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Today’s guest: Patrick Beja, host of Le Rendez-vous Tech, and DTNS contributor
Microsoft announced this morning that it is in fact acquiring the makers of Minecraft, Mojang for $2.5 billion. On Xbox.com, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer wrote that the company plans to continue to make Minecraft available across competing platforms. Mojang cofounders Notch aka Markus Persson Carl Manneh and Jakob Porser will not stay with the company. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.
It’s the Monday after a new iPhone went on sale, which means it’s time for Apple to announce how the sales broke records and outran their supplies— causing delays in shipments. CNET reports Apple announced Monday that first day preorders of the new iPhones topped 4 million in the first 24 hours setting a record and outpacing initial supplies causing shipping delays until October.
GigaOm reports Google announced new manufacturers of entry-level Android One devices as the first round handsets go on sale in India. Android One devices are affordably priced and must minimum standards like a 4.5-inch screen and a 5-megapixel camera. Google helps source parts to keep costs down as well as striking deals with carriers for some free data for Android updates and app downloads. Monday saw the Micromax Canvas A1, the Spice Dream Uno and the Karbonn Sparkle V all around 6400 Rupees or $105. Acer, Alcatel, Asus, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic and Xolo are all on board for future Android One devices. The next wave of rollouts will expand to Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka by the end of the year.
Remember the good old days of last week, when Apple gave everyone with an iTunes account a free album from one of the world’s biggest rock bands to promote the iPhone 6? Remember how much people complained because a free album was automatically downloaded to their devices without their permission? According to the BBC, Apple has now given users a special tool to remove U2’s ‘Songs of Innocence’ available at itunes.com/soi-remove. Also, this is why we can’t have nice things.
The Verge reminds us today, September 15th is the last day to file responses to comments regarding the US FCC’s proposed Open Internet Guidelines. The FCC press secretary announced that over 3 million comments have come in. The Sunlight Foundation analyzed 800,000 earlier comments and found that around two-thirds of them asked the FCC to reclassify broadband, while about 5 percent opposed tighter regulations. After comments close tonight, the FCC will use them to decide on a final proposal, which Wheeler hopes to pass by the end of 2014.
News From You
Cosmicvibes posted an Inquisitr story about Comcast threatening to disconnect Tor users, but an Ars Technica story quotes Comcast spokesperson Charlie Douglas saying “This story is wildly inaccurate. Customers are free to use their Xfinity Internet service to visit any website or use it however they wish otherwise.” Douglas added “”We have found no evidence that these conversations took place.” VP of Internet communications and engineering at Comcast Jason Livingood wrote in a blog post today “Our customers can use Tor at any time, as I have myself.” Not the usual Comcast apology and backtracking we’ve seen lately.
habichuelacondulce submitted a Time Magazine report about the Chinese city of Chongqing, which has come up with a way to remind its 28 million residents about the dangers of looking down at their phones while walking. The city used white paint to divide the sidewalks of its entertainment district into two lanes–one for people walking while using cell phones, and one for all the other people. A Chinese official said the markings were designed to protect elderly people and children from unnecessary collisions, but clarified that the initiative was designed to be satirical.
KAPT_Kipper submitted the TechCrunch article about Netflix finally launching in France. Patrick you can subscribe for €7.99 per month, €8.99 per month with HD streaming and 2 simultaneous streams, and €11.99 for 4K streaming and four simultaneous streams. The selection is thin at launch even missing House of Cards whose French rights are held by Canal+.
spsheridan posted the PC World story about research published in the journal Nature Materials on Sunday challenging the notion that slowly charging a battery and preventing fast discharges help prolong battery life. The researchers led by Stanford’s William Chueh, found the evenness of the charging, not the speed is the key factor and could increase the useful life of a battery from a couple years to a decade. They also could use their findings to allow faster discharging without damage. The researchers are engaging in further experiment to simulate typical use and are in talks with electronics companies.
KAPT_Kipper passes along an Ars Technica writeup of some fine original reporting by Vox Media’s Tim Lee analyzing the impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling on patents back in June. Since that decision, there have been eleven federal judicial rulings striking down patents as “abstract” which is a high number according to Ars Technica. The list only highlights patents that have lost under Section 101 of the US patent law, which governs when a patent is an “abstract idea” that can’t be patented.Many of the patents being knocked out are “do it on a computer” patents that take everyday activity and add computer jargon. Check out Tim Lee’s article for the full list of decisions.
Discussion Links: Microsoft and Mojang to marry
Plug of the Day: ‘Events of a Different Nature‘ by Tom Merritt
I want to let you know I have a new self-published book out called ‘Events of A Different Nature.’ It’s about two dogs who solve crimes. NOW WAIT. It’s not nearly as cute as it may sound. It’s more Raymond Chandler than Wind in the Willows and they never once admit that they’re dogs or in any way inferior to humans. So if you want to check it out you can find a free version as well as print and versions for various ebook platforms at tommerrittbooks.com
Your public library has audio books and ebooks for free. Just go in to the library and sign up. They give you credentials and voila you have access to countless books. My local library is part of the OverDrive lending system. It works great for me.
Tomorrow’s guest: Andrea Smith