Well look who’s
scroogling screwing people now. The European Union has fined Microsoft $731 million for violating its promise to offer consumers a choice of web browser. Probably because when given a choice, no one will pick Internet Explorer. [Reuters]
Facebook plans to announce better ways to filter News Feed content at tomorrow’s big press event, including being able to view just Instagram photos. Photos will also appear larger for posts and, of course, ads. [TechCrunch]
What happens when you share Beyonce files on BitTorrent? Sony smacks you with a $233,000 damages lawsuit. That’s what you get for stealing from Queen Bey, we suppose. [TorrentFreak]
The FBI is secretly spying on some Google users, though because of national security, Google can only give an estimate of how many accounts have been tapped. [Wired]
JFK employees reportedly saw a drone aircraft flying around yesterday, and now the FBI wants your help tracking it. [Motherboard]
According to a former Apple ad man, Apple considered naming its phone offering a bunch of really terrible names before settling on iPhone. These names include “Telepod,” “Mobi” and “Tripod.” Whoever convinced them to go with iPhone is basically a hero. [9 to 5 Mac]
Here is another story about the origin of emoji, which made this Android phone owner only slightly more bitter. [The Verge]
Google is working to build a competitor to the wondrous Amazon Prime, with a same-day delivery service called Google Shopping Express. Wonder whatever happened to eBay Now? [TechCrunch]
Oh good, Microsoft’s Scroogled campaign is here to stay. [CNET]
The Boston Startup School is launching a branch in New York called the Startup Institute. [The Next Web]
An “overwhelming” percentage of cyberattacks on U.S. corporations and government agencies seem to originate out of a 12-story Chinese Army complex in a rundown neighborhood of Shanghai. [NYT]
Microsoft says it has signed up 60 million active users for its free, web-based Outlook email service, and that one-third of those users switched over from Gmail. [Bloomberg]
The liquidation of Ecomom was precipitated, at least in part, by aggressive bets on how much merchandise the ecommerce site could move. [PandoDaily]
A handful of developers in San Francisco and New York had a chance to play with Google Glasses earlier this month, as Google engineers sought feedback on their API. [ArsTechnica]
Finally, the true tale of Times reporter’s John M. Broder and Tesla’s Model S sedan. [AllThingsD]
We just realized something: He doesn’t have the same ease with a zinger, but at this point in the history of Microsoft, Bill Gates is basically the company’s Dowager Countess.
Think about it. As chairman, he’s long since removed himself from the day-to-day running of the estate, preferring to focus full-time on his philanthropic projects. But like the grand Lady Grantham, he’s still kicking around, keeping one eye on how his successor is faring and forming his own opinion on the troubling remodel of the guest bedrooms, not that you asked (which you should have).
Hence, this exchange with Charlie Rose, during a recent interview with CBS News:
Today happens to be a certain Hallmark holiday, the fact of which the tech world has hardly failed to notice. It’s not just dating sites and assorted fun-lovers looking to peg a story: Microsoft, which has been sniping at Google’s privacy practices in a series of ads over the last few months, decided to unveil the latest in its Scroogled campaign.
Microsoft is stepping up its Scroogled campaign, launching television, print and online ads attacking Google on privacy issues. To that end, page A9 of our edition of The New York Times features a half-page ad charging that Google “looks for keywords in your personal email and uses them to target you with paid ads.” Gmail accounts. [NYT]
The Silicon Valley job market is growing at levels last scene in the late-1990s, a piece of information that’s hard to receive without experiencing a pang of anxiety. Also nervous-making: when people in the Silicon Valley business community are saying things like “The growth is crazy and it’s getting crazier.” [Oakland Tribune]
An organized crime syndicate used re-loadable prepaid debit cards to withdraw $11 million from ATMs in a pair of cyber heists in the last days of 2010. [Krebs]
Tumblr is adding real-time updates to its dashboard, a la Facebook’s News Ticker. [TechCrunch]
It wasn’t so long ago that rappers were seeking out business gurus. Grammy-winning producer DeVon Harris says startups should be studying hip-hop. [Quartz]
While everyone’s busy at the BlackBerry presser (Alicia Keys? Really?), Microsoft also has a big release today: Office 2013. In honor of the occasion, CEO Steve Ballmer sat down with Bloomberg Businessweek for a brief Q&A. Inquiring minds want to know: How’s the old workhorse supposed to avoid the glue factory when any modernization has to be balanced with the needs of a billion customers?
Ever since news broke that Microsoft CEO Steve “Sweaty” Ballmer is part of an investment group working on buying Seattle its very own NBA team, the high profile tech company has been forced to fend off angry Sacramento Kings fans who blame it for the loss of their beloved franchise.
You’ve got to hand it to Microsoft: The company just won’t give up on its quest to make everyone reconsider their dismissiveness re: Internet Explorer.
When last we checked in with the IE marketing team, they were attempting to convince us that dorky haters were responsible for browser’s bad reputation. Guess that didn’t exactly work out to be the Geico Gecko, because today they’ve released another commercial, and it’s basically BuzzFeed’s nostalgia-peddling Rewind vertical, deployed to promote IE.
Social media is making Google search less useful. Facebook isn’t ready to compete, at least not yet. Welcome to the search desert. [BuzzFeed]
If you’re a PC maker who wasn’t so thrilled when Microsoft launched the Surface, how exactly do you feel about news that the software maker might invest $2 billion in the deal to take Dell private? [Bloomberg]
Apple releases its quarterly earnings report today, and your guess is as good as ours. As far as what earnings mean for the company’s stock, which has plummeted nearly 30 percent since September? How about something in the $1 to infinity range?[@ReformedBroker]
Two Bitcoin casinos say their businesses are minting profit. [Ars Technica]
Larry Page said that Google Fiber was not a “hobby” for his company, during a conference call to discuss quarterly earnings. Cruelly, he didn’t say anything about when the company might expand the product beyond Kansas City. [Los Angeles Times]