News Fuse for October 17, 2013

Microsoft

Here are today's top 10 stories from Tech News Today for October 17, 2013:

  1. Windows 8.1 arrived today. If you have Windows 8 and you'd like the start button back, or just want to have the latest version, head to the Windows store in your Windows tiled interface. The update is free for Windows 8 users. Windows 7 folks will need to buy the Windows 8 upgrade for $119 or $199 for Pro. Boxed version with Windows 8.1 will hit store shelves tomorrow as well as new PCs with 8.1 pre-installed. Read more at thenextweb.com.

  2. All Thingd D reports Twitter plans to significantly update its direct-messaging product beyond just allowing users to send and receive DMs from others without needing to mutually follow one another. Three people familiar with the matter say the company may also launch a standalone direct-messaging app separate from the Twitter app. This is quite a turnaround from December of 2011, when the company redesigned its web and mobile apps and took the DM feature off center stage. Read more at allthingsd.com.

  3. Acer just introduced the Iconia W4. It's an 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablet with a resolution of 1280 x8 00 along with an Intel Bay Trail Atom processor. For you tablet photographers, the W4 also has a 5MP rear camera and a 2MP front facing cam. There are two models: a 32GB model will run you $330, the 64GB model costs $380. Read more at engadget.com.

  4. Verizon Wireless, now feeling in charge of itself after agreeing to buy out Vodafone's stake, reported earnings that pretty much met expectations. Verizon added 1.1 million subscribers for a total of 101.2 million, 95.2 million of which are postpaid. Nearly half of new phone activations were iPhones. Revenue jumped 4.4% over last year to $30.3 billion. LTE coverage is now at 99% of 3G. Read more at readwrite.com.

  5. Teens between 13 and 17 years old can now post public status updates and photos on Facebook. A former privacy restriction that kept kids in that age group from sharing information with people beyond friends and friends of friends. Facebook says that move is in line with competitors' by giving teens the freedom to decide whether they want to keep updates to friends, or to the world. The company said in a blog post: "Teens want to be heard." Read more at latimes.com.

  6. Android Police got its hands on the latest Google Glass firmware and tore it apart to find the delicious insides. Okay Glass, that was creepy. Anyway, Android Police found a bunch of new voice commands in the GlassVoice.apk that suggests that you'll be able to ask Glass to do things like check you in to a location, call you a car, and more. There also appears to be more music controls with data found in the Music_Card.xml file. Read more at androidpolice.com.

  7. Ubuntu also has its day in the sun today. The regular October OS update 13.10 code named Saucy Salamander arrived though with only minor updates. The Unity interface's Dash view got an overhaul but XMir, the transitional step from the X Server to Mir display interface, was deferred to the April update. 13.10 also features the first true release of Ubuntu Touch for mobile devices. The release is compatible with Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 handsets, though Canonical says this release is really aimed at manufacturers to get them to build more compatible devices. Read more at thenextweb.com.

  8. Michael Bromwich, A former federal prosecutor in New York, who was part of the government's trial team against Oliver North, the former Marine Corps lieutenant colonel who was a central figure in the Iran-Contra affair, and who recently served as the top U.S. offshore drilling watchdog, has been appointed to monitor Apple's antitrust compliance following a court ruling that it had conspired to fix e-book prices. He'll monitor Apple for two years under the order issued by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan. Read more at reuters.com.

  9. Yesterday EFF filed a petition with the US Patent and Trademark Office, challenging Personal Audio LLC's patent called "System for disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence". The petition cites Carl Malamud's "Geek of the Week" Internet Radio shows from 1993, as well as online broadcasts by CNN and the CBC as examples of episodic content that pre-date Personal Audio's priority date of 1996. The EFF crowdfunded $76,160 in support of the filing. Read more at arstechnica.com.

  10. Samsung Galaxy S4 owners rejoice for today is the day that the S4 is receiving the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update. Well, the update is actually hitting the international GT-I9505 model for now -- the U.S. update will happen in a few weeks. Samsung also bundled in some more of its own fantastic software like Samsung Wallet and support for the Galaxy Gear smartwatch. Read more at cnet.com.

For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for October 17, 2013.