Today's Top Technology Headlines
- Jury clears top Silicon Valley firm of gender bias, retaliation
By Sarah McBride and Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Silicon Valley powerhouse venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers was cleared on Friday of claims it short-circuited the career of a former partner because she is a woman, in a gender discrimination trial that shook the tech world. A California jury also rejected a claim that Kleiner, the firm that backed Google Inc and Amazon.com Inc, had retaliated against its former partner, Ellen Pao, by firing her after she sued in 2012. Despite days of courtroom drama about affairs, books of erotic poetry and office flirting, juror Steve Sammut, who mostly voted for Kleiner, said the decision came down to Pao's effectiveness at her job. The verdict dashed Pao's hopes for personal vindication, but the trial revealed embarrassing disclosures about how Pao and other women were treated at Kleiner and Silicon Valley's corporate culture and its lack of diversity.
- Intel in talks to buy Altera, shares of firms surge
(Reuters) - Intel Corp is in talks to buy fellow chipmaker Altera Corp in a deal likely to top $10 billion, according to a source familiar with the matter, making it Intel's biggest purchase ever and the latest merger in the quickly consolidating semiconductor sector. The acquisition of Altera, which makes programmable chips widely used in cellphone towers, the military and other industrial applications, would underscore Intel Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich's determination to expand into new markets as the personal computer industry loses steam. Earlier this month, Intel slashed nearly $1 billion from its first-quarter revenue forecast to $12.8 billion, plus or minus $300 million, as small businesses put off upgrading their personal computers. Shares of Altera shot up about 28 percent after the talks were first reported by the Wall Street Journal, closing at $44.39 per share on the Nasdaq.
- Uber plans legal taxi service in Germany - manager in WiWo magazine
Uber aims to launch a service in Germany by this summer that will allow its novel taxi-hailing service to operate legally in Europe's biggest economy, the company's German chief was quoted saying by weekly magazine Wirtschafts Woche (WiWo). The move comes after a German court earlier this month banned Uber from running services using unlicensed cab drivers and set stiff fines for any violations of local transport laws. Under the new service, drivers would hold commercial passenger transport licenses whose cost of between 100 euros ($109) and 200 euros will be paid by Uber, the magazine quoted Uber's Fabien Nestmann as saying. "We will also pay the 150 to 200 euros it would cost our partners to have the Chamber of Commerce license them as taxi companies," he said.
- Salesforce aims to surpass SAP on German market: executive tells WiWo
Cloud software company Salesforce.com Inc aims to overtake SAP in terms of sales on the German company's home market in the coming years, the Europe chief of Salesforce told a German magazine. "We want to become the biggest software company in Germany by sales," weekly Wirtschafts Woche quoted Joachim Schreiner as saying, without saying exactly when U.S.-based Salesforce aimed to surpass its rival.
- BlackBerry posts fourth-quarter profit; seeks to end revenue slide
By Euan Rocha and Alastair Sharp TORONTO (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd posted a surprise quarterly profit on Friday and said it is pushing to end a slide in its revenue in this fiscal year, sending the stock up as much as 5.1 percent. We're now turning our attention to revenue stabilization," BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen said on a conference call. Chen plans to grow BlackBerry's small but high-margin software division by moving more customers onto its products, including a system that allows companies and government agencies to manage multiple employee devices. The stock rose as high as $9.77, before easing to $9.59, up 3.1 percent on the Nasdaq, despite a much bigger-than-expected decline in fiscal fourth quarter revenue.
- Yahoo, Microsoft extend search partnership talks for 30 days
Yahoo Inc and Microsoft Corp agreed to extend by 30 days the deadline to re-negotiate a ten year search deal, as the two Internet companies attempt to revamp a thorny partnership crafted by former chief executives. The search partnership, which took effect in 2010, allowed the companies to negotiate changes or to terminate the arrangement entirely after five years. According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, Yahoo and Microsoft mutually agreed to extend that deadline to a 60-day period following Feb. 23. "We value our partnership with Microsoft and continue discussions about plans for the future.
- You can play the standalone Fast & Furious Forza expansion for free right now
The standalone Fast & Furious expansion for Forza Horizon 2 is available now for the low, low price of $0. Like Horizon 2, Fast & Furious is an open-world racing game. Ludacris' character from the films, Tej Parker, will task you with tracking down the rides needed for the team's next big mission as you drive around the south of France. The game has the unwieldy official title of Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious, but that name is a fairly accurate description.
- Juror kerfuffle leads to high drama in Ellen Pao discrimination trial
- Jury decisively says Ellen Pao lost sexual-discrimination case against Kleiner Perkins
After a second round of deliberations, the jury gives a decisive victory to prominent venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, which was being sued for gender discrimination by former junior partner Ellen Pao.
- In NYC, an unusual task force fights home-as-hotel rentals
- Chrome OS beta is getting a new launcher with Google Now
- 'Back to the Future' hoverboard looks great, fails to hover (hands-on)
- OASIS spec alleviates vendor lock-in woes in multi-cloud environments
- One the most useful iPhone apps ever is coming to Apple Watch – here’s what it will look like
We’ve written about popular to-do list app Wunderlist plenty of times before, and with good reason — if you’re looking for a way to make lists of your most important daily tasks, it’s one of the best apps around. MacRumors writes that Wunderlist will be making a companion app for the Apple Watch and it’s posted some pictures showing what the popular productivity app will look like when it’s on your wrist. DON’T MISS: Android fans confess what they envy most about iOS As you’d expect, the app is pretty simple from a functionality standpoint, given the limited screen space it has to work with. It will show you one task at a time that you’re free to dismiss once it’s
- Windows 10 preview will soon be available for many more phones
Microsoft opened up its Windows 10 Technical Preview to Windows Phone users last month, but only a scant few Lumia devices were supported. That's soon about to change. Microsoft has announced a second round of devices that will be able to run the very latest builds of Windows 10, and the good news is that the list has expanded considerably. The bad news is that there are still a few notable absences, including the Lumia 930 and any HTC Windows Phone devices.