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Catching Up (9/28)

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Army Tracking Plan: Drones That Never Forget a Face. Perhaps the idea of spy drones already makes your nervous.

Army Tracking Plan: Drones That Never Forget a Face

Maybe you’re uncomfortable with the notion of an unblinking, robotic eye in the sky that can watch your every move. If so, you may want to click away now. Samsung and Microsoft settle Android licensing dispute. Samsung has agreed to pay Microsoft what could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties after it settled a bitter dispute over the Korean manufacturer's Android smartphones and tablets.

Samsung and Microsoft settle Android licensing dispute

The technology giants announced an agreement on Wednesday about the use of Google's Android software. Samsung will have to pay Microsoft a small fee – likely between $10 and $15 – for each Android smartphone or tablet computer it sells. Samsung has sold more than 10m Galaxy S II smartphones since its launch in May, meaning that the Asian phone maker could have to pay Microsoft royalty fees totaling $100m.

The settlement is the latest development in a smartphone market besieged by acrimonious legal battles over patent issues, most relating to the increasingly popular Android software. Microsoft won a similar licensing agreement with manufacturer HTC earlier this year, and has an ongoing dispute with Motorola Mobility. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Music Piracy Continues to Decline Thanks to Spotify. A new report looking into online music consumption habits shows that since 2009 the number of people who pirate music has dropped by 25 percent in Sweden.

Music Piracy Continues to Decline Thanks to Spotify

The sharp decrease coincides with a massive interest for the music streaming service Spotify. One of the main reasons why people switch to legal services is the wider range of material they can find there. When Spotify launched their first beta in the fall of 2008, we branded it “an alternative to music piracy.” Having the option to stream millions of tracks supported by an occasional ad, or free of ads for a small monthly fee, Spotify appeared to be serious competitor to music piracy. Data just released by the Swedish Music industry appears to support this theory. Amazon Kindle Fire. Inc.

Amazon Kindle Fire

(AMZN), the world’s largest online retailer, unveiled its Kindle Fire tablet computer, taking aim at Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s bestselling iPad with a device that’s smaller and less than half the price. The Kindle Fire will have a 7-inch display and sell for $199, compared with $499 for Apple’s cheapest iPad, Amazon executives said in interviews with Bloomberg Businessweek. Amazon's New Kindles. Wednesday, 28 September 2011 Kindle Fire.

Amazon's New Kindles

The Omnivore. Jeff Bezos is channeling Steve Jobs.

The Omnivore

It’s mid-September and the wiry billionaire founder of (AMZN) is at his brand-new corporate headquarters in Seattle, in a building named Day One South after his conviction that 17-year-old Amazon is still in its infancy. Almost giddy with excitement, Bezos retrieves one by one the new crop of dirt-cheap Kindle e-readers—they start at $79—from a hidden perch on a chair tucked into a conference room table. When he’s done showing them off, he stands up, and, for an audience of a single journalist, announces, “Now, I’ve got one more thing to show you.” He waits a half-beat to make sure the reference to Jobs’s famous line from Apple (AAPL) presentations hasn’t been missed, then gives his notorious barking laugh. With that, Bezos pulls out the Kindle Fire, Amazon’s long-anticipated tablet computer—and the first credible response to the Apple iPad. “What we are doing is offering premium products at non-premium prices,” Bezos says.

Thoughts on the Amazon Kindle Fire. The "Silk" Browser. Today in New York, Amazon introduced Silk, an all-new web browser powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and available exclusively on the just announced Kindle Fire.

The "Silk" Browser

Amazon's Silk Web browser adds new twist to old idea. One of the headline features of Amazon's new Kindle Fire tablet is a completely new Web browser called Silk that is designed with a "split" architecture, allowing it to offload much of the heavy lifting to Amazon's cloud computing cluster for superior browsing performance.

Amazon's Silk Web browser adds new twist to old idea

When the user requests a webpage in Silk, the request will be routed to Amazon's servers in the cloud. Amazon will load the webpage on the server side, downloading all of the necessary content elements in parallel. Amazon Silk: Bridging the gap between desktop and mobile web browsers. Along with three new e-ink readers (Kindle Classic, Kindle Touch, Kindle Touch 3G) and a new, 7-inch, Android-based Kindle Fire, Amazon has also announced the introduction of a web browser — Amazon Silk — that uses the power of Amazon’s Elastic Compute cloud to produce a desktop-like browsing experience on its Kindle Fire tablet.

Amazon Silk: Bridging the gap between desktop and mobile web browsers

Silk is WebKit-based, uses Google’s SDPY HTTP-replacement protocol, supports Flash 10 — and no, despite what it sounds like, Silk is not comparable to Opera Mini. Despite their beautiful screens, bucket loads of RAM, and tons of solid-state storage, tablets and smartphones have one undeniable shortcoming when compared to their laptop and desktop cousins: processing power. The CPU and GPU are by far the most power-hungry components of a modern computer, and as a result it is the one-or-two-watt ARM SoCs that dominate the mobile computing market. Cloud-powered tablets Security… and more speed! With additional reporting by Sal Cangeloso. News Corp.’s ’Daily’ Trails Murdoch Reader Goal. News Corp.

News Corp.’s ’Daily’ Trails Murdoch Reader Goal

(NWSA)’s the Daily is averaging about 120,000 readers a week, or less than a quarter the number the company said it needs to make money, according to an advertising executive working with the iPad-only publication. News Corp., whose Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch personally introduced the publication about eight months ago, may have even fewer paying subscribers since people can read the Daily free for two weeks. Inside Google Plus. The positive response to Google+ has been sweet vindication for Bradley Horowitz, Google's VP of products.Photo: Pamela Littky For all of Google’s successes, the company has an underwhelming track record when it comes to social networks.

You're Pricing It Wrong: Software Pricing Demystified - Smashing Magazine. Advertisement. Source: Google In Talks To Acquire Katango. Feds close huge chip counterfeiting case (exclusive) VisionTech Components sold a large amount of semiconductor chips to more than 1,100 customers from its office in Clearwater, Fla. Unfortunately, federal prosecutors allege, the chips were counterfeits.