TechSummit Rewind 124

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

Netflix adds ability to let you download shows, movies to watch offline

Earns Netflix

Netflix users worldwide can now play many of their “favorite streaming series and movies” offline. Right now, that selection includes a lot of Netflix originals (Stranger Things, The Crown, Narcos, Orange is the New Black, etc.) and a lot of random choices. There’s Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Paddington, Minions, and Kung Fu Panda 3 among others. Here are a few more notable selections:

  • Boyhood
  • Pulp Fiction
  • Nightcrawler
  • Good Will Hunting
  • Hot Fuzz

According to Netflix, more selections will be added in the near future.

Once you’ve updated to the latest version of Netflix for iOS or Android (out today), a download button will appear next to the play button for supported content to save content. There are two options of quality, according to a help page, Standard and Higher. No specifics were offered on the exact quality, but standard uses less storage space than the higher quality.

GoPro to cut 15 percent of workforce, shutter entertainment division

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GoPro is eliminating about 15 percent (over 200 full-time positions) of its workforce and shutting down its entertainment division to reduce costs.

Company president Tony Bates will also step down by the end of the year.

According to GoPro, the restructuring will reduce operating expenses to roughly $650 million in 2017 and achieve its goal of returning to profitability next year. The San Mateo, Calif.-based company expects to incur up to $33 million in restructuring costs.

Apple marks World AIDS Day with App Store specials, new (Red)-branded products

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Apple is refocusing on its decade-long partnership with the Product (RED) campaign today. Coinciding with Thursday’s World AIDS Day, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company is launching several new products, special limited-edition items for App Store games, and donations tied to certain Apple Pay purchases to nudge customers to join the fight against AIDS.

“We’ve been part of (RED) from the beginning.”

-Lisa Jackson, Apple VP

The campaign has raised over $360 million for the Global Fund to fight the disease. Apple (including its Beats division) has raised nearly $120 million, making it the world’s largest corporate Global Fund contributor.

“Essentially, Apple is turning (RED)” for the next two days, according to Jackson, in the following ways:

  • 400 stores across five continents will either turn the Apple emblem red or display window signage related to the campaign and World AIDS Day.
  • 20 popular games will release exclusive in-app purchases of (RED) content, with 100 percent of proceeds going to the Global Fund.
  • Apple has unveiled a (RED) smart battery case for iPhone 7, a (RED) Beats Pill+, (RED) Beats Solo 3 headphones, and a (RED) leather iPhone SE case.
  • Beginning today, Apple will donate $1 to (RED) for “every purchase made with Apple Pay” on the company’s website or the Apple Store up to $1 million. Bank of America has also agreed to match that donation for every Apple Pay payment made with the bank.

Office 365 launches new collaboration features

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Microsoft has brought real-time collaborative editing to PowerPoint.

The feature came to Word last year, and lets you “see what others are typing as it happens on a given slide,” according to Microsoft Office corporate vice president Kirk Koenigsbauer.

According to Koenigsbauer, the feature is live now for PowerPoint for Windows users that subscribe to Office 365 or are part of the Office Insider program and everyone that uses PowerPoint Mobile on Windows tablets.

Microsoft has also started showing notifications for certain kinds of activity in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on Android and Windows Mobile for Office Insiders. The feature will come to iOS in the next few weeks. Commercial customers will see the feature over the next few months.

Additionally, Microsoft has begun to show a Shared with Me section in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Office 365 subscribers using Mac, Windows desktop, Android, and iOS. The feature’s designed to help users located files that other people have recently shared with them quicker.

Facebook cuts off Prisma’s Live Video access

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Prisma added support to its iOS app for livestreaming its art filter effects in real-time via Facebook Live earlier this month – and Facebook has cut off the company’s access to the Live API.

“Your app streams video from a mobile device camera, which can already be done through the Facebook app. The Live Video API is meant to let people publish live video content from other sources such as professional cameras, multi-camera setups, games, or screencasts.”

-Facebook, to Prisma

However, a FAQ on the Facebook Live site for developers says the API can be used to apply special effects to video – which can arguably describe Prisma’s use.

“We were trying to fix the issue but Facebook has a strong policy, they only [allow] broadcast to different cameras, drones. Our app is no drone or camera. So this means we cannot do it.”

-Aram Airapetyan, Prisma Labs co-founder

Despite being blocked, according to Airapetyan, Prisma still has big plans for Live.

“The fact that we can do it is great and we’ll probably give users an opportunity to stream to different websites.

“We’ll seriously consider giving our users an alternative for live.”

-Aram Airapetyan

Surface Studio teardown reveals hidden ARM chip, removable hard drive

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iFixit has given Microsoft’s Surface Studio its signature teardown treatment, and has made a few discoveries on the all-in-one PC. The first is an ARM chip hidden behind the 28-inch display that powers the Studio’s PixelSense display.

Elsewhere, Redmond has soldered the RAM, CPU, and GPU to the motherboard, basically making the configuration set in stone. However, you can replace the hybrid drive without disassembling the display, as it’s housed in the base. iFixit gave the Surface Studio a five out of 10 on its reparability scale, on par with Apple’s 5K iMac.

Yahoo launches Answers Now mobile app

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Yahoo has quietly launched Answers Now, a native iOS app for its Q&A site. Like the web version, the app lets you view, ask, answer, and track questions posted by its online community.

The app gets a few upgrades over the legacy version, like the ability to upload photos, respond with emoji (a la Slack), click a button to say “thanks,” as well as search the web for sources to include in your answers within the app.

The app is still in invite-only status. Interested users need to request an invite code by sending a message to van-invite@yahoo-inc.com.

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