News Fuse for October 14, 2013

Microsoft

Here are today's top 10 stories from Tech News Today for October 14, 2013:

  1. Microsoft announced Windows Phone 8 General Distribution Release 3. GDR3 supports 1080p displays, larger screen sizes, Qualcomm's 8794 processor and improves accessibility features for the visually impaired. The update should come to users over the next several months. If you don't want to wait, Microsoft also announced its Windows Phone Preview for Developers program. Anyone who signs up as a Windows Phone Store or App Studio developer account, or who has a developer-unlocked phone can install the Windows Phone Preview for Developers app and bypass the carriers to get updates. Read more at thenextweb.com.

  2. HTC's One Max: a bigger version of the original One's 1080p LCD panel - is possibly your new favorite phablet at 5.9 inches. The One Max includes a fingerprint scanner on its rear side. The back cover is now removable, letting you expand the 16GB or 32GB of onboard storage with up to 64GB more via microSD. It's got a Snapdragon 600 (with 2GB of RAM) for processing, runs HTC's Android skin, Sense 5.5, which runs on top of Android 4.3, and HTC says global availability will start rolling out this week. Read more at engadget.com.

  3. Facebook acquired Israeli mobile data optimization startup, Onavo, giving Facebook an office in Tel Aviv. Onavo's apps use VPN and data compression to help smartphone owners optimize mobile data usage, and will continue as a standalone app. Facebook will likely use it for the Internet.org outreach program for the developing world, as well as mine it's data for app usage analytics. Read more at thenextweb.com.

  4. The Wall Street Journal reports Netflix is in talks with Comcast, Suddenlink Communications, and other service providers to offer its online video service as an app on their set-top boxes. Talks are in early stages, say familiar familiar with the matter. Last month Netflix teamed up with UK's Virgin Media to allow it to integrate its streaming service into Virgin's service through TiVo set-top boxes. Netflix claims it's had a standing invitation to US cable operators to add Netflix for two years. Read more at cnet.com.

  5. LG has already said it has bendable and unbreakable smartphone displays in production. Engadget's sources confirm a six-inch curved phone will come from LG. Three renders of the rumored G Flex curved from top to bottom in a shape that Engadget calls orthogonal but this announcer can only call a banana phone. Read more at engadget.com.

  6. According to a new survey by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), of U.S. consumers who purchased Apple’s latest iPhones during the last days of September, the 5s accounted for 64% of total iPhone sales following its launch that month. Meanwhile, the the 5c accounted for 27%, with the legacy iPhone 4S making up the remaining 9%. CIRP’s data suggests Apple avoided cannibalization of its flagship iPhone, but also that the 5C's numbers maybe aren't that exciting. Read more at allthingsd.com.

  7. Canadians may soon get unbundled cable and satellite TV. During CTV's show ""Question Period"" Industry Minister James Moore said, ""We want to unbundle television channels and allow Canadians to pick and pay the specific television channels that they want."" Mo0re also said Canada's government is looking at preventing airline overbooking and curbing wireless roaming rates. And a pony. Read more at reuters.com.

  8. Sonos has released a $200 speaker, the Play:1. the play:1 is about the size of a coffee can, and is available either in white or black. The price not only allows Sonos to compete with cheaper, bluetooth-enabled speakers, but the company also says eventually apps will be able to build in Sonos integration, eliminating the need for a standalone Sonos app, and allowing Sonos to work a lot more like Chromecast for music. Read more at gigaom.com.

  9. Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson's Technical Illusions company has launched a Kickstarter for their augmented reality glasses called castAR. The company began the project as a continuation of work they had done at Valve. CastAR glasses project stereoscopic 3D images on a retroreflective surface. A clip-on can provide true Augmented Reality without the need for the reflective surface, or Virtual Reality similar to the Oculus Rift. It's not wireless but that could be possible int he future. The glasses work with a Magic Wand input device and an RFID tracking grid. The Kickstarter hopes to raise $400,000 by Nov. 14th. Read more at engadget.com.

  10. Have a D-Link router? A serious vulnerability has been discovered that could affect you. A writer from embedded device hacking website /dev/ttyS0 found a backdoor to the router, along with full access to the router's web configuration interface. Anyone connected to the router through Ethernet or Wi-Fi, can set their browser's user agent string to a specific codeword and then try to access the web configuration panel. Only a certain selection of routers are known to be affected, all which use the DIR-100 firmware, but there's the possibility that firmware for other D-Link routers also includes backdoor code. Read more at techspot.com.

For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for October 14, 2013.