Disney to buy Fox as Hollywood girds for digital showdown

From CNET: If "Avengers vs. X-Men: The Synergy Wars" ends up at a theater near you, here's why the movie was made.

The Walt Disney Co. signed a deal on Thursday to buy major parts of 21st Century Fox in a $52.4 billion all-stock deal. It's a dramatic example of Hollywood companies joining forces amid growing competition from digital powerhouses like Netflix and Amazon.

Apple Awards $390 Million to Optical Components Supplier Finisar

From EETimes: Optical communications components provider Finisar will get $390 million from customer Apple to open a manufacturing facility for vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), a technology used in key features of Apple products, including iPhone X.

Snapchat wants you to build its next dancing hotdog

From Recode: Snap is opening up its augmented reality platform to everyone on Thursday. That means anyone with some graphic design and Photoshop skills can now create AR features for Snapchat’s camera.

It could be something as basic as a photo frame that users can add around their photos, or something as complicated as a hotdog that’s break dancing on your kitchen table. (Remember the dancing hotdog?)

Apple May Reduce iPhone SoC Performance as Battery Degrades

From ExtremeTech: Over on Reddit, user Tekfire describes a dramatically different before-and-after scenario on his iPhone 6s. With his original battery, which apparently was at ~80 percent health, his iPhone 6s scored a 1456 in Geekbench 4.2 single-core, and a 2512 multi-core. After he replaced his battery, his score jumped to 2526 single-core and 4456 multi-core. The second set of results appear to be in-line with what the phone should be delivering.

Target is acquiring Instacart competitor Shipt for $550 million to fight back against Amazon

From Recode: Another domino just fell in the wake of the Amazon-Whole Foods acquisition.

Target announced on Wednesday morning that it plans to make one of its biggest acquisitions in recent history by purchasing Shipt, a startup that delivers groceries on the same day customers place an order, for $550 million in cash.

Like its chief rival, Instacart, Shipt partners with a network of brick-and-mortar grocery chains to pick orders off of their shelves and deliver them to customer’s doors on the same day they are ordered.

Researcher Claims New Battery Design Could Double Range, Battery Life

From ExtremeTech: PR blasts about supposed innovation in battery design pour into ET’s mailbox like water into the Titanic, but a recent story about an MIT grad who founded a battery company is worth paying attention to. Qichao Hu is the CEO of SolidEnergy, a company that’s been working to improve lithium-ion energy density for the past five years.

Samsung Patent Tips Phone With Wraparound Display

From PC Mag: It used to be the case that is was quite hard to differentiate Samsung and Apple smartphones, but Samsung made things a lot clearer when it incorporated a curved edge display into the Galaxy range. However, future Galaxy-branded handsets could become even more visually distinct if a new Samsung Display patent turns into a real product.

As The Verge reports, the patent is for a "display device" and there is little detail beyond that, but the diagrams reveal all we need to know.

Trump signs bill barring US government use of Kaspersky

From CNET: It's now against the law for the US government to use Kaspersky Lab software.

A ban on the antivirus firm's products was included in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, a sweeping defense policy bill signed into law by President Donald Trump on Tuesday. The prohibition, reinforcing a directive issued by the Trump Administration in September, comes amid concern the Moscow-based company might be vulnerable to Russian government influence.

Intel Launches New Pentium Silver and Celeron Atom Processors: Gemini Lake is Here

From AnandTech: Intel on Monday introduced its next-generation Pentium Silver and Celeron platform and processors. These processors are under the codename 'Gemini Lake' and are focused on low-power platforms for inexpensive desktops and mobile computers.

iMac Pro will be available Dec. 14

From CNET: First announced in June, the new iMac Pro will drop later this week.

An update to Apple's website on Tuesday delivered the release date: Dec. 14.

With the iMac Pro, Apple is targeting professionals who need really fast processing and lots of computing horsepower.

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