Today in Tech: Latest iPhone 5 rumors, “Friday” singer becomes millionaire

March 23, 2011, 12:30 PM UTC

A curated selection of the day’s newsworthy tech stories from all around the Web. Read on, and join the conversation with a comment below.

The iPhone 5 will supposedly feature a metal back. Photo: Fast Company



  • According to the China Times, the iPhone 5 will supposedly go into production during the third quarter of this year, which if true, means the new handset won’t be immediately available following a June or July unveiling, as has been the case in the past. The publication also indicates the phone will have a 4-inch touchscreen, a metal back, and (again) possibly a Near Field Communications chip for credit payment transactions conducted simply by swiping the device within close range of a compatible credit card machine. (China Times via 9 to 5 Mac)
  • Sprint, which saw its shares fall 14% earlier this week over the AT&T-T-Mobile news, plans to address Congress with its concerns. The new deal, which should take 12 months to take effect if things go smoothly, would give AT&T a 79% majority market share of the mobile wireless market. (Bloomberg)
  • A judge struck down a 2008 settlement between Google and various author and publisher groups to make millions of books available online. The $125 million deal would supposedly “give Google a significant advantage over competitors, rewarding it for engaging in wholesale copying of copyrighted works without permission.” (Wall Street Journal)
  • Groupon President and COO Rob Solomon is stepping down, AllThingsD reports, with no specific reason other than he’s moving back to “God’s Country” in Woodside, California. (AllThingsD)
  • Textbook publishers Pearson and McGraw-Hill are investing in the e-textbook startup Inkling, which incorporates multimedia elements like audio, video, and interactive quizzes. (Currently, the startup has 14 textbooks available.) (Fortune)
  • DotCloud, a second-generation platform-as-a-service (PaaS) startup that lets developers mix and match multiple languages and tools, raised $10M in Series A funding from Benchmark Capital and Trinity Venture. It also gained two new board members: Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang and Apple engineering manager of software engineering and developer tools Marc Verstaen. (Inner Circle Labs)
  • Meanwhile, digital ad company SocialVibe snagged $20 million during its latest funding round, led by Norwest Venture Partners. SocialVibe’s ads target consumers when they’re playing a social game, donating to charity, obtaining virtual currency or accessing premium content. (Spark PR)
  • YouTube sensation Rebecca Black, whose heavily auto-tuned music video “Friday” set the blogosphere afire with lyrics like “Fun, fun, fun / Looking forward to the weekend,” is now a millionaire thanks to all the free publicity. Some 2 million people have downloaded the song via iTunes. Here’s the original video in case you missed the initial buzz. (Gawker)


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