Today in Tech News Digest, Aereo lands in court, Netflix promises price rises, Reddit tampers with technology, the Samsung Innovation Museum, Amazon loves Goodreads, and Han Solo in Carbonite gets his own rug.
Aereo Fights For Life In Supreme Court
After several years of legal wrangling and contradictory rulings over its status, Aereo has made it to the United States Supreme Court. The case against Aereo, as brought by a consortium of broadcasters, will now be heard by the highest federal court in the U.S.
Aereo is a New York-based company disrupting the traditional cable television business model. It works by leasing a remote television antenna to each customer. This enables Aereo to stream (almost) live broadcast television programming to a customer’s devices over the Internet.
The broadcasters trying to halt Aereo from operating claim the service infringes on their copyrights thanks to the streams being public performances. Aereo insists that employing a separate antenna for each customer means these aren’t public performances and therefore retransmission consent isn’t necessary.
Aereo has been operating in New York for over two years, with a number of major U.S. cities now covered by the service. During that time Aereo won in Federal Court and the Second Circuit appeal.
The Supreme Court will now decide the ultimate fate of Aereo and, as a consequence, the traditional business model of the TV industry inside the United States. Making the outcome an important one for all those seeking to cut the cable cord.
Netflix Raising Streaming Prices
By Netflix leaving existing customers at the lower price, it’s pretty incentivized to not leave then come back like I often do…
— Zac Hall ¯\_(?)_/¯ (@apollozac) April 21, 2014
Netflix is planning on increasing its streaming prices by $1 to $2 dollars in the U.S. and possibly beyond. Only new subscribers will be affected for “a generous time period,” but eventually everyone will be asked to pay more for Netflix.
This news was revealed in the first-quarter earnings letter sent to shareholders [PDF link]. The letter also showed revenues of $1.07 billion for the quarter, and total subscribers numbers of 48.35 million (35.61 million of whom are in the U.S.). That’s a lot of people to annoy with a price increase.
Reddit Dumps Technology Subreddit
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 21, 2014
Reddit has removed the /r/technology subreddit from its homepage, where it formerly held one of the prized positions as a default subreddit. The reason for its demotion is a convoluted story which involved moderators effectively banning certain keywords including “National Security Agency,” “Anonymous,” “Bitcoin,” “Snowden,” and “net neutrality.” The BBC has all the details.
Samsung Innovation Museum Opens
3 things that don’t go together: 1. Veggie + burger 2. Diet + ice cream 3. Samsung + innovation
— Adam Kmiec (@adamkmiec) April 18, 2014
Samsung has opened the doors of the Samsung Innovation Museum, which sees the Korean company detailing innovation throughout the ages. Engadget has toured the five-storey installation in Suwon, and suggests it isn’t as biased towards Samsung as you may imagine.
In fact, the Apple II even makes an appearance, despite the two companies being sworn enemies. Still, wags are using the opportunity to call into question Samsung’s use of the word “innovation,” which isn’t what most people think when it comes to the company’s products.
Amazon Adds Goodreads Integration
Now you can add your Amazon book purchases to your Goodreads shelves! (Available in US, Canada & Australia) http://t.co/kYKuBV8xgB
— goodreads (@goodreads) April 16, 2014
Amazon has finally integrated with Goodreads, more than a year after the online retailer acquired the social reading service. The new integration means Goodreads users can more easily add books to their library that they have purchased on Amazon. Not the most exciting news but perhaps a sign of deeper integration to come.
Han Solo In Carbonite Rug
And finally, the image of Han Solo frozen in carbonite is an iconic one for Star Wars fans everywhere. And now, thanks to a rug officially licensed by Lucasfilm and sold through ThinkGeek, we can all have a Carbonite Han Solo staring back at us from our floors. Which is both awesome and creepy.
Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.
Image Credit: Al Ibrahim via Flickr