TechSummit Rewind 165

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

AOL, Yahoo plan to rebrand as Oath after Verizon deal

When Verizon merges Yahoo and AOL, the newly created division will be branded as Oath, according to Business Insider.

Apple developing its own graphics chips for the iPhone

red iPhone 7

Imagination Technologies, the British chip designer that providers PowerVR graphics processors for use in the iPhone and iPad, has confirmed that Apple will no longer be licensing its technology in less than two years.

In a statement, Imagination says that Apple has notified the company that it’s “working on a separate, independent graphics design in order to control its products and will be reducing its future reliance on Imagination’s technology.”

The development is a major blow for Imagination, which gets about half of its revenue from Apple’s royalties.

“Apple has not presented any evidence to substantiate its assertion that it will no longer require Imagination’s technology, without violating Imagination’s patents, intellectual property and confidential information. This evidence has been requested by Imagination but Apple has declined to provide it.

Further, Imagination believes that It would be extremely challenging to design a brand new GPU architecture from basics without infringing its intellectual property rights, accordingly Imagination does not accept Apple’s assertions.”

-Imagination Technologies, in a statement

New H-1B visa guidelines crack down on computer programmer jobs

The Trump administration has begun to deliver on campaign promises to crack down on a work visa program that channels thousands of overseas workers to tech companies in a trio of policy shifts.

On Friday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) made it harder for companies to bring overseas tech workers to the U.S. with the H-1B work visa. On Monday, that agency issued a memo laying out new measures to combat “fraud and abuse” In the program. The Justice Department also warned employers applying for visas to not discriminate against U.S. workers.

“This is a step in the right direction in terms of tightening up the eligibility. You’re going to have to beef up your argument for why you need this person.”

-Ron Hira, Howard University associate professor

“Our nation’s outdated legal immigration system relies heavily on a simple temporary visa category, the H-1B, to prove work authorization for every kind of high-skilled foreign professional we recruit.”

-Scott Corley, Compete America executive director

Amazon launches Cash for cardless shopping

Amazon Cash

Amazon has launched Amazon Cash, which lets customers add cash to their Amazon balance by showing a barcode at a participating retailer and having the cash applied to their account immediately. The service will support adding any amount between $15 and $500 in a single transaction, according to the transaction.

Amazon Cash will be available at the following U.S. retailers at launch: CVS Pharmacy, Speedway, Sheetz, Kum & Go (the most inconvenient name for a convenience store), D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare Supermarkets, and VG’s Grocery.

Amazon isn’t selling Cash-branded Gift Cards in stores – instead, customers visit this site from web or mobile, or search for “amazon cash” in the Amazon mobile app to access their Amazon Cash barcode.

That same barcode can be reused any time the customer wants to add more cash to their Amazon account. It can also be added to your Wallet app on iOS or as a homescreen shortcut.

To use the service, customers show their barcode to the cashier, and tell them how much cash they want to apply to their account. The cashier then scans the barcode and the customers pays with cash. (The customer can also print out the barcode at home and use that instead, and is suggested for those with cracked phone screens.)

Customers are then alerted to the payment coming to their Amazon account via a notification to their email, registered phone number, or a push notification from the Amazon app.

FCC limits order on Charter extending broadband service


The Federal Communications Commission has reversed an Obama-era requirement that Charter Communications extend broadband service to a million households already served by a competitor.

According to the FCC, the new order will require Charter to add service to two million additional potential subscribers in places without existing service.

“This is like telling two people you will buy them lunch, ordering two entrees, and then sending both to just one of your companions. It runs directly against the goal of promoting greater Internet access for all Americans.”

-Ajit Pai, FCC chairman

The American Cable Association petitioned the FCC to reverse the requirement last year and has met with FCC commissioners in recent weeks. The group called the requirement under then FCC chairman Tom Wheeler “stunningly bad and inexplicable government policy.”

The group warned it would have “devastating effects on the smaller broadband providers Charter will overbuild” because they would face competition from an “uneconomic, government mandated entry” that could put some companies out of business.

Gigi Sohn, a former top Wheeler aide, said that the decision shows that the Republican FCC is more focused on putting “incumbents first” than on competition citing its action to put broadband privacy rules on hold and withhold federal approval of new companies to offer government subsidized telecommunication services.

According to Charter, the change enables the country’s second-largest cable provider to “more fully devote our resources and attention to building our high-speed broadband to areas without it today.”

StatCounter: Android overtakes Windows as internet’s most used operating system


According to research from web analytics company StatCounter, Android now accounts for more internet usage than Windows for the first time. In March, Android users represented 37.93 percent of activity on StatCounter’s network versus 37.91 percent for Microsoft’s operating system.

The company bases its findings on 2.5 million websites that it claims generate more than 15 billion monthly page views.

Google: YouTube has a “very very very small” ad problem


According to Google chief business officer Philipp Schindler, the company’s YouTube controversy where big brands have discovered some of their ads running next to videos promoting hate and terror is overthrown. However, Google is making progress to fix it anyways.

“It has always been a small problem [with] very very very small numbers” of ads running against videos that aren’t “brand safe. And over the last few weeks, someone has decided to put a bit more of a spotlight on the problem.”

-Philipp Schindler, Google chief business officer

That someone could be outlets like the Times of London, the Guardian, and the Wall Street Journal that pointed out ads running next to videos from hate and other extremist groups which prompted brands like AT&T and Verizon to pull their ads from the platform.

According to Schindler, improved software has been able to track down five times more videos that it wants to keep clear from advertisers.

YouTube has also improved its response time for flagged videos, and is improving its user interface to make it easier for advertisers to steer clear of dodgy videos. According to Schindler, YouTube will also start letting outside companies like DoubleVerify and comScore audit its efforts to keep ads away from controversial clips.

Facebook testing second News Feed headed by rocket ship icon


Some Facebook users have noticed the addition of a “rocket ship” icon in the app next to the News Feed button.

“We are testing a complementary feed of popular articles, videos, and photos, customized for each person based on content that might be interesting to them. We’ve heard from people that they want an easy way to explore new content they haven’t connected with yet.”

-A Facebook spokesperson

This is the latest in a series of experiments from Menlo Park to present users with a different News Feed with posts, articles, photos, and video from sources you haven’t followed, like from Facebook Pages or news organizations for example.

Facebook believes that you’ll like this content, because they come from Pages that are similar to what you’ve already liked or are popular with your friends – like a video that many people in your network are watching.

This is appearing on Facebook mobile for both iOS and Android users, regardless of if you’ve opted into a beta.

Netflix lets you download videos for offline viewing in Windows 10

Netflix downloads Windows 10.png

Netflix has brought offline viewing to Windows 10 users in an update to its app.

The feature, titled “Download & Go,” adds a tiny download button for supported content (Netflix is limited because of licensing deals with studios) and clicking it will start downloading it to your Windows 10 device. Once downloaded, you can access it from the “My Downloads” section on the hamburger menu so you can watch it offline whenever you want.

To see all compatible content in one place, Netflix has added an “Available for Download” section to its app for your convenience.

The Netflix app is available in the Windows Store for all Windows 10 devices.


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