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Instagram released a new app called Hyperlapse that lets you record up to 45 minutes of video and then choose a rate to speed it up with options as fast as 12x. The video can be saved to the camera roll and you can do whatever you want with it There are buttons that will launch the Instagram or Facebook apps for easy sharing if you have those, but they’re not required.
ZDNet reports that Google is acquiring Zync, whose main product is Zync Render, a cloud-based rendering and storage platform for both 2D and 3D applications. Zync Render has been used on a number of Hollywood films, including Looper, Star Trek: Into Darkness and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. No word yet on how much Google paid. The service will be moved to Google’s Cloud Platform.
Vice president of Amazon games, Mike Frazzini talked with Fortune about Amazon’s newest $970-million all-cash acquisition Twitch. He said, “First and foremost, we want Twitch to just keep going.” I’m sure they do. Meanwhile Forbes’ Ryan Mac heard from a source that antitrust fears played a part in the deal going to Amazon instead of Google. Google allegedly wanted a breakup fee in case the acquisition was not approved because it already owns YouTube.
GigaOm passes along details about a US NSA tool called ICREACH, revealed by the Intercept Monday. ICREACH apperss to be a search tool used to share data with 23 US government agencies as well as foreign intelligence agencies in Canada, the UK, New Zealand and Australia. The data shared included emails, phone calls, faxes, internet chats, and text messages, as well as location information collected from cellphones.
BitTorrent’s Dropbox competitor Sync got a little more Dropbox-like today according to GigaOm. BitTorrent sync can now make Web links for shared files and folders expanding it beyond simple folder synchronization. Previously users had to exchange cryptographic keys or QR codes to share links to files. The new Web links automatically expire after three days although you can set them to expire faster.
According to Ars Technica, Microsoft is under investigation by Chinese regulatory authorities for bundling its Internet Explorer browser and Windows Media Player app with its operating system. If you sense that all this has happened before, you might be remembering similar complaints from the European Union and South Korea which led to the creation of separate software packs for each country. Microsoft says it will fully comply with the investigation.
News From You
Kelleyb alerted us to the Ars Technica report that California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a law requiring all smartphones in the state come with a kill-switch. While I had hoped the law meant all phones would be required to go into kill mode to defend you when attacked, it actually means as of July 1, 2015 all smartphones sold in California will have to have a remote wipe feature. The kill switch and new civil penalties of $500 to $2500 for stealing phones are hoped to reduce phone theft.
tm204 shares the Ars Technica report that Microsoft has reduced the prices of the Surface 2 Windows RT tablet by $100. The least expensive 32 GB unit now costs $349, the 64GB unit costs $449, and the 64GB model with LTE version costs $579. With the price cut, the 32GB 1920×1080 Microsoft Surface is now less expensive than most other tablets, with the exception of the non-Retina iPad mini. The discounts are available through Microsoft’s physical and online stores, as well as through some other retailers such as Amazon.
ancrod2 pointed out the SlashGear writeup about RoboBrain, a project led by robotics researcher Ashutosh Saxena, to organize information from the Internet to make it easier for robots to learn. RoboBrain would be a cloud based storage system integrating 100,000 data sources and various types of supervised and unsupervised machine learning algorithms The idea is to give robots access to a remote system that provides a more complex understanding of the world. In other words the individual robot’s NET would be in the cloud or rather— SKY.
Plug of the Day: The Sword and Laser Anthology collects 20 amazing stories from new writers in the Sword and Laser book club audience. 10 SciFi and 10 fantasy stories with an introduction by Patrick Rothfuss. Get a copy at swordandlaser.com/store http://swordandlaser.com/store/
Pick of the Day: Go Contact Sync Mod via Rolando- from the Paraguay, the heart of South America
I’ve using Outlook since the 90s–a critical component of my workflow was an easy wireless way to sync desktop and phone for contacts and calendar. The magic was accomplished then by Nokia Suite through bluetooth. When modern smartphones became a thing, a new component (“the cloud”) was needed in the mix. So I used Google Calendar Sync and a little great desktop app called Go Contact Sync Mod to have Outlook-Cloud-Phone two-way wireless sync nirvana: my contacts, appointments and notes were available to me in my desktop, phone or cloud in perfect harmony. But the Microsoft-Google fight has gotten in the way of my sync heaven, first by stopping support for Exchange ActiveSync and then Google Calendar Sync. Luckily, the wonderful guys of Go Contact Sync Mod came to the rescue by updating their app and providing 2-way sync (Outlook-Google) for Calendar, Contacts, Notes. Best of all, it’s free and opensource. Finally, my workflow equilibrium has been restored.
Wednesday’s guest: Dan Patterson, technology journalist