Today in Tech: Apple compromises on iAds

December 14, 2011, 8:00 AM UTC

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“What we see is that youth are pretty much fed up with iPhones. … Also, many are not happy with the complexity of Android and the lack of security. So we do increasingly see that the youth who want to be on the cutting edge and try something new are turning to the Windows phone platform.”
— Niels Munksgaard, Director of Portfolio, Product Marketing & Sales, Nokia Entertainment Global (GigaOm)

* Apple (AAPL) is softening its stance on iAds, the company’s advertising service for mobile apps on iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches, due largely to lukewarm reception. According to The Wall Street Journal, the company has lowered the minimum spending commitment required of advertisers — from $1 million originally to $400,000 now — and is being more flexible when it comes to pricing structure. (The Wall Street Journal)

* Google (GOOG) is acquiring Clever Sense, the winner of Fortune Brainstorm Tech’s Startup Idol competition held this past summer. The Silicon Valley-based startup was responsible for “Alfred,” a mobile app with an artificial intelligence engine developed by Stanford grads Babak Pahlavan and Nima Asgharbeyghi to serve up restaurant, cafe, bar, and nightclub suggestions for people on-the-go. (Fortune)

* Facebook is reportedly planning to launch its first mobile advertising foray this March, which may include putting Facebook Sponsored Stories in the actual News Feed. (Bloomberg)

* Amazon (AAPL) CEO Jeff Bezos and wife MacKenzie Bezos are donating $15 million to Princeton University, their alma mater, to establish the Bezos Center for Neural Circuit Dynamics. The center will research how the brain makes decisions and recalls memories. “New tools and techniques are making possible discoveries that would have been unthinkable just two decades ago,” said Jeff Bezos in the statement. “We can hope for advancements that lead to understanding deep behaviors, more effective learning methods for young children, and cures for neurological diseases.” (Amazon)

* New York Times Op-Ed contributor Richard Russo on why Amazon’s recent Price Check promotion, which rewarded Price Check app users recently with a 5% Amazon credit, might have gone too far. (The New York Times)

* Why investors were kicked off Twitter’s board. (TechCrunch)

* A look at younger non-Facebook users who refuse to join the burgeoning social network. (The New York Times)

* Wired magazine may have loudly professed that “the Web is dead” back in August 2010, but entrepreneur Dave Winer argues its anything but. (Scripting)

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