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March 26, 2013

Technology News Briefs — March 26, 2013

U.K. Teen Makes Killing Off Start-Up Sale

Seventeen-year-old Nick D’Aloisio will never have to ask his parents if he can borrow $20 ever again.

The London high school student and entrepreneur has sold his brainchild Summly, a popular news-reading app, to Yahoo for nearly $30 million making him one of the youngest self-made millionaires in the world.

In a brief post on the Summly website the teen expressed his “delight” at being acquired by Yahoo.

“Our vision is to simplify how we get information and we are thrilled to continue this mission with Yahoo’s global scale and expertise. After spending some time on campus, I discovered that Yahoo has an inspirational goal to make people’s daily routines entertaining and meaningful, and mobile will be a central part of that vision. For us, it’s the perfect fit,” he said. “When I founded Summly at 15, I would have never imagined being in this position so suddenly.”

Senior vice-president of Yahoo’s mobile and emerging products division Adam Cahan said although the Summly app will close, the technology will “come to life throughout Yahoo’s mobile experiences soon.”

Law Maker Wants to Ban Drivers From wearing Google Glass

A West Virginia state legislator has introduced a bill proposing a ban on the use of computerized head-gear while driving.

West Virginia state Rep. Gary G. Howell wants to expand the state’s texting-while-driving laws to include gadgets such as Google Glass — the upcoming computerized spectacles that will be controlled by the wearer’s voice.

The ban, according to the bill, will include any “computing device which is worn on the head and projects visual information into the field of vision of the wearer.”

If the bill passes, the ban would take effect July 1.

Violation of the law would result in a $100 fine for a first offense. A second offense would force the driver to cough up $200, while a third offense would result in a $300 fine. Police officers would not be permitted, however, to confiscate wearable computerized devices such as Google Glass.

Slow U.S. Z10 Sales Hurting BlackBerry Stock

Analysts are calling BlackBerry’s U.S. launch of its Z10 touchscreen Smartphone a “disappointment.”

Although the Canadian firm is not expected to release any numbers until March 28, when it reports its first quarter earnings, news reports of slow sales have gone hand-in-hand with dropping share prices. BlackBerry stock slipped 68 cents March 25 to $14.51.

According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), unlike the Z10’s successful launch in Canada and the U.K. early last month, there appeared to be little interest in the device powered by the new BlackBerry 10 platform as it went on sale March 22 in AT&T retail outlets.

The WSJ indicated, however, that AT&T did not appear to be highlighting the Z10 or giving it prominent shelf space at any of its stores.