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TITLE: Amazon's Gaming Controller, 964GUEST CO-ANCHOR:

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It's Friday, March 14, 2014 and this is Tech News Today.

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This episode of Tech News Today is brought to you by shutterstock.com. With over 30 million high-quality stock photos, illustrations, vectors and video clips, Shutterstock helps you take your creative projects to the next level. For 20% off your new account, go to shutterstock.com and use offer code TNT three fourteen.

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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 co-anchor today is Dwight Silverman, tech blogger for the Houston Chronicle. Dwight Silverman
Technology writer, Houston Chronicle @dsilverman

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Both Pi day and bake a pie dayhttp://bridgeurl.com/tnt964/all

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Radford - director of engineering - had a baby - Olivia

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CONVERSATION 2SHOWLINKS

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Media web sites in Russia are having a bad week. They’re under attack both by hackers and also by the Russian government. A local Anonymous branch is allegedly DDoSing Russian media outlets, as well as Russian government and Central Bank sites. These attacks follow government crackdowns on media sites critical of Russian president Vladimir Putin. http://gigaom.com/2014/03/14/online-attacks-hit-russian-state-and-media-in-wake-of-independent-media-crackdown/https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/03/short-guide-internets-biggest-enemies

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No Interview

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* Anonymous (KAW-cuh-sus) Caucasus, the “Electronic Army of the Caucasus (EH-muh-rut) Emirate,” has claimed responsibility for the attack on its Facebook page with a statement saying, “This is just warming up, Russian pig!”

* The Kremlin also claimed this attack was unrelated to the standoff in Ukraine = unlikely

* Russia’s Central Bank saw its website knocked offline this morning

* Anonymous claimed responsibility for taking out the TV station Channel One:

* Ukrainian state and media organizations have reported many online attacks in recent weeks that may or may not have been orchestrated by the Kremlin

The latest attacks, however, may be connected with the blocking on Thursday of several major news sites by Russian ISPs. This was on the Kremlin’s orders, under a 2012 law that was ostensibly designed to protect children from child pornography and material relating to drug use and suicide.

* The sites affected here – grani.ru, kasparov.ru and ej.ru – are independent news sites with an anti-Putin bent.

* Also included in the ban was the LiveJournal blog of dissident Alexei Navalny, who is under house arrest.

* Ej.ru editor Alexander Ryklin called it "monstrous" and a "direct violation of all the principles of freedom of speech”

* The Kremlin denies allegations of censorship or pressure on the media.

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CONVERSATION 3SHOWLINKS

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A web published by Dave Zatz called Zatz Not Funny -- see what he did there? -- published pictures of what he claims is a controller for an upcoming Amazon game console. The leak, if accurate, bolsters rumors that Amazon will soon ship a set top box that also runs games. http://www.zatznotfunny.com/2014-03/amazon-streamer-feature-bluetooth-gaming-controller/

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Joining us to talk about the prospects of an Amazon game console is Mike Futter, the News Editor for Game Informer Magazine -- and the guy who broke the Amazon game console story back in August.

Q: Can you tell us briefly what we know about a possible Amazon game system?

Q: Does the leaked controller pic seem legit?

Q: As a gaming writer, does it seem likely that Amazon could compete against Microsoft, Sony and Google in the game market?

Q: It’s widely assumed that Amazon will use a forked version of Android for their system. That strategy worked for Kindle, but will it work for gaming?
Mike Futter
News Editor, Game Informer Magazine @Futterish

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* Come from a Brazilian regulatory agency similar to the FCC

* Mike Futter – News Editor of Game Informer Magazine first broke the story in August

* Would compete with Apple TV, Roku and probably a forthcoming Google box

* Earlier this month, Amazon bought game studio Double Helix Games

* Xbox-style offset analogue sticks.

* The controller also features three central buttons that look like Android's back, home, and menu keys

* Button beneath that bears the logo for GameCircle, Amazon's service for cloud saves, leaderboards, and achievements.

* May run a forked Android like Kindle Fire

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gameinformer.com * @Futterish

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CONVERSATION 4SHOWLINKS

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Asustek announced earlier this year a new tablet called the Transformer Book Duet TD300. What was different about this tablet is that it was a dual-boot device out of the box, running both Android and Windows. Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich even showed the device during his CES keynote. But now Asustek has postponed, and may cancel, the product, after being pressured by both Microsoft and Google, according to the Wall Street Journal. GO FULL SCREEN; START AT 33:42
http://youtu.be/FZTLPjxUS7g?t=33m42s
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303546204579438351054533592

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* Acer2353 canceled after Google threatened to terminate its “Android-related cooperation and other technology licensing” with Acer. Google said Alibaba’s Aliyun operating system was an “Android fork” and that Acer would break its licensing agreement with Google by using it, a claim that Alibaba contested.

* Microsoft and Intel supply large chunks of computer makers’ marketing budgets, and manufacturers who go against their wishes risk jeopardizing the funding

* Samsung also announced a dual-OS tablet last year, a product that it hasn't begun selling.

* Indicates tension between Microsoft and Intel

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CONVERSATION 5SHOWLINKS

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Sprint announced a new prepaid prepaid wireless plan, and the Wall Street Journal says it just may be the worst deal ever. Called Sprint Prepaid, the plan charges you $45 a month and you get unlimited voice and text but no cellular data. All Internet surfing on the plan has to be done over Wi-Fi.http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/03/14/sprint-vies-for-worst-deal-ever/

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No Interview

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* Republic Wireless — which buys access to Sprint’s network wholesale and resells it to customers — offers unlimited voice and texts with data over Wi-Fi for $10 a month.

* Exact same deal on the exact same network for $35 less a month.

Sprint’s own subsidiary Virgin Mobile USA sells a plan for $35 a month that restricts users to 300 minutes of talk time but comes with unlimited mobile data

* The new Sprint Prepaid brand will offer a Smart Plus option with unlimited data for $60 a month. But that’s more than the $55 a month that another Sprint subsidiary, Boost Mobile, charges for its own unlimited voice, text and data plan. Boost’s rate, by the way, can eventually drop as low as $40 a month as a reward for on-time payments.

* Customers who want the Sprint Prepaid have to use an old phone: Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, the Samsung Galaxy S3, and a used Apple iPhone 4s.

* Or the Moto G.

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IN OTHER NEWSSHOWLINKS

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In other news... Symantec researchers spotted a phishing scam for the record books recently. The email arrives with the subject “Documents,” and tells the recipient to look at files on Google Docs, and conveniently provides a link. But here’s the crazy part. The fake page is hosted on Google's servers and is served over SSL. The scammers simply uploaded their file to a public folder on a Google drive account. Once the file is clicked on, the victim is confronted with a standard-looking Google log-in. Once they enter in username and password, the credentials are whisked away to a PHP script on a compromised web server for later use by hackers. http://www.symantec.com/connect/blogs/google-docs-users-targeted-sophisticated-phishing-scamhttp://arstechnica.com/security/2014/03/phishing-page-hosted-on-google-a-true-dog-bites-man-scam/

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And finally, some good news: The Pocket Drone looks like it’s really going to fly. The mini tri-copter is strong enough to carry a high quality action camera and it folds up smaller than a 7in tablet. The company, called AirDroids, just ended their Kickstarter campaign with nearly a million dollars in funding -- the most popular drone project ever crowdfunded. Their initial goal was thirty five thousand dollars. Preorders begin in April; the drones should ship in the fall, according to the company. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/airdroids/the-pocket-drone-your-personal-flying-robot

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