News Fuse for August 29, 2013

Xiaomi

Here are today's top 10 stories from Tech News Today for August 29, 2013:

  1. Earlier this year, Andy Rubin, creator of Android, abruptly stepped down from the team, and now another executive is on his way out. Hugo Barra, vice president of product management for Android, is leaving for a job as vice president of Xiaomi Global. Xiaomi is a Chinese company which builds Android phone and handles both hardware, and software that runs on top of Android. Barra joined Google in March of 2008 and came from speech technology firm Nuance. Read more at techcrunch.com.

  2. The feature creep in Twitter continues. Twitter has altered the way it shows conversations on its apps and on the web. There is now a blue vertical line showing that the tweets in your stream are connected. You'll see up to three tweets in the conversation in your stream with the option to expand it to see the whole yap-fest. Of course with any Twitter change, people are upset. In other news, apparently no one I follow talks to each other. Read more at engadget.com.

  3. Skype is 10 years old, and is celebrating by going 3D! Microsoft's corporate vice-president for Skype, Mark Gillett. told the BBC in an interview that the company had created a 3D solution. But don't get too excited yet, this technology might be years away. Gillet says that while many TVs and computers carry 3D capability, "the capture devices are not yet there. As we work with that kind of technology you have to add multiple cameras to your computer, precisely calibrate them and point them at the right angle." Read more at engadget.com.

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  5. I miss talking about Twitter, so here's some more Twitter news. Twitter just bought social TV tracking service Trendrr. AllThingsD says that Twitter will kill off Trendrr's analytics product ""after all of the company's current contracts are up."" Trendrr also was behind the product Curatorr which let companies create a curated timeline of tweets around a specific event. Read more at theverge.com.

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  7. Verizon and Vodafone are back in talks of a buyout. Verizon wants to buy back Vodafone's stake in their Verizon U.S. wireless joint venture in a deal that could cost Verizon well over $100 billion, people familiar with the matter said, and that Verizon is in discussions with banks about the tens of billions of dollars in loans it would need to complete the deal. Read more at techcrunch.com.

  8. The BlackBerry Q10, not to be confused with the Q10 bus I used to ride in Queens, is not selling too well. According to the WSJ, one retailer who operates 16 stores said they saw "virtually no demand for the Q10 and eventually returned most" to the equipment vendor. Used phone dealers are also not seeing an influx of BlackBerry devices that you'd typically see with updated device releases. The Q10 went on sale at Verizon and AT&T earlier this summer; BlackBerry hasn't disclosed any sales numbers for the device. Read more at bbc.co.uk.

  9. TMOnews reports that T-Mobile is planning blackout dates between September 20th and 22nd, which, if true, sound very iPhone related. This lines up with previous rumors that September 20th is a potential launch day for the next-generation iPhone 5S/5C. or maybe it's related to a Note III launch expected to be announced on September 4th. Does a Note III launch warrant an all hands on deck situation at T-Mobile? If i had any money to bet, I'd put it on Apple. Read more at bloomberg.com.

  10. Instapaper just got a redesign. The read later service was bought by Betaworks in April. The web version of Instapaper is the first property to get a new look. It still relies heavily on text and uses a two column layout similar to the iOS app. Betaworks says expect updated iOS and Android apps in the next few weeks. Read more at techcrunch.com.

  11. UK mobile operator Three has released a roll-out schedule and pricing details for its 4G launch. The first three cities to get 4G will be London, Birmingham and Manchester, beginning in December, and Three says it will speed up the process in January to cover 50 UK cities before the end of 2014 and eventually grow it to 98 percent of the population by the end of 2015. Once Three’s 4G service has been switched on in the customer’s town, an over-the-air software upgrade is all that’s required, so long as the customer already has s 4G-capable phone. Read more at arstechnica.com.

  12. Because they are in the future, New Zealand has decided to ban software patents. A new bill passed by a vote of 117-4 that states that a computer program is "not an invention." This designation as "not an invention" would make programs ineligible for patent protection. However, processes are still patentable if the computer program is a way of implementing a patentable process. Read more at zdnet.com.

For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for August 29, 2013.