Darren Kitchen is here and we’ll give our thoughts on the future of Nokia’s mobile phone business now that Microsoft owns it, plus find out why if you’re not taking a selfie with your drone, you’re doing it wrong. Also a drone rock band exists. And Len Peralta illustrates the show!
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Nokia got pwned: Microsoft announced it has acquired Nokia’s handset business for €5.44 billion (around $7.2 billion) although, because of cash and capital adjustments over the 8 months since the transaction was first announced, the final price may end up being slightly higher. Nokia will make that clear next week. Their earnings report is scheduled for April 29. Microsoft now owns the Lumia, Asha and Nokia X brands of phones. It can keep using the Nokia brand for 10 years. Nokia can’t use its own name on mobile devices until after December 31, 2015. Meanwhile, Nokia retains its networking infrastructure arm, the HERE mapping division and Advanced Technologies which does research and licensing.
Talk about Prime branding: GigaOm passes along a Boy Genius Report story with leaked information that Amazon’s rumored smartphone might be an AT&T exclusive and come with something called “Prime Data.” No details on what that would be, but Amazon’s Prime service gives free shipping, Kindle borrowing, and video streaming for a yearly fee. So some kind of data included in your prime membership is not too far-fetched.
Who’s your boss NOW? Um … The Verge reports Scott Croyle, head of design for HTC, will leave the company to work on his own projects. Croyle’s studio, One & Co. was acquired by HTC in 2008. Croyle will continue to consult with the company for a few months in a transitional role. Jonah Becker is widely expected to take over for his boss. Meanwhile, User Experience chief Drew Bamford got a promotion to head of Creative Labs, making him in charge of all software and services.
And it keeps going, going, going: CNET reports Apple and Samsung will have to extend their patent case for at least one more day, due to a decision handed down by a US Appeals court in a related Apple-Motorola patent case regarding the 647 patent on linking of phone numbers. The companies would have wrapped up testimony Friday, but will now be allowed to present more evidence regarding the 647 patent on Monday. That would push closing arguments from Monday to Tuesday.
The Falcon has landed … somewhere: Re/code reports SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced the company’s Falcon 9 rocket first stage had executed a successful soft landing in the ocean last week, although the stage was not recovered due to subsequent ocean activity. The ultimate aim is to bring the stage down at Cape Canaveral by the end of the year. Musk also announced the company has filed a complaint in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, protesting the Air Force awarding of a contract to United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing.
News From You
The top vote-getter on the subreddit today came from KAPT_Kipper. TorrentFreak reports Hulu has begun blocking IP addresses of VPN providers in an effort to prevent people outside the US from viewing the US-only service. However the block also prevents US residents using US VPN servers from seeing Hulu. All blocked users receive a message suggesting if they are in the US to disable their VPN or proxy. In other words, you wanna watch Hulu, you need to surf less securely.
metalfreak submitted the PC World story that Google is considering deploying WiFi networks in places where it provides Google Fiber service. The information comes from documents given to the 34 candidate cities for the next round of Google Fiber.
SPSheridan submitted an Ars Technica article reporting on the TechCrunch report that sources tell them that in the wake of the departure of Vic Gundotra from Google, Google + will go from being a product to a platform. The Google Hangouts team would allegedly shift to Android as would the photos team. Google + would no longer be required to integrate with Google products. A Google representative told TC “Today’s news has no impact on our Google+ strategy — we have an incredibly talented team that will continue to build great user experiences across Google+, Hangouts and Photos.”
metalfreak and SPSheridan both submitted links about the death of the California KillSwitch bill. The legislation would have required all smartphones sold in California have a kill switch that would allow consumers to remotely lock and disable the phone if stolen. PC World reports the bill fell short of the 21 votes it needed in the State Senate.
Discussion Section Links: Dronies!
Pick of the Day:
Meetup! If you live in the Los Angeles area, come by our meetup this Saturday! Jennie and I will be hanging out Saturday, April 26th, starting at 6pm, at the 326 Bar at The Original Farmers Market at 3rd at Fairfax. 6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036