Tech 2.0 for Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Contributor: Matt Davenport
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Updated: 5/07/2013 2:16 pm


Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch are among a group of Republican senators who voted against a bill that would enable states to collect taxes on Internet sales. Crapo and Risch joined 25 other senators who cast no votes in the U.S. Senate Monday on the Marketplace Fairness Act. Crapo Spokesman Lindsay Nothern told the Spokesman-Review that the senators both believed the bill needed more changes and protections for small businesses. The legislation now moves to the House, where it's expected to face a tougher test from the GOP majority. Under the bill, states could require out-of-state retailers to collect sales taxes when they sell products over the Internet, in catalogs, and through radio and TV ads. The taxes would be sent to the states where a shopper lives.

Microsoft is retooling the latest version of its Windows operating system to address the complaints and confusion that have been blamed for deepening a slump in personal computer sales. The tune up announced Tuesday are part of a software package known as "Blue" scheduled to be released in time for the holiday season. It's meant to fix perceived shortcomings in Windows 8, a radical overhaul of Microsoft Corp.'s ubiquitous operating system released last October. Windows 8 is supposed to make Microsoft a more prominent player in the growing mobile device market while maintaining the Redmond, Wash., company's dominance in PCs. But Windows 8's new design emphasizing interactive tiles and touch controls seems to have befuddled as many people as it has impressed.

A person familiar with the matter says YouTube is set to announce a series of channels that will require payment within a few weeks. The content on the new pay-channels will be in addition to the millions of videos viewers watch for free on YouTube. It's not clear whether the paid videos will come with advertising. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. The Financial Times reported earlier that viewers would be charged as little as $1.99 a month for subscriptions. In a statement, YouTube said it had "nothing to announce at this time" although it is looking into creating a "subscription platform" that provides its partners with a way to generate revenue beyond video rentals and placing ads in and around content.

Disney is not giving up on "Star Wars" video games after all. A month after shutting down game production at Lucasfilm subsidiary LucasArts, The Walt Disney Co. said Monday that it had entered multi-year deal with Electronic Arts Inc. to develop new "Star Wars" video games. According to a statement, EA will develop games for a "core gaming audience" while Disney will retain the right to develop titles for mobile devices, social platforms and online. Terms were not disclosed. Disney is aiming to make its money-losing interactive unit profitable this year and shifting some game development costs elsewhere should help. Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4.06 billion in December. The company said last month that it will release a new "Star Wars" movie every year starting in 2015.

App Store Official Charts for the week ending May 6, 2013:

Top Paid iPhone Apps:

1. Heads Up! (Warner Bros.)
2. WhatsApp Messenger (WhatsApp Inc.)
3. Survivalcraft (Igor Kalicinski)
4. Minecraft - Pocket Edition (Mojang)
5. Cut the Rope: Time Travel (ZeptoLab UK Limited)
6. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (Rockstar Games)
7. Star Command (Star Command, LLC)
8. AfterLight (Simon Filip)
9. Temple Run: Oz (Disney)
10. Kick the Buddy: No Mercy (Crustalli)

Top Free iPhone Apps:

1. FallDown! 2 (Hannes Jensen)
2. Candy Crush Saga (King.com Limited)
3. Vine (Vine Labs, Inc.)
4. Draw Something 2 Free (Zynga Inc.)
5. Path (Path, Inc.)
6. Robot Unicorn Attack 2 (adult swim)
7. Iron Man 3 - The Official Game (Gameloft)
8. Dots: A Game About Connecting (Betaworks One)
9. Snapchat (Snapchat, Inc.)
10. YouTube (Google, Inc.)

Top Paid iPad Apps:

1. Survivalcraft (Igor Kalicinski)
2. Minecraft - Pocket Edition (Mojang)
3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rooftop Run (Nickelodeon)
4. LEGO Batman: DC Super Heroes (Warner Bros.)
5. Star Command (Star Command, LLC)
6. Heads Up! (Warner Bros.)
7. Doc McStuffins: Time For Your Check Up! (Disney)
8. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (Rockstar Games)
9. Pages (Apple)
10. Plants vs. Zombies HD (PopCap)

Top Free iPad Apps:

1. Iron Man 3 - The Official Game (Gameloft)
2. Angry Birds Friends, Rovio Entertainment Ltd
3. Candy Crush Saga (King.com Limited)
4. Robot Unicorn Attack 2 (adult swim)
5. Draw Something 2 Free (Zynga Inc.)
6. Ginger's Birthday (Out Fit 7 Ltd.)
7. YouTube (Google, Inc.)
8. Clear Vision 2 HD (DPFLASHES STUDIOS)
9. Calculator for iPad Free (International Travel Weather Calculator)
10. Google Search (Google, Inc.)


“There’s a reason this is called the Marketplace Fairness Act,” says the headline of the Idaho State Journal’s... http://t.co/cYZMyjYSxM

Senate passes nationwide online sales tax bill http://t.co/QAidLsG7W2

Get all the facts on the harms of the Marketplace “Fairness” Act. Senate to vote on it today. http://t.co/Hv17uSEZo3

So now I've finally got used to using Windows 8 they are going to overhaul it and update it because nobody likes it.

RT @tomwarren: Update: Microsoft confirms the Windows 8.1 "Blue" release will be a public preview at end of June http://t.co/M5tIXqHMBG

Windows Phone 8's YouTube app goes from glorified bookmark to full application in latest update - http://t.co/g6Ty4EIC54

Is @Microsoft's Windows 8 update a crisis in the making or business as usual? That may depend on who you ask http://t.co/rRawThb4rN

Will people pay to watch #YouTube? (via @buzzfeed) http://t.co/gjnQh5xoaC

I'm going to cry if this YouTube pay to subscribe thing is actually going to happen

Can Google convince teens to pay for YouTube videos? http://t.co/Fkslhp4zRQ

EA has announced a deal with Disney to publish future Star Wars games http://t.co/Gu29Ci40tj

Disney grants EA license for next-gen Star Wars games for console, PC, tablet, mobile. @EA_DICE @VisceralGames @Bioware #starwarsnextgen

Disney grants EA license for next-gen Star Wars games for console, PC, tablet, mobile. @EA_DICE @VisceralGames @Bioware #starwarsnextgen
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