In the Valley, employees of major tech companies like Google and Facebook wear their building badges like a literal badge of honor. You don’t need to keep it attached to your belt while out on a Friday night, but it also doesn’t hurt your chances of landing a date. You should probably debadge when you bang though (just a thought).
Microsoft recently updated its YouTube app for Windows Phones, but Google isn’t too pleased with the results–going so far as to send a cease and desist. That’s because Microsoft built in features allowing users to block ads. [The Verge]
A spokesman said they’d be “more than happy to include advertising but need Google to provide us access to the necessary APIs.” [The Verge]
“Reading is an activity more likely to be on screen than on the printed page.” So there’s that. [BBC]
Car-sharing service Relay Rides has gotten the ax (locally at least) from the New York State’s Department of Financial Services, who said their insurance is “illegal and inadequate.” [PandoDaily]
Looks like, after technical problems, NASA’s other-Earth-seeking Kepler Telescope is powering down. [Popular Science]
“Throw in with Apple and see if we can all make a go of this to create a real mainstream e-books market at $12.99 and $14.99.” That’s the kind of email that, even if you are Steve Jobs, lands you in hot water with antitrust enforcers. [AllThingsD]
Cell your Soul
The White House has tapped Twitter’s former legal director Nicole Wong for chief privacy officer, a newly created position. Before joining Twitter six months ago, she was at Google where her nickname was “The Decider.” [ReadWrite]
Yahoo reportedly really really wants out of its search deal with Microsoft because it’s killing the company’s revenue. [WSJ]
Betaworks’ first game, Dots, has racked up 1 million downloads in its first week of release. [TechCrunch]
Syria’s government said it’s working to repair the country’s connection to the Internet. Who is faster with customer service: Syria or Time Warner? [CNN]
In an effort to get more people back into its brick-and-mortar stores, Target is rolling out deals on people’s Facebook News Feeds that you can take to the store and redeem. [AdAge]
Do you like weddings? Are you a fan of low-brow and uncivilized behavior? Do you also have an insatiable thirst for watching mobile operating systems battle it out for consumer hierarchy? Then you’re going to LOVE the new commercial for the Windows Phone. It combines all three of those things in an attempt to halt Read More
If you were hoping to get rich off of being one of the first to build apps for Google Glass, think again: Google has prohibited developers from using ads or charging for apps. We’re betting Google wants to keep that potential ad revenue all to itself. [The Verge]
Sources tell Bloomberg Twitter is seeking a deal with Viacom and Comcast that would allow it to host clips (as well as ads alongside those clips) on the site. Can’t you at least verify @Jack’s parents first? [Bloomberg]
Binge-watching shows is about to get a whole lot easier: Netflix is finally ditching Microsoft Silverlight in favor of HTML5 video. [The Verge]
IBM execs are headed to Washington to try to convince politicians to pass CISPA. Paging Alexis Ohanian! [Hillicon Valley]
Cory Booker’s Waywire startup has finally launched in beta. [PandoDaily]
Play Your Video Games
Sad news out of the Pacific Northwest today: Geekwire reports that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer almost had his beautiful vacation home destroyed by a rampant mudslide. Why do bad things always happen to good people?
XXX in Tech
Who says playing video games is nothing but a timesuck? The Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports that Jose Muñoz, an undocumented immigrant who’s been living in the U.S. since age 1, used his extensive Xbox history to stay in the country. Take that, Mom!
Say what you will about techies and charitable giving, but Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates has established himself as one of the most important philanthropists in the world, even nabbing a spot on Businessweek’s list of most generous people. Through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Gates and his wife work to eradicate poverty and increase access to healthcare.
Now, with a $100,00 grant offered through the Grand Challenges in Global Health Program, the Gateses are hoping to find “anyone — students, scientists or entrepreneurs” to reinvent the condom. It’s your time to shine, Ballmer.
Was that a bellow of rage we just heard from the direction of Redmond? The Wall Street Journal reports that the DOJ and SEC are poking around Microsoft as part of an investigation into business partners (like resellers and consultants) who maaaybe secured software contracts by bribing foreign officials.
Well, that would be one way to keep Windows running on every desktop.
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]