Employee number one at Foursquare, Chief Technology Officer Harry Heymann, has left the company according to The Verge. His departure comes soon after Foursquare’s long-standing spokesman Brendan Lewis quit, as well as COO Evan Cohen and head of business development Holger Luedorf. Things are looking rocky for the location check-in company turned Yelp competitor. Perhaps my 2015 prediction of Foursquare’s finale will happen sooner rather than later.
In December, it looked like Google had phased out last year’s Nexus phone in favor of the bigger, newer, and more expensive Nexus 6. The Nexus 5 was then listed as out of stock on Google Play and a Google spokesperson even said that production of the phone had stopped. But on Monday, the Google Play device store started showing 16GB and 32GB black Nexus 5 phones back in stock. The Nexus 5 might no longer be the latest and greatest, but it’s still a great showcase for Android 5.0 Lollipop. If you want one, grab one now — Google’s only promised to sell the $349 device through the first quarter of 2015.
Good news for Samsung Galaxy S5 owners on the Verizon network in the U.S.: Android 5.0 is ready for your device and Verizon has made it available. A notification should appear on your handset to indicate Lollipop is coming your way, but if you can’t wait, you can always manually check in Settings, About Device. Verizon’s version of the Galaxy S5 is the first in the U.S. to see the official software update. The update includes Google’s Material Design changes, a new way to manage interruptions and more interactive notifications on your Android lock screen.
Having tried to insert the wording of the rejected Communications Data Bill into new U.K. anti-terror legislation, then having withdrawn the amendment before reintroducing it days later, securocrat members of the House of Lords have again withdrawn it due to a lack of government support. The “Snooper’s Charter” is therefore back off the table, though it may well return after the May general election, depending on who wins. Monday’s two-hour debate on the matter was tediously similar to last week’s, and appears to have been mainly intended as an opportunity for the peers to complain about not being shown the revised draft of the Communications Data Bill, which the government is keeping under wraps for now. (High point: Lord King blaming WhatsApp for ISIS’s advance in Syria and Iraq.)
Intel has purchased Lantiq for an undisclosed sum, a company familiar to those of us in the wireline broadband sector for its DSL and other networking chips. This follows Intel’s moves into networking with the purchase of Fulcrum back in 2011 as it realized that servers needed more than just brawny processors, they needed faster communications chips. A related story is playing out in the home, where communications between hundreds or even thousands of relatively dumb connected devices will require some impressive networking technology and brainpower in a few hub devices or a home gateway. And apparently Intel wants to power that hub.