The Technology News Daily Digest from Guardian Liberty Voice for August 7, 2014 includes stories about the next device in Samsung’s line of Galaxy handsets and the highly publicized battle between Verizon and Netflix. Today’s daily digest additionally covers the newly arranged business partnership between Barnes and Noble and Google, and the new instant messaging regulations faced by Chinese citizens. As technology develops, how it is controlled and maintained can often become a complicated problem with a heavy impact on those who rely on it.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
The Galaxy collection of mobile devices has been Samsung’s most popular venture to date. The Note line in particular has been designed to emulate a small, pocket-sized tablet. For this reason, the device and others like it have been decorated with the moniker, “phablet.” The highly anticipated Galaxy Note 4 is set to be officially announced on September 3, a surprising two days earlier than was originally advertised. The phablet is outfitted with a speedy Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, 16 MP rear-facing camera with Exmor camera sensing technology by Sony and 3.68 MP front-facing “selfie” camera. An unusual feature included with the device is a UV sensor that has been designed to assess the level of exposure in the device user’s environment, aiding in the avoidance of skin damage and electronic overheating. The Note 4 is rumored to be offered in two editions, a fixed display and a flexible display, which, if true, would make it one of the most unique products on the market.
China Cracks Down on Instant Messaging
The communist government of China has decided to place new focus on its control over specific instant messaging programs after discovering that access to certain foreign services allowed for communication between suspected terrorists. Additionally, only established media organizations will be permitted to release social and political news information. In augmentation to those actions already taken by the government through the last several years, this is yet another measure to dampen the personal freedom that Chinese citizens are able to express over the internet. Access to South Korean social services, such as instant messaging programs and social networks, have specifically been blocked. Due to the nature of the encryption on the chat messages, the means by which the government procured the evidence of suspected terrorism is still unclear.
Barnes and Noble and Google to Take on Amazon Bookstore
Amazon has been dominating the market of online book sales with its Kindle Store and fast purchases with expedient delivery. Its impact saw the closing of dozens of Borders locations throughout the country as well as other name-brand book retailers. After closing 63 of its stores over the last five years, Barnes and Noble has joined forces with Google to fight back. Beginning on Thursday of this week Barnes and Noble customers in select cities will be able to welcome same-day delivery of their book purchases using Google Shopping Express. Cities included in the first installment of this new paradigm are the San Francisco Bay Area, West Los Angeles and Manhattan. Unlike Amazon, which uses multiple warehouse locations around the 10 cities in which it offers the same-day service, Google will be using a group of hired couriers. The couriers will collect the purchased items from the local Barnes and Noble and deliver them within a three to four-hour time frame, similar to the way a personal grocery shopper would.
Netflix v.s. Verizon
Verizon and Netflix have been pushing the blame for poor video buffering onto each other for months. While the issue appears to be unique to the Verizon network, both companies appear to be more invested in settling where the blame lies than on discovering a solution for frustrated customers. When CEO of Customer.io, Colin Nederkoorn, published a blog outlining his frustration, the hostility between the two companies escalated further. Nederkoorn performed a small test to determine where the problem with his Netflix connection could be originating. He utilized a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to connect to the Netflix server, where he found that the connection speed drastically improved 10 fold. The connection speed experienced by Nederkoorn on Verizon’s FiOS network was 0.375 Megabits per second (Mbps) whereas the improved speed was 3Mbps.
The Technology News Commentary By Faye Barton
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