Today's Top Technology Headlines
- Twitter shares soar, near all-time high
By Gerry Shih SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Twitter shares soared more than 9 percent on Monday to their highest level since the company's initial public offering after a spate of product announcements that could boost its revenue prospects. Twitter has mostly traded in the low-$40 range in recent weeks since November 7, when shares briefly topped $50 in the hours following its highly anticipated IPO. Twitter on Thursday officially began allowing marketers to show individually-tailored ads on Twitter, based on websites the user has previously visited. Apple Inc announced last week it would acquire Topsy, an analytics company that mines Twitter data, for $200 million, according to media reports.
- Google bus blocked in San Francisco gentrification protest
By Sarah McBride SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A Google Inc commuter bus was blocked in San Francisco's Mission district for about a half hour Monday morning, highlighting many residents' growing concern that an influx of affluent technology workers is driving up costs in the city. "San Francisco, not for sale" and "Stop evictions now" numbered among the slogans yellow-vested protesters chanted as they surrounded the double-decker bus. Google's offices are in Mountain View, about 34 miles away from the incident. The protest, organized by an advocacy group called Heart of the City, took aim at private commuter buses which whisk thousands of employees from stops around San Francisco to jobs at technology companies south of the city such as Apple Inc, Facebook Inc and Google.
- Chinese hackers spied on Europeans before G20 meeting: researcher
By Jim Finkle BOSTON (Reuters) - Chinese hackers eavesdropped on the computers of five European foreign ministries before last September's G20 Summit, which was dominated by the Syrian crisis, according to research by computer security firm FireEye Inc The hackers infiltrated the ministries' computer networks by sending emails to staff containing tainted files with titles such as "US_military_options_in_Syria," said FireEye, which sells virus fighting technology to companies. For about a week in late August, California-based FireEye said its researchers were able to monitor the "inner workings" of the main computer server used by the hackers to conduct their reconnaissance and move across compromised systems. FireEye lost access to the hackers after they moved to another server shortly before the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia. FireEye said it believes the hackers were preparing to start stealing data just as the researchers lost access.
- Bid deadline for Canada's Mobilicity delayed by a week
By Alastair Sharp TORONTO (Reuters) - The court-appointed monitor for struggling Canadian wireless startup Mobilicity has extended the deadline for suitors to bid for the company by a week to December 16, a regulatory filing shows. Mobilicity, formally known as Data & Audio Visual Enterprises, offers lower-cost unlimited talk and text plans to fewer than 200,000 customers, mainly in several of Canada's biggest cities. It previously agreed to sell itself to Telus Corp, one of Canada's dominant wireless providers. But the federal government twice blocked the sale of Mobilicity to Telus on the grounds it would create an undue concentration of wireless spectrum ownership.
- Qualcomm plans smartphone chips with 64-bit technology
By Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Qualcomm Inc said on Monday it will make smartphone chips with 64-bit features typically found in personal computers, following Apple Inc and opening the way to more efficient mobile gadgets. Qualcomm said its new Snapdragon 410 component will also include 4G cellphone connectivity technology and be aimed at the fast-growing Chinese market, where it should start appearing in low-cost smartphones in the second half of 2014. Along with 4G, 64-bit technology will become standard across Qualcomm's products, said Michelle Leyden Li, a Qualcomm senior director in charge of marketing its Snapdragon line. Led by Apple's iPhones, the smartphone industry's evolution toward 64-bit chips reduces the gap between low-power mobile processors and punchier chips used in laptops, desktop PCs and servers.
- Apps capture life's special memories with digital journals
While some apps like Snapchat catch a fleeting moment and make it disappear, memory apps can record the details of each day, whether it is a visit to a restaurant or event or a precious moment with family and friends. HeyDay, a free iPhone app, creates a daily timeline based on photos found on the device that are added to a timeline. We want to be the ultimate artifact that puts the entirety of your life in your hands," said Siqi Chen, chief executive of San Francisco-based HeyDay. The app will also give notifications when people return to a city they have already visited and prompt them to look at photos from their past trips to revive memories.
- CyanogenMod 11 Screencast video recording is as easy as taking a screenshot
One of Android KitKat's new features is a way for developers to easily make video recordings with the SDK, but what about every day users? After previously demonstrating display streaming software, CyanogenMod developer Koushik Dutta has released a new ...
- South Korea may get a Galaxy S4 Active with LTE-A, processor and camera upgrades
South Korea's SK-Telecom already has a variant of the GS4 to surf its LTE-Advanced waves, and now it appears Samsung will release a version of the Galaxy S4 Active that plays nice with the carrier's next-gen network. A flyer ...
- One standard to sync them all: AllSeen Alliance forms to accelerate Internet of Things adoption
Eighteen months ago, Qualcomm SVP Rob Chandhok succinctly explained why the internet of things was failing. Instead of working together, manufacturers designed their smart televisions and appliances to only communicate with their own proprietary applications. Now, Qualcomm believes it can tackle that problem — with a little help. Today, the Linux Foundation has announced the formation of the AllSeen Alliance, a new consortium dedicated to building and maintaining an open-source framework that lets devices of all shapes and sizes seamlessly communicate with each other. Qualcomm, LG, Panasonic, Haier, Silicon Image and TP-LINK are headlining the initiative, which also includes names as diverse as Cisco, Sears, and Wilocity.
- Nintendo finally updates 3DS with Miiverse, Nintendo Network ID support and unified eShop wallet
A year and a half ago, Hideko Konno hinted that Nintendo's Miiverse might eventually find its way to the 3DS. Now it finally has. The stereoscopic handheld's latest update is a doozy, not only brining the quirky social network to the dual screen, but integrating the handheld into its unified account system too.
- Netflix data paints U.S. as land of broadband mediocrity
We Americans like to think of ourselves as No. 1 at everything but there’s at least one area where multiple studies have shown that we’re lagging far behind: In broadband speeds. The newest numbers from Netflix once again paint the United States as a land of mediocrity when it comes to broadband service, as the average connection speed for American Netflix users trails far behind the average connection speed for European users in several countries, including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and all of Scandinavia. With an average connection speed of just 1.9Mbps, U.S. Netflix users still fare better than their counterparts in Ireland (1.79Mbps average connection) and Mexico (1.77Mbps average connection). Netflix regularly releases data on which ISPs deliver
- LG’s flagship phone whiffs on expectations, sells 2.3 million units
Who would have thought that having buttons on the back of your smartphone wouldn’t be a killer feature after all. 9to5Google points us to a report from Asia Today claiming that LG’s newest G2 flagship smartphone has sold around 2.3 million units so far, well below the company’s expectations. As 9to5Google notes, LG thought that it would sell around 3 million in just the third quarter of 2013 alone so it looks like the company has become only the latest to have trouble meeting sales expectations in the over-saturated high-end smartphone market. BGR reviewed the G2 this past fall and found that it was a big step backward for LG, which had previously released the very impressive Optimus G flagship smartphone
- Qualcomm releases proximity beacons that track Android and iOS shoppers
Short-range location services are all the rage these days, but they're nothing without the Bluetooth beacons that make them possible. Qualcomm is fulfilling that behind-the-scenes need today by releasing its Gimbal proximity beacons. Both the tiny Gimbal Series 10 and the weatherproof Series 20 let shopkeepers offer area-based discounts and information to customers as they wander through stores, with position accuracy down to one foot.
- Startups, Funders, and the Power of Saying No
For both VCs and startups alike, it's scary to close doors. But try it. Being decisive about funding can provide clarity and freedom.
- Google's +Post ads bring full social networking to sales pitches (video)
Social networking in web ads is frequently limited to sharing buttons -- it's hard to get involved with companies short of visiting their news feeds on your own. Google's new +Post ad format could turn these sales pitches into true conversations. The technology converts a brand's existing Google+ posts into web ads with a full social component; you can comment on ads, repost them and join live Hangouts without leaving the page you're visiting.