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Today’s guest: Patrick Beja, DTNS contributor
The Next Web reports on the update to Google Translate for iOS and Android that is now a real thing. The update speeds up conversation mode for spoken word by automatically recognizing which of the two selected languages is being spoken without having to be told. The app also integrates WordLens to allow instant translation of well-lighted signs. This feature supports English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
Google’s Project Ara, the modular smartphone, will start a pilot program in Puerto rico in the second half of this year. The Verge reports Project Ara will partner with Puerto Rican carriers OpenMobile and Claro. Google will have “food truck” style stores where customers can look at the 20-30 modules that will be available— across 10 different categories.
Facebook is launching a workplace social network called Facebook at Work on the Web iOS and Android. The Verge says anybody can get the app but your company has to have more than 100 employees and be invited into the program by Facebook. Accounts have their own logins but can be linked to a personal Facebook account though information is not shared between them. Facebook at work has no ads and does not track data though it is hosted by Facebook. It also doesn’t have an API right now so you can share documents but there’s no collaboration. It’s also free. For now.
Google, Apple, Adobe, and Intel added $90 million to a proposed settlement over wage-fixing which brings the total to $415 million.
Reuters reports the deal came as the companies decided against appealing an August US District Court ruling that the original amount was too low.The companies were sued for keeping lists of employees they agreed not to hire away from each other. Affected engineers will receive a few thousand dollars each as a result of the suit.
Thought the Tizen OS was just for TVs and watches after CES? Oh no. GigaOM reports the Tizen-powered Z1 went on sale today in India for 5,700 Indian Rupees ($92). The 3G Z1 has a 4-inch, 800 x 480 screen, an unspecified 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 768MB of RAM, and a 3.1-megapixel rear camera. The phone comes with three-months free subscriptions to services that streams Bollywood songs and movies.
The new dual analog-stick Nintendo 3DS will launch in North America and Europe on February 13th, 2015 with red and black models. Engadget reports North America will get the XL version while Europe will get both. Interestingly the system will not ship with an AC adaptoer but will be compatible with any AC adapter from previous 3DS or DSi systems. You can also purchase one separately. The new 3DS will play all existing 3DS games, like The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate.
According to Ars Technica, pre-orders at retailer GameStop begin tomorrow. Price in the US is $200, with prices for Europe not yet announced.
Gigaom reports that the entire public transportation grid in Athens, Greece is supporting a smartphone ticketing system. The system will use UK company Masabi’s JustRide mobile ticketing system and Mastercard will handle the secure payments. Users can buy tickets on their smartphone, which are displayed on their mobile screens to show fare inspectors, and feature a QR code to scan at automated stations.
Tech Crunch reports that taxi-hailing app company Ola plans to be in 200 Indian cities by the end of 2015. The four-year-old Indian company is in 50 cities now, up from 19 in October— back when Softbank led a $210 million funding round in the company. Ola offers a hotline and other ways to book a ride for those without smartphones, and offered financing to drivers who want to purchase a car a full year before Uber introduced a similar plan in the region.
Reuters reports Google is in talks with major carmakers to help get self-driving cars on the market by 2020. Chris Urmson, director of Google’s self-driving car project, said the talks include GM, Ford, Toyota, Daimler and Volkswagen. The Detroit Free Press reports Google is building driverless car prototypes in Livonia, Michigan at a Roush facility.
TechCrunch reports GoPro is partnering with Vislink to enable live HD broadcasting from GoPro cameras. A live transmitter can be attached to GoPro Hero4 cameras. The device and service are not available yet but more details are promised in the spring.
Reuters cites a person familiar with the matter who says Samsung approached BlackBerry with a $7.5 billion offer to buy the company for its patents. The source says Samsung offered $13.35 to $15.49 per share, about 38% over the current trading price for BlackBerry.
News From You
SpaceManPete42 was among many people who submitted the story about US President Obama posting a YouTube video about municipal broadband. The President will visit Cedar Falls, Iowa, which like Chattanooga, Tennessee, built its own fiber infrastructure and offers gigabit Internet. That would be against the law in some US States, so the White House is petitioning the FCC to end restrictions in 19 states that limit broadband rollout.
DisapprovingLlama got approval from DTNS subredditors for the story about Google making its Domain Name Registration service available to everyone in the US at domains.google.com. VentureBeat says the new service also improved domain name search, added a simple management dashboard and integrated with Google-owned Blogger. You can sign up to be notified when the service opens up in your region.
Discussion Story Links: DailyMotion gets Twitch-y
Tomorrow’s guest: Allison Sheridan!