September 22, 2015 Last Updated 9:51 am

Stock markets open lower, VW shares fall again; Amazon’s new Fire TV will feature 4K streaming

Amazon set for October release of new Fire TV devices including one that supports 4K streaming; Emmis and Tribune Publishing update their digital edition apps

The stock markets in the US are set to open down, down a lot, as stocks worldwide are sliding. The cause of the slide involves several factors including the collapse of Volkswagen stock.

exhaust-280European markets are down between 2 and 3 percent today, and leading the way is Volkswagen which saw its stock fall 17 percent yesterday, and is currently down 18 percent so far today.

The news just keeps getting worse of the car maker. First came word that the EPA would force Volkswagen to recall half a million vehicles after the car marker had been caught using software that would allow its diesel cars to pass smug tests. Today the automaker admitted that 11 million diesel cars worldwide were equipped with the same software. Volkswagen said today that it would set aside $7.3 billion to cover the cost of servicing the affected vehicles, with these costs hitting its third quarter earnings.

Meanwhile, Der Tagesspiegel is reporting that VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn is to be replaced this Friday as the consequences of the software scheme begin to be seen. What many will be asking is why it was the EPA that first reported this, as VW has sold far more diesels in Europe.

Amazon last week introduced a new Amazon Fire TV that will go on sale October 5. The big selling point for the new unit is that it supports 4K. This differentiates the TV box top device from both the old and new Apple TV, which will not support 4K despite the fact that the new models of the iPhone will be able to shoot in 4K.

Fire_TV-new-400For most TV viewers, the fact that the Apple TV will not support 4K is a small thing, but for owners of 4K TVs it is a huge issue. The biggest complaint of 4K TV owners is the lack of content that can be displayed in 4K and so anyone should have been able to see that there would be demand for 4K as a feature on any new device.

What Amazon’s new Fire TV needs, therefore, is a way to break into the iOS market with an app that allows AirPlay between iPhones and the Fire TV. Without this many iPhone owners will simply wait until Apple inevitably updates the Apple TV with 4K (everyone knows this will come eventually).

What Apple will have, when it launches its new Apple TV in late October, is an App Store. Apple recently held a lottery for developers to have access to the new device to help them test their new TV apps (they have to place an order to buy the new Apple TV, Apple gives nothing away, apparently).

With both Apple and Amazon set to launch new TV devices in October one can assume Roku, which is the market leader right now, will follow with a 4K device by the end of the year. What Roku, though, needs to do is solve its overheating problem. Users of the Roku 3 have been complaining that their devices tend to shutdown after a few hours of use from overheating, with the first sign of trouble being that the remote stops working.

LAMag-300With the release of iOS 9 some publishers have begun to update their digital edition apps to make them compliant with the new mobile operating system.

City/regional magazine publisher Emmis Communications has issued updates for its six magazines, with each app description saying simply “optimized for iOS 9.”

Tribune Publishing has updated most of its digital edition apps for its newspapers. The update does not mention iOS 9, though I assume the development team has tested their apps using the new mobile OS (right?). What the app description does say is that the update brings in a “redesigned, cleaner article page.”

The Trib’s updated apps basically turn the iPad edition into an iPhone edition, with the articles looking as you would see them on a smartphone, even when the tablet is turned to landscape.

Tribune Publishing has yet to incorporate its San Diego Union-Tribune property into the fold, with the recently acquired daily newspaper still using a replica edition app.

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