It’s no backlash, but Twitter users are grumbling about the service’s new “conversations” feature — and its now notorious blue line. “After rolling out on Wednesday afternoon, the Twitter community … made their feelings known, especially their dislike for the new line,” ABCNews.com reports. “Do a search for "Twitter Blue Line" through Twitter itself and you'll see a smattering of negative responses.”
What can consumers expect from Samsung’s forthcoming “smartwatch,” the Galaxy Gear? Among other features, 10 hours of battery life, 1 GB of memory and choice of storage in either 6 GB or 8 GB capacity, GigaOm reports, citing sources and new reports in AmongTech. “Our sources say the Galaxy Gear will have an integrated camera and AmongTech says it will be a 4 megpixel sensor with 720p video recording capability.”
CNet explores the question on every Web watchers’ mind: Who will replace Steve Ballmer at Microsoft? “The odds maker Ladbroke has Stephen Elop, former Microsoft Office head … as the leading contender, followed by current COO Kevin Turner,” it reports. “Outside contenders in Ladbroke's betting pool include former Microsoft board member and current Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, [and] eBay CEO John Donahoe.”
Apple really doesn’t want to lose iPhone users to other phone makers, so the company is reportedly taking its iPhone trade-in program national. “The program allows customers to walk into physical retail stores and exchange an older model device for [between $120 and $250 in] credit towards a new one,” TechCrunch writes.
Just one form of Facebook spamming is now a $200 million-a-year business, The Guardian reports, citing data from some Italian security researchers. “Spammers posting links on Facebook fan pages to send people to third-party scam sites are earning $200m every year,” it reports. Ironically, meanwhile, “About 9% of the pages that users were directed to by spammers instead use Google's AdSense -- meaning that Google inadvertently gets a cut.”
Adding content partners left and right, WatchESPN on Apple TV just added ESPNNews and ESPN Deportes, 9To5Mac reports. “The new content should also be available via ESPN’s WatchESPN app on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch,” it writes. “ESPN News and ESPN Deportes are two of ESPN’s most watched channels, making this a notable addition.” So far this week, Apple TV has already added The Weather Channel, Smithsonian, Vevo, and Disney.
GigaOm’s Om Malik thinks the “Conversations” view that Twitter just debuted is a really big deal. Why? Mostly, many mainstream users drop the service shortly after signing up, because they find it too confusing. “In order to stem that churn, Twitter has quietly undertaken a makeover that makes its timeline much more Facebook like,” Malik writes. “The conversation view is in fact the final step in Twitter’s attempt to become like Facebook.”
A key Android executive is reportedly leaving Google for Chinese phone maker Xiaomi. “Hugo Barra, whose official title is vice president of product management for Android, has been one of the more public faces of the mobile operating system,” AllThingsD reports. “Xiaomi … prides itself not only on its high-end hardware, but also on the software it adds on top of Google’s operating system.”
Car-sharing tech startup Local Motion just secured $6 from all-star VC Andreessen Horowitz. Sending shivers down Detroit’s spine, Local Motion co-founder Clement Gires paints a very different future for car ownership. "In [the] future people will not buy cars, they will buy mobility," he tells TechCrunch. “In other words,” TechCrunch explains, “you could do a bike-share like program for people in dense urban areas.”
Web watchers are so impressed with Foursquare’s new Windows 8 app, they’re suggesting it could improve Microsoft’s mobile fortunes. “With the app … Foursquare takes some of the best parts about Windows 8 -- the Metro interface, live tiles, global search -- and creates something that’s completely different from anything the company has released before,” Venture Beat gushes.