.

TITLE: Solar Power Future Looks Bright, 945GUEST: Marques Brownlee

.

.

It's Valentine's Day, Friday the 14th February, 2014 and this is Tech News Today.

.

Welcome to Tech News Today, I'm Mike Elgan - I'm Jason Howell.

.

[me] Tech News Today explores the most important stories of the day in conversation with the world's leading journalists.

.

.

Our guest today is Marques Brownlee, video producer and product reviewer on his YouTube channel, MKB HD

.

http://bridgeurl.com/tnt945/all

.

CONVERSATION 1SHOWLINKS

.

Conversation with Marques about reaching one million subscribers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5TvTH3GOdc&feature=share&list=UUBJycsmduvYEL83R_U4JriQ&index=1

.

URL

.

.

.

CONVERSATION 2SHOWLINKS

.

Japan’s online commerce giant Rakuten bought the messaging app Viber for $900 million in cash. http://recode.net/2014/02/14/exclusive-interview-rakutens-mikitani-calls-900-million-he-paid-for-viber-a-no-brainer/

.

URL

.

* will add 300 million users to Rakuten's existing 200 million users

* Viber is one of the top five most downloaded smartphone phone and messaging apps

* United States, Russia and Australia among its biggest markets.

* Will make them a platform for digital content

* Viber competes with Skype

* It competes with WeChat, WhatsApp, and Line.

* Rakuten co-founder and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani: “Messaging apps are taking over the world and, while search is one of the strongest platforms, what is happening in communications is very, very important.”

* Rakuten's e-commerce platform, Rakuten Ichiba, is the sixth largest in the world by sales.

* Viber = launched in 2011

* Viber = close to 300 million users on all the major phone platforms

* Cyprus-based Viber is a voice-call application, often called an OTT (over-the-top) service

* Operating in almost 200 countries

* Only messaging player with a globally significant presence besides WhatsApp

* Rakuten = $315 million purchase of the e-reader company Kobo in 2011

* Rakuten = $250 million Buy.com acquisition 2010

.

.

CONVERSATION 3SHOWLINKS

.

Two major Bitcoin exchanges this week stopped trading because of denial of service attacks. The exchanges, Mt. Gox and Bitstamp, weren’t alone is being affected. The attack cratered the value of Bitcoin, and caused errors in routine transactions. http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/computing/networks/what-you-need-to-know-about-mt-gox-and-the-bitcoin-software-flaw

.

InterviewURL

.

Joining us to explain what’s going on is Science Writer Morgen Peck. Welcome Morgen. * @morgenpeck

Q: Can you explain what happened, exactly?

Q: What is a “transaction malleability”?

Q: And what about the Silk Road 2 problems we’ve heard about this week? How are they related?

Q: How are these events being mis-reported or mis-interpreted?

Q: Does all this damage the credibility of Bitcoin as a currency?

.

.

CONVERSATION 4SHOWLINKS

.

Facebook’s gender options used to be simple: male or female. But now it’s, well, it’s complicated. A third gender option called “custom” provides a drop-down menu of 56 gender options once you start typing in the custom box. The new options include pan-gender, gender variant, two-spirit and the somewhat geeky sounding “non-binary.” http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/02/13/facebook_custom_gender_options_here_are_all_56_custom_options.htmlhttp://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/apnewsbreak-gender-options-facebook-users-22501422

.

Donna Tam, writer for CNET, @DonnaYTamURLSKYPE:

.

* Social networks want identity. This is the right approach.

* They should be able to identify who you are without trying to tell you who you are.

* Available only in the US for now.

* Also choose to he, she or they.

.

.

CONVERSATION 5SHOWLINKS

.

The world’s largest solar project started producing electricity yesterday. The two point two billion dollar Ivanpah solar thermal power plant has more than 300,000 computer-controlled mirrors that reflect sunlight onto boilers, which create steam that turn turbines. The plant is part-owned by Google, and can provide power to 140,000 homes. http://youtu.be/SoxT98H9J7chttp://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_25134528/huge-ivanpah-solar-power-plant-opens-industry-booms

.

URL

.

* 392-megawatts.

* Partially backed by a $1.6 billion loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy

* Solar market has changed dramatically since Ivanpah approved in 2010.

* Traditional solar panels undergone a massive drop in price

* Owned by Oakland-based BrightSource, NRG Energy Inc and Google

* Conventional coal plant $100 to produce a megawatt-hour - $261 for solar thermal power

* 45 miles southwest of Las Vegas

.

.

CONVERSATION 6SHOWLINKS

.

Taco Bell is testing a mobile phone-based ordering at five Southern California-based locations. They plan to expand nationwide by the end of the year. http://www.zdnet.com/taco-bells-upcoming-mobile-app-includes-gps-locator-for-timely-hot-food-7000026347/

.

.

* Shows the menu with options

* GPS tells the kitchen when to start your order

* The interface changes depending on the time of day. Pricing defaults to the menu of the nearest location. And it will also give you directions there.

* Chipotle Mexican Grill, Starbucks, Papa John’s, Domino’s and Pizza Hut have mobile ordering apps

* McDonald’s and Chick-fil-A are also testing - Smashburger is also teasing the release

* KFC is testing a mobile app for the UK.

* The promise of iBeacon delivering the “app”

* Superior alternative to all-location mobile payments and mobile wallets?

.

.

.

IN OTHER NEWSSHOWLINKS

.

Google collaborated with Ira Glass, the host of the This American Life radio show, for today’s Valentine’s Day Doodle. Each candy heart plays people interviewed by Glass and others about their experiences with love, as animations that were drawn by Google’s doodle staff illustrate the stories. https://www.google.com/

http://valentine.thisamericanlife.org/

.

That's our show. Thank you for joining us, Marques!

.

Send YOUR news tips to our email address at tnt@twit.tv or call 260-TNT-show and leave a message. Also: Post and upvote your favorite stories on our subreddit at TechNewsToday.Reddit.com. Find the rest of our social pages by searching for Tech News Today on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube. And if you haven't already, subscribe to Tech News Today at twit.tv/tnt

.

.

* * * FIN * * *

.

.

On Tech News Today: Rakuten buys Viber * Bitcoin under attack * And Facebook gender options? Well, it's complicated.

.

.

.

* * * END PROMPTER COPY * * *