Tech 2.0 for Friday, May 31, 2013

Contributor: Matt Davenport
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Updated: 5/31/2013 1:08 pm


Dell board members say that a takeover bid led by founder and CEO Michael Dell is in the best interest of the slumping PC maker's shareholders, and they're asking them to approve the deal in July. The board unanimously recommended the offer from Michael Dell to take the company private for $24.4 billion, or $13.65 per share, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. The offer has been criticized by some prominent shareholders. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management pitched an alternative plan this month, and they want shareholders to reject the offer from Michael Dell. The shareholder meeting will take place July 18 at the company's Round Rock, Texas, headquarters.

Microsoft is tuning up its radical Windows makeover. The company is trying to fix what it got wrong with Windows 8. The revision will be easier to navigate and enable users to set up the software so it starts in a more familiar format. But Microsoft isn't bringing back the start menu on the lower left corner of the screen. Microsoft believes the startup screen replaces the need for a button, but its omission has ranked among the biggest gripes about Windows 8. The revisions to Windows 8 will be released later this year as Windows 8.1. Microsoft announced plans for Windows 8.1 earlier this month. The first details about what will be included in the update are now being provided in a post on the company's website.

A U.N. human rights expert is urging nations to agree to a moratorium on developing robots for war that can function autonomously. U.N. special rapporteur Christof Heyns says a temporary freeze would give nations time to think through the implications of creating so-called killer robots while "the genie is still in the bottle" technologically. But Heyns told reporters Thursday the technology is quickly being developed for machines that have the power to kill humans after the flip of a switch, but lack the ability to make fine distinctions according to international humanitarian law. He says another big danger of developing these kinds of robots is that it will make it easier for nations to go to war because of the increasing detachment between people and the decision to kill.

Google is adding the recently released HTC One to its lineup of smartphones running on an unmodified version of its latest Android software. An HTC One model relying on the same version of Android as Google's Nexus brand will go on sale on June 26 for $599. That's the same day Google will start selling a Samsung Galaxy 4S that runs on a pure version of Android for $649. Most consumers have been paying about $200 for the HTC One and Galaxy 4S since their April release. Wireless carriers subsidize the smartphones in return for a two-year contract commitment. Google's phone sales aren't tied to any wireless carrier. The devices are aimed at people who don't like the revisions that HTC and Samsung make to the Android OS.


News: Dell board recommends founder's buyout offer: The Dell board is standing behind a buyout offer from the ... http://t.co/DCove569wu


Inside Windows 8.1: Revamped search, boot to desktop, Start button, UI tweaks and feature upgrades http://t.co/HE2ebUNiCH

Windows 8.1 unveiled: new apps, new features and the return of the Start button - http://t.co/dV3Xxhpm4I

An army of #robots may not be as far off as you think. @atikaCNN explains why the U.N. is concerned. http://t.co/bS1o5pc69Y

Killer robots may wage "mechanical slaughter," U.N. representative warns. http://t.co/DjEGf6muG1

HTC One will be released on google play, but stock http://t.co/FMxJD6DKOK

The HTC One with stock Android is real, and it's launching on June 26th for $599 http://t.co/KBe0aD3lKe
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