Twitter plans to make life difficult for developers

Twitter is introducing stricter guidelines for its application programming interface, or API, the company announced on its blog Thursday.

Here’s a breakdown of the none-too-popular changes, courtesy of The New York Times’s Nick Bilton:

To start, Twitter will require that any developer using the A.P.I. to be authenticated on the platform. This will be done to “prevent malicious use of the Twitter API and gain an understanding of what types of applications” using the service, [Twitter VP of product] Michael Sippey wrote.

Twitter will also begin limiting how often applications can access the company’s A.P.I. in third-party apps. Until now, Twitter has been offering a “one size fits all” approach to developers.

Twitter also said it was redefining its “Developer Rules of the Road,” and would start enforcing stricter guidelines for new apps that are developed on the platform.

Sippey said developers have six months to switch to the new API.

WSJ: Apple in talks with cable providers to bring live TV to set-top box

Rather than appealing directly to studios, as it’s done in the past, Apple is now trying to convince some of the biggest U.S. cable providers to deliver live TV to a branded set-top box, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Apple sells a $99 Apple TV box that lets users access some Internet video on their television sets, but not live channels supplied by cable operators. Whether the device under discussion is an iteration of that hardware or a more sophisticated box is unclear.

Two people briefed on the matter said the technology involved could ultimately be embedded in a television. Apple has worked on prototypes for televisions in the past, according to people briefed on the projects.

But despite ongoing talks with industry giants like Time Warner Cable, Apple has made little headway, the Journal said.

The two sides have danced around each other for years, say people familiar with the cable companies’ thinking. Cable operators in the past were worried that Apple could erode their relationship with their customers if Apple had a role with the box.

Cable executives have also said that historically weak sales of the Apple TV meant striking a deal to put live programming through the box hasn’t been a priority. Operators have put more emphasis on apps for the popular iPad tablet.

Apple reportedly considered partnering with cable companies two years ago but decided against it because then-CEO Steve Jobs thought it would be problematic, mostly because cable providers don’t have national reach.

Lenovo on Surface: Microsoft’s good at software, but we can build better hardware

microsoft surface stand Lenovo on Surface: Microsofts good at software, but we can build better hardware

Hewlett-Packard doesn’t mind that Microsoft’s entering the hardware space with its own tablet. In fact, the PC maker welcomes Microsoft’s leadership. Lenovo, though, isn’t thrilled. But it’s not threatened by Surface, either. The company’s CEO, Yang Yuanqing, said during an earnings call Wednesday that “although we don’t like Microsoft providing hardware, for us, it just adds one more competitor.

“[They’re] just one of our many competitors,” Yuanqing said. “We are still confident that we are providing much better hardware than our competitors including Microsoft.

“They are strong in software, but [we] don’t believe they can provide the best hardware in the world. Lenovo can.”

Facebook shares fall to all-time low as lockup period ends

Facebook shares dropped 6.3 percent to a record low of less than $20 a pop on Thursday as lockup rules that had prevented some early investors from dumping their stakes expired.

According to The Wall Street Journal, more than 141 million shares of Facebook were traded by 3:30 p.m. New York time. That’s more than three times as much activity as the stock has seen lately on a daily basis.

“It’s basically supply and demand,” said Ken Sena, and analyst with Evercore Partners. “You have a lot of supply of shares coming to market, so even to those who feel that the stock is priced attractively at these levels, there’s no reason to step in and buy.

“There’s a lot uncertainty to try and say what’s the right price to reflect the amount of supply that’s going to come to the market, because it’s something that’s going to continue to trickle out,” Sena said. “So it’s something that could create a prolonged overhang on the shares.”

Korean carriers confirm that Apple’s next-gen iPhone will support LTE

Apple’s next iPhone will almost certainly support 4G LTE, but if there was any doubt, Korea Times all but put it to rest Wednesday, reporting that Korean carriers SK Telecom and KT are negotiating with Apple to bring an LTE iPhone to their networks.

“KT is in negotiation with Apple to persuade the latter to support KT’s 1.8-gigahertz frequency in Korea for the upcoming iPhone,” a senior KT executive told Korea Times.

According to CNET, the carriers, which are already authorized to sell Apple’s devices, are trying to convince the Cupertino-based company to make its latest smartphone compatible with their unique LTE networks.

In the U.S., Verizon uses a 700-megahertz frequency, while AT&T uses both 700MHz and 2.1GHz. SK and KT both use different frequencies. So the burden rests on Apple to manufacture separate iPhones with different LTE modems to support the various frequencies. That’s why Apple doesn’t offer Korean consumers LTE as an option on its newest iPad.

Target, Walmart, 7-Eleven, and 11 other major retailers team up to form mobile-payments network

More than a dozen major retailers including Target, Walmart, and 7-Eleven have teamed up to form a mobile-payments network that will take on Google’s Wallet service as well as Isis, a carrier consortium whose members include AT&T, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless. Announced Wednesday, the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) will allow customers to pay for purchases at participating retailers using their smartphones.

It’s unclear when MCX will launch, but 14 merchants have already signed on, including Best Buy, CVS, Lowe’s, Shell, Publix Super Markets, Sears, Darden Restaurants, Sunoco, Alon Brands, Hy-Veem, and Autogrill SpA.

“We’re open to all partners,” said Walmart Corporate Vice President Mike Cook, “but it has to be beneficial to member merchants in a way that improves the system and doesn’t layer on additional costs.”

RIM will deliver beta versions of BlackBerry 10 phones to carriers next week

In a bid to win support for its next-generation devices, RIM will begin delivering beta versions of its new smartphones to carriers next week, the company’s CEO, Thorsten Heins, told The Wall Street Journal Tuesday.

According to Heins, carriers will have a chance to look over two nearly complete BlackBerry 10 handsets. One will be an all-touchscreen device in the vein of Apple’s iPhone, while the other will sport a smaller touchscreen along with a physical keyboard.

Eventually RIM will sell six BlackBerry 10 phones, three of which won’t have a physical keyboard, Heins said. To start with, though, the phone maker will sell just two devices, and carriers’ first impressions of those devices could determine the entire platform’s future. If they don’t like what they see, they won’t heavily promote the phones, and RIM could find itself even further up the creek.

Fortunately for the BlackBerry maker, not to mention the company’s stockholders, the new phones are a marked improvement over RIM’s existing lineup, according to a carrier executive who got an early look at the devices.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet will go on sale on August 16, starts at $499

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet will arrive in stores on August 16, and it’ll sell for $499 (16GB) and $549 (32GB), the company announced Wednesday. Like its (hardly) little brother, the Galaxy Note smartphone, Samsung’s 10-inch Wi-Fi-only tablet includes a pressure-sensitive stylus. The tablet also features Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, a 1.4 GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 1280×800 TFT display, a 5-megapixel rear camera, and a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera. What’s more, it supports Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0, and memory cards up to 64GB, .

Download a 90-day trial version of Windows 8, even if you’re not a developer

You don’t have to be an MSDN or TechNet subscriber to get your hands on Windows 8 ahead of its October 26 launch. Microsoft released a 90-day trial edition of its latest operating system Wednesday, and although it’s intended for developers, civilians can fire it up, too. But be forewarned: The trial edition will expire and can’t be upgraded, so you’ll eventually have to start fresh with a retail copy.