TechSummit Rewind #029: June 23, 2015

Editor’s Note: This is the TechSummit Rewind, a daily recap of the top technology headlines.

Apple will pay artists for free Music streams

Apple Music

After Taylor Swift wrote an open letter to Apple threatening to remove her latest album from its catalog, Apple has completely reversed its position on paying artists for streams done during Apple Music’s three-month free trial.

“#AppleMusic will pay artist[s] for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period,”

-Eddy Cue, Apple senior vice president of internet software and services, on Twitter

“I am elated and relieved. Thank [Eddy Cue] for your words of support today. [Apple] listened to us.”

-Taylor Swift, on Twitter

“[The decision]’s something we worked on together. Ultimately, we both wanted to make the change.”

-Eddy Cue

Apple will pay rights holders for the entire three month trial on a per-stream basis, according to Cue.

“I did reach out to Taylor [Swift] today, and talked to her, and let her know that we heard her concerns, and wanted her to know that we were making changes. She was thrilled to hear from us, and that we were making the change, and we were grateful for that.”

-Eddy Cue

Docker rivals join forces in open container effort

Docker

The Linux Foundation is now home to the Open Container Project (OCP), bringing Docker, CoreOS, and others together to advance open-source containers.

The founding OCP members include the following:

  • Docker
  • CoreOS
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Apcera
  • Cisco
  • EMC
  • Fujitsu
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Google
  • HP
  • Huawei
  • IBM
  • Intel
  • Joyent
  • The Linux Foundation
  • Mesosphere
  • Microsoft
  • Pivotal
  • Rancher Labs
  • Red Hat
  • VMware

“The idea of trying to set up an industry standard with Docker Inc. contributing really started about three weeks ago, and it started picking up steam in the last week.”

-Ben Golub, Docker CEO

“By participating with Docker and all the other folks in the OCP, we’re getting the best of both worlds. We’re getting the contributions from Docker with the format and runtime that underpin container usage, and then we’re also getting the shared standard and vendor neutrality aspects that we’ve designed with app container.”

-Alex Polvi, CoreOS CEO

Microsoft clarifies free Windows 10 upgrades

win10_windows_spartan_Web

 

After saying that Windows Insiders will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 RTM, drop out of the Insider program, and maintain their license and backtracking: Microsoft’s Gabriel Aul clarified once again Monday what will happen to Insiders on July 29th.

If you want to continue as a Windows Insider, nothing will change. You will still get builds based on whether you’re in the Fast or Slow ring. ISOs will continue to be provided, so you can recover if necessary.

If you want to opt out of the program on July 29, you would follow the existing Windows 10 offer for Genuine Windows 7/8.1 machines. If you upgraded to Windows 10 from a Genuine Windows 7/8.1 machine, it will remain activated, but if not, you will need to roll back to your previous OS or get a new Windows 10 license before the build expires. It is unclear if you needed to update from Windows Update, but we have contacted Aul and will update this post when we can confirm that information.

Anti-virus software attacked by NSA, GCHQ

nsa

The National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) have worked to subvert anti-virus and other security software to track users and infiltrate networks, according to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The spy agencies have engineered software products, and monitored web and email traffic in order to thwart anti-virus software and obtain intelligence about security software and its users. One software maker specifically mentioned is Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab, which has over 270,000 corporate clients, and over 400 million consumers using their products.

British spies aimed to thwart Kaspersky software through a technique known as software reverse engineering (SRE), according to a warrant renewal request. The NSA also studies Kaspersky’s software for weaknesses, obtaining sensitive customer information by monitoring communications between the software and Kaspersky servers, according to a draft report. The U.S. spy agency also appears to have examined emails inbound to security companies flagging new viruses and vulnerabilities.

“If you write an exploit for an anti-virus product, you’re likely going to get the highest privileges with just one shot. Anti-virus products with only a few exceptions, are years behind security-conscious client-side applications like browsers or document readers. It means that Acrobat Reader, Microsoft Word, or Google Chrome are harder to exploit than 90 percent of the anti-virus products out there.”

-Joxean Koret, Singapore-based information security consultancy Coseinc researcher

Google intros News Lab to provide journalist tools

Google has unveiled the News Lab, a way to provide resources for journalists to do their jobs with the company’s products.

Google wants to collaborate with journalists and entrepreneurs to help map out the future of media, according to the company in a blog post. The site features best practices for newsrooms using apps like Maps, Search, YouTube, and Trends to better track stories in real time, tell stories using data, and distribute them with Google’s channels.

In addition, the company is working on partnerships with newsrooms to work on specific data projects, and partnering with media startups like Matter and Hacks/Hackers to developer new ideas and tools for journalists.

Instacart reclassifies part of company’s workforce

Instacart

Instacart, the online grocery delivery service, is converting a large part of its contractor workforce into part-time employees. The company has already made the change for staffers in Boston and Chicago, with more cities coming soon.

The San Francisco-based company serves about 10,000 shoppers in 16 cities across the U.S., delivering items from Whole Foods Market, Costco, and Petco, among others.

The newly employed shoppers will work 20-30 hours a week and make above minimum wage, but their exact pay will vary based on their city, according to Instacart spokeswoman Andrea Saul. Workers who wish to remain independent contractors will also have the ability to become members of its driver fleet, which delivers goods from supermarkets to customers’ homes.

The change is designed to improve customer service and the quality of items, according to Instacart founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta.

“Grocery shopping is not easy. A Whole Foods location can have between 30,000 to 50,000 items, depending on the size of the store. It takes nuance and skill to pick the best items. What we found is that our shoppers require training and supervision, which is how you improve the quality of the picking. You can’t do that when they are independent contractors.

“In the short term, this is going to impact us negatively. In the long term, as a result of trust and loyalty we will build with customers, it should be the right thing to do.

“This was primarily for the customer experience, but we are in this awkward phase where we have millions of people working in this new economy, and the laws are not clearly defines. It would be helpful for everyone in this space for there to be clear regulation.”

-Approva Mehta, Instacart founder and CEO

 

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