TechSummit Rewind 107

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

iPhone 7 launch: 7 “limited” in stores; all jet black, Plus models sold out

iphone-7

In a statement, Apple set expectations for today’s iPhone 7 launch. If you’re looking to walk into an Apple Store without a reservation, all iPhones will be in short supply.

Jet Black iPhone 7s and all iPhone 7 Pluses are completely sold out from the initial online ordering period and no inventory will be available.

Availability at partner locations (your carrier/authorized Apple reseller) might have better supplies, according to Apple.

You can continue ordering all models from Apple’s website with delayed shipments dependent on availability.

Pandora launches revamped Pandora Plus subscription service

pandora-android-alarm-clock

Pandora has launched Pandora Plus, a rebranded and improved version of its $5/month Pandora One subscription. Pandora’s free, ad-supported service (which we’ll call Pandora Free) has also been enhanced.

Pandora Plus gives you unlimited skips and replays, along with a new offline mode that will keep the jams pumping when your connection skips a beat.

The company’s “predictive online mode” can detect when your signal drops and switch to one of your preferred stations to prevent an abrupt stop. According to Pandora, your thumbprint radio station will be automatically saved along with your three most recently listened to stations for when you’re offline. The app will automatically switch to one of the four stations based on your recent listening, and you’ll get alerted with an audio message acknowledging the signal loss and switch to an offline station.

Pandora free users can also take advantage of an enhanced offering that lets you skip and replay more songs by watching a video ad.

According to Pandora CEO Tim Westergren, the $10/month upcoming subscription service will be available later this year.

In the coming months, Pandora One users will be migrated over to Pandora Plus as the new services roll out. However, the new features won’t come to Australia and New Zealand until 2017.

New York internet kiosks go offline after porn happened

link-nyc-other-people-walking

LinkNYC, which launched a series of 7,500 internet kiosks in New York City, is shutting off web browsing on the built-in tablets.

This comes after misuse by users to do things like watch pornography, catch up on Netflix, or just loiter.

“These kiosks are often monopolized by individuals creating personal spaces for themselves.”

-Corey Johnson, New York City councilperson responsible for Greenwich Village, Chelsea, & parts of Midtown

“The kiosks were never intended for anyone’s extended, personal use.”

-LinkNYC, in a statement

Web browsing will be removed from the tablets while it “works to explore potential solutions, like time limits,” according to LinkNYC.

Free phone calls, maps, device charging, 311/911 access, and WiFi will remain unchanged. Other changes made include dimming the display and limiting volume at night.

Ripple raises $55M in new funding

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Google-backed blockchain startup Ripple has raised $55 million in new funding.

The latest round includes Standard Chartered, Accenture Ventures, SCB Digital Ventures, and Japan’s SBI Holdings.

“We have been expanding our office locations. We want to continue that and grow those teams, we want to be hiring so we can have engineers on the ground with local banking partners as you have to get in there with the banks to make sure you have a complete solution and make things as easy as possible.”

-Chris Larsen, Ripple CEO

European Union pledges free WiFi for all citizens by 2020

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The European Commission has announced plans to bring free WiFi to public spaces by 2020.

“We propose today to equip every European village and every city with free wireless internet access around the main centers of public life by 2020.”

-Jean-Claude Juncker, European Union president

As part of the EU’s initiative to improve Europe’s digital infrastructure, there are also plans to provide next generation 5G mobile connectivity unionwide by 2025.

The EU will spend €120 million ($134 million) over the next few years to equip parks, squares, libraries, and other public spaces with free WiFi. Local authorities will be responsible for any ongoing costs.

Canva raises $15M, doubles valuation to $345M

canva

Canva, a web/mobile design platform for making professional graphics, has announced $15 million in new funding and a doubling of its valuation to $345 million, according to the Sydney-based company.

The round was led by prior investors Blackbird Ventures and Felicis Ventures.

“We were in a fortunate situation where we didn’t need to take on any additional capital. That meant that we have been able to choose the investors we want to work with and to ensure that we set Canva up for long-term success. We have so much left to do as a company, so it’s great to be able to have the resources to quadruple down on all of our plans.”\

-Melanie Perkins, Canva co-founder & CEO

According to Perkins, Canva wants to focus on product developments and growth over the next 12-18 months.

The company’s also growing its team, according to Perkins, with six new staff members added this week. Over 120 work for Canva in Sydney, San Francisco, and Manila.

 

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