Talking tech since 2003

Is it Sunday again already? It feels like I just put the final period on last week’s Wrap-Up, and it’s time for another one.

If you’re new, here’s the drill: every Sunday, we pick the biggest stories in tech from the past week and try to get you caught up on them. You can watch our Wrap-Up video directly below this little blurb, or scroll down a bit more to get the written summaries.

Ready? Let’s go.

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Google+ Head Vic Gundotra is Out at Google

I’ve made no secret about my dislike of Google+; more specifically, the way the company has been trying to shove its social network down the throats of anyone who uses any Google service. It looks like that strategy wasn’t sitting well with a lot of people; this past week, Google+ head Vic Gundotra announced that he was leaving the company, and rumor has it that Google+ is going to become a much less significant part of Google’s plans going forward. Maybe we can bring Google Reader back now?

Amazon Prime is Getting Older HBO Shows

amazon-primeMany thought it would be a cold day in hell before any HBO show went to a streaming service. Maybe someone should check hell’s temperature now, as Amazon inked a deal with HBO this past week that will bring older HBO shows to Amazon Prime beginning in May. HBO isn’t going to be supplying Amazon’s streaming service with its current hit shows — that’s understandable — but it will be adding some older shows (and older seasons from current shows), such as The Sopranos and The Wire. This is a big get for Amazon — how will Netflix respond?

Netflix Subscription Prices Will Increase, Says Company

Speaking of Netflix, the company announced this past week that it plans to increase the price of its service for new customers in the very near future. The exact amount of the increase wasn’t disclosed, though one or two dollars wouldn’t be a surprise. Netflix is going to throw a temporary bone to current customers for what it calls a “generous” period, letting those folks keep the same $7.99 price for a while. With some extra money coming in, it’ll be interesting to see if Netflix uses that cash to acquire additional content licenses or to develop more of its own original programming.

Aereo Battles for its Business Model in the Supreme Court

Is Aereo’s service legal? That’s the question the Supreme Court is being asked to answer by broadcast companies. It all kicked off this past Tuesday, as those on the Court started to look at whether or not Aereo’s practice of streaming content from broadcast television stations could be considered a type of copyright infringement. It’s a tricky situation; broadcast TV costs nothing to view on a TV, and all Aereo is doing is transmitting that stream over the Internet so users can watch TV on a computer, phone or tablet instead of on a TV. But broadcast companies are irked that Aereo is offering their stations online without paying retransmission fees (as cable TV operators do). It’s going to be an interesting fight to watch.


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