IBM to pump $4 billion into cloud, mobile, and analytics

From InfoWorld: IBM will dedicate $4 billion in spending this year to the cloud, analytics, and mobile technologies, as it struggles with seismic shifts that are changing the computing landscape it once dominated,

In return, by 2018 IBM expects to reap a combined $40 billion in annual revenue from the areas in which it's investing, which also include social and security, the company said at an annual meeting on Thursday.

VLC update adds in-app extensions, resume playback, Android TV support, more

From PC World: Everybody’s favorite open source video player just got even better. The VideoLAN Organization is releasing the stable version of VLC 2.2.0 on Friday, packed with a few goodies ahead of the VLC 3.0.0 release scheduled for later this year.

The new VLC for Windows, Mac, and Linux rocks a Firefox-style in-app extensions “store,” resume playback, in-app subtitle downloads, and early support for interactive Blu-ray menus.

Galaxy S6, S6 Edge revealed in new leaked image

From CNET: Another clue has surfaced that Samsung will unveil two models of its Galaxy S6, one with a standard front display and the other with a curved edge.

Posted on Reddit by a user tagged as a "verified employee" of Sprint, a link dubbed "A better teaser" calls up an image asking people to preregister for the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.

Finished Apple Watch Expected to be Showcased at"Spring Forward" Mar. 9 Event

From DailyTech: Apple, Inc. (AAPL) has sent out invites to exclusive media and developer partners for an event held on March 9. Like any Apple event, there's a great deal of hype and speculation about what product launches, demoes, or refreshes might be on the agenda.

Samsung faces complaint to FTC over Smart TV 'surveillance'

From InfoWorld: A complaint filed by a privacy group to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission charged that Samsung's Smart TVs intercept and record private communications of consumers in their homes, violating a number of rules including the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center has asked the FTC to investigate and stop the practice by Samsung of collecting private communications and transmitting the recordings to a third party.

Spotify adds song lyrics, gets more social on PCs

From PC World: First Bing, then Google, now Spotify. The popular music streaming service is tweaking its desktop app to display song lyrics as you listen. Spotify's new music lyrics feature is powered by Musixmatch, one of the most popular apps in Spotify's catalog.

The streaming service is also adding new social features, including a chart showing the most shared tracks on Spotify.

Microsoft trims price of Xbox Live Gold membership to $40

From CNET: Microsoft has cut the annual cost of an Xbox Live Gold subscription.

Instead of paying the usual fee of $60 a year, you can become an Xbox Live Gold member for $40. The fine print doesn't indicate whether this is a temporary promotion and, if so, when the sale might end.

Google Steps up Snub of Adobe Flash, Auto-Converting Flash Ads to HTML5

From DailyTech: Controversial as it may have been at the time, late Apple, Inc. (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs' tirade against Adobe Systems, Inc.'s (ADBE) Flash multimedia player ultimately appears to have been vindicated. Even as Adobe shows signs of giving up on Flash development -- transitioning its software suites to support HTML5 development, top players in the internet services market continue to purge the waning flash from the Internet.

Google buys mobile wallet technology from Softcard

From InfoWorld: The tap-and-pay mobile payments market in the U.S. is getting a little less confusing.

On Monday, Google said it had reached a deal with three of the country's major cellular carriers to acquire "technology and capabilities" from Softcard, a competing mobile wallet app developed jointly by the carriers. But the deal appears to be less about technology and more about branding.

Microsofts pulling Facebook, Google chat from Outlook.com

From PC World: Pretty soon chats in Outlook.com are going to be all Skype, all the time. Microsoft is pulling the plug on Google Talk and Facebook chat in Outlook.com. The company recently sent out email notifications to Outlook.com users to let them know about the change.

Microsoft doesn’t explain why it has decided to end Facebook Chat integration. For Google Talk, however, Microsoft blames it on “Google’s decision to discontinue the chat protocol used by the Google Talk platform.”

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