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Mobile Technology News, March 19, 2015

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Yahoo pulls the plug on China office
    Internet giant Yahoo is closing its China office and laying off “around 350” employees as part of a worldwide consolidation aimed at cutting costs.
  • Target To Pay $10 Million To Settle Lawsuit From Massive Data Breach
    WASHINGTON, March 18 (Reuters) – Target Corp has agreed to pay $10 million in a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit related to a huge 2013 data breach that consumers say compromised their personal financial information, court documents show.
    Under the proposal, which requires federal court approval, Target will deposit the settlement amount into an interest bearing escrow account, to pay individual victims up to $10,000 in damages.
    The claims will be submitted and processed primarily online through a dedicated website, according to the court documents.
    The proposal also requires Target to adopt and implement data security measures such as appointing a chief information security officer and maintaining a written information security program.
    “We are pleased to see the process moving forward and look forward to its resolution,” said Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder.
    CBS News, which earlier reported the settlement, said a court hearing on the proposed settlement was set for Thursday in St. Paul, Minnesota.
    Target has said at least 40 million credit cards were compromised in the breach during the 2013 holiday shopping season and may have resulted in the theft of as many as 110 million people’s personal information, such as email addresses and phone numbers.
    A U.S. judge in December cleared the way for consumers to sue the retailer over the breach, rejecting Target’s argument that the consumers lacked standing to sue because they could not establish any injury.
    The case is In re: Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, No. 14-md-02522. (Reporting by Peter Cooney in Washington and Supriya Kurane in Bengaluru; Editing by Eric Walsh and Anupama Dwivedi)
  • Will the watch industry get smart?
    Watchmakers face up to Apple and Android
  • Angry Birds Star Wars II Gets a 32 Level Update for Windows Phone

    If you know me, you know I have an Angry Birds addiction problem.  Need proof?   No, I do not have an @AngryBirds addition problem. Leave me alone. pic.twitter.com/lMSTRriCKG — Clinton Fitch (@ClintonFitch) December 10, 2014 Yeah, I know. Intervention time. Anyway, for those of you who share my addition, you will be pleased to hear that there is an update for Angry Birds Star Wars II in the Windows Phone store today.  The update, version 1.8.1 for those keeping score at home, brings 32 new levels to the game and, as always, the update is free. Angry Birds Star

    The post Angry Birds Star Wars II Gets a 32 Level Update for Windows Phone appeared first on Clinton Fitch.

  • Dark web spurs spying 'arms race'
    How the dark web has changed how terrorists talk
  • Windows 10 for Phone To Get Faster Updates in Project Milkyway

    If there is one completely broken and painful process with Windows Phone 8.1 today it is the upgrade process, particularly those locked to carriers.  This is a sore subject for many Windows Phone users because it takes seemingly forever to get updates.  The latest Lumia Denim update is classic example.  AT&T took 10 weeks after it was released finally offered it on the Lumia 1520 while the Lumia 635 still hasn’t seen the update.  Verizon never released Lumia Cyan for the Lumia Icon (Lumia 93) and instead did a rollup with Denim just a few weeks ago.  Countless posts have

    The post Windows 10 for Phone To Get Faster Updates in Project Milkyway appeared first on Clinton Fitch.

  • Why It's A Big Deal That Google's Chairman Was Called Out For Interrupting A Woman
    A powerful male executive reportedly interrupted a powerful female official while she was speaking at a panel discussion at South by Southwest, the tech and culture love-fest currently happening in Austin, Texas.

    That’s not unusual. Women often get interrupted while speaking on panels and in meetings, and studies show that women are interrupted at higher rates than men.

    What’s remarkable in this case is that Google Chairman Eric Schmidt actually got called out for doing it — by an employee of Google, no less.

    Schmidt had reportedly been interrupting and talking over Megan Smith, the United States’ chief technology officer and a former Google executive. Along with writer Walter Isaacson, Schmidt and Smith were speaking at a panel on innovation, and their conversation actually touched on diversity issues in tech, according to reports.

    During a Q&A session after the panel, audience member Judith Williams, Google’s diversity manager, asked Smith how she felt about getting interrupted. Did she feel there was some kind of unconscious gender bias at play?

    In her answer, Smith didn’t directly address what happened, but she did discuss the issue more generally, explaining how she sometimes goes unheard at meetings, The Wall Street Journal reported.

    Schmidt didn’t say anything. Neither Williams nor any of the panel participants responded to The Huffington Post’s requests for additional comment.

    Others, however, had a stronger response. “The crowd cheered at [Williams’] comment,” according to PopSugar, which was one of the first to report on the exchange.

    Thank you to whoever respectfully asked the cut off question! Glad other people have noticed @USCTO #askwalter #SXSW2015

    — Haley van Dyck (@haleyvandyck) March 16, 2015

    @haleyvandyck: @egmorant @judithmwilliams amazing. Well thank you Judith!” You’re welcome!

    — Judith Williams (@judithmwilliams) March 16, 2015

    Williams leads Google’s unconscious bias training (yes, that’s a thing). More than 26,000 Google employees have gone through the training, she wrote in a New York Times op-ed last year. The training, Williams argued, “has created a culture where employees are comfortable with — and held accountable for — calling out prejudice, both blatant and subtle.”

    Clearly, Williams herself is pretty comfortable calling out problems. Still, who knows what all those Google employees do with that training — the company’s numbers on gender diversity aren’t so great. Seventy-nine percent of Google’s leaders are men, according to the company’s most recent diversity report.

    “Google has a very open conversation on unconscious bias,” said Joelle Emerson, co-founder of Paradigm, a strategy firm that helps companies — such as Pinterest — increase diversity and inclusiveness.

    Emerson told HuffPost that Schmidt’s interruption of Smith on the panel wasn’t unusual. She often hears complaints from women in tech about getting interrupted. “It’s a big problem in meetings,” she said. “It’s hard for me to get through a meeting without getting interrupted.”

    “What was an aberration is that someone spoke about it,” Emerson said, noting that Schmidt likely didn’t realize what he was doing. In tests she’s conducted, researchers sat in on meetings and measured the amount of time people spoke and how often they were interrupted. Most people, she found, had no idea they were hogging the floor and not letting their colleagues finish their sentences.

    Emerson works with companies to improve dynamics in situations where gender roles come into play — not just in meetings, but in hiring and performance reviews as well. She said that one solution to the problem is to have a strong meeting leader or panel moderator who can rein in the interrupters and ask the quiet participants to speak up.

    “Diversity trainings aren’t effective,” Emerson said. “You have to change processes.”

    What happened at SXSW is a start. “Call it out when you see it happening. That’s a good first step,” she said.

    Women are more likely to get cut off mid-sentence, according to several studies. Most recently, researchers at George Washington University found that women were “the more interrupted gender” — getting interrupted even by women. When men were talking with women, they interrupted 33 percent more often than when they were talking with men, the study found. Women were even more careless about cutting off women — they interrupted 150 percent more.

    “It’s not so much who’s doing the talking,” said Dr. Adrienne Hancock, who led the research, “just that they’re talking to a woman.”

  • Petting Robots and Connecting Citizens at SXSW
    Dateline: Austin, Texas – The annual shindig that is South By Southwest is never unenjoyable for a media-hound. How could it be — with its abundant, tripartite combination of a Film division, an entire Internet universe (or more officially the ‘Interactive’ division) and the all-pervasive backdrop of a Music festival?

    It’s just that there is so much to enjoy, and so much variety within that extravagant multiplicity.

    It’s consequently become a perpetual, banal complaint that the hard challenge for every attendee at SXSW (to use the trademarked acronym, pronounced, if incompletely, as “South By”) is just how to decide what event or session to attend at any given point in the day-by-day calendar.

    So … despite all the tips issuing from apps, electronic alerts, and good old-fashioned paper flyers constantly thrust into my hand on Austin’s streets, this year I opted for happenstance as my only guide.

    It hasn’t led me wrong.

    I ended up, for instance, taking in a somewhat partial (inevitably) but highly informative briefing on artificial intelligence devices (okay – robots) at a coyly-conceived Petting Zoo for Robots. On entering, past the hardly-needed “Please Do Not Feed The Animals” signboatd, visitors could get up-close-and-personal with various robots designed for highly useful tasks which often are beyond human power (like for instance delivering food and water to isolated hurricane-battered communities). The self-consciously cosy setting of the Zoo is, I suppose, one way to counter fears about AI that have been engendered by Bill Gates, among other science and technology heavyweights, with his now-infamous “I am in the camp that is concerned” warning while on Reddit.

    And on the same day I was even helped, by an enthusiastic panel session, to get my brain around how a metropolis of 8 million-plus souls (my own home-town of New York in fact) is now being digitally reconfigured as a fully “Responsive City” to the needs of its individual residents – one small neighborhood by one small neighborhood.

    The ever-alert trend-watchers of Wunderman Reports LINK (a lively web platform mounted by one of the gargantuan ad agency Young & Rubicam’s branded shops) interviewed me on the doorstep of SXSW’s main venue – where else, in these days of instantaneous comment? – about my take on these developments. Here’s their video:

    For the more detail-oriented, that big New York innovation is coming via the city’s newly-agreed LinkNYC program, effectively replacing the 7,500 well-nigh obsolete pay-phones that still dot our streets. What will take their place is the Qualcomm telecomms company’s new LTE Direct wireless network, which involves many sleek new interactive kiosks (to be called, uninventively, LINKs) – but which also more radically connects individual cellphone users to each other on a peer-to-peer basis, obviating the need for cell-towers or beacons.

    The basic framework for all this is proximity – a favored buzzword at this year’s SXSW – with connections favoring an area within a radius of 500 yards, pretty much the size of what many New Yorkers will regard as their own local ‘hood. It will be brought to users “free” – that hoary old cloak for “paid for by advertising”.

    Oh, and the Zoo? Details of the many self-directing machines hoping to charm us with some cuteness maybe, but also much powerful utility, can be seen here.

    * * * *

    Read more of David Tereshchuk‘s media industry insights at his regular online column, The Media Beat at its new site. The Media Beat Podcasts are always available on demand from Connecticut’s NPR station WHDD, and at iTunes.

  • OneDrive Integration Comes to Xbox Music

    A feature that many of us have wanted has finally arrived.  Microsoft today has flipped the switch and you can now store your music within OneDrive and stream that music directly from any device.  The update means that you can have Xbox Music look in the new Music folder that is now in your OneDrive account and you can upload your music to that folder.  Once you do that and everything is synchronized, you can stream your music straight from OneDrive, eliminating the need for storing it locally. The process for doing this is pretty straight forward.  First, you need

    The post OneDrive Integration Comes to Xbox Music appeared first on Clinton Fitch.

  • Briefly: 77 percent on iOS 8, cracking box for older iOS versions
    A new device on the market costing $300 could be used by attackers to crack the PIN codes on iOS devices running system versions older than iOS 8.1.1. While the chances of it being used on someone’s personal device are extremely low — since it requires both physical access to the device as well as a great deal of time — users can protect their devices and foil the so-called “IP Box” attack by moving to a more complex passcode.

  • Be Careful What You Wish for (Part II)
    Many months ago, on this very blog, I wrote about how Verizon, in suing the FCC to block the 2010 Open Internet (“Net Neutrality”) rules, might rue the day it actually won in court (“Verizon, Be Careful What You Wish For”).

    I said that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in remanding the FCC’s rules, basically told the agency to make up its mind: you can’t say that broadband is like a computer attached to a phone line, subject to the lightest form of regulation, and then turn around and regulate it like a utility, prohibiting unreasonable discrimination, said the court. Instead, you either have to decide not to impose utility-style regulation at all, or decide that broadband is, in fact, a utility requiring strict non-discrimination limits in order to protect consumers and the open Internet.

    I said months ago that if forced to make such a choice, the FCC very well could say, OK, we change our characterization of broadband. We’ll say it’s a utility. Here are the Open Internet rules you must live by, broadband providers, complete with a ban on unreasonable discrimination against different types of content.

    As we all know by now, the FCC did just that.

    Republicans are screaming like someone stole the champagne from the RNC refrigerator, hauling FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler before a litany of Republican-run Congressional committees. Verizon and its fellow broadband providers, like Comcast, are screaming, too. They threaten to sue the FCC… again.

    But as I wrote here many months ago, such threats ring empty.

    Since the D.C. Circuit’s decision to remand the rules back to the FCC for revisions, something has changed. New judges, nominated by President Obama, are on the court. They all were confirmed over loud Republican objections. Then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid used the “nuclear option” to change Senate rules and allow a simple majority, rather than 60 votes, to confirm these judges, who even look different from many of the D.C. Circuit judges, being women, or African American, or even–dare I say– young.

    The same judges to hear the first challenge to the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules might very well uphold the FCC this time around, reasoning that the FCC did exactly what the court told it to do. It made up its mind, changed the legal characterization of broadband, and promulgated revised rules accordingly.

    If those judges rule against the FCC, though, the fans and supporters of the Net Neutrality rules can pull a procedural maneuver and call for an “en banc” review before all the judges of the D.C. Circuit. What was once a reliable bastion of Republican appointees is now essentially split, with nine Republican and eight Democratic appointees. Four of those Democrats were appointed by President Obama and confirmed between 2013 and 2014. Such a panel hardly represents a slam-dunk for Republican opponents of the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules.

    Moreover, the four Obama appointees no doubt would notice that a fellow Obama appointee, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, came around to the view that designating broadband as a utility was the right answer. They no doubt would notice that President Obama himself, in public statements and in documents carefully cataloged on the FCC record, in accordance with FCC notice-and-comment procedures, supported designating broadband as a utility in order to best protect an open Internet.

    In fact, the hysteria expressed by Republicans about the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules sounds a lot like the hysteria expressed by Republicans over President Obama’s nominees to the D.C. Circuit. Could it be that Republicans knew then that such nominees would be more likely than not to support the same philosophy of effective government and consumer protection espoused by the President himself?

    So once again, I say to Verizon and its fellow broadband providers: be careful what you wish for.

    If you sue the FCC, you probably will lose. Even if you win the first round, you probably will lose en banc. Once you lose in court, you will have strengthened the hand of Senate Democrats, who currently are able to block passage of any law seeking to overturn the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules. Senate Democrats will point to the D.C. Circuit and say, the second-highest court in the land just upheld the FCC. This matter is decided. It’s over. We shouldn’t overturn the decisions of the court and the FCC.

    And then, maybe, just maybe, someone will say… I think I read about this a while back in HuffingtonPost.com.

    David Goodfriend is a Washington, D.C. lawyer whose clients include eBay, DISH Network, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and independent programmers like beIN SPORTS. He is Chairman of Sports Fans Coalition and teaches telecommunications policy at the Georgetown University Law Center and the George Washington University Law School.

  • The MOOC Experiment
    New York Times declared 2012 as the year of the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). It was the year when Udacity, Coursera and edX, the three leading MOOC companies, took the education world by storm and promised a lot.

    Sebastian Thrun, co-founder of Udacity, proclaimed that in 10 years, job applicants will tout their Udacity degrees. In 50 years, he estimated that there would be about 10 educational institutions in the world providing higher education and Udacity has a shot at being one of them. Last year he threw in the towel because “the basic MOOC is a great thing for the top 5 percent of the student body, but not a great thing for the bottom 95 percent.” Udacity changed its course, from trying to become one of the top 10 institutions in the world, to focusing on corporate and vocational training. Today, Udacity strives to become the online version of DeVry University.

    Ananth Agrawal, CEO of edX, predicted that in less than a year one of edX’s partner universities would offer a purely online degree. Three years have passed since then and there is no sign of purely online degree from any of its partner institutions. Coursera, founded by two Stanford professors, is by far the largest in terms of the number of courses offered and students enrolled. However just like Udacity and edX, Coursera does not have much to show off in terms of student success rates.

    So what is going on? What is the future of MOOC?
    Well, MOOCs are going through a maturing process like any other business. Despite all the hype, there is no question that MOOCs are here to stay. MOOCs will transform higher education NOT for the reason that they were originally touted for vis-à-vis the massive number of students enrolling in the class.

    What advocates of MOOC have failed to see is that it is not about reaching hundreds of thousands of people. Educating mass numbers of people in higher education quickly and for free is a pipedream. That will never happen for the same reason why most people never achieve their New Year resolutions. According to the University of Scranton research, just 8 percent of people achieve their New Year’s goals. This data is consistent with the completion rate of MOOC data. In many ways low completion rates can also be compared to window shopping. Lot of people will like to look at things in the mall but not everyone is willing to pay for it.

    When MOOC pioneers declared that they would educate masses from all over the world in very quickly and for free, they were just being academic idealists. It requires time, effort, and lots of dedication and resources to successfully complete a course. Unless there is a compelling reason, no one will follow through homework assignments, quizzes and final exams.

    So what is exciting and promising about MOOC?

    1. A 10 percent completion rate still translates into thousands of students, much larger than a regular class.
    2. Even those, who have gone through the course half way through the course, stand to benefit from what they have learned.
    3. There is no substitute for a great teacher who can inspire students but there are not many of them. MOOC provides a platform to offer courses by great teachers.
    4. Anyone can enroll with a simple click of a button in MOOC. No admission process. No fees. This is one of the main reasons for high attrition rates at MOOC but this does democratize education. Anyone with an Internet connection from anywhere in the world can learn almost about anything from an expert in the field, and this is big! MOOC creates a level playing field providing opportunities for those who want to learn.
    5. MOOC is now in the transformation phase, from a large social experiment to becoming a standard. Universities that have been reluctant to do any online courses just a few years ago are now slowly adopting, or even developing their own MOOCs. MOOC is no longer a bad word in the academic circle.
    6. Thousands of students around the world are referring to at least some parts of MOOC during their academic study.
    7. While no one expects universities to go out of business as Sebastian Thrun predicated, MOOCs have forced traditional universities and colleges to rethink their current practices.
    8. New generations of students are using mobile devices for learning, something even early MOOC proponents did not foresee. This new generation of students are not willing to put up with long, boring lectures and lifeless PowerPoint presentations. MOOCs give them choices. Plus they can now hit the pause button.

    So what are the challenges MOOCS face today?
    Design and development of online courses require careful planning and a lot more efforts than teaching a traditional course. MOOCs must be developed in a way that integrates technology and sound pedagogy. Mere use of technology does not engage students, and most MOOCs are just as boring for this reason.

    The biggest challenge for MOOC is the assessment. Conducting proctored exam does not fit the online MOOC model and as of now there is no viable approach to conduct verified online exams. With video streaming and other technology including biometric identification becoming popular, it is only a question of time when students will be able complete all exams online leading to certifications.

    Another challenge is engineering and science courses that require conducting experiments and hands-on projects. Virtual experiment are a real possibility but there is no conclusive data if that can replace actual physical experiment.

    Finally, learning is not just about pure academics alone. Interacting with other students with diverse cultural backgrounds, club activities, working in group projects and having discussions with a teacher are important part of campus life and it cannot be done effectively online.

    What is going to happen in the near future?
    Nobody knows what will happen to the three leading contenders today. Enrollments and attrition remain flat. Interestingly, according a Harvard study, people who are benefitting from these courses already have a degree and actually do not need these classes. So current MOOCs are not reaching the people who it is originally supposed to reach.

    The immediate beneficiaries of the MOOC experiment, ironically, are those that did not want anything to do with online learning in the first place – universities. With assessment issues unresolved, universities are well positioned to offer a blended learning model, which takes advantage of their traditional classroom sessions for discussion (“flipped classrooms“) and assessment while delivering most content online. In addition universities offer all the advantages of a campus experience.

    MOOCs have played an important role. They promised a lot and did not deliver much. At the same time, MOOCs have unleashed a force that they cannot control or monetize. The MOOC movement has opened the door for affordable and just-in-time education.

  • Gumroad Turns Social Media Into The New Video Shop
    By Noah J. Nelson (@noahjnelson)

    The people who brought the “Buy Now” button to Twitter are going all-in on film distribution.

    Once upon a time film distribution seemed to be the most staid and stable of things: there were the studios, there were the exhibitors, and there was home video. If you wanted to get a film made and out into the world, you either had to know someone or take your chances in the volatile film markets.

    Everybody–and I think at this point that its safe to say “everybody” without it being hyperbole–knows that the Internet has changed the way that people consume film. This is an ongoing process, with a seemingly endless number of new paths being cut into the dark forrest that is Hollywood.

    This week another path opened up, this time from the social media commerce company Gumroad: video rentals.

    Here’s Gumroad in a nutshell, for those of you who don’t know: the company was founded by Sahil Lavingia, one of the first designers at Pinterest, who wanted an easier way of selling digital assets other than setting up an eBay or an Etsy account. Lavingia designed Gumroad so that instead of driving a creative’s customers to a marketplace website, they could start the transaction right in social media.

    The creator doesn’t hand off the relationship with their patron to Gumroad, but the site takes care of fulfillment. Even hosting video files for digital distribution. All for just 5 percent plus 25 cents per transaction.

    “Which I know sounds crazy now,” said K. Tighe of Gumroad’s communication team when I met with her last week in LA. “We’re a start-up, we have room to come up with what we think is the perfect product, so we have a little bit of time to grow.”

    That “perfect product” got a little more perfect this week with the Rentals feature. Filmmakers have already had the option of selling film and video content on Gumroad, but at launch the site says that nearly 28,000 products “will be rentals-capable.” Over 2,000 of that stock are feature-length films.

    Let’s cut to Gumroad’s own fact sheet on the features.

    Any creator selling a film or video product (from feature length films to web series, instructional videos to comedy shorts) will now have the option to make the product available for rent as well as sale – at a price of their choosing.

    Consumers will now have the option to rent instead of buy. They’ll have 30 days from the time of renting to begin viewing, and 72 hours of all-you-can watch after the first view.

    Consumers can stream rented videos online or on a mobile device via their Gumroad app (available on iOS and Android).

    In other words: makers can set up rentals that look like the kinds of rentals that consumers expect to find out in the rest of the world. No weird hybrids. Delivering a rentals option puts Gumroad into an ever more crowded online video space, but low fees and a lack of exclusivity requirements are powerful tools to wield in the marketplace.

    Marketplace is the tricky word here, however. Most of the players in the online video space–be it Apple, Amazon, or Vimeo–are built around the idea of building a marketplace where consumers come to discover what’s available. It’s a replication of the multiplex experience. Gumroad’s tack bets on the idea that the network will replace the marketplace–and idea championed by economist and social theorist Jeremy Rifkin–that the relationship between artist and patron will be more powerful in the long run than that between consumer and market brand.

    Given the experiences of the music industry in the past two decades, Gumroad isn’t betting blind.

    For her part, Tighe came to the company with a background in the music press, and music has been a big part of the company’s business so far. They’ve attracted acts like Girl Talk, Amanda Palmer and Eminem to the service–which aims to be as transparent as you can be.

    For artists with a large following the Gumroad experience is kind of a no-brainer: it’s a direct-to-fan tool that exists in the spaces like where the fan/artist relationship already takes place: like Twitter or an artist’s own website. There’s not much value in having middlemen take 30 percent on each sale when the network is already in place, waiting for you to drop your next piece of work.

    “What’s exciting to me is that the independent guys are using Gumroad as well and they get the same experience,” said Tighe. “Eminem isn’t getting a deal, they pay the same amount.”

    Conventional wisdom says that there’s still a place for markets to play a role in artist discovery and artist development. Yet we know from how connected we all are to social media that the networks do a fair amount of that heavy lifting these days. Not that every filmmaker is–or wants to be–marketing savvy. Towards that end Gumroad has been developing educational material that helps creatives understand just what to do with things like e-mail lists, explaining why they are so valuable.

    There’s a few other features to the way that Gumroad does business that will be of interest for filmmakers.

    1) Pre-orders. Gumroad has them. So if you want to get your opening day–especially a day and date theatrical/VOD opening day–numbers looking good you can stack the deck ahead of time.

    2) Bundles. Feel like putting a bunch of work together, or offering discount codes? Done.

    3) Plus-pricing. Creators can set “$5 plus” style prices, letting their patrons leave a little extra if they’re feeling generous. (This actually works, which seems crazy if you’re as cheap as I can be.)

    Maybe the most compelling feature of Gumroad is the scrappy “change the world” vibe that comes from the people and the product. The service occupies a place on the landscape that might be distinct from crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Patreon, but the emphasis on the direct relationship of fans to creators is part of the same movement those companies are the vanguard of.

    In my lengthy conversation with Tighe, I got the sense that what was powering Gumroad is an ideology that these tools enable.

    “What I think the future looks like if Gumroad succeeds and companies like Patreon succeed along with us.” said Tighe, “[Is that] it will be a viable thing to become a filmmaker or a musician or an author. It won’t be a thing that horrifies your parents. It won’t be a thing that requires you working as a barista during the day or having a terrible nine to five that you hate. You’re actually going to be able to make a living at it.”

    Public media’s TurnstyleNews.com, covers tech and digital culture from the West Coast.

    Go to Turnstylenews.com | Like us on Facebook | Follow us on Tumblr

  • Windows 10 for Phone to Support USB Mass Storage and USB Type-C

    When it comes to Windows 10 for Phone, we are going to see a whole lot of improvements around USB support in the release coming this summer.  At the WinHEC event in China, the company outlined how they are going to be changing the way USB works on the platform and they are all positives.  First and perhaps most importantly is the support for USB Type-C, the new standard in USB connectors.  Apple as you may know recently announced a new MacBook that only has a USB Type-C connector for everything: Power, Display, etc.  Some didn’t take kindly to it

    The post Windows 10 for Phone to Support USB Mass Storage and USB Type-C appeared first on Clinton Fitch.

  • New Jersey Finally Lifts Ban On Tesla Sales
    New Jersey gave Tesla Motors the green light on Wednesday to start selling its cars again.

    Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill allowing the Palo Alto-based electric carmaker to open four dealerships in the state, which last year banned the company from selling its cars directly to consumers.

    “I said last year that if the Legislature changed the law, I would sign new legislation put on my desk and that is exactly what I’m doing today,” Christie said in a statement. “We’re pleased that manufacturers like Tesla will now have the opportunity to establish direct sales operations for consumers in a manner lawfully in New Jersey.”

    Tesla did not respond to a request for comment, but posted a tweet recognizing the new law.

    A huge victory in New Jersey for consumer choice: We are open for business! @GovChristie

    — Tesla Motors (@TeslaMotors) March 18, 2015

    Unlike other car companies, Tesla sells its cars directly to buyers and does not use franchised dealerships. This has prompted a state-by-state fight with dealership associations, which have lobbied states to enforce laws that prevent car manufacturers from selling directly to customers. As a result, Tesla is barred from selling its Model S sedan — for now, its sole offering — in Texas, Arizona, Michigan and Maryland, all states where it previously operated before the bans were in place.

    tesla new jersey
    This map shows every current Tesla store throughout North America.

    New Jersey’s new law allows any automaker that only produces zero-emissions vehicles to operate no more than four dealerships in the state. A similar agreement in New York last year limited Tesla to five dealerships there.

    If the company is successful in expanding its business, as it plans to do, the cap on the number of stores in these two states could become a problem.

    Earlier this year, CEO Elon Musk vowed to aggressively spend money over the next few years to grow the company. The Model X, its highly anticipated sports utility vehicle, is due out later this year after several delays. Tesla plans to unveil the Model 3 — which, tentatively priced at $35,000, would be its most affordable vehicle yet — sometime next year. The company is building a $5 billion “gigafactory” in Nevada to mass-produce the lithium-ion batteries that power its cars.

    “This issue is not solved, it’s delayed,” Karl Brauer, senior analyst at the automotive research firm Kelley Blue Book, told The Huffington Post of New Jersey’s new law. “They’ve basically delayed the longer-term, larger issue.”

    Still, it’s progress.

    New Jersey’s Tesla ban was mocked last month with a Luddite Award, a prize bestowed by a Washington, D.C., think tank. The term Luddite, which describes a person who opposes new technologies, derives its origins from bands of early 19th-century English textile workers who destroyed new automated milling machinery out of fear that it endangered their jobs.

    “This gets them off the Luddite list,” Rob Atkinson — president of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, which invented the award — told HuffPost. Noting the four-store quota, he added, “But it doesn’t get them on any pro-innovation list.”

    tesla stock

    Tesla stock rose nearly 3 percent to $200.05 after Christie’s office announced the law’s passage.

    For Tesla’s core of devoted fans, who laud the company and its mission to rid the world of carbon-emitting vehicles, the new law is welcome news, said Andrea Giangone, 48, a member of the 50-person fan group Tesla Owners of New Jersey.

    “It allows Tesla to expand its sales,” Giangone, who owns a blue 2013 Model S, told HuffPost. “It’s so exciting, we’re all happy.”

  • Windows 10 to Support More Multi-Touch Gestures

    There has been a lot of news about Windows 10 today from the WinHEC event in Shenzhen, China and this tidbit is really exciting for those of us who use touchpads and Windows tablets.  In Windows 10, Microsoft is concentrating efforts on improving the array of multi-touch gestures that you can use on touchpads and touchscreens to improve the user experience but also to give more controls at the touch of a finger – or set of fingers –  as the case may be.  This includes a relaxation of the requirements on how the touchpad and touchscreen digitizers should perform

    The post Windows 10 to Support More Multi-Touch Gestures appeared first on Clinton Fitch.

  • Microsoft Releases Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 10041 to Windows Insiders

    Microsoft has announced that a new build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview is coming to Windows Insiders on the Fast Ring today.  The new Build 10041 comes 54 days after the first preview release and is being welcomed with glee as it addresses a lot of bugs and brings improved features and functionality over the original build, Build 9926.  Only those in the Windows Insider program will have access to it and only those in the Fast Ring will see it.  As a reminder, this is a beta of Windows 10 so it is far from complete despite Microsoft’s

    The post Microsoft Releases Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 10041 to Windows Insiders appeared first on Clinton Fitch.

  • Apple's Tim Cook interviewed: talks products, collaboration, Jobs
    Following an excerpt from the forthcoming biography called Becoming Steve Jobs about the mercurial co-founder and former CEO of Apple, the company’s current leader Tim Cook was interviewed by Fast Company about what has changed — and what has stayed the same — since Jobs’ untimely death in 2011. In the wide-ranging conversation, Cook owns up to some growing pains, but says the spirit of Jobs lives on.

  • This Public Bus Runs Entirely On Human Poop Converted Into Fuel
    These British passengers can confidently assert that their sh*t don’t stink.

    The city of Bristol is prepared to roll out a vehicle on March 25 that’s powered entirely by locals’ poop as part of an ambitious environmental campaign. The Bio-Bus, which will aptly run on Bristol’s Service 2 route, plans to fuel up at a sewage treatment where human waste and inedible food is converted into biomethane, according to GENeco, which is overseeing the recycling process.

    The 40-seater will operate four days a week with the help of more than 32,000 households whose waste gets processed at the Bristol sewage plant, according to First Group.

    The bus will help improve air quality, will actually be quieter than other public vehicles and won’t exude any odors, the Telegraph reported.

    It will also encourage British people to start calling their toilets a throne, instead of a loo.

    “It’s very hard to get people to believe in the whole recycling ethic,” Colin Field, who works at the Bath Bus company, told the Telegraph in November. “When they can actually see that the waste they put in their little bin … is powering this vehicle, it makes people look at it in a slightly different light.”

    To make sure the riders don’t raise a stink about the partnership, First West of England, which is operating the bus, is giving a free ticket to residents who live near the service line.

    It’s a fair deal considering that when the Bio-Bus’ driver steps on the gas, he’ll be able to cover 2.5 million miles over the course of a year with the waste produced by the households along the route.

    The bus first came up roses last year when it made its debut running between Bath city center and Bristol Airport, according to GENeco.

    If the bus proves to be successful, First West will consider introducing an entire fleet of “poo buses.”

    “The very fact that it’s up and running in the city should help to open up a serious debate about how buses are best fuelled, and what is good for the environment,” said James Freeman, managing director at First West of England.

    H/T CityLab

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