A Week in Tech #5 - The Two Week Edition

A Week in Tech #5

The Two Week Edition

After another fortnight away, Joe‘s back here on FatKidOnFire with the all important ‘Week in Tech’ review. Like #4’s instalment, this two weeks’ worth of tech news with updates from some of the biggest companies in the industry. Find Joe on Twitter here.

Twitter #Music 

Twitter #music

Two weeks ago saw the release of Twitter’s much-rumoured new music discovery service, imaginatively titled ‘Twitter #Music‘. The service uses Twitter activity to detect the network’s most popular tracks, finding and recommending artists based on who you follow.

Discovered songs can be played within the app. Music is provided from iTunes by default, using the preview tracks uploaded to the store. However, if you have premium Spotify or Rdio accounts, tracks can be played in their entirety (assuming they’re available).

The service is only available on iOS but don’t worry, there’s an Android version in the works. Oh and it looks gorgeous! For more info, check out the Twitter blog.

Facebook Home rolls out internationally

Facebook Home

Facebook’s latest mobile venture, Facebook Home began rolling out to countries outside of the US two weeks ago yesterday. Facebook also updated its iOS version of the app complete with the ‘Chat Heads’ feature found in Home. While this feature will be limited to only being available within the Facebook apps itself, it does streamline the native chat process very well (and looks pretty sweet too). More over on mashable.
[Facebook Home has since added 500k downloads but retained a fairly shocking rating in Google Play]

LulzSec member behind Sony hack jailed

Lulzsec member jailed

Cody Kretsinger, a 25 year old LulzSec member who pleaded guilty to charges relating to the extensive hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment last year, was sentenced this week to a combined one year in prison and 1000 hours of community service upon release.

Kretsinger, known online as ‘Recursion’, told a federal jude in last year’s plea hearing of how he had gained access to Sony Pictures website and had passed on information he found to other LulzSec members – who then posted it publicly online. Prosecutors said that Kretsinger and other members caused the company more than $600,000 in damages. More over on Reuters.

Google updates iOS YouTube App to include live streaming

YouTube iOS app

Google recently release version 1.3 of its iOS YouTube app with a host of new tweaks and features, most notably live streaming. The update also brings the option to queue videos for TV viewing, view your recent uploads, as well as under-the-hood performance improvements. More can be found over at The Verge.

LG to release smartphone with flexible screen later this year

Samsung flexible screen

LG has announced that it shall release a new smartphone with a flexible OLED display before the year is out. Whilst a fully flexible phone is unlikely to materialise  it may be that LG will try something similar to the curved-edged Samsung prototype shown at CES back in January. More from Extreme Tech.

The Pirate Bay makes port in Iceland

TPB

The Pirate Bay, having had its Greenland-based domains suspended earlier in April, seems to have found a more permanent home in Iceland. Iceland’s domain registry – ISNIC – will not act without a court order, leaving the responsibility of obeying the rules to the domain owner. This seems to suit The Pirate Bay very well, so for now, cast you sails for thepiratebay.is. Hit up TorrentFreak for more.
[FKOF does not condone piracy. Buy yo sh!t and support the creative industries!]

Netflix’s future of TV

NetflixBuilding4

Netflix recently released an 11-page document outlining their future goals and predications for how we will view TV.

Here’s what we think are the most interesting points:

  • Linear TV will soon be replaced by internet TV as increased internet speeds will allow for technological advancements to become available to internet TV ahead of satellite or cable.
  • Netflix is spending $2billion(!) a year on its content budget, offering more films/shows with long-term value. Content will become more focused:

“As we’ve gained experience, we’ve realized that the 20th documentary about the financial crisis will mostly just take away viewing from the other 19 such docs, and instead of trying to have everything, we should strive to have the best in each category. As such, we are actively curating our service rather than carrying as many titles as we can.”

  • HBO provide the toughest competition for Netflix in terms of commissioning original content, although Netflix believe they will grow 2-3 times the size of HBO in terms of userbase.

Twitter for Mac updated

Twitter

Twitter launched an update for their Mac application late last week, the first since 2011. Photo sharing has been greatly improved (working in a similar fashion to the mobile application), along with new support for Retina displays. Download it here.

WWDC sells out in 2 minutes

WWDC 2013

Apple’ s annual developer conference WWDC sold out in just 2 minutes after tickets went on sale last week. Tickets (costing a healthy $1599) were snapped up in a matter of seconds. Those expecting a hardware announcement at the June conference may have been left a little disappointed after Tim Cook revealed that no new hardware will be revealed until the Autumn during Apple’s earnings call. VentureBeat has more.

If you enjoyed Joe’s latest post, follow him on Twitter and Facebook to get a taste of what he’s up to. Any other tech news you think we should be writing about? Hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

Peace, love and respect.

FKOF