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Top News for January 27, 2014

DeepMind

Here are today's top stories from Tech News Today for January 27, 2014:

  1. [me] Google is buying DeepMind, an artificial intelligence company for an unknown amount that may exceed 500 million dollars. At the insistence of DeepMind, Google's agreed to set up an ethics board to make sure the AI is used for good instead of evil, according to reports. Read more at time.com.

  2. Google and Samsung Electronics have signed an agreement to cross-license each other’s smartphone patents, the goal being fewer court battles over intellectual property. The deal covers both existing patents as well as patents that will be filed during the next 10 years., but it doesn't cover ALL patents. In related news, Samsung agreed to pay the Swedish company Ericsson 650 million dollars up front, plus unspecified royalties, to settle a "technology licence conflict." Read more at nytimes.com.

  3. Samsung is working on its own take on Google Glass, according to a report in the Korea Times. The product could be launched in September and be called 'Galaxy Glass'. Read more at koreatimes.co.kr.

  4. China's Tencent Holdings, the company behind China’s verrrry popular WeChat app, is gunning for the United States, and has launched a promotional campaign to raise awareness. For those who don't yet use it, WeChat has 272 million monthly active users world-wide, which makes the app bigger than Instagram and Linkedin. But it’s not a hit in the US, at least not yet. Read more at wsj.com.

  5. NSA contractor Edward Snowden told a German TV network Saturday that the NSA engages in industrial espionage. He claimed that trade secrets from the German engineering company ZEE-mens was one major target. So China does it. We learned recently that Russia’s doing it. France does it. Australia does it. Has state-sponsored industrial espionage gone mainstream? Read more at gigaom.com.

  6. China’s moon rover broke down, apparently. China's official press agency reported that a "mechanical control abnormality" caused by the "complicated lunar surface environment" has shut down the "Jade Rabbit" rover. Read more at zunhuanet.com.

For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for January 27, 2014.