iFive: YouTube Fixes Bad Videos, Kindles Sell Cell Phones, Flash Bugs Revealed, Nissan Leafs Conk Out, Google Stars Gone

Midweek can be a time to slow down…so let’s not: Read our fast summary of today’s early tech news to keep you on your toes.

1. YouTube may be popular, but its home-grown videos often aren’t that great–hence YouTube’s new purchase of Irish firm Green Parrot Pictures. The company has expertise in correcting for the inaccurate camera movements of amateur camerafolk, including wobbles, glitches, blurriness and noise. The upshot: Once GPP’s code is embedded in YouTube’s upload engine, the average video quality will rise onsite.


2. Weeks after Amazon expanded Kindle sales into AT&T stores, it’s now emerged that some UK cell phone operators are bundling Kindle e-readers free with mobile phone subscriptions (that’s the Wi-Fi model, the 3G one costs £15). You can imagine that for some it’s an incentive to buy Kindles, or to promote certain cell phones…but is it a sign that the Kindle is now so commoditized it’s reign as e-reader king is ending?

3. Adobe just issued an alert for a critical vulnerability in its Flash player for Macs, Windows, Linux, Solaris and Android platforms–a security hole that could enable hackers to access mahcines. It pretty much confirms some of Steve Jobs’ negative accusations against the tech. A patch is due in a week’s time, and a similar vulnerability in Adobe Reader will get patched in June.

4. Nissan Leaf drivers are reporting for the first time that they’ve been stranded because they’ve driven the EV car’s batteries dry. The problem is the car was, in several cases, telling the drivers they still had many kilometers left to travel on the stored charge. It seems the car’s range calculator doesn’t account for car loading or cold weather (which affects battery efficiency).

5. Google may be stirring up a user complaint storm because it’s removed a popular search feature–starred results. These were a quick and easy way to “bookmark” preferred search results, but a Google spokesman has now confirmed the system is done, and power users have to find more elaborate third-party means for bookmarking. On the other hand, Instant Preview is still available.

To read more news like this, keep up with my updates by following me, Kit Eaton, on Twitter.

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