News Fuse for July 25, 2013

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Here are today's top 10 stories from Tech News Today for July 25, 2013:

  1. Facebook had a great quarter reporting $1.81 billion in revenue, far exceeding the $1.62 billion analysts expected, and earnings per share of 13 cents. The big news was the jump in mobile revenue, which made up 41% of total revenue, up from 40% last quarter. Facebook also saw daily active users rise 27% year over year. Monthly active users rose 21% and mobile monthly active users rose 51% year over year. Read more at techcrunch.com.

  2. Originally reported by Game Informer, Microsoft has confirmed it will allow independent studios to release downloadable games directly on their systems without a publishing partner behind them, and might even be able to set their own release dates and pricing. Microsoft's Marc Whitten said in a statement to Kotaku that self-published indie games on Xbox One won't be in a separate, indie section. Read more at arstechnica.com.

  3. The U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 205-217 rejected an amendment that would have blocked funding for the NSA program that collects data on every call made by or to a U.S. phone. The amendment would have allowed data collection if the records were part of a specific investigation. Since the amendment didn't pass, enjoy being spied on. Read more at bbc.co.uk.

  4. CNET's Declan McCullagh reports a source claims the US Government has demanded SSL keys from Internet providers. The keys are used to encrypt connections over the Web. The keys would let the FBI and NSA decrypt contents of intercepted communications. McCullagh contacted several tech companies. Microsoft and Google declined to admit whether they had received such requests but stated clearly that they have not handed over keys to any government. Facebook said they had received no such requests but would fight it if they did. Read more at cnet.com.

  5. Analog camera and film specialist Lomography has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $100,000 to recreate the Petzval lens, developed by Joseph Petzval in 1840 and known for artistic, dreamy effects, designed for today's Canon ED and Nikon F mount cameras. The first lenses are expected to be delivered in February 2014, although Lomography says they’re confident the first 1,000 units can be shipped by December this year. The first 100 backers will get the lens for $300, and it will retail for $499. Read more at thenextweb.com.

  6. Spanish smartphone maker Geeksphone announced it's taking preorders for the Peak+ smartphone. The device runs Mozilla's Firefox OS 1.1 and has twice the RAM as Geeksphone's Peak. The Peak+ costs 149 Euros (not including tax) and will ship mid-September. After the pre-order period, the price is expected to increase. Read more at zdnet.com.

  7. EU regulators and Penguin Books have reached an agreement under which Penguin will end it's deal with Apple under which no competing retailer could sell ebooks cheaper than Apple. Penguin also offered to let retailers set prices and offer discounts for two years. Read more at reuters.com.

  8. A new social nightlife app called BarEye is coming to New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta and Austin, after a successful test market in Tallahassee, Florida. BarEye allows you to buy drinks for friends through Facebook or to anyone checked in to a BarEye bar, or use it to buy yourself a drink without opening a tab or waiting for service. Just select the bar and drink, pay with credit card and redeem with the bartender. Drinks range in price, but a Deals page lists discounts and specials throughout the week. Read more at techcrunch.com.

  9. BlackBerry confirmed to All Things D that the company has laid off 250 employees from it's Waterloo, Ontario product-testing facility. The employees were part of the New Product Testing Facility supporting R&D. The cuts were called part of the next stage of increasing efficiency and scaling the company correctly. BlackBerry cut about 5,000 jobs last year. Read more at allthingsd.com.

  10. It's happened! The first 50-inch 4K TV that costs under $1000! TCL announced the 7E504D 50-inch 4KTV that will have a sticker price of $999. The TV comes with four HDMI ports and MHL compatibility. The 7E504D will launch in the U.S. in September. Read more at cnet.com.

For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for July 25, 2013.