Top News for March 26, 2014

Oculus

Here are today's top stories from Tech News Today for March 26, 2014:

  1. Facebook announced yesterday that it has agreed to buy Oculus VR. The cash-and-stock deal totals about $2 billion. Oculus VR, a company that makes the Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles, began less than two years ago as a Kickstarter project. Read more at wsj.com.

  2. The New York Times is an ancient newspaper, and advertiser-supported since it launched in 1851. But now they’re exploring new ways to monetize without ads -- or, at least, without regular display advertising. The company today unveiled NYT Now, a mobile iOS app that costs $8 per month. It launches April 2. The app will show “native advertising” which is essentially stories written and edited not by Times Staff but by advertisers. These’ll be labeled as “Paid Posts.” The Times also announced today a new Times Premier subscription that costs $45 per month, which gives access to all Times content, and also extra “behind-the-scenes” information. Read more at techcrunch.com.

  3. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella plans to announce tomorrow something called the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite, according to an exclusive on ZDnet by Mary Jo Foley. The bundle is aimed at enterprises and it enables the central management of smartphones and tablets, including iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices. The report is based on information from anonymous sources. Microsoft is also expected to unveil a version of Office for the iPad. Read more at zdnet.com.

  4. We told you Friday that the Turkish government blocked Twitter in that country, and this week that they blocked Google Public DNS, which people were using to get around the Twitter block. But yesterday, a court ruled the block illegal and issued a stay of execution. The ban is expected to be lifted shortly. Read more at google.com.

  5. We told you yesterday that HTC would offer a plain-vanilla Play Edition of its new HTC One M8. That information was based on files uploaded to the Play Store, but not announced by HTC. But now, Google is already taking orders for the phone. The price is $699 unlocked and it ships in a few weeks. Read more at gigaom.com.

  6. Microsoft is finally launching its long-threatened anti-trolling reputation system for the Xbox One. When players get a lot of complaints by other players, they’ll start getting reputation warnings. If they keep failing to play nice, their reputation will officially drop on the system from the default “Good” reputation to “Needs Work” and then ultimately end up in the “Avoid me” purgatory. The penalty for this status is "reduced matchmaking pairings” and other barriers to fast and easy game play. Read more at xbox.com.

For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for March 26, 2014.