News Fuse for August 14, 2013

Windows 8

Here are today's top 10 stories from Tech News Today for August 14, 2013:

  1. Smartphone sales have finally surpassed feature phone sales! What you say? You feel like you heard that very statement reported right here on Tech News Today previously? Well OK, smarty, IDC and CANALYS may have said it but everyone who knows anything about anything knows it takes THREE analyst group proclamations to make something true. So now that GARTNER GROUP says it well, it's real OK. As for the winners, these might seem familiar too. Samsung leads worldwide Market share followed by Apple, LG Lenovo and ZTE. Android has 79% worldwide followed by iOS 14.2% then Windows Phone BlackBerry and Bada. Read more at techcrunch.com.

  2. Microsoft has announced that Windows 8.1 will be arriving on October 17th in the US, in fact the exact release time is 12am on October 18th in New Zealand, which is 4am PT or 7am ET on October 17th. At that time, the free update will begin rolling out across local Windows Stores, and will be available "at retail and on new devices" starting on the 18th, depending on your region. Read more at engadget.com.

  3. Who can read your Gmail? According to a court filing, Google says it is legally allowed to read the emails you receive if you're using Gmail. In a motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit, Google said that a user has "no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties." Google is currently in the midst of a class action lawsuit where the plaintiffs allege that Google is illegally intercepting their communications. Google says that people who use web-based email can't be surprised if their email provider processes those messages in the course of delivery. Read more at cnet.com.

  4. Apple has acquired Matcha.tv, a second screen TV app that provided an overview of everything available to watch on Cable, streaming services and video stores like iTunes. It also provided a universal viewing queue, recommendation engine and connection to social networks. The service shut down in May. VentureBeat reports their sources say Apple paid $1 to $1.5 million. Read more at venturebeat.com.

  5. Everyone's favorite surveillance pal the National Security Agency has lobbied inside the US government to deploy a “Star Wars” -esque defense for America’s computer networks, to intercept cyberattacks before they could cripple power plants, banks or financial markets. But don't get too worked up, administration officials say the plan, has virtually no chance of moving forward given the backlash against the N.S.A. over the recent disclosures about its surveillance programs. Whew. Thank goodness. We can relax now. Read more at huffingtonpost.com.

  6. Carl Icahn announced over Twitter that he found Apple to be "extremely undervalued" and now has a "large position in Apple." Various reports say that Icahn bought up over a $1 billion worth of shares - that's less than 1% of Apple's market cap. After iCahn's tweet, Apple shares jumped nearly 5%, which added over $17 billion to Apple's market value. Read more at theverge.com.

  7. Orbotix has launched Sphero 2.0. It is no longer just a robotic ball you control with a smartphone for the entertainment of cats. Sphero 2.0 rolls twice as fast at 7 feet per second, and is three times as bright. A new user interface lets you level up, getting access to higher speeds as you prove your adeptness at controlling the ball. Pre-orders begin today for $129.99 and in-store availability comes August 31. Original Sphero will sell for a reduced $109.99. Read more at techcrunch.com.

  8. Samsung has announced the Hennessy SCH W789, a flip phone, available only in the Chinese market. The handset comes with two 3.3-inch touchscreen displays -- one on the front and the other on the back. The smartphone runs Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) and comes with a 1.2GHz quad-core processor. Its rear-facing camera sports 5MP. As with most other Samsung smartphones in China, Hennessy comes with support for both CDMA and GSM, allowing customers to access any network in the country. Read more at cnet.com.

  9. New Zynga CEO Don Mattrick shook up the company's management team Tuesday. COO David Ko, CTO Cadir Lee, chief people officer Colleen McCreary, and SVP of Games Todd Arnold are all leaving the company. The survivors will be split into three divisions — Studios; Functional; and Technology, Live Ops and Publishing — and will now have 13 managers. The company held an all-hands meeting with its staff Wednesday morning to discuss the changes. Read more at allthingsd.com.

  10. AllThingsD reports that Facebook is working on a new app for celebrities that would let them monitor Facebook content about them from a mobile device. The app would also allow a celebrity or their assistant to respond to that Facebook content. Facebook tells AllThingsD that it is testing "these features with a small group of partners and will share more details" when it rolls out. Read more at allthingsd.com.

For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for August 14, 2013.