News Fuse for August 12, 2013

Blackberry

Here are today's top 10 stories from Tech News Today for August 12, 2013:

  1. BlackBerry announced a special committee to investigate strategic alternatives. These alternatives could include, partnerships, joint-ventures, alliances or, I don't know, a sale or something, according to a BlackBerry press release. Rumors began circulating Friday that Blackberry would like to take the company private. Read more at theverge.com.

  2. All Things D's Ina Fried and The Loop's Jim Dalrymple both report Apple will announce a new iPhone or two on Tuesday September 10. Apple has not yet confirmed the date. Speculation continues on whether we'll see a new cheaper iPhone model as well as a fingerprint sensor and maybe unicorns. Read more at techcrunch.com.

  3. The City of London is telling the waste disposal company Renew that it can no longer track commuters by measuring smartphone signals from Renew's trash cans. Renew placed a dozen trash bins around London's Square Mile and recorded MAC addresses of any device with Wi-Fi enabled. Renew's CEO says the data collection was a test and the company did not collect any personal information about device owners. Read more at qz.com.

  4. ZTE has announced that its ZTE Open phone which runs the Firefox OS will go on sale soon in the UK and the US for £59.99 and $79.99 through ZTE's eBay store. The ZTE Open came to Colombia and Venezuela two weeks ago. Read more at thenextweb.com.

  5. HTC is in dire straits financially and has turned to Iron Man for help. Robert Downey Jr. will appear in a new marketing campaign playing on what the initials actually mean. No, they won't use the "Has to Change" moniker many critics bandy about. The first video with Downey Jr. has him saying the phrase "Humongous Tinfoil Catamaran" But my favorite "Hold This Cat"is also apparently in the works. HTC actually stands for High Tech Computer. We'll see if this campaign can make it stand for "sells a lot of phones." Read more at techcrunch.com.

  6. The Bitcoin Foundation says an Android OS flaw renders "all Android wallets generated to date vulnerable to theft." The issue is within the Android OS itself and the way it generates secure random numbers. If you're using a wallet app where you don't control the private keys like Coinbase or Mt. Gox, you're not affected. The Bitcoin Foundation says to update your wallet apps as the updates become available and that key rotation is necessary. Read more at bcc.co.uk.

  7. NBC News has bought Stringwire a service that encourages Twitter users witnessing news events to point their cameras at what's happening and stream the event live. NBC's Chief Digital Officer Vivian Schiller says that the videos will be vetted before use on NBC. Read more at thenextweb.com.

  8. Elon Musk's campaign to build a giant pneumatic tube connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco continues. The entrepreneur plans to announce more details of his Hyperloop which would attempt to make the trip between LA and SF in around 30 minutes and cost less to build than the currently planned High-Speed rail. Read more at bbc.co.uk.

  9. The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple's next iPad will use a film based touch panel instead of a glass-based one to save on weight and thickness. The next iPad will also reportedly have a thinner bezel and exterior styling similar to the iPad Mini. Read more at techcrunch.com.

  10. The Virtuix Omni Treadmill is now up for preorder. If you pony up $500 you'll get an omnidirectional treadmill, a pair of Omni-friendly shoes and a harness to keep you on that treadmill. The Omni has an expected shipping date of March 2014. In the U.S. shipping costs range from $60 to $90. Internationally, shipping ranges from $40 in China to $700 in Egypt. Read more at pcmag.com.

For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for August 12, 2013.