Here are today's top stories from Tech News Today for February 05, 2014:
- Longtime Google veteran Susan Wojcicki will head the company’s YouTube unit, according to a scoop in The Information. Wojcicki is currently senior vice president of advertising and was Google's employee No. 16 at Google. In fact, Google was launched in her garage in 1998. She's also the sister of Anne Wojcicki, founder and CEO of 23andMe and the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin. Read more at theinformation.com.
- The Nikkei Asian Review is reporting that Sony is in talks to sell its PC operations arm to investment fund Japan Industrial Partners, and shift its hardware focus to smartphones. Here's the alleged plan: the fund will establish a new company to which Sony will sell its entire PC business. That sale price is estimated at 40 billion yen to 50 billion yen ($391 million to $489 million). The new company would continue to make and sell PCs under the Vaio brand. Sony will take only a small stake in the firm, and will withdraw operations from most countries and regions. Read more at asia.nikkei.com.
- Google’s European antitrust problems may soon be over. The company agreed to change search results to avoid a possible $5 billion fine. Google is willing to display links to three competitors next to links to its own services. It would also label its own links. The European commission will decide whether to make the change legally binding after talking to Google’s competitors to see if it satisfies them. European regulators started investigating Google in 2010 after complaints that it favored its own web sites and services in search results. Read more at theverge.com.
- Part of Silicon Valley’s power and phone infrastructure was attacked last April. The attack was covered in the press last year. But an exclusive report in The Wall Street Journal has pieced together a detailed timeline of the incident, and it’s worse than previously reported. The attack started after midnight on April 16. Some unknown number of people broke into an underground vault south of San Jose and cut telephone cables. Then, snipers fired at the nearby Metcalf power substation for 19 minutes, taking out 17 giant transformers that relay power to Silicon Valley. A blackout was avoided because officials re-routed power around the site and boosted electrical production from other nearby power plants. Nobody was caught. Read more at wsj.com.
- You know what's cool? Six billion hours of video viewed every month on YouTube... you know what isn't cool? Fake eyeballs. Google has announced a crackdown on "fraudulent views" on YouTube, from channels who inflate their view counts. YouTube has always audited videos in an effort to try to spot inflated counts, but the company is taking it more seriously, according to YouTube software engineer Phillip Pfeiffenberger. It's a quirk of the system that YouTube's parent company is driving traffic to those third-party businesses. Read more at theguardian.com.
For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for February 05, 2014.