This Week in Tech 630: Moving at the Speed of Paper

On September 12th, Apple will hold the its first event in the new Steve Jobs Theater. Predicted to appear: the new iPhone 8, a 4K Apple TV, and an LTE Apple Watch. Does Google have the power to shut down people who criticize it? Alexa and Cortana join forces. Uber’s new CEO has a lot of work ahead of him.

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Apple is talking with Comcast about streaming TV partnership

Apple is talking with Comcast about streaming TV partnership - TechSpot

Apple is reportedly in talks with Comcast regarding a streaming deal that would allow the Cupertino-based company to stream video to their popular set-top box using a method that would bypass congestion on the Internet.

People familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal that discussions are still in early stages and there are multiple hurdles to overcome. If successful, however, it could usher in a new era of modern television viewing.

Sources say Apple is interested in effectively replacing cable set-top boxes with their own Apple TV hardware which would allow subscribers to stream live television, watch on-demand programming and even watch recorded television stored in the cloud.

Apple wants streamed content to be separated from public Internet traffic over what is called the “last mile” – the portion of an Internet connection that runs from an ISP to customers’ homes. It’s this bit of the network that often becomes overloaded when too many people in a given area access the web at once, effectively sucking up all the bandwidth and resulting in slow load times and laggy video.

Such a deal could be lucrative to both Apple and Comcast and offer an unrivaled service to customers. But first, the two companies will need to come to terms on a number of different issues including who controls the relationship with customers.

Those with knowledge of the situation say Apple wants users to sign in to the service using their Apple ID while Comcast wants to retain control over their customers and associated data.

via Apple is talking with Comcast about streaming TV partnership – TechSpot.

Apple TV update delivers Vevo, Disney Channel, Weather Channel and more

Apple’s latest over-the-air update for Apple TV includes several new apps that could help put the set-top box on a more level playing field compared to the competition. Chief among them is an app for Vevo Music Video which contains more than 75,000 HD music videos, exclusive original programming, live concern performances and Vevo TV, a 24/7 live stream of HD music videos that are hand-selected for viewers.

The other new apps include the Disney Channel, Disney XD, the Smithsonian Channel and the Weather Channel. The two apps from Disney are long overdue considering Apple’s longstanding partnership with the company. Users will be required to provide cable provider authentication to use these apps, however, so they aren’t exactly ideal for cord-cutters.

The Weather Channel app, Smithsonian app and Vevo are all available without any cable subscription package. The Weather Channel features live broadcasts during major storms, we’re told, which could be useful if you can’t receive over-the-air signals for local news broadcasts.

Apple added two major additions to their lineup earlier this year: HBO Go and WatchESPN. Naturally, both apps also require a separate cable subscription with select providers. HBO subscribers have unlimited access to the network’s catalog while WatchESPN can live stream five ESPN networks. Users can also watch on-demand video highlights.

The free update has been pushed out live to all Apple TV users so you should be able to get in on the action the next time you boot up the machine.

via Apple TV update delivers Vevo, Disney Channel, Weather Channel and more – TechSpot.

Apple launches replacement program for select Apple TV products

An internal document allegedly sent to AppleCare employees, official retail stores and authorized resellers reveals a replacement program for third generation Apple TV products affected by Wi-Fi issues. The issues in question include not being able to locate or join a Wi-Fi network as well as intermittent connections, according to 9to5Mac.

In the memo, Apple said they have determined that a very small number of third generation Apple TV products may be affected. Sales partners are informed that Apple will replace affected products for up to two years from the original date of purchase free of charge pending approval from an Apple technician.

Apple noted that the last four letters of the serial number of the Apple TV must be DRHN while the fourth and fifth alphanumeric characters of the serial number must contain one of the following pairs: H9, HC, HD, HF, HG, HH, HJ, HK, HL, HM, HN, HP, HQ, HR, HT, HV, HW, HX, J1, J2, J3, J4, J5, J6, J7, J8 or J9. It’s worth pointing out that the initial bulletin indicated these letters would be in the third and fourth positions but that’s since been updated.

A series of troubleshooting steps must also be followed before a replacement can be issued which includes verifying the unit is running software version 5.2.1 or later, eliminating any source of potential Wi-Fi interference and isolating the issue to the Apple TV. If all of these requirements are met, Apple will issue a free replacement.

via Apple launches replacement program for select Apple TV products – TechSpot.