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TITLE: House of Wild Cards

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Intel gets into TV, Opera feeds monoculture, House of Cards a hit! http://live.twit.tv/

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Today's date

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This is 'Tech News Today' for Friday June 21 2013

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Tech News Today is brought to you by

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Welcome to Tech News Today, I'm Tom Merritt --- I'm Sarah Lane --- I'm Iyaz Akhtar -- I'm Jason Howell

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We'll keep you up to date on the most important stories in the tech world, and put them in context for you.

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We start with the top 10 stories of the day in the News Fuse

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http://bridgeurl.com/tnt690/all

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News Fuse - Top 10VIDEO

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tmApple prices are usually considered expensive, so when they drop the prices people get very excited. And that's what's happening today. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina drops $200 to $1,499. The 256GB version sheds $300 to $1,699. Also the 256 GB MacBook Air dropped $100 to $1399. The 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pros with Retina display also got slight processor speed increases.http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57569135-37/apple-cuts-macbook-pro-retina-prices-bumps-specs/

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slOpera has hit the 300 million monthly user milestone and wants to change things up a bit. Presto, the current Opera rendering engine, is going away in favor of WebKit, and the company will devote its resources toward "innovation and polish" on its browser products. Opera will be showing off Ice, its WebKit-based experiment for iOS and Android devices, at Mobile World Congress later this month.http://www.engadget.com/2013/02/13/opera-300-million-webkit-switch/

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iaBloomberg reports that Apple has a team of about 100 people working on a smartwatch citing "two people familiar with the company's plans." The team is made up of engineers, marketing folks and managers. Bloomberg's sources say that the size of the team suggests Apple is beyond the experimentation phase. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-12/apple-said-to-have-team-developing-wristwatch-computer.html

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tmThose of you tired of all the mobile phone attention these days should cheer at this. Mobile phone sales dropped in 2012 1.7% according to Gartner. Feature phones caused the decline, dropping 19.3% year over year in the last quarter of 2012. Smartphone sales jumped 38.3% in the same period, dominated by Apple and Samsung which accounted for 52% of the smartphone market combined. And for the fanboys keeping score, Android clocks in at 69.7% of all smartphones sold while iOS accounted for 20.9%. Now….. SPIN THOSE NUMBERS FANPEOPLE!!!http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21441953

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slThe circle is complete! gadget website gdgt, founded by Engadget's founder Peter Rojas and founding editor Ryan Block, has been purchased by Aol, parent company of Engadget. Got that all straight? In a blog post on gdgt, Block explained that the site will bring its community, core technologies, and product database to AOL's web properties. It'll also team up with Engadget on live events throughout the year. http://www.engadget.com/2013/02/13/aol-acquires-gdgt/

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iaAt the Dive into Media Conference, VP and general manager of Intel Media Erik Huggers confirmed that Intel is working on a way to bring television to the internet. The set top box that Intel is working on is already being tested by hundreds of Intel employees. Huggers didn't mention if the user would be able to get channels a la carte and said Intel plans on offering a "superior experience" and its service is "not a value play."http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/9867761/Intel-to-launch-online-TV-service.html

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tmAs expected US President Obama signed an executive order yesterday regarding so-called cybersecurity. The order charges the National Institute of Standards and Technology with the task of creating voluntary best practices while the Orwellian Department of Homeland Security works on "encouraging" agencies to adopt the guidelines. The order provides for privacy protection but cannot protect companies from liability. Congress would need to pass legislation for that to happen.http://www.engadget.com/2013/02/12/president-obama-signs-executive-order-focused-on-improving-natio/

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slBrazilian regulators have ruled that Apple does not have exclusive rights to use the "iPhone" trademark in the country. The decision is the result of a local company, Gradiente Eletronica, registering the name in 2000, seven years before Apple did. However, the Institute of Industrial Property told the BBC it understood Apple was pursuing an appeal. Apple will still have exclusive rights to use the iPhone name elsewhere including on clothing, in software and across publications.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21449890

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tmResearchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid have developed a new system capable of increasing GPS accuracy as much as 90 percent. The system could be installed in a car or a smartphone. The system combines GPS with other sensors like accelerometers and gyroscopes, decreasing the margin of error from around 15 meters to around 2 meters. This could make a big-difference for self-driving vehicles.http://thenextweb.com/insider/2013/02/13/spanish-researchers-pioneer-new-technique-that-boosts-gps-accuracy-by-up-to-90/

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iaNetflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos says that Netflix's original program "House of Cards" is the most-watched piece of content on Netflix worldwide right now. He did not give any hard numbers on how many viewers the show garnered or how many hours of video were consumed, but said that nearly all viewers of episode one watched the next episode. http://techcrunch.com/2013/02/12/house-of-cards-results/

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Discussion Stories

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iaIntel confirms its Internet TV launch this year, complete with set-top box and a camerahttp://www.theverge.com/2013/2/12/3980948/intel-confirms-internet-tv-plans-complete-with-a-set-top-box

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- At the Dive into Media Conference, Intel's GM of Media Erik Huggers confirmed the reports that Intel is working on a TV over the internet solution.

Service
- "we will have live television, catch-up television, on-demand, [and] a set of applications."
- Huggers said that the new service is "not about a value play," but instead offering a "vastly superior experience,"
- He compared the standard TV guid grid to his first Commodore 64 and said there is a lot of room for improvement there.
- Speaking to Cnet, Huggers said primarily the service won't be Intel-branded and the service will also come to smartphones at some point.

Content
- Huggers said Intel is "working with the entire industry to figure out how to get proper television."
- So - what about a la carte channels? Huggers said consumers want "choice, control, and convenience," but said that he really did "believe that there is value in bundles."
- Intel plans to offer consumers smaller bundles of content than those currently offered by cable operators.
- He also said that he didn't believe the industry is ready for a la carte.
Hardware
- The hardware component would have a camera that could be used to watch you. Huggers gave an example where the camera could help in synchronizing viewing with viewers across the country

Q: After finding out these details, does anything make you excited for Intel's project?

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tmOpera hits 300 million users, promptly moves to WebKithttp://www.engadget.com/2013/02/13/opera-300-million-webkit-switch/

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Web world bemoans loss of Opera independencehttp://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57569159-93/web-world-bemoans-loss-of-opera-independence/

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300 million users strong, Opera moves to WebKithttp://my.opera.com/haavard/blog/2013/02/13/webkit

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Opera gears up at 300 million usershttp://www.opera.com/press/releases/2013/02/13/SOURCE

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- Opera announced 300 million monthly users
- Opera will no longer use Presto rendering engine. "flexible and standards compliant while at the same time handling real-world web sites."
- Webkit-based Android browser coming to MWC, Opera will focus on innovation and polish for the user
- Web is not as open as Opera would like, developers optimize for webkit, difficult to remain standards-compliant and usable on real web.
Opera QA tester Haavard -- "Yes, monoculture is bad, but Opera was never really in a position to prevent it in the first place. Even with Opera as the dominant mobile browser and more than 300 million active Opera users in total across all platforms, web developers still designed just for WebKit."
Q: Is this a defeat for standards?
three major browser engines remaining: WebKit; Microsoft's Trident, used in Internet Explorer; and Mozilla's Gecko --- John Resig (Javascript guru) tweeted "Don't worry that 'everyone moving to WebKit causes stagnation.' Apple created WebKit, Google made it awesome. Opera will make it better!"

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slSlacker Re-Emerges in Web Radio Challenging Pandora, Spotifyhttp://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-13/slacker-re-emerges-in-web-radio-challenging-pandora-spotify.html

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- $5.5M advertising campaign attacking rivals Pandora Media Inc. and Spotify
- - In a commercial, a character complains about Pandora’s smaller music library, and a display ad criticizes Spotify for its propensity to post annoying updates to a user’s Facebook Inc. account. The ads will show up on sites including Google Inc.’s YouTube, Vox Media Inc.’s SBNation and Spin Music Group’s Buzznet
- more than doubled its staff to 90 in the past eight months (co. is 6 years old)
- music service with 10x songs as Pandora, as well as content from ESPN and ABC networks. Pandora gets close to 90% of its sales from ads, Slacker focuses on paid subscriptions, which account for two-thirds of revenue.
- monthly $3.99 ad-free service that includes unlimited song-skipping, and a $9.99 package that makes any song or album offered by Slacker available on demand. company says over 500,000 of Slacker’s 4 million active users are paying subscribers.
- each deal includes an upfront licensing fee and then a revenue share. The company has struck similar deals with ABC, ESPN, the Weather Channel and American Public Media. Slacker keeps about 50% of the revenue it generates, a number that should go up as the service attracts users, Cady said. Pandora paid royalties amounting to 60% of its revenue in the first 10 months of 2012.
“It’s an opportunity for us to throw a punch when nobody’s looking,” said Chief Marketing Officer Craig Rechenmacher, who joined from Electronic Arts Inc. in July
- Pandora boasts more than 65 million unique monthly members, and Spotify has more than 20 million, compared with Slacker’s 4 million. Meanwhile, there’s a whole crop of other digital-music and radio offerings from companies like Rdio Inc., Rhapsody International Inc. and TuneIn Inc. And they all face the looming threat of Apple Inc.

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tmYahoo CEO says Microsoft search deal underperformshttp://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/12/us-yahoo-mayer-idUSBRE91B1LZ20130212

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Marissa Mayer at Goldman Sachs investment conference
- On Microsoft partnership: "One of the points of the alliance is that we collectively want to grow share rather than just trading share with each other,
- planned to prune a sprawling lineup of mobile apps and she reiterated her focus on enticing consumers to spend more time on Yahoo's online properties
- Google marketshare 66.7% in Dec (comScore) Dec. 2010 was 66.6%
- In 2010 Yahoo 16 Microsoft 12 in 2012 Microsoft 16.3 Yahoo 12.2
Q: Is Marissa Mayer a secret agent sent by Google to end the MS partnership?

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slAOL Confirms gdgt Acquisition, Quests For tch Dominationhttp://techcrunch.com/2013/02/13/aol-confirms-gdgt-acquisition-quests-for-tch-blg-domination/

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- blog post by Ryan Block confirming acquisition on gdgt
- TC reported rumor a couple weeks ago, now says deal is in the high 7 figures. gdgt turned down another offer b/c AOL is a better fit
- TC sources say block becomes head of product for AOL Tech Media. (other AOL tech sites: Engadget, Joystiq, TUAW)
- Peter Rojas stays running gdgt, will be executive editor-at-large at Engadget —
- gdgt has been working with Engadget (and some other publishers, via a WordPress plug-in) via its Databox for about 15 months now. That automatically pulls data from gdgt’s product database into a module at the bottom of posts, similar to how TC pulls in data from Crunchbase. AOL had been one of gdgt’s strategic investors prior to this announcement.

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34

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iaNetflix Original Series House Of Cards Is Its Most Watched Programhttp://techcrunch.com/2013/02/12/house-of-cards-results/

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- Speaking at the Dive into Media conference, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said its original program "House of Cards" has been the most-watched piece on the site
- That's not just the in the U.S., but everywhere Netflix streams
- When asked "most watched mean?" Sarandos said it was both the number of hours watched and the number of people.
- Sarandos did not give any numbers ("We're not doing ratings") and said he had no motivation to talk numbers since there are no advertisers
- but did mention that nearly everyone who watched ep 1 watched the next one
- About the lack of weekly conversation like "Mad Men" got, Sarandos talked about "Different style of watercooler"

Q: Traditionally, having the most watched program would attract advertisers to shows and networks. What does it mean to be the most watched thing on Netflix? How can Netflix leverage this?
On Arrested Devlopment - since Fox owns it, it will be available on iTunes and DVDs later (no word on House of Cards)

How do you gauge a success?
- Sarandos: metrics - user engagement determines success
- watching the show over the term of the license
- build a big enough audience over the life of the audience
- will it create more retention

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RandomizerWe will narrow this down to one story, put your initials to the left of the story you like bestVIDEO

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It's cheaper to fly to the USA than buy Adobe CS6 in Australiahttp://www.neowin.net/news/its-cheaper-to-fly-to-the-usa-than-buy-adobe-cs6-in-australia

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INCOMINGVIDEO

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John calls in with a use case for pay by hashtagshttps://soundcloud.com/tnt_voicemail/a-use-case-for-pay-by-hashtag

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A call from Colorado with another idea on the Amex/Twitter deal
https://soundcloud.com/tnt_voicemail/a-call-from-colorado-with

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Email

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sl

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Hey guys,

I thought i would pass along an important piece of information that might help shed some light on why Nike has no plans to bring a Fuel Band app to Android. Apparently Tim Cook is on Nike's board. So I would say your theory of there being some kind of exclusivity agreement between Nike and Apple is a pretty safe bet.

Here is an article that mentions that fact:
http://www.macrumors.com/2013/02/12/apple-has-team-of-100-product-designers-working-on-a-smart-watch/

-Greg
http://www.macrumors.com/2013/02/12/apple-has-team-of-100-product-designers-working-on-a-smart-watch/

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Submit and vote on story coverage at http://technewstoday.reddit.com

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Plug tomorrow's guest:Clayton Morris

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