Today in Tech: iPad 2 loses features, AOL layoffs coming?
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- Sources tell The Wall Street Journal that AOL is considering layoffs as part of its new management structure integrating the Huffington Post, though no details yet on timing or just how many employees would be affected. While Arianna Huffington will serve as the newly-christened Huffington Post Media Group’s editor-in-chief, AOL Media President David Eun, who supervised the company’s video and journalism properties, is leaving. (Wall Street Journal)
- Google announced changes to its search engine ranking algorithm that should cut down on top listings with “shallow” or “low-quality” content (read: content farms). The algorithm affects nearly 12% of all search results in the U.S. (Search Engine Land)
- Venture capitalists are betting on online tracking companies, which basically specialize in tracking the movements of Internet users. Over the last thre emonths, Lotame Solutions, Media6Degrees, eXelate Media, [x + 1], and Turn Inc. secured new investments from VCs. Meanwhile, Millennial Media and Tapjoy Inc., which deliver ads to smartphones, each raised more than $20 million in January. (Wall Street Journal)
- More reports that BlackBerry is possibly porting Android apps over to its platform, including the upcoming PlayBook tablet. According to mobile app developer ShopSavvy, its Android app was recently tested on several BlackBerries for compatibility. (Fortune and Boy Genius Report)
- Research firm eMarketer reported that 57% of U.S. Internet users will log onto Facebook this year, while 11% will use Twitter. (TechCrunch)
- MySpace Music head Courtney Holt is leaving the social network-turned-entertainment hub without a comparable job lined up. For now, he will serve as both News Corp and MySpace advisor similar to former MySpace co-president’s consulting position after he left his post last year. (AllThingsD and MySpace)
According to Engadget, some last minute changes have reportedly hit the iPad 2 due to “engineering issues.” The next-gen Apple tablet, which will likely be thinner, sport a faster, more powerful dual-core ARM processor, double the RAM (512 MB), and at least one video camera, will lose the planned higher-resolution display and built-in SD card slot. (Engadget)
- After a wild amount of speculation this week — new iMacs! MacBook Pros made from liquid metal! — Apple unveiled updates to its MacBook Pro line across the board. The 13-inch model gets dual-core second-generation Sandy Bridge i5 and i7 processors with the integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 chip, while the 15 and 17-inchers are bumped up to quad-core i7 chips paired with AMD’s Radeon HD graphics processors. All of them sport the much-ballyhooed Thunderbolt port, an Intel technology that allows transfer speeds more than twice the rate of Firewire 800 and more than 12x USB 2.0. Apple also gave us a look at the next generation of the Mac operating system, OSX Lion. Look out for our preview later today. (Apple)
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