Today in Tech

Today in Tech: Your e-textbooks are watching you

April 10, 2013: 3:00 AM ET

Also: Pandora reports some stellar user numbers; why Marissa Mayer really paid $30 million for a startup. 

29-02-eddys-inkling_386-269467Teacher knows if you've done the e-reading [THE NEW YORK TIMES]

They know when students are skipping pages, failing to highlight significant passages, not bothering to take notes — or simply not opening the book at all.

"It's Big Brother, sort of, but with a good intent," said Tracy Hurley, the dean of the school of business.

Microsoft escalates ad assault on Google [AP]

This time, Microsoft is vilifying Google Inc. for sharing some of the personal information that it gathers about people who buy applications designed to run on smartphones and tablet computers powered by Google's Android software. Earlier ads have skewered Google's long-running practice of electronically scanning the contents of people's Gmail accounts to help sell ads and attacked a recently introduced policy that requires retailers to pay to appear in the shopping section of Google's dominant search engine.

Pandora surpasses 200 million registered users, 140 million access via mobile [TECHCRUNCH]

Growth in registered users is surely something to be excited about, but what's most important to a service like Pandora is monthly active users. At the end of March, Pandora boasted 69.5 million monthly active users, which is up from 59.9 million in December of 2012.

In fact, the company has shown steady growth in MAU over the past couple years.

Why Marissa Mayer bought a $30 million startup [BUSINESS INSIDER]

A source close to Yahoo says that CEO Marissa Mayer believes summarization technology is "going to be huge for Yahoo" as it builds "personalized news feeds" into mobile versions of its "core experiences," including Yahoo Finance and Yahoo Sports.

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  • Today in Tech: When Microsoft will unveil the next-gen Xbox

    Also: JC Penney ousts former Apple store chief Ron Johnson. 

    Microsoft planning Xbox event for May [THE VERGE]

    Sources familiar with Microsoft's Xbox plans have revealed that the event will be at a small venue with a focus on providing the very first details on the next Xbox, codenamed Durango, and Microsoft's plans for Xbox in 2013. Recent rumors have focused on reports that Microsoft's next Xbox may require an always-on internet connection. Comments MORE

    - Apr 9, 2013 3:00 AM ET
  • Today in Tech: Why Google paid this man $100 million

    Also: How a failed startup led to one founder's suicide. 

    Google paid this man $100 million: Here's his story [BUSINESS INSIDER]

    TechCrunch later reported that Google paid Mohan more than $100 million in stock.

    In the two years since Mohan signed the deal, Google's stock price has increased about 35 percent, making Mohan's deal worth as much as $150 million.

    Over the past several weeks, we've spoken to his colleagues, clients, and competitors to learn more about MORE

    - Apr 8, 2013 3:00 AM ET
  • Today in Tech: Is Verizon dropping contracts?

    Also: Mark Zuckerberg on this week's Facebook Home announcement; HP chairman Ray Lane steps down. 

    Verizon CEO says he's open to dropping contracts [CNET]

    McAdam said it was "pretty easy" to change up the model to eliminate contracts, and added that he would watch the consumer response that T-Mobile gets from its recent decision to drop contracts and phone subsidies altogether. He indicated a willingness to follow suit if consumers start asking MORE

    - Apr 5, 2013 3:00 AM ET
  • Today in Tech: Disney shuts down LucasArts just 154 days later

    Also: A look at the future of EA; Computing pioneer Alan Kay interviewed. 

    Disney shuts down LucasArts just 154 days after acquiring it [TECHCRUNCH]

    Beginning today, Disney will continue to license out the LucasArts properties (namely Star Wars), but has ceased the development of all internal projects. Some projects (such as the incredible looking Star Wars 1313) may find new homes with other development houses, but their status is currently up in the air.

    Five years and MORE

    - Apr 4, 2013 3:30 AM ET
  • Today in Tech: Music streaming service Rdio launches video site

    Also: A new Nexus 7 tablet coming this July?

    This morning, the music streaming startup Rdio announced Vdio, a video companion service that will let Rdio Unlimited subscribers buy, rent, and share new and old movies and TV shows. [RDIO]

    The first thing you'll notice about Vdio is that it's designed to solve the "what to watch" problem. It's not just that we've got amazing content, but that the experience is now MORE

    - Apr 3, 2013 12:53 PM ET
  • Today in Tech: Amazon hires Windows Phone vet for 'secret' project

    Also: OMGPOP CEO leaves Zynga; Microsoft co-founder will open Palo Alto investment office. 

    No joke: Amazon hires Windows Phone Charlie Kindel for 'something secret' [GEEK WIRE]

    With the new role, Kindel has stepped down as CEO of his startup BizLogr, which makes an automated mileage reporting tool called MileLogr. He will remain a founder/owner, but he says he will mostly disconnect from the startup, and his technical co-founder, Stefan Negritoiu, will take the reins.

    Kindel explains, "Amazon presented MORE

    - Apr 2, 2013 1:41 PM ET
  • Today in Tech: Are mobile messaging apps a threat to Facebook?

    Also: Is all that hands-on tablet time bad for your child?

    Youth flock to mobile messaging apps, may be threat to Facebook [REUTERS]

    The hot apps include Kik and Whatsapp, both products of North American startups, as well as Kakao Inc's KakaoTalk, NHN Corp's LINE and Tencent Holdings Ltd's WeChat, which have blossomed in Asian markets.

    Combining elements of text messaging and social networking, the apps provide a quick-fire way for smartphone users to MORE

    - Apr 1, 2013 1:06 PM ET
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  • Today in Tech: Twitter's ad sales expected to boom in 2014

    Also: Why the Internet is enabling a 'narcissism epidemic'; inside the Alibaba phenomenon. 

    Research firm boosts Twitter ad sales estimate to $950 million for 2014 [THE WALL STREET JOURNAL]

    Research firm eMarketer Inc., whose advertising forecasts are closely tracked, is set to revise higher its estimates of advertising revenue for Twitter, the short-messaging service that is among the highest profile companies on investors' IPO watch list. From just over $288 million in 2012 MORE

    - Mar 28, 2013 3:00 AM ET
  • Today in Tech: Flipboard hits 50 million users, launches v. 2.0

    Flipboard announced its personalized magazine app has 50 million users and released v. 2.0, which most notably includes the new ability for users to create and curate their own virtual magazines with Web stories, items from their social networks, and music files.

    Global Internet slow after 'biggest attack in history' [BBC NEWS]

    A row between a spam-fighting group and hosting firm has sparked retaliation attacks affecting the wider internet.

    It is having an impact on MORE

    - Mar 27, 2013 2:07 PM ET
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