Here are today's top 10 stories from Tech News Today for November 13, 2013:
- As expected and pretty much entirely leaked, Motorola announced the new Moto G, a more affordable version of the Moto X. The phone has a 4.5-inch 720p 329ppi display, snapdragon 400 1.2 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, 3G NOT LTE and alleged all-day battery life. It ships with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean but is guaranteed to get 4.4 KitKat by January. Custom shells are available in multiple colors. It’s on sale today for £135 in the UK as well as in Brazil and parts of Europe and will come in a few weeks to the rest of Europe and Canada. Other countries, like the US, will get it early next year. The 8GB version will sell unlocked in the US for $179 and the 16GB version $199. Read more at techcrunch.com.
- Sony's launched an official PlayStation app for Android and iOS devices. The app gives access to the PlayStation Network mobile devices, and allows you to chat to friends, receive game alerts, and buy games from the PlayStation Store before pushing them to your PlayStation 4 to download and install while you're away from your console. The company has also bowed to fan pressure, with President of Sony Computer Entertainment Shuhei Yoshida telling Giant Bomb that the PS4 development team is working to add the ability to play both CDs and MP3 files in a post-launch patch. Read more at theverge.com.
- Sprint's CFO says that almost every phone available on the Sprint network next year will support Sprint Spark. Spark is Sprint's triband LTE network. The only exception is that Sprint isn't sure if the next iPhone will be support all three bands because y'know - Apple doesn't talk to its partners. Read more at cnet.com.
- If you’re watching Netflix on a Roku, PlayStation, SmartTV or Blu-ray player you’ll notice a new look. The redesign adds more images and info to screens in the hopes you’ll be more likely to watch something. The new look will not come to Apple TV or Xbox because of design restrictions from those manufacturers. Read more at allthingsd.com.
- Microsoft is eliminating its infamous practice of evaluating employees on a bell curve in an effort to bolster teamwork, as the company restructures to focus on devices and services. Managers will no longer be required to rate workers on a fixed scale of performance rankings, Lisa Brummel, Microsoft’s executive vice president of human resources, said in a memo to the company’s 99,000 staff. The new initiative follows the “One Microsoft” strategy unveiled by outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer in July. Read more at businessweek.com.
- Jawbone introduced a new wearable fitness tracker called the Up24. The wristband supports wireless syncing using low-energy Bluetooth. The Up24 also comes with an updated app that will give you recommendations like what time to go to bed to get more sleep. The Up24 costs $149 and comes in two colors - black and dark orange. It's being sold online today and hits Best Buy and Apple stores next week. Read more at theverge.com.
- If you live in the big city and use Verizon get ready for the slow lane. During an investor conference, CFO Fran Shammo said the large bandwidth usage on their LTE networks in cities like New York, San Francisco and Chicago causes many users to drop down to 3G. Verizon has the largest and oldest LTE network in the US. LTE customers make up a third of its customer base but use 64% of the traffic. Read more at engadget.com.
- The AMD chip known as Kaveri has a release date: January 14th. The flagship desktop part for FM2+ socket motherboards will be called the A10-7850K, that it'll use four Steamroller CPU cores clocked at 3.7GHz, and built on an open standard, HSA, that allows different processors inside a system to work together to speed up compute tasks. Cost is still a mystery, as is whether it'll be sold as a standalone part or in pre-built systems. Read more at engadget.com.
- Wikileaks has published a draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade agreement being negotiated by the US, Canada, Australia, Japan and many other Pacific rim countries. Much like ACTA before it, the TPP is being negotiated in secret. Unlike ACTA which stood for Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement, the TPP is a wide-ranging trade agreement of which, intellectual property provisions make up only a small part. But just like ACTA, the agreement includes stricter laws governing digital copyright and patents. The US and Japan currently oppose a chapter that would balance those stricter laws with protection of the legitimate interests of users and the community. Read more at theverge.com.
- Twitter is now allowing users to create curated timelines based on hashtags or topics. The feature is available for some on TweetDeck right now with a full roll out over the next several days. Twitter also released an API that will lets developers make their own apps that can create custom timelines. The API is being released in beta and will be made available to a small group of partners. Read more at techcrunch.com.
For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for November 13, 2013.