Here are the tech facts that got our attention in January:
- Details such as phone numbers, usernames, and location, of more than 4.6 million Snapchat users were leaked online on New Year’s Day. The feature “Find Friends” was the root of the leak, and one week later, Snapchat released its security fix.
- The official Skype Twitter account was hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army, publishing Steve Ballmer’s contact details and told @Skype’s 3 million followers that Microsoft sell data to governments. More than two hours later, Skype deleted the tweets.
- In a statement, Apple reported that the App Store Sales reached $10 Billion in 2013, and Apple’s developers have now earned $15 billion. The company thanked the customers for “making 2013 the best year ever for the App Store”.
- US mobile operator T-Mobile announced a plan to pay the early termination fee, per line, of AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon customers that agree to switch. They would need to trade in their existing phones, buy a new T-Mobile phone, sign up for a new T-Mobile plan, and port their existing phone number.
- Google announced the $3.2B acquisition of the smart thermostat and smoke alarm-maker Nest Labs Inc. The deal is the second largest in Google’s history, after the $12.5B acquisition of Motorola, in 2012. Google will now have access to the smart-home market, and know a bit more about what we do in the privacy of our own homes.
- Starbuck executives admitted that the company’s IOS app store passwords are in clear text, with no encryption. Days later, after public pressure, Starbucks updated the app, adding extra layers of protection.
- Apple’s Macintosh turned 30 years. To celebrate, Apple created a page that explore the Mac timeline, and a “your first Mac” page, where users can share some facts about the first Mac they bought.
- Google acquired London-based artificial intelligence company DeepMind for £400m. AI research help fuel Google’s core search, advertising businesses, mobile services, its autonomous cars, and robotics technologies.
- The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is building its own mobile payments business that will probably use IPhone 5s fingerprint verification. Since they already have most customers’ credit card details, they would be able to know when you use it, and where.
- Reports says that Sony Pictures has bought the film rights to Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg’s book: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. The 2013 best seller about women in the workplace. Sandberg will donate the proceeds from the film to the Lean In Foundation.
- Google Glass announced it will add the option for prescription glasses and that they’ll release four different frames, making its connected eyewear more fashionable. Currently, the glasses were released to selected people only, but a wider consumer launch is planned later this year.
- Facebook announced Paper, a standalone app that intends to serve as a phone-based equivalent of a newspaper or magazine. The app delivers human and algorithm-curated content in selected categories like Tech, LOL, and Pop Culture.
- In promotional emails, Microsoft has offered $100 off for a Xbox One if you trade in your PS3 console. The offer triggered speculations among gamers and investors that Microsoft fear that PS4 will win the console generation war.
That’s it for this month. We’ll be back with more tech news next month!