Top News for April 3, 2014

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Here are today's top stories from Tech News Today for April 03, 2014:

  1. A social network called ZunZuneo emerged in Cuba in 2009 for users of the tightly controlled Internet in that country, then mysteriously vanished two years later. The Marxist, one-party government there, ruled by the Castro brothers for 45 years, sounded paranoid when they called it a US-controlled plot. But it turns out they were right. The whole thing was a US government scheme to undermine the Castro brothers’ grip on power. Read more at washingtonpost.com.

  2. Google’s long-awaited stock split goes into effect today. Normally stories like this are boring. But in this case, Google is not only splitting the stock, but changing the types of stocks issued to boost the power of the company's two founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Critics call it a naked power grab. Supporters say it’s just a smart move. Read more at wsj.com.

  3. The European parliament passed a major set of telecom reforms, including strong net neutrality rules and laws to kill roaming fees within Europe. Read more at extremetech.com.

  4. As expected, Microsoft unveiled Cortana yesterday. The Windows Phone virtual assistant feature, which will initially remain in beta and for the US market only, competes with Apple’s Siri and Google Now. Read more at pcworld.com.

  5. Yahoo announced new encryption, partly as a response to the Edward Snowden leaks. The company now encrypts traffic between its own data centers and also changed the default setting for the Yahoo homepage so it’s HTTPS unless the user takes action to turn it off. Read more at wsj.com.

  6. We told you back in February about Google’s huge expansion of Google Fiber rollouts to up to 34 new cities. Google Fiber, of course, is Google’s fiber infrastructure that the company claims is a hundred times faster than your average broadband connection. Well, an exclusive by Amir Efrati on The Information this morning says Google is working on adding mobile wireless service to markets where Google Fiber exists. If Google goes forward with this idea, it’s possible that a single monthly payment to Google would get you fast home Internet connectivity and also mobile phone data and voice service. The company wouldn’t build its own cell towers, but would instead act as a mobile virtual network operator using the services of an existing network. Read more at theinformation.com.

  7. A web site promoting a new version of Windows for the Internet of Things appeared a couple days ago. At the time, Microsoft hadn't announced what the site was promoting, and the site was quickly taken down. Well, yesterday Microsoft announced it at its BUILD developers conference and brought the site back up. Awkwardly named Windows on the Internet of Things, the new version runs on the Rasberry Pi like Galileo platform from Intel. Microsoft said the new version of Windows will be free. The site is Windows on Devices dot com. Read more at windowsondevices.com.

  8. We’ve been keeping you up to date with the Turkish government’s block of Twitter within that country. One of several dramas unfolding there is that Turkey’s constitutional court ruled the ban illegal -- but the government kept the block in place anyway. Reuters reported and Twitter has confirmed this morning that the block has finally been lifted. Read more at twitter.com.

  9. For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for April 03, 2014.