Monthly Archives: June 2009

Chris Nuttall

The FT’s Gideon Rachman writes in his column:

One of my very last tweets was: “This is possibly the most moronic form of journalism I have ever done.” Since then, I have fallen largely silent.But now I am having to rethink my disdain. Read more

Robin Harding

Nintendo’s flagship summer title, Wii Sports Resort, has got off to a strong start since its launch in Japan last Thursday June 25th.

According to figures from publisher Enterbrain in its Famitsu magazine, Wii Sports Resort sold 353,827 copies in its first four days on sale. That makes it the third most successful launch in the history of the Wii in Japan. Read more

Chris Nuttall

  • Facebook appeared to move a step closer to an IPO with its appointment of David Ebersman as chief financial officer. He joins from biotech company Genentech and is the “someone with public company experience” that Facebook said it had been seeking.
  • The European Union has endorsed a decision by 17 mobile phone companies to agree on standard chargers for mobile phones. The move to the mini-USB standard should mean “interchargeable” phones will be in stores in 2010.

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David Gelles

We  wrote about the boom in social gaming applications on Facebook back in April. Then in May, as the two-year anniversary of Facebook’s platform rolled around,  we looked at how social games were by far its most popular category of applications. Now, there are signs that social games are growing up:

Social gaming, where social networks become venues for virtual pets and fantasy mob wars, is becoming a real world battleground for industry players trying to cash in on the phenomenon. The console industry is exploring social gaming, traditional video game companies are losing top executives to the sector and there is infighting among the new wave of developers as they seek to copy each other’s successes. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Pixar, Dreamworks and LucasArts are major data crunchers in the Bay Area, with their studios using vast ranks of servers to render the latest animations and special effects. But there will soon be an opportunity here to reflect on animation technology before the computer dominated.

The new Walt Disney Family Museum, in San Francisco’s Presidio national parkland, will not open until October, but, in a media preview tour this week, we were introduced to innovations such as the 13-feet-high Multiplane Camera and the optical printerRead more

Chris Nuttall

Joseph Menn, Richard Waters and Kathrin Hille report on Chinese internet censorship:

“This week, an open letter appeared on Chinese blogs and online bulletin boards. “Hello, internet censorship institutions of the Chinese government,” it said. “We are the anonymous netizens. We hereby decide that from July 1 2009, we will start a full-scale global attack on all censorship systems you control.”” Read more

Tim Bradshaw

A boy lies on his back on a boardroom table in a high-rise office block in Toyko. He pulls out his Nokia, takes a photo of the setting sun – upside down – and sends it to his girlfriend in New York, where dawn is breaking. “Now I know we share the same horizon,” says the voiceover. “My sunset is your sunrise.”

It’s a brilliant Nokia ad – the sort of simple, well-executed idea that agencies charge six-figure sums for. Only this one wasn’t made by an ad agency – it was made by Hiroki Ono, a 23-year-old film student from Yokohama, Japan, who’d never made an ad before. The film, “Feel the globe”, took just two days to make. Read more

  • The board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, better known as ICANN, picked as the nonprofit group’s chief executive Rod Beckstrom, who until earlier this year served as cyber-security czar at the US Department of Homeland Security. Like his predecessors, Mr Beckstrom didn’t accomplish much there, but it later emerged he had a skeleton staff and equivalent funding. ICANN is as close to a governing body as the internet gets, but its core mission is minding the process by which Website names and numeric addresses are assigned.
  • Some early buyers of Windows 7 will get it for the knock-down price of $49.99. Rob Enderle thought the limited-time special offer was a direct response to the $29 Apple is charging for an upgrade to Snow Leopard. Michael Gartenberg called it a “missed opportunity” to give all Vista users the chance to move beyond the much-maligned operating system.

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Tim Bradshaw

It’s renowned as the most digitally savvy election campaign yet. The story of how Barack Obama used social media to build grassroots support has become the stuff of social-media legend.

But when David Plouffe, Obama’s campaign manager, took to the stage at the Cannes Lions  International Advertising Festival today, the surprising message for marketers was to keep  it “old school”: email and TV are still critically important. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Microsoft has announced what consumers will be paying for Windows 7 when the new operating system is launched in October, which may seem a bit rich to those who feel they have been paying for a long time for choosing to use the current Windows Vista.

Vista has been a clunker of an OS from Microsoft, so bad its 8-year-old predecessor Windows XP is a joy to use in comparison and remains the safe OS of choice for the corporate world. Read more