Technology News Headlines for July 18 2012 ( Wednesday )

Yahoo Names Two News Editors In Chief
Yahoo has promoted two in-house journalists, Hillary Frey and Aaron Task, to newly created editor-in-chief roles. Frey, new editor in chief of Yahoo News, has held the post of managing editor since last year, following her job as Adweek’s managing editor. Task, newly appointed editor in chief of Yahoo Finance, has been with Yahoo since 2008 as a correspondent for the Yahoo Tech Ticker, switching over after a nine-year stint (per his LinkedIn profile) at While not quite as high profile as Yahoo's hire of Google’s Marissa Mayer, the two job changes are consistent with Yahoo's intention to make changes within the organization. ComScore’s review of general news sites in April 2012 had the Yahoo-ABC News Network partnership leading the U.S. general news category with 89.1 million visitors. Yahoo held a conference call to discuss Q2 results yesterday.

Google Slips Email Onto Cellphones In Africa With "Gmail SMS"
Gmail is bringing out a free service in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya that’ll funnel email via SMS to feature phones without 3G or Wi-Fi connections. Once you toggle the feature and enter in your phone number, the service automatically forwards on emails to your cell phone, even letting you compose a reply and send it via text, that your recipient will receive in their inbox. While a shift to cheap smartphones is beginning in areas in Africa, basic cell phones are still hugely popular. Keeping that in mind, in a similar move, Facebook partnered up with Orange to allow feature phones on the cellular network to plug into Facebook.

PayPal Buys To Drive Mobile Payments
PayPal has announced that it's buying in what seems to be a talent and technology grab to help the company challenge the threat of Google's Wallet, devices like Square, iZettle, and a purported iWallet from Apple.'s technology uses the camera on smartphones to capture credit card data from traditional plastic cards, a system that PayPal could easily incorporate into its existing payments systems to enable mobile transactions. According to PayPal the team will be joining its global product team in San Jose, but's existing partners should be okay because the tech will remain accessible for them to build into their applications.

EPEAT To Review (Apple's) Gold Certified Laptops, Results In Four Weeks
EPEAT’s CEO Robert Frisbee has posted a written update saying that the organization would carry out “surveillance testing” of certain ultrathin laptops listed on its registry post haste. The investigation will take about four weeks he wrote, provided that unexpected delays did not crop up. The laptop line in question, though he doesn't mention it, is Apple's MacBook Pro Retina display line, which landed on the registry soon after Apple rejoined EPEAT last week after dropping out a few days earlier.

Just before the Apple product line went back up at the registry, tear downs site iFixIt had pointed out that there were design issues in the Apple laptop that were in conflict with the EPEAT standards. In particular, iFixIt head Kyle Weins wrote, the glue holding in the battery was unusually strong, likely making it difficult for anyone other than Apple to likely be able to replace a burnt out battery. It would also make recycling the device difficult. This raised the question of how Apple product line, including its newest members, had made it into the EPEAT Gold certified lists..

It seems EPEAT is addressing those ambiguities directly, with Frisbee writing that EPEAT's public report will disclose "the general compatibility of adhesive use with the and criteria," those last two criteria being: "Easy disassembly of external enclosure" and "Identification and removal of components containing hazardous materials," respectively, and the very thing iFixIt was concerned about.

AT&T To Introduce Shared Data Plans In August
AT&T is changing the structure of its shared plans. With the new Mobile Share plans, members can share the data they buy across multiple devices, with unlimited calling and texting thrown. This follows Verizon’s June announcement of a similarly structured, data-based, Share Everything plan scheme. Plan rates are based on the size of the data pool, and each device added on--this could include smartphones, laptops and tablets--comes with an extra charge. Mobile Share will be available in late August.
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