade group both feel the shaky 30-45 minutes of video Google Glass is capable of recording poses enough of a threat to their bottom line that they must fight back. Google said in a statement that Glass should be treated no differently than cell phones in a theater and that “The fact that Glass is worn above the eyes and the screen lights up whenever it’s activated makes it a fairly lousy device for recording things secretly.”
Engadget reports Samsung has four new budget Android KitKat phones. The 4.5-inch Galaxy Core II leads the way with a 1.2GHZ processor 768 MB RAM and 4GB of storage. There’s also the 4-inch Galaxy Ace 4 and the 3.5-inch Galaxy Young 2 and Star 2. All run TouchWiz with pricing and availability to be announced.
TechCrunch reports Twitter is rolling out mobile app promotion ads that take users to app downloads or the apps themselves if already installed. Along with that, Twitter’s unveiling new cost-per-app-click pricing for the unit and a dashboard to track usage. The ads appear only for iOS and Android mobile users.
The Verge notes the US Supreme Court decline to hear Google’s challenge to dismiss a complaint that its streetview cars illegally collected data from private WiFi networks. Google has admitted its cars were accidentally collecting unencrypted traffic and stopped the practice when it was discovered. Google is fighting a lawsuit that it violated the Wiretap Act. Google’s defense has been that tyhe act allows the interception of unencrypted radio communication, but a federal appeals court rejected that logic saying the act referred to predominantly auditory broadcasts.
News From You
spsheridan submitted the GigaOm story that US President Obama is expected to name Phil Johnson, a pharmaceutical industry executive, as the next Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Johnson has previously tried to block legislation aimed at reigning in patent trolls. The Director’s job has been vacant for 18 months, and former Google employee Michelle Lee, the deputy director, has been managing the department.
Could Netflix be called a cybersecurity threat? metalfreak pointed us to the Slashdot posting that quotes Greg Nojeim of the Center for Democracy and Technology making the argument that wording in the proposed US bill “Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act” could do just that. A ‘threat,’ according to the bill, is among other things anything that may result in an unauthorized effort to ad-
adversely impact the availability of information. Nojeim argues that the vague wording could be used to justify slowing down Netflix at congested connections.
KAPT_Kipper submitted the GigaOM story that Blackphone has started shipping. Blackphone is aconsumer grade handset running a forked version of Android called PrivatOS bundled with privacy-related apps including Silent Phone and Silent Text (for normal voice, video and text communications), Disconnect (VPN and search), SpiderOak (cloud storage) and the Smarter Wi-Fi Manager (for protection from dodgy hotspots). The first units of the $629 handset to ship are for European LTE users, and U.S. units will follow.
I religiously watch The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and some other such shows. But why not watch them faster? Swift is one of many apps I’ve tried which speed up video playback without distorting the audio at all – I can watch some shows at 2x playback speed without issue.
Many apps do this, but Swift integrates really well with YouTube too. Want to listen to a lecture from YouTube at 2x speed? Plop the URL into this app and you can do so, and even download the entire video for offline playback 😀 Or just play videos already in your library. Or stream over your local home network. Lots of other cool features too. More than worth the $3 I paid for it.
Tuesday’s Guest: Justin Robert Young