EU charges Google with foisting its search and browser on smartphone makers

From ComputerWorld: The European Commission on Wednesday made new antitrust charges against Google, alleging that the company foisted its search application and the Chrome browser on Android smartphones makers as a condition to license its other apps and services.

The commission also charged Google with preventing makers from selling devices running variants or “forks” of its Android operating system, and giving financial incentives to both phone makers and mobile network operators if they agree to preinstall Google Search on their devices.

Intel's less of a PC company, shedding 12,000 workers as it moves into other businesses

From PC World: Intel is evolving from a PC company to one that serves the cloud and connected devices—and it’s losing 12,000 jobs as a result.

News of impending layoffs usually accompanies a severe downturn, but that wasn’t really the case: Intel reported net income of $2.0 billion, flat compared to a year ago, as well a 7-percent bump in revenue to $13.7 billion. (Analysts, though, expected Intel to report $13.8 billion and profits of 47 cents per share, versus the 42 cents per share Intel reported.) Intel also reported a $1.2 billion charge for the restructuring.

Printer-maker Lexmark snapped up for $3.6 billion

From CNET: American printer maker Lexmark has agreed to be bought by a consortium of companies, led by Chinese firm Apex Technology and private equity firm PAG Asia Capital.

The price has been set at $3.6 billion, which translates to roughly £2.5 billion or AU$4.6 billion, or $40.50 per share, all in cash.

Apex Technology makes inkjet and laser cartridge components. Lexmark said in a statement that it intends to remain headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky.

Sony cranks up optical disc storage to 3.3TB

From ComputerWorld: Optical discs like Blu-ray are losing favor, but Sony and Panasonic don't seem to care. The companies have cranked up the storage capacity on optical media to a stunning 3.3TB.

That's a big advance in Sony's optical storage, which is based on technology used in Blu-ray. The 3.3TB disc is targeted at studios, filmmakers, and broadcasters that store large volumes of video, and at large companies that store infrequently modified data.

Google to test innovative 3.5GHz wireless in Kansas City

From InfoWorld: Google won approval last week to begin testing innovative 3.5 GHz wireless capabilities by using antennas on light poles and other structures in eight areas of Kansas City, Mo.

It will be the first large-scale test of its kind in the nation, following a framework created by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) a year ago for the new Citizens Broadband Radio Service, which uses 3.5GHz spectrum and allows for dynamic spectrum sharing.

Akitio's blazing-fast external SSD combines two blistering storage technologies

From PC World: If you have $1,299 to spend, Akitio’s external Thunder3 PCIe SSD storage system will deliver blazing speed and more.

The Thunder3 combines two technologies that help it deliver unprecedented data transfer speeds for an external drive. A 1.2TB Intel 750 SSD, based on the super-fast NVMe storage, connects to a PC through a Thunderbolt 3 port.

Rumoured PlayStation 4 'NEO' upgrades power and aims for 4K

From CNET: Whispers of an upgraded "PlayStation 4.5" began earlier this year, but now firm details are emerging, with the gaming website Giant Bomb citing unnamed sources and a leaked internal document for an upgrade that includes processing, graphics and memory upgrades, as well as 4K resolution.

Europe's digging into Google’s contracts with phone makers and operators

From PC World: The European Commission is still investigating whether Google’s Android operating system and Amazon’s contracts with ebook publishers have broken antitrust rules, its Competition Commissioner said Monday in Amsterdam.

Margrethe Vestager’s remarks come amid reports that the European Commission could formally press charges in the form of a “statement of objections “against Google as early as this week. Her speech suggests that formal charges into both Google’s Android operating system and Amazon could still take some time.

Apple may rebrand OS X as 'MacOS' this summer

From InfoWorld: Apple may be getting ready to rebrand its OS X operating system as MacOS, according to a since-altered page on the Cupertino, Calif. company's website.

The page, which touted Apple's environmental efforts, used "MacOS" rather than "OS X" to label the Mac's operating system. The Apple-focused website 9to5Mac noted the use of the new name late Thursday.

Apple has changed that page, which now refers to "OS X."

Amazon Prime Video comes out on its own

From CNET: The online retailer's streaming video service is now available for the first time on its own. The company is letting fans in the US binge on Amazon original shows like "Mozart in the Jungle" and "The New Yorker Presents" for $8.99 a month.

And there are even more Prime-a-month changes. Late Sunday, the company also unveiled a new option for its popular Prime membership at $10.99 a month, a long-sought alternative to its $99 annual plan.

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