Top News for August 11, 2014

Amazon

Here are today's top stories from Tech News Today for August 11, 2014:

  1. The war of words between Amazon and Hachette continued over the weekend. We told you Friday about some 900 or so book authors who published an open letter in the New York Times Sunday slamming Amazon for their negotiating tactics with publishing giant Hachette. Amazon had withheld or delayed some books to pressure Hachette into agreeing to its terms for eBook prices. That letter gave out Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s person email address and called on the public to spam Bezos with public pressure. But Saturday, Amazon pre-emptively slammed back by calling on Kindle authors to spam Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch [peach], and argue Amazon’s case. And finally, Pietsch hit back by replying to all those emails with Hachette’s side of the story. In related news, Amazon is applying the same tactics to negotiations with Walt Disney company. Amazon is no longer accepting pre-orders for Disney DVD and Blu-ray titles like "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and "Maleficent." Read more at gigaom.com.

  2. In 2013, the Manhattan district attorney's office obtained warrants to search 381 Facebook accounts for links to suspected fraud. Facebook fought the warrants and lost, but now is receiving support from an amicus brief filed Friday by the New York Civil Liberties Union. The brief is also supported by the ACLU, Google, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, Yelp, Foursquare, Kickstarter, Meetup and Tumblr -- all attempting to provent these types of broad searches in the future. Read more at wsj.com.

  3. Finland's F-Secure last week verified an accusation made by some users of some Xiaomi smartphones -- that the phone was “phoning home” like ET and secretly sending data back to servers in China. Now the company has explained itself and has issued a patch. Read more at engadget.com.

  4. According to The Guardian, 5.2 Chromebooks have been sold this year, and a large chunk of those are being used in the US education market, creating big challenges for Apple's iPad and more traditional Windows PCs, which have both enjoyed success in classrooms. Read more at theguardian.com.

  5. A new website called Sad Tweets, built by the agency Party NY, finds your “saddest tweets” -- the ones that got no engagement and that everybody ignored. It then shows them in a sad slideshow, accompanied by sad piano music. Sadly, it shows only your sad tweets, not other people’s. Read more at sadtweets.com.

  6. For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for August 11, 2014.