Today in Tech: Windows Blue leaks early

Also: Apple buys WifiSLAM; Inside ‘Apple Anonymous.’ 

Apple acquires indoor location company WifiSLAM [THE WALL STREET JOURNAL]

The two-year-old startup has developed ways for mobile apps to detect a phone user’s location in a building using Wi-Fi signals. It has been offering the technology to application developers for indoor mapping and new types of retail and social networking apps. The company has a handful of employees, and its co-founders include former Google software engineering intern Joseph Huang.

The move comes as Apple continues to build its arsenal against Google in mapping. It debuted its own mapping service last year to poor reviews and user complaints about inaccurate data. Apple chief executive Tim Cook apologized for the quality of the product, and Apple has continued to improve it.

Facebook just hired the friendliest developer in Silicon Valley to keep app makers happy [BUSINESS INSIDER]

In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed that it had hired Weekly and Schmidt: “The talent behind Gaston Labs has a long history of building great social products and a passion for working with developers We’re excited for them to join Facebook and look forward to seeing what they will accomplish.”

Facebook is not acquiring the company.

That makes the deal what’s known in Silicon Valley as an “acquire-hire.” Those transactions can take many forms but generally happen because a larger company wants to absorb some or all of a startup’s employees, with or without buying their company.

Windows Blue leaks online, includes smaller Live Tiles, new side-by-side Snap View [THE VERGE]

Leaked screenshots posted at Winforum show that the company is bringing smaller tile arrangements and even a larger desktop one to its Start Screen, along with greater control over the color personalization options, and a whole lot more.


Microsoft is building in additional Snap Views into Windows Blue, allowing users to place apps side-by-side in the Windows 8 view. The new 50 / 50 view is similar to the desktop mode snapping, but Microsoft also supports up to 4 snapped apps alongside each other. New alarm, sound recorder, movie moments, and calculator WIndows 8 -style apps will also take advantage of these new views, but we understand developers will be able to update their apps to support the additional Snap Views alongside other API changes and additions. The snapping improvements also apply to multi monitor support, where you can now run individual Windows 8-style apps across multiple monitors.

Inside ‘Apple Anonymous’: The secret society of Apple’s retail army [9 to 5 MAC]

Even with strict, Apple Corporate-implemented policies on social media usage of its employees, a portion of Apple retail employees have formed an under-the-radar, “Apple Anonymous” community over social media sites like Twitter and Google+. The majority of these employees work on these social media networks under “anonymous” personalities. This is in order to keep Apple from discovering the true identities of the rebel employees. Discussing the work place (especially with negativity) and discussing internal policies online is strictly forbidden by Apple and a cause for termination. No questions asked.

Big Data is opening doors, but maybe too many [THE NEW YORK TIMES]

Along with fueling privacy concerns, of course, the mainframes helped prompt the growth and innovation that we have come to associate with the computer age. Today, many experts predict that the next wave will be driven by technologies that fly under the banner of Big Data — data including Web pages, browsing habits, sensor signals, smartphone location trails and genomic information, combined with clever software to make sense of it all.

The attachment that still makes noise [THE NEW YORK TIMES]

Even as data moves to computers and the cloud, staplers continue to help people keep it together. On the computer, we can file copies in folders and send messages to mailboxes. We can cut, copy and paste text and files. But which computer activity is similar to stapling? Sure, there’s the paper-clip icon that attaches documents to e-mail. But nothing, really, comes close to the satisfying ka-chunk of a stapler: it’s a sound that means work is getting done.

Paper receipts are supposed to be on their way out, but they continue to flutter their way through restaurants, stores and doctors’ offices. Staplers are there, attaching the receipt to the business card, the return receipt to the original receipt, the merchant copy to the bill, the receipt to the takeout bag.

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