In the tech world, a lot happens in a week. So much news goes on, in fact, that it’s almost impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of the top 10 tech stories from this week. Everything from the story of high schooler Ahmed Mohamed’s clock to Amazon’s new Fire TV and tablets — it’s all here.
School’s meant to be a place of ingenuity. You learn by doing. But as 14-year-old Irving, Texas high schooler Ahmed Mohamed discovered on Monday morning, post-9/11 sensitivities, fueled by a growing caliphate abroad and a culture of violence at home, can lead people’s fears to trump their common sense. The Dallas Morning News reports that Ahmed, a teenager with an intense interest in radios and robotics who aspires to an engineer, built a digital clock Sunday night and brought it to MacArthur High, the school he attends, on Monday, September 14. Ahmed demonstrated the device – a pencil case containing a simple circuit board, power supply, digital display, and alarm buzzer – to his engineering adviser, who advised him not to show it to other teachers. Then, he was taken into custody by the police.
Despite its efforts, the FBI still hasn’t caught up to California’s fiber vandals. AT&T has posted a $250,000 reward for information leading to the culprits’ arrest and conviction. FBI agents believe the suspects are posing as utility workers as cover for their vandalism. This was spurred by a pair of new incidents that happened in Livermore, California. The bandits accessed two different manholes and cut fiber somewhere around 10:30 p.m. on September 14. These cases bring the total number of incidents to 11 since the spree began in July of 2014.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has said that its Net neutrality rules do not infringe on the First Amendment rights of Internet service providers (ISPs) as they are “simply conduits for the speech of others.” ISPs challenged the FCC’s reclassifying of Internet access under Title II to prevent blocking and throttling, claiming that it violated their constitutional rights. The FCC countered by stating in its filing on Monday that Internet users do not interpret their Internet access as being the message of their ISP. Rather, the ISP merely delivers content and is classified the same way as a telephone company.
The Frankfurt Motor Show was another doozy this year, one filled to the brim with Tesla-fighting EVs, topless Italian supercars, and some truly unique creations from previously unheard-of startups. We got great news from Dacia and a half-car, half-motorcycle concept from Honda, and that was just the start.
As the press days come to a close and arena employees sift through the fallout, the general public is preparing to get their first taste of what Frankfurt’s famous trade show has to offer. So whether you’re prepping your own trip or simply want to recap the proceedings, we’ve got you covered.
Amazon announced a flurry of new devices on Thursday morning, including several Fire tablets and two new Fire TVs. One of the Fire TVs supports Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa and 4K Ultra HD video streaming, while the Fire TV Gaming Edition includes a number of games, improved graphics, and a new gaming controller.
Next page: 5 more tech stories you might have missed this week
Stephen King’s stories have proven to be fertile ground for both big- and small-screen adaptations, and now The Mist is headed to television as an ongoing series.
The announcement was made by Dimension Television, the small-screen division of Dimension Films, which is also responsible for the recent, successful Scream TV series for MTV. Christian Torpe, who writes the hit Danish series Rita and received accolades for the screenplay he penned for the 2014 drama Stille Hjerte, will script the new series.
If anyone thought Apple Music was a threat to Spotify’s longevity, CEO Daniel Ek wasn’t one of them. He figures Cupertino has done his company a big favor. Ek was in Toronto as part of a media event at Rogers headquarters on Sept. 14 with that company’s CEO, Guy Laurence, promoting the music-focused partnership between them. The conversation with the small group of reporters on hand quickly shifted to the launch of Apple Music and the perceived threat it may pose to Spotify’s long-term viability. To the contrary, said Ek, “Apple has validated the thing we said 10 years ago, which is that the world is moving to streaming.” Moreover, he views Apple’s launch of a streaming service as lending further credence to his assessment that owning music through downloading is becoming less and less important to a wider subset of consumers.
Apple has a new app, but it’s different from the majority of its other software efforts, because it’s found inside the Google Play Store. It’s called Move to iOS, and it was announced alongside the iPhone 6S, after being briefly teased at WWDC 2015 with OS X El Capitán and iOS 9. The app lets Android users move over critical information, such as contacts, messages, calendars, mail accounts, and media, among other data from their Android phone to an iPhone. More interestingly, it rebuilds your app library once you make the move from Android to iOS.
Amazon has launched a completely refreshed range of Kindle Fire tablets, with four new versions in total, soon after rumors began gathering of their impending arrival. The headliner is a low cost 7-inch model, which is joined by a new Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 model, along with a revamped Kids Edition.
Finding ways to effectively monetize an app is the great challenge faced by many successful startups these days. Having built a sizable audience, ephemeral messaging service Snapchat started pulling in a few bucks earlier this year by persuading media outlets to start offering content via the app’s Discover feature. Brand involvement via sponsored Stories has also helped the startup to make money. Its latest revenue-generating effort involves targeting Snapchatters directly by tempting them with extra Replays – for a fee.