Tech 2.0 for Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Google is introducing a sleeker version of its Nexus 7 tablet as it escalates its battle with Apple and Amazon.com in the mobile computing market. The fancier devices unveiled Wednesday in San Francisco will go on sale in the U.S on Tuesday. The extra firepower added to the second generation of Nexus 7 tablets will come with a higher price. A model with 16 gigabytes of storage will sell for $229, a $30 per increase from the original Nexus 7 released a year ago. Google Inc. says the new line of Nexus tablets boasts a higher-definition 7-inch display and a faster processor. Dual stereo speakers have been added for richer sound and the device's battery duration has been extended.
Google wants to bring free Wi-Fi to 31 San Francisco parks. The Internet giant and San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell announced a partnership for the service on Wednesday. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the $600,000 gift from Google will cover the costs of the equipment, installation and maintenance of wireless capabilities for two years. It still has to be approved by the planning department. The parks commission and board of supervisors will also to have to weigh in. Google already provides free Wi-Fi in Mountain View, Calif., where it's headquartered, and in a handful of cities where it has data centers. The company announced in January that it was teaming up with a New York City neighborhood business group to provide a Wi-Fi network for about a 10-block area.
Some Idaho lawmakers are questioning State Schools Superintendent Tom Luna's plan to award a statewide Wi-Fi network contract for up to 15 years without prior budget approval. Luna is scheduled to award the contract by Thursday morning to equip Idaho's roughly 340 high schools with the wireless Internet technology. His spokeswoman, Melissa McGrath, says the contract was called for in a 2013 Senate bill. But the Spokesman-Review reports Idaho Senate Finance Chairman Dean Cameron insists the bill included nothing about a long-term contract. Cameron said the budget committee wouldn't have agreed to a multi-year contract and Luna's move shows a lack of judgment. McGrath said the state's effort to find potential bidders on a statewide contract began on June 3 and was publicized in a press release.
Clear Channel says it is adding talk shows and listener-generated content to iHeartRadio, expanding the online radio service's offerings beyond music. Clear Channel, which operates more than 850 terrestrial radio stations as well, said Wednesday that users who update their iHeartRadio apps on the iPhone and Android phones will be able to search for talk shows on those phones. For now, iHeartRadio Talk is only available on the Web, but the company says it's coming to mobile phones in September. Clear Channel says users can access talk shows such as "Good Morning America," ''Direct from Hollywood" with Ryan Seacrest, Rush Limbaugh's "Rush Daily Update Minute" and TED Talks. Users will also be able to submit their content that iHeartRadio may feature alongside established shows.