Today’s topics include the unveiling of Acer’s new M330 Windows 10 smartphone; the release of Microsoft’s code editor for Mac OS X, Linux and Windows; word that the effort to merge the PC units of Toshiba, Vaio and Fujitsu may be falling apart; and Google’s effort to combat click fraud on its advertising networks.
Acer will bring its latest feature-loaded, budget smartphone, the $100 Liquid M330 handset, to the United States later in April. Sporting a 4.5-inch FWVGA In-Plane Switching (IPS) touch-screen display, a curved chassis, 5-megapixel rear-facing and front-facing cameras, a replaceable battery and the Windows 10 Mobile operating system, the Liquid M330 will be offered for sale in Microsoft stores and on Microsoftstore.com.
Microsoft today released version 1.0 of its Visual Studio Code lightweight text editor. The tech giant said more than 500,000 developers actively use VS Code each month. VS Code is a free, lightweight, cross-platform code editor for Mac OS X, Linux and Windows. It includes many of the familiar features of Visual Studio, such as IntelliSense, peek, code navigation and debugging, but it centers on being a keyboard-centric editor. It supports a wide range of languages with enhanced support for Node.js and ASP.NET 5.
In February, Japanese system makers Toshiba, Fujitsu and Vaio reportedly were a month away from announcing a joint venture that would combine their respective PC units into a single business that they hoped would be able to better compete with Lenovo, HP Inc., Dell and other top OEMs. In March, reports surfaced that the deal would come later, probably around June.
Now The Wall Street Journal is reporting that negotiations around merging the PC units are on the verge of collapse, with Japan Industrial Partners—which has a controlling interest in Vaio—walking away from the talks and the remaining two vendors unable to agree which company would assume majority control of the joint venture. A breakdown in negotiations would leave the three system makers in the same position they’ve been in for years, essentially falling further behind in an already difficult global PC market in which Japanese companies once had a very strong position.
Google officials said its engineering and operations teams are moving quickly to deal with growing ad fraud activity on its networks that is tied to so-called clickjacking attacks. Clickjacking refers to the practice in which threat actors modify the appearance of a Web page, or part of a Web page, to trick users into clicking on something different from what they assume they are clicking on.
Google officials said some publishers, in an attempt to commit ad fraud, have been using the technique to trick users into clicking on ads that they otherwise might not have clicked on. Google’s engineering team worked to quickly release a tool for automatically filtering out the invalid traffic generated by such attacks on its display ad networks.