July 23: 37 tabs

Bits and Bytes

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02  Amazon: Last night, every tech site published a review of the Amazon Fire Phone. They all said the same thing: It's terrible. This link points to The Verge's six minute video review, which is not only funny, but also gives you a good sense as to why the phone is a pile.

03  Amazon: They launched a digital wallet called "Amazon Wallet" that looks to be about as useless as Google Wallet.

04  Apple: "During today's (technically yesterday's) third quarter earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that Apple has purchased a total of 29 companies over the course of the last nine months, including five new companies after the end of the March quarter."

05  Apple: 20,000 current and former Apple employees are suing Apple for not letting them take a lunch break. Truth be told, if you ever stand between me and lunch, you'll likely become my lunch.

06  Apple: They posted their Q2 numbers yesterday. All but one of them were great: iPad sales declined for a second quarter in a row, reaching "only" 13.3 million units.

07  Broadcom: They were going to sell their cellular modem business to someone else, but that's no longer the case. Instead, they're going to shut it down and fire 20% of all the company's employees. That's 2,500 people.

08  Facebook: Advertisers will now be given tools to advertise on specific devices. This is great if you want to market your new iPad/iPhone game, but said game requires a newer model because it's so graphically intensive.

09  Google: The WSJ says Google wants to buy Spotify. Kara Swisher of Re/code says no, that's not true. Who should you believe? They're both considered best-in-class sources, but my gut says Swisher is right on the money.

10  Google: They bought a Finnish company called "drawElements". What they do is quite technical, so apologies for the 30,000 feet summary: They make sure the graphics processor in your phone can accurately draw what it's told to draw.

11  Google: They've updated the Play Store to match the new Android L design language. It's certainly a lot cleaner now.

12  Google/Uber: Google is going to stick free WiFi inside Uber cars operating in the Philadelphia area. Said WiFi will only last for the summer. So what happens in the fall? And will other Uber cars in other cities get this? No clue.

13  Journalism: One of the WSJ's servers was hacked. They took it down. The hacker who did it is known as "Worm".

14  LG: The "LG G3 Cat.6" is official. Yes, that's the actual product name. It's the LG G3 that's already out now, but using Qualcomm's Snapdragon 805 instead of the Snapdragon 801. Besides a better GPU, said Snapdragon also features a Category 6 LTE (225 megabits per second) modem, hence the name.

15  LinkedIn: They bought a company called "Bizo" for $175 million. What do they do? Business marketing. What's that? Couldn't tell you if my life depended on it.

16  Microsoft: Chinese media have received invitations for an event scheduled to take place on July 30th. Said invitation features the Cortana (think Apple Siri) logo.

17  Microsoft: During the company's Q2 financial call yesterday, Satya Nadella confirmed what we all kind of knew already: Microsoft is going to build one operating system that'll span multiple devices instead of building multiple operating systems for multiple form factors. This vision is supposed to come to fruition in calendar 2015, but I have my doubts, especially after the layoffs.

18  Microsoft/Nokia: Oh look, a new budget Windows Phone, the Lumia 530. The two numbers that matter: 4.0 inch screen, €100 price tag. Will this come to the USA? Doubt it. The Lumia 635 not only costs the same, but it also has 4G LTE.

19  Microsoft/Nokia: They posted their Q2 numbers yesterday. The most controversial one: 5.8 million Lumias. This TechCrunch article explains why that's not really the actual number. Spoiler: Microsoft didn't count Lumias sold during the first three weeks of the quarter.

20  Motorola: Give them $10 and they'll give you 10 stickers. You wear one sticker at a time, and it should last five days. What does said sticker do? Unlock your phone when you tap it. Welcome to our (horrifying) future.

21  Pornography: Remember when the UK mandated all ISPs turn on porn filters, thus forcing customers to opt out? Looks like everyone opted out. According to Ofcom, the British version of the FCC, "fewer than one in seven households installed the feature".

22  Sony: Reuters: "Sony said on Thursday (isn't today Wednesday?) it would invest $345 million to increase production of image sensors for smartphones and tablets, as the company courts handset makers to get more orders for front-facing camera sensors, used to take selfies."

23  Spotify: They've signed a deal with Viacom, the company that owns MTV. What's the deal for? An "editorial partnership". I believe corporate people call this "synergy".

24  Sunrise: This company makes a calendar app for Android and iOS. They've just raised $6 million.

25  Timehop: This company sends you an email every day with all the crap you posted on Facebook and Twitter several years ago on the same day. They've just raised $10 million. They have 10 employees.

The Real World

26  Argentina: Remember that depressed polar bear I wrote about and how an online petition was filed to relocate him to Canada? The zoo says he's depressed because his partner died two years ago, not because it's hot in Argentina.

27  China: "China has detained five people as part of its probe into a firm that allegedly supplied out of date meat to fast food chains, including McDonald's and KFC." Note that A) You shouldn't be eating fast food and B) Said expired meat was meant for the China market only.

28  China: 151 people have been quarantined after a 38 year old man died from the bubonic plague. Not a typo. The disease that nearly wiped out Europe is back.

29  China: There's a video going crazy viral in China right now that's essentially a mashup of popular YouTube videos, but with the faces in said videos swapped out with photos of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Here's a direct link to YouTube.

30  UK: "The black boxes from downed Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 have arrived in the UK for analysis by air accident investigators, it has been confirmed."

31  UK: Bats navigate by making annoyingly noises and then listening to the echo. That's what we were all taught in school, right? Turns out bats can actually see polarized light, which only occurs as the sun sets.

32  UK: Despite the shit storm in Ukraine, the UK is still selling weapons to Russia, and that has politicians pissed.

33  Ukraine: "The first planes carrying victims' bodies from crashed flight MH17 have left Ukraine for the Netherlands, where experts will begin identifying them." Of the 298 lives lost, 200 bodies have been recovered thus far.

34  USA: Pranksters removed the American flags from the Brooklyn Bridge last night and replaced them with white flags. No one knows why they did it, nor who did it.

35  USA: Remember that guy in Arizona who had his execution delayed because he wanted to know which drugs were going to be used to kill him? The U.S. Supreme Court just told Arizona to proceed with the execution as planned.

36  World: The UN's International Seabed Authority (ISA) has issued seven new deep sea mining exploration licenses. Why is this news? Because deep sea mining was considered impossible just a few decades ago. Now, however, 1.2 million square kilometers of sea bed is open for digging. That's almost twice the size of Texas.

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