News Fuse for September 27, 2013

Microsoft

Here are today's top 10 stories from Tech News Today for September 27, 2013:

  1. Although he hasn't spent his last day at work yet, Steve Ballmer held his last company meeting as CEO of Microsoft Thursday. He spent an hour talking about things like the Nokia deal and passing the torch to the next CEO. He even got a little sentimental, playing Michael Jackson's "Wanna Be Startin' Something'", the same song he played at his first company meeting in 1983 --- I'm sorry guys -- I told myself I wouldn't do this -- and then-- he jumped-- and he screamed --and then-- he ended his speech with "I've had the time of my life" by Bill medley and Jennifer Warnes and then he danced -- and he screamed some more and--- Sarah just I can't-- Read more at theverge.com.

  2. Intel still wants to launch a Web-based pay TV service by the end of 2013, and executives are now looking for a strategic backer to help them fund and distribute the service, or scrap it altogether. Google, Apple and Sony, have been linked to similar services, though none of them have publicly committed to the idea. Intel has yet to finalize a deal with a major TV programmer but the company has more than 300 employees working on the TV project, and is currently testing a version of its service with more than 3,000 Intel employees. Intel has planned on marketing the service under a new “OnCue” brand. Read more at allthingsd.com.

  3. AllThingsD says that Ford CEO Alan Mulally is now the leading candidate to be the next CEO of Microsoft. It's far from a done deal as Mulally and Microsoft have yet to enter any formal contract negotiations, but ATD says the discussions have been serious. Steve Ballmer will be leaving his position as CEO within the next 12 months. We now join a more composed Tom Merritt. Read more at allthingsd.com.

  4. BlackBerry reported a quarterly loss of $965 million a loss of $1.84 per share. Revenue fell 45% year over year. The loss included a write down of $934 million for unsold Z10 smartphones. If you exclude the Z10 BlackBerry still lost $248 million or 47 cents a share. BlackBerry holds a tentative bid of $4.7 billion from Fairfax financial to take the company private. Read more at reuters.com.

  5. The Chinese government will lift a ban on sales of video game consoles, opening up the market to foreign companies in Shanghai's new free trade zone. China's State Council says foreign companies will be able to sell consoles across the entire country as long as they have established production and sales operations in the free trade zone. Each console will also have to be approved by China's Ministry of Culture before going on the market. Consoles have been available on the black market in China, though most gamers use PCs or mobile devices. Read more at theverge.com.

  6. Google's changed up its search algorithm to better handle longer, more complex search requests. The new version of the algorithm is called "Hummingbird" (no Nestle co-branding here) and actually launched about about a month ago. The news is making the rounds because Amit Singhal, senior VP of search, told reporters of the news yesterday. Read more at reuters.com.

  7. The European Parliament's internal market and consumer protection committee voted unanimously to require allophone makers, they were staring at Apple I imagine, to sell the same type of micro-USB charger with their phones. Apple is one of the only companies that doesn't already supply users with a Micro-USB connector. Apple does have adapters for its 30-Pin and lightning cables. The committee still has to take its proposal to the Council, which will bring it before Parliament, where it will be formally voted on. Read more at cnet.com.

  8. The New York Times sources have some potential good news for frequent fliers - a special US Federal Aviation Administration panel is ready to recommend to the FAA that it lift restrictions on passengers using their smartphones, e-readers, tablets, laptops, and other electronics during all points of a flight - as long as they were in airplane mode with Wi-Fi turned off during takeoff and landing. If the report is accepted, the changes could be in place by sometime in 2014 if the FAA works quickly to make things better for passengers... hahahahahahahah that was funny. i crack myself up. Read more at theverge.com.

  9. Tom Warren of The Verge reports Microsoft committed to a single app store for Windows and Windows phone at its Sept. 26 company meeting. Mary Jo Foley's sources agree and say it might come with the next version of Windows which could come Spring 2014 and might include some kind of Windows Azure role such as compiling apps or back-end code for apps. Read more at zdnet.com.

  10. Over at CEDIA, Dish showed off a new app by home automation company Control4 that can control the Dish Hopper DVR. The Control4 app was developed using Dish's SDK that allows developers to build in control of Dish's DVR into their own apps. Right now, the app is limited to controlling the STB, but eventually it will include two-way communication for guide things like guide data. Read more at engadget.com.

For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for September 27, 2013.