RSS
Today in business: 5 things you need to know
Google joins the smartwatch war, BlackBerry launches a comeback bid, and more in our roundup of the business stories that are making news and driving opinion
When it comes to smartwatches, Google seems ready to rumble.
When it comes to smartwatches, Google seems ready to rumble. Robert Galbraith-Pool/Getty Images

1. CYPRUS PUSHES NEW BAILOUT OPTIONS
U.S. stocks made gains early Friday as leaders in Cyprus rushed to approve a new formula for a European bailout. After Russia rejected the eastern Mediterranean island nation's plea for aid, Greece agreed on a takeover of Greek units of Cypriot banks, sparing at least part of the country's banking industry from possible collapse. Europe's central bank has threatened to pull the plug on Cypriot banks on Monday if the country doesn't come up with a new rescue plan, after lawmakers rejected a proposal to pay for part of the $13 billion bailout with a tax on bank accounts. European Union officials are negotiating with Cyprus' leaders on alternative terms, with a possible vote on Friday. "The coming hours will seal our fate," a government spokesman said. "The country must be saved." [Reuters, New York Times]
………………………………………………………………………………

2. GOOGLE JOINS SMARTWATCH WAR
Google is charging into what appears to be a budding smartwatch war, according to the Financial Times. The company isn't confirming anything, but the company was awarded a patent last year on a "smart watch" with a "flip-up display," touchscreen, and camera. The report came just days after a Samsung executive said his company is working on its own smartwatch, which could rival a rumored Apple "iWatch." [Financial Times, PC Magazine]
………………………………………………………………………………

3. RAJARATNAM'S BROTHER INDICTED
Rengan Rajaratnam, a younger brother of jailed hedge fund tycoon Raj Rajaratnam, was indicted Thursday on insider trading charges. Prosecutors say the younger Rajaratnam was a pawn in the vast insider-trading conspiracy for which his brother was convicted two years ago. "As alleged, Rengan Rajaratnam and his brother shared more than DNA; they also shared a penchant for insider trading," said Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan. Rengan Rajaratnam, 42, has not been arrested yet. He's reportedly living in Brazil, and U.S. authorities are working on using extradition laws to return him to the United States. [New York Times]
………………………………………………………………………………

4. BLACKBERRY AIMS FOR COMEBACK WITH NEW SMARTPHONE
BlackBerry is launching its latest smartphone — the Z10 — on Friday in a make-or-break effort to regain some of the ground it has lost to Apple's iPhone and an army of Android devices. "We will fight for each and every individual," Thorsten Heins, the company's chief executive, said. Blackberry once dominated the global smartphone market, but it held just 10.3 percent of the market in 2011, and fell to a measly 4.6 percent in 2012. Heins says his company isn't looking to surge past Apple and Samsung — it just wants the Z10 to keep current customers happy and lure back some former fans. [Washington Post]
………………………………………………………………………………

5. FCC CHAIRMAN STEPS DOWN
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski announced Friday that he is resigning "in the coming weeks." Genachowski has headed the FCC since June 2009. He tried to strike a centrist balance in setting the nation's broadband policy, but managed to upset both activists demanding more internet openness and industry giants — Verizon Wireless, for instance, is suing the FCC over its "network neutrality" rules. Genachowski's departure was expected, as was that of Republican commissioner Robert McDowell, who stepped down earlier in the week. [TIME, New York Times]

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami HeraldFox News, and ABC News.

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week