Monthly Archives: December 2008

Richard Waters

mobile-texting.jpgGiven the explosion of creativity that is underway in mobile applications, and the speed with which new mobile fads can take hold, it doesn’t make sense for legislators to regulate very specific types of behaviour. But that hasn’t stopped them trying.

Take California’s ban on texting while driving, which takes effect with the arrival of the new year. 

Tim Bradshaw

The internet community has derided proposals by Andy Burnham, the culture secretary, to introduce age ratings for websites – with one blogger “kidnapping” the MP’s online identity in protest.

Mike Butcher, who blogs about technology and start-up businesses at Techcrunch, has claimed the username “andyburnham” at Twitter, the short-form blogging service, in an attempt to educate him about some “essential truths” of the internet. 

Richard Waters

wal-mart.jpgCompetition in smartphones will be intense next year, now that the giants of the business have finally recovered from the shock of being outpaced by Apple and responded with iPhone-wannabes of their own. So how can Apple capitalise on its 18-month head-start?

Part of the answer lies in today’s confirmation that Wal-Mart will start selling the iPhone this weekend. To go mass-market with the device in 2009 Apple needs much wider distribution, and they don’t come with any wider reach than Wal-Mart. Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, an iPhone bull, is anticipating sales of 45m units next year, up from 15.7m in 2008: by winning over Wal-Mart, Apple has moved a big step closer to that number. 

Chris Nuttall

Sackboy SantaThe usual rattle of gunfire and thunder of explosions in our living room has been replaced this Christmas by the even more frightening sounds of prolonged wailing and crashing mis-plucked guitar chords.

Yes, in looking back at this season’s best video games, and playing them, music seems to have been a big winner. 

Chris Nuttall

Shetland TimesWhere’s the “link love” this Christmas? Days after the Huffington Post was accused of unfairly copying content, the New York Times has been sued by GateHouse Media for copyright infringement.

GateHouse, owner of 125 local newspapers, alleges that a web site of the NYT’s Boston Globe subsidiary has been posting headlines and news content online from Gatehouse’s local Massachusetts news. 

Chris Nuttall

Red vs. BlueRed vs. Blue, the satirical take on the Halo video game,  popularised the art of machinima as well as providing lots of laughs.

Now a collaboration between a machinima site and top Hollywood comedy writers promises a fresh injection of humour and professionalism into a medium often made monotonous by endless amateur Halo soap operas. 

David Gelles

Cash-hungry startups beware. 2009 will likely be a terrible year for raising needed capital.

A new survey by the National Venture Capital Association paints a grim picture of probable investments next year. Ninety-two per cent of respondents predict a slowdown in US investments compared to 2008, and 61 per cent say the dip will be severe. 

Chris Nuttall

GTA IVVideo game software sales are up 30 per cent this year in the US, but the rising tide is not floating all boats – most publishers appear to be holed below the waterline.

Take-Two, publisher of the Grand Theft Auto series, is the latest harbinger of bad news. For its first quarter, covering the peak sales months of November, December and January, it is forecasting a loss of 70 to 85 cents per share on revenues of $175m to $225m. 

Richard Waters

Eight days after a critical security flaw in Internet Explorer was publicised on a Chinese website, Microsoft is still working on trying to fix the world’s most widely used internet browser – and the bad guys are having a field day.

When news of the vulnerability was still only three days old, according to Microsoft’s researchers, there was already a spate of malware written to take advantage of it: 

Richard Waters

jobsmacworld.jpgApparently so. With exactly three weeks to go before the most important showcase event of the year for the world’s most important consumer technology company, Jobs has pulled out (full report here.)

Apple’s explanation is that it no longer needs tradeshows like this (Macworld has been run by IDG) and that special one-off launch events have become a better way to get attention for its new products. Certainly, analyst Michael Gartenberg agrees