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Wednesday - October 29, 2014
Twitter shares closed Tuesday at $43.78, down almost 10 percent, even though the company's Q3 earnings report showed monthly active users grew 23 percent. Granted, that was down a tick from the previous quarter's 24 percent growth -- but recall the World Cup was being held at that time, driving user growth explosively. Germany's win saw Twitter use peak at nearly 619,000 tweets a minute. [More...]

Tuesday - October 28, 2014
U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan last week granted broadcasters' request for a temporary restraining order against Aereo. This is the latest setback for the would-be cable-killer service, which was suspended following a Supreme Court ruling this summer. Aereo had utilized small dime-sized antennas to capture over-the-air TV signals and stream the content to subscribers over the Internet. [More...]

Tuesday - October 28, 2014
Slapping taxes on information and communication technologies can cost countries more money than it brings in, says a study by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation. Most of the countries imposing high taxes are lower- or middle-income nations in Africa, South Asia and America. The report's release coincides with protests in Hungary over the government's plan to tax ISPs. [More...]

Monday - October 27, 2014
Apple Pay
Two large pharmacy chains flipped the kill switch on Apple Pay, likely because of their partiality to a competing system, CurrentC, which requires exclusivity. The move is a serious setback for Apple Pay, but it's hardly a fatal one. What it does indicate is that Apple Pay is not going to bring mobile payments into mainstream use quite as quickly or easily as some had imagined it would. [More...]

Monday - October 27, 2014
microsoft-earnings-report-nadella
Microsoft may not have the sparkle of Apple or Google, but under Satya Nadella's leadership, it's perhaps beginning to glow again. The company turned in a surprisingly strong earnings report for its last quarter. It appears to be on a roll, demonstrating strength in its cloud services, and making progress with Surface and mobile phone sales. Xbox Live subscriptions increased 20 percent. [More...]

Friday - October 24, 2014
Fire With Firefly
Amazon disappointed investors -- again -- with the release of its latest quarterly earnings. The company lost $437 million and took a $170 million writeoff on its unsold Fire Phone inventory. Though reviewers found some of the phone's features fresh and appealing -- like its Firefly shopping tool -- others, like its dynamic perspective, were just head-scratchers. Consumers weren't intrigued. [More...]

Friday - October 24, 2014
mark-zuckerberg-facebook-mandarin-chinese-tsinghua-university
Mark Zuckerberg may have decided to learn Chinese even if it weren't good for business -- his wife and her family speak Mandarin. That said, it is decidedly good for business too. "Knowing some basic Chinese and Chinese culture will go a long way," said UC Berkeley business prof Chris Tang. "Showing respect and understanding can make your potential partners open up to discussions." [More...]

Thursday - October 23, 2014
ello-ad-free
Ello wants to give its members the connection opportunities Facebook provides without the onslaught of ads or the invasions of privacy. It could be tricky getting people to switch from the social network everyone uses to one that's a virtual no-man's-land, but Ello seems to have struck a chord. It reportedly has more than 1 million members and 3 million pending requests for an invitation to join. [More...]

Thursday - October 23, 2014
amazon-krugman-monopsonist
Jeff Bezos' Amazon empire has gotten too powerful, according to economist Paul Krugman, who likened it to robber barons of yore. The thing is, robber barons tended to unscrupulously accumulate wealth by doing things like creating monopolies and raising prices, while Amazon has been pushing prices down. Exactly how does leaning on a giant French corporation to keep e-book prices low hurt America? [More...]

Thursday - October 23, 2014
The U.S. government is about to hold another wireless spectrum auction. Why is spectrum so important? If you owned a brand new car with brand new tires, you would still need air in those tires in order to drive, right? That's wireless spectrum. It's the air inside the tires that lets you drive. Without spectrum, you can't use mobile apps. The problem is, wireless spectrum is not unlimited. [More...]

Wednesday - October 22, 2014
ashkan-soltani-ftc-chief-technologist
To assume that naming Ashkan Soltani as the new FTC chief technologist indicates it's becoming more privacy-minded may be too obvious. "I don't think the appointment tells us much in terms of the FTC's direction, precisely because Soltani is such a superb choice," said EFF's Lee Tien. "He understands technology, privacy and security, and he is gifted at explaining technology to the nontechnical." [More...]

Wednesday - October 22, 2014
Toll fraud -- the hijacking of a phone system to dial out to premium numbers in distant countries at several dollars a minute -- costs companies more than $4.7 billion a year, up nearly $1 billion from 2011. Major carriers, such as the companies that make up the CFCA, have sophisticated fraud systems in place to catch hackers, and they can afford to credit customers for fraudulent charges. [More...]

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