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Friday Five: 6/29-7/3

Katie Beyer

Happy Friday and Fourth of July weekend! Here’s a roundup of the latest in Tech News

Apple Music And iOS 8.4 Now Available – TechCrunch

Move over, Spotify. And Rdio. And Google Play--Apple Music is coming through. Apple announced this week that its new streaming service is now available on iPhone and iPad and comes at a price of $9.99 per month. Apple has generously offered interested parties the option of a three month trial period to decide whether or not it’s worth purchasing. The most important thing we’ve all learned from this—thank you, Taylor Swift—is that Apple has the ability to attract more independent artists with goodwill gestures such as this.

Uber to Acquire Mapping Technology and Know-How From Microsoft – The New York Times

Uber announced this week that they will be acquiring a portion of Microsoft’s maps technology and plan to extend employment offers to about 100 engineers on the mapping team. Though details are sparse at this point, Uber is confident this new deal will make Uber the best ride-sharing service available by improving the experiences for not just riders, but their plethora of drivers as well. Microsoft isn’t the first target of Uber’s quest for map dictatorship; they’ve also acquired a few startups and are aggressively pursuing mapping engineering talent throughout Silicon Valley.

Gmail Gets Hundreds Of New Themes And Emoji – TechCrunch

Your workday just got so much more exciting—er, productive? Google has updated its popular chat service by offering hundreds of new themes and a bunch of new emojis. Google would like to note that though themes have always been an option for Gmail users, they were a bit hard to locate and now will be much more accessible. They’ve openly admitted their lackadaisical tendencies when it comes to updating the content for their themes and will now allow users to upload their own themes and use built-in editing tools to alter photos as they see fit. Next up: make these emojis more mobile-friendly.


Chicago 'cloud tax' to add cost to Netflix, other streaming services – Chicago Tribune

“Hey mom, can I borrow your Netflix login?” Looks like those Friday night Netflix binges will get a bit more expensive for us Chicagoans. Sigh. This week, Chicago upped their ‘amusement tax’—which will add a 9 percent tax to Chicago residents’ subscriptions to streaming services such as Netflix and the paid version of Spotify. These taxes will no doubt affect those individuals and businesses whose Chicago employees are streaming or using cloud-based services.  This is just one more reason to head on down to the beach instead of watching 5 seasons of Friends. Right?


White House to Allow Photographs During Tours – The New York Times

#ObamaFTW. This week, FLOTUS denounced the existing 40-year ban on taking photos during tours of the White House. The First Lady posted a short video on her Instagram account on Wednesday of her tearing down the sign that bans photos and social media during House tours. The White House will allow cellphone cameras and compact still-photo cameras with lenses fewer than three inches in length.  The rule change is to allow guests to widely share their personal experiences while touring the White House. You go, Michelle O.

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