A Battery of Questions

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A Battery of Questions
Number 2319
Broadcast Date SEPTEMBER 10, 2014
Episode Length 40:29
Hosts Patrick Beja, Jon Strickland

Patrick Beja and Jonathan Strickland fill in for Tom on vacation, ask lingering Apple questions, and mull Microsoft Mojang rumors. Also today is an audio only show.


One of the unanswered questions from yesterday’s Apple bonanza is “how long will the Apple Watch’s battery last?” According to John Paczkowski’s sources, it’s about a day. The writer for Code/Red cites Apple spokeswoman Nat Kerris, who doesn’t go so far as to say the watch’s battery will only last a day. Rather, she says that Apple expects watch owners to charge their devices every night when they go to bed.
PC Mag has gathered up reports from sources including the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times that say Microsoft is interested in acquiring a little game company called Mojang. The company behind the mega blockbuster Minecraft is reportedly being courted to the tune of $2 billion. This comes as a surprise to many Minecraft fans as the game’s creator, best known by his handle Notch, has resisted outside investment for the most part.
Music streaming service Deezer is getting ready to follow in Spotify’s footsteps. The music service is virtually unknown in the US but traces its history back to 2006 in France. What sets it apart from other services? It streams in the lossless FLAC format at a higher quality than competitors like Rdio and Spotify. The US service is exclusive to Sonos sound systems and will launch at a promotional cost of $14.99 per month after a 30-day free trial, eventually rising to $19.99.
Is your gmail password safe? Engadget reports that around five million gmail account passwords have been posted to a Russian Bitcoin forum. Google says that the passwords were all obtained through phishing and other user-targeting tactics. The company claims that its own servers haven’t been breached.
Twitter, Netflix, Reddit, Vimeo and dozens of other Internet companies are holding a symbolic “slowdown” today in protest of US Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler’s net neutrality proposal, which would allow broadband providers to charge companies like Netflix for prioritized, fast-lane access to consumers. In case you were wondering there’s no actual slowing down of the internet today — site will feature a spinning wheel icon as well as a link to comment on the proposal at the FCC’s website.
James Temple at Re/Code reports that yesterday’s tech news wasn’t all about Apple. At the Intel developer forum, the company announced that a team of Intel designers had created a platform that can transform a standard electric wheelchair into a “data driven, connected” machine. The project received an endorsement from famed physicist Stephen Hawking. The platform incorporates sensors that monitor the wheelchair owner’s health, the status of the chair itself and even give reports on the wheelchair accessibility of places you plan to visit.
According to The Verge, an internal Microsoft document reveals the company is discontinuing the brand names Nokia and Windows Phone. But that doesn’t mean it’s out of the mobile space. In the future, the OS on phones will just be called Windows. So you can have a Windows phone, but not a Windows Phone phone. That should help clear up confusion. This aligns with Microsoft’s strategy to have a universal experience across PCs, the Xbox and smartphones. No word yet if the next Xbox console will be renamed Windows Box.

News From You

CNET reports about US FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who spoke to the CTIA Wireless Association in Las Vegas yesterday, telling the group he used to lobby for that he had a new client now, “the American people” and that the industry had be better competitive if they wanted to keep regulation light. Wheeler also expressed doubts that wireless and wireline broadband networks should be treated differently when it comes to keeping the internet open.
Submitted by habichuelacondulce
Tom Wheeler wasn’t the only US government official talking about net neutrality yesterday. The Verge reports about Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader who represents San Francisco, who is asking the Federal Communications Commission to reclassify broadband as a utility using Title II of the Communications Act — exactly what net neutrality advocates have been pushing for. In a letter to FCC chair Tom Wheeler, Pelosi writes that Title II is “an appropriate tool to refine modern rules,” and that it can do so without the FCC overburdening broadband providers.
Submitted by motang
The original iPod classic has been removed from the online Apple Store after almost thirteen years. The Classic, which launched in October 2001, featured the then-revolutionary Click Wheel, held 5 WHOLE gigabytes of music, and of course, it didn’t work with Windows. (Significance)
Submitted by KAPT_Kipper


Pick of the Day

Submitted by Patrick


Preceded by:
"I’d Taptic That"
A Battery of Questions
Followed by:
"Spooning With Google"