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TITLE: SHOW TITLE, Google's Got GameGUEST CO-ANCHOR: David Coursey

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It's Wednesday, March 12, 2014 and this is Tech News Today.

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This episode is sponsored by ShareFile! Enhance your work flow - send files of almost any size easily and securely with ShareFile, by Citrix. Try ShareFile today! For a 30 Day Free Trial, go to ShareFile.com, click the microphone and enter TNT!

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

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On Tech News Today, we explore the big stories of the day in conversation with some of the world's best journalists.

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Our guest today is David Coursey, a writer, broadcaster, event host, industry analyst and business consultant.coursey.com

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BRIDGEURL LINK

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CONVERSATION 1SHOWLINKS

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PandoDaily's James Robinson
published an exclusive yesterday saying that Google bought some of the assets from a company called Green Throttle Games.
http://pando.com/2014/03/11/google-buys-the-ghost-of-green-throttle-games-as-tv-arms-race-gathers-speed/

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James Robinson
Staff writer, PandoDaily @jalrobinson

Q: What was Green Throttle Games and what did Google buy?

Q: Why would Google want this? Couldn’t they build this themselves?

Q: I understand Green Throttle had some prominent founders

Q: They kept selling the controller, but stopped the app. Sounds like a badly run company

Q: Is this evidence of a game-supporting set-top box coming in future from Google?

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* Sold $40 “Atlas” Bluetooth controller that could play a handful Android games on a TV

* Throttle removed its “Arena” Android app from the Google Play store in November

* Its console – which remains on sale through Amazon – is functionally useless

* Based in Santa Clara

* Launched in late 2012

* Launched by Charles Huang of Guitar Hero fame

* Matt Crowley and Karl Townsend, worked on Palm Pilot

* Android Arena app via bluetooth

* Google confirmed, but didn’t disclose the terms of the deal

* Green Throttle staff brought into Google, including two of the three co-founders

* Pando: “Green Throttle Games acquisition is a clear signal that Google looking at anchoring its set-top TV box – rumored at the end of last year to be coming in the first half of 2014 – around games.”

* Amazon’s set top box could arrive by the end of March

* Apple has been talking content deals with Time Warner for a possible April launch of a new box

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pando.com @jalrobinson

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AD 1: ShareFilehttp://sharefile.com

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CONVERSATION 2SHOWLINKS

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The web turns 25 today. World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee wrote the first draft proposal for the hyperlinked information management system that would one day usher in the web, and with it Facebook, Google, cloud computing and most importantly, TWiT and Tech News Today. To mark the anniversary, Berners-Lee is calling for a “Magna Carta” or “bill of rights” for the web to protect its independence from censorship, surveillance and control. http://www.webat25.orghttp://time.com/21039/tim-berners-lee-web-proposal-at-25/

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/11/as-the-world-wide-web-turns-25-fear-about-its-future

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/mar/12/online-magna-carta-berners-lee-web

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No Interview

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* Send birthday greetings: http://www.webat25.org/

* Participating in a Reddit AMA today at noon Pacific.

* Berners-Leet was a 34-year-old physics graduate working as a software engineer at Cern in 1989, when he wrote a paper simply titled "Information Management: A Proposal".

* From the paper: “the hope would be to allow a pool of information to develop which could grow and evolve with the organisation and the projects it describes"

* Paper: “generality and portability are more important than fancy graphics techniques and complex extra facilities".

* How important is the web? People send hundreds of millions of messages, share 20 million photos and exchange at least $15 million in goods and services every minute of every day on the web (WWW foundation)

* The web constitution proposal should also examine the impact of copyright laws and the cultural-societal issues around the ethics of technology.

* part of an initiative called "the web we want"

* Sir Tim Berners-Lee told the Guardian the web had come under increasing attack from governments and corporate influence and that new rules were needed to protect the "open, neutral" system.

* Called for the US to give up control of the Internet, upon which the web runs

* Web open to public 1991; first browser: 1992

* Worked at Cern when he created it with a Next computer, which is now a holy relic

* Marc Andreessen part of a team that created the first graphical web browser, called Mosaic

* More than two people in five are connected to the web

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CONVERSATION 3SHOWLINKS

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The tech pubs are reporting on Apple’s release of iOS 7.1, talking about bug fixes, enhancements and support for Apple’s CarPlay initiative, mostly. But one overlooked feature is major improvements to Apple’s iBeacon system. http://beekn.net/2014/03/apple-ios-7-1-launches-major-ibeacon-improvement/

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Doug Thompson
Tech blogger, entrepreneur, co-founder of LOCOLO @Dusanwriter

Q: First, can you briefly explain what iBeacon is and how it works?

Q: How has Apple updated iBeacon

Q: iPhone defaults to hunting for beacons even when app closed; you tested - how did it work?

Q: Why is this feature significant?

Q: Is there a risk here for hacking?

Q: Can users opt out?

Q: How else is the performance or functionality of iBeacon different?

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* Once an app is installed it will “look” for beacons even if your app is shut down or you’ve rebooted your phone.

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mylocolo.com @Dusanwriter

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CONVERSATION 4SHOWLINKS

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The NSA is reportedly spreading malware by using fake Facebook servers. The distribution of this malware could be automated and deployed at a massive scale. The payloads themselves could be “tailored to covertly record audio from a computer’s microphone and take snapshots with its webcam” and could also track Skype and other Voice Over IP calls, among other capabilities. This information was reported in an exclusive this morning on The Intercept, which exists to report news from documents uncovered by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/03/12/nsa-plans-infect-millions-computers-malware/

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* Facebook man-on-the-side technique called QUANTUMHAND = fake Facebook server

* QUANTUMHAND became operational in October 2010

* Also spread malware via email and possible with spoofed Google pages

* Facebook hack spoofs a convincing Facebook page, but with that page loaded “the NSA is able to hack into the targeted computer and covertly siphon out data from its hard drive.”

* Facebook spokesman Jay Nancarrow said the company had “no evidence of this alleged activity.”

* The malware may have also “enabled the NSA to launch cyberattacks by corrupting and disrupting file downloads or denying access to websites.”

* An automated system – codenamed TURBINE – is designed to “allow the current implant network to scale to large size (millions of implants) by creating a system that does automated control implants by groups instead of individually.”

* TURBINE as part of a broader NSA surveillance initiative named “Owning the Net.”

* Docs talk about a pre-programmed part of the covert infrastructure called the “Expert System,” which is designed to operate “like the brain.” The system manages the applications and functions of the implants and “decides” what tools they need to best extract data from infected machines. (quotes are from nsa)

* Earlier reports based on the Snowden files indicate that the NSA has already deployed between 85,000 and 100,000 of its implants against computers and networks across the world, with plans to keep on scaling up those numbers.

* QUANTUMSKY used to block targets from accessing certain websites

* Code-named SECONDDATE to “influence real-time communications between client and server” and to “quietly redirect web-browsers” to NSA malware servers called FOXACID

* SECONDDATE tailored not only for “surgical” surveillance attacks on individual suspects. It can also be used to launch bulk malware attacks against computers.

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CONVERSATION 5SHOWLINKS

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Well it’s not as exciting as a mystery barge, but Crain’s reported yesterday that Google is close to signing a lease on Greene Street in New York’s SoHo neighborhood, just around the corner from an Apple Store. http://venturebeat.com/2014/03/11/google-may-launch-its-first-u-s-retail-store-in-new-york-right-next-to-warby-parker/http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20140310/REAL_ESTATE/140319988/greene-street-turns-to-gold-with-potential-new-tenant

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No Interview

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* 9to5Google says Google wants retail stores open in time for the holiday shopping season

* Google Nexus, Chrome, Glass, Smartwatch?

* Some are reporting 8,000-square feet, others 4,100

* 131 Greene Street

* First Android store in Melbourne, Australia back in 2011

* Google has dedicated spaces in stores across Europe

* Microsoft currently has 63 retail locations

* Samsung plans to launch 60 dedicated stores in Europe this year

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CONVERSATION 6SHOWLINKS

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Twitter crashed again yesterday, and was out for a half an hour. Big deal, right? Well WIRED columnist Mat Honan thinks it’s a very big deal. In an opinion column posted today called “Why Twitter Can’t Keep Crashing,” Mat pointed out why Twitter is just too important these days to crash like it did when it was an irrelevant plaything for Silicon Valley access journalists. http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2014/03/twitter-big-fail-whale-now/

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Mat Honan
Senior writer, Wired @mat

Q: Mat, why do you believe, as you wrote in your piece, that Twitter is a “core component of the global communications system.”

Q: Without Twitter, can’t posts about breaking news and emergency reports just fail over to Facebook or Google+?

Q: Why does Twitter need to partner with news organizations?

Q: Why can’t Twitter stop crashing, anyway?

Q: Given Twitter’s roll as “core component of the global communications system,” can Twitter, the company, be trusted to run it? Maybe it should be taken over and run by an international organization or something.
Mat Honan
Senior writer, Wired @mat

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wired.com @mat

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IN OTHER NEWSSHOWLINKS

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In other news... The Starbucks mobile app is getting new features starting one week from today on March 19 -- at least for users in the U.S., UK and Canada. Like the current version, the app will let you find stores and pay for your latte. But the new version has a killer feature -- you can tip your barista between 50 cents and $2 after you’ve paid for your order. But that’s not the killer feature. No, the best feature is that if you change your mind, you can take it back and un-tip -- or is it de-tip -- in any event, you can reach into the virtual tip jar and take your money back. You can also increase your tip if you’re feeling more generous once that caffeine hits your bloodstream. http://news.starbucks.com/news/starbucks-accelerates-mobile-payment-leadership-with-release-of-enhanced-io

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* * * FIN * * *

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Google’s Got Game -- or at least a game controller * The Web Turns 25 and its creator calls for a web bill of rights. The NSA caught spreading malware with fake Facebook servers * and it looks like a new Google store is coming to New York City.
Coming up next on Tech News Today!

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