Today in Tech: Apple’s “Smart Bezel,” Larry Page’s employee bonus strategy

April 8, 2011, 9:00 AM UTC

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.

  • Google CEO Larry Page

    New Google CEO Larry Page just upped the ante as far as workflow goes. Last Friday, he sent out a company memo explaining to all employees that 25% of their annual bonuses will be tied to the success of Google’s social strategy this year, regardless of whether they’re working on the related products. “This is a joint effort, so it’s important that we all get behind it,” he wrote in the memo, entitled “2011 Bonus Multiplier.” (Employees not directly working on social products are still expected to offer feedback.) (Business Insider)

  • Intel’s venture capital arm is reportedly planning to invest $30 million in digital textbook and tablet maker Kno. (Bloomberg)
  • The U.S. government is reportedly considering Twitter and Facebook as new channels for disseminating terror-alert information from the Department of Homeland Security. Though for that to happen (if it happens), users of both social networks would have to “follow” or “friend” which ever accounts the government establishes. (PC Mag)
  • At a press event yesterday, Facebook revealed information about their server and data centers, most likely as a goodwill sign of increased transparency. (Hey, can’t hurt, right?) The infrastructure, which utilizes AMD, Intel, and the x86 architecture, “minimizes power consumption and cost while delivering the right computer workload for a variety of tasks.” (Neowin and Facebook)
  • Angel investor Dave McClure’s start-up incubator and early-stage investment fund 500 Startups announced The Designer Fund, aimed at startups founded by designers. “Too few are actually venturing out and starting their own thing,” said firm designer and founder Enrique Allen. The hope is to recruit 50 investors for the fund to back 50 startups. (VentureBeat)
  • SocialFlow, a media platform that uses data analytics to show brands the best ways and times to Tweet to achieve maximum exposure, raised $7 million during its Series A round of funding. (TechCrunch)
  • Apple’s recent patent applications shed light on a “smart bezel,” which turns the typical non-active black (or white) areas on the edges of iPhone and iPad into sort of a interactive second screen. 9 to 5 Mac speculates this potential new feature opens up scenarios for media playback and game controls, for instance. Who knows whether these patents will lead to inclusion in future products, but the idea of turning all that inactive space around the screen into something useful sounds pretty smart to us. (9 to 5 Mac)

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