Good morning! Here is everything you need to know before your first meeting of the day:
1. Apple has acquired the radio app Swell for $US30 million. The app will be shut down. Swell created personalised listening streams. Swell’s team could be used to augment iTunes Radio and Beats’ streaming audio options. iTunes downloads and iTunes Radio in particular are in sore need of help — their business is being eaten by Pandora.
2. Apple will not be able to start production of a big-screen 5.5-inch iPhone 6 until September, according to AppleInsider. The report dovetails with previous stories we have seen saying the phablet iPhone will not launch at the same time as the new 4.7-inch iPhone 6.
3. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has talked to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick about integrating Uber into Messenger. Recode reports: “It’s very conceptual, and nowhere near execution,” said one person with knowledge of the situation. “But it’s a direction that Messenger has to go in.” Zuckerberg previously said payments would be part of Messenger’s future but that would be a long way off.
4. Uber has suspended a driver who was accused of sexual assault in the Washington, D.C., area. “Rider safety is Uber’s #1 priority. We take reports like this seriously and are treating the matter with the utmost urgency and care,” an Uber spokesperson told NBC. “It is also our policy to immediately suspend a driver’s account following any serious allegations, which we have done. We stand ready to assist authorities in any investigation.”
5. Samsung plans to open a new $US300 million R&D center in Silicon Valley by summer 2015 and hire like crazy to do it. Bob Brennan, senior vice president of Samsung’s Memory System Application Lab, told Business Insider, “I know that in the memory business, I’m hiring like crazy — top PhDs and top talent in the industry as fast as I possibly can,” he said.
7. Amazon might launch a credit-card reading device to kill Square. According to internal Staples documents obtained by 9to5Mac, Staples will stock the “Amazon Card Reader” for $US9.99. It will compete with devices from Square, PayPal, and Staples’ own brand.
8. More details on Reddit’s attempts to turn into a grown-up business. It is proceeding slowly with its plans to introduce advertising. The New York Times says, “For Reddit, a large campaign from an advertiser runs in the $US100,000 range, according to this person, while a good-size single ad sale is around $US20,000.”
9. Respected security blogger Brian Krebs has a nice in-depth story about “GoodGoogle.” It’s a Russian service you can use to activate a botnet that will click on your competitors’ ads to drain their AdWords budgets.
10. Here is an angry email about poor-quality computer code allegedly sent by Linus Torvalds, designer of Linux. “For chrissake, that compiler shouldn’t have been allowed to graduate from kindergarten. We’re talking ‘sloth that was dropped on the head as a baby’ level retardation levels here,” is just one priceless line.