AP Technology NewsBrief at 5:27 p.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Lots of tech but few breakout hits at SXSW confabAUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ For all the talk of space travel, the wearable gadgets, marketing stunts and lavish parties, something was missing at this year's South By Southwest Interactive Festival: the next "hot app." The brainy tech jamboree held each year in Texas' capital city is known as the place where Twitter soared from obscurity to the world stage in 2007. It's where the location-sharing app Foursquare came out in 2009.
Samsung set to launch new iPhone challengerNEW YORK (AP) _ Samsung's Galaxy S III smartphone has done very well, briefly unseating the iPhone as the best-selling smartphone in the world. On Thursday, the Korean company is launching a phone it hopes can top that, and entrench the company as the main competitor to Apple. Samsung has rented New York's Radio City Music Hall for an event Thursday evening, and has been hinting that will reveal a fourth-generation Galaxy phone. Judging by the announcement of the S III in last May, this means the new phone will be available in stores in a month or two.
Maine school laptop contract to be open to othersPORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ The only state to provide laptops to public school students statewide said Thursday the contract it's negotiating for new devices can be used by other states if they're interested in following suit. Maine has zeroed in on five different laptops and tablets as it prepares to replace more than 35,000 Apple laptops in middle schools and about the same number in high schools this fall. The state expects to pay between $217 and $314 annually per unit depending on which device is chosen.
Apple CEO required to testify in NY e-books caseNEW YORK (AP) _ Apple CEO Tim Cook has been ordered to testify in a New York court case the Justice Department brought against the company over the pricing of e-books for consumers. Federal Judge Denise Cote on Wednesday granted a government request to depose Apple Inc.'s chief executive.
New Samsung phone to face stronger competitionNEW YORK (AP) _ Samsung Electronics is taking to the Big Apple to reveal its next big challenge to Apple Inc.: a successor to its top-selling Galaxy S III smartphone. The Korean company has rented New York's Radio City Music Hall for an event Thursday evening. The company has hinted that it will reveal the Galaxy S IV phone. Judging by the announcement of the S III in last May, this means the new phone will be available in stores in a month or two.
China accuses Coca-Cola of misusing GPS equipmentBEIJING (AP) _ Chinese authorities are investigating whether Coca-Cola Co. employees improperly used location-finding technology in violation of restrictions on map-making. Coca-Cola said Thursday it was cooperating with investigators. It said trucks for some of its bottling plants use location technology that is widely available commercially in China to improve the efficiency of deliveries.
Google's top Android exec unexpectedly steps downSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Andy Rubin has stepped down as the executive in charge of Google's Android operating system for smartphones and tablet computers, ending a seven-year reign that reshaped the technology industry. The unexpected change announced Wednesday may raise new questions about Android's direction as Google duels with Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and a long list of other companies in the increasingly important mobile computing market.
BlackBerry gets biggest order everBlackBerry, formerly known as Research In Motion Ltd., says it has received an order for one million of its new smartphones, marking the largest ever single purchase in the company's history. The Canadian company is relying on the redesigned BlackBerry to fuel a comeback. The pioneering brand lost its cachet not long after Apple's 2007 release of the iPhone, which reset consumers' expectations for what a smartphone should do.
Netflix's US customers get Facebook-sharing toolSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ A long-awaited coming attraction has finally arrived for Netflix's U.S. subscribers. They will now be able to automatically see what their Facebook friends have been watching on the Internet video service, as long as they are willing to open a peephole into their viewing habits, too. The sharing tool announced Wednesday is rolling out 18 months after Netflix Inc. introduced the feature to its international subscribers.
'Veronica Mars' film's online fundraiser hits goalLOS ANGELES (AP) _ "Veronica Mars" fans just bought themselves a big-screen version of the cult favorite TV series. A crowd-sourcing campaign on the Kickstarter website to raise $2 million for the project hit its goal in less than a day.
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