ICYMI: Of Cars and Bitcoins

In the hiatus between Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and the wildness of South By Southwest in Austin, the last week saw an assortment of eclectic tech news, ranging from Apple’s growing automotive efforts, to new thinking at Microsoft, to, well, general strangeness surrounding Bitcoin.

Apple Rolls Out CarPlay Giving Drivers a Smarter, Safer & More Fun Way to Use iPhone in the Car: At World Wide Development Congress last spring, Apple talked about iOS 7 features that will help move Siri and iPhone content into auto entertainment systems. At the Geneva Auto Show, Apple renamed the technology CarPlay. The system will be available to a variety of automakers, starting with Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo.

Satya Nadella announces changes to senior leadership team: Satya Nadella’s replacement of Steve Ballmer was bound to yield major changes in Microsoft’s senior management, and now the big moves are underway. Senior executive Tony Bates, who came with Skype, and co-marketing chief Tami Reller are out, replaced by Eric Rudder, running business development and evangelism, and Chris Capossela as EVP and Chief Marketing Officer. A bit more equivocal is the new role of chief strategist for SVP Mark Penn.

Review: Jony Ive by Leander Kahney: Apple watchers are fascinated by the doings of Tim Cook, and there’s always the ghost of Steve Jobs to ponder. But design chief Jony Ive remains a central figure. Leander Kahney offers a full-blown biography of Sir Jony and Horace Dediu’s review is well-worth reading.

The Face Behind Bitcoin: The story of the mystery man behind Bitcoin could hardly have gotten more confusing. The reborn Newsweek came up with what if claimed was a major scoop: The spirit behind the mysterious crypto-currency was in fact a Japanese-American using alleged pseudonym Natoshi Nakamoto who was really Natoshi Nakamoto. Or, to add confusion, maybe Dorion Nakamoto. And now he has given an interview saying he isn’t the guy at all. It’s all very strange and not quite clear how really important it is. Timothy B. Lee has contributed a useful article shedding some light on why Nakamoto has tried so hard to hide his identity.

How Aaron Levie and his childhood friends built Box into a $2 billion business, without stabbing each other in the back: Levie’s Box, a serious alternative to Microsoft’s SharePoint, has been an important contribution to the business cloud. Rachel King’s TechRepubic post gives some solid into how Levie pulled it off.

Dish Leads in Race to Offer Online TV to Compete With Cable: The competition for more and more video content distribution is contiing to grow. The latest big deal is a new one between Charlie Ergen’s Dish Networks and Walt Disney content that may go beyond what viewers can get from cable. But as part of the price, Dish has decided to sacrifice the commercial-skipping Hopper technology on Disney content.

Tim Cook’s outburst [Updated]: How many worldwide iOS  users are there really?

Fewer than the 800 million claimed, it turns out. (Horace Dediu with some help from Philip Elmer-DeWitt.)

Privacy groups ask FTC to block Facebook-WhatsApp deal: Not everyone seems to think that Facebook’s planned $16-billion-plus acquisition of the WhatsApp messaging service is a great idea. The Electronic Privacy Research Center and the Center for Democracy and Technology are asking the Federal Trade Commission to block the deal, at least until privacy concerns surrounding Facebook policies are “adequately resolved.”

Published by

Steve Wildstrom

Steve Wildstrom is veteran technology reporter, writer, and analyst based in the Washington, D.C. area. He created and wrote BusinessWeek’s Technology & You column for 15 years. Since leaving BusinessWeek in the fall of 2009, he has written his own blog, Wildstrom on Tech and has contributed to corporate blogs, including those of Cisco and AMD and also consults for major technology companies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *