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Video: The Byte - DOJ lawsuit, EFF and Megaupload, Flashback malware, social media privacy protection bill


Thanks for joining us here on World Tech Update I'm Nick Barber.

The US Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Apple and five large publishers, accusing the companies of working together to raise the price of e-books. The six companies conspired to raise prices on e-books in retaliation for Amazon.com pricing most e-books at US$9.99 beginning in late 2007, the DOJ said in court documents. A few of the companies have agreed to settle the suit. If settled in court it would require the publishers to allow retailers to set their own price for e-books.

Last week we told you about how Instagram came to Android, well this year more news about the company, Facebook bought it for 1 billion dollars. That’s right, billion with a B. In a statement Mark Zuckerberg said For years we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with friends and family. Now we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests. This is an important milestone for Facebook because it's the first time we've ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don't plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. Some analysts think it’s a smart move saying that owning Instagram and it’s 10 million users will let Facebook more tightly integrate it’s capabilities and functions into the fabric of Facebook. It’ll also let Facebook analyze and monetize the data they get from the photo sharing app.

It’s an intercontinental battle of flying cars. New to the mix is Pal-V, a Dutch company that’s made the Pal-V One flying car, but unlike competitors this car converts into a helicopter. The company said that on the ground it drives like a sports car. If you remember back we first showed you the Terrafugia Transition, a fixed wing flying car. The Transition Production Prototype completed its first flight less than a month ago. The two flying cars have both similiarities and differences. Both boast good gas mileage on the road with the Pal V One at 28 miles per gallon and the Transiation at 35. Both can only fit two passengers. The big difference between the two is the distance needed for takeoff. The Transition, which takes off like a regular airplane needs about 1700 feet or about 520 meters. The Pal V One, which functions more like a helicopter needs only 540 feet, or about 165 meters. Both the Pal V One and Transition require a sports pilot license in the US, which both companies say can be obtained in as little as 2 hours of training. Another difference is the price. The Transition costs 262-thousand dollars, while Pal V One is expected to cost in the mid 300-thousand dollar range. Either way, these won’t be selling quite as fast as the new iPad.

We’ve reviewed several models of the Contour wearable camera on this show, but all of the reviews have been on dry land. At least until now. On a recent trip I took along a waterproof case for the Contour+ and Contour GPS and was able to capture spectacular footage underwater. Many underwater housings for video cameras are very expensive, between several hundred and several thousands of dollars. These cases cost around $40, just make sure you pick the correct one for your model Contour. The waterproof housing gives you access to the power button, record slider and the t-rails. Overall the experience with the housing was good, but I did run into a problem where the power button didn’t work reliably everytime. This is a problem if you’re in the water and you can’t open up the housing. Once I was aware of this I powered the camera on on land, then put it in the case. There was no issue with the integrity of the housing. As long as you store it correctly and keep the case open when not in use there shouldn’t be a problem with the gaskets. For the cost, this makes a good addition to your video arsenal.

Seniors in LA are playing video games as part of their daily activities, but they’re not staying put while they do it. Called Exergamers these residents at the St. Barnabas Senior Center exercise and stay fit playing Kinect games. Workers and seniors at the facility staged a flashmob to show off benefits of the program.

The program is a partnership between the city of LA, the department of aging and Microsoft.

With more and more electric and hybrid supercars entering the market something is missing. That engine rumble and roar when cars take off. And it's not just something to make drivers feel good about their purchase, but it helps alert pedestrians that a car is approaching. Audi is working on creating a unique sound for its R8 Etron electric car. The sounds are being made from scratch using audio mixing software, a keyboard and a gas pedal to test things out.

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