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Microsoft Finally Releases New Skype App For Linux ( 164

Four months after Linux users complained about issues with Skype app -- an update in March apparently broke the instant message and video calling app -- Microsoft announced a few minutes ago the launch of the Alpha version of a new Skype app for Linux, a move that "reaffirms the company's commitment to the Linux community." The blog post adds that there will be a two-hour Q&A session todat at 7AM PDT between Linux users and engineering team to welcome the new app. The alpha version uses the "latest, fastest and most responsive Skype UI." The company also says that users on Skype for Linux 4.3.37 will no longer be able to use the app to make or receive any calls -- so you really need to use this new app. In the blog post, Microsoft also adds that anyone with a Chromebook and Chrome for Linux can now visit to make one-to-one and group voice calls on top of text messaging feature. It is also an alpha version of Skype -- and is built on top of WebRTC standard.

180 Artists, Labels Including Taylor Swift Take On YouTube, Join Copyright Plea ( 288

Chloe Melas, reporting for CNN: Taylor Swift, U2, Kings of Leon and Paul McCartney are some of the 180 recording artists and labels petitioning Congress to reform the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (D.M.C.A.) In an open letter to Congress, they write that the current online copyright law has allowed YouTube and other sites to "generate huge profits by creating ease of use for consumers to carry almost every recorded song in history in their pocket via a smartphone, while songwriters' and artists' earnings continue to diminish." The letter, which is being published in The Hill and Politico this week, goes on to call for "sensible reform." "We ask you to enact sensible reform that balances the interests of creators with the interests of the companies who exploit music for their financial enrichment. It's only then that consumers will truly benefit." YouTube's parent company, Google, declined to comment Tuesday, but in a statement in April said, "Any claim that the DMCA safe harbors are responsible for a 'value gap' for music on YouTube is simply false." This comes days after musician Trent Reznor said YouTube is built on the back of stolen content.

Non-US Encryption Is 'Theoretical', Claims CIA Chief In Backdoor Debate ( 312

Iain Thomson, writing for The Register: CIA director John Brennan told U.S. senators they shouldn't worry about mandatory encryption backdoors hurting American businesses. And that's because, according to Brennan, there's no one else for people to turn to: if they don't want to use U.S.-based technology because it's been forced to use weakened cryptography, they'll be out of luck because non-American solutions are simply "theoretical." Thus, the choice is American-built-and-backdoored or nothing, apparently. The spymaster made the remarks at a congressional hearing on Thursday after Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) questioned the CIA's support for weakening cryptography to allow g-men to peek at people's private communications and data. Brennan said this was needed to counter the ability of terrorists to coordinate their actions using encrypted communications. The director denied that forcing American companies to backdoor their security systems would cause any commercial problems.

Microsoft is Working On Software For The Legal Marijuana Industry ( 87

An anonymous reader writes from a report via The Verge: Microsoft has announced today that it will partner with Los Angeles-based startup Kind on a system for tracking the legal growing and sale of marijuana. Microsoft will work with the startup on software services for governments tracking legal weed, with Microsoft powering the software through its Azure cloud computing service. "The goal of this relationship is to leverage each company's resources to provide State, County, and Municipalities with purpose built solutions for track and trace ('seed to sale' in the cannabis industry) technology," Kind said in a statement. As reported in The New York Times, this is a pretty significant venture for a corporation publicly journeying into the controversial industry. Growing and selling marijuana is still illegal under the federal government.

Microsoft Wants To Power Self-Driving Cars With Software, Not Build One ( 220

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft's Peggy Johnson said at the Converge conference (Warning: WSJ source paywalled) in Hong Kong this week that the company is not interested in manufacturing its own self-driving cars, but instead is interested in building software for cars. "We won't be building our own autonomous vehicle but we would like to enable autonomous vehicles and assisted driving as well," said Johnson, head of business development at Microsoft. "We in different ways enabled a variety of different partners and you'll see us continuing to do that." Microsoft is open to partners requesting an operating system for cars. The company has partnered with Harman to integrate Microsoft Office 365 into its infotainment systems, bringing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to cars for the first time. "You're sitting in the car for many, many minutes a day. Can that be part of your new office, can it be your new desk, a place where you actually get work done?" asked Johnson. "We believe it can." Two years ago, Microsoft unveiled their "Windows in the car" initiative to compete against Apple's CarPlay.

Submission + - Resolve all the facebook hiccups with the association of tech support (

judewatson writes: With the globalization in the world, the mean of the living standard are grooming at the fast pace. Obviously, internet technology imparts the best option to imitate communication to the large number of the people. So, various websites are uploaded on the web to make the international value. Amongst the group of those websites, nobody can ignore the importance of the social media channel. Its voice is echoed among the different age people.

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