August 15, 2014, 4:55 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.
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
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 …
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.
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.
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
Kurt Wagner / Re/code:
Twitter adds more features for verified users only, including alerts to new verified followers  —  Twitter to Verified Users: Talk Amongst Yourselves!  —  With an endless barrage of attention, how ever do celebs separate signal from noise on Twitter?  —  Consider last year's example …
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 …
Dave Zatz / Zatz Not Funny!:
Best Buy's smart home hub “Peq”: $9.99 a month for service, hardware bundles start at $120  —  Meet Peq, The Next Smart Home Hub  —  As if we didn't have enough smart home hub entrants, Peq appears poised to launched.  Pronounced “peek”, we believe this newcomer is Best Buy's answer …
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 …

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Uber is rewriting the mobile app playbook, yet again!  —  Uber's actions, which seem straight out of the Elon Musk ‘first-principles thinking’ playbook, will have wide repercussions across the entire mobile ecosystem.

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