Technology News Headlines for July 17 2012 ( Tuesday )

Nook Web Reader Brings B&N Books To Macs And PCs
Starting today, you can read Barnes & Noble's Nook ebooks on the web, and B&N is throwing in six free titles to kick things off. The company released a web version of their reader for Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer. B&N already has a Nook app out for iOS, Android and even the Kindle Fire. Amazon, Barnes & Noble's big competitor in this game, already has a web version of its e-reader, called the Kindle Cloud Reader, for Macs and PCs running Chrome and Firefox.

Autodesk Buys Socialcam For $60 Million
Video sharing app maker Socialcam is being bought by Autodesk, best known for its professional design software made for engineers, architects and designers. Autodesk is buying the four-member company for $60 million, the two announced today. Socialcam was started in March 2011, completed a stint in the Y Combinator program, and has been recently been growing legs thanks to YouTube and Facebook.

In a young but competitive market, with peers like Viddy and Burst, Socialcam scored a recent success, being chosen by the Washington Post as its social video partner for the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in London. 

Samsung Buys CSR's Mobile Chip Business For $310 Million

Samsung has bought U.K. chip maker CSR’s mobile business for a little over $310 million. As Bloomberg and others have pointed out, what makes this deal more interesting is the extra $35 million Samsung is paying to gain a 5 percent stake in the company and access to CSR’s patent stash. Samsung, which has seen some recent loses against Apple on patent lawsuits, is likely adding to its IP stock in preparation for further battle. CSR, formerly known as Cambridge Silicon Radio, builds chips that power bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS technology on mobile devices, some of which appear in Samsung’s line of Galaxy phones and tablets.

Return Of The (Larry) King, Now On Hulu
Former CNN talk show host Larry King is settling back into interviewers seat--this time with a show on Hulu and Hulu Plus. Hulu Associate Editor Ben Collins announced in a blog post today that King’s show, Larry King Now, will post 4 episodes a week. In fact, the inaugural episode featuring a chat with Seth MacFarlane (of Family Guy and new release Ted) is already up. As we'd heard earlier this year, Hulu is distributing the show in partnership with Ora.TV, funded by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu. Larry King Now is the digital network's first venture, which it plans to follow with "a full slate of comedy, entertainment and other unscripted shows over the course of next year."

In an interview posted on the Hulu blog, King admitted that Hulu “... was a whole new world to me. I don’t think there’s anybody here over 30 years old. Maybe one guy is 32.”

King’s debut on Hulu, after his decades of radio and television talk shows on CNN, comes at an interesting time as online video streamers--Hulu, Netflix, LoveFilm and the like--battle established cable networks for turf and viewership. Increasingly though, they seem to be meeting in the middle: take for example the U.K. cable network BSkyB’s movie and sports streaming service, Now TV, launching this week.

As King describes it, his new Web-only show is just an extension of what he’s been doing for decades: Back in 1980, he says in the Hulu interview, “I started the first cable international talk show, taking phone calls from around the world, on CNN. And now I bring that concept to Hulu.”

LG, Samsung Already Embroiled In OLED Espionage
Although OLED technology hasn't yet really moved beyond smartphone screens in real-life consumer applications, and OLED TVs remain a pipe dream, LG and Samsung--two of the primary movers in the OLED TV game--are deeply embroiled in a corporate espionage scandal about the tech. On the weekend several LG executives are said to be among 11 people charged with leaking OLED technology from Samsung. Samsung has now demanded LG apologize because it may lose "trillions" of won (billions of dollars) due to the leak. But LG has said it absolutely was not involved and has threatened to sue Samsung over the statement.

Recently LG had said that while it had been behind Samsung in previous-generation display tech, in OLED "we can run far faster than the rival," and it has separately just been picked by the government to develop OLED screens on flexible, transparent backing in sizes up to 60 inches--for public signage and display advertising purposes. Sony and Panasonic, traditional rivals to both LG and Samsung, recently announced they were forming an OLED TV production partnership.
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