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Tech News Today for September 28, 2016

Tech News for September 28, 2016

The time has come for Blackberry to give up the goat on its hardware strategy. Today during its second quarter sales report, the company announced its plans to close down its phone business, signaling its transition into the Android space a failure. This doesn’t mean that we won’t see any more BlackBerry devices, however. They just won’t be built exclusively by BlackBerry itself. Those efforts will be outsourced to partners, much like the way its latest device, the DTEK 50, was built by Alcatel OneTouch and modeled after Alcatel’s Idol 4. The closure of its hardware business should complete by the end of this fiscal year. Read more at cnet.com.

The Intercept says Apple new Messsages app might hide your conversations from prying eyes, but the names of the people you contact is accessible to Apple and they could hand it over to authorities in some situations. Read more at theintercept.com.

A half dozen current and former Yahoo employees who spoke with the New York Times anonymously say that Marissa Mayer’s priorities when she took over Yahoo was that of creating a fresher, cleaner look for Yahoo products. That came at the expense of taking security seriously, in the way that nearly all of Silicon Valley’s top companies do. Yahoo had a number of insecurities when she took over, but the security group within Yahoo encountered numerous roadblocks in its attempt to tackle those issues, due to concerns within the company that true security measures would result in a layer of inconvenience for its users, which could lead to a shedding of users in the process. Emphasis on its security could have prevented a number of security issues from the past four years, including the stolen credentials of 500 million users that went unnoticed for two solid years. Read more at nytimes.com.

The most powerful woman philanthropist on the planet who just happens to be a former Microsoft product manager with a degree in Computer Science is now throwing her weight around to get more women in tech and to figure out how to keep them there. According to an interview in BackChannel, Melinda Gates is stepping out on her own to dedicate resources and attention to the women in tech problem. Gates says measurement and research in how to keep women in tech doesn't exist right now because people haven't put money into it and money is the first step in the plan. Read more at backchannel.com.

iPhone users have been left in the cold when it comes to high-scale Virtual Reality. Sure there’s Google Cardboard, but that’s low rent VR and not on the same playing field as other efforts like Samsung’s Gear VR. Occipital is aiming to change that with it’s new VR Dev Kit that brings inside-out room tracking to mobile VR, using an iPhone and one of Occipital’s Structure Core 3D Sensor into the device. HTC Vive does room tracking, but has many other hardware requirements including a computer rig outside the headset and a mass of cables connecting into the back. This kit is designed to run entirely on device, while staying power efficient, and claiming low latency and low jitter. Read more at uploadvr.com.

LATE BREAKING: Sources at The Financial Times say Spotify is in the market to buy SoundCloud. This would combine users and offer Spotify a service that knows how to do social, video, and podcasting, all of which Spotify could use to beat Apple Music in the streaming media race. Read more at variety.com.

Megan Morrone and Jason Howell are joined today by Iain Thompson from The Register to talk about the security of Apple's Messages, and Nsikan Akpan from PBS to talk about the science behind mitochondrial replacement therapy. Tech News Today streams live weekdays at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern at twit.tv/live. You can subscribe to the show and get it on-demand at twit.tv/tnt.

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