Amazon is fighting the government over claims that it let kids buy digital goods without their parents’ permission — even though Apple settled over similar accusations. The court case will be a test of strength for the FTC. Read more »
Syapse, a startup trying to build something akin to Google’s Knowledge Graph for medical data, has raised a $10 million series B round of venture capital from Safeguard Scientific and existing investor Social+Capital Partnership. We covered Syapse when it launched in January 2013, promising to help doctors make sense of the myriad data sources and data points associated with medical tests, from how a sample was extracted to the method used for analyzing it.
Prism Skylabs, a video analytics startup targeting retailers, is hoping that new WiFi-randomization features in iOS 8 helping to cull the competitive market and improve consumer privacy. Its a hope many consumers probably share, but it could also be wishful thinking. Read more »
Dish Network has signaled to the FCC that it wants to go after even more spectrum. It will participate in two upcoming auctions to get more airwaves, including the controversial incentive auction. Read more »
Misfit’s newest wearable computing partner is sleep-focused. It’s a skinny strip of sensors meant to permanently rest on a bed. Read more »
Bop.fm is getting a cash infusion to build out its service, which aims to bridge the divide between competing music subscription services. Read more »
Good riddance. A parking app that promised to make its owners money, while making everyone else miserable, has heeded a cease-and-desist letter. Read more »
A new update to Google’s camera app allows users to trigger the camera on their phone on a Google Wear smartwatch. Read more »
AWS takes on Google Drive, Box, Dropbox with Zocalo document sharing and collaboration service. Read more »
Turns out I’m not the only hater in town when it comes to the “solar freakin’ roadways” project. Since I wrote that “we don’t need solar roadways, we need to unleash current solar panels,” back in May the solar roadway’s Indiegogo project raised $2.2 million, over double their goal of $1 million. But Scientific American just published a well researched take down of the hard road ahead that such a technology would face — the article looks into the technical and cost hurdles. Check it out here if you’ve been following this project.
Spying on the German public? Not a problem. Spying on Chancellor Merkel? Kind of a problem. Turning a German intelligence employee and German army officer? It seems the German government has had enough. Read more »
Microsoft’s CEO weighs in six months into his new gig with a call to action that is, frankly, not new. Read more »
Taiwanese semiconductor giant is shipping chips to Apple for inclusion in the upcoming iPhone, according to the Wall Street Journal. Previously, Samsung was the Apple’s sole iOS semiconductor partner. Read more »
FreedomPop’s free mobile voice and data plans have taken off in the U.S. so the MVNO is trying its luck in Europe. It will launch in Belgium this year and expand to other countries in 2015 Read more »
A video hosted by the New York Times makes a powerful argument for net neutrality, and also shows how traditional media outlets are re-imagining the definition of an “op-ed.” Read more »
A handful of technology companies big and small have vowed to support and contribute to Kubernetes, Google’s open source technology for managing Docker containers. That’s a big boon for portability in cloud computing, and a good way for Google to show off its infrastructure edge. Read more »
New Relic is launching Insights real-time analytics tool in a bid to bring smart data analytics to mere mortals. Read more »
SoundCloud was one of the last big music services missing from Sonos, but now it’s been added in beta to the Sonos app. Read more »
Taking risks is inherent to disrupting a market. No risk is bigger than overhauling the foundational search technology your product relied on to become the leading cloud-based log management service. We thought long and hard about before replacing Solr with Elasticsearch — then we disrupted ourselves. Read more »
The on-premise software security company goes after zero-day attacks and polymorphic viruses, malware that the company claims is difficult for traditional anti-virus offerings to remedy. Read more »
The Data Retention and Investigation Powers (DRIP) Act will reinstate powers taken away from the government in a ruling by Europe’s top court. However, it would also expand those powers in terms of territory and scope — despite what the government is saying. Read more »
Ads from the U.K. government, charities and multinational corporations have been running ahead of jihadi recruitment videos on sites like YouTube and Dailymotion, a BBC investigation has revealed. That may mean the likes of the National Citizen Service (NCS) and Oxfam have been unwittingly putting money into the pockets of Islamist extremists, as uploaders get a cut of the ads shown before their videos. Following the investigation, NCS, Oxfam and the BBC itself – in a similar position – have complained and/or had their ads removed from the offending videos. YouTube said it removes violent extremist videos when users flag them up.
Docker-in-Chief Solomon Hykes reflects on dot.cloud’s transformation from open-source tool developer to a PaaS to the force behind Docker containers. Read more »
The web giant’s investment arm is setting up a London office. Details are pretty sketchy when it comes to the type of investments it will make, and it certainly isn’t the biggest pot in town, but Google says European startups have “enormous potential”. Read more »
Aereo isn’t ready to give up, and just revealed its plan B in a court filing: The company wants to get access to broadcast networks through compulsory licenses, arguing that now that the Supreme Court found it to be like a cable system, it wants to be treated as such (hat tip to the Hollywood Reporter.) That’s a stark contrast from Aereo’s previous stance, but it’s also a maneuver unlikely to succeed, as my colleague Jeff John Roberts recently explained.
Two news stories from Wednesday — one about a startup trying to play data broker between user and website and another about a study into what people would charge for their personal data — offer more evidence that there’s an appetite for a market where consumers sell their data to advertisers and website. The idea isn’t new (we wrote about its traction back in 2012) and actually has merit because it puts money in consumers’ pockets and higher-quality data in advertisers’ databases. But monetizing the idea might be easier said than done: Enliken, one of the startups we covered in that 2012 piece, appears to have closed its doors.
The Nieman Journalism Lab published a thoughtful critique of data journalism on Wednesday, but there are additional things the emerging space could do live up to its hype, including getting more creative about where writers source their data. Read more »
About the Android screen fragmentation issue that’s been bandied around for years: It’s a myth says one developer because Google has long ago introduced tools to let apps adjust icons and layouts based on screen size and pixel density. Read more »
The new wrist-worn fitness tracker from Adidas eschews typical smartwatch features, like a screen, for a fitness-focused experience. Read more »
Ten months after announcing acquisition, PayPal has merged it and Braintree’s payments platform and developer operations. Startups and big companies alike now can offer PayPal services and Braintree’s card processing through as single API. Read more »
The Obama Administration has backed away from an unpopular plan to name a Johnson & Johnson executive and patent reform opponent as head of the US Patent Office. Read more »
You may think the U.S. fell short on telecom competition, but in Mexico a single company has long dominated the communications landscape: América Móvil. It services 70 percent of all mobile connections and 80 percent of all landline phone links in the country. But billionaire Carlos Slim, the carrier’s controlling owner, is bowing to regulator pressure and is divesting substantial portions of Slim’s empire, according to Bloomberg. The sales and spin offs will reduce América Móvil’s market share in mobile and wireline to below 50 percent, as well as remove it from the communications tower and satellite TV businesses. It doesn’t look as if América Móvil’s substantial operations in Latin America or the U.S. (where it owns prepaid giant TracFone) will be affected.
Dell launched two new Android tablets Wednesday, built around Intel’s new 64-bit Merrifield SoCs and dual-core Atom processor. Although the current version of Android is 32-bit, these tablets should be able to take advantage when Android L, with 64-bit support, is released to the public. The 7-inch Venue model, with a 1280 x 800 resolution screen, costs $150. The Venue 8,which sports a full 1920 x 1200 display, can be had for as little as $180. At those prices, you’re getting a pretty good value — just don’t confuse them with Dell’s impressive Venue 8 Pro, which runs Windows.
Verizon has scored the exclusive LTE model of Sony’s Xperia Z2 tablet in the U.S. You can get special promotional pricing for this dust-resistant, waterproof full HD tablet, provided you agree to a new two-year contract with Verizon. Read more »
Hints of Android devices streaming their screens to a Chromecast appeared months ago and now the feature is live. Officially announced at Google I/O, certain Android devices can now mirror their display to a large screen using a Chromecast. The feature is technically a beta and Google says support for additional devices is coming soon. To use the feature, Android users will need the updated Chromecast version 1.7 app found in the Google Play Store. With the right device and updated app, anything you see on your Android’s small screen can now be shared on a larger screen.
The good news is that Microsoft has a slick-looking video editor for Windows Phone. The bad news is that unless you have Windows Phone 8.1, you can’t use the app yet. Read more »
Expect Labs has released a new API service for automating voice search across various types of digital content. The big opportunity seems to be in movies and TV shows, where intelligent voice search theoretically results in better results and fewer lifted fingers. Read more »
Sprint’s newest hotspot might be its most ambitious: combining a pico projector, Android device and wireless hotspot, it certainly has more features than a run-of-the-mill hotspot. Read more »
A new Acer Chromebook listing shows that the Bay Trail Chromebooks are coming. You’ll likely pay less for these new models and get better battery life as long as you’re willing to sacrifice a little performance. Read more »
Apple ratted out Google to the FTC over policies that let kids make app purchases without entering a password. Read more »