AOL

Tim Armstrong, chief executive of AOL, has apologized to employees of the internet company for firing an employee last week in front of more than 1,000 coworkers, writes Emily Steel

During a conference call to discuss the future of AOL’s struggling network of local Patch sites, Mr Armstrong told the group’s creative director to immediately put down a camera then declared that he was fired. A recording of the call has been making rounds on the internet and been listened to more than 1,000 times. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Webmail services have seen little innovation since Google’s Gmail arrived in 2004, but Microsoft took a fresh look with Outlook.com, launched in the summer, and now AOL has unveiled Altomail.com.

Note that Microsoft and AOL are wisely choosing not to force Hotmail and AOL Mail users to switch to the new services – email users tend to be very set in their ways and Altomail looks a radically different interface in some of its views. Read more

Richard Waters

Microsoft just wrote the final chapter in a historic rivalry that defined the early years of the Web – and which became Exhibit A in its anti-trust showdown with the US government.

We hear that the legal remains of Netscape – along with its patents – have just been traded to Microsoft by AOL as part of a landmark $1.1bn deal. More than a decade after it was vanquished in the browser wars, Netscape really does seem to be worth more dead than alive. Read more

Chris Nuttall

RSS readers used to be the standard way for web users to collect and consume news from different sources, but the advent of tablets has brought personalised photo-rich magazine-style experiences rather than long RSS lists of headlines.

With traditional journalism in decline, the seven news aggregators reviewed here make a case that bots and social networks may be able to take the place of good editors by automatically providing a rich and more personalised news experience. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Facebook is pursuing legal action after it claimed it had identified the perpetrator of a virus which saw the site flooded with pornographic and violent images, TNW reports. The social network said in a statement:

In addition to the engineering teams that build tools to block spam we also have a dedicated enforcement team that has already identified those responsible and is working with our legal team to ensure appropriate consequences follow.

 Read more

Joseph Menn

Yahoo which is expected to lose its US display-advertising leadership this year to fast-growing Facebook, is trying to shore up its position by striking a mutual selling agreement with rivals Microsoft and AOL. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

AOL has announced that Michael Arrington, founder and editor of the influential technology blog TechCrunch, has “decided to move on from TechCrunch and AOL to his newly formed venture fund”, Business Insider reports. Erick Schonfeld will take over as editor. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Android  is expected to surpass Apple in application downloads for the first time, according to research seen by CNET. A study by Ovum has found that Google’s mobile system is set to notch up 8.1bn app downloads this year, compared with 6bn for Apple’s iOS devices. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Technology industry analyst Gartner has slashed its sales growth projection for PCs for 2011 from 9.3% to 3.8%, PC Pro reports. Gartner attributes the slowdown to pressure from other gadgets such as smartphones and tablets and people holding on to their PCs for longer. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Facebook has acquired e-book publisher Push Pop Press for an undisclosed price, ReadWriteWeb reports. The technology will “become part of how millions of people connect and share with each other on Facebook,” Push Pop Press said on its site. Read more