business

Verizon tweaks Edge to simplify monthly device payments

Verizon tweaks Edge to simplify monthly device payments

If you want a smartphone nowadays but you don’t want to pay the full amount for it, you’ve got an extra option on top of the traditional contracts (though in some places those contracts are becoming harder to get). They involves making monthly payments for the smartphone over a specific timeframe, such as 24 months, allowing the subscriber to pay off the phone in small chucks monthly. The big-name carriers offer such features, including Verizon which hawks the option as “Verizon Edge”.

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Microsoft scores bundling deal with 20 Android device partners

Microsoft scores bundling deal with 20 Android device partners

Microsoft has been working to expand its reach, and as part of that effort has made a new announcement: the company has struck a bundling deal with 20 (more) Android device partners, and under this some of its offerings will be pre-installed on Android tablets from the companies. This brings the total number of partners operating under this agreement to 31, and will see things like the OneDrive and Word apps coming already bundled on select Android slates from the makers.

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Time Warner Cable rumored to be acquired by Charter for $55B

Time Warner Cable rumored to be acquired by Charter for $55B

While the talks of a merger with Comcast have only just subsided following regulators' disapproval, it appears that Time Warner Cable has already found another suitor. In a new report from Bloomberg this week, TWC is said to be nearing an acquisition deal with Charter Communications worth roughly $55 billion in cash and stocks. The deal, which could be announced as early as Tuesday, is also said to include Charter's $10.4 billion purchase of smaller cable TV provider Bright House Networks, a deal that was made prior to the TWC talks.

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Google patents kids toys with hidden microphones, cameras

Google patents kids toys with hidden microphones, cameras

If your laptop's webcam staring back at you gives you the willies, Google's newly patented connected kids toys will bring a whole new level of creepiness. The patent details “an anthropomorphic device, perhaps in the form factor of a doll or toy, [that] may be configured to control one or more media devices.” Joining the description is an illustration showing a stuffed teddy bear and bunny rabbit with embedded microphones, cameras, speakers, and motors. We've a copy of the illustration after the jump!

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Microsoft tipped to buy Wunderlist developers 6wunderkinder

Microsoft tipped to buy Wunderlist developers 6wunderkinder

Rumor has it that Microsoft is going to continue its recent trend of buying out popular apps focused on organization and work-related tasks, this time by acquiring 6wunderkinder, the developers behind the popular to-do list/task-management app Wunderlist. This information comes from an anonymous source, but lending a bit of credibility to the idea is the fact that just this week Wunderlist announced a new feature that brings integration with Sunrise, a calendar app that was purchased by Microsoft in February.

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eBay considering loyalty subscription service to rival Amazon Prime

eBay considering loyalty subscription service to rival Amazon Prime

Ever since Amazon first launched its Prime subscription service it is has grown in popularity, starting out as unlimited quick delivery and expanding into the media content we see today. Well, eBay is looking into a similar subscription-based loyalty plan, taking on Amazon in the fast, free shipping area. Called eBay+, the company is already testing the service on a limited basis in parts of Germany, with plans to launch nation-wide by the end of the year. eBay buyers who become subscribers pay a yearly fee in exchange for free shipping and returns on all items they purchase.

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Lenovo smartphone numbers not enough for Q4 2014 profits

Lenovo smartphone numbers not enough for Q4 2014 profits

Many have pointed to the writing on the wall for the PC business, looking towards to smartphones for the future. While that may have been true to some extent for Lenovo, the world's largest PC maker, it isn't the complete story. Lenovo has just revealed its report card for the last quarter of 2014 as well as its full year evaluation of that year. And while its smartphone shipments have indeed improved, partly thanks to its acquisition of Motorola, those numbers weren't enough to save its sinking profits.

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Facebook hires startup Tugboat Yards

Facebook hires startup Tugboat Yards

Facebook has acqui-hired, so to speak, the startup Tugboat Yards, it has been announced. The announcement was made by Tugboat Yards itself, which says that it is feeling both excited and melancholy about the new business deal. Under this deal, Tugboat Yards will be completely shutting down on June 30, with the team then heading on over to Facebook to join the social network’s product team. Says the new Facebook team members, they’ll be working on media products including video and news.

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Time Warner Cable: telecom Altice tipped with acquisition ambitions

Time Warner Cable: telecom Altice tipped with acquisition ambitions

The Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger didn't happen, and many agree that is a good thing. That means Time Warner Cable is back up for grabs, and another telecommunications company is said to be eyeing it with acquisition ambitions. That company is the European telecommunications firm Altice, which is under the control of French investor Patrick Drahi. Altice is also said to be in advanced talks about acquiring Suddenlink, a US cable operator. Neither rumors are official at this point, however.

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Apple continues with TomTom maps after contract renewal

Apple continues with TomTom maps after contract renewal

Dutch mapping and navigation firm TomTom has announced its continued partnership with Apple, as the two companies have agreed to renew their contract. TomTom has become very valuable to Apple and their iOS devices since 2012, when the Cupertino company launched its own maps application, ending a reliance on Google and their data. Most of Apple's map data for North America and Europe comes from TomTom, and this has allowed Apple to develop its own street-level navigation features.

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