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TITLE: Twitter Gets Less Twitter-Like, 973GUEST CO-ANCHOR: Darrell Etherington

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This is Tech News Today for Thursday, March 27, 2014!

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This episode of Tech News Today is brought to you by NatureBox where you can order great-tasting, healthy snacks delivered right to your door. Forget the vending machine, and get in shape with healthy, delicious treats like Citrus Chipotle Chickpeas! To get 50% off your first box go to naturebox.com/twit. That’s naturebox.com/twit.

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

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Tech News Today explores 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 Darrell Etherington, a writer for TechCrunch.Darrell Etherington
Writer, TechCrunch @drizzled

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http://bridgeurl.com/tnt973/all

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LATE-BREAKING STORYSHOWLINKS

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President Barack Obama announced this morning his highly anticipated plan to deal with the mass collection of phone metadata by the NSA. His plan is to make the telecom companies do it. The NSA could then access the data with court permission. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/25/us/obama-to-seek-nsa-curb-on-call-data.html

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No Interview

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* Plan needs congressional approval

* Telecoms already required to keep metadata for 18 months anyway

* Once court approval given, telecoms required to fork over all new call data

* Un-defined “emergency situations” are exempt -- no court approval needed

* WHO decides what’s an emergency situation?

* new plan would not be in place by a March 28 expiration, he will seek a 90-day reauthorization of the existing program

* There are alternative plans floating around in Congress

* The proposal would not affect other forms of bulk collection under the same provision.

* Edward Snowden

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CONVERSATION 1SHOWLINKS

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Twitter announced changes that make it more like Facebook or Google+. You can now tag up to 10 people in a picture without adding to the 140-character count, and also attach up to four pictures per tweet. The changes will show up in the iOS and Android apps, and possibly the web site in the future. https://blog.twitter.com/2014/photos-just-got-more-social

http://www.theverge.com/2014/3/26/5550998/twitter-adds-photo-tagging-to-its-iphone-and-android-apps
http://blogs.wsj.com/personal-technology/2014/03/26/twitter-beefs-up-photo-sharing-adds-tagging/

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Ashley Feinberg is a writer for Gizmodo and wrote an opinion piece on the changes.

Q: Twitter’s hyper minimalism seems to me like its secret sauce. Why would they dilute the sauce with more Facebook-like features?

Q: Twitter is testing all kinds of changes that would make Twitter unrecognizable. For example, changing the “Tweet” button to “Share,” and even killing off hashtags and @ replies. It’s almost like they don’t like Twitter.

Q: You implied in your post that Twitter may be doing all this because of slow user growth. Isn’t the best thing about Twitter’s audience its influence, not its size?

Q: Multiple pictures and photo tagging are coming to apps first. Is there any evidence that it will come to the twitter.com site?

Q: Is this move mostly about data collection -- so Twitter can harvest more data on users?
Ashley Feinberg
Writer, Gizmodo @ashfein

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* Twitter will automatically craft a collage for you.

* Linking people to photos enables Twitter to understand social connections

* Tagging data will be carried in the invisible metadata that travels with each tweet

* Tagged users will be notified, unless they opt out of notification

* Notably, face tagging — or people tagging — is one of the core features of Instagram

* Twitter is testing changing its “retweet” button to “share”

* Twitter also testing profile design changes and a tile-like format for tweets

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gizmodo.com @ashfein

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AD 1: Nature Boxhttp://naturebox.com/twit

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CONVERSATION 2SHOWLINKS

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Twitter will soon unveil a new music strategy, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The company pulled its one-year-old music app from the Apple iTunes app store less than a week ago. The new strategy won’t involve a dedicated app, but will focus on music-centered conversations on Twitter itself, and in the regular Twitter apps. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304688104579463970749299750?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304688104579463970749299750.html

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Ellis Hamburger is a reporter for The Verge.

Q: First of all, why do you think the stand alone app strategy failed?

Q: This sounds to me like Apple’s ill-fated “Ping” strategy -- to try to combine music with social. Does Twitter’s approach sound better to you?

Q: To the best of my knowledge, Twitter hasn’t licensed catalogs from big record labels. So where’s the music going to come from?

Q: What kind of partnerships is Twitter building around this initiative?
Ellis Hamburger
Reporter, The Verge @hamburger

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* Comes from a single “person familiar with the matter”

* Twitter hasn't licensed catalogs from big record labels, so limited selection

* Twitter met w/ Beats Music about promoting subscriptions to the music-streaming service

* Twitter is also looking to partner with music-sharing site SoundCloud

* Vevo is working with Twitter to offer bite-sized music videos

* Might let celebrities better promote their music

* Twitter launched a music app April 2013; nobody cared

* App Annie's data show it was ranked 255th in the music category last Friday

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theverge.com @hamburger

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CONVERSATION 3SHOWLINKS

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Microsoft is interested in Google-glass like smart glasses technology. At least, they were interested enough to spend a possible $150 million to buy smartglass-related intellectual property from the Osterhout Design Group, according to an exclusive in TechCrunch by Ingrid Lunden. http://techcrunch.com/2014/03/27/microsoft-paid-up-to-150m-to-buy-wearable-computing-ip-from-the-osterhout-design-group/

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Ingrid joins us this morning to tell us about it.

Q: What did Microsoft buy here?

Q: Is any of this technology applicable to consumer devices, or is it just for military and industrial applications

Q: Osterhout also has a patent for a virtual reality headset -- theoretically like Oculus Rift

Q: You talked to the head of Osterhout, and he had some strong opinions about the Microsoft/Oculus deal, didn’t he?
Ingrid Lunden
Writer, TechCrunch @ingridlunden

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* 81 patents, with six issued patents and “at least” 75 patents in progress

* Deal closed last November, with the patents quietly transferring in January 2014

* headset up with a separate device that looks like a wristwatch.

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techcrunch.com @ingridlunden

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CONVERSATION 4SHOWLINKS

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News

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No Interview

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Notes

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CONVERSATION 5SHOWLINKS

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One effect of the Internet of Things and the home automation revolution is that ordinary household items will become consumer electronics gadgets that are sold by consumer electronics companies. The most recent example is Samsung, which announced today a new line of smart lightbulbs. Samsung’s new Smart Bulb product supports Bluetooth, and can be controlled with a mobile app. The company also announced an L-tube series that replaces dumb fluorescent tube lights with smart ones. Samsung’s announcement comes just a few days after LG rolled out a similar line of smart bulbs. While Samsung’s prices haven’t been announced, the standard LG Smart Bulb costs about $32. http://www.engadget.com/2014/03/27/samsungs-first-smart-bulb-is-bluetooth-only-and-lasts-10-years/http://techday.com/netguide/news/lgs-smart-light-bulb-to-flash-when-your-phone-rings/181256/

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No Interview

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* LG bulb can flash when you’re getting a call

* LG can pulse to the beat of music

* LG can act as an alarm clock

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CONVERSATION 6SHOWLINKS

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CONVERSATION 7SHOWLINKS

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CONVERSATION 8SHOWLINKS

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CONVERSATION 9SHOWLINKS

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AD 2: SquareSpacehttp://squarespace.com

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E-MAILSHOWLINKS

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FOLLOW-UP

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We've been reporting on the blocking of Twitter in Turkey. And we told you yesterday that a court ruled the block illegal and ordered that Twitter be un-blocked, which hasn't happened yet. This morning we've learned that the government is now blocking YouTube as well. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26773702

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IN OTHER NEWSSHOWLINKS

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Walking while texting can be hazardous. But help is on the way from Apple. The company has patented what they call “transparent texting.” The idea is to show the live view through the camera as the background for your iMessage window. That way, you can see the open manhole, telephone pole or fountain in the background of your conversation as you’re text-walking down the street. Of course, apps that do this have existed for years in the App Store. http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/03/27/apples-transparent-texting-tech-lets-iphone-users-safely-message-while-moving

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THANK GUEST CO-ANCHOR

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Also: Don’t miss our evening newscast, Tech News Tonight, at 4pm Pacific.

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Special coverage of the Microsoft announcement

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* * * FIN * * *

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President Obama announces the fate of your phone metadata!

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Twitter becomes more like Facebook... (but why?)

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Twitter also becomes more like iTunes.

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And Apple patents a method for testing while walking.

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* * * END PROMPTER COPY * * *