Eric Johnson

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ATD Week in Review: Microsoft Partner Woes and Samsung’s Steroid Specs

samsung-s4-musclesIn case you missed anything, here’s a quick roundup of some of the news that powered AllThingsD this week:

  1. Starbucks said it would bring wireless cellphone charging to 10 of its coffee shops in Silicon Valley. The initiative could translate into a big win for Starbucks’ charging partner, the Power Matters Alliance.
  2. On Sunday, Apple’s senior vice president of technologies Bob Mansfield disappeared from the company’s website. Why? Because he’s no longer a member of Apple’s executive team, and the reasons for the move are murky, at best.
  3. In other Apple news, The Wall Street Journal reported this week that Apple’s next iPad mini will likely feature a high-resolution “Retina” display made by Samsung. Meanwhile, a low-cost plastic iPhone appears to have been outed by a human-rights group alleging labor abuses at Pegatron, one of Apple’s Chinese suppliers.
  4. Some of Microsoft’s larger partners were grumbling this week about the company’s latest operating systems: First, Nokia VP Bryan Biniak said Windows Phone needs to nimble up; the next day, Asus chairman Jonney Shih said Windows RT was “not very promising” — a claim perhaps supported by these underwhelming Surface sales numbers.
  5. Fab laid off more than 100 of its European employees, about 15 percent of its total workforce.
  6. An investigation by AnandTech revealed that the impressive specs for its Galaxy S4 were only reachable while using popular processor-benchmarking software. In response, Samsung confusingly both denied and confirmed the investigation’s findings.
  7. Walt Mossberg reviewed the Chromecast, Google’s newest TV-streaming device: “I’ve been testing Chromecast for about a week, and I like it and can recommend it, despite some drawbacks,” he wrote.
  8. Also announced this week was the Moto X, the first hardware produced by a Google-owned Motorola. As expected, the phone may not be a total game-changer, but it’s an important first step for the hardware unit. If you’re in the market for a new phone, here’s how the Moto X stacks up against the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4.
  9. U.S. senators and industry groups urged the White House to think carefully about a looming ITC ban on imported older iPhones and iPads. After days of uncertainty, the Obama administration vetoed the product ban Saturday morning.
  10. And lastly, Netflix rolled out to most of its big platforms the ability to tell the video-streaming service who’s watching, so that it can make better recommendations targeted for that person.

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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle