Daily: Your everyday technology news brief is here. In today’s edition: Registrations to Google’s Code Jam, where programmers fight it out for $15,000 is open & 11 top stories from around the web.
HTC One Component Shortage to Continue Well Into April; More Trouble for HTC: Oh, HTC, there doesn’t seem to be end in sight to your plight, does there? The company has really had it rough lately and I don’t think I’m alone in saying that it’d be a real shame to see such a great company go under, especially when the Android market thrives on choice. it’s perhaps a little upsetting then, to hear word that the shortages affecting the HTC One’s launch, could continue right up until the end of April. More here.
Tesla Kills The Entry-Level, 40 kWh Model S Citing Poor Demand: The Model S just got a little more expensive. Tesla has announced that the company will no longer offer the least expensive Model S electric sedan. Per a Tesla press release, since its launch, only 4% of buyers opted for the 40 kWh model with its paltry 160 mile range. Instead, buyers have spent the extra cash on the more capable and better performing models. The entry-level Model S cost $52,400 after the US Government’s $7,500 tax credit. At that price the 40 kWh Model S provided Tesla with a relatively competitive price point, putting the Model S on par with a BMW 5 Series or Cadillac XTS. More here.
Digital Living & Gaming
NASA trailer reaches crowdfunding goal, will be shown before ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness’: “We are the Explorers,” an Indiegogo campaign that aims to create a 30-second trailer about the US Space Program, reached its crowdfunding goal of $33,000 this morning, just five days after launching. Created by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) of America, the campaign was inspired by a nearly three-minute video that NASA released last year. More here.
YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley teases MixBit, a new collaborative online video platform: YouTube co-founder and former CEO Chad Hurley has teased a new video service today called MixBit, which is being described as “a new site to not only watch cat videos, but create them… together!” Hurley let the announcement slip on Twitter earlier today, following an April Fools’ Day prank which claimed that YouTube would soon be closing. The tweet, spotted by The Verge, includes a Twitter account for the new service and a teaser page for its eventual home, which says very little outside of the following tidbit: “The future of video is launching soon!” More here.
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen will soon open a Silicon Valley office for his Vulcan venture fund: Paul Allen, the Microsoft co-founder turned billionaire investor and philanthropist, is close to opening a Silicon Valley office for his Vulcan Capital investment group, Reuters reports. Vulcan is gearing up to open the new office in Palo Alto within a matter of weeks. The company’s Chief Investment Officer told Reuters that the move came as the fund is looking to increase its “broad tech investments”. As you’d expect, having a physical presence in the Valley helps. More here.
eBay relaunches shopping.com as the eBay Commerce Network, a product listings platform for publishers: eBay relaunched its price comparison website shopping.com today as the eBay Commerce Network, putting greater emphasis on its API that allows external publishers to promote its product listings elsewhere on the Internet. Ever since eBay acquired shopping.com in August 2005, people have wondered whether the two services would be connected somehow, or merged into eBay’s core service. More here.
Google’s Eric Schmidt warns of ‘dangerous period for the internet’ in Burma: Google chairman Eric Schmidt is worried about the future of internet openness in Burma (also called Myanmar), one of the least-connected countries in the world. In a post on his Google+ page published Sunday, Schmidt describes some of his initial impressions after visiting the country last month, when Google launched new services there. More here.
Microsoft to launch the Surface RT in Russia this Thursday, pricing still unconfirmed: Microsoft has announced today that it will be launching the Surface RT in Russia on April 4. Consumers will be able to buy the tablet and laptop hybrid from an M.video store, one of the largest consumer electronics retailers operating in Russia, right in the middle of Moscow. Microsoft has emphasized that this “is not an April Fool’s joke” and we’re inclined to believe them, given that the Surface RT was confirmed to be launching in Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan late last week. More here.
Apple CEO Tim Cook apologizes for warranty ‘misunderstandings’ in China: After a week of strong criticism from the Chinese media, Apple CEO Tim Cook has apologized for “any concerns or misunderstandings” the company gave consumers. In a letter that’s linked prominently on the front page of Apple’s Chinese portal, Cook responds directly to allegations that Apple has been treating Chinese customers differently to Americans with its warranty policy in the country. In the letter, the CEO answers critics that called Apple’s response to the allegations “arrogant,” admitting that poor communication may be to blame, and outlines a new, clearer warranty policy for Apple’s iPhone 4 and 4S smartphones. More here.
Google’s Code Jam registration is now open as programmers battle for $15,000 and a 2014 automatic bid: Google has opened up registration for its 2013 Code Jam programming competition. Now in its 10th year, the company is inviting all participants with higher stakes on the line. This year, the top prize has grown to $15,000 and an automatic bid to the 2014 event. It’s around this time of the year when Google begins accepting interested people into this event. With Code Jam, professional and student programmers are invited from all over the world to compete against each other as they try and solve “tough algorithmic puzzles”. More here. You can register here.
‘Facebook Home’ leak suggests company will reveal Android homescreen replacement on Thursday: We’re just a few days away from the Facebook Home event at which the social media giant is expected to release a true “Facebook Phone” by HTC. However, Android Police have apparently gotten their hands on a system software dump from the rumored device and have released a number of details about what Facebook may be unveiling on Thursday. Essentially, it sounds like Facebook Home will be a launcher replacement that runs on top of HTC’s Sense 4.5 skin and Android 4.1.2 — not the recently-introduced Sense 5 that runs on the HTC One. More here.