TechSummit Rewind #048

Editor’s Note: This is the TechSummit Rewind, a daily recap of the top technology headlines.

Oculus delays Touch motion controllers until second half of year

Oculus Touch

Oculus’ Touch motion controllers have been delayed until the second half of the year, according to the company.

“On the path to perfecting Touch, we’ve decided that we need more time before release.”

-Oculus, in a statement

The statement also noted that preorders would begin “a few months” before launch.

The Rift virtual reality headset is still on track to ship in the first quarter of the year.

“We’ve made significant advances in ergonomics, and we’re implementing many changes that make Touch even more comfortable, reliable, and natural. We’re also implementing changes that improve hand pose recognition. We’re also outputting larger numbers of pre-production runs, which means we can get a lot more Touch hardware in the hands of developers who need it.”

-Oculus

U.S.: Country’s Internet speeds triple in 3.5 years

U.S. Internet speeds have tripled over 3.5 years to keep up with consumers’ demands to stream video and download content. However, the United States still lags behind other countries.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, average connection speeds increased to nearly 31 megabits per second in September 2014 from about 10 Mbps in March 2011.

The United States still ranks 25th out of 39 nations in 2013, according to the FCC. That places the U.S. behind countries like France, Canada, Germany, and Japan but ahead of countries like Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Israel. Luxembourg topped the list with average download speeds of 47.32 Mbps.

“Advances in network technology are yielding significant improvements in broadband speeds and quality. Faster, better broadband will unleash new innovations and new services to improve the lives of the American people.”

-Tom Wheeler, FCC chairman

Among U.S. states, New Jersey had the fastest average Internet download speeds at 57 Mbps, while Idaho had the lowest at about 14 Mbps, just above Ohio and Arkansas.

Microsoft makes iPhone selfie app

Microsoft Selfie

Microsoft Selfie is the company’s newest iOS app, designed to improve photo qualities like skin tone, color balance, and lighting for the best possible shot.

According to the app’s description, it takes “age, gender, skin tone, lighting, and many other variables into account” to help alter selfies with “Intelligent enhancements.”

Each of the 13 filters cleans up noise and makes other general improvements, along with adding a distinct flavor to photos. You can also press and hold on the “compare” button to see the original photo.

Yandex worker stole search engine source code, tried selling for $28K

Yandex

Yandex employee Dmitry Korobov stole the Russian search engine’s source code and tried selling it on the black market to fund his own startup, according to Russian newspaper Kommersant. Korobov has been found guilty by a Russian court and handed down a suspended sentence of two years in jail.

According to Kommersant’s investigation, Korobov downloaded a piece of software codenamed Arcadia from Yandex’s servers, which contained the source code and algorithms of the company’s search engine. Later on, he tried selling it to electronics retailer NIX, where a friend of his allegedly worked. Korobov also trawled the darknet searching for potential buyers.

Korobov asked for $25,000 and 250,000 Russian rubles.

“The market is small, and it would’ve been easy to single out the thief.”

  • Aleksey Lukatskiy, Cisco Internet security analyst

“[The software] is a key part of our company; it was related directly to Yandex’s search engine, which is the main source of the company’s income. Our management took this incident very seriously.”

-A Yandex representative

Facebook must face shareholder class actions over IPO

Facebook_Logo

Manhattan, NY-based U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet has certified two shareholder class actions accusing Facebook of hiding concerns about its growth forecasts prior to the Menlo Park, CA-based social media company’s May 2012 IPO.

According to Sweet, retail and institutional investors that claimed to lose money from buying Facebook shares at inflated prices in connection with the $16 billion IPO may pursue their claims as groups.

The decision is dated Dec. 11 but was kept under seal until Tuesday.

Facebook’s defendants include CEO Mark Zuckerburg and COO Sheryl Sandberg.

The company is appealing the class certifications, which they’re saying are “without merit” and connflcit with “well-settled” precedent.

The shareholders accused Facebook of concealing internal projections before its IPO of how mobile growth might hurt its prospectors, even as they warned underwriters to cut their forecasts.

According to Sweet’s decision, the company “marshaled an impressive amount of evidence” to suggest that shareholders knew how mobile usage would affect revenue.

“Given the extraordinary size of this case, [allowing two subclasses] in fact adds more weight to the predominance of common questions and answers, practically negating the individualized questions raised.”

-Robert Sweet, U.S. district court judge

“The suggestion that class members’ knowledge might be inferred on a class-wide basis flouts due process, [making Sweet’s decision] all the more arbitrary.”

-Facebook

Blackberry continuing Pakistan operations

The company logo is seen at the Blackberry campus in Waterloo

After solving its issue concerning BBM messages, BlackBerry will continue operating in Pakistan.

Pakistani authorities have dropped their demand for the messages to help fight terrorism and crime.

Jolla leaves some Tablet backers without tablets

Jolla

Jolla will not be giving all of its Indiegogo backers its tablets when a small batch goes out to some this month, according to company representative Juhani Lassila.

“The bad news here is that we are not able to complete the production to fulfill all contributions. In other words, all of our backers will not get a Jolla Tablet. However, you can be sure you will not end up empty handed.”

-Juhani Lassila, Jolla representative

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