Tech wrap: Wozniak open to active role at Apple
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak told Reuters he would consider returning to take an active role at the consumer electronics giant. Wozniak, a lifelong hands-on engineer, said he liked technology to be relatively open so that he could add his own touches. “My thinking is that Apple could be more open and not lose sales,” said Wozniak, but added: “I’m sure they’re making the right decisions for the right reasons for Apple.”
The Justice Department approved Google’s purchase of ticketing software company ITA Software as long as Google licensed the software to rivals, continued to upgrade it and created firewalls to hide ITA clients’ proprietary information. Google said it would soon bring out a new travel search tool.
Google CEO Larry Page moved to streamline decision-making at the company’s key social network, mobile, Internet software and YouTube product groups. Social networking chief Vic Gundotra, Android head Andy Rubin, Chrome senior vice president Sundar Pichai and YouTube head honcho Salar Kamangar were given a direct reporting line to Page and greater autonomy, according to a source familiar with the matter.
The Federal Security Service, Russia’s domestic spy agency, called for access to encrypted communication providers like Gmail, Hotmail and Skype, saying the uncontrolled use of such services could threaten national security. The proposal provoked a wave of negative comments in the Russian language online, with many saying the country could follow China’s attempts to limit the Internet.
Startup Fusion-io, backed by Steve Wozniak and Michael Dell, said it can outwit computer-storage incumbents like EMC by putting a solid-state flash memory drive directly into the computer server rather than in the traditional storage area, which is further away and takes longer to reach, effectively speeding up data processing by a factor of 10.
There’s an app for:
- Wealth management on tablets: Orion Advisor Services’ MobileAdvisor app displays portfolios, performance information and contact information and allows advisers using Orion’s platform to rebrand the app, so clients download it, log in, track their portfolios, and view videos that the adviser provides. LogMeIn connects Apple iPad users to their office desktop computers, giving wealth managers information wherever their clients need it.
- Students seeking financial aid: Student Devin Valencia’s application uses demographic and personal data on Facebook to direct users to scholarships and aid that match their background and interests. Her app could be launched by the end of the year.
- Fighting malaria: A team of graduate students says its smartphone application will allow healthcare workers in remote locations to diagnose malaria cases on the spot. The app works by taking a picture of a blood sample, processing the data to detect malaria parasites, quantifying how much malaria is in the sample and pointing the parasites out to the phone user. The team is working toward patenting and marketing the new application.