News Fuse for December 11, 2013

Microsoft

Here are today's top 10 stories from Tech News Today for December 11, 2013:

  1. Microsoft announced Wednesday it has sold more than 2 million Xbox One video game consoles since it launched 18 days ago on November 22. That means the Xbox One is selling at a faster pace than the Xbox 360 did. Japan's Sony last week said it took 15 days for PS4 sales to cross 2.1 million. The Xbox One is on sale in 13 countries. The PS4 is on sale in 32 countries. Read more at reuters.com.

  2. Spotify now offers free access to its streaming music catalog on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. Tablets will have access to the same freemium experience as desktop Spotify. iOS and Android users get a new Shuffle service which works like Pandora or iTunes Radio, but gives you more control over the playlist. You can't perform unlimited search and listen queries, but you can get the Led out... Spotify has also inked an exclusive deal with streaming music partnership holdout Led Zeppelin. Read more at engadget.com.

  3. Twitter user Evleaks published pics of a Nokia device known as "Normandy." The Verge's Tom Warren reports that Normandy would run a forked version of Android. The device itself looks like a Lumia phone with a big black glass slab on the front with a bright red body. Will it be released since that Microsoft will take control Nokia's handset operations? I'd wager against it. Read more at theverge.com.

  4. The Washington Post reports that the US NSA and the UK’s GCHQ may be using Google’s advertising cookie PREF to track targets. The cookies itself only contains a unique number that identifies a browser. The identifier can be used to single out a specific machine in order to hack into the system and infect it with malware. Read more at theverge.com.

  5. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson warns the era of big subsidies for devices is coming to an end. Speaking at an investor conference in New York City, Stephenson says with smartphone penetration at 90 percent soon, wireless operators need to work harder to get customers to use more of the network, and "That means more device upgrades. And the model has to change. You can't afford to subsidize devices like that." Read more at cnet.com.

  6. The General Court of the European Union says Microsoft's acquisition of Skype is A-OK. Cisco and Italian VoIP company Messagenet asked the court to overturn the European Commission's approval of the merger claiming the deal was anti-competitive. The Skype acquisition combined with Windows Live Messenger services gives Microsoft an 80-90% share of video communications on Windows PCs. However, the court said that video communications are a segment of an overall consumer communications market full of competition. Read more at pcworld.com.

  7. Twitter updated its Android and iOS apps Tuesday making Direct Messaging more prominent and adding the ability to send and view photos in those messages. The update also allows swiping between multiple timelines like your Home page, the Discover page where trends are, and the Activity page. Read more at pcworld.com.

  8. John McAfee wants to create new devices resistant to government surveillance by creating localized, secure networks. Speaking at the C2SV conference in Silicon Valley this weekend, McAfee says the ‘D-Central’ will be the first product from his new company, Future Tense Central, and will combine existing technologies into a single package of hardware and software, creating a portable network that will extend about “three blocks in the city or a quarter of a mile out in the country” according to McAfee. Read more at independent.co.uk.

  9. “And since my sweetie left me, Harlem, well, it ain't the same old place” Well Cynda Williams, this may turn your Harlem Blues around. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Tuesday that Harlem get a new outdoor public wi-fi network. covering 95 city blocks, from 110th Street to 138th Street. The network will be accessible for free through a donation from the Fuhrman Family Foundation. The first phase is scheduled to be complete in May 2014. Read more at time.com.

  10. Apple TV just got some more apps today. Watch ABC, Bloomberg, Korean channel KORTV, and Sony's Crackle join what is becoming a very crowded Apple TV menu. Watch ABC is still tied to a cable subscription. Bloomberg is bringing live 24-hour streaming news seven days a week. And Crackle has the most awesome of awesome things - Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon. My favorite rain delay movie about a teenage kung fu master from Harlem nicknamed "Bruce Leeroy." Yeah! Read more at techcrunch.com.

For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for December 11, 2013.