Streaming Is Killing iTunes, YouTube Is Shaming ISPs, And More… [Tech News Digest]
Also, Russia wants Internet user data kept within its borders, the TSA insists mobile phones are kept charged, Uber is ruled legal in London, see which books no one finishes reading, and drones flying through fireworks is spectacular.
Streaming Music Vs. Buying Music
Music is increasingly being consumed by streaming rather than buying. This is according to the Nielsen report into music consumption in the U.S. for the first half of 2014. Streaming is up a whopping 42 percent over the previous year, with digital sales falling by 11.6 percent for albums and 13 percent for single tracks.
In total, tracks were played 70 billion times via streaming services during the time period. Which strongly suggests more people are switching away from Apple iTunes and others in order to have instant access to millions of tracks via the likes of Spotify and Rdio .
These results explain why Apple recently bought Beats , why Google recently bought Songza , and why Amazon recently added music streaming to its Prime service . All three tech giants are becoming increasingly aware of the huge potential in providing all-you-can-eat streaming services.
The question is, which of these companies do you trust the least?
YouTube Begins Publicly Shaming ISPs
The most hated website for all ISPs must be @YouTube. Website they love to throttle.
— Jigyasa (@killedthecat) June 30, 2014
YouTube is now publicly shaming ISPs that are failing to deliver video at the quality and speed they should be doing. A blue banner underneath videos either constantly being buffered or having their quality dialled down invites viewers to discover why they’re experiencing these issues.
Clicking on the banner takes you to the Video Quality Report for your ISP, showing how they’re performing in your area. There is also the option to “compare providers in your area.” This is YouTube effectively saying, “Don’t blame us for this, blame your crappy ISP.” Just as Netflix did a few months ago .
Russia Ups Internet Data Efforts
The Russian parliament has voted to force companies to retain all user data for its citizens within the borders of Russia. By September 2016 all companies must store Russian user data on servers in Russia or risk getting blocked.
The official reason for this new law is to prevent Russian user data being exported to the U.S. where it can “be hacked and given to criminals.” VentureBeat suggests this may be more about allowing the Russian government to gain access to this data, and/or give Russian Internet companies an advantage over foreign competition. We’ll let you make your own minds up.
TSA Bans Uncharged Phones From Flights
Thanks to the federal government we now have the TSA in our pants, the IRS in our politics & the NSA in our phones.
— Robert S. (@OldBob47) June 6, 2013
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is now asking people flying into the U.S. to turn on their mobile phones before boarding a plane. Those with uncharged phones may be barred from getting on the flight.
This is a change of policy from an organization which once insisted everyone switch off their mobile phones before flying . The idea being that requiring passengers to switch on their phones ensures they aren’t carrying a bomb designed to look like a mobile. Which is now a threat, apparently.
Uber App Ruled Legal In London
Transport for London (TfL) has ruled that Uber is operating legally in the UK capital. This is in response to London taxi drivers claiming Uber drivers should require a license to operate. London cabbies recently blockaded the streets in protest at Uber, but TfL has now rejected their claims that Uber didn’t have the right to compete for passengers.
For more information on this subject please read What Is Uber And Why Is It Threatening Traditional Taxi Services?
Amazon Reveals List Of Unfinished Books
Jordan Ellenberg, professor of mathematics at the University of Wisconsin, has figured out how to discover which books people start reading but never quite get around to finishing. And we have the Amazon Kindle to thank for this dataset.
Ellenberg’s method uses the ‘Popular Highlights’ feature on every book’s Kindle page to determine how far most people get through a book. If the highlights all come from the beginning then it’s likely most people gave up on that book very quickly.
The Hawking Index (HI) reveals that Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, and A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking are three books the vast majority of people don’t finish. None of which come as much of a surprise, surely.
Watch Drones Flying Through Fireworks
And finally, while Amazon quietly works behind the scenes figuring out how to get drones delivering your purchases , other people are already using these quadrocopters for good. Or, to entertain themselves, at least.
Shooting photographs of fireworks displays is so passé, as now it’s all about flying a drone through the fireworks as they explode all around you. Problems will arise when everyone starts flying drones through firework displays, and mid-air collisions become commonplace. But until then let’s enjoy the spectacle.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Do you prefer streaming music or buying music? Do underperforming ISPs deserve to be publicly shamed? Are there any better uses for drones than filming fireworks displays?
Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credit: William Brawley via Flickr