Wall Street Journal Tech
- Keywords: In 2014 we became more connected than ever. And it was also the year it became apparent that this connectivity will have terrible costs. - The aborted release of “The Interview” has led to follow-up questions for Sony Pictures Entertainment, as the Hollywood studio’s outside attorney insisted the film “will be distributed.” The chief hurdle: how? - Uber is pushing to put its business in the clear in Taiwan after the authorities there declared its car-hailing service illegal, in another regulatory challenge for the company. - Xiaomi is raising more than $1 billion in its latest round of funding, valuing the fast-growing Chinese smartphone maker at more than $45 billion, a person familiar with the matter said. - The latest deal that gave China’s Xiaomi the richest valuation of any private technology startup in the world has put Richard Ji, a Morgan Stanley analyst-turned-investor, in the spotlight. - Oracle said Monday that it bought advertising-analytics company Datalogix in its latest bid to beef up its cloud offerings. - Google Inc. sued Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood on Friday, seeking to prevent him from enforcing a wide-ranging subpoena that has become entangled in a dispute between Google and Hollywood. - Some families are skipping going to the mall to visit Santa. An array of digital services let children text, call or video chat with him. - The lifespan of a tech startup before being gobbled up has gone from 8.59 years in 2009, to 5.5 years in 2013., to the current 3.95, by the end of the third quarter of 2014. - UPS all year has been focused on one day above the rest: Monday Dec. 22, when it will deliver 34 million packages, more than any other in its history—putting a new high-tech sorting system to the test. - The head of Google’s autonomous-vehicle project said the company is looking for auto industry partners to bring its vision of a self-driving car to market within the next five years. - Danish high-end consumer electronics company Bang & Olufsen has cut its earnings guidance for the current fiscal year, citing production ramp-up and supply-chain issues. - Soon Manhattan apartment hunters no longer may tramp from one open house to the next only to rule out unsuitable properties. Instead, they will be able to take high-definition walk-throughs of listings through a sort of Google Street View for real estate. - Staples said criminals stole personal information from as many as 1.16 million payment cards during the back-to-school shopping season from stores across the country. - BlackBerry shares fall as the smartphone maker’s disappointing revenue underscores the challenges it faces in winning back traditional business customers. - Flipkart Internet, India’s largest e-commerce company by sales, said it raised $700 million in a third round of financing this year as global investors seek to get a piece of India’s growing online market. - Devastating leaks from Sony’s computer systems have dramatized the risks of storing corporate email for extended periods. Some people in Silicon Valley wonder if it is time to rethink that practice. - Samsung said it would discontinue ChatON, a mobile-messaging chat service that it had promoted heavily in recent years. - The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Friday evidence points to North Korea as the culprit behind a hack of Sony Pictures that led the studio to pull the movie “The Interview” out of theaters. - The FCC proposed new regulations on companies that provide subscription video services over the Internet, a move to give the companies access to more TV programming and allow them to compete with cable and satellite. - Essay: The information-technology security lessons of the broad cyberattack on Sony. - The Game: Amazon and Wal-Mart have long been America’s main conduits for cheap, mass-produced goods from China’s factory floors. But who needs stores anymore? You can buy direct, writes Dennis Berman. - Amazon on Thursday launched a new service in Manhattan to deliver daily essentials such as shampoo, paper towels and toys within an hour. - Samsung said it intends to raise its annual dividend payout for this year by 30% to 50%, a move that will come as good news to shareholders who have been clamoring for higher returns. - The White House is walking a fine line in its search for a response to North Korea’s apparent hack of Sony Pictures, a breach that doesn’t align with the scenarios laid out in the government’s contingency plans for cyberattacks. - Retailers’ answer to the threat of Amazon.com is something called ‘omnichannel’—an attempt to use one set of inventory and assets to fill all orders. Wal-Mart, Macy’s and Target are relying on the approach more heavily than ever this holiday season. - A new study indicates U.S. customers are interacting with their banks more through mobile devices than through any other means. That leaves banks with new challenges. - Computer-services company Atos will buy Xerox’s information technology outsourcing business for $1.05 billion in cash, a deal that would bolster the French company’s position in the U.S. - Internet multimillionaires Michael and Xochi Birch are part of a generation of techies transforming San Francisco’s real-estate landscape. - Leaked emails involving a Snapchat director show the startup’s rapid rise was the work of a secretive entrepreneur with a distaste for Silicon Valley conventions. - Teens are using their parents Uber accounts to order up cars to ride, unaccompanied, to activities and social events. Parents can track their children on their smartphones. - Big data is hot in Silicon Valley, and the software suite Hadoop is underpinning the craze. - Personal Technology: Yes, $200 will buy you a fitness band on steroids, Joanna Stern writes, but you don’t need to spend more than $50 for a device that does the basics well—monitoring steps and calories burned. - Tech Review: Geoffrey A. Fowler looks at three gadget-making kits that replace screen time with tinker time. - After decades of music on the move, we’re finally putting the sound system back where it should be—right in the heart of the house. - A visit to a cardiologist’s office reveals that for accuracy, wrist-worn fitness trackers with optical heart-rate sensors can’t quite keep pace with an EKG cardiac stress test. - Geoffrey A. Fowler and Joanna Stern present the best smartphones, laptops, tablets, far-out toys and gizmos to buy this holiday season.
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