Today in Tech: News around the Web

October 7, 2010: 8:21 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.

"AMD is not for sale, but we are happy to listen to any proposal which is in the interest to our shareholders." -- Dirk Meyer on Oracle's interest in acquiring chip-making companies. (Reuters)

Former Hot Potato CEO Justin Shaffer (center) and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (right). Photo: Bloomberg

  • At Facebook's event yesterday, the company discussed its revamped Groups feature, which will allow users to split up their friends into customized groups and select which aspects of their profile each group can see. Former Hot Potato CEO Justin Schaffer is heading up the new Groups effort. Also unveiled: a dashboard feature that will let users monitor information-sharing settings from third-party apps and the ability to export one's profile into a compressed zip file. (The New York Post and Tech Crunch)
  • PayPal will launch a "digital goods optimized product," or a payments technology for micropayments, at the company's upcoming developer conference, Innovate. According to TechCrunch, the new product will include specialized payment support for micropayments for online video, music, games (including the sale of virtual goods and currencies), paid content, books and software. Apparently, PayPal wants to replicate online the traditional act of putting another quarter in a gaming machine to continue to play a game. (TechCrunch)
  • Motorola filed a really thorough patent complaint against Apple that covers 18 patents in "key technology areas found on many of Apple's core products and associated services, including MobileMe and the App Store. The Motorola patents include wireless communication technologies, such as WCDMA (3G), GPRS, 802.11 and antenna design, and key smartphone technologies including wireless email, proximity sensing, software application management, location-based services and multi-device synchronization." (MediaMemo)
  • Samsung surprised analysts and investors when it announced that operating profit for its third quarter would likely be below its second-quarter figure, likely due to the plummeting flat screen and TV prices. (The New York Times)
  • Netflix struck a distribution deal with Sony that reduces its access to DVDs in exchange for lower fees and more rights to stream movies to homes. (All Things D)
  • According to anti-piracy and content monitor Attributor, the daily demand for pirated e-books is now estimated at up to 3 million people worldwide. Also notable: e-book piracy is moving away from larger general sharing sites like RapidShare to smaller sites that specialize in pirated e-books. (The New York Times)
  • Cisco demoed Umi, a home video conference set-up aimed squarely at everyday consumers. The device will be available at Best Buy starting November 14 for around $600, plus an additional $25 a month to use the service. (Information Week)
  • Verizon's 4G network will be up and running in 38 metro areas and 60-plus airports by the end of the year. (Ars Technica)
  • Online ticketing agent Eventbrite announced it raised $20 million during the latest round of funding, bringing total funding to $29.5 million since the startup launched four years ago. (Billboard)
  • Ever wondered what the technical differences are between JPG, PNG, and GIF image formats? Gizmodo has this pretty helpful cheat sheet breaking things down. (Gizmodo)
  • Halo fans, take heart. Director Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks are renewing their efforts to get the rights to the franchise and adapt it into a proper movie. (Kotaku)
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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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