#thecircuit

Amazon may release smartphone: Bloomberg is revisiting speculation that Amazon may be planning to build its own smartphone.

Citing “people familiar with knowledge of the matter,” the report says that Amazon is developing an Android device and that it is being made by Foxconn.

The retail giant has, of course, already had some success with building its own hardware with the Kindle and the Kindle Fire, and has had some experience working with cellular partners for the Kindle. The question is whether Amazon could effectly compete in the smartphone market.

Apple fixes App Store bug: Apple told The Loop and other outlets Thursday that it has eliminated a bug that affected the users of at least 120 apps. “We had a temporary issue that began yesterday with a server that generated DRM code for some apps being downloaded,” the company told the publication. “The issue has been rectified and we don’t expect it to occur again.”

Instapaper developer Marco Arment was the first to publicize the bug, posting Wednesday that the glitch caused a new update of his popular app to shut down as soon as it was opened. Arment said in a later blog post Thursday that over 20,000 of his customers were affected, though the problem was resolved for his app within a couple of hours.

British Airways faces privacy backlash: British Airways is in hot water from customers who feel their privacy was violated by a new program the airline introduced called “Know Me.” The London Evening Standard reported Thursday that the airline will conduct a Google image search on passengers so that the plane’s staff can initiate contact with them — particularly if they are regular passengers and the airline can combine the image data with other information it already has. The airline views the feature as a next step in customer service, but not all passengers are as convinced.

“If British Airways want more information about us they can ask us for it, rather than ignoring people’s privacy and storing data without us having any idea what data they are storing,” Nick Pickles, director of privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch, told the Evening Standard.

Yahoo, Facebook reportedly near settlement: Yahoo and Facebook are reportedly near a settlement of their patent suit, All Things Digital reported, citing sources “close to the situation.”

The companies will cross-license some patents, the report said, and will also expand their partnership to include some collaboration on advertising sales. The tech giants have been involved in a dispute for months, since Yahoo sued the social network for allegedly infringing on a variety of social networking and online advertising patents in March.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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