Daily Tech Headlines – June 28, 2016

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Daily Tech Headlines – June 28, 2016
Number 14
Broadcast Date JUNE 28, 2016
Episode Length 8:58
Hosts Tom Merritt

Airbnb sues San Francisco, the French bring us gold speakers, and Amazon finally brings page flipping to ebooks.


On Monday, Airbnb filed a lawsuit against the city of San Franscisco in US District Court over a new registration regulation passed by the city's Board of Supervisors earlier this month. The regulation, which goes into effect next month, would require all listings to be registered with the city's Office of Short-Term Rentals, with fines of up to $1000 a day for non-compliance. In the suit, Airbnb claims this violates the Communications Decency Act, as the law currently holds an internet platform liable for user generated content. A hearing on whether to issue an injunction on the law is scheduled for August 1st.
An update to Amazon's Echo lets users add skills by voice command. Previously, users had to go into the Echo app to enable this functionality. Now, users simply have to say "[trigger word for Amazon Echo], enable AccuWeather" to add the skill to the Echo.
Amazon’s Kindle device and apps have a new feature called PageFlip that lets you can scan through a book without losing the page you were on. Tap a button in the corner of the screen and a thumbnail of the original page stays visible while you scroll through the book. You can look at individual pages or get a birds eye view of several at once with highlights and bookmarks visible.
The Cyberspace Administration of China tightened rules meaning mobile app developers must now require real-name registration. Dev must also keep user activity logs for 60 days, improve censorship, and punish users who spread misinformation.
Cisco systems announced its plans to acquire security company CloudLock for $293 million in cash and equity. CloudLock helps customers secure outsourced cloud apps like Salesforce and Google. Cisco has a small but growing security division. Cisco expects the deal to close in the first quarter of 2017.
Line set a price for its IPO in Tokyo calling the company at up to $6.57 billion. The range is 2,700 yen to 3,200 yen a share. With 40.25 million shares potentially to be offered, it could be the biggest tech IPO of the year. Line plans to list in New York on July 14 and in Tokyo the following day.
Helium is essential for cooling rockets, MRI scanners, the Large Hadron Collider and more, but supplies have been dwindling. Geologists from Durham and Oxford universities in the UK, along with a Norwegian exploration company, have found an estimated 54 billion cubic feet of Helium in Tanzanian East African Rift Valley. Enough to fill 1,2 million MRI scanners. The team has been using a technique to search for helium near high-heat volcanic activity.
Researchers at the University of Stuttgart in Germany have designed a camera small enough to fit into a syringe. The researchers 3D-printed a three-lens camera that is 0.12 millimeters including its case. The camera could be used for surveillance or to inspect internal organs. It can focus from a distance of 3 mm. The paper is published in Nature Photonics.
At TechCrunch Shanghai, Uber announced two new apps coming for the Chinese market, UberLIFE and Uber + Travel. UberLife will serve up digital magazines with local specific content. Uber + Travel aims to create a single app experience for international travel, including booking travel with companies partnered with Uber. The company also showed off new services UberBoat and UberBalloon (sadly UberDirigible is still a dream), both of which will roll out to local Chinese markets. No word on if or when any of these will expand beyond China.
French speaker company Devialet introduced 4500 Watt Gold Phantom speakers with gold-plated side panels and 108db sound capability. The speakers include two bass shells, one mid, and one tweeter and improved clarity over previous models. The Gold Phantom speakers ship bastille day, July 14 for $2990.
Microsoft Windows head Terry Myerson told the Verge the company will change the upgrade popup for Windows 10 with clear options to upgrade, schedule or decline. Closing the dialog box by clicking the x will no longer lead to an upgrade. The upgrade will stop being free on July 30th. A blog post from Microsoft indicated the Windows 10 Anniversary update is scheduled to arrive August 2nd though the post has been removed so that date may yet change.
Doppler Labs announced the launch of its Here earbuds which can tune out undesirable sounds like sirens or crying babies now can stream music and answer phone calls using Bluetooth. They also allow certain sounds in if you like so you can carry on a conversation while listening to music. A directional mic even lets you pinpoint the source of the noise you want to cancel. A setup process customizes the profile for each user. They last about 4-6 hours on a charge. Here One ships in November for $299 and are available for preorder now.
Google Earth Engine Program Manager Chris Herwig posted news of an update to Google Earth. New imagery from Landsat 8 launched in 2013, will show up with a new process to eliminate clouds and make images sharper. Details like baseball fields in New York’s central park no longer blend in the background. Herwig said the company mined data from a petabyte of Landsat imagery. The new images will appear in all Google mapping products including Google Maps.
Russia’s State Duma, the lower house of its parliament, approved an anti-terrorism law including new online surveillance provisions. Russian ISPs must store message content for 6 months and metadata for three years. MTS, Megafon and Vimplecom have all opposed the bill and Yandex said the legislation would cost more to implement than the companies would ever make. Publishing incitement to terrorism online now carry the same penalties imposed on media outlets with a maximum sentence of seven years in prison. Authorities also get the right to demand access to encrypted services. The legislation now goes to the Federation Council for approval before it goes to President Putin.
Facebook has a released two extensions for the Chrome Browser. Save to Facebook and Share. Save stores links on Facebook to read or view later and share opens up a post creation box.
Motorola announced the $199 Motorola G4 and $249 Moto G Plus go on sale from online retailers in the US on July 12.
Microsoft announced yesterday that they will shut down Xbox Fitness calling it unsustainable. The app is no longer available in the Xbox Store, but it will still work on existing installations until July 1, 2017.
The United States Patent and Trade Office granted Apple a patent to disable a smartphone camera via an infrared light signal or using that signal to add information to a photo, for instance in a museum.


Preceded by:
"Daily Tech Headlines – June 27, 2016"
Daily Tech Headlines – June 28, 2016
Followed by:
"Daily Tech Headlines – June 29, 2016"