TechSummit Rewind #041

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

Flickr wants you to explore photos in VR


There could come a time when you’re flipping through vacation photos while wearing a VR headset. At the XOXO Festival in Portland, OR, Flickr is showing off an early preview of a virtual reality experience that it hopes will become part of the Yahoo-owned photo service.

The demo was conducted with a Oculus DK 2 hooked up to a PC, with the idea that you’ll be able to use the headset with 360-degree panoramic photos.

Flickr’s only been working on this for a couple of weeks, according to Flickr front-end architect Bertrand Fan. The plan right now is to add a VR headset link/button at every page with a 360-degree photo, so if you happen to have a VR headset lying around, you can try the VR experience out. As of now, the VR demo only works with the Oculus, but Fan hopes to integrate it with the Gear VR and other VR headsets as well.

Eventually, there’ll eventually be an Explore Section on Flickr devoted to 360-degree panoramas.

However, Fan wants it to be possible for you to browse through your library and even organize your photos into albums by waving your hands. The initial stages of Flickr VR are hoped to come to the general public by early next year, according to Fan.

Twitter teams with Square to make donations to political candidates on social network

Twitter-Square donations

Twitter is making it easier for its users to actively support political candidates and their causes.

The San Francisco-based company has teamed up with Square to allow users to make donations directly to U.S. candidates through a Tweet starting today.

Candidates can sign up for an account through Square Cash, selecting “Business” account, and then emailing to notify Square of their registration.

  • Once a campaign has been verified by Square, it can Tweet a $Cashtag (unique URL) to request donations from supporters
  • The tweet will automatically include an image with a “contribute” button for people to donate directly.

When donors see a tweet containing a candidate’s $Cashtag and hit the “contribute” button, the Tweet will enable you to select a donation amount and add your debit card and FEC required information

You’ll then have the option to tweet the candidate’s $Cashtag to your followers or return to where you were in Twitter.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 packs 600Mbps LTE, smarter charging

Qualcomm Snapdragon 820

Qualcomm has revealed that its future Snapdragon 820 chip will include 600Mbps LTE-Advanced, to blow past the previous 450Mbps record. It’ll upload at a brisk 150Mbps, too, and the chip is the first to support unlicensed LTE. You’ll also be able to use multi-gigabit 802.11ad WiFi.

According to the San Diego, CA-based company, the Snapdragon 820 is focused on intelligent fast charging rather than raw performance. Its new Quick Charge 3.0 spec is up to 27% faster than refilling your battery, but the big deal is an algorithm that saves energy during those rapid-fire recharges. Compared to Quick Charge 2.0, you’re losing up to 45% less power which could add up over the typical life of a phone or table. The 3.0 implementation is also better at choosing the exact voltage you need, thus reducing the risk that you’ll overheat your devices or shorten your device’s lifespan.

Like the Snapdragon 820 itself, you’ll have to wait for most of this technology to show up next year. However, some is coming sooner. The Snapdragon 617 mid-range chip with eight cores and 300Mbps LTE will support Quick Charge 3.0 when it arrives at the end of 2015. This tech will also reach a slew of other Snapdragons like the eight-core, 150Mbps budget 430 chip due next spring, as well as the previously mentioned 618 and 620.

Ola raising over $500M at $5B valuation


India-based transportation app Ola has raised over $500 million at a $5 billion valuation, with $225 million committed so far.

LG having event on October 1st


LG has sent out invitations to an October 1st event in New York.

Facebook will work with Germany to combat anti-refugee hate speech


Facebook will work with the German government to crack down on hate speech and xenophobia online, after the country’s justice minister called for the Menlo Park, CA-based company to do more to combat hateful speech on refugees. According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook will work with Germany’s justice ministry, internet service providers, and other social networks to form a taskforce aimed at flagging and removing hateful content quicker. Facebook also pledged to help finance organizations that track online hate speech.

“The idea is to better identify content that is against the law and remove it faster from the web.”

-Heiko Maas, Germany justice minister

Appeals court strikes blow for fair use in copyright ruling

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has issued a ruling that found Universal Music Group’s view of fair use as flawed.

The record labor must face a trial over whether it wrongfully sent a copyright takedown notice over a 2007 YouTube video of a toddler dancing to a Prince song. Stephanie Lenz, the toddler’s mother, acquired pro bono counsel from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). The San Francisco, CA-based organization sued Universal in 2007, saying that its takedown practices violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

The judges ruled that copyright holders “must consider the existence of fair use before sending a takedown notification.”

“Fair use is uniquely situated in copyright law so as to be treated differently than traditional affirmative defenses.”

-Richard Tallman, US circuit judge

Universal will now have to face a trial over whether it “knowingly misrepresented” its “good faith belief the video was not authorized by law.” Copyright owners “must consider fair use before sending a takedown notification [before forming that] good faith belief,” according to the judges.

To be successful at trial, Universal has to show that it considered fair use before sending the notice.

The fair use consideration doesn’t have to be “searching or intensive,” according to Tallman.

“A copyright holder who pays lip service to the consideration of fair use by claiming it formed a good faith belief when there is evidence to the contrary is still subject to 512(f) liability.”

-The opinion

“I disagree that there is any material dispute about whether Universal considered fair use. Universal knew it had not considered fair use, and therefore knew it lacked a basis to conclude that the video was infringing.”

-Milan Smith, U.S. circuit judge

Dow Jones strikes chord with Symphony

Symphony, the Palo Alto, CA-based company behind a messaging tool backed by some of Wall Street’s biggest banks, has struck a deal with Dow Jones to offer news content in its service.

Symphony has received support from Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, and other Wall Street banks.

Google broke Russian antitrust laws


Google has violated Russian antitrust laws by requiring manufacturers to pre-install its services on their devices, according to the local antitrust authority.

“It’s a violation that Google required equipment makers to pre-install its services, including search, to get the Google Play application store on their devices.”

-Vladimir Kudryavtsev, Russia Federal Anti-Monopoly Service IT department head

The regulator will have detailed instructions on how to remedy the problem for Google within 10 days, according to Kudryavtsev.

“This is good news for Yandex, which has been losing market share as smartphones powered by Google’s Android gained popularity. A lot of users have been using Google services by default, and Yandex may get a chance to win them back.”

-Konstantin Belov, UralSib Capital analyst


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