Bits and Bytes
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02 Apple: "A U.S. judge on Thursday rejected Apple's request for a permanent sales ban in the United States against some older Samsung smartphones." Sadly, another Apple/Samsung trial kicks off later this month. That trial will cover the company's newer phones.
03 Apple: A couple of kids have "hacked" Siri and enabled it to perform several home automation tasks. What's really going on is that an iPhone is configured to use a proxy which redirects all Siri related traffic requests to a server run by the kids instead of Apple's datacenter. Semi-cool video demo included in the article.
04 Apple: Google Translate has totally butchered this article, but I think it says China's version of the FCC has just approved an iPad mini that supports the TD-LTE network technology that the local wireless operators use.
05 Baidu: China's biggest search engine has asked the Chinese government for a banking license.
06 Bitcoin: Here's the Newsweek article that's sweeping the internet: The Face Behind Bitcoin. Spoiler: Newsweek hunted down a man, stalked his family and friends, and didn't even bother explaining what Bitcoin is or why it's important.
07 Bitcoin: The man that Newsweek says invented Bitcoin is claiming that he did not invent Bitcoin. Newsweek says he's not telling the truth.
08 Corning: A Gorilla Glass factory in Shizuoka, Japan will be relocated to Asan, Korea by June 2015. Why? Korea is where most panels are being made now.
09 DigiTimes: MediaTek's revenues for the first two months of 2014 are up almost 100% compared to the first two months of 2013. The company expects to ship five million octa-core chips in Q1 2014.
10 Emotient: This company built a Google Glass app that detects a person's emotional state based on what the front camera sees. They've just raised $6 million in a Series B funding round.
11 Facebook: They're changing the way the site looks. Again.
12 Facebook: This incredibly long WIRED article is about Origami, the tool that Facebook used to create Paper. Origami is actually inspired by Apple's Quartz composer, which isn't too surprising given how many former Apple employees are now working at Facebook.
13 Findery: A new start-up from one of Flickr's co-founders. One sentence summary of what it does: It's Flickr photos on a map.
14 HP: They launched a $170 first generation Apple iPad mini clone called the "HP 8".
15 IDC: These analysts say 51.3% of all the smartphones sold in Japan in Q4 2013 were iPhones. Looking at all phones in general, both smartphones and feature phones, that number dips to 40.9%.
16 LG: This is LG's new two minute ad for their curved smartphone, the G Flex. Watch it if you dare, it's guaranteed to either make you ill, have nightmares, or probably both. Update: The company has received so much negative attention that they've pulled the ad down. This is a link to one of the many copies of the video on YouTube.
17 Media: According to data published by Nielsen, your average 18+ year old American spent 11 hours consuming media every single day of Q4 2013. Check out the pie chart for the breakdown by technology.
18 Nokia: According to @evleaks, this is the Nokia Lumia 630. No specs. No price. No release date.
19 Pixelworks: This company's stock shot up after they revealed Apple was responsible for more than 10% of their 2013 revenues. What does Pixelworks actually do? They design custom chips and license IP that "delivers the highest video quality to multiple form factors". Can't be more specific than that, sorry.
20 Samsung: A wearable device known as "S-Circle" has appeared on the FCC's website. Samsung hasn't announced it yet. It basically looks like a pedmoeter without a screen.
21 Spotify: They just bought a company called Echo Nest. Financial details were not revealed. Echo Nest provides an API that music services use to offer recommendations. Services that use Echo Nest include Rdio, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Rhapsody, and plenty others.
22 Sprint: They just fired the two people in charge of their network. John Saw, Clearwire's former CTO, is now Sprint's Chief Network Officer.
23 Turkey: The Prime Minister of Turkey has threatened to turn off Facebook and YouTube if people keep using social media to talk smack about him.
24 Twitter: The cost of purchasing an ad on Twitter has fallen by 18% during the last three months of 2013.
25 Vimeo: Think of Vimeo as YouTube for people actually trying to break into the film industry. They've just announced they're going to invest $10 million in indie film makers.
26 Vine: Twitter's six second video sharing social network has banned pornography.
27 Yahoo!: They've added indoor mapping to Yahoo! Maps. The technology is powered by Nokia's HERE platform.
The Real World
28 Argentina: Drug pushers have figured out how to hide cocaine in skis of all things. Six people have been detained and 14 kilos of coke has been seized.
29 China: Shanghai Chaori is a Chinese company that makes solar panels. They've just defaulted on an interest payment to the Chinese government. This is the first time in history that a Chinese company funded by the Chinese government has had financial issues. Usually the government bails everyone out.
30 China: Two incredible data points: "The Chinese central bank reports that 89% of households and 57% of firms have borrowed money, but not from banks." The entire country basically uses loan sharks.
31 Finland: Helsinki's all new central library will have a sauna. Yes, the stereotype is true, Finns do love their saunas.
32 India: 2,692 schools have shut down and 17,871 are at risk because of a new law that makes education a right for children between the ages of six to 14 years old. Wait, how does that make sense? The new law specifies that children can only be taught at schools that have facilities such as toilets and drinking fountains. The schools being shut down are ultra-low-cost, often less than $2/month, and lack basic amenities. The sad thing is that these budget private schools are turning out better students than state funded institutions.
33 Lebanon: When you're the son of Iraqi's transport minister, you can get pretty much anything you want. An airplane departing from Lebanon to Iraq was turned around 21 minutes into its flight because Mahdi al-Amiri missed his flight. He was pretty upset, so he ordered the plane to come back and pick him up.
34 Tunisia: The country has officially been in a state of emergency since January 2011 when Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali was overthrown. The country's current president, Moncef Marzouki, has finally taken the country out of that state.
35 UK: A 500 meter by 500 meter plot of land in Hampshire has been found where soldiers destined to fight in WWI practiced trench warfare.
36 UK: A superbug called Klebsiella Pneumoniae Carbapenemase (KPC) has killed 16 people in Manchester during the past four years. 1,241 patients in the Manchester area have caught the bug during said time. KPC is apparently wrecking havoc in Greece and Italy, but no numbers, either of infections or deaths, were mentioned.
37 UK: A woman who has been trying to prevent her husband's frozen sperm from being destroyed has won her court case. She made the news because her husband is actually dead, which makes this situation somewhat extraordinary.
38 UK: The HMS Vanguard is the UK's oldest nuclear submarine (launched March 1992). It's going to get a new nuclear core. Estimated price: $200 million.
39 Ukraine: Obama called Putin again. He told him to cut the BS and to not let the people of Crimea hold a referendum on March 16th to decide whether or not they should become a part of Russia.
40 Ukraine: When you see images or watch video of the situation in Ukraine, you probably see some flags you're not familiar with. The BBC published this article, detailing five flags and what they mean.
41 USA: "Lammily" is the name of a doll about to hit the market that was designed by Nickolay Lamm. The doll's figure is based on the average size of a 19 year old American girl. He designed it because he dislikes the proportions of a Barbi doll. Speaking about Barbi, a woman would have to be 2.3 meters tall (7 feet 6 inches) to have Barbi's proportions.
42 USA: "The U.S. Department of Justice has launched an antitrust probe of Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable."
43 USA: Cerberus Capital Management, the guys that own the Albertsons supermarket chain, will buy competing supermarket chain Safeway for $7.6 billion. The merged entity will have 2,400 stores and 250,000 employees.
44 USA: Joseph Morse, one of the U.S. Army's top prosecutors of sexual assault cases, has been accused of sexually assaulting an unnamed female Army lawyer during a conference in Virginia about sexual assault. You can't make this stuff up.
45 USA: Mark Johnston, age 52, is suing the Downtown Grand casino is Las Vegas because he lost $500,000. He says the casino shouldn't have served him served him 20 drinks during his 17 hour gambling session.
46 USA: One day after Massachusetts declared that a man taking an upskirt photo didn't break the law, the local government passed a new bill punishing "those who take photographs of the sexual or other intimate parts of people in public." Maximum fines: $5,000 and 2.5 years in prison.
47 USA: Scientists have discovered that due to warmer temperatures, mosquitos carrying malaria are now spreading to parts of "the highlands of Africa and South America". One of the researchers says: "A 1C rise in temperature could lead to an additional three million cases in under-15-year-olds per year."
48 USA: Staples will close 225 stores in North America, roughly 10% of all their stores, in an attempt to save $500 million.
49 World: A great white shark named "Lydia" had a tracking tag installed on her body in the U.S. state of Florida in March 2013. She's about to become the first documented great white shark to cross the Atlantic ocean according to scientists.