News Fuse for August 26, 2013

Luma

Here are today's top 10 stories from Tech News Today for August 26, 2013:

  1. All Things D's Kara Swisher reports Steve Ballmer's departure was not as along planned as Microsoft wants you to believe. Her sources say Ballmer was enthusiastically planning the new Devices and Services strategy right up until the week he announced his retirement. The decision does seem to have been Ballmer's. Microsoft faces some rough earnings reports ahead as well as a looming proxy fight from activist investor ValueAct. Read more at allthingsd.com.

  2. Over the weekend Fox News reporter Clayton Morris tweeted that the upcoming iPhone 5S may contain an A7 chip which is very fast.. up to 31% faster than the A6. Adding to the Apple rumor mill, several apple-centric blogs including 9to5Mac say the new iPhone will also contain a 64-bit processor. Apple's previous A series processors and other ARM chips from other suppliers, like Qualcomm, are 32-bit. Read more at cnet.com.

  3. The continuing spate of big tech companies with site outages continues to make me think of PRISM software update joke. But it was no joke for sites that depend on Amazon Web Services this weekend. Instagram, Netflix, Vine, and others were affected by the Amazon outage that started at 4 PM eastern time Sunday and continued for several hours. Amazon reported the outage was due to a partial failure of a networking device. The PRISM box? It would be illegal for them to tell us. Read more at bbc.co.uk.

  4. Yesterday parts of China’s Internet service were taken offline due to large scale denial-of-service attacks, according to the China Internet Network Information Center (CINIC) The attacks began early on Sunday and continued for several hours culminating in the “biggest ever” denial-of-service it has seen. The attacks targeted the Internet registry that allows users to access sites hosted on domains ending in ‘.cn’. By today, the issues appear resolved. Read more at thenextweb.com.

  5. German weekly Der Spiegel got in on some Snowden leak action this weekend, reporting that the US NSA tapped data traffic that gave them access to the United Nations internal video teleconferencing service. They even added a 'yay!' in one leaked document. Targets included the International Atomic Energy Agency and an EU delegation. Der Spiegel also reported on a "special Collection Service" the NSA uses to spy on 80 embassies and consulates around the world. Best part? These are all likely legal under US law! Patriot Act! Yay! Read more at arstechnica.com.

  6. NTT DoCoMo shares rose in Japan, after Chief Financial Officer Kazuto Tsubouchi told media outlet SankeiBiz that there are compelling reasons for his company and Apple to reach an agreement to carry the iPhone. DoCoMo shares rose 2.1 percent to 159,600 yen at the close in Tokyo, the highest level since May 22. Read more at bloomberg.com.

  7. Facebook's Instagram used some allowance money to buy its first company, Y Combinator's Luma, a video-capture, stabilization and sharing app, will shut down soon and its stabilization tech has reportedly already been added to Instagram. Luma's iOS app will no longer be supported after December 31st. Read more at techcrunch.com.

  8. According to a picture that surfaced on NeoGAF's forums and Reddit, if you work full-time at Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business division, you may not only get a free Xbox One on launch day -- you'll get one in a white and silver-grey hue that isn't available to the public. But that's not all... you'll get one year of Xbox Live and all first-party games for free. Of course, the picture could be photoshopped and this all could be false. Like everything else in life. Read more at engadget.com.

  9. Facebook's foray into selling you physical objects is over. Facebook found that only 20% of its Facebook Gifts sales were for things, while its biggest sellers were gift cards. Over the next two weeks visitors to Facebook Gifts will see only gift card options. No more stuffed animals or chocolates. The Gifts section will also get a redesign to its landing page and recommendations engine. Read more at techcrunch.com.

  10. Google isn't just working on software to help major automakers build self-driving cars, it's also building its own full-fledged self-driving car, former Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin's sources say. The company has apparently considered ways to sell self-driving vehicles to individuals. But it also has focused on the potential for one of its self-driving cars to become part of a “robo-taxi” fleet that pick up passengers on demand. Read more at jessicalessin.com.

For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for August 26, 2013.