Ephemeral Billions?

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Ephemeral Billions?
Number 2448
Broadcast Date MARCH 12, 2015
Episode Length 41:33
Hosts Tom Merritt
Guests Justin Robert Young

Justin Young is in for an early show wherein we greet the new FCC Open Internet Rules and discuss why Snapchat is worth $15 billion these days.

Guest

Headlines

As Ars Technica reports the FCC released its report on “Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet”. In the 400 page document the rules themselves make up 8 pages. The rest is commentary and analysis including a 64-page dissent from Commissioner Ajit Pai and a 16-page dissent from Commissioner Michael O’Reilly. Among the analysis are the forebearances from Title II which include this line that will cause most of the debate: “we do not forbear from sections 201, 202, and 208.” The rules will now be published in the Federal Register within a week or two. 60 days after that happens the rules go into effect, except for additions to the transparency rules which require approval by the Office of Management and Budget. Let the parsing BEGIN!
Recode reports that Apple has stopped selling Jawbone Up, and Nike + FuelBand in its stores ahead of the Apple Watch launch. The Mio, a heart tracking device worn on the wrist, can only be found in Apple’s online store. Recode checked stores in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles and New York. The CEO of Mio said Apple notified her a few months ahead of time that the tracker would be removed from the store, citing a desire to “rework branding for the stores, and to make the Apple brand more front and center” and “minimize the number of accessories.”
Bloomberg Business reports that 11,000 people have already signed up for a Stanford University cardiovascular study using Apple’s Research Kit. The medical director of Stanford’s Cardiovascular Heath department said that getting 10,000 people enrolled in a medical study would normally take a year, and 50 medical centers around the country. The article also notes some researchers are skeptical that the data won’t be skweed by the type of participant or rendered controversial by things like unclear consent forms. Way to harsh Stanford’s mellow, Bloomberg Business.
Buzzfeed reports that Twitter has issued new rules that say “You may not post intimate photos or videos that were taken or distributed without the subject’s consent.” and says it will lock the accounts of users who violate the rule. The company also issued a new FAQ regarding stolen nudes and revenge porn which they posted on reddit. Users can report possible violations through Twitter’s reporting process.
Reuters reports that U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman in San Jose said Tuesday that plaintiffs can bring a class action against Facebook regarding online purchases by children. Facebook argued against a class action, saying the claims were too disparate, and an injunction would not address them. The parents of two children who made large amounts of in app purchases brought the suit in April 2012. It says Facebook violated California law by refusing refunds under its “all sales are final” policy when the parents complained. A trial date is set for October 19th.
Bloomberg has sources that say Alibaba will invest $200 million in Snapchat based on a valuation of $15 billion. Snapchat is supposedly seeking a round of $500 million of investment. CB Insights says the valuation ranks it right behind Uber at $40 billion and Xiaomi at $45 billion.
Meanwhile Reuters reports Alibaba is hiring in Seattle for positions related to cloud computing. Microsoft and Amazon, also in the Seattle area, also do cloud computing. Alibaba has already hired 10 software engineers or computing experts from either Microsoft or Amazon since July 2014. Alibaba launched its first cloud computing hub outside of China on March 4 in Silicon Valley.
Reuters reports US District Judges Edward Chen and Vince Chhabria in San Francisco federal court said in two rulings that the status of drivers for Uber and Lyft will need to be decided by juries. Both companies face class action lawsuits on behalf of drivers who want the benefits of being employees not independent contractors.
The BBC is working with Samsung, Microsoft, ARM and the people behind Raspberry Pi to give 1 million 11 year-olds in the UK a free computer reports CNET. The low cost machine, still in development, is called the Micro Bit, and is similar to the Raspberry Pi and Arduino. The unit fits inside the palm of a child’s hand and sports a simple array of LED lights as a display plus Bluetooth. It launches this September and will support Python, C++, and Touch Develop. The BBC will also launchshows about programming as well as a new drama based on the development of Grand Theft Auto along with a documentary on Bletchley Park.
Reuters reports Xiaomi will being local production of devices in India within 12 to 18 months. Xiaomi has sold more than a million phones in 5 months in India. Xiaomi is also looking to invest in start-ups and service centers and will open 100 stores in the country to help consumers “experience” the phones. So you’ll be able to walk into a store in India and by a Mi Phone? No. Xiaomi insist on continuing to use online flash sales and Flipkart.com to actually sell phones.
The Next Web reports a new UK Parliamentary report from the Intelligence and Security Committee revealing how the agencies gathered bulk personal data, and recommending Britain’s laws governing those agencies should be overhauled. Some members of the UK’s intelligence services have been fired for “inappropriately” accessing personal data. The report concludes that existing laws were not broken and bulk data collection did not amount to mass surveillance or threaten privacy.
If you’ve seen the video going around of a laughing Spanish man subtitled as if he’s telling the story of how the new MacBook was created, the Next Web would like you to know. Juan Joya, a Spanish actor and comedian known as El Risitas. If you don’t speak the language, the story he’s actually telling is about washing pots and pans in the ocean. It is the new “Hitler Reacts.”
Bad news in chip town. Reuters reports Intel cut its revenue forecast for Q1 from $13.7 billion to $12.8 billion +- $300 million, citing lower-than-expected demand for business PCs and lower inventory levels across the PC supply chain.

News From You

Ars Technica reports that Google now claims its Project Loon balloons can stay aloft for more than 6 months and deliver LTE service to an area the size of Rhode Island. The US State of Rhode Island is 3,140 km².
Submitted by metalfreak
Here are two stories of major companies taking a breather from competing. In a TechDirt article Cablevision vice chairman Gregg Seibert says “I don’t want to roll a truck to you every two years if you keep going back and forth to another provider … So we’re getting rid of that lower quality, lower profitability base of subscriber.” And in a CNET article, AT&T CFO John Stephens says “We won’t chase customers net additions for the sake of another account. We’re going to be smart about it.”
Submitted by philo1927

Discussion

Pick of the Day

I had wanted to keep this one to myself as it is so useful but it’s probably time to share…

I am a keen runner and will change running tracking app depending on features or, for example, whether my Garmin is charged! I also like to keep a backup of my runs on Dropbox. Have a look at the site – he supports all major providers – a massive selection and it keeps growing.

There is only one service which allows this – tapiriik.com. It is run by a chap called Colin Fair who offers great support. Best of all, it’s free for manual syncing. If you want automatic syncing, it costs a paltry $2 per year.

Oh, and it isn’t limited to running, but all sports. It will even sync activities marked private and keep them private.

I encourage listeners to try it and to pay for it!
Submitted by Andrew from libertine London

YouTube

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Preceded by:
"What the Puck Is Up With Sports Streaming!?"
Ephemeral Billions?
Followed by:
"South by So Wealthy"