News Fuse for September 12, 2013

Dell

Here are today's top 10 stories from Tech News Today for September 12, 2013:

  1. Michael Dell won his company back with a little help from his friends at Silver Lake Partners. Dell shareholders approved an offer to buyback outstanding shares at $13.75 a share along with a 13 cent per share special dividend. All told Dell and Silver Lake will spend $24.9 billion. CNBC reports the buyout was favored by 65% of the shareholders. Read more at allthingsd.com.

  2. In an effort to assure consumers that fingerprints aren't scary, an Apple spokesperson says the new Touch ID system in the iPhone 5S only stores “fingerprint data,” which remains encrypted within the iPhone’s processor, and then uses the digital signature to unlock itself or make purchases. So even if someone cracked an iPhone’s encrypted chip, they likely wouldn’t be able to reverse engineer someone’s fingerprint. You may, however, not want to unlock your iPhone after Zumba class - Apple testers have found the device sometimes doesn’t work with sweaty fingers, or moisturized hands in general. Read more at wsj.com.

  3. The Apple iPhone 5S will be the first smartphone with a 64-bit processor. Any guesses who will make the next one? If you guessed Samsung, you'd be right. Samsung mobile head JK Shin told the Korea Times that Samsung's next smartphones will also have 64-bit CPUs and that device will come "not in the shortest time." Hmm. If the next Galaxy S phone has a 64-bit processor that would mean the S5 and the 5S would both have them. Read more at engadget.com.

  4. At TechCrunch Disrupt Mark Zuckerberg criticized the US government over the NSA disclosures. He said, "Frankly, I think that the government blew it. They blew it on communicating the balance of what they were going for with this." IN an early leak from Edward Snowden, Facebook was said to engage in an NSA program called PRISM. Facebook along with Yahoo filed suit Monday to get permission to disclose more information about government requests. Zuckerberg meets today with Speaker John Boehner and the rest of his leadership team, over immigration privacy and a number of general topics. Read more at theverge.com.

  5. After Lavabit founder Ladar Levison raised over $100,000 to appeal a surveillance order, his legal battle has begun. Wired reports that details of the case, being contested in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, are currently under seal, and Levison's opening brief starts October 3rd. Levison decided to close Lavabit, a private email service used by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, after fighting a legal case the founder said he could not discuss in detail. Read more at theverge.com.

  6. At IDF 2013, Asus introduced the Transformer Book T100. The 10.1-inch device is cheap! $350 gets you a tablet and keyboard dock, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and a quad-core Intel Bay Trail-T Atom CPU. $400 will get you double the storage at 64GB. The Transformer Book T100 will be running Windows 8.1 when it ships on October 18th. Read more at engadget.com.

  7. Mary Jo Foley has knitted together several reports and sources that indicate Microsoft is developing a Siri-like voice recognition assistant for Windows Phone called Cortana. Cortana is also the name of an AI character in Microsoft's Halo video game series. Cortana on Windows Phone would learn and adapt using the "Satori" knowledge bank that powers Bing. Read more at zdnet.com.

  8. 4 new Chromebooks from Hewlett-Packard, Acer, Asus, and Toshiba are coming soon powered by Intel's battery-sipping, high-speed Haswell chips and expected battery life in the range of 9 hours. They're expected to cost under $300 for the Wi-Fi only models, as opposed to Google's high-end, $1,300 Chromebook Pixel. The Chromebook makers have yet to announce the juicy details, but an Acer representative confirmed that its new Chromebook will be available "in time for the holidays." Read more at cnet.com.

  9. An attacker with inside information stole Vodafone data on 2 million customers, including names, addresses, birthdays and bank account info. They did not acquire passwords, PINS or credit card info. Vodafone discovered the breach earlier in September and reported it to police. Vodafone said the incident only affects clients in Germany and clients can check if their info was compromised on the Vodafone website or wait to be contacted by mail. Read more at bloomberg.com.

  10. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer says that Yahoo monthly active users are now at 800 million people worldwide. That figure is up 20% since Mayer took over in July of 2012. She made the comment at TechCrunch Disrupt and also said those numbers do NOT include traffic from Tumblr. Mayer said it will take "three or more years" to get Yahoo where she wants it. Read more at techcrunch.com.

For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for September 12, 2013.