Before you head out for the weekend, make sure you’ve got the rundown on this week’s news. We’ve compiled the best content on our blog – along with key pieces from around the web – and neatly summarized them below.
1. WhatsApp announced they’ll be integrating VoIP features into their popular messaging service, which caught the attention of mobile carriers. WhatsApp currently has over 450 million active users, and was recently acquired by Facebook for a cool $19 billion. If Facebook integrated WhatsApp’s VoIP features into their service, they could easily be the largest mobile voice service in the world.
2. Apple won a $2.2 billion patent suit in Germany. The court dismissed the case, which was brought against Apple by IPCom. The company alleged that Apple had infringed on two of its patents related to prioritizing calls over mobile networks. The move is being heralded as a victory against “patent trolls,” or companies that generate revenue solely through patent licensing and lawsuits.
3. The European Union is looking into regulating “freemium” mobile software. That would include such popular games as Candy Crush Saga, and the late Flappy Bird. The government is concerned about the potentially misleading nature of such “free” games, which ultimately require or prompt users to pay for in-game purchases in order to advance.
4. IBM has begun cutting jobs. The tech giant is undertaking a $1 billion restructuring, and could lay off as much as 25% of its hardware division. Not all of the cuts come at the expense of employees however. A large portion of IBM’s server business, for instance, was recently sold to Lenovo. As part of the deal, roughly 7,500 IBM workers will be transferred onto Lenovo’s payroll. Outside of that, the cuts reflect IBM’s new focus on cloud computing and business software.
5. We’re giving away a free ticket to Big Data TechCon in Boston, MA. The event takes place March 31 – April 2, and consists of hands-on tutorials, classes, and seminars designed for data scientists and developers. It’s organized by BZ Media, a tech publishing company that hosts other popular conferences such as AnDevCon and SPTechCon.
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