News Fuse for October 29, 2013

Motorola

Here are today's top 10 stories from Tech News Today for October 29, 2013:

  1. Motorola announced it will partner up with Dave Hakkens Phonebloks community to make a modular smartphone a reality. Project Ara will be a free open hardware platform which Motorola says is intended to do for hardware what Android did for software. A modular phone would allow the user to replace parts of the phone like the screen or camera without replacing the entire device. Motorola will begin inviting developers in a few months and hopes to have a developers kit out sometime this winter. Read more at cnet.com.

  2. This whole Google smartwatch thing is seeming pretty real - the latest whispers point to a launch next year, if the WSJ's contacts are correct, because development on the wearable has apparently reached the point where it "could be ready for mass production within months," and Google is said to have already started talks with Asian manufacturers. This is according to anonymous sources, but bundle that in with some key patents and some acquisitions earlier this year, and a Google watch seems like less of a rumor all the time. Read more at engadget.com.

  3. Amazon's Matchbook service is now live. If your forgot, Matchbook lets you purchase discounted digital versions of physical books you purchased from Amazon. Amazon says that Matchbook is available for over 70,000 books with more titles to be added in the future. Read more at engadget.com.

  4. Apple reported $7.5 billion in profit on $37.5 billion in revenue. Down from $8.2 billion in profit last year but up over $36 billion in revenue the year before. Apple broke sales records including 33.797 million iPhones, up over 26.91 million last year, but profit margins continued to shrink from 40% a year ago to 37%. Mac sales outpaced iPod sales for the first time since iPods. Read more at arstechnica.com.

  5. Nokia's Q3 2013 financial results show an operating profit of $162 million from $7.8 billion in revenue. That's a big gain year over year. The report is the first since Microsoft agreed to purchase Nokia's phone business, and that division — Devices and Services — performed as expected, posting a small loss of $118 million. Phone business aside, Nokia's overall revenue was $3.8 billion and it made $280 million in profit, which is good for the post-phone future. Read more at theverge.com.

  6. According to Strategy Analytics, Samsung shipped the most smartphones in the third quarter of this year. More than 250 million smartphones were shipped worldwide this year from all smartphone makers. Samsung moved over 88 million smartphones. If you're curious, Apple shipped over 33 million iPhones. Read more at cnet.com.

  7. In a speech hosted by Film Independent, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos suggested Netflix would like to get into making big movies, not just documentaries, and premiere them in theaters the same day they’re available on Netflix. To do that he’d need theater owners on his side. Sarandos said, “As theater owners try to strangle innovation and distribution not only are they going to kill theaters they might kill movies.” Look for Netflix to buy some movie theaters I guess. Read more at allthingsd.com.

  8. People who own a Moto X might have noticed a little red sombrero on their home screens... if tapped, a Moto X turns into a player for computer animation and street theater. Windy Day, as the production is called, came from Motorola’s in-house moonshot division, Advanced Technology And Products (ATAP). This research group, begun in May 2012 (the same month that Google’s $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobile became official), shares the high ambitions of its parent company’s own long-term research group, Google X. This is a new type of storytelling that Motorola calls “Spotlight Stories.” Read more at wired.com.

  9. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who by the way is facing a re-selection fight one year from now, is pressing lawmakers to vote this week on a law requiring Internet companies to store data obtained from Brazilians in servers located inside Brazil. The bill comes in response to reports that the United States spied on Brazilians including President Rousseff. Read more at reuters.com.

  10. Microsoft issued its Security Intelligence Report and found 21% of users are still using Windows XP. Microsoft will cease to provide security updates to XP in April 2014. Windows XP users are almost six time more likely to get malware infections compared to Windows 8 users. On the plus side, Microsoft announced its remote desktop app for Android and iOS has been downloaded 1 million times in 17 days making it the most popular Microsoft app on Android. Hilariously, still no word when the app may come to Windows Phone. Read more at zdnet.com.

For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for October 29, 2013.