Today in Tech: News around the Web

September 23, 2010: 7:30 AM ET

A round-up of the companies, deals, and trends that made headlines.

Every day, the Fortune staff spends hours poring over tech stories, posts, and reviews from all over the Web to keep tabs on the companies that matter. We've assembled the day's most newsworthy bits below.

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg set the record straight about that potential "Facebook phone" during a half-hour interview with Tech Crunch earlier this week. While he doesn't rule it out as a long-term possibility, the number one social network is focused more on universal Facebook integration. "We're trying to build a social layer for everything. ... to make it so that every app everywhere can be social whether it's on the Web, or mobile, or other devices." (TechCrunch)
  • Though AOL (AOL) CEO Tim Armstrong predicts ad sales could continue to decline through the rest of 2010, he's hopeful the company will rebound in terms of growth and profit next year. (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Adobe's (ADBE) shares tumbled 21% one day after the software maker issued weaker-than-expected revenue outlook for its fiscal fourth quarter. (ABCNews)
  • Oracle (ORCL) CEO Larry Ellison reiterated the value of delivering integrated products, as his company does. Said Ellison: "That will make our customer's lives simpler. It is fast and cost effective." (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Netflix (NFLX) launched in Canada, but not without controversy. Reporters at the launch later discovered they were duped into interviewing paid extras, posing as passersby directed to act "super-excited" -- yes, those were the exact words -- in front of the media. (The Globe and Mail)
  • T-Mobile told a judge it has the right to pick and choose which text messages are delivered on its network.  The third-largest mobile wireless service in the U.S. is currently the subject of a lawsuit brought on by EZ Texting that's claiming T-Mobile stopped servicing its clients after the texting service signed up a California medical marijuana dispensary. (Gizmodo)
  • Cloud management software provider RightScale, which claims Zynga and Playfish as clients, raised $25 million during its third round of funding. (Reuters)
  • Analytics provider Aster Data raised $30 million during its third round of funding, bringing total funding to $53 million. Investors included Sequoia Capital, JAFCO Ventures, Institutional Venture Partners, Cambrian Ventures, and David Cheriton. (CNet)
  • Dell (DELL) CEO Michael Dell showed off a 7-inch tablet prototype at Oracle Openworld conference in San Diego. The company will release the potential Samsung Tab competitor if they observe consumer demand for such a form factor. (PCWorld)
  • Twitter will launch a free real-time analytics dashboard during the fourth quarter, which could be viewed as the loss of a potential revenue model for the social network as well as the loss of potential revenue for startups that offer applicable analytics tools. (GigaOM)
  • GigaOm's "Top 15 Mobilize Influencers" for 2010 handily (and accurately) rounds up the execs who've made significant contributions to mobile. Included: ARM Holdings CEO Warren East, Google VP of Mobile Ads Omar Hamoui, and Flipboard CEO Mike McCue. (GigaOM)
  • Solar power plant developer BrightSource Energy is quietly revving up for a likely IPO in 2011. To date, the company has rounded up $330 million in total equity financing. (GreenBeat)
  • GE (GE) announced it's partnering with electric vehicles startup Better Place to encourage widespread adoption of electric vehicles. Among several implications, the deal will mean GE will help finance the purchase of 10,000 electric car batteries in Isral and Denmark, where Better Place will initially launch. (VentureBeat)
  • Leaked hardware specs for Nintendo's new 3D Game Boy system, the 3DS, indicate the handheld will include two ARM11 CPUs, the same processor used in early versions of the iPhone, iPod Touch, and Zune HD, along with 4 MB video RAM, 64 MB of general RAM, and a graphics chip that should put roughly 10 million polygons per second, slightly above the iPhone 3GS's raw graphics output and slightly below the Sony PSP's. (GamaSutra)
  • Though original Halo development team Bungie has moved onto new properties, Microsoft says an internal team 343 Studios, which includes former Bungie employees, will take the reins. According to Microsoft Game Studios VP Phil Spencer, expect Halo games to launch at a faster frequency moving forward. (SlashGear)
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About This Author
JP Mangalindan
JP Mangalindan
Writer, Fortune

JP Mangalindan is a San Francisco-based writer at Fortune, covering Silicon Valley. Since joining in 2010, he has written on a wide array of topics, from the turnaround of eBay to the evolution of net neutrality. A graduate of Fordham University, Mangalindan has also written for GQ, Popular Science, and Entertainment Weekly.

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