TechSummit Rewind 088

This is the TechSummit Rewind, a daily recap of the top technology headlines.

Pokemon Go becomes breakout hit on App Store


Pokemon might have to consider changing their catchphrase to “Gotta Beat ‘Em All” – because Pokemon Go is dominating on the iOS App Store. You might say that it’s catching fire – almost like a wild Charmander or perhaps a Litten.

Ash Ketchum’s shift to the digital region performed a quick attack to the top spot in the U.S. App Store, getting there in less than five hours.

According to data industry-tracking intelligence firm Sensor Tower, Pokemon Go is also the top-grossing iOS app in the U.S., outperforming hits like Game of War, Clash Royale, and Clash of Clans. The app is also seeing similar success in Australia and New Zealand – the two other territories Pokemon Go operates in as of July 11.

Skype bots get new features, work in group chats

Skype bots

Skype is now rolling out bots into group chats, meaning that you can order a pizza from your “important” work conversation.

The update also lets developers add cards for in-conversation functionality, allowing you to do things like reserve a hotel room without leaving chat. They can also drop in authentication for users to carry over account and payment information. Lastly, natural language processing is automatically being added to the bots, improving their ability to interpret humans’ conversation techniques.

Alibaba snaps up Chinese Android app store Wandoujia

The logo of Alibaba Group is seen inside the company's headquarters in Hangzhou

Alibaba has acquired Wandoujia, China’s most prominent Android app store for around $200 million.

According to Analysys International data, Wandoujia is China’s fifth-largest app store with a six percent marketshare.

Wandoujia will be baked into Alibaba’s mobile division, which includes browser maker UC Web.

Twenty telecoms promise 5G networks if EU weakens net neutrality

A group of 20 major telecoms including Deutsche Telekom, Nokia, Vodafone, and BT promise to launch 4G networks throughout the European Union by 2020 if governments decide to weaken net neutrality rules.

The coalition’s plans are outlined in the seven-page “5G Manifesto,” which details how the companies plan to roll out the standard.

According to the document, the companies plan on designing a 5G Action Plan, allowing them to demonstrate its’ benefits in cars, health, public safety, smart city, and entertainment scenarios by 2018. The coalition is calling for enough investment from countries to allow for the infrastructure needed to launch 5G in all 28 EU member states by 2020.

However, the companies are also pushing for the “right regulatory environment,” which involves addressing the “dangers” that come with open internet policies.

“The EU must reconcile the need for open Internet with pragmatic rules that foster innovation. The telecom industry warns that current net neutrality guidelines, as put forward by BEREC (the body of European Regulators), create significant uncertainties around 5G return on investment. Investments are therefore likely to be delayed unless regulators take a positive stance on innovation and stick to it.”

-The 56 Manifesto

Supporters of the manifesto include Airbus, Siemens, and Phillips.

“The manifesto is a valuable input for the 5G action plan that will be presented in September, together with the review of the telecom regulatory framework.”

-Gunther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Digital Economy & Society

The commission is currently taking feedback on the document in a public survey.

PostGhost tweet archive shut down after Twitter cease and desist


PostGhost was a website that archived the tweets of the rich, famous, and important, receiving fame from archiving deleted tweets from politicians and Lindsay Lohan who pleaded Britain to remain in the European Union.

“We created the website to provide the public with a more accurate history of public statement made by the most influential public figures on Twitter. We believe PostGhost provides a fairer and more transparent way of allowing individuals to hold public figures accountable than Politwoops, a website that Twitter has recently reauthorized to publish certain deleted tweets.”

-PostGhost’s creators

Twitter emailed the group threatening to shut down their API access for the crime of displaying deleted Tweets. This crime is banned by Twitter’s terms of service.

PostGhost notes that its targets are all public figures and that they can expect a level of privacy until they tweet out to their millions of followers.

“Of course, not every Twitter user should have their deleted tweets recorded – most people use Twitter as a personal account, and we firmly agree with Twitter’s commitment to their privacy. However, Twitter maintains a list of public figures called verified users for whom Twitter acts as an outsized, instantaneous megaphone to reach vast numbers of followers.”


Line set for a billion dollar IPO

Line messenger

Line, the Japanese messaging app, is gearing up for an IPO later this week that’s set to raise ¥115.5 billion ($1.12 billion) for the company.

According to the company, it’ll have a dual initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, and on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Friday.

Samsung unveils world’s first UFS memory cards

Samsung UFS memory card

Samsung has announced the world’s first removable UFS (Universal Flash Storage) memory cards, available in storage capacities of 33, 64, 128, or 256 gigabytes.

The cards have sequential read speeds of up to 530 megabytes per second – five times faster than the best microSD cards. That means that a five gigabyte, full HD movie can be read by the card in roughly 10 seconds, according to Samsung, compared to roughly 50 seconds for a UHS-1 microSD card.

Write speeds are also improved to rates up to 170 MB/s, nearly double the performance of the fastest microSDs.

Alibaba unveils first smart car

Alibaba RX5

Alibaba has officially announced the RX5, its first “internet car” in collaboration with Chinese state-owned automaker SAIC.

The RX5 is available for preorder now at a price tag north of RMB 148,800 ($22,300) with deliveries scheduled to begin in August. The sports vehicle includes a new version of Alibaba’s Yun operating system to enable the car to connect to various internet services.

Alibaba raised a few practical examples, including personalized greetings, music, and preferred destinations based on settings that can be configured from a smartphone or wearable, to the ability to use Alibaba’s Alipay payments service to pay for parking spaces, fill up with gas, or buy a coffee. The company also wants to open Yun to third parties.

The RX5 entertains with three LED screens and space for up to four detachable 360 degree cameras to record video and take photos, along with a smart rear view mirror. There’s also support for voice controls while an onboard mapping system will work without GPS or WiFi.

“What we are creating is not ‘internet in the car,’ but a ‘car on the internet.’ This is a significant milestone in the automobile industry. Smart operating systems become the second engine of cars, while data is the new fuel.

“Going forward, cars will become an important platform for internet services and smart hardware innovation. We will be embracing a world where everything is closely connected.”

-Wang Jian, Alibaba Technology Steering Committee chairman


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