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Sling TV apologizes for choppy streams during March Madness, but it’s unclear what went wrong (Peter Kafka/Re/code)

Yesterday was a big test for Sling TV: How would the Web TV service do when lots of subscribers logged in at the same time, to watch some of the biggest sports events of the year? Not that well, apparently. By Sling’s own admission, it couldn’t handle an influx of users who tuned in to watch Turner Networks’ broadcasts of the March Madness college basketball semi-finals, featuring Duke vs. Michigan State and Wisconsin vs. Kentucky.  That led to streams that were choppy or nonexistent, according to frustrated Sling users. “We’re sorry some basketball fans saw errors tonight due to extreme sign-ups and streaming. Engineers rebalanced load across network partners,” Sling’s @slinganswers Twitter account posted last night , around the middle of the evening’s second game. We're sorry some basketball fans saw errors tonight due to extreme sign-ups and streaming. Engineers rebalanced load across network partners — Sling Answers (@slinganswers) April 5, 2015 On conventional TV, Duke/Michigan State was one of the most popular Final Four games in a decade, while Wisconsin/Kentucky was even bigger: It attracted more viewers than any other Final Four game in the last 22 years. ( On Wisconsin! ) Without any more detail from Sling or its parent company Dish Network (I’ve asked them for comment but am not holding my breath), it’s hard to diagnose what went wrong last night. But if you take Sling’s Twitter operator at face value, the company didn’t anticipate that one of the biggest nights in sports would be a big night for the service, which delivers a package of pay TV channels over the Web for $20 a night.

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New Apple TV Will Not Support 4K Video Streaming (John Paczkowski/BuzzFeed)

When Apple’s next-generation Apple TV finally arrives at market later this year, it will bring a groaning board of new features to the company’s dusty set-top box — as BuzzFeed News first reported . But it will lack one that some Apple watchers had presumed inevitable: 4K video capability. Sources in position to know tell BuzzFeed News that the 4th generation Apple TV will not support 4K video — a newer high-definition video resolution that delivers a more detailed, immersive picture. “4K is great, but it’s still in its infancy,” said one source familiar with Apple’s thinking. Enabling 4K video support in Apple’s first major overhaul of Apple TV in three years might seem like a smart bit of future-proofing — particularly given reports that the A8 chip in the guts of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is 4K-capable. But it’s arguably an unnecessary one at this point. There simply isn’t much to watch in 4K—while Netflix and Amazon both added 4K streaming to their video services last year, their 4K offerings remain limited. Nor are there many households with 4K-capable televisions needed to watch it. Beyond this is the larger issue of economics: Delivering 4K streaming at scale is expensive. With least four times the pixels as mainstream HD video, 4K video requires a lot of bandwidth and more powerful compression technologies to transmit it expediently. It also requires speedy consumer broadband connections to support its delivery. And right now the number of 4K-capable households is piddling

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Preparing for its MVNO, Google in talks over a deal that lets Americans use the service abroad with no roaming fees on Hutchison Whampoa’s networks…

It is understood that Google aims to create a global network that will cost the same to use for calls, texts and data no matter where a customer is located. By linking up with Hutchison, it could gain wholesale access to mobile service in the UK, Ireland, Italy and several more countries where the Hong Kong conglomerate owns mobile networks. The company described it as a “small scale” project. Industry analysts expect Google to use its network to put pressure on the pricing of America’s biggest mobile operators, AT&T and Verizon, who enjoy higher profit margins than their European counterparts. It could also use the project to encourage operators to invest in new technology to improve mobile coverage via Wi-Fi networks. Google has adopted a similar strategy in the US fixed-line telecoms market with Google Fiber, its project to build fibre optic networks in cities where there has been a lack of investment in internet infrastructure. It Nexus range of own-brand smartphones is similarly seen as a way to influence hardware manufacturers. Sources said Google was has no plans to to offer a mobile network to British consumers and is unlikely to for the foreseeable future. The European telecoms market is relatively competitive and roaming charges are already on their way to being abolished by regulators. Google and Three declined to comment. Though Google’s plans are believed to be modest, a serious move by Google or Apple to enter the mobile market would be feared by the telecoms industry. It is already resisting Apple’s attempts to do away with SIM cards and replace them with software that allows iPad owners to select any available network, weakening relationships between mobile operators and customers. Apple also has patents on technology that would remove the customer choice and automatically switch between the best networks and prices, a system that if implemented could further undermine mobile operators. For more stories, like the Telegraph's Facebook page by clicking on the link below

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Review: Intel’s upcoming $500 Core i7 NUC mini PC improves on performance of cheaper models (Andrew Cunningham/Ars Technica)

Enlarge / Intel's first-ever Core i7 NUC uses the fastest Broadwell chip that the company currently ships. Andrew Cunningham Earlier this week, Intel sent us its latest variation of its growing line of NUC mini PCs. This is Intel's first NUC to ship with one of its top-end Core i7 chips inside—it's not the fastest desktop like this you can buy (that's probably still Gigabyte's quad-core Haswell Brix Pro), but it's the fastest one you can get with Intel's solid driver support and three-year warranty. If you read our review of the Core i5 Broadwell NUC, you already know a lot of what there is to know about this box. The primary difference is the faster CPU and GPU and an extra $100 or so—Intel says the street price should be around $500, compared to the $400-ish that the i5 version costs. We took the newest NUC and ran it through our standard tests to get an idea of how it stacks up. If you spend the extra money, here's what you get. A bigger box Andrew Cunningham Left to right: Haswell NUC, Core i5 Broadwell NUC, Core i7 Broadwell NUC. Andrew Cunningham Left to right: Haswell NUC, Core i5 Broadwell NUC, Core i7 Broadwell NUC. Andrew Cunningham This is the same board with the same layout and the same ports. The processor and the box are different, is all. Andrew Cunningham A standard SATA data cable is connected to the board. A separate power cord (obscured by the SATA port here) is connected to another header on the board. Andrew Cunningham The 2.5-inch drive caddy (right) will fit any laptop-sized HDD or SSD.

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Female-Run Venture Capital Funds Alter the Status Quo (Claire Cain Miller/New York Times)

Photo SHIFTING TREND Theresia Gouw, left, and Jennifer Fonstad are co-founders of Aspect Ventures, one of a growing number of venture capital firms led by women. Credit Peter DaSilva for The New York Times Step into the offices on Sand Hill Road, the heart of Silicon Valley venture capital, and one thing is immediately striking — the almost all-male cast of leading characters. But there is another corner of the venture capital industry that looks quite different. There, women run firms, and all-female networks of angel investors share deal opportunities and advise one another on investments. This new group of firms and angel networks — including Cowboy Ventures, Aspect Ventures, Broadway Angels, Illuminate Ventures, Forerunner Ventures and Aligned Partners — stands in stark contrast to the rest of the industry. In some ways, these new female-dominated firms and investment networks are a sign of success. There are now enough experienced, financially successful women to start their own firms, the way men with last names like Kleiner and Draper did in the past. In March, six women who are current or former Twitter executives announced #Angels , a new angel investing network. Continue reading the main story Related Coverage Ellen Pao Loses Silicon Valley Bias Case Against Kleiner Perkins MARCH 27, 2015 State of the Art: Ellen Pao Disrupts How Silicon Valley Does Business MARCH 27, 2015 Women at Work: What Silicon Valley Learned From the Kleiner Perkins Case MARCH 27, 2015 In addition to having significant investing or operations experience, the women offer a broader and more diverse network for recruiting and finding new start-ups and an understanding of female consumers, who are often the dominant users of new products. Continue reading the main story Special Section: Where Wall Street and Silicon Valley Intersect “We’re in the middle of a shifting trend where there are newly wealthy women putting their money to work, and similarly we’re starting to have a larger number of experienced investors,” said Jennifer Fonstad, a founder of Aspect Ventures and Broadway Angels, who was formerly a partner at Draper Fisher Jurvetson. “Venture women are going out and doing what we saw a lot of the guys do.” But it is also a sign of the deep-seated problems in the venture capital industry. A recent gender-discrimination trial — in which Ellen Pao, a former junior partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, sued the firm — exposed elements of a male-dominated culture in which women are sorely underrepresented. Over all, just 6 percent of partners at venture capital firms are women, according to the Diana Project at Babson College . That is even lower than in 1999, when 10 percent were female. And, according to another study of gender and venture capital, 77 percent of the firms have never had a female investor.

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Sharp plans to spin off LCD panel unit, ask government-supported investment fund for help (Takashi Mochizuki/Wall Street Journal)

Rumble Seat Tesla Model S: The Future Is Here Speakeasy ‘Outlander’ Mid-Season Premiere Recap: Episode 109, ‘The Reckoning’ Latin America Real-Estate Revolution Hits Cuba The A-Hed Some Germans Really Are Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf U.S. City Cracks Down After Spring Break Melee At Work An Introvert’s Advice for Getting Ahead Weekend Confidential Peter Singer on the Ethics of Philanthropy PLAY Travel Mongooses Hunt Easter Eggs at Houston Zoo

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Medium now has four branded-content partnerships, is looking to fund more content creators; comScore measures about 3M monthly uniques (Lucia…

Medium was created by Twitter’s founders, gets contributions from notables like Water Isaacson and Elon Musk, and has blogging tools writers love. But being a media darling only gets you so far. So in recent weeks, the 2-year-old blogging platform has taken steps to make the platform friendlier to short-form writers and pay some contributors. And in a signal it’s getting serious about making Medium a profitable business, it just poached Vox Media’s advertising lead Joe Purzycki to be its head of partnerships. Medium has four branded-content partnerships under its belt, including one with Marriott , and wants to do more of them, said Edward Lichty, head of corporate development and strategy at Medium. Beyond offering writers unique URLs, he said, Medium is looking at the possibility of funding content creators, and expanding the brand partnerships is a first step. “Our vision is that Medium becomes a place where their content can be funded,” he said. “Long term, we need to be able to fund content creators with a variety of revenue.” Medium also has hired a handful of professional journalists including Steven Levy, Jonathan Shecter and Mark Lotto to oversee its own content channels. But all along, it has seen the vast majority of the content coming from outside contributors, an egalitarian free-for-all. With the line between platform and publisher becoming increasingly blurred, Medium affirmed it’s the former. The Medium-owned channels serve to provide a road map for the independent contributors and occasionally to amplify their posts by publishing them on those channels. “The thing they are doing is help us figure out how to make Medium valuable to publishers,” Lichty said. “I don’t know of any other platform where publications are being launched and pulling content from the platform.” In one example, Backchannel published Medium post “A Teenager’s View on Social Media” by Andrew Watts, a 19-year-old college student, and when the piece took off on Backchannel, Levy made Watts a regular contributor

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Netflix molds TV’s future with 4K and HDR content, by pushing for faster internet and recommending TV sets (Brian Barrett/Wired)

Netflix crystallized the idea of an internet service that streamed unlimited amounts of TV and movies into your home. It redefined television production with House of Cards , bringing a bona fide original series straight to the net. And with documentaries like The Battered Bastards of Baseball , it took the idea of original programming to new heights. But the company isn’t finished. So many companies are now pushing into the world of internet television, from Amazon to HBO to CBS. But in the foreseeable future, no single outfit will do more to improve your television experience than Netflix. Yes, it will continue to offer new and original series, but more than that, it will change the technology we use to watch shows and movies, pushing things like ultra-high resolution video and a new breed of television that’s better suited to online streaming. The 4K Front Netflix was the first company to roll out 4K video, an ultra-high-definition image that offers several times the detail of standard HD images. It began offering 4K versions of shows like House of Cards and Breaking Bad nearly a year ago. Most people don’t have the 4K TVs needed to watch these ultra-high-definition shows. But Netflix sees where the world is moving, and unlike others, it’s in a position to accelerate the process. Netflix was the first to roll out 4K, says Avi Greengart, a research director with marker research firm called Current Analysis, because many others didn’t have the option. “It could, and its competitors can’t,” Greengart says. “4K requires more bandwidth than many cable and satellite systems have available.” The company may also see 4K as a way to push so much data through ISP pipes that its partners have no choice but to sign on to the Netflix Open Connect Initiative , an effort to deliver its shows and movies from machines as close as possible to the viewer.

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HP Spectre x360 review: the attractive, long lasting 13-inch laptop starts at a reasonable $900, but its weight makes the device hard to use as tablet…

The Spectre x360 is HP's newest flagship notebook. It's also probably the closest you'll get to seeing Microsoft build its own laptop. You see, though the machine has Hewlett-Packard's name on it, HP designed it in close collaboration with engineers from the Windows team, optimizing everything from the fan noise to the screen's color gamut. The result is a well-built laptop with fast performance, long battery life and a nearly bloatware-free version of Windows. And at $900 to start, it undercuts almost all of its rivals. Is there anything not to like? Gallery | 40 Photos HP Spectre x360 review 88 HP Spectre x360 Pros Attractive, well-made design Long battery life Colorful screen, good viewing angles Comfortable keyboard Fast performance Reasonably priced Cons A bit heavy for a 13-inch laptop, even one with a convertible design Relative heaviness makes it less practical to use as a tablet  Touchpad offers a bit too much friction Summary The Spectre x360 is one of our new favorite laptops, thanks to its premium design, fast performance, vibrant screen and comfortable keyboard. It's relatively heavy compared to competing laptops, but it mostly makes up for it with nearly best-in-class battery life.  Hardware HP and Microsoft may have designed one of my new favorite laptops, but they hardly reinvented the wheel in the process. In fact, I think the pair owes at least a little credit to Lenovo, and maybe Apple, too. Think I'm trolling? Consider the evidence. As its name suggests, the x360 has a 360-degree hinge similar to Lenovo's Yoga series that allows the screen to fold back into tablet mode (and Tent Mode, and Stand Mode -- yep, HP even stole Lenovo's names for its different usage modes)

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Profile of Jay Edelson, who specializes in privacy class-action lawsuits against tech firms, relying on the application of old laws to new…

Photo Jay Edelson, 42, has gone after pretty much every tech company you have heard of — Amazon, Apple, Google — as well as many that you have not. Credit Ryan Lowry for The New York Times When technology executives imagine the boogeyman, they see a baby-face guy in wire-rim glasses. His name is Jay Edelson. Mr. Edelson, 42, is a class-action lawyer. He is also, if not the most hated person in Silicon Valley, very close to it. His firm, Edelson PC, specializes in suing technology companies, claiming privacy violations. He has gone after pretty much every tech company you have heard of — Amazon, Apple, Google — as well as many that you have not. His cases read like a time capsule of the last decade, charting how computers have been steadfastly logging data about our searches, our friends, our bodies. Remember when companies started clogging your phone with text messages?

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Latest apps promising encryption show that security should only be trusted if tested and proven over time (Joshua Kopstein/Al Jazeera America)

“Encryption works. Properly implemented strong crypto systems are one of the few things that you can rely on.” Ever since National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden uttered that quotable truism in 2013, companies have raced to compete in a new marketplace of privacy-conscious consumers. Practically every month, yet another privacy app is pitched to tech journalists, promising to protect users’ communications with strong encryption and revolutionary ease of use. That’s a big change from the pre-Snowden days. Encryption is now more accessible than ever before , and it’s ultimately a good thing for the public that companies are competing on privacy and security. But not all privacy apps are created equal. The truth is that cryptography is hard, and consumers should be wary of startups offering magic solutions to some of its oldest and most intractable problems. Over the past few weeks, security experts have been calling shenanigans on some of the most egregious claims made by this new batch of encryption apps. The latest is Zendo, a messaging app profiled breathlessly by TechCrunch last week, which claims to use an old, uncrackable encryption method known as one time pads. On paper, it works like this: Every time a message is sent, the sender and receiver use a large key of random numbers they’ve previously shared (traditionally on a pad of paper) to obfuscate the message in transit. After the recipient decrypts the message, the key is destroyed, making it impossible for eavesdroppers to break the code

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