Tech 2.0 for Monday, November 4, 2013
BlackBerry is abandoning its sale process, and will replace its chief executive. Fairfax, BlackBerry's largest shareholder with a 10 percent stake, said Monday it won't buy the entire company but it and other investors will inject $1 billion as part of a revised investment proposal. BlackBerry says CEO Thorsten Heins is stepping down. Fairfax head Prem Watsa will be appointed lead director of the board.
Amazon is releasing its first two original series, but not all at once. The online retailing giant says the first three episodes of "Alpha House" will be available for free online and through its mobile and game-console apps on Nov. 15. After that, Amazon.com Inc. will release one episode per week exclusively to subscribers of its $79-a-year free shipping service called Amazon Prime. It'll follow the same recipe for the release of "Betas" starting Nov. 22. Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios, said in a statement Monday that the schedule is meant to encourage customers to talk about the shows. Amazon's video service competes with Netflix, which releases an entire season at once of its original shows.
A ruling on a case in Pennsylvania is likely to affect the use by police of GPS to track suspects. A federal appeals court in Philadelphia has ruled that police must get a warrant before using a global positional satellite system to keep tabs on suspected criminals. As a result of the court ruling, the evidence against three brothers charged in a series of pharmacy burglaries has been thrown out. Police attached a GPS system to the suspects' car — and used the information to help make an arrest. What's more, the appeals court ruling goes beyond a Supreme Court ruling. The high court ruling left open the question of whether judges have to approve of such high-tech surveillance. The Justice Department is considering an appeal.