30 August 2013

Key Google Android exec leaves for China's Xiaomi

Look forward to the Xiaomi Android smartphones coming to the US -- Xiaomi phones have physical resemblances to iPhones but run on a customized version of Android. Google's Android software is used on more than 90 percent of smartphones in China.

Chinese Smartphone Maker Hires Google Executive - NYTimes.com: "In a sign of the rising export ambitions of the Chinese mobile phone industry, a smartphone maker called Xiaomi said Thursday that it had hired a top executive away from Google to lead its international expansion plans. The executive, Hugo Barra, is one of the highest-profile Westerners to join a Chinese technology company, analysts said. At Google, he has served as vice president for Google’s Android mobile operating system, which is used by the vast majority of smartphones in China."

Android VP Hugo Barra leaves Google, joins Chinese phone maker ...
By Mat Smith
Barely a month after he was showing off Google's new Nexus 7 tablet Hugo Barra is departing to join Xiaomi, according to AllThingsD. Part of Google since March 2008, as the Vice President of product management for Android he's been a ...
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According to All Things D, Barra's resignation is rumored to have occurred before he ended a relationship with a Google employee who is reportedly now dating the company's co-founder, Sergey Brin. While Xiaomi did not respond to a request for comment ...

Is Firefox OS The Platform HTML5 Deserves? | Dr Dobb's: "Firefox OS (sometimes abbreviated FxOS) is a new mobile operating system using a Linux kernel and booting into a Gecko-based runtime engine for applications developed entirely using HTML, JavaScript, and open web application APIs. Mozilla's sales patter for this new OS is "Firefox OS for developers: the platform HTML5 deserves". The firm is currently tag-teaming with friends like Dan Appelquist, who is an open web advocate from Telef√≥nica Digital / W3C, and Mozilla's own principal developer evangelist Christian Heilmann — the two are trying to explain and clarify how developers can extend the functionality of HTML5 apps without having to access the phone hardware on behalf of the user."

Sales of BlackBerry's Q10 Keyboard Phone Fall Flat - WSJ.com: "Chris Jourdan, who owns and operates 16 Wireless Zone stores in the Midwestern U.S. that sell Verizon Wireless products, said customers didn't show up for the Q10 as expected. His stores only ordered a few of the devices per location and "the handful that sold were returned." "We saw virtually no demand for the Q10 and eventually returned most to our equipment vendor," he said."

Biz Break: Silicon Valley controls the digital advertising market - SiliconValley.com: "Google's dominant position in Internet advertising will actually grow stronger in 2013, according to an analysis from eMarketer, but Facebook is growing its mobile-advertising business as Silicon Valley dominates the lucrative field. According to Wednesday's report, Google, Facebook and Yahoo commanded the top three spots for total digital advertising in 2012, and will again in 2013, when Google is expected to grow its market share from 31.5 percent to 32.8 percent. No other company is expected to pull in even close to a double-digit percentage share of the market, with Facebook projected to grow from 4.1 percent to 5.4 percent and Yahoo (YHOO) forecast for a drop from 3.4 percent to 3 percent."

Huge funding round for Pure Storage could be industry record - SiliconValley.com: "Unlike some of its competitors, Pure sells commodity storage hardware that CEO Scott Dietzen said differs little from that offered by bigger rivals such as EMC and NetApp. But 4-year-old Pure claims its data compression algorithms make it possible to store data on flash memory at a price comparable to that of hard disk. Dietzen, former chief technology officer of BEA Systems, called flash "radically smaller and faster than mechanical disk. The big barrier's been that it's too expensive.""

Google co-founder Sergey Brin reportedly splits from wife Anne Wojcicki
Los Angeles Times
He, Google and Google Ventures have all invested in 23andMe, which sells DNA test kits. The couple also are involved with the Breakthrough Prize Foundation with another Silicon Valley power couple, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. They also buy and ...

Bookmaker handicaps Microsoft CEO race
Computerworld - Adding insult to injury after Wall Street boosted Microsoft's stock price when CEO Steve Ballmer announced he would retire, now a U.K. bookmaker is taking bets on Ballmer's replacement. ... a 127-year-old bookmaking conglomerate that ...

Google's Nexus 4 Smartphone Gets $100 Cheaper Amid Low-Cost iPhone ...
Google's Nexus 4 made a splash last fall simply because it was well-built and inexpensive, and yet it didn't require a two-year contract with a wireless carrier. Now, it's even cheaper. The Nexus 4 now costs $200 for the 8 GB model and $250 for the 16 ...

Amazon Asks Supreme Court to Decide Sales Tax Fight
Wall Street Journal (blog)
The online retailer on Friday filed documents to appeal the issue to the nation's highest court, arguing that Amazon customers shouldn't be subject to sales tax in New York because the Seattle company's operations there aren't substantial enough to ...

Amazon Infiltrates the Android Game Market to Sell You Stuff While You Play
As Android Rises, App Makers Tumble Into Google's 'Matrix of Pain' .... Under Amazon's new Mobile App Associates API, developers publishing on any Android store (not just Amazon's) can sell items from the Amazon marketplace from within their software ...

Review: Google, Apple decent contenders to Office
If you're looking for syncing features in a word processing and spreadsheet package,Microsoft's Office is the industry leader and a good option when you're working with others. (AP Photo/Microsoft, File). By ANICK JESDANUN / AP Technology Writer ...

Apple Working On Intelligent Brightness Control And Automated FaceTime ...
Two newly published patent applications (spotted by AppleInsider) from Apple describe systems that could help do just that for future iPhones and iPads, via selective screen brightness control and auto camera switching during FaceTime video calls. The ...

Apple gobbles Swedish startup AlgoTrim
SAN FRANCISCO -- Apple has acquired a Swedish software startup's technology for use in mobile devices. Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet confirmed the acquisition. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. "Apple buys smaller technology companies from ...

Amazon Launches Mexico Kindle Store with Over 70000 eBooks in Spanish and ...
Wall Street Journal
(NASDAQ: AMZN)--Amazon today launched the Mexico Kindle Store (www.amazon.com.mx), offering Mexican customers the largest selection of the most popular eBooks, the most Spanish-language best sellers, over 1,500 free books in Spanish and a broad ...

Unbelievable Google Street View Captures a Space Shuttle Flyover
By Mario Aguilar
When Google's army of Street View vehicles takes to the streets, there's no telling what those wandering eyes will see. Still it's hard to believe that a Google Street View camera captured a space shuttle flying over the New Jersey Turnpike ...

Why the Nintendo 2DS Makes Sense: It's Not For Gamers
PC Magazine
The Nintendo 2DS looks like a weird little gaming handheld, and has been met with mockery from the gaming community. Its smaller, seemingly uncomfortable design evokes a slice of cake or an axe head, and Nintendo's strategy seems to be more than a ...

Mixamo's Facial Expression Capturing Technology Helps Indie ...
By Kim-Mai Cutler
Mixamo, a startup that helps game developers animate 3D characters in their games and apps, is launching something pretty neat today. Face Plus is a service that lets developers animate characters simply by recording their facial ...

Facebook wants to use your profile pic to find you in other photos
Los Angeles Times
SAN FRANCISCO -- Don't look now but Facebook is proposing a bunch of changes to its privacy policy and its user rights policy. The company says it's just making things clearer for its more than 1 billion users – and it's adding language to comply with the ...

Foursquare will begin pushing recommendations to Android notification drawer
Mobile Burn
Foursquare started as a place to check-in at bars and restaurants, morphed into an app to discover bars and restaurants, and is now an app that will tell you which venues to attend and what to order once you get there. A new version of Foursquare will begin ...

Skype turns 10, confirms it's working on 3D video calls
Microsoft-owned video calling service Skype has just turned 10 years old. Naturally, the company is already looking ahead to what's next, and that might 3D video calling. In fact, Microsoft corporate VP for Skype Mark Gillett confirmed in a BBC interview that ...

T-Mobile 'Blackout' Rumor Tips Sept. 20 iPhone 5S Release
PC Magazine
The iPhone launch event is likely to take place on Sept. 10, but when might we actually get our hands on the new smartphone? According to TmoNews, Apple will probably release the iPhone 5S (and low-cost iPhone 5C?) on Sept. 20. The blog cited ...

Scientists grow "mini human brains" from stem cells
Scientists have grown the first mini human brains in a laboratory and say their success could lead to new levels of understanding about the ...

How the Syrian Electronic Army and other hacker groups are attacking news ...
Washington Post
The hack of the New York Times' Web operations this week has drawn renewed attention to a cyberattack that takes aim at a core function of the Internet: the Web address. The attack, for which a group called the Syrian Electronic Army asserted responsibility, ...

Twitter Update Makes It Easier to Follow Conversations
Twitter released an update Wednesday that makes it easier to keep up with conversations on the social network. Now, Twitter.com and Twitter's mobile apps show conversations in chronological order. Tweets in a conversation are connected using a vertical ...

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