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Chicago plans to put an array of sensors onto some of the light poles around the city in an effort to understand more about pollution, traffic, and the number of people on the streets. The sensor suites will go up on some light poles along Michigan Avenue this summer and are hidden behind what appear to be sculptures made of metal.
Behind those curved sheets of metal hide sensors for measuring light intensity, air quality, sound, heat, precipitation, and wind. Sensors can also count people using cell phone traffic. Officials overseeing the project are fast to point out that the sensors are only able to count cellular signals, not listen in on texts or conversations.
A new rumor was making the rounds late last week that has to do with Google Nest Labs and the purchase of Dropcam. Dropcam is a company that sold Wi-Fi enabled streaming cameras that could be used for surveillance. Both Google and Dropcam acknowledged that the purchase had been made on Friday.
Rumors circulating around the web suggest that Google paid $555 million to purchase Dropcam. If the $555 million rumor is true, it means that combined with the purchase of Skybox for $500 million, Google has spent over a billion dollars in recent weeks on acquisitions.
Riot Games, the developer behind League of Legends, seems to be quite flexible when it comes to employees. The company has announced a new initiative called Queue Dodge, which allows its US employees 10% of their yearly salary if they leave the company within the first 60 days of joining.
The company has stated: "Basically, we're offering new hires cash to quit". The company has added that it's not forcing out or daring employees to quit, but the Queue Dodge is aimed at helping out new employees get back on their feet much quicker with an injection of money, if they join the company to find out it wasn't the best fit for them.
On top of this, Riot hopes it will increase the company's culture. Riot stated in a news post revealing Queue Dodge: "We operate on a foundation of shared mission, values, passion, trust, and mutual respect. If someone gags on the unique flavor of our culture, they'd be doing themselves and the company a disservice to hang on just for the paycheck".
Google is always out to buy companies that have tech it wants. Sometimes it also wanted the people behind the company it is buying to add them to its own pool of talent. Google recently purchased a startup called Alpental Technologies and not much is known about the startup at this time.
What we do know is that Alpental is led by some former researchers from Clearwire, Pete Gelbman and Mike Hart. Both of these people worked on wireless technologies for Clearwire.
After AT&T was unable to get the regulatory approval needed to purchase T-Mobile a few years back and loosing big money in the process, the odds of Sprint being able to seal the deal seem slight. That isn't stopping T-Mobile and Sprint from moving forward with their plans to merge.
Sprint has reportedly secured $40 billion in funding to purchase T-Mobile resulting in the third and fourth largest networks in the country becoming one. Sprint reportedly had talks with eight banks to secure the money needed for the deal. Sprint also had to get funding of around $20 billion from Japanese bank SoftBank and another $20 billion to refinance existing T-Mobile debt.
Just a few days ago, the U.S. government welcomed interested bidders to purchase lots of bitcoins once owned by the Silk Road bitcoin exchange. Due to an email snafu, the U.S. Marshals Service made a mistake and revealed email addresses of parties interested in participating in the bidding.
People on the list include everyone from professors to banks and investment firms, and an executive at a bitcoin-related startup. The U.S. Marshals representative tried to send a BCC to everyone, but instead CC'ed the list - responding to anyone that emailed questions to the general mailbox.
The 30,000 collected bitcoins are worth around $18 million and the auction takes place on June 27. Interested bidders must register by June 23 and agree to a $200,000 deposit before the auction.
T-Mobile wants all the customers it can get and it particularly wants to grab customers from its larger competitors in the mobile market. So far, it has been doing a very good job of luring those customers away with offers like paying for early termination fees and cheaper plans. T-Mobile recently unveiled a new service called the T-Mobile Test Drive.
The cool part about the test drive is that it will let you check out the T-mobile network in your area using an iPhone 5S. The free trial lasts for seven days and is designed to let the user see how well the T-Mobile network performs in their home and office.
One of the most popular image types that show up on the internet are animated GIFs. We have all seen a GIF before, they're the small looping image that is sort of like a video. Typically, the GIF highlights the funniest part of a longer standard video.
Twitter has announced that it has added support for animated GIFs to its service; this is the first time the popular image format has been supported on the site. In addition to adding GIF support on the web, Twitter has also added support for GIFs to the iOS and Android apps.
The FCC has issued a new report that looked at the broadband industry in the United States. According to the report, internet providers in the country are for the most part delivering on the speeds that they promise users, and in some cases, they are delivering better speed than promised.
The report did find that all across the US network congestion is a big issue for many users on different providers. To get the data for the report the FCC had 10,000 volunteers install off-the-shelf routers into their networks that ran special monitoring software inside designed to peek at broadband speeds.
Routers using the special software were in place for about a year, but the official measurements of speeds around the country took place last September as part of the Measuring Broadband America Fixed Broadband report. After all the measuring was over, the report concluded that most big ISPs deliver at least the performance they advertise, especially if the ISP has fiber in the network infrastructure, with some delivering 120% faster speed than advertised. Interestingly, DSL subscribers were found to get only about 64% of their promised speed and Verizon was found to be the worst performer.
T-Mobile is putting a lot of pressure on other mobile carriers in the US with a number of offerings that make the smallest of the major carriers look very appealing to customers. T-Mobile in the past made it much cheaper for people to get a new device on its network with cheaper service plans. The carrier has also been paying a large portion of the early termination fee for users to leave their current provider and swap to its service.
At the T-Mobile Un-carrier 5.0 event held this week, T-Mobile unveiled a new music offering that is different from what other carriers offer. You can stream unlimited music on unRadio just as you would on the music services offered elsewhere, the big difference here is that the streaming music doesn't count against your data allowance.
That means you can stream all you want and your data allowance stays the same, which is a big deal for heavy music streamers. This isn't T-Mobiles own music streaming service, rather it works with existing apps like Pandora, Rhapsody, iTunes Radio and others. T-Mobile doesn't count data used while streaming music from these apps against the user's data allowance. All T-Mobile users on Simple Choice plans get unRadio and the service is available now.