Microsoft buys Simplygon to simplify rendering VR and AR models

From InfoWorld: Microsoft is betting that less is more in 3D design, with the acquisition of the Swedish developer of a 3D data optimization system, Simplygon.

Simplygon takes 3D models in a number of formats, and reduces the volume of data used to describe them by taking out some of the detail—somewhat like reducing the size of a JPEG image file by increasing the level of compression while leaving the resolution unchanged.

LinkedIn gets a desktop makeover

From CNET: After more than a year in the making, LinkedIn's desktop redesign has arrived.

If the makeover, which launched Thursday, looks a lot like the professional network's overhauled sleek mobile app -- well, that's part of the master plan.

The professional network wants the overhauled home page appearing on desktop computers to not only resemble, but be in sync with the mobile app, which has seen a 50 percent increase in usage since getting its new look in December 2015.

New $29 Pine64 computer takes on Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3

From PC World: Raspberry Pi's new Compute Module 3 has serious competition coming its way from the maker of the Pine64 board computer.

The new SOPINE A64 64-bit computing module is a smaller version of the popular US$15 Pine64 computer.

It was announced the same week as the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3, which is a smaller version of the popular namesake board, was released.

At $29, the SOPINE A64 roughly matches the price of the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3, which ranges from $25 to $30. The new SOPINE will ship in February, according to the website.

HTC hopes $10m VR fund will help save the planet

From CNET: HTC is offering a $10m fund for creators to produce virtual reality content that highlights key sustainability issues around the world.

The VR content, which will be playable on the Vive headset, is designed to "improve awareness, education and lead to action," HTC states. It will aim to help meet the United Nations' sustainable development goals by 2030.

FTC charges Qualcomm with anticompetitive chip tactics

From InfoWorld: Qualcomm strong-armed some phone makers into accepting unfavorable technology licensing terms while giving Apple a break in exchange for exclusivity, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has charged.

The company used its dominance in baseband processors, which manage cellular communication in mobile devices, to force vendors to pay elevated royalties for Qualcomm technologies, the FTC charged in a complaint filed Tuesday in federal court.

Samsung's new phablet looks impressive, but good luck getting one

From CNET: You've certainly heard of Samsung's Galaxy S line of phones, and probably heard of the Galaxy A and Galaxy J ranges, too. But what about Samsung Galaxy C phones?

The Galaxy C9 Pro has a 6-inch screen, making it Samsung's latest phablet. It has 6GB RAM, a 4,000mAh battery and an AMOLED 1,920x1,080-pixel display. The catch is, it's only officially available in China. India will be next, as Samsung announced today that it'll also hit the country next month, The Indian Express reports.

Toshiba considers spinning off its memory business

From PC World: Toshiba said it is considering splitting off its memory business into a separate company but added that nothing had been finalized at this point.

The Japanese company said Wednesday that it positions its memory unit as a focus business.

Verizon may have 'thousands' of Note 7 phones still in use

From CNET: Some Verizon customers apparently know a hot item when they see it and don't want to part with it.

That appears to be the case with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. The wireless carrier told Fortune that much to its dismay, "thousands" of its customers continue to use the device. This despite the widely publicized recalls spurred by battery fire concerns and a software upgrade designed to kill the phone by preventing it from recharging.

With change to cumulative Windows updates, Microsoft admits IE's fading role in the enterprise

From InfoWorld: Microsoft last week backtracked from a 2016 decision to offer Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users only cumulative updates, saying on Friday that starting next month it will again provide Internet Explorer (IE) security patches as a separate download.

The change was a tacit admission by Microsoft that IE has lost its place of primacy in the enterprise, a fact supported by a disastrous decline in third-party measurements of the browser’s user and usage shares over the past year.

Apple to raise iTunes prices in the UK in apparent counter to Brexit

From CNET: Apple will increase iTunes prices in the UK in an apparent response to pound's depreciation post-Brexit. The company laid out the plans for its app store in an email to developers on Tuesday, according to The Register and other reports. The cheapest apps increase from 79 pence to £0.99 in a week, and the £1.49 apps will go up to £1.99.


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