Techmeme
February 3, 2016, 12:45 PM

Top News

Harry Shum / The Official Microsoft Blog:
Microsoft acquires SwiftKey, promises to continue developing its Android and iOS apps  —  Microsoft acquires SwiftKey in support of re-inventing productivity ambition  —  I'm pleased to announce that Microsoft has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SwiftKey, whose highly rated …
Financial Times:
Sources: Microsoft paid $250M for SwiftKey, maker of an AI-powered predictive keyboard for smartphones and tablets  —  Microsoft in $250m artificial intelligence keyboards deal  —  Microsoft is paying around $250m to acquire London-based Swiftkey, maker of a predictive keyboard powered …
Greg Bensinger / Wall Street Journal:
Amazon plans to open “300 to 400” brick-and-mortar bookstores, according to CEO of mall operator General Growth Properties  —  Amazon Plans Hundreds of Brick-and-Mortar Bookstores, Mall CEO Says  —  The Seattle company plans as many as 400 bookstores, according to the chief executive of General Growth Properties
Lauren Goode / The Verge:
Fitbit launches Alta, a fashionable bracelet-like activity tracker, for $130, shipping in March  —  Fitbit puts fashion first with Alta, its newest activity tracker  —  Fitbit's unveiling of the new, not-exactly-attractive Blaze fitness watch last month was met with mixed reactions and a sinking stock price.
Dan Goodin / Ars Technica:
eBay tells security firm it has no plans to fix bug that lets attackers bypass restrictions on auction pages and run custom JavaScript  —  eBay has no plans to fix “severe” bug that allows malware distribution  —  Clever “JSF**K” technique allows hackers to bypass eBay block of JavaScript.
Jon Brodkin / Ars Technica:
Comcast says gigabit cable Internet service launching in Atlanta, Nashville early this year, with Chicago, Detroit, and Miami in following months  —  Comcast 2Gbps fiber available to 18M homes; gigabit cable coming soon  —  Atlanta and Nashville get gigabit cable first; Chicago, Detroit, and Miami next.
Chris Welch / The Verge:
Amazon is adding Alexa to the original Fire TV and Fire TV Stick  —  Amazon brought Alexa to the TV with its second-generation Fire TV set-top box, and now, a few months later, the company is also doing the same for owners of its original box.  Starting today and continuing “over the next few weeks …
Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat:
Torrents Time lets anyone launch their own web version of Popcorn Time  —  Popcorn Time, an app for streaming video torrents, just got a new web version: Popcorn Time Online.  Unlike other attempts to bring Popcorn Time into the browser, this one is powered by a tool called Torrents Time …
Ken Yeung / VentureBeat:
Yahoo announces 15% staff cut, will close 5 overseas offices as part of “aggressive strategic plan”, $1.27B in quarterly revenue, up 1.5% YoY, beating estimates  —  Yahoo to lay off 15% of its workforce as part of ‘aggressive strategic plan’  —  Yahoo (YHOO) announced plans today …
Eric Slivka / MacRumors:
Source: iPhone 7 will be similar in design to iPhone 6, but will have a flush rear camera, and no antenna bands on back  —  First Details on iPhone 7 Design: Flush Rear Camera, No Antenna Bands Across the Back  —  Apple's iPhone 7 isn't expected to launch until the usual September timeframe …
Jon Russell / TechCrunch:
HTC Cards $101M Loss In Q4 2015, Its Third Successive Quarter In The Red  —  HTC's (financial) struggle is real.  The Taiwanese tech firm endured another rough quarter of business after it posted a NT$3.4 billion ($101 million) net loss for Q4 2015.  Total revenue came in at NT$25.7 billion …
Husain Sumra / MacRumors:
Apple Acquired Firmware Security Company LegbaCore Last November  —  Apple acquired firmware security company LegbaCore in November 2015, according to security researcher Trammell Hudson, who revealed the acquisition in his presentation at the 32C3 conference in December.

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