Top News for February 3, 2014

Microsoft

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

  1. Microsoft has plans to retreat from its Metro UI and go back to a mouse-centric interface. At least that's what an apparently leaked build of the operating system suggests. An early build of Update 1 for Windows 8.1 appeared online over the weekend. It shows a merger between the older Windows desktop interface and the tiled “Metro UI.” Read more at gigaom.com.

  2. Another Superbowl is behind us, though for many folks the game itself was less interesting than the ads big companies spent millions of dollars on. Danny Sullivan over at MarketingLand kept a running tallly throughout the night and found that hashtags were used in 57% of nationally-run Super Bowl ads, up from 50% in 2013. Facebook was the social network most mentioned, five times, Twitter had just four mentions. Read more at marketingland.com.

  3. The tech industry is scrambling to overcome the limits of batteries in phones and wearable computers, according to a piece in the New York Times yesterday. Companies like Apple, Google and Samsung are hiring experts, filing patents and experimenting with radical technologies in an effort to prevent consumer electronics from being held back by the physical limitations of batteries, according to the report. Read more at nytimes.com.

  4. New hack attacks that may be similar to the recently reported Target breach were reported over the weekend. The French carrier Orange told customers today that about 800,000 customer accounts were accessed by hackers on January 16. Canada’s largest telecom said more than 22,000 small business account usernames and passwords were posted online over the weekend by hackers. Five credit card numbers were also posted. The hotel industry also suffered a huge data breach recently. Credit card information from guests staying at the Hilton, Marriott, Sheraton and Westin hotels managed by a company called White Lodging were exposed throughout much of last year. The hack was exposed Friday by security journalist Brian Krebs; White Lodging issued a statement on the hack last night. Read more at reuters.com.

  5. The Federal Communications Commission has laid out plans to double the amount of money it spends on high-speed Internet connections in schools and libraries over the next two years, and provide broadband service for an estimated 20 million American students in 15,000 schools. The money will come from restructuring the $2.4 billion E-Rate program, which provides money for “advanced telecommunications and information services” using the proceeds of fees paid by telecommunications users. The portion devoted to broadband service in schools and libraries increases from $1 billion to 2 billion. Read more at nytimes.com.

  6. Graph Search for mobile devices may soon arrive on your phone. The feature was hinted at during Facebook’s earnings call last week. Now, it appears to be showing up in the apps of some Facebook users. Graph Search is a semantic search feature introduced for the desktop browser version of Facebook in March. Read more at theverge.com.

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