Monthly Archives: February 2009

  • After yet another privacy row, Facebook rebuffed the critics by essentially opening up its terms of service to user input. Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg reiterated that “Facebook does not own users’ content.”

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Richard Waters

At last, a use for all that EU bureaucracy. With 23 official languages, the European Union employs an army of translators to produce massive multi-lingual stacks of laws, regulations and other documents each year.

Those heaps of offial translations have been a boon for Google, providing fodder for its own automated translation service to “learn” from, and they explain why Maltese speakers can now use the Google Translate service when they surf the Web while the many more numerous speakers of, say, Farsi can’t. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Carol Bartz’s first blog post announcing a new management structure for Yahoo was missing any actual details of the changes, but the company has now been briefing on what the new CEO has in mind.

Yahoo is combining its Tech and Product groups into a single organisation called, rather unimaginatively, Products. Ari Balogh, the chief technology officer who joined from Verisign only a year ago, is the coming man who has been put in charge. Read more

  • Microsoft filed a suit of its own, alleging that in-car navigation system maker Tom Tom is violating eight of its patents, including three relating to Tom Tom’s use of open-source operating system Linux. This is believed to be the first time Microsoft has filed suit over Linux, which it has repeatedly said violates its patents.

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Chris Nuttall

Intel, the world’s biggest chip maker, is warning that companies taking advantage of government stimulus packages to build future infrastructure and transportation projects are relying on tools of the past that waste energy and cost more.

Speaking at the Cleantech Forum in San Francisco, Sean Maloney, Intel executive vice president, urged the adoption of 3D simulation software to improve design and implementation. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Browser-based gaming has been confined largely to simple casual games to date, but a new service launching today promises to bring next-generation console quality to the experience.

InstantAction says it has developed technology that can convert any console game to play inside a web browser without any noticeable reduction in performance or quality. Read more

Richard Waters

The venture capital business needs Washington’s money like it needs a hole in the head (with apologies to Thomas Friedman).

Silicon Valley is just getting to the long-overdue end of one bubble. It really doesn’t need another one, courtesy of government bureaucrats. The contraction that is coming will be painful, but that’s no reason to put it off in the misguided name of stimulus (or the equally woolly “innovation”). Read more