Welcome to another edition of our Tech news mashups! We’ve got a lot to cover. Here’s what is going on in tech this Monday.
Top Companies Support Apple by Filing Briefs
Top technology companies like Facebook and Google are filing amicus briefs to support Apple’s fight against the FBI.
In legal matters, an amicus curiae (or literally, friend of court) is an entity that offers information on a case but is not connected to the case or coerced by any parties of the case. An amicus curiae takes the form of an amicus brief that lets everyone know that the outcome of a case will have a much broader effect than the parties involved in a case. However, it is up to the court to decide whether to admit the information in a case.
More than 25 companies will be presenting an amicus brief to support Apple in trying to stop the government from making a software that bypasses the encryption used on iPhones. The companies include Google, Twitter, Verizon Wireless, Microsoft, Amazon and Yahoo, among others.
“We’re sympathetic with Apple. We believe in encryption – we think that that’s an important tool,” said Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook.
Just recently, Apple has hired Frederic Jacobs, a software developer based in Switzerland. Jacobs was one of the key people involved in the development of Signal, a secure IM app supported strongly by Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower. Many believe that Apple is making encryption stronger on iPhones to thwart the FBI’s efforts.
WhatsApp Removes Support for Blackberry, Windows Phone 7.1 and Older Operating Systems
Reaching more than 1 billion users per month, WhatsApp is the world’s most popular instant messenger. Now, the Facebook-owned company plans to cut back on the support for older and not-so-popular mobile operating systems.
WhatsApp will be dropping support for BlackBerry, Nokia Symbian S40 and S60, Android 2.1 & 2.2 and Windows Phone 7.1. The company stated that it wants to only focus on 99.5% of the mobile market, and even though at the time of its inception 70% of smartphones had either Blackberry or Nokia’s OS, in today’s world, the likes of Google, Apple and Microsoft account for more than 99.5% of all mobile sales around the globe.
“While these mobile devices have been an important part of our story, they don't offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app's features in the future. This was a tough decision for us to make, but the right one in order to give people better ways to keep in touch with friends, family, and loved ones using WhatsApp,” WhatsApp said.
Support will be dropped for the mentioned operating systems by the end of 2016.
Sony Stops Shipping PlayStation TV in Japan
The PlayStation TV was not quite a hit, apparently, in Japan (and in other parts of the world as well). Now, Sony has quietly posted a note on its PSTV page that shipping will be stopped in Japan.