BitStream is a roundup of all the tech news minutiae and "woah, if true" rumors you're going to want tucked away in your brain somewhere. Here's what you need to know.
Word to Peter Chou
Tech companies attacking one another in targeted ads? That's nothing new. But putting down the competition with a YouTube rap number? Also not entirely novel but my god.
The overzealous lover of all things HTC and the One (M8) is rapper Greg Carr ("Doc Dog") of the group P.M. Dawn, and this guy doesn't pull any punches. As a mascot smartphone dances around, the music video seems shot with the budget of some film 101 class project. But Carr does lay down some amusing verses. This one is my personal favorite:
You don't know who we be? / We're HTC and we're about to say it loud! / HTC we hold the crown! / Word to Peter Chou!
This is also a particularly sick burn:
More than a few clowns stole what we originated / We own the universe, your Galaxy is overrated / It took you copycats six times to get it right / My One M8 is far too great, you'll never touch its light
I don't really think this rap number is going to do much to persuade people that the HTC One (M8) is far superior to its Samsung and Apple rivals, but hey—I chuckled—which is more than I can say for any Samsung attack ad.
ARM arms ARM chip for 4K arms race
ARM, a chip manufacturer well-known for being the groundwork for Apple's own processors, just announced a new chip, the Cortext A72. Big deal. So what. Who cares? Well, this guy is insanely powerful, able to bring 4K video and console-class video gaming to smartphones.
ARM believes this chip is over 50 times (!) better performance that smartphone chips from five years ago and is 3.5 times faster than the current a15 chip. For one, the chip can record 4K at 120 fps, which a significant bump to the current average around 30 fps, but we don't expect demoes of the chip and ready-for-market products until late 2015/early 2016.
Get ready for the great net neutrality court case...again
Sources say that FCC's Tom Wheeler will reveal further plans on Thursday that broadband be reclassified as a utility under Title II—and AT&T is already pulling together its inevitable court case.
AT&T's Federal Regulatory VP Hank Hultquist had this to say on the matter:
As I said, I have no illusions that any of this will change what happens on February 26th. But when the FCC has to defend reclassification before an appellate court, it will have to grapple with these and other arguments. Those who oppose efforts at compromise because they assume Title II rests on bullet proof legal theories are only deceiving themselves.
This wouldn't be the first time a carrier sued the FCC and won and AT&T is hoping for a similar outcome. If net neutrality is the solution that the FCC arrive at when taking a vote on February 26, the hard fought battle for the internet will really just be beginning. [Ars Technica]
The above images is (reportedly) our first look at OnePlus' upcoming Oxygen OS. This is a little high on the bullshit meter but luckily we only have to wait until Feb. 12 to know more. [Gizmochina]
For the first time in three years, Apple may have finally yanked smartphone sales supremacy from Android—but by an incredibly thin 0.1 percent margin. [Mac Rumors]
Apple has been slowly trying to detox its need for Google services, and an Apple-branded search engine may be next on the list. [Cult of Mac]
Your Apps, Updated
It has begun. Twitter's Promoted Tweets advertising is leaking out from its own platform and making its way to other services. It's first
victim partner is Flipboard. [Twitter]
So this is definitely not an upgrade. Instead, it's a new kind of Android adware — legit apps with good reviews that start spamming you incessantly after a few days. [Engadget]
Uh-oh. Instagram videos now autoplay as you scroll through your feed, taking a further step into the Vine-ification of everything. [VentureBeat]
Oh, Windows RT. You lived a tough life. Rest well, because Microsoft's just discontinued its last Windows RT tablet. [The Verge]
Despite their strained relationship, you can still expect to Cyanogen to push out a Lollipop build to all OnePlus One users. [Android Community]
Bucket of Random
Kindle Convert is $50 software from Amazon that promises to make copying your own books "easy" as long as you have saint-like patience. [Engadget]
Google mortgage calculator - another thing inside search, but seems to accept lots of good natural-language queries. [Ubergizmo]
Someone's solargraphy camera was just obliterated by the Atlanta Bomb squad. Aww, poor guy. [PetaPixel]