Stories for Aug. 20, 2014
In Brief

Nook

The largest retail bookseller in the United States is now in the business of selling Samsung tablets. As was announced earlier this summer, Barnes & Noble will discontinue its own line of skinned Android tablets and instead will partner with Samsung to sell a Nook-branded version of the Galaxy Tab 4, which will be called, rather uncreatively, the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. This version of the seven-inch tablet will have several Nook book and music marketplaces preinstalled and it will be sold for $180 at Barnes & Noble as well as online. Barnes & Noble locations will also offer customer support for customers struggling with the jump from paper books to a fully-fledged Android tablet.

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In Brief

Michael Halbherr has stepped down as CEO of Nokia Here, the Finnish firm’s mapping and location-based services division, after just a few months in the role. He had been with Nokia for eight years and on its leadership team for three, but he only took the Here CEO spot on 1 May this year. The team is now looking for a new chief, under the temporary leadership of Core Map Group SVP Cliff Fox. The division is currently unprofitable, but is betting on success in the connected car market in particular. According to a Wednesday statement, Halbherr quit in order to “focus once again on entrepreneurial activities.”

Stories for Aug. 19, 2014
In Brief

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel has reportedly been meeting with big companies to pitch the ephemeral messaging app as a content channel and advertising option, according to the Wall Street Journal. Ads would appear as part of “Snapchat Discovery,” a new product that would include articles and video from media companies. Users would hold down their screens to see such content, prefaced by an ad. It could be a lucrative audience — the WSJ also reported that now more than 500 million snaps are reportedly sent a day and half the users are teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17.

In Brief

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The Sharp Aquos smartphone with those oh-so-skinny bezels announced earlier this week in Japan is officially coming to the United States, and no surprise, it’s headed exclusively to Sprint and its prepaid subsidiaries, Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile. But what is a bit of a surprise is how attractively priced it is: At $240 without a contract, it represents a strong challenge to the Moto G LTE for the mid-range Android crown. It’s even cheaper on Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, checking in at $150 when purchased locked from Sprint’s prepaid MVNOs. There isn’t an official release date yet, but it should be available later this fall.

In Brief

Home robot Jibo‘s Indiegogo campaign was scheduled to close over the weekend, but after raising more than $1.75 million the robot’s creators have decided to keep the campaign open through September 14. If the campaign hits $2 million, Jibo will allow users to remotely access their robot’s camera and peer around the room. The robot will also be able to send alerts when there is suspicious movement or sound. Jibo is scheduled to start shipping in late 2015.

In Brief

Facebook announced Tuesday that 95 percent of the notification emails it sends out are now being encrypted using STARTTLS — the extension used to encrypt insecure network connections between mail providers. Facebook singled out Microsoft and Yahoo as being major email providers who have since backed the extension, which requires compliance from both the email clients that send emails and those that receive them. Back in May, Facebook released a study on whether or not mail providers were using the extension and found that only 28.6 percent of the company’s outbound notification emails were being encrypted, meaning not very many services were correctly using STARTTLS.

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