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Square to buy website-building company Weebly for $365M – CNET

The deal is expected to accelerate Square’s international expansion.
Source: CNET

NBN's speed slowed by reliance on copper network, its CEO admits

Bill Morrow says Coalition changes made network cheaper and faster to install but more prone to faults

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The national broadband network’s reliance on copper has led to a higher fault rate and slower internet speeds but helped deliver the network faster and cheaper, its outgoing chief executive has said.

In a position paper released on Friday, Bill Morrow is frank about the challenges of fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) technology and use of the copper network, a signature policy of Malcolm Turnbull in his time as communications minister.

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Source: THE GUARDIAN TECH

Sprint, T-Mobile reportedly may wrap up deal talks by next week – CNET

The wireless carriers are talking about how they would exercise voting control over the combined company, Reuters reports.
Source: CNET

Disney’s pneumatic ‘Force Jacket’ could be the key to awesome VR theme parks

As we navigate further and further into this strange Ready Player One-like future that plenty of tech companies are investing heavily, Disney wants to ensure that people can feel content in the most life-like way possible.

Disney Research has shown off some research into the world of haptic feedback via a vest with “pneumatically-actuated airbags.”

The “Force Jacket” is powered by a jacket filled with 26 air packets attached via tubes to a machine that inflates and deflate them with precision at the appropriate time. Teamed with a virtual reality experience, the jacket can deliver experiences that make you feel like a virtual object is pushing up against you. In the case of Disney’s early tests, that could mean feeling like you’re getting hit by a snowball.

While a lot of people have played around with body suits and vests sporting haptic feedback, there’s no replacement to actually feeling real pressure rather than a weird little jiggle. This definitely seems like a good direction for Disney to be looking in as it explores the role that virtual reality experiences could have in their amusement parks. The company has launched a Star Wars themed experience from The VOID at its Disney resorts and it’s clear that there’s an endless amount of potential from virtual reality combined with physical interactions.

Is it something that will eventually be in people’s homes? Only if you subscribe to a particularly dismal view of the future, but! this does seem to have some real applications for location-based VR experiences in the future, though they’ll have to shrink stuff down a bit first.


Source: TECH CRUNCH

Yahoo is making it harder for users to sue – CNET

A class action waiver and mutual arbitration clause are two big changes for Yahoo users as the site integrates further into the Verizon Oath family.
Source: CNET

Apple iTunes finally arrives in the Windows Store

With Microsoft’s BUILD 2018 conference right around the corner, the company just made good on a promise from last year’s conference; Apple iTunes is finally coming to the Windows Store.

The music software was originally forecast to arrive by the end of 2017, but it took a bit longer to finally find its Windows home. The iTunes of the Windows Store is just the same old regular iTunes, but now installation updates are handled through the Windows Store updater rather than through Apple . It’s arrival also ensures the software’s compatibility with Windows 10 S mode which only runs apps downloaded from the Windows Store.

If you somehow don’t have iTunes yet you still desire iTunes on your Windows 10 PC, check it out here.


Source: TECH CRUNCH

Researchers are livestreaming audio from nearly 4,000 feet below the ocean


Right now, researchers at the the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) are streaming live(ish) sounds from the bottom of the ocean, some 1,200 meters (nearly 4,000 feet) below the surface. Installed in 2015, the ultra-sensitive microphone — called a hydrophone —  sits approximately 30 kilometers (18 miles) off the coast of California. Audio is amplified so you can hear it with normal speakers, but some creatures — like the baleen whale — require high-quality headphones or a subwoofer to hear the low frequency vocalizations.  Each stream is slightly delayed to allow for processing, but every 10 minutes you’ll get…

This story continues at The Next Web
Source: THE NEXT WEB

The DS X E-Tense Concept is an asymmetrical, electric French fever dream – Roadshow

With 1360 electric horsepower routed to the front wheel only and one of the weirdest passenger layouts yet described to us, the DS X E-Tense promises a weird, wonderful future.
Source: CNET

Jeep's Grand Commander 3-row SUV lands in China – Roadshow

The full-size, three-row SUV is big, attractive, luxurious and economical, and we’re bummed it’s not coming stateside.
Source: CNET

Native Union’s new speaker strikes directly at my weakness for tasteful brass accents

Bluetooth and smart speakers are a dime a dozen these days, and many of them aren’t bad — so what it often comes down to is style. Native Union has my number with its latest device, which accentuates the classic bookcase speaker look with a tech-heavy back end and brass volume knob.

It’s a collaboration with French audio outfit La Boite Concept (roughly, “concept box”), which presumably did the sound-specific portions of the speaker — that is to say, the speaker — while Native Union brought its understated design chops to the bargain.

My iPhone SE proudly wore a Native Union case for a year or so in handsome cherry and brass, though the plastic parts eventually broke down. This looks to be rather a more solid construction, but the design notes are the same: a focus on natural materials with slashes of metal.

Inside is the amplifier and guts, of course, and in back a drawer hides the many inputs: two 3.5mm jacks, two USB, one USB-C. I’m not sure how many of those you’ll end up using simultaneously, but it’s always nice to have options. Plus Bluetooth, of course.

Right now the speaker isn’t quite listed on Native Union’s site — it’s that fresh. Acquire apparently scooped the maker of the thing. I’ve asked for more details, and I’m sure it’ll be online soon. I know it’s coming because there’s a “speakers” nav on their site:

It’s a hell of a good looking thing, but you know it comes at a price — $799. Yes, and you’ll have to buy it at MOMA stores in New York. Really, now. Maybe I’ll wait for a sale.


Source: TECH CRUNCH