Daily Tech Briefing: July 23, 2014

By eWEEK Staff  |  Posted 2014-07-23 Print this article Print

Leaked BlackBerry Passport video demos 'touch-sensitive keys'; Yahoo bets on flurry analytics to grow mobile ad revenue; Snowden aims to be known as privacy defender, not whistleblower; and more.

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Read more about the stories in today's news:


Blackberry officials have seemed pretty unconcerned about leaks regarding its upcoming Passport smartphone—to the point that CEO John Chen has cracked jokes about the fact that so much information is available online about the phone.

Now, there's a video demonstration of the new phone online. The video shows that the phone has a wide, three-row keyboard on the bottom and that the keyboard also seems to be touch-sensitive, allowing the user to scroll up and down with a thumb gesture over the keyboard, and also to move side to side.

In a recent blog post, BlackBerry social media marketing head Donny Halliwell said that the feature combines everything he loves about the traditional BlackBerry keyboard with the best aspects of BlackBerry 10's virtual keyboard.

In an effort to improve its mobile advertising revenue, Yahoo has purchased mobile analytics firm Flurry. Flurry helps companies to better understand mobile users, and in turn help businesses make sure people are getting the most appropriate and personalized ads.

Flurry's analytics software is in an average of seven apps on every smartphone, and with the data it collects from 150 billion app sessions per month, Flurry says it gathers the "deepest understanding of mobile customers."

Rather than simply being known as a whistleblower, Edward Snowden is hoping to be considered a defender of individual privacy.

In a remote appearance at the Hackers on Planet Earth conference in New York on July 19, Snowden participated in a discussion with Daniel Ellsberg, himself a one-time whistleblower who leaked a top-secret Pentagon study about military decisions related to the Vietnam War.

Snowden called on those present to "to help build a better future by encoding our rights into the programs and protocols upon which we rely every day."

Google officials have announced that more than 1 million Chromebooks were sold to schools in the second quarter. Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis for NPD Group, said in a statement following the report that the fact this many Chromebooks have been purchased before back-to-school season shows it is a legitimate third platform alongside Windows and Mac OS X and iOS.


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