Bits and Bytes
02 Podcast: James Whatley and I sat down yesterday for 37 minutes to talk about the latest developments in mobile. Too many topics to list here, but trust me, we covered damn near everything that's happened in the past seven days.
03 Airware: This company just raised $25 million. They want to do to drones what Windows did to computers and Android did to phones. Expect to hear a lot about them in the future.
04 Apple: VentureBeat is reporting that Apple is working with several watch makers, including Swatch, to "release a line of smartwatches in [a] variety of branded styles and price points". Interesting business model. Make first-party watches, but also let a handful of partners make their own products that incorporate your technology.
05 Apple: Swatch says VentureBeat is talking out of their ass.
06 Apple: 9to5Mac is saying that we'll see OS X Yosemite come out in October, right alongside a new 12 inch MacBook with a retina display and a potential 4K desktop computer.
07 Apple: In a surprise to no one, Mark Gurman says the iPhone 6 will be unveiled in September.
08 Apple: The Information (paywall) says Apple will launch a mobile payments service this year. There are no details, other than Apple is working with Visa.
09 Drones: The latest development in drone technology is to turn off the shelf smartphones into the guts of a drone. You essentially buy a "dumb" drone and then strap a smartphone into it so it can do all the necessary math and use the required sensors. Note that this is a two minute video, not an article.
10 Europe: The European Central Bank's website was hacked. They say "personal information" was stolen, and by that they mean 20,000 email addresses. Note that this is the bank that loans money to countries, not people, hence why it's making headlines.
11 Facebook: Their Q2 numbers are out: Revenues from advertising hit $2.68 billion. Ads served on mobile devices made up 62% of that. 1.32 billion people check their Facebook account at least once a month, with 399 million of those using just their phone.
12 Foursquare: Remember Foursuare? It's been redesigned. Whoopie.
13 Google: The WSJ: "The head of YouTube's effort to launch a music subscription service is leaving." In other news, Google already offers a music subscription service in multiple countries called Google Play Music All Access.
14 Google: They're in trouble with Europe, again, because when Google removes a link from their search results, they only do it in the European versions of their search engine. Translation: If you search for something on Google.fr or Google.es, you'll have links removed. If you search for something on Google.com, which routes through the U.S., you'll get unedited results.
15 Google: They've completely redone the "near you" feature in Google Maps on Android. You can now explore what's going on around you in a, dare I say it, Foursquare-like user interface.
16 Journalism: Reddit has launched a new live-blogging platform called "Reddit Live". It actually looks quite good. Only reason I bring this up is because ScribbleLive acquired CoveritLive earlier this month, causing consolidation in the live-blogging platform space.
17 Journalism: The BBC's Academy of Journalism wrote up a blog post explaining how they covered India's election this year using WhatsApp and WeChat. One sentence summary: People live in chat apps, so that's where we sent them the news.
18 LG: Their Q2 numbers are out. The one number that matters: 14.5 million. That's how many smartphones they sold. Also, LG's phone unit is back in the black after losing money for about a year.
19 Microsoft: The most uncomfortable two minutes of your day will be spent watching this Microsoft Surface 3 music video. I mean that in the best way possible.
20 Qualcomm: Their relationship with China isn't exactly healthy. A state-run newspaper just reported that Qualcomm has a monopoly in the country. More importantly, however, Chinese OEMs are lying about the number of devices they sell. How is that relevant? Qualcomm makes money by charging royalties. The more units you sell, the smaller your royalty rate. So if you lie about how many phones you sell, you end up saving money.
21 Samsung: Samsung's next "flagship" phone, the Galaxy Alpha, has leaked. Picture the Galaxy S5 in your head, but with the chamfered edges of the iPhone 5. Now I say "flagship" because apparently the Alpha won't have top of the line specs. It'll also have a 4.7 inch screen, like the rumored iPhone 6. When will we know more about the Alpha? This year. Can't be more specific than that. Sorry.
22 Starbucks: If you're in a Starbucks lucky enough to have Google Wi-Fi, your average download speed is 24.9 Mbps. If you're unfortunate enough to be in one stuck with AT&T, enjoy your 1.3 Mbps connection.
23 Television: In this Quartz article on how Americans consume television (live/streaming/DVR), there's an incredibly depressing sentence: "Weekly TV viewing has increased 2% over the last three years, from 35 hours and 36 minutes to 37 hours and 50 minutes." That's a lot of time in front of the idiot box.
24 Uber: Hamburg, Germany has become the latest city to ban Uber.
25 ZTE: They've cloned the Nike FuelBand. Full stop.
The Real World
26 Algeria: The country's national airline, Air Algerie, lost contact with one of their planes. Said plane was carrying 116 people. This is a breaking story, so details are sparse at the moment.
27 India: A normal human has 32 teeth. Ashik Gavai, age 17, just had 232 teeth removed from his mouth. What in the world happened? Something called "complex composite odontoma", which can best be described as a tumor. You'll want to see the photos in this article.
28 Poland: "Poland broke the European human rights convention in helping the CIA to render two terror suspects, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled. The judges said Poland had co-operated with the secret illegal transfers in 2002-2003, allowing two suspects to be interrogated on its territory."
29 Spain: For the first time in two years, Spanish unemployment is now below 25%.
30 Sudan: Remember that woman who was sentenced to death for switching from Islam to Christianity? That story finally has a happy ending. She and her newborn are now in Italy.
31 Taiwan: A passenger plane carrying 58 people crashed due to terrible weather. The confirmed death toll is 48.
32 UK: Scientists say the timing of a woman's first period is controlled by "more than 100 regions of the genome". Sample Size: 180,000. Why are scientists even looking into this? Once menstruation begins, health complications also begin, so they're trying to understand how the period affects the rest of the body.
33 UK: The Lancet says paracetamol (you probably know it better as Tylenol) is no better than a sugar pill for treating back pain.
34 USA: "A Chinese man has pleaded guilty to attempting to smuggle sensors made for the U.S. military to China. Bo Cai, who works for a Chinese technology firm, was arrested last year as he tried to board a flight home with a sensor hidden in a computer." What sensor are we talking about here? The exact name wasn't specified, but the article says it could be used for "line-of-sight stabilization and precision motion control systems".
35 USA: "General Motors (GM) is recalling an additional 717,949 vehicles due to a range of issues, including loose bolts and potentially incomplete welding on some seat hooks. The carmaker has recalled nearly 29 million vehicles this year, most due to faulty ignition switches."
36 USA: "The International Monetary Fund has lowered its forecast for U.S. economic growth for the second time this year. It also called for measures to help the poorest, suggesting a boost to the minimum wage and an expansion of tax credits." The new figure is 1.7%, which, correct me if I'm wrong, doesn't even match inflation.
37 USA: Remember that guy in Arizona who asked for his execution to be delayed because he wanted to know what was in the drugs designed to kill him? The U.S. Supreme Court told Arizona to continue with the execution as planned. They did. And sadly, they messed up. Royally. What should have taken 10 minutes took two hours.
38 USA: Scientists in California have discovered that dogs get jealous. Every dog owner already knows this, but how did these researchers come to their conclusion? They gave dog owners a stuffed dog to play with and observed how their canine companions freaked out.
39 USA: There's a growing problem in America: Artificial Big Butts. Women are paying for operations where dubiously qualified "doctors" inject cement, superglue, and/or tire sealant into their butts in order to get the Shakira look. As you can imagine, lives are being lost because of this.