Here are the top tech news and stories of the day.
- 13 energy data startups to watch in 2013 - GigaOM has a great list of Big Data startups to worry about in the near future. These big data startups focus on helping energy firms get better at saving money, and saving energy. Via GigaOM, more here.
- Pinterest Acquires And Will Shut Down Recipe Discovery Site Punchfork - The Punchfork site was founded in 2010, and added Pinterest to their site, which shared cooking recipes with anyone. The entire site is soon closing, with APIs and mobile apps shut down as well. Pinterest is purchasing it for $138M, their first purchase, so what’s next for the both of them? Via TechCrunch, more here.
- Will 2013 be another year of Apple iteration masquerading as innovation? BetaNews asks the question of Apple, if they will continue to iterate instead of innovate. It is a fair question, and well-couched, so be sure to check it out. Via BetaNews, more here.
- City of Chicago signs deal with Microsoft for city-wide cloud services - Chicago has agreed to move 30k employees to Office 365. It will consolidate three different email systems to one, which will improve collaboration, enhance security, and provide both mobile and desktop access. This new strategy will save the city more than $1.3 million in costs over the next four years. Via Slashgear, more here.
- Microsoft acquires home automation startup R2 Studios to bolster Xbox division - R2 Studios offers home entertainment and automation capabilities. The firm was desired by both Apple and Google (who are making big pushes into the living room). Obviously Microsoft is getting even more serious about Xbox (and rightly so). Via Engadget, more here.
- The US Government Slaps Google Again But Spares it Microsoft’s Fate - The US Government has now officially told Google that they can no longer use their patents to attack competitors. They will have to license their patents instead of looking for civil cases. Google is also not allowed to use search scraping to fill up their internal data (such as taking reviews from Yelp and put it in there maps section). Via Gizmodo, more here.
- Pebble promises ‘big news’ at CES on January 9th - Pebble, the Kickstarter smartwatch of lore, is claiming that they have a big announcement at CES. Any sort of news about their launch is eagerly awaited by their Kickstarter supporters. They intially stated that they’d be rolling out only 1,000 units, and now have to deliver 55,000 units. Via The Verge, more here.