News Fuse for November 4, 2013

BlackBerry

Here are today's top 10 stories from Tech News Today for November 04, 2013:

  1. BlackBerry has concluded its sale and the buyer is nobody. Instead the company will borrow $1 billion from investors led by former would-be purchaser Fairfax Financial who will chip in $250 million. Thorsten Heins will step down as CEO and board member. Former SyBase CEO John Chen will take over as executive chairman of the board and interim CEO. Fairfax had until today to finalize its bid to buy BlackBerry. Fairfax chief Prem Watsa will now return to BlackBerry’s board as a lead director. Read more at engadget.com.

  2. Well into its initial public offering roadshow, Twitter has issued another update to its S-1 today: the company was recently issued a letter from IBM alleging that Twitter infringes on “at least three U.S. patents” held by IBM, “inviting us to negotiate a business resolution of the allegations.” Twitter has also raised its IPO estimate to $23-25 per share, up from the previous $17-20 — which is a sign of Twitter’s confidence that it’s expecting a strong turnout when it lists, despite potential patent wars. Read more at techcrunch.com.

  3. The FAA relaxed its rules on when you can use electronics on airplanes, so Amazon is throwing everyone a deal. Amazon is offering a one-day only "Thank You, FAA" sale today. If you buy a Kindle on November 4th, you'll get 15% off if you use the promo code "ThnksFAA" at checkout. The offer applies to the Kindle, the Kindle Fire HD and the Fire HDX. Read more at usatoday.com.

  4. Google Glass, still an experimental piece of hardware don’t forget, has taken a step towards user-friendliness. Instead of having to visit a Google office to get in-person instruction on using the device, new Glass owners invited in by friends can have the glasses shipped to them but will still be invited to a Google + hangout to take them through the setup process and get a little lesson in the history of Glass. Read more at engadget.com.

  5. You know what improves the capacity and efficiency of hard drives? Helium! Western Digital has announced that its HGST subsidiary has begun shipping the new 6-terabyte Ultrastar He6 hard drive, a model that seals the spinning disk platters inside a hermetic chamber filled with helium instead of air. Helium has just one-seventh the density of air, so it reduces the turbulence caused by spinning disks and the heads that constantly move above them to read and write data. That translates to lower power consumption and less waste heat in the data centers that use these drives. How much less? Western Digital said the power used per terabyte drops 49 percent. Read more at cnet.com.

  6. Apple's lost a top iOS engineer. Henry Lamiraux is retiring from his position as iOS Engineering Vice President. Lamiraux was in charge of developing the apps that come with iOS. He was with Apple since 1990. Read more at tuaw.com.

  7. Windows Phone is more popular than iOS in Italy according to July-September numbers from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. Microsoft’s share is made up almost entirely by Nokia phones and has risen to 9.2% of sales in Europe’s five major markets of UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Research firm Counterpoint kept the good news flowing for Nokia as the manufacturer passed Motorola to take 4th place in worldwide smartphone shipments for the third quarter at 4.4%. Apple and Samsung are neck and neck at the top with about 34% each followed by LG at 8.6%. Read more at thenextweb.com.

  8. Samsung has agreed to license Nokia patents for five more years, and has agreed to pay Nokia additional compensation starting Jan. 1, according to a statement from Nokia today. The amount will be settled in a binding arbitration expected to be concluded in 2015. The previous agreement was set to close at the end of this year. After agreeing to sell its handset division to Microsoft back in September, Nokia's largest business going foward is network equipment, and generating licensing income from its patents. Read more at bloomberg.com.

  9. The US Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal in a class action suit against Facebook. The company has agreed to pay $9.5 million in the suit which alleged the defunct “Beacon” ad service violated users’ privacy rights. Four members of the class disagreed with the settlement and appealed to the supreme court. The court’s decision not to hear the case means the settlement is now final. Read more at reuters.com.

  10. Pictures of Valve's prototype Steam Machines have hit the internet. What does it look like? A small black rectangular pizza box PC with a big circle on one side of the front along with two USB ports. Another picture shows the Steam box in white. These prototypes were built using off the shelf computer parts. So, the final product will probably look a little different. The Steam Machines are expected to be shown off at CES in January. Read more at computerandvideogames.com.

For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for November 04, 2013.