Today in Tech: News around the Web

October 12, 2010, 10:30 AM UTC

A round-up of the companies, deals, and trends that made headlines.

Every day, the Fortune staff spends hours poring over tech stories, posts, and reviews from all over the Web to keep tabs on the companies that matter. We’ve assembled the day’s most newsworthy bits below.

“If you bring something  innovative to market, people will respond. I think it’s going to do very well.” — AT&T CEO of Mobile Ralph de la Vega on Windows Phone 7 (GigaOM)

Gawker founder Nick Denton. Photo: Bloomberg


  • Gawker media founder Nick Denton is profiled in the latest issue of The New Yorker. Denton, whose empire includes popular blog sites like Gizmodo, Gawker, Lifehacker, Kotaku, and Jezebel to name a few, says he’s created a “monster.” “Neither the stories that I like nor the writers that I like are rewarded.” (The New Yorker)
  • The Wall Street Journal continues its investigative tech series with a feature on “scrapers,” those who collect online conversations, public or private, and profit off the information. One company in the scraping business, Screen-scraper, charges between $1,500 and $10,000 for most jobs. (The Wall Street Journal)
  • The Gap has decided to revert back to its original tried-and-true emblem after an unprecedented backlash erupted online over the company’s new, generic-looking, sans-serif logo. “Ok. We’ve heard loud and clear that you don’t like the new logo. We’ve learned a lot from the feedback,” the company said on its Facebook page. “We only want what’s best for the brand and our customers. So instead of crowdsourcing, we’re bringing back the Blue Box tonight.” (Mashable)
  • Microsoft finally unveiled Windows Phone 7, its new mobile OS intended to work with your life, not take over it. (What ever that means.) Senior writer Jessi Hempel found much to like about the actual OS. “The interface design is elegant and intuitive. From first glance, it looks like the designers got a lot of the little things right. In sharp contrast to the confusing kin, the new operating system is easy to navigate.” (Fortune Tech)
  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced the $20 million Next Generation Learning Challenges initiative, a multi-year project aimed at improving college readiness and completion by giving grants to organizations that help develop tech tools for teachers, students and schools. (Read Write Web)
  • New Twitter CEO Dick Costolo’s next ad revenue target? Small businesses. According to an interview with The New York Times, the social network “would offer a self-serve tool for local businesses to buy Twitter ads, and is working on ways to deliver those ads based on location. Expect all this to emerge some time next year. (The New York Times)
  • Some Palm Pre 2 specs may have leaked thanks to French mobile operator SFR, which posted about the phantom phone. Things to expect: a 1 GHz processor with 512 MB of RAM (compared to the original Pre’s 600 MHz processor and 256 MB of RAM), and push notifications of Facebook wall posts and other social media updates. (cnet)
  • Rivals Oracle and IBM agreed to work together in OpenJDK (Java Development Kit) community to develop the leading open source Java environment. Until now, IBM had devoted its resources to its own Java initiative, an alternate Java environment called Apache Harmony. (The New York Times)
  • TechCrunch reports PayPal may have invested between $16 and $21 million in e-invoicing company TradeShift. (TechCrunch)
  • Want to buy a piece of Facebook, Twitter or Zynga? It’ll cost you. According to recent reports and leaked emails, Facebook and Twitter are charging $2,500 per transaction, while Zynga recently raised its fee from $4,500 to $6,000. (Bloomberg and CNBC)
  • Apple was officially awarded the trademark for the now-famous marketing phrase, “There’s an app for that.” (The New York Times/GigaOM)
  • Wondering whether Mark Zuckerberg liked Andy Samberg’s Facebook skit during last weekend’s Saturday Night Life episode? Why yes, he did. A lot. (TechCrunch)