TechnologyTell

Seth has been a technology journalist for the past five years, covering consumer electronics and gaming. You can find him on Twitter, @SethAFitzgerald.

Verizon agrees to $64M settlement in class-action suit

A court filing has revealed Verizon is ready to pay $64 million to end a class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit was brought against Verizon Wireless by Family SharePlan subscribers who were over-charged between May 2002 and May 2006 for things like in-network calls and calling minutes.

Instagram video ads roll out

A year after the company announced it would at some point include video ads, Instagram is now rolling them out. Instagram has begun adding video advertisements to its service, and the ads are between eight and fifteen seconds long. So far, the ads are from large companies like Disney, Activision, and CW, though we’d expect them to be more diverse in the future.

Amazon says bad pricing hurt Fire Phone sales

The Fire Phone has not been doing well, despite having some unique features. Amazon launched its first smartphone in June and made it available for $199 before switching the phone’s price tag to $99 a couple months later. The initial pricing issues with the Fire Phone are now being blamed for some of the device’s failure.

Motorola remains dedicated to “pure Android”

Google has officially passed Motorola to Lenovo in a nearly $3 billion acquisition deal. While Motorola was under the control of Google, the company’s phones received faster upgrades and were outfitted with “pure” iterations of Android. Even with the acquisition, those things will not change, according to Motorola Mobility president Rick Osterloh.

Judge rules cops can force phone fingerprint unlocks

Major smartphones like the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, and Galaxy S5 have fingerprint scanners that have all but replaced the need for regular passcodes for most people. Unfortunately, fingerprint locks are not being treated the same way as regular passcodes, and that has been seen in a court case in Virginia. Judge Steven Frucci says cops can force people to hand over their fingerprint just like a physical item such as a key, but the same is not true for passcodes.

LG unveils nearly bezel-less display

A display with almost no bezel has been unveiled by LG. The company now has a 5.3-inch panel with a bezel of just 0.7mm, and that is 0.2mm thinner than a credit card. No plastic frame is used with the panel since LG has improved Neo Edge technology. That panel technology uses adhesive, eliminating the need for other materials that would normally increase the panel’s bezel.

CurrentC may be transitioning to NFC

A competitor to Apple Pay and Google Wallet that has been backed by more established retail companies called CurrentC might transition to Bluetooth LE or NFC. The CurrentC platform is still in beta, and reports came out earlier this week stating email addresses had been taken from the service that belonged to beta testers.

Microsoft laying off another 3,000 employees

Microsoft is wrapping up its employee layoffs for 2014 with 3,000 additional cuts, according to GeekWire. The company reportedly cut thousands of workers on Wednesday, and Microsoft doesn’t have any more scheduled layoffs between now and the end of the year, so all of Microsoft’s other employees should be safe.

Lenovo 13-inch Windows tablet added to Yoga line

Lenovo is rolling out more and more Yoga devices. The company introduced five Yoga tablets in the beginning of October, and another 13-inch Windows tablet has now been launched by the company. The latest tablet is the Yoga Tablet 2 Windows, which is not to be confused with the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro, another 13-inch device that was unveiled this month.

Low phone sales bring down Samsung earnings

Samsung’s Q3 earnings report has revealed a drop in profits worldwide as a result of lower smartphone sales. International profits for the company were down by nearly 60 percent for the quarter compared to 2013, and they ended at just $3.9 billion. Though the drop is not something investors want to see, Samsung had expected a smaller quarter, at least in terms of profits.

App reveals Microsoft’s fitness band

A fitness and health application from Microsoft has hopped onto the app stores for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and OS X. The app’s page on the Google Play Store includes a screenshot of what seems to be a new Microsoft wearable called the Microsoft Band. The screenshot and the app confirm earlier rumors that Microsoft would be working on a multi-platform fitness wearable.

Verizon says its tech news site won’t censor content

Verizon has financed a new technology website, but there are claims the site won’t be covering spying and net neutrality. Both of those topics are sensitive since Verizon is one of the companies that has been accused of spying and has appeared on the wrong side of the net neutrality debate. Claims about censorship have come from Patrick Howell O’Neill, a writer who was contacted by the editor for Verizon’s site SugarString. O’Neill says an email about the site explicitly said spying and net neutrality would not be covered.