Here are today's top 10 stories from Tech News Today for September 05, 2013:
- The Wall Street Journal reports BlackBerry's special committee of board members pursuing a sale of the company wants to pursue a fast auction process with a sale completed as early as November. The Journal's sources say BlackBerry has narrowed its list of candidates and will begin the sales process soon. Read more at allthingsd.com.
- Lenovo's launching a bunch of stuff! The company's new smartphone is called the Vibe X, with a 6.9 mm slim frame and weight of just 4.2 oz, plus a 13 mp rear cam and 5 mp front, cam, curved display and HD screen. It also announced the The Yoga 2 Pro, 10% lighter than previous models and can go into four modes with a higher resolution screen and software to optimize apps starts at $1,099... the Thinkpad Yoga will have a 360 degree rotation and a lift and lock keyboard that sits flush on surfaces with keys locked into place in multiple modes starting at $949.... and the Flex line: two laptops that can swap modes to be a stand or laptop, starting at $629. Read more at zdnet.com.
- The Apple of China Xiaomi introduced a new Android powered smartphone and television. The phone is the MI3 and features a 5-inch touchscreen and is powered by a Tegra 4 or a Snapdragon 800 depending on which Chinese carrier you get. The phones launch in mid-October and will range in price from about $330 to $410. The 47-inch television is called the Xiaomi TV. It will be assembled by Wistron, which is the company that makes TVs for Sony. The TV will run Android and have 2GB of RAM, 8GB of storage and be powered by a Snapdragon 600 processor. It's priced at around $490 and launches mid-October. Read more at engadget.com.
- A US federal jury in Seattle ordered Google's Motorola Mobility to pay Microsoft $14.5 million in damages for failing to license on reasonable terms, patents related to the H.264 video and 802.11 wireless standards. Motorola sought 2.25% of the product price from Microsoft. The case will have broad effects over what constitutes fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory terms in patent licensing in the US. Google intends to appeal. Read more at cnet.com.
- At IFA, Toshiba announced the Encore, an 8-inch tablet with a 1280×800 resolution screen and Intel's new Atom Bay Trail CPU, running Windows 8.1. The Encore also has a Micro HDMI port and a 32GB hard drive with an expandable microSD storage option, a 2MP front-cam that’s specially optimized for Skype calls and an 8MP rear camera. . It'll be available in November for $330. Read more at gearburn.com.
- Yesterday, either to capitalize on the Samsung Galaxy Gear coverage or to get buried in it, Qualcomm introduced its own smartwatch called the "Toq." The Toq tethers to an Android phone via WiFi and Bluetooth and uses Qualcomm's Mirasol display technology, which is kind of like a color e-ink display. Mirasol is known to sip power compared to LCDs. Inside is a 200MHz Cortex M3 processor that will also help with battery life. The Qualcomm Toq will cost about $300 and is targeted for an October 10th release. Read more at cnet.com.
- Oyster has launched a limited preview of its ebook subscription service. The service lets you read any of more than 100,000 titles for a monthly fee of $9.95. The service is only available as an iPhone app in the US for now. An iPad app is planned for this autumn. The Oyster app can store up to 10 titles for offline reading. Read more at thenextweb.com.
- Six consumer privacy groups - Electronic Privacy Information Center, the Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Watchdog, Patient Privacy Rights, U.S. PIRG, and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse - have organized a coalition and sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission asking it to block upcoming changes to Facebook’s privacy policies that they say would make it easier for the social network to use personal data about its users, including children under 18, in advertising on the site. The changes are scheduled to go into effect later this week, but the coalition says they violate a 2011 order and settlement with the F.T.C. over user privacy. Read more at nytimes.com.
- If you haven't caught on to this yet, 'curved' and '4K' or rather 'UHD' are the new TV buzz words coming out of IFA.These are often paired with the older buzzword OLED. Sony's one for three with its curved 65-inch HDTV that is NOT OLED but costs $3,999.99, shipping this autumn. Sony's 4K TVs dropped price. The 55-inch XBR-55X900A sells for $3,999 and the 65-inch XBR-65X900A for $5,499. Sony also launched its Video Unlimited 4K service, for Sony FMP-X1 4K media player owners. It has TV shows for $3.99 and films to rent for $7.99 or purchase for $24.99, including the complete Breaking Bad series in 4K after the season ends. Read more at pcmag.com.
- Mailpipe, a crowdfunded email client, found that $45,000 worth of contributions were frozen by Paypal. Mailpipe is currently building an email client that lets users control their email and keep it local instead of using Google or Microsoft servers. Paypal said it would unfreeze Mailpipe's money after one year or if there is a verifiable 1.0 release of Mailpipe. Mailpipe's money could also be unfrozen if it can provide Paypal with "an itemized budget" and "development goal dates." Read more at arstechnica.com.
For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for September 05, 2013.