Techmeme
May 21, 2014, 9:55 AM

Top News

Bloomberg:
Microsoft backed off from debuting smaller Surface today, concerned it lacked differentiation  —  Microsoft Said to Back Off Plans to Debut Smaller Surface  —  Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), struggling to break into the tablet market, backed off plans to introduce a smaller version …
Mary Jo Foley / ZDNet:
Megan Geuss / Ars Technica:
California approves rules for testing self-driving cars in California  —  On Tuesday, the California DMV officially approved rules to allow the testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads.  The rules will take effect September 16, 2014.  —  The move had been a long time coming …
Peter Rubin / Wired:
The Inside Story of Oculus Rift and How Virtual Reality Became Reality  —  As he flew from Orange County to Seattle in September 2013, Brendan Iribe, the CEO of Oculus, couldn't envision what the next six months would bring.  The rhapsodic crowds at the Consumer Electronics Show.
More: The VergeThanks:@srikardr
Microsoft Corporation:
Panos Panay / Surface Blog:
Lauren Johnson / Adweek:
Google Beats Apple in List of World's Most Valuable Brands  —  Google, Apple, IBM and Microsoft are the companies that rank the highest in terms of brand value, according to a new study commissioned by WPP and conducted by Millward Brown.  McDonald's is the only non-tech brand within the top five …
Wall Street Journal:
Twitter backed out of talks to buy SoundCloud because “the numbers didn't add up”  —  Twitter Considered Buying German Music-Streaming Service  —  'Numbers Didn't Add Up' on Deal That Would Have Been Messaging Company's Largest  —  Twitter Inc. considered buying German music …
Aloysius Low / CNET News:
Samsung announces Project Glued, a video-streaming service for Asia  —  The video-on-demand service will be available in the third quarter, with Singapore and the Philippines as launch markets.  —  Customers in Asia may soon be able to watch full seasons of popular US and UK shows in HD on their tablets and phones.
Romain Dillet / TechCrunch:
Local Services Marketplace Thumbtack Raises $30 Million  —  Thumbtack, a marketplace that connects local professionals with clients, has raised a $30 million Series C round from Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global Management, TechCrunch has learned.  —  The startup has an original approach when it comes to local services.
Lisa Richwine / Reuters:
Netflix launching in France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, and Luxembourg this year  —  Netflix to launch in six European countries this year  —  (Reuters) - Netflix Inc will launch its online movie and TV subscription service later this year in France, Germany and four other European countries …
Clive Thompson / Wired:
How D-Wave began selling its quantum computer amid skepticism it was really a classical one  —  The Age of Quantum Computing Has (Almost) Arrived  —  Google owns a  —  lot of computers—perhaps a million servers stitched together into the fastest, most powerful artificial intelligence on the planet.
Chris Welch / The Verge:
HTC reportedly working on larger, more powerful One M8 ‘Prime’  —  If leaks are correct, HTC is preparing to launch a bigger, faster version of its flagship One M8.  Details about the so-called One M8 Prime have been surfacing in recent weeks, with @evleaks leading the charge.

Sponsor Posts

Microsoft:
Teachers use Bing home page lesson plans to encourage critical thinking skills  —  Find out how free lesson plans based on images like this Siberian tiger from Bing's home page encourage students to explore subjects in creative and thought-provoking ways.
Intel:
Disrupting the Data Center to Create the Digital Services Economy  —  I had the pleasure of joining Tom Krazit on stage at the Gigaom Structure'14 conference to share Intel's vision of the data center in support of the growth of the digital services economy.
VMware:
Top Five Reasons Why Your Organization Should Consider Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery  —  Few organizations can afford the downtime caused by a disaster.  Those capable of weathering such events usually have the datacenters …
Zoho:
Zoho on Zoho: How we use Zoho apps to run the show at Zoholics  —  Our goal for each Zoholics user event is to make it perfect for attendees - our customers who travel from all over the world to learn and make the most of Zoho apps for their business.
Syncano:
iOS Developers: How to Get Instant Notifications on your App  —  Within minutes, you can create dynamic iOS apps on Syncano that instantly reflect changes in data by “subscribing” to changes on Syncano's Sync Server.
 

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Dan Rayburn / StreamingMediaBlog.com: