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Conscious uncoupling: Microsoft announced it will reduce staff by up to 18,000 jobs over the next year, approximately 14% of its staff. 12,500 of the reductions will come in the newly acquired Nokia Handset division. Microsoft also told employees it will shift all non-Windows Phone operating system phones into maintenance phones, including Asha, S40 and Android-based Nokia X phones. Future phones will all run Windows Phone OS. Microsoft will also shut down Xbox Entertainment Studios which was making original content for the Xbox. It appears this will not affect the Halo series.
But I’m FAMOUS: Re/Code reports Facebook has a new app called ‘Mentions,’ exclusively for the use of verified public figures to make it easier to post publicly on Facebook and see what folks are saying about them. Facebook estimates tens of thousands of users will qualify to use mentions.
Don’t you/forget about me/ … uh, wait: Marketwatch reports a coalition of European privacy agencies have invited Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to a meeting next Thursday in Brussels to discuss implementation of the “right to be forgotten” rules. Microsoft began implementing removal requests in its Bing search engine today. Google has taken some criticism over how it has implemented the policy, which allows individuals to request search results that are no longer relevant to be removed from search indexes.
Let’s go shopping! The Next Web Facebook also announced today it is testing a “Buy” button in your Facebook news feed, in cooperation with a few small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S. The button allows users to make purchases without leaving Facebook. Payment information will not be shared and users can choose whether to save the info for future purchases or not.
Oh, by the way … : Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s Michael Riley has an in-depth report of how attackers, suspected of being from Russia, used two zero-day vulnerabilities to gain entry to the NASDAQ Stock Market in 2010, harvest an unknown amount of data and plant destructive malware. NASDAQ announced the infiltration in a brief statement on Feb. 5 2010, but downplayed the extent and significance of it.
Rabbit ears are back: GigaOm has a story on a startup called GoTenna that’s creating a 6-inch long, baton-like device that can connect iOS and Android phones to each other even in places without cellular or WiFi coverage. The GoTenna connects with phones by BlueTooth and with other batons using peer to peer over 151-154 MHz. Its low bandwidth, but long range, makes it excellent for GPS and text messages. GoTenna is taking preorders today for $150 for a pair of devices and expects to ship this autumn.
Pow! Straight to the moon! The Verge reports the United Arab Emirates is establishing an official space agency with the goal of sending an un-crewed spaceship to Mars by 2021. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE vice president and ruler of Dubai, says the UAE has already invested 20 billion dirham ($5.4 billion) in space technologies, primarily satellites. He wrote on Twitter, “given the right tools, Arabs, once again, can deliver new scientific contributions to humanity.”
Apples doubles down in Asia: Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports Apple has enlisted FPT Corp, Vietnam’s biggest listed information and communication technology company, to open retail outlets in major cities in the country as part of a push to top Samsung in one of the fastest-growing markets in Asia. Sales of iPhones in Vietnam soared 262 percent in Apple’s fiscal first half ended March 29.
That time of year again: Google reported its Q2 earnings. Analysts expected Google to have net revenue of $12.3 billion and earning per share of $6.25. Google ACTUALLY reported revenue of $15.96 billion up 22% and earnings per share of $6.08. Paid clicks advanced 25% on a year-over-year basis, or 2% on a sequential quarter basis. Cost per click slid 6% year-over-year.
More Q news: IBM reported its second-quarter earnings climbed 28%, helped by its restructuring moves, while the computing and tech giant also reported its ninth-consecutive quarter of lower revenue.
Whitman replaces Whitworth: HP’s Board of Directors has appointed Meg Whitman to the chairman’s spot following the departure of Ralph Whitworth earlier this week. Whitman was already serving as president and CEO of HP. HP also moved current director Pat Russo to lead independent director and appointed Klaus Kleinfeld, chief executive and chairman of Alcoa, to the company’s board, bringing the total number of board members to 12.
News From You:
AllanAV submitted the EFF post regarding an amendment in the US Congress introduced by Representative Marsha Blackburn that would stop the FCC from nullifying state laws that prevent cities and towns from creating their own Internet service. Blackburn received $10,000 from the National Cable & Telecommunications Association this year and last year, according to OpenSecrets.org. She received $12,500 in contributions from Verizon, $10,000 from AT&T, $7,500 from Comcast, and $7,000 from representatives of Time Warner Cable. A roll call vote on Representative Blackburn’s amendment was postponed.
Melchizedek74 posted the Android Central story about DirectTV offering NFL Sunday Ticket to US residents even without a separate television subscription, seemingly a dream for cord-cutting football fans. PC Mag points out it will only be available to those who live in an apartment where DirecTV is not accessible, attend one of a handful of universities, or reside in New York City, Philadelphia, or San Francisco. It also starts at $200 for the season.
And the_big_endian pointed out the CNBC article that the US Copyright Office told Aereo it does not consider it a cable company and would not support its claim to deserve a compulsory license for rebroadcasting TV. “In the view of the Copyright Office, internet retransmissions of broadcast television fall outside the scope of the Section 111 license.”
Discussion Section Links: Microsoft Job Cuts
Pick of the Day: Dark Sky via David Wilke
I’d recommend the iOS app Dark Sky. There are a million weather apps out there and most of them try to out do the other based on design. Dark sky out does the others because it’s accurate. Here’s the deal….it is nearly 100% accurate to the minute as to whether(no pun intended) it’s going to rain or not based on your geo-location….and…it tells you how hard it’s going to rain (drizzle, light, heavy, etc). How is that valuable you ask? Well, whenever I’m at the beach or pool, I know exactly if I should just ride it out or pack it up and head in…..or…if I’m on the golf course…same thing…will it be done in 10 min? Is it a drizzle for the next hour so I can continue my golf game? Dark Sky is the best value I’ve received for an app bar none (I think it’s $3.99 or 1 gallon of gas).