Technology News Headlines for July 16 2012 ( Monday )

Google's Marissa Mayer Is Named CEO Of Yahoo
Via NYT: Marissa Mayer, a top executive at Google and one of the public faces of the company, has been named the new CEO of Yahoo. Mayer, who is one of the most powerful women in Silicon Valley, has spent the past 13 years at Google and is responsible for some of the company's most recognizable hallmarks, from the stark white background of Google's search page to the look and feel of popular products such as Gmail, Google News, and Google Maps. Mayer's appointment at Yahoo comes as a surprise not only because it upsets heavily circulated rumors that the final draw was between the company's interim CEO Ross Levinsohn and Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, but also because of Yahoo's overall struggle to attract and keep top talent in a landscape dominated by Facebook, Amazon, and Google itself. Mayer, who resigned from Google today, starts at Yahoo tomorrow, the day the company also announces its quarterly earnings.

RIM Faces $147 Million Fine In Lost Patent Suit
According to a ruling that came late Friday evening, RIM will pay $147 million in royalties to a company called Mformation for patent infringements via its BlackBerry Enterprise Server,Bloomberg reports. The royalties--charged at $8 for 18.4 million units--are levied on past sales RIM made to U.S. customers, the California court ruled. That's further bad news coming at a rough time for the company, which has Nokia gunning for it in court, an angsty board of directors, and a shrinking market share.

Sky's Now TV Launching In the U.K. Tomorrow
Starting tomorrow, Britons will have a third movie streaming service to choose from. BSkyB has just announced the launch date for its a la carte online movie service, Now TV, which will elbow itself in between steadily growing LoveFilm and competitor Netflix. The service will go live for Macs, PCs and Android mobile devices tomorrow, with an iOS service to follow shortly after. Also planned are versions for the Xbox, PlayStation 2 and Roku streamer. Movies can be bought individually (priced between 99p and £3.49) or accessed through a monthly pass. Later this year, Sky will also add on selections from its sports TV coverage.

Nokia Cuts Lumia 900 Price To $49.99
Nokia has cut the price of its Lumia 900 from $99 to $49.99 in the U.S.--the price for buyers who sign up with a 2-year contract with AT&T. While the price cut counts as brave strategy on Nokia's part, this bravado may hide flagging sales in the U.S. where Nokia was hoping sales would soar to propel Nokia's fortunes. Also, as various reports including this one from AllThingsD point out, the Lumia is incompatible with the Windows 8 operating system, next up from Microsoft. The Lumia 900 hasn't had the easiest of runs: It first went on sale in April with AT&T and Nokia's hopes pinned on it, but about 15 days later, a software glitch surfaced, leading Nokia to offer all customers who'd bought the device $100--the cost of the phone--as credit.

Raspberry Pi Bulk Sales Begin
Raspberry season has officially begun. Makers of the cheap, customizable Raspberry Pi computing device announced on their blog that they're ready to take bulk orders of the new device--so schools, universities and businesses can order them if they wanted to. A first crop of Raspberry Pis, a limited batch, went on sale online in February, and the demand crashed the makers' websites. Though demand for the device was strong, both manufacturers of the device--RS Componenets and Premier Farnell-- were delayed because of an accidental hardware swap, and delays in acquiring "CE" certification for the devices. Renamed As Microsoft Departs
MSNBC has rebranded itself as simply, reflecting the fact that Comcast, NBC's owner, is buying out Microsoft's 50% stake in the online news site for what the New York Times says is around $300 million. NBC is said to be investing in the site as part of its branding future, and will also bring its TV and digital staff closer together to better exploit web distribution of programs and mobile content. Microsoft and NBC formed a partnership early in the explosion of web technology, a move which also saw MS take a stake in NBC's cable operation. But the two have been struggling to part for years as NBC itself evolved.
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