Top News for January 21, 2014

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Here are today's top stories from Tech News Today for January 21, 2014:

  1. And the world’s fastest-growing social network is… Instagram! At least accoding to new research by the GlobalWebIndex published today. The site has grown by 23% in the last six months. The biggest social networks over all are Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn, in that order. To me, the shocker that jumped out from this survey is that Google’s Orkut is the #9 biggest social network, edging out Yahoo’s Tumblr. Another stunner: Two-thirds of users say they use mobile devices to access social networks. Read more at techcrunch.com.

  2. Intel’s OnCue TV service is finally going somewhere. Verizon announced today it's acquring Intel Media, a group of cloud TV assets that includes OnCue, and which puts Verizon in direct competition with former partner Comcast. Verizon is expected to integrate OnCue with its FiOS fiber-optic networks and deliver “over the top” TV to “any device.” OnCue is designed to offer live TV as well as on-demand programming. Read more at techcrunch.com.

  3. New research reveals how quickly viewers are moving from premium TV to online streaming video content. NPD Group found a 6-percent drop in subscriptions to HBO, Showtime and other premium TV channels in the past two years, with a 4-percent rise in subscription video-on-demand service, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu Plus. Read more at prweb.com.

  4. AT&T wants you... to end your contract and get a new phone. The company announced yesterday that customers who started their two-year agreement before January 18th, just a few days ago, can switch to AT&T Next, which will let them upgrade to a new phone after six months into their contract, and also a Mobile Share Value plan, which is month-to-month plan with no contract. Read more at att.com.

  5. Is email on the way out? A former Facebook engineering executive named Dustin Moskovitz thinks so, according to a new piece in WIRED. So he founded a startup called Asana. Moskovitz claims that the world has reached “peak email” -- that’s it’s starting a decline to obsolescence. But a recent McKinsey & Co. survey says email is nearly 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined. Of course, that’s for marketers. Still, email is in fact growing in usage, not declining. Read more at wired.com.

  6. After debuting at the Tokyo Auto Show back in November, Toyota's FV2 has made an appearance at the north american international auto show. It's a very TRON-like single-seater electric car covered in mirrored material that has the ability to display digital graphics. Cameras on either side of the FV2 capture video and then display the graphics depending on what movement they see. With electric car battery technology where it is, we probably won't see car art installation panels on the road anytime soon, but a fascinating "concept" indeed. Read more at psfk.com.

For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for January 21, 2014.