A curated selection of the day’s most newsworthy tech stories from all over the Web.
- Groupon is moving ahead with an initial public offering (IPO), which is expected to happen some time this spring. The daily deals site, which just recently raised a record $950 million, now values itself at $15 billion. (New York Times)
The launch for News Corp’s heavily-publicized iPad newspaper, the Daily, has reportedly been pushed back several weeks to allow Apple to fine-tune its new iTunes subscription services. (AllThingsD)
- Hot on the heels of all that Apple iOS 4.3 news, comes a flurry of details regarding new BlackBerry smartphones. The follow-up to the BlackBerry Torch will look virtually the same on the outside but sport a brisk 1.2 GHz processor with hardware acceleration, 8 GB of storage, 512 MB of RAM, a 5-megapixel camera with flash, accelerometer, magnetometer (think digital compass) and the same 3.2-inch 640 x 480 resolution VGA capacitive screen. Expect a late third-quarter release via AT&T for that. Meanwhile, the BlackBerry Dakota, which closely resembles the BlackBerry Bold, will feature HD video recording, 3G mobile hotspot capabilities, magnetometer, 4 GB of storage, 768 MB of RAM, and a 2.8-inch 640 x 480 resolution screen. (Boy Genius Report)
- AOL announced three content deals aimed at boosting its push towards premium content, including content-sharing with The Sporting News, farming out health content to Everyday Health, and working with real estate data site Move.com on housing market news and ads. (PaidContent)
- As much as 15% of AT&T’s userbase plans to change carriers over the next 90 days, an all-time “churn rate” high for the mobile service provider. Meanwhile, 15% of T-Mobile users, 10% of Sprint/Nextel subscribers, and only 4% of Verizon Wireless users intend to switch, too. Call us crazy, but it might have something do with the Verizon iPhone… (Investor Place)
- RIM expects to ship 1 million units of its upcoming PlayBook tablet during the first quarter of 2011, significantly more than the 700,000-800,000 Xoom tablets Motorola intends to push out. The PlayBook launches in March, first with a WiFi version, then a 3G edition due out later, while the Zoom is still slated for a more general first quarter 2011 release. (DigiTimes)
The innovative Motorola Atrix, that 4G-enabled smartphone with a dual-core 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 chip, fingerprint reader, and 1 GB of RAM that docks and transforms into a Linux-powered laptop or desktop computer, might launch as early as March 1. (Andronica)
- Thanks to a record year with $43 billion in sales, Intel is giving its employees bonuses that make out to the equivalent of 3 extra days of work. Intel’s fourth-quarter profit rose to $3.39 billion, up from a year-ago profit of $2.28 billion. (VentureBeat and New York Times)
- According to Wikipedia chief Jimmy Wales, the app store concept poses an immediate threat to Internet freedom. It’s “a threat to the to a diverse and open ecosystem,” since “we own [a] device, and we should control it.” (Tech.Blorge)
- GE made a $520 million offer for Lineage Power Holdings, a provider of tech for data center and telecom power conversion, which is in and of itself a $20 billion-per-year industry. The purchase would give GE data center power equipment for customers like Verizon and HP, as well as a revenue stream that stood at $450 million in fiscal year 2010. (GigaOm)
- Virgin Mobile, which offered an excellent $40 MiFi plan with unlimited data via Sprint, will now cap data usage to 5 GB within a 30-day period. (Sad, we know.)
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