News Fuse for November 19, 2013

Samsung

Here are today's top 10 stories from Tech News Today for November 19, 2013:

  1. Reuters reports Samsung says sales of Galaxy Gear smartwatches reached 800,000, making it the most popular smart watch to date. That not only beats the pessimistic market watchers but Samsung’s own expectations. The company says it will expand sales promotions for the watch. Read more at yahoo.com.

  2. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that Dropbox plans on raising $250 million more in the next few weeks. The company, say anonymous sources, seeks a valuation north of $8 billion, or more than double its last round, which closed in Oct. 2011. Dropbox just reached 200 million users, which is roughly 10 times as many people as it had at the end of 2010. Its revenue has grown 20 fold since late 2010 and now said to be in the “hundreds of millions of dollars” per year range. Read more at techcrunch.com.

  3. In news that should surprise very few, the Financial Times reports Nokia's shareholders approved the sale of its devices and services division to Microsoft. The acquisition was announced in September and the deal is expected to officially close in quarter one of the next year. Microsoft is paying Nokia approximately $7.2 billion in cash for Nokia's Devices & Services business, patent licenses, and map data licensing. Read more at techcrunch.com.

  4. It’s no surprise that game consoles are sold for about cost, so get ready to not be surprised. All Things D got a peek at IHS’s cost estimate for the PS4 which is about $381 for parts and assembly. That leaves a nice fat margin of $18 profit on each device. As long as you don’t count marketing and over head and— well you get the picture. Sony’s continuing to make money on the games, and possibly the occasional video or music sale. Just as a comparison The PS3 cost $805 to build when it launched in 2006 and sold for $599. Read more at allthingsd.com.

  5. FreedomPop - The mobile virtual network operator (or MVNO) has implemented a bring-your-own-device program for older model Sprint WiMAX phones and even the LTE-powered Samsung Galaxy S III under a FreedomPop plan. the company launched its VoIP and IP-messaging service in beta last month, giving the first 10,000 customers willing to buy its $99 HTC Evo Design a free 200-minute, 500-message and 500MB monthly plan, and it's now allowing another 10,000 subscribers to use the EVO 4G (also $99) as well as taking in customers who port over Sprint devices. Read more at gigaom.com.

  6. After being contacted by a murder victim's parent, Google will remove an image of the murder victim that was findable via Google Maps. The victim was 14-year old Kevin Barrera who was found near railway tracks in Richmond, CA. Google Maps satellite imagery captured that scene. Google VP of Maps Brian McClendon says "Our hearts go out the family of this young boy" and Google thinks it can update the satellite images in eight days. Read more at thenextweb.com.

  7. The US Office of the Director of National Intelligence has released partially-redacted documents detailing secret court decisions relating the NSA’s now ended program of capturing metadata from the Internet. Two opinions have attracted the most attention. One by by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly called the requested authorization enormous, but granted it in deference to the executive branch. Another by Judge John D. Bates found the “NSA exceeded the scope of authorized acquisition continuously” but reluctantly allowed the program to continue again in deference. The documents were released in response to a lawsuit sponsored by the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Read more at theguardian.com.

  8. The Apple TV's sporting a couple news apps from Yahoo and PBS. Yahoo Screen includes clips from Saturday Night Live, The Colbert Report, and The Daily Show, as well as live news, events and music. The PBS app lets users watch a variety of its programs in full, and offers customized programming based on local PBS affiliates. Today's updates are for US customers only. Read more at engadget.com.

  9. FiftyThree, the company that made the iPad app ‘Paper’ now has a stylus named ‘Pencil’. Pencil, paper, get it? Can’t wait for eraser. Oh wait they have it. It’s on one end of pencil. The active stylus uses Bluetooth to tell the iPad which end is touching so you can draw with the pencil end or erase with the other. It also can distinguish between your hand and the stylus, so you rest your palm on the tablet while writing. The aluminum model costs $50 the walnut one, $60. Both purchases unlock all of the Paper app’s in-app purchases and ship 2-3 weeks from order. Read more at wired.com.

  10. During Microsoft's final shareholder meeting with Steve Ballmer as CEO, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates spoke and got choked up as he talked about the search for Ballmer's replacement. Gates pointed out that the company has only had two CEOs and thanked Ballmer directly for his leadership over the last 13 years. Read more at theverge.com.

For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for November 19, 2013.