Weekend Wrap-up: FCC Weighs In-Flight Calls; Sprint and Best Buy Offer Free Wireless to Students
Thanks for stopping by for this week’s edition of the Weekend Wrap-up, where we take a look at some of the biggest stories from the past week in tech. We had a pretty quiet week, absent of blockbuster stories, but we’re ready to run down the most interesting ones nonetheless. Let’s get to it.
FCC May Allow Cell Phone Calls In-Flight
After the FAA opened the door to personal electronic device use in all phases of a flight, the FCC looks ready to roll back its rule banning cell phone calls during flights. It would ultimately be up to airlines whether or not the calls are allowed or not, and calls would still not be allowed during the takeoff and landing portions of flights, but something is better than nothing, right?
If you’re a student enrolled at just about any level of education in the U.S., Sprint and Best Buy have a pretty nice deal for you. It’s called the “My Way Student Promotion” and it runs now through January 4, 2014. Students can buy an unsubsidized Sprint smartphone and get free talk and text along with 1 GB of data per month for one year. All you have to do is show proof of your enrollment. While paying the high price of an unsubsidized phone may not be realistic for some, if you’re able to pull it off, the free year of service is a crazy good bargain.
Instagram Shows Up on Windows Phone, Somewhat Lacking
Good news for Windows Phone owners — you now have a native Instagram app available for your platform. There is some bad news, though, and it has to do with the feature set of Instagram for Windows Phone. Video shooting and uploading is missing. Photo tagging is missing also. There have been conflicting reports about whether or not the ability to take photos within the app is present. I think the final consensus is that you can indeed do this, but the fact that folks were initially confused about how to do so doesn’t bode well. Hopefully Instagram gets a version more on par with iOS and Android out soon.
Layoffs Hit Rdio
With almost everybody jumping into the streaming music subscription game alongside Spotify, it’s easy to forget that Rdio has also been in the game for a long time. And word has it the service is doing okay and is experiencing growth, but that didn’t stop the company from making drastic moves. Between one-fifth and one-third of Rdio’s staff — a number that comes out to around 35 employees — has been reportedly laid off, and according to those in the know, it’s because Rdio wants to get lean and potentially attract more investment. It’s definitely a story we’ll keep an eye on.