Today in Tech: News around the Web

October 4, 2010: 6:30 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.

  • The New York Times gives us a rare behind-the-scenes look at Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, essentially portrayed as the necessary "yin" to Mark Zuckerberg's "yang," and shedding light on their rather unique relationship. According to insiders, the combination of Mark and Sheryl is the primary reason many concerns surrounding Facebook's outlook have been put to rest. (The New York Times)
  • In other FB-related news, the loosely-based film, The Social Network, pulled in a respectable $23 million its opening weekend, twice as much in North America as its nearest competition, the American vampire remake Let Me In, and Case 39, combined. (The Los Angeles Times)
  • Confirmed: Yahoo (YHOO) VP of Media Jimmy Pitaro is leaving to join John Pleasants as co-presidents of Disney Interactive Media Group. (MarketWatch)
  • Adidas has reportedly canceled its $10 million iAd contract due to Apple's over-controlling ways during development. (Allegedly, the sportswear company had three creative concepts rejected by the tech company). (Apple Insider)
  • Oracle (ORCL) CEO Larry Ellison criticized HP's selection of Léo Apotheker in a recent email. "I'm speechless," he wrote. "HP had several good internal candidates … but instead they pick a guy who was recently fired because he did such a bad job of running SAP." (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Speaking of Apotheker, the newly-christened HP (HPQ) CEO will receive a $4 million signing bonus, $4.6 million for "relocation assistance" -- crazy, we know -- and $1.2 million for the next two years. (All Things D)
  • Verizon Wireless is refunding $90 million to customers to compensate for "mistaken past data charges" (ie. ripping them off). "We discovered that over the past several years approximately 15 million customers who did not have data plans were billed for data sessions on their phones they did not initiate." (Gizmodo)
  • Biometrics, or body scanners, are not all they're cracked up to be. According to a new report out from the U.S. National Research Council, simple things like the natural aging process, grime, grease and dirt are enough to throw them off. (Gizmodo)
  • Baseball teams are increasingly using motion-capture technology to help their athletes train and recover from injuries -- and football teams are apparently exploring the same options, too. Basically, the underlying tech produces 3D computer representations of players allowing coaches -- and the players themselves -- to examine them from every angle to calculate stresses on joints, ball speeds, G-forces, and so on. (The New York Times)
  • Qualcomm's low-powered, bright color "Mirasol" displays, which are extremely viewable in sunlight, have been delayed until early 2011. (Engadget)
  • Crazy, but true: TechCrunch guest writer Adam Rifkin speculates how Facebook could be bigger than Google (GOOG) in five years. ("Facebook already has more page views than Google. People already spend more time spent on Facebook than Google. I'm referring to the life blood of any business: revenues.") (TechCrunch)
  • Trying to make sense of the ongoing turf wars between Apple (AAPL) and Adobe (ADBE)? Here's a nice brief CliffsNotes-like summary of the proceedings to date. (SlashGear)
  • Microsoft (MSFT) promoted Senior Vice President Don Mattrick to President of the company's Interactive Entertainment Business, which includes all-things-Xbox. (Joystiq)
  • Sega visionary and Sonic franchise creator Yuji Naka would like to work with a current console-maker to make a follow-up to the critically-lauded, but underselling Dreamcast console. (1UP)
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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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