rumors posts on CNET - Page 98

rumors

Will Zune do Windows Mobile? Looks likely

There are a ton of rumors flying around right now saying that Microsoft just might introduce a Zune-ified competitor to the iPhone at CES next month. There are also those who call that a ridiculous notion. I happen, to a degree, to agree with both sides.

You won't see it at CES, but new a mobile phone initiative is brewing at Microsoft right now, and the Zune team is involved.

I live in Seattle. I run with the Microsoft/Amazon/Real/Whatever circle of geeks in the area. Sadly, because I'm a technology journalist, this means that when I run into them at parties they often have to clam up. I was, though, fortunate enough to have a sneak peek at a prototype Zune more than two years ago before anyone knew what it would look like or do. I was also lucky enough to snap a shot of it with my Treo. This became the first public photo of the device. It was black and white and wrapped in its own headphones, you might remember it. You could say I broke the Zune. I thus love the Zune. I pay close attention to what the Zune teams are doing. I listen to the Zune rumors. I have my ear to the Zune ground.

And I can tell you this: There will be a cellular communications device with Zune-like features in the near future. … Read more

Facebook book to hit shelves in the fall

Ben Mezrich, the author whose book Bringing Down The House inspired this summer's gambling flick 21, has confirmed to the Boston Herald that he's writing a book about Facebook's origins and that West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin is going to turn it into a movie.

As you may recall, part of a proposal for the book, tentatively titled Face Off, was leaked to gossip blog Gawker and launched a mini-firestorm because of some supposed inaccuracies--not to mention the fact that it doesn't look like the book will portray Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in the most positive … Read more

More cash for Facebook?

Accel Partners, a longtime investor in social network Facebook, has created two new funds that add up to just over $1 billion, according to The New York Times.

One of the funds, totaling $525 million, will be used to invest in European start-ups.

But the interesting part, at least where juicy tech gossip is concerned, is the other $480 million, which is going toward a new late-stage venture fund. A few speculative bloggers have connected the dots and taken this to mean that Accel may be looking to pump more cash into Facebook.

The firm first invested in Facebook in … Read more

Twitter rebuffs a Facebook poke?

Maybe it wasn't just egregious Valley gossip-baiting when Federated Media CEO John Battelle asked Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg earlier this month if his company was going to buy Twitter.

Kara Swisher of AllThingsD reported early Monday morning that actual acquisition talks held between the two companies have fallen through.

The deal would have been for $500 million in Facebook stock, Swisher wrote.

Facebook's not big on acquisitions. The only sizable purchase the company has made was of a start-up called Parakey, and that was really just a way to bring on board founder Blake Ross.

Twitter's a … Read more

Source: MTV exec Holt offered MySpace Music job

MySpace Music has offered its vacant CEO position to Courtney Holt, MTV Networks' executive vice president of digital music and media, according to a music industry source with knowledge of the negotiations.

The source said that Holt, previously an executive at Interscope Records, may be close to agreeing to the deal but that there are several sticking points.

The News Corp.-owned MySpace launched its music service last month, featuring streaming-music deals from all four major record labels and a retail affiliate partnership with the Amazon MP3 store.

In September, shortly before MySpace Music launched, reports indicated that the CEO … Read more

MySpace pulling out of the Netherlands?

MySpace is closing its office in the Netherlands after failing to adequately compete with homegrown rival Hyves, two Dutch news outlets reported.

Hyves is huge in the Netherlands. According to the Webwereld article published late last week, MySpace considered acquiring Hyves, but the plan fell through. MySpace said that this is untrue and that no acquisition talks went on.

Derek Fehmers, who handled MySpace's Dutch operations, told Entertainment Business that the News Corp.-owned company knew the Netherlands would be a difficult market. The decision to close the office came despite MySpace's 650,000 Dutch members, 250,000 … Read more

Layoffs at Jimmy Wales' Wikia?

It's not surprising, considering that everybody else is doing it.

Valleywag reports that Wikia, the for-profit wiki software and search start-up created by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, has laid off about a third of its 43-person workforce--or 12 to 13 employees.

A Wikia representative was not immediately available to confirm.

The company, formerly known as Wikicities, has big-name investor backing, but it doesn't appear to have pulled in any funding for nearly two years. It raised a Series B round of an undisclosed size from Amazon.com in December 2006; previously, the company had taken a $4 million … Read more

Microsoft to ditch MSN Groups?

An e-mail snafu has led to the leak of Microsoft's decision to shutter its MSN Groups service, according to LiveSide.net. It's not a surprise, as MSN Groups was one of the last vestiges of Microsoft's Web services strategy pre-Windows Live.

MSN Groups will be closing on February 21, 2009. It'll be replaced with a new service, Windows Live Groups, which debuts on November 17.

Here's the catch: The LiveSide post indicates MSN Groups will not be migrating to Windows Live Groups; the new Windows Live service will be different enough so that the transition … Read more

The Apple notebook guessing game

As with any Apple event, there's plenty of rumor and speculation to go around. The lead-up to Tuesday's event in which "the spotlight turns to notebooks," according to the event invitation, has been no different.

The Mac maker has invited journalists down to its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters to get a look at its new round of notebooks Tuesday morning. But what exactly Apple CEO Steve Jobs will unveil is anyone's guess.

We have a few clues in the form of purported "spy shots," or leaked photos, of the redesigned notebooks that have made … Read more

Report: iPhone 2.2 getting Google's Street View

Maybe iPhone users won't have to covet one of those shiny new features in Google's Android operating system after all: Google Maps Street View.

The driver's-eye view is a prominent part of the first Android phone, T-Mobile's G1, which goes on sale October 22. But according to Mac Rumors on Monday, Apple has snuck Street View into the iPhone 2.2 firmware beta release.

Other new features described in the report include the ability to disable the typing autocorrect feature and the inclusion of 461 small icons called Japanese emoji characters.

The iPhone 2.2 firmware … Read more