Techmeme
April 14, 2014, 10:55 AM

Top News

Peter Bright / Ars Technica:
Windows Phone 8.1 review: a magnificent smartphone platform  —  It's a 0.1 update that feels like a 2.0 update.  —  For the growing number of Windows Phone users, Windows Phone 8 was a frustrating release.  The major difference between Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows Phone 8 was invisible to end users …
Tom Warren / The Verge:
Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview now available to download  —  Windows Phone 8.1 now available to download  —  After 18 months since the last major Windows Phone update, Microsoft is finally releasing Windows Phone 8.1 to developers today.  The software maker detailed the update …
Jessica Dolcourt / CNET:
Cortana vs. Siri vs. Google Now: An early look at how Cortana stacks up (hands-on)  —  Can Windows Phone's new voice-activated assistant stand up to Siri and Google Now?  We put an early version to the test.  —  The iPhone has Siri.  Android has Google Now.  And Windows Phone now has Cortana.
Ina Fried / Re/code:
Early internal document reveals Android was initially designed without touchscreen support  —  Here's What Android Looked Like Before the iPhone  —  One of the more interesting documents that came to light during the Apple-Samsung document last week was an early internal Google document …
Kaylene Hong / The Next Web:
Facebook is reportedly prepping an e-money service, and is close to getting approval in Ireland  —  Facebook wants to be more than a social network — it is planning to facilitate financial services in the form of electronic money and remittances, the Financial Times reports (as spotted first by Benedict Evans).
Nick Wingfield / New York Times:
A profile of Benchmark venture capitalist Richard Barton  —  The Art of ‘Something From Nothing’  —  SEATTLE — Entrepreneurs are lucky to have one big score.  Richard Barton has had a string of them, by repeatedly asking the same simple question: What piece of marketplace information do people crave and don't have?
Natasha Lomas / TechCrunch:
As phone designs homogenize, some manufacturers experiment with unused rear space  —  Phones Go Back To The Future  —  I'm no fan of LG's rear smartphone control keys — but turns out the company had its finger on the pulse of looming hardware disruption when it ushered in those backside smartphone controls last summer, with the G2.
Richard Padilla / MacRumors:
Alpine Planning to Release Aftermarket CarPlay Console This Fall  —  Car electronics manufacturer Alpine will begin selling a standalone aftermarket console that will support Apple's CarPlay vehicle integration feature, reports Japanese business newspaper Nikkei.

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
5 mind-bending facts about quantum computing  —  In GIF form, five of the most mind-bending things scientists have learned about life on an atomic and sub-atomic level.
Freshdesk:
How to not sound like a robot in your email notifications?  —  Your notifications don't have to be just notifications.  They can be another opportunity to charm your customers and to keep them hooked.  Learn how.
VMware:
Your Grandfather's Backup Tools Weren't Built for Today's Virtual Environments.  —  When the health of your business rides on the availability of your virtual machines and the applications they run …
Zoho:
The customer service lessons we must all learn from that Comcast call  —  By now, you've probably heard the call that hijacked the Internet last week.  If not, let me warn you.  It is painful - incredibly painful.
Pure Storage:
2014: Pure, EMC, HP, and Violin all Up Their Games  —  The past few months have seen bold announcements from EMC, HP, Violin, and of course Pure Storage, the net result of which is that the market has changed and moved forward appreciably.
 

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David Carr / New York Times: