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Tech Roundup: Murdoch's New iPad Publication; Google Says Bing Is Cheating

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch walks on stage with an iPad for the launch of his new online newspaper for the Apple iPad called The Daily.
Spencer Platt
Getty Images
News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch walks on stage with an iPad for the launch of his new online newspaper for the Apple iPad called The Daily.

There two big tech stories today:

First, in conjunction with Apple, News Corp. founder Rupert Murdoch launched a news app called The Daily that publishes exclusively on the iPad.

"New times demand new journalism," Murdoch said to reporters at Manhattan's Guggenheim Museum. "Our challenge was to take the best of traditional journalism — competitive shoe-leather reporting, good editing, a skeptical eye and combine it with the best of contemporary technology."

NPR's David Folkenflik reports that the new news outlet was meant for a tech-savvy demographic — educated, sophisticated and one who doesn't regularly read papers:

Executives promised The Daily would have verve. One of today's dispatches described Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's daughter-in-law, as being, "known for her caramel tresses and pouty lips." That's verve for you.

Other articles were crisply written if largely brief. And the mix was heavy on gossip, entertainment and sports.

Folkenflik also points out that both TV networks owned by Murdoch — Fox News and Fox Business Network — cut to the announcement for 30 minutes, even though the violence in Cairo was escalating.

The Daily is free for now but will cost 99 cents a week or $39.99 a year.

NPR's Laura Sydell reports on the tiff that's developed between Google and Microsoft. Google said that over the past few months they've been testing a theory that Microsoft has been stealing their algorithm for their search engine Bing.

Sydell talks to Amit Singhal, who leads Google's search team. He said Google engineers have been making up words, then putting in results for those made up words. A few days later, those same words would yield the same results on Bing.

Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president of Bing, says that's a lie.

"We do not copy their results period. Full Stop," said Mehdi. He said Google is just jealous because Bing has been getting praise.

"Perhaps the whole thing could be summarized as Google saying, 'Cheater, cheater pumpkin eater' and Microsoft saying, 'Liar, liar pants on fire,'" said Danny Sullivan of SearchEngineLand.com.

Funny, but Sullivan says that search engines with the same results aren't good for consumers.

"The consumer may be better off if these search engines have very unique voices," said Sullivan. "And that they're not just kind of mimicking each other and putting out the same stuff."

You can listen to both stories on tonight'sAll Things Considered. You can find a station that carries the show by clicking here.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta
Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.