PTJ 108 News: Arrivals and Departures

We’re rolling into September and new phones are everywhere.  Samsung released two new models in the Galaxy Note phablet line, the Galaxy Note 4 and the Galaxy Note Edge, the latter of which has a screen that curves around the side of the device. Then there’s Amazon! The company released its first Fire smartphone just a few months ago and this week, it dropped the price from about $200 to a mere 99 cents. Can we say…

FireSale

Also heating up: The Net Neutrality debate. Netflix joined Reddit, Kickstarter and tons of other websites in an online protest this Wednesday in which the participating sites displayed the “loading” graphic so common with slow connections, along with more information about the FCC’s proposal. California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler asking him to reclassify the broadband as a telecommunications service to protect consumers.

The FCC sure is getting a lot of mail these days. Discovery Communications is one of the latest companies to speak out against the intended union. In a letter to the agency, Catherine Carroll, a Discovery’s vice president, said the merger would create monopoly-like conditions and had several bullet points to back up the argument. (Meanwhile, the Ars Technica site has noticed that Comcast is using Javascript to inject self-promotional ads for its services into Web pages on devices that are connected to one of its many public WiFi hotspots.)

TwitterTwitter announced on the company blog this week that it was rolling out a Buy button on posts from certain retailers that lets users purchase products advertised in tweets. Will people buy as impulsively as they tweet?

If you’ve used you credit card at a Home Depot recently, keep an eye on your statements, as the big orange do-it-yourself supply store has been hit with a Target-like security breach. A new variant of the same malware used in the Target attack has been found on Home Depot’s point-of-sale terminals and the breach had been reportedly going on since last spring.

delveMicrosoft continues to develop its Office 365 tools for business users and is rolling out a new presentation and internal service app that looks an awful lot like Flipboard. The new tool is called Office Delve. And Google Play Movies & TV for iOS got an update this week so users can download videos and play them offline.

The run-up to the holiday season also means new videogames, like Destiny, which landed on Sony and Microsoft consoles this week. To help players really get into the science-fiction shooter, Sony has announced new gaming headsets coming this fall for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. The models include the $99 PlayStation Gold Wireless Headset with 7.1 virtual surround sound and the $70 Silver Wired Headset, also with 7.1 surround.

tivo-megaAnd finally, TiVo, which announced a $50 over-the-air recorder a few weeks ago, is swinging to the other end of the price-tag spectrum with its new TiVo Mega recorder, which costs $5,000 — and comes with 24 terabytes of room. That’s  enough to record 26,000 hours of standard-def TV or 4,000 hours of HD video. The TiVo Mega also includes six TV tuners. The recorder isn’t due to arrive until 2015, so you have plenty of time to figure out how you can fill up that bad boy.

Oh, and one more thing…

applelivestream

Apple had an event this week. Among the announcements:

Not announced? The quiet death of the iPod Classic, the last click-wheel, hard-drive based iPod and the most direct descendant of the simple white block that put Apple back on the map as an innovative  technology company. Be thou at peace, iPod Classic.

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