A curated selection of the day’s most newsworthy tech stories from all over the Web. Sign up to get the newsletter delivered to you everyday.
Put a fork in it, everyone — the Zune is dead. Microsoft will reportedly put an end to its ill-fated music-video player due to lack of demand. Instead, the company will focus on putting its Zune software onto smartphones likely running Windows Phone 7. (Bloomberg)
- AT&T may be leveraging data usage caps against its DSL Internet users, but it’s also giving mobile subscribers in the U.S. and Puerto Rico free calls and texts to Japan through March 31. (Wired customers can get credits for up to 60 minutes of direct dialing.) UPDATE: Sprint and Verizon have followed suit. (Engadget)
- In a 40-minute speech, HP CEO Leo Apotheker outlined his strategy for the company — “to be the platform for the cloud and connectivity.” That will include building an online cloud with an app store where both consumers and businesses can store and find info. While analysts generally approved of Apotheker’s forward thinking, they did note the lack of concrete details. (Wall Street Journal)
- iPad 2 ALERT: If you haven’t already bought your iPad 2, you may have a good shot at getting one later this morning when some stores around the U.S. open one hour early, at 9 AM instead of 10 AM. This was reported by numerous Apple customers and the blog Apple Bitch — yes, that’s the blog’s actual name — which confirmed the news with at least three retail stores itself. Our advice? Call ahead to confirm before trekking over. And if you read this after 9 AM, you may still luck out as your local store could still have units from the latest shipment in stock. (Apple Bitch)
- Facebook is testing a Groupon-like program that gives its nearly 600 million members deals similar to the leading daily deals group-buying site. It’ll roll out first in San Francisco, San Diego, Dallas, Atlanta, and Austin, Texas as part of Facebook’s Deals service. The program will also let users see discount offers from partner services like ReachLocal, Gilt City, and Tippr.(Bloomberg)
- The social network also hired away Google Corporate Development exec Amin Zoufonoun, who had been with the search giant since 2003. (Business Insider)
Microsoft released its completely revamped Internet Explorer 9, which boasts some serious speed improvements thanks to better web standards support and hardware acceleration, as well as a simplified user interface. Download it here. (Microsoft Windows)
- TechCrunch pooh-poohs the allegation put forth by Silicon Alley Insider recently that venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers sold off its Twitter stock just months after buying it. It’s just plain false. (TechCrunch)
- Flickr head of product Matthew Rothenberg walked away from his job after five years for personal reasons, but insiders are reportedly saying it was due to “internal turmoil.” (TechCrunch)
- Ever wondered what happened to some of Google’s biggest acquisitions, like Jambool ($70 million) or Postini ($625 million). Here’s a great “Where are they now?”-type roundup. (Business Insider)
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