23 February 2014

Microsoft Slashes Windows 8 Price, Desperation Aboard a Sinking Ship?

Or just moving the chairs on the deck of the Titantic? --

Microsoft Said to Cut Windows Price 70% to Counter Rivals - Bloomberg"Manufacturers will be charged $15 to license Windows 8.1 and preinstall it on devices that retail for less than $250, instead of the usual fee of $50, said the people, who asked not to be named because the details aren’t public."

Why AT&T's Surveillance Report Omits 80 Million NSA Targets | Threat Level | Wired.com: "AT&T this week released for the first time in the phone company’s 140-year history a rough accounting of how often the U.S. government secretly demands records on telephone customers. But to those who’ve been following the National Security Agency leaks, Ma Bell’s numbers come up short by more than 80 million spied-upon Americans...."

WhatsApp Was Valued At ~$1.5B In Final Round Before Sale | TechCrunch: "... the truth is that the company had three rounds of financing, with Sequoia as the sole investor. According to documents unearthed by VC Experts, WhatsApp went from a $250k seed round in 2009 to an $8 million round at an ~$80 million valuation in 2011. The final round, which we reported as a Series C here but was actually technically a Series B, was a $52 million round back in July 2013, at a ~$1.5 billion valuation...."

Users blast LinkedIn for falsely implying that friends and colleagues have accounts | The Verge: "... LinkedIn may be taking things a step too far; users have complained about the company's "people you may know" section listing contacts who aren't even on the professional networking site. But you'd have no idea simply looking at the tool ..."

Comcast Time Warner Cable merger criticism: no evidence it will help | BGR: "One thing we’ve heard and will continue to hear over the next several months is that the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger will be an awesome deal for consumers because it will give the newly formed cable giant the ability to really invest in aggressive network upgrades. Writing at Bloomberg Businessweek, Brendan Greeley gives us some good reasons to treat this argument with a great deal of skepticism because we’ve largely let ISPs consolidate to their hearts’ content and it’s done us very little good...."

Netflix packets being dropped every day because Verizon wants more money | Ars Technica: "Verizon wants to be paid by consumers and Cogent, but Cogent refuses to pay...."

America's 10-Year Experiment in Broadband Investment Has Failed - Businessweek: "Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, announced Wednesday that there would be new rules written to guarantee net neutrality. It’s a good thing any website can reach any person unimpeded by tolls, and it’s good that Wheeler still wants to make this possible. The Internet service providers will first work to dilute the new rules, of course, and then sue to overturn them. Entire legal departments, lobbying outfits, and public-relations firms live for this moment, the beginning of a now-familiar three-year grind with the FCC....The U.S. has slipped to 16th place. Germany, France, and the U.K. have passed us, and all the countries ahead of us have applied some combination of either opening up the last mile or paying for infrastructure at the government level...."

Serious vulnerability found in SSL/TLS on OS X Mavericks and iOS, easily exploitable [Update] - Neowin: "Apple has been working hard to get its products into the enterprise but a new security vulnerability is about to put a black eye on their reputation. Sure, we know that many companies have security related issues but it’s the fact of the obvious oversight of this issue that will raise alarm bells. On Friday, Apple revealed a significant bug in their SSL/TLS implementation..."

Free Online University Receives Accreditation, in Time for Graduating Class of 7 - NYTimes.com: "the University of the People, a tuition-free four-year-old online institution built to reach underserved students around the world, announced Thursday that it had received accreditation."

This is where you'll find your next smartphone | Mobile World Congress - CNET Reviews: "... the Mobile World Congress is anything but usual. Held every February in Barcelona, Spain, it is the the premier global event for the wireless industry. Think of a smaller CES, but pack it with only smartphones, tablets, and everything mobile, and you'll get the idea. Then, drop it all in one of the world's most seductive cities -- sorry, Las Vegas -- and you wind up with a most exciting tech show...."


Google Powers Forest Protection Effort
InformationWeek
Davis and Thau point point out that while Brazil, with its vast Amazon rainforest, has long been one of the top countries for deforestation, the rate of deforestation there declined by an average of 1,318 square kilometers per year in the past ten ...

Google's 3D tech could be boon to Glass, robots and virtual reality
Computerworld
Computerworld - News that Google is working on 3D smartphones has analysts speculating that the company will one day add the tech to a slew of its products, such asGoogle Maps, Google Glass, Google robots and even virtual reality tools. "Google is ...

Apple v. Samsung: CEOs have no deal yet
San Jose Mercury News
Apple and Samsung top executives have been unable to settle their global patent feud, although they told a federal judge late Friday they will continue to seek a pact that might avoid another San Jose federal court trial looming in March. In a brief ...

Amazon Prime prices to increase in UK, Germany
USA TODAY
Amazon will increase the price of its Prime service to customers in the United Kingdom next week by 64%. The price will go from £49 ($81) per year to £79 ($131), Amazon said. The increase comes after Amazon purchased Lovefilm, a European movie rental ...

Why Apple needs a $700 MacBook Air
Computerworld
Historically, Apple's Macs have been revenue-making machines, with an average selling price (ASP) more than twice that of other systems, the vast bulk of them powered byMicrosoft's Windows. In the September 2013 quarter, the Mac ASP was $1,230, down ...

“Near-Real-Time' Updates On Deforestation Will Help Track Global Loss Of Trees
The Almagest
Global Forest Watch (GFW), a novel monitoring system has been launched to provide “near real time” updates on deforestation around the world. Backed by Google and more than 40 business and campaign groups, GFW will collect information from satellite ...

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