This is the TechSummit Rewind, a daily recap of the top technology headlines.
Samsung scores decisive Supreme Court victory in Apple patent case
The U.S. Supreme Court handed down an 8-0 ruling in favor of Samsung in its ongoing legal battle against its chief competitor
The court agreed that Samsung’s damages shouldn’t agree to the total cost of the products at issue, since the dispute only applied to pieces of the product.
However, the case will go back to a lower court to reassess the damages.
Trump meeting with tech leaders next week
President-elect Donald Trump is set to hold a roundtable summit with tech industry leaders on Dec. 14 in New York. According to USA Today, the invitation came from chief of staff Reince Priebus, Trump’s son in-law Jared Kushner, and transition team member/Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel.
SoftBank will invest $50 billion in U.S. under Trump
Speaking of Trump, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son (who runs Sprint’s parent company) made a surprise appearance at Trump Tower to confirm a deal with the president-elect to invest $50 billion in the U.S. over the next four years and create 50,000 jobs.
“I just came to celebrate his new job. We were talking about it. I said this is great. The United States would become great again.”
– Masayoshi Son, SoftBank CEO
Regulators approve Microsoft-LinkedIn deal with a catch
The European Commission became the latest group to approve Microsoft’s $26.2 billion deal to acquire LinkedIn Tuesday, joining regulatory groups including the U.S., Canada, Brazil, and South Africa. However, there’s a catch.
In order to receive the approval of Europe, Microsoft is doing five things over the next five years. Namely, LinkedIn competitors will still be able to receive access to participate in Office Add-in and promotional opportunities in the Office Store and the company won’t enter into agreements with PC manufacturers to pre-install the LinkedIn app or tile that would “favor LinkedIn on an exclusive basis,” among other things.
Apple launches iOS single sign-on to make logging into TV apps less annoying
Apple has rolled out its single sign-on feature for iOS, which lets users enter account details for participating cable providers once and automatically sign into TV Everywhere apps.
That list includes the following:
- CenturyLink Prism
- Hawaiian Telecom
- Sling TV
Now, there are still some major names missing (namely my cable provider Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Verizon FiOS, and Optimum) from this list. However, Apple expects to add more cable providers over the coming weeks.
Single sign-on also only works in certain apps, including
- A&E (iOS)
- Bravo Now (tvOS)
- E! Now (tvOS)
- Hallmark Channel Everywhere
- History (iOS)
- Lifetime (iOS)
- NBC (tvOS)
- Syfy Now (tvOS)
- Telemundo Now (tvOS)
- USA NOW (tvOS)
- Watch HGTV
- Watch Food Network
- Watch Cooking Channel
- Watch DIY
- Watch Travel Channel
Again, a lot of important apps are missing (WatchESPN, ABC, CBS, Disney, HBO Go, and many others).
YouTube pays music industry $1B from ads
According to company chief business officer Robert Kyncl, YouTube has paid over $1 billion in advertising revenue to artists, labels, and publishers in the last 12 months.
“It is clear that this creative industry has two strong engines of growth – subscriptions, and advertising – and we are honored to be a part of it.”
– Robert Kyncl, YouTube chief business officer
Anil Dash named Fog Creek Software CEO, launches Gomix platform to remove app development barriers
Fog Creek Software, the company that spawned the births of Trello and Stack Overflow, has launched Gomix, a platform that wants to democratize app building. Gomix gives people working apps they can remix, modify, host, and deploy for free. Essentially, Gomix is designed to make building things on the web as fun as it used to be, according to newly appointed Fog Creek Software CEO Anil Dash.
Prior to joining Fog Creek, Dash co-created app community and directory Makerbase, which will become a part of Fog Creek.
“On a personal level, I came to Fog Creek because this is a company that’s always fought for making tech more thoughtful and more human. Back when [Fog Creek co-founder] Joel [Spolsky] started the Joel On Software blog, he was the only one saying that tech should be treating people better, both as users and as employees. And more than 15 years later, he’s still a fierce and fearless voice about how we should be more ethical. I wanted to be part of that tradition, as well as the same creative DNA that spawned Trello and Stack Overflow and FogBugz and so much more.”
-Anil Dash, Fog Creek Software CEO
Gomix is a combination of a web app store, an in-browser tool for editing Node.js code in collaboration with other Gomix users and a cloud hosting environment to run the app. Gomix will be part of FogBugz, Fog Creek’s software development suite for teams.
All of this is part of Fog Creek’s mission to democratize app development, practice social responsibility, and help everyday people participate in the software and internet economies.
“Now more than ever, the barriers to creating tech have to be torn down, and we’re excited to take our next big step.”
– Anil Dash
Netflix becomes top grossing iPhone app for first time
According to app intelligence firm Sensor Tower, Netflix has become the No. 1 Top Grossing app in the iPhone App Store for the first time after introducing in-app subscriptions to its iOS app a year ago.
Since introducing in-app subscriptions, Netflix has grown its weekly net revenue from under $50,000 to nearly $2.9 million.
Google will reach 100% renewable energy for its global operations in 2017
Google will be operating entirely on renewable energy by 2017 – including its data centers and offices.
“To reach this goal we’ll be directly buying enough wind and solar electricity annually to account for every unit of electricity our operations consume, globally. And we’re focusing on creating new energy from renewable sources, so we only buy from projects that are funded by our purchases.
“The cost of wind and solar came down 60 percent and 80 percent, respectively, proving that renewables are increasingly becoming the lowest cost option. Electricity costs are one of the largest components of our operating expenses at our data centers, and having a long-term stable cost of renewable power provides protection against price swings in energy.”
– Urs Holzle, Google senior vice president for technical infrastructure
Apple will start publishing AI research
Apple is starting to tear down the walls at Infinite Loop with its AI research. According to company artificial intelligence research director Russ Salakhutdinov, Cupertino will start letting its AI researchers publish papers and engage with the greater AI community.
According to Salakhutdinov, the goal is to help attract and retain some of the industry’s top talent.
Google placing news feed in Android’s home screen
When Google Now launched four years ago, it promised to present you the information you need in swipeable cards. Along with transit times, meetings, and weather, Mountain View found that news cards were apparently popular.
An update to the Google app is refocusing itself more on news. Essentially, the app is splitting into two parts. On the right is “Upcoming,” which is basically the Google app you’ve come to love with the same, personally relevant news entries. But on the left is the “Feed,” dedicated to news the company thinks you’d be interested in based on your search history (and other info presumably). It’s rolling out now in the Google App on Android in the U.S., but will come soon to iOS and other regions.
GoDaddy acquires Host Europe Group for $1.79 billion to grow global footprint
GoDaddy has acquired Host Europe Group in a $1.79 billion deal.
HEG is one of Europe’s biggest web hosting companies with a particularly strong presence in the U.K. and Germany.
GoDaddy will pay $650 million to the selling shareholders, with the rest being in assumed net debt. The deal has been approved by GoDaddy’s directors and HEG’s shareholders, but the deal still needs to pass regulators and is expected to do so in Q2 2017.
“By joining forces with HEG, we accelerate our expansion into Europe with the delivery of a broader range of cloud-based products, built on a single global technology platform, and supported by unparalleled customer care to help small businesses and web designers succeed online.”
– Blake Irving, GoDaddy CEO
Facebook begins asking users to rate articles’ use of “misleading language”
Facebook is continuing its assault on the barrage of fake news on the platform with a survey asking users about “misleading language” in posts.
The company has confirmed the effort.