Another week, another legal tussle. Verizon recently threw down a legal challenge to the FCC’s Open Internet rule of 2010, which bans big companies from discriminating against little companies in favor of their own competing services or business partners on their broadband networks. Verizon says this violates its First Amendment rights and some legal eagles worry that the net neutrality rules may not survive.
Let’s not worry about Netflix for the moment, as it seems to have found a cheap way to do customer research. A Netflix VP said the company looks around to see what’s hot on the piracy sites and uses that intel for decisions about what programs to buy for its streaming service. (Why yes, Netflix does offer old seasons of Game of Thrones in its DVD rental department, but no streaming.)
There’s a snap in the East Coast air and companies are rolling out new stuff. A quick post from Nokia’s Twitter account seems to confirm October 22 as the date for the company’s fall hardware event. SanDisk, maker of memory cards, has announced its SanDisk Extreme Pro Compactflash memory card with a 256GB capacity. Microsoft Bing has gotten both a visual overhaul and a new mission to change the definition of search. If you don’t have it already, Twitter is said to be preparing a redesign of its mobile app as well to coincide with the arrival of Apple’s iOS 7, which arrived this week. But even though iOS 7 is fresh out of the gate, the 9to5Mac site reports that it’s noticed last week in its Web analytics that some people are browsing around with devices running iOS 7.0.1, iOS 7.0.2 and iOS 7.1. So the bug hunt has already begun.
Amazon has some updates up its giant sleeves too. While images of new Kindle Fires have been leaking around the Web, the supermegaüberstore also updated its Amazon Instant Video app for iOS to support Apple’s AirPlay technology and add integration with the Internet Movie Database.
Box, one of the many online storage and sharing services up in the cloud, has a new application for creating and editing digital documents. It’s called Box Notes, and this next-generation text editor is taking on Google Docs, Microsoft’s online version of Word, Evernote and even the new startup, Quip. Box Notes is still in beta, but the new tool promises real-time concurrent editing, comments and inline annotations and hyperlinks.
Bump, the sassy little app that let users share photos and other files by plonking phones together long before the Samsung Galaxy got in on the act, is joining Google. The tech news sites are reporting that Google bought Bump for somewhere between $30 and $60 million dollars. Although the Bump app had versions for iPhone and Android and the two platforms could bump together, insiders are predicting that the iPhone version may be going away soon. For a different kind of bump, if the Google Street View photos of certain places around Indonesia look a little shaky, it might be because the Google Street View car taking the photos has been involved in three different traffic accidents outside Jakarta.
In gaming news, Grand Theft Auto V arrived this week and Amazon reportedly sold out of the game for certain consoles like the Xbox 360. The game is expected to grab 1 billion dollars in sales for its first month of release. (Anybody have this game yet? Can you drive a Google Street View car in-world?)
And finally, we here at Pop Tech Jam are pouring out a 40 and cranking the volume up to 11 in honor of Ray Dolby, the legendary sound pioneer who passed away last week at the age of 80. Thanks for all those multichannel memories, Mr. Dolby.