The Wrap - Taylor Swift takes on Apple, electric airplanes take off

IDG News Service | Jun 26, 2015

Taylor Swift tells Apple it can't give away music, an airline is grounded from a cyberattack and an electric plane shows us the future. Follow host Nick Barber on Twitter @nickjb

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Taylor Swift takes on Apple and a cyberattack grounds an airline.
Here's your tech top 3 and what you need to know this week. It took Taylor Swift just 17 hours to make Apple change its policy on paying musicians during the Apple Music trial period. When the streaming music service debuts June 30, the company didn't plan to pay artists during the free 90-day trial. After Swift publicly complained, Apple SVP Eddy Cue changed the policy and now Apple will compensate the artists.
A cyberattack on a Polish airline cancelled 10 flights, delayed dozens others and grounded 1,400 passengers. LOT said it encountered an IT attack that affected its ground operation systems stopping them from creating flight plans for outbound flights. Usually when we hear about a denial of service attack it usually means a website is unavailable, but this incident highlights that these kinds of attacks could have much more serious implications in the physical world.
A hardware failure at the US State Department threw plans into chaos for hundreds of thousands of travelers seeking visas. The hardware was involved in biometric processing and was part of the technology responsible for issuing 50,000 US visas a day. About two thirds of visa issuing facilities are back online, but the State Department still hasn't said exactly what went wrong.
I travel a lot for work and when I'm at airports I can't help but marvel at the technology and engineering precision that goes into airplanes. We saw some of these amazing machines at the Paris Air Show. Boeing's new 787-9 Dreamliner caught a lot of attention with its near vertical takeoff. The composite fuselage means the plane weighs less and uses less fuel. Advancements in the cabin are supposed to help passengers cope better with long haul flights. There was also the Airbus A380, a double decker super jumbo jet that can carry about 500 passengers up to 10,000 miles. While most eyes were on these behemoths a much smaller plane made a much bigger impact. It was Airbus's E-Fan 2.0 a fully electric, battery powered two-seater. There are a few reasons why this is such a big deal. Aviation fuel is expensive for gas powered planes. Even a small single engine plane could cost 400 dollars to fill up. Will this electric plane replace it? With only about a 100 mile range, certainly not. What it does do is prove there is hope for electric planes. Airbus sees this plane as something to train pilots with and it would be a good option for beginners to practice their take offs and landings in, while longer flights remain reserved for gas counterparts. Often overlooked is the pollution from airplanes. In 2013, aircraft emitted 705 tons of carbon dioxide. Airbus plans to invest 20 million Euro to commercialize the E-Fan by late 2017. The company also wants to manufacture a 100 passenger electric plane by 2050. I'm Nick Barber and that's a wrap.
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