Pandora Launches Stories

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Pandora Launches Stories
Number 761
Broadcast Date FEBRUARY 26, 2019
Episode Length 4:26
Hosts Rich Stroffolino

Pandora launches Stories to bring artist narration to playlists, Apple is testing sleep tracking for Apple Watch, and Orange announced a $20 phone with Google Assistant for developing markets.


Pandora announced Stories, a new marketing tool for artists on the service. Stories allows artists to build playlists combined with voice tracks to build narrative and insight around the selections. Stories is rolling out to Pandora’s Artist Marketing Platform, but artists will need to submit a form before getting access, with all Stories being reviewed by Pandora before publishing. Stories at launch include playlists from John Legend, Perry Farrell, and Lauren Alaina, with announced stories coming from 2 Chainz and Rob Thomas. Stories will be available to both free and paid Pandora users.
Intel CEO Bob Swan said Monday that the company's future in 5G networks go beyond selling modems to phone makers. Intel plans to sell modems to automakers as well for use in connected vehicles, and to manufacturers for use in connecting industrial equipment. Intel processors and its programmable chips it gained by acquiring Altera Inc in 2016 - are also slated to be added into a variety of networking gear, according to Swan, who spoke at a press conference in Palo Alto, CA, last week.
Qualcomm announced it will launch a chipset with integrated 5G modem capability in 2020. It could be the followup chip to the Snapdragon 855 though Qualcomm did not say. Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon described it as a fully integrated mobile station modem designed to make it easier for phone makers at multiple price ranges to adopt 5G.
HMD Global introduced a phone that IS NOT 5G, the Nokia 9 PureView. What it does have is a six-module camera with three 12-megapixel monochrome cameras, two 12-megapixel RGB cameras and a time-of-flight sensor for depth sensing. The PureView will be produced in a limited run and sell for €599.
Orange announced a $20 phone designed for developing markets called Sanza. The traditional candy bar device has a T9 keyboard and runs a fork of the defunct Firefox OS called Kai OS. It runs a selection of apps including Google Assistant, Google Maps, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Sanza runs on a UNISOC SoC and also offers a 5 day battery life, 3G, WiFi and Bluetooth. Orange plans to sell the device in 16 African and Middle-Eastern countries.
HTC added 20 new decentralized apps for its blockchain smartphone, the Exodus 1. This includes a Numbers app, that lets users exchange personal information for cryptocurrency, giving users control over what is shared, while providing transparency in how that data is used. HTC also partnered with Opera to allow for Ethereum micropayments on supporting websites, with support for Bitcoin and Litecoin coming in a few months. HTC will also now sell the Exodus 1 for fiat currency, available for $699 in March. Previously it could only be purchased with cryptocurrency.
Bloomberg's chief Apple Whisperer Mark Gurman reports that according to sources, Apple has been testing a sleep tracking feature on Apple Watch for the past several months. Testing remains in early stages, with plans to bring it to the device by 2020. This would be Apple's second product to support sleep tracking, the company sells a sleep tracking sensor it acquired with the Finnish company Beddit back in 2017. Currently the Health app on iOS supports sleep tracking based on alarms set by the Clock app, as well as third party integrations.
The upcoming news subscription service Scroll announced a partnership with Mozilla. Part of the deal would see Mozilla test Scroll product features and ideas with small randomized groups of Firefox users. Scroll will offer news website content from partners ad-free for a monthly fee.
Google updated the Google Home iOS app to list Apple Music as an integrated service for Home speakers, although the actual functionality is currently unavailable. Amazon Echo devices added Apple Music integration back in December.
Google and fellow Alphabet subsidiary Verily announced research on medical screening for diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema has found its first real world clinical use at Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai, India. The screening allows technicians to take images of eyes, then process them using Verily's screening algorithm to assess the images for these conditions. Technicians can then quickly recommend if a further referral to an eye care physician is needed. The hope is to bring the screening to more remote rural regions of India, with plans to also expand into Thailand. Verily also announced that the algorithms met the European Union Directive’s standards for medical devices.


Preceded by:
"Microsoft Unveils the HoloLens 2"
Pandora Launches Stories
Followed by:
"Robots that Climb Stairs and Deliver Packages"