Friday is here, Data Sheet readers. Samsung is using its latest smartphones to debut mobile payments. Qualcomm completed an important acquisition. Plus, watch Fortune Live at 3 pm Eastern for an interview with Andy Dunn, founder of innovative e-commerce site Bonobos. I’ll be seeking the Northern Lights for the next two weeks. Fortune reporter Robert Hackett will author this newsletter in my absence. Reach him on Twitter (@rhhackett) or email email@example.com. Enjoy the dog days of summer! I’ll be back Monday, Aug. 31.
TOP OF MIND
Why GE replaced annual reviews with this app. (Yes, millennials had something to do with it.)
One thing I absolutely do not miss about my former life as a manager was the tedious process of delivering annual performance reviews. I always found in-the-moment feedback to be far more useful for both giver and receiver.
Good news! That process is slowly giving way, even in places with famously rigid employee evaluation mandates. Exhibit A: General Electric, which just opted for an app that lets managers offer ongoing feedback far more frequently. It’s called PD@GE, for “performance development at GE.” Microsoft, Accenture and Adobe have made similar moves. The goal: constant improvement.
“GE may not have invented the stack ranking, but it’s the company most identified with it,” writes Quartz reporter Max Nisen. “And given the longstanding and pervasive influence GE has had over the business world, its move could represent the beginning of the end for a practice that has been at the heart of how corporations have managed people for many decades.” I encourage you to read the whole article.
The first thing you’ll notice about Samsung’s new smartphones is the huge screens, which take up almost the entire front face. The new models also boast another unique feature: you need one if you want to use the South Korean’s new mobile payments service, which debuts modestly in the U.S. later this month.
Google has an extra two weeks to respond to antitrust objections in Europe.
Tune in for this cliffhanger. Netflix and Amazon have longer to shore up their defenses. Apple won’t be ready to discuss its vision for Internet-streaming “television” services until next year, according to sources cited by Bloomberg.
Uber lawyers have prevailed in Connecticut, where the ride-sharing company was sued by 15 taxi and limousine companies for unfair competition.
Square seeks to cash in on conversion. Many small businesses haven’t upgraded their point-of-sale technology to handle chip-enabled credit cards mandated by Mastercard and Visa as of Oct. 1. The consequences? The retailer is responsible for fraudulent charges. Square’s offer covers that liability.
Patent suits pending. Oracle now claims the last six versions of the Android operating system infringe on Java. The five-year-old case became active again two months ago, when the Supreme Court refused to weigh in on whether businesses can really protect application programming interfaces.
There was also more drama in the dispute between Internet service providers Limelight Networks and Akamai Technologies, after a court revived a $45 million ruling against Limelight. What makes the 10-year-old case intriguing is that Limelight didn’t directly infringe on the patents. It was accused of enablement.
Qualcomm must adapt its business model for the Internet of things
Qualcomm’s $2.4 billion purchase of fellow chip company CSR closed Thursday, and while it wasn’t the biggest chip deal the industry has seen since Qualcomm said it would purchase the UK firm in October last year, this is a deal that has high stakes for Qualcomm—a company struggling to remake itself completely as its core cellular radio business becomes an ever smaller portion of its portfolio and activist investors pressure management. Fortune senior editor Stacey Higginbotham weighs in with an update on the ongoing saga.
ALSO WORTH SHARING
That was fast. The company-formerly-known-as-Google has already spun out a group writing augmented reality software, including the game “Ingress.”
Apple hired more diverse candidates in 2014 than in any prior year, but CEO Tim Cook recognizes that’s just a start.
Coincidence? A Harvard student who publicly pointed up a privacy flaw in Messenger had his Facebook internship canceled.
MY FORTUNE BOOKMARKS
Publishers have themselves to blame for the ad-blocking apocalypse by Mathew Ingram
Touch the person you’re Skyping with by Laura Lorenzetti
Robots have learned how to mimic natural selection by Michal Addady
ONE MORE THING
A whole new world. Disney’s uses for virtual reality extend way beyond theme park rides.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
VMworld: The virtualization ecosystem. (Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, 2015; San Francisco)
Gartner Customer 360 Summit: Strategies for digital engagement. (Sept. 9 – 11; San Diego)
Dreamforce: The Salesforce community. (Sept. 15 – 18; San Francisco)
.conf2015: “Get your data on” with Splunk. (Sept. 21 – 24; Las Vegas)
Cassandra Summit: Largest gathering of Cassandra database developers. (Sept. 22 – 24; San Francisco)
nginx.conf: The modern web. (Sept. 22 – 24; San Francisco)
AppSec USA: Application security principles. (Sept. 22 – 25; San Francisco)
BoxWorks: Cloud collaboration solutions. (Sept. 28 – 30; San Francisco)
Workday Rising: Meet and share. (Sept. 28 – Oct. 1; Las Vegas)
Minds+Machines: GE’s annual industrial Internet event. (Sept. 29 – Oct. 1; San Francisco)
HP Engage: Big data, big engagement. (Oct. 4 – 6; San Diego)
Gartner Symposium ITxpo: CIOs and senior IT executives. (Oct. 4 – 8; Orlando, Florida)
AWS re:Invent: The global Amazon Web services community. (Oct. 6 – 9; Las Vegas)
I Love APIs: Apigee’s annual conference. (Oct. 12 – 14; San Jose, California)
Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing: World’s largest gather of women technologists. (Oct. 14 – 16; Houston)
DevOps Enterprise Summit: Lean principles meet technology management. (Oct. 19 – 21; San Francisco)
Tableau Conference 2015: Tableau’s annual customer conference. (Oct 19 -23; Las Vegas)
Dell World: Global conference for customers and partners. (Oct. 20 – 22; Austin, Texas)
Virtuous Circle Conference: Internet policy in the round (Oct. 12-13, Menlo Park, California)
CX San Francisco: Forrester’s forum for customer experience professionals. (Oct. 22 – 23)
Oracle OpenWorld: Customer and partner conference. (Oct. 25 – 29; San Francisco)
TBM Conference: Manage IT like a business. (Oct. 26 – 29; Chicago)
eBusiness Chicago: eBusiness and channel strategy. (Oct. 29 – 30)
QuickBooks Connect: SMBs, entrepreneurs, accountants and developers. (Nov. 2 – 4; San Jose, California)
CMO+CIO: Forrester’s summit on strategy collaboration. (Nov. 2 – 4; Sarasota, Florida)
Oktane: Identity management trends. (Nov. 2 – 4; Las Vegas)
FutureStack: Define your future with New Relic. (Nov. 11 – 13; San Francisco)