Daily Tech Headlines – August 8, 2016

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Daily Tech Headlines – August 8, 2016
Number 43
Broadcast Date AUGUST 8, 2016
Episode Length 6:05
Hosts Tom Merritt

Wal-Mart takes on Amazon buying Jet.com and Apple is rumored to get rid of the home button as well as the headphone jack on new iPhones.


Wal-Mart announced it will acquire online-shopping site Jet.com for $3 billion in cash and up to $300 million in shares. Jet.com will continue as a separate brand. President and CEO of Wal-Mart Doug McMillon said, "Walmart.com will grow faster, the seamless shopping experience we’re pursuing will happen quicker," because of the integration of Jet. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who has a good track record for predicting Apple moves, says his sources say the next iPhone will feature a pressure-sensitive home button with haptic feedback to replace the current physical button. It will also lack a headphone jack. The larger iPhone will come with a dual-camera system.
KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, another predictor of Apple moves with a decent record, says Apple will release two new versions of the Apple Watch by the end of the year. One model will be a minor update to the existing Watch with an improved processor and better waterproofing. The Apple Watch 2 however will feature GPS, a barometer and a higher capacity battery.
At Defcon, Security firm Checkpoint presented four major security flaws in Qualcomm chips drivers affecting a wide variety of Android phones. The vulnerabilities would allow privilege escalation and root access. Attackers would need to trick users into installing a malicious app to take advantage of the flaws. Three of the four flaws have been patched with a fourth fix on the way in September. Nexus users have received the existing patches but other users should check with their carrier or manufacturer.
Carnegie Mellon University’s ForAllSecure team has claimed the $2 million 2016 DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge. The challenge pitted 7 autonomous systems against each other in a capture the flag contest. The systems protected servers that were constantly being fed code with bugs and security flaws. ForAllSecure's Mayhem system survived the 8 hour contest and has become the first non-human invited into DefCon's Capture the Flag contest.
Hulu said it will phase out the free version of its service over the next few weeks. At the same time it has launched a partnership with Yahoo View a new service from Yahoo that will stream free episodes of TV shows provided by Hulu. Yahoo View will get the five most recent episodes from ABC, NBC and Fox shows, 8 days after they air. Yahoo will also get some other network shows, full seasons of anime and some Korean dramas.
Facebook is testing an affordable WiFi service called Express Wi-Fi in rural India that would let users buy data packages from local ISPs. Facebook has put up 125 hotspots as part of the pilot. A Facebook spokesperson told Tech In Asia the company is working with partners to prove the economic model and scale the project.
Amazon's Japan offices were raided by by Japan's Fair Trade Commission early Monday morning, according to a report by Nikkei. Police are investigating allegations that Amazon was forcing retailers to favor its site over competitors, as well as forcing vendors to list goods at lower prices on their site, both of which run afoul of the country's anti-monopology act. Amazon Japan declined to comment.
Reuters passes on a report from Nikkei that Nissan is talking with Panasonic and unnamed Chinese firms to purchase its car battery manufacturing business. It would reportedly be cheaper for Nissan to buy batteries for its Leaf electric cars than to continue manufacturing them in house. Nissan and Renault SA made early bets on mainstream electric vehicles with the Leaf with a 4 billion euro investment in 2009, but the disappointing sales of the vehicle have left their 500,000/yr battery production capacity largely unused. A Nissan spokesperson replied that the report "is speculation, and is not based on any announcement by us", Panasonic has not made a comment.
Michael Ostheimer, a deputy in the Federal Trade Commission's Ad Practices Division, said the agency will start cracking down on undisclosed sponsored content broadcast on social media. The responsibility and liability will be on advertisers to comply. For video ads, the FTC states that sponsored content must be disclosed audibly, as well as on-screen. Hashtags of #ad can meet this criteria if it is at the beginning of the post. Sarah Frier and Matthew Townsend at Bloomberg found that the ad agency Captiv8 reported upwards of $225 million spent on Instagram sponsored content per month, with #ad usage up 250% for the month of July year over year.
At the Kenya Primary Schools Head Teachers Association Conference, Nairobi-based Daystar University announced a partnership with OneUni to launch degree programs that can be largely completed on a smartphone, a first for an African University. The first degree offered will be a Bachelors of Education. The app will feature all needed course materials, including interactive exercises, and will allow students to interact with faculty. After the completion of coursework, students will take final examinations at physical testing centers.
Venture Capital platform AngelList hopes to expand into India. The effort will be headed by investor Utsav Somani, and will launch the companies Syndicates program to India, allowing investors to team up and pool funds into a single project. AngelList also plans to brings its hiring service for Startups to India as well. The company hopes to launch within 12-months, and is currently working with India's Security and Exchange Board on approval. AngelList currently has Syndicate programs running in the US, Australia and throughout Europe.


Preceded by:
"Daily Tech Headlines – August 5, 2016"
Daily Tech Headlines – August 8, 2016
Followed by:
"Daily Tech Headlines – August 9, 2016"