News Fuse for August 30, 2013

Microsoft

Here are today's top 10 stories from Tech News Today for August 30, 2013:

  1. Laws that would heavily fine software and Internet companies for failing to make their products wiretap-friendly are likely to start riots, thanks to eye-opening information about how the government collects data, due to people like Edward Snowden. Before Snowden, a proposed law President was reportedly ready to back would have been a compliance regime for technology companies. But violating the civil rights of the general population doesn't sit well, even though wiretaps are legitimate ways to curb crimes. Tech companies are now in a position to ""go dark"" technically, but will they? Read more at wired.com.

  2. What's this? More Galaxy Gear leaks? According to AmongTech, the Galaxy Gear will boast a 10 hour battery life and will be available in two models. One will have 8GB of storage, the other 6GB. The site also drops a mention that while the Samsung Galaxy Gear won't use a curved glass display (which was confirmed by a Samsung exec), both Microsoft and Apple will use curved glass for their watches. Read more at gigaom.com.

  3. Microsoft has made previously temporary price-cut promotions for its Surface devices permanent.As of yesterday, the Surface Pro, Touch Cover and Surface RT bundle price adjustments will begin to roll out all markets where Surface and Surface accessories are currently sold. The entry-level Surface Pro will now start at $799, Touch Covers will now start at $79, and Limited Edition Touch Covers will now start at $89. Surface RT bundles will now start at $399. Read more at zdnet.com.

  4. According to Bloomberg, both Microsoft and American Express are trying to invest in Foursquare. The two companies are actually competing to pick up an equity share in the location check-in company. Bloomberg reached out to all three companies but, of course, none commented on the talks. Read more at bloomberg.com.

  5. CEO Chet Kanojia told International Business Times yesterday that Aereo plans to launch its product on Android devices in September, Aereo had originally hoped to roll out an app for Android last summer. Aereo has expanded from New York City to Boston, Atlanta and the state of Utah and plans larger city rollouts across the US> Read more at ibtimes.com.

  6. Nokia's car platform is here - no, really. It's called "Here Auto," which is Nokia's connected infotainment car system. Here Auto will feature mapping and navigation with 3D maps and real time traffic information. The system is also links back to Nokia's servers, so if you bookmarked destinations on an app or on the web, you'll be able to access them in your car without doing any extra work. Nokia plans to sell Here Auto to automakers who will be able to customize the platform with their own UI and apps. Read more at gigaom.com.

  7. Amazon plans to alter its pricing policy for third-party traders amid investigations in the UK and Germany. Specifically, It will drop a clause banning traders signed up to its Marketplace platform from offering products elsewhere for less. The change goes live across the EU starting today. As a result, the inquiries in the UK into whether the policy was anti-competitive are expected to be closed. Read more at bbc.co.uk.

  8. If you've been waiting for BlackBerry Messenger on iOS and Android - you'll have to wait some more because there isn't an official launch date yet. However, BlackBerry DID put up a launch page where you can input your email address so you'll be the first to find out when BBM hits the other platforms. The page also explains what BBM is if you have no idea. Read more at technobuffalo.com.

  9. Facebook's updated their privacy policy yet again, and this time will now use your main profile photo to find matches to other photos your friends tag you in. Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan says don't worry, this is good for users! “It’s actually a good thing to be tagged in more photos, because that’s how you’ll know they exist on Facebook. Then from there, you can take the photos down or, if you need to, report them.” Read more at allthingsd.com.

  10. According to a NJ appellate court, a person texting a driver may be liable for negligence if the texter knows the recipient is operating a vehicle. The court said the sender of the message "has a relationship to the public who use the roadways similar to that of a passenger physically present in the vehicle." The court also said "the texter has a duty to users of the public roads to refrain from sending the driver a text at that time." Read more at cnn.com.

For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for August 30, 2013.