Update: Today's the day!
To celebrate recent Golden Globe wins, Amazon plans to treat customers to a couple of deals this weekend. First, it plans to allow free streaming of all episodes of Transparent, its award-winning original series. That's ten episodes, available to stream Saturday January 24 from 12:01am eastern to 11:59pm pacific using Amazon's Prime Instant Video service.
Perhaps more exciting, though, is the fact that Amazon will be offering Prime memberships for $72 on the same day (to celebrate the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards of course), a nice discount over the normal $99/year price. Read More
YouTube has become a great place for indie musicians to get their work out to the public, and in a few cases, even make a little extra money with Google's automated Content ID music identifying and licensing service. That was all well and good, right up to the point where Google decided it would make its video site into a formal music service with YouTube Music Key. We heard of serious issues with the contract terms even before the service launched, but now one independent artist has spilled the beans on those terms, and how they've left her in a conundrum. Read More
Sometimes old stuff is too old. It's sad, but companies don't have unlimited resources, and they can't provide new software updates and service forever. That's especially true of smaller companies like Dropcam (though it's technically owned by Nest, which is technically owned by Google, so I'm not sure if it qualifies as a "small" company anymore). But instead of simply leaving owners of older hardware in the dust, or compromising on new features for the always-on home monitoring service, Dropcam has decided to simply upgrade the old models for free. Read More
You might have noticed a number of recent stories (like this one) claiming Google was abandoning some huge portion of Android users rather than fixing WebView security holes. It's exactly the kind of thing that makes good clickbait. Google has now issued a statement on the security issues in Android 4.3 and earlier, basically pointing out it's not feasible to update old code forever and offering tips for avoiding potential exploits. Read More
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a unique spin on the tactical RPG, a beautiful twitch game, a Breakout-platformer mashup, a roguelike with chess movement, and an oddly disturbing fishing game. Read More
MakerBot has brought its mobile app to Google Play, empowering users to control their MakerBot printers from an Android-powered device. The app accesses 3D models saved in your cloud library, which you can now print, monitor, and cancel from your phone or tablet.
This is MakerBot's second Android app to enter the Play Store. Its first, Thingiverse, came to Android roughly a year ago. Following the latest update (version 1.3), the two pieces of software can work together, enabling you to print 3D models straight from Thingiverse. Read More
Sprint, in a move that shows its increasing concern about the competition, has announced that it will give any T-Mobile customer a minimum of $200 towards a new device when they trade in a working device and port over their number.
This offer will be available until April 9th, and customers can combine it with Sprint's existing contract buyout deal, where T-Mobile customers get $350 per line in the form of a Visa prepaid card to cover their first bill or early termination fees. Read More
Republic Wireless' hybrid WiFi-cellular calling system requires a number of changes to the firmware of phones, so updates tend to take a little longer. Case in point, The Moto G and Moto E are about to get Android 4.4.4 on Republic, but the Moto X is delayed a bit longer.
The US and EU have put in effect sanctions against the Crimea area of Ukraine following Russia's annexation of the peninsula, and now various tech companies are complying. Google has already started to block AdSense and AdWords in the region, reports TechCrunch, and it plans to cut off Google Play services starting on February 1st.
Google's actions follow the likes of Apple, PayPal, and Valve (which has opted to turn off Steam in Crimea altogether). When Google cuts off access to Google Play services, this will apply to both paid and free provisions, but the company will continue to provide access to web-based services such as search, Gmail, and Maps. Read More
The US isn't the only market where carrier consolidation is the name of the game. UK carrier O2 is being purchased by Hong Kong businessman Li Ka-shing, who already owns Three Mobile in the UK. The agreed upon price is reportedly a whopping £10.25 billion ($15.4 billion). If all goes as planned, the deal would reduce the number of major UK carriers to three.