Techmeme
August 15, 2014, 1:30 AM

Top News

Kara Swisher / Re/code:
Samsung acquires smart-home controller startup SmartThings for $200M  —  Internet of Bling: Samsung Buys SmartThings for $200 Million  —  Samsung has bought SmartThings, the startup that makes smart-home controllers.  While the companies did not disclose the price, sources …
Daisuke Wakabayashi / Wall Street Journal:
Apple considering sapphire glass screens for more expensive models of new iPhones this fall, producing sapphire displays for smartwatch  —  Apple Considers Using Harder Material in Pricier Models  —  Apple Inc. created the blueprint for a smartphone when it covered the touch screen of its first iPhone in glass, instead of plastic.
IDC:
Smartphone shipments surpass 300M in Q2, Android and iOS dominate with 96% global marketshare  —  Worldwide Smartphone Shipments Edge Past 300 Million Units in the Second Quarter; Android and iOS Devices Account for 96% of the Global Market, According to IDC
Christopher White / Neowin:
Microsoft builds a Snapchat competitor called WindUp  —  It's no secret that Snapchat, the app that lets you send time-limited messages, has run into a few issues this year: From exposing nearly five million accounts, to the FTC ruling that the company was deceiving users, the app may still be popular but many people no longer trust it.
Kurt Wagner / Re/code:
Facebook VP Sam Lessin Is Leaving the Company  —  Sam Lessin, Facebook's VP of product management, is leaving the company.  —  Lessin announced his departure on his Facebook page Thursday afternoon.  He originally joined Facebook when his startup, a storage company called Drop.io …
Andy Greenberg / Wired:
Researchers use a smartphone's gyroscope as a crude microphone to eavesdrop on conversations  —  The Gyroscopes in Your Phone Could Let Apps Eavesdrop on Conversations  —  In the age of surveillance paranoia, most smartphone users know better than to give a random app or website permission to use their device's microphone.
More: GizmodoTweets: @dannolan
Jon Russell / The Next Web:
Big-screened phones are better all-in-one entertainment systems, preferred in emerging markets  —  Report: People in emerging markets prefer big smartphones.  Here's why.  —  Apple is strongly rumored to be preparing to release a larger version of the iPhone next month.
Robert Lee Hotz / Wall Street Journal:
Swarm of 1,024 Tiny Robots Works Together Without Guiding Central Intelligence  —  Swarm of 1,024 Tiny Robots Works Together Without Guiding Central Intelligence  —  Harvard University scientists have devised a swarm of 1,024 tiny robots that can work together without any guiding central intelligence.
Hollywood Reporter:
Xbox Shops Entertainment Studio to Warner Bros.  —  Microsoft's TV production arm might not be gone for good  —  Microsoft may have decided to shutter its nascent Xbox Entertainment Studios but it's not necessarily game over for the Santa Monica studio.  —  Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter …
Timothy Prickett Morgan / EnterpriseTech:
Oracle Cranks Up The Cores To 32 With Sparc M7 Chip  —  Say what you will about Oracle co-founder and CEO Larry Ellison, but when the software giant bought Sun Microsystems more than four years ago, for $7.4 billion, he said that he had seen the light and wanted Oracle to control its own hardware …
Mike Isaac / New York Times:
Ask.com Buys Ask.fm, an Anonymous Q.&A. Start-Up  —  Ask, and ye shall receive.  —  Ask.com, the Oakland, Calif.-based company owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp, announced on Thursday it had acquired Ask.fm, a highly popular question-and-answer website.  —  The move signals Ask.com's first significant push into social networking.
Brian R. Fitzgerald / Wall Street Journal:
Tech executives Zuckerberg, Nadella, Costolo, Schiller, and others take “ice bucket challenge” to raise ALS awareness  —  Ice Bucket Challenge: Cook, Zuckerberg, Nadella and More  —  The “ice bucket challenge,” a campaign to raise awareness for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis …
Florin T. / PhoneArena:
Meet the 6-inch Samsung Galaxy Mega 2  —  Samsung is getting ready to launch a successor to the Galaxy Mega 5.8 and Galaxy Mega 6.3 from last year: a new device that should be called Galaxy Mega 2.  While we heard about it several times before, it's only now that we get to see what the handset looks like …
BBC:
Berlin bans Uber app citing passenger safety  —  The mobile taxi app Uber has been banned in Berlin by the city's State Department of Civil and Regulatory Affairs.  —  In a statement, the authority said it had banned the app on passenger safety grounds and threatened the firm with a 25,000 euro …

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Microsoft:
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SimilarWeb:
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Zoho:
Boost your holiday sales with these 5 email marketing tips  —  For many businesses, the holiday shopping period is critical for generating revenue and garnering brand awareness.  With the annual sales spike quickly …
Igloo:
All the coding ladies  —  Much has been said about women in technology this week as a result of Barbie once again, letting down the female population (or more appropriately, humankind as a whole) …
 

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