Here are today's top 10 stories from Tech News Today for November 14, 2013:
- The Wall Street Journal reports, according to “people briefed on the matter” that SnapChat turned town a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook. The Journal reports Tencent, makers of WeChat, has been looking to invest in SnapChat and values the company at $4 billion. The briefed people also apparently say Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel wants to wait until early next year to entertain any offers, believing the company to get even more valuable by then. Read more at wsj.com.
- Google’s latest Transparency Report, which shows government data demands, shows that requests have doubled in the last three years. The report covers the first half of 2013, and shows that the number of US demands has increased to nearly 11,000, compared to the 8,500 or so requests in the previous six month period. Globally the total number of requests is at a new high of 25,879, due to a combination of interest in services like Gmail, but also an increase in people online around the world. Read more at gigaom.com.
- It's alive! It's alive! Isis, the mobile wallet platform, has launched nationwide in the U.S. today. Isis is backed by Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. An updated version of the Isis mobile app is also available in the Google Play store with a version for each carrier. Isis is supported on over 40 smartphones. If Isis isn't your cup of tea, a startup called Coin had developed a new device that can hold hold all of your credit card info on one device the size of a credit card. The magnetic stripe is dynamic and uses 128-bit encryption. You can pre-order one now with shipment in Summer 2014. Read more at techcrunch.com.
- Laptop Magazine’s Avram Piltch reports that Intel announced the company will open a series of popup retail stores soon, staring with one in the NoLita neighborhood of Manhattan near Prince and Mott Street opening Nov. 23rd. The stores will feature demos of Intel-powered devices, along with free coffee, free movies, device loans and events with makers. The stores are temporary and will close down by Jan. 25. Read more at laptopmag.com.
- Google's eight-year copyright battle with the Authors Guild over Google's controversial decision to scan more than 20 million library and make the available on the Internet is over, and Google won. New York, US Circuit Judge Denny Chin ruled yesterday that the book scanning amounted to fair use because it was “highly transformative” and because it didn’t harm the market for the original work. Read more at gigaom.com.
- In absolutely amazingly cool news IBM has released an API that would allow developers to have their apps use IBM's Watson as their backend. Watson is made up of over 2,800 servers and can analyze natural language. It's best known for its appearance on the game show Jeopardy. This could allow for a new class of apps that can take advantage of Watson's power. Read more at gigaom.com.
- Finnish phone maker Jolla, the company with the Sailfish OS offshoot of the old Meego OS will release its first handset for €399 in Finland on November 27th.The devices will support Android apps and come with the independent Yandex Android App Store. GigaOm reports Finnish carrier DNA has partnered with Jolla along with Chinese distributor D.Phone. Read more at gigaom.com.
- Russia-based Yota Devices has been working the dual-screen YotaPhone - unique because the front of the phone has a traditional LCD screen, and the back has an eInk display. Finally, the company's announced the YotaPhone will launch internationally before Christmas. Earlier this year the Russian company was confirmed it would start the mass production process with the help of a Singaporean manufacturer called Hi-P. Read more at techcrunch.com.
- Thanks to KAPT_Kipper in our subreddit for submitting this one. US Senator Jay Rockefeller submitted a bill Tuesday to the US Senate called the “Consumer Choice in Online Video Act” which would prevent ISPs from using their power to ""block, degrade, or otherwise impair any content provided by an online video distributor, including by implementing usage based billing. Other clauses of the bill would make TV networks negotiate fairly with online video providers and even seem to make services like Aereo specifically legal. Read more at arstechnica.com.
- The HP Chromebook 11 is no longer being sold at Best Buy after reports that a small number of chargers overheated. Google and HP said they are pausing the sales of the HP Chromebook 11 while they look into the matter. If you already own one of those laptops, Google says to avoid using the original power supply. The Chromebook 11 uses micro USB for power, so you've got options. Read more at techspot.com.
For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for November 14, 2013.