Tech News

Streaming Is Killing iTunes, YouTube Is Shaming ISPs, And More… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 07-07-2014

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 Spotify vs. Rdio: A Complete Comparison I recently cancelled my Spotify Premium membership after a year of uninterrupted monthly payments to the company. This decision came about when I accidentally signed up for 14-days of free Rdio Unlimited. Quite frankly, I... Read More .

These results explain why Apple recently bought Beats Apple Finally Buys Beats, Microsoft Teases Skype Translator, Hidden Cash on Twitter [Tech News Digest] Apple gets Beats; a promise of real time translations from Microsoft; Chrome turns into a walled garden; Billboard ranks songs on Twitter; Uber gears up for the future; Avast hacked; and a Twitter cash grab. Read More , why Google recently bought Songza The NSA Can Spy On Almost Everybody, Google Buys Songza, And More... [Tech News Digest] Online book sales have overtaken retail book sales, the UK is investigating the Facebook experiment, IFTTT makes Yo useful, Oculus Rift experiment gives third-person perspective, and Google tests our general knowledge with Smarty Pins. Read More , and why Amazon recently added music streaming to its Prime service Amazon Prime Music, Tesla Patents, Bitcoin Auction, Angry Birds Epic [Tech News Digest] Amazon Prime Music, Tesla patents promise, seized Bitcoin auction, Angry Birds Epic, Windows Phone Pinterest, Skype 5.0 remastered, and The Onion opens ClickHole. Read More . 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

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 Netflix At War With ISPs, 3D Amazon Smartphone, Tinder Selfies [Tech News Digest] Netflix battles ISPs, Amazon teases 3D smartphone, Xbox One comes to PC, Tinder mimics Snapchat, GOG launches GOG Galaxy, Yahoo upsets Flickr users, and how to break up with someone using Internet memes. Read More .

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

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 Phones On Planes, Sockpuppeting, Female Geeks, Lulu Larks [Tech News Digest] Planes may allow cellphones, Wikipedia suppresses sockpuppeting, Samsung told to pay up, female geeks on the rise, Microsoft interested in Winamp, Opera 18 released, Microsoft turns to eBay, and a potentially sexist app hyped by... Read More . 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 Amazon Kindle Fire HDX Review and Giveaway Is the Kindle Fire HDX worth owning if you haven't owned a Kindle before? To find out, we purchased a 16 GB Kindle Fire HDX 7" (Wi-Fi) without special offers for $244, and we're giving... Read More 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 Amazon Delivery Drones, Facebook Hack, Kindle Fire Vs iPad Air [Tech News Digest] Amazon aerial drones, Facebook friends list hack, Google Nexus handsets vulnerability discovered, Black Friday numbers are released, Steam introduces user reviews, and the Kindle Fire HDX is compared favorably to the iPad Air. Read More , other people are already using these quadrocopters for good. Or, to entertain themselves, at least.

Shooting photographs of fireworks displays How To Photograph a Fireworks Display While July 4 has passed for another year, there are plenty of other opportunities to catch fireworks around the globe in 2013 and beyond. With a few pointers, it's possible to capture more than a... Read More 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

Related topics: iTunes, YouTube.

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  1. CSharp
    July 7, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    You ask the wrong questions.

    If streaming is what people want to do, isn't it clear what Apple should do...

    Is it really possible to shame corporations, publicly or otherwise...

    Are there better ways to spend time and money than fireworks displays...

    Now put question marks at the ends of those.

    • Dave P
      July 9, 2014 at 9:00 pm

      I suspect by buying Beats Apple already is trying to move in that direction.

      I think so. There are countless examples of people calling out corporations for bad behavior and winning apologies.

      No, fireworks are cool.