Bits and Bytes
02 Podcast: The latest episode of The Voicemail, which James Whatley and I record every week, is live. We covered the iPhone 6 leak, the LG G3 leak, the Galaxy S5's fingerprint scanner, and answered several listener questions.
03 Apple: Bloomberg says Apple will partner with Shazam in order to add song identification to iOS 8. It should be noted that the ability to identify the song you're listening to is already baked into Android and Windows Phone.
04 Apple: They launched the 8 GB iPhone 5c in 16 new European countries.
05 Apps: Frontback, an app that combines a photo from both your rear and front facing cameras in one image, is finally available on Android. Sadly, the insane hype it generated when it came out for iOS over half a year ago has all but disappeared. Note that less than 10,000 people have installed it.
06 AT&T: The FCC wants to auction off some spectrum next year, but they don't want the big wireless operators to buy it all up. This has AT&T so pissed off that they're threatening to not participate in the auction at all. The exact rules of the auction aren't set in stone, however, and they're expected to be finalized on May 15th.
07 Google: Accessing your computer with VNC or Microsoft Remote Desktop isn't new, but Google is now offering a free first party solution called "Chrome Remote Desktop". Just install a Chrome extension on your Mac or PC, install an app on your Android device, and you're done.
08 Google: iFixit has torn apart Project Tango, Google's prototype smartphone that doubles as a pocket 3D scanner. They found a chip in the device from PrimeSense, a company that Apple purchased last year.
09 Google: Images have leaked of a completely redesigned Google+ app for Android. The design matches the recently leaked Gmail and Calendar apps. Expect design to be a major focus of Google I/O, which kicks off on June 25th.
10 Google: The Calendar app in Android now uses the Google Maps backend to let you enter the locations of your meetings using plain English. Example: Whole Foods on Ocean Avenue.
11 Google: The Head of Europe's largest newspaper publisher, Mathias Döpfner, says Google's business model is a "protection racket" and that their motto should be "if you don't want us to finish you off, you better pay."
12 Google: The technology they've developed to read the numbers on buildings that are photographed with a Google Street View car can apparently decode CAPTCHAs with an accuracy rate of 99%. So why are websites still using CAPTCHAs then?
13 Google: Their Q1 2014 financial results are out. Here are the two numbers people are focusing on: "Google's recorded cost-per-click average rate fell 9%. Total paid clicks rose 26% year-over-year."
14 Google: They've ripped the camera app out of Android and are now providing it as a download via the Play Store to any device running Android 4.4 KitKat or higher. Best feature? It won't allow you to record videos in portrait mode.
15 Google: Think Google I/O is an event just for developers? The company has announced a series of "sessions and workshops focused on design and designers." Make sure to watch the Jony Ive inspired videos.
16 Heartbleed: Stephen Arthuro Solis-Reyes, 19 years old, has officially become the first person to be arrested for maliciously using the Heartbleed bug. He's accused of hacking into Canada's version of the IRS and stealing over 900 social security numbers.
17 IBM: "IBM reported its lowest quarterly revenue in five years on Wednesday as the company struggles with falling demand for its storage and server products."
18 Japan: For reasons I don't understand, a Japanese researcher has invented a pair of glasses with two screens that face outward instead of inward. Said glasses "could be used to simulate emotional reactions", but why?
19 LG: The Verge has obtained a photo of the retail box that LG's next flagship phone, the LG G3, will ship in. LG also confirmed to The Verge that "its next phone will feature a 2560 x 1440 screen resolution."
20 LG: They're going to start making their own chips "soon", possibly this quarter. And by "make", I mean design. TSMC will be responsible for the actual manufacturing. Going vertical is what all the cool kids seem to be doing these days.
21 Microsoft: They're slashing the price of Windows XP support so that they don't appear to be too greedy. One example given was an unnamed client with 10,000 computers running XP. Microsoft originally wanted $2 million to continue support, but they dropped that down to $250,000.
22 Microsoft: They've changed the Bing homepage. It now has what can best be described as a ticker showing "cards" similar to those Google uses in Google Now.
23 Nokia: They have a factory in India that's delaying the Microsoft acquisition, leading local media to predict that the plant will stay with Nokia and not be transferred to Microsoft. What's the issue here? Nokia and the Indian government are embroiled in a tax dispute.
24 Samsung: Amazon will make a custom Kindle app for Samsung phones. Owners of the Galaxy S5 will be able to download 12 Kindle books a year for free. No, you can't have any book, Amazon will give you a choice of four books every month.
25 Samsung: Phones 4u, a fairly large independent UK mobile phone retailer, has published a press release saying that sales of the Galaxy S5 on launch day were double that of Galaxy S4 sales on its respective launch day.
26 Samsung: They've confirmed to The Verge that they're going to make an Android Wear powered smartwatch and launch it this year. Note that all of Samsung's smartwatches thus far only work with Samsung phones. Will an Android Wear powered Samsung watch work with any Android device?
27 Sony: PlayStation 4 sales have officially hit seven million units.
28 Spotify: Without peer-to-peer technology, Spotify couldn't have launched back in 2008 with their limited resources. But now that they're all grown-up, they've announced that they're going to switch from P2P to dedicated servers by the end of this year.
29 Tencent: China's biggest internet company is partnering with King to bring Candy Crush to China this summer. No financial details were mentioned. Tencent will promote the app on WeChat, which has 355 million monthly users.
30 Time Warner Cable: This American television and internet service provider has rolled out Hotspot 2.0 technology across their 33,000 WiFi access points. Translation: Connect to TWC's WiFi network once, and you'll never have to fiddle with settings or a login screen again. Expect to hear more ISPs talking about Hotspot 2.0 in the future.
31 Twitter: The UK television company Sky is allowing their subscribers to "start watching or remotely record a TV show" simply by clicking a tweet. This capability is apparently already live in the United States with Comcast, but it's the first I've heard of it.
32 Yahoo!: Re/code says Marissa Mayer is in the process of building a mobile search engine, and that her end goal is to convince Apple to set that search engine as the default in Safari on the iPhone and iPad.
The Real World
33 Argentina: Police have recused a 15 year old girl that's been kept locked in a garage for nine years and fed only bread and water. No word as to what will happen to her foster parents, but I'm personally hoping for the worst.
34 Europe: The first images from Europe's new Copernicus space program have just been published. The Sentinel-1a satellite that captured said images was launched on April 3rd.
35 France: Earlier this week, I wrote about whiskey makers losing money because of China's new government policies on excessive gift giving. Now it's cognac's turn. Remy Cointreau just issued a warning, saying full year profits will plunge by a third, and they specifically called out China.
36 Malaysia: The Bluefin-21 submersible that's searching for the MH370 flight recorders has now had its first successful mission. The first two missions ran into issues, but with this third one, everything went to plan. Sadly, nothing has been found.
37 South Korea: The Atlantic has published 23 photos of the ferry disaster. These pictures are not easy on the eyes.
38 South Korea: The latest numbers from the ferry sinking: Nine people have died. Dozens have been injured. 170 have been rescued. 287 are still missing. What's terrifying is that over 325 of the passengers on that ferry were students from the same High School.
39 Space: Scientists say they may have witnessed the birth of Saturn's 63rd moon. They're naming it Peggy.
40 UK: More than 10 cars have had their tires punctured in a six month period in one town. Crazy kids, right? Security footage shows it was actually a dog that really hates cars.
41 UK: When you order lamb at a restaurant, there's a 30% chance it's actually not lamb. That's what the Foods Standards Agency found after testing 145 samples. They say they'll test 300 samples next month.
42 Ukraine: "Pro-Russian militants in eastern Ukraine have seized six Ukrainian armored vehicles, the defense ministry in Kiev says." Let's not bullshit each other, these are Russian soldiers, not armed countryside folks who like Putin.
43 USA: Playboy is going to republish the very first issue of their magazine (December 1953) and sell it for $10.