Monthly Archives: June 2009

Chris Nuttall

Icann, the internet organisation that decides on generic top-level domains (TLDs), is being lobbied at its meeting in Sydney this week by supporters of a rival bid emerging for the .eco ending to web addresses.

In March, no less a figure than Al Gore, the environmentalist and former US vice president, threw his weight behind an application by Dot Eco LLC for the TLD. The company, founded by US internet entrepreneurs and a Hollywood producer, plans to sell .eco addresses to businesses wanting to tout their green credentials and then pour back more than half the profits into environmental causes, including Mr Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection.

It sounds a laudable idea, but a Canadian company, Big Room, thinks it has a better one for .eco, as well as superior environmental experience. Read more

Joseph Menn

Hewlett-Packard, which is trying multiple ways to get people to keep printing things instead of just posting them online, will roll out something truly novel this fall: a printer that doesn’t need a computer.

The high-end HP Photosmart Premium will sell for about $399 and has its own 4.33-inch touch screen, allowing consumers to select pages to print from a limited number of providers. Read more

The FT’s editorial page argues that Europe’s data-protection commissioners are right to pursue a new regulatory framework to protect online privacy on sites such as Facebook:

Users must be made aware of how much personal information about them has built up and prompted to think again about how they want that to be used, with tools that promote an informed decision rather than simply pester users with constant requests for permission. Read more

Chris Nuttall

What’s next in personal computing after netbooks? The answer, it seems, depends very much on what directions the makers of microprocessors are taking.

If you were to ask Intel – at its Research Day this week - the answer would be Mids (mobile internet devices). AMD said in a briefing it was “thin and light” or “ultrathin”, while Freescale came up with some interesting-looking “smartbook” concept machines (pictured) at this month’s Computex trade show in Taiwan. Read more

Jerry Maguire, the fictional sports agent played by Tom Cruise, summed up well the spirit of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s new Open Innovation Platform initiative.

“Help me . . . help you,” Mr Maguire implored his one remaining client in the 1996 film.

Morris Chang, founder and recently chief executive again of the world’s biggest contract chip maker, has a far larger network of customers than Mr Maguire but found himself preaching the same message this week when he addressed clients at TSMC’s annual technology symposium.

“We don’t want to play a zero-sum game with our clients”, the 77 year-old Mr Chang told them. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Apple watchers have been queue-observing today to try to gauge the success of the latest iteration of the iPhone, the 3G S.

Apple Stores opened early, at 7am, for launch day around the US. I was outside the Corte Madera outlet (pictured) where enthusiasm seemed almost as strong as when the original iPhone launched two years ago. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Sony tried to breathe new life into its Blu-ray format on Thursday, just as a new poll suggested interest in its high-definition disk was waning among US consumers.

At a San Francisco event, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment told us it was launching what it believed was its first “killer app” using the internet-connected BD-Live features of the standard. Read more

Richard Waters

  • The Federal Communications Commission said it would look into the exclusive ties in the US that have limited some mobile handsets to particular operators. The promise came as AT&T prepared to welcome another spate of new customers, thanks to its exclusive deal to carry the iPhone in the US. Three students were the first to start lining up to buy the iPhone 3G S in New York, arriving 24 hours before the official Friday morning launch of the device. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster predicted sales of 500,000 this weekend.

 Read more

Richard Waters

Does Microsoft really have the stomach to pour another $10bn or more into the seemingly bottomless pit of internet search?

Steve Ballmer was certainly talking tough on Thursday, declaring that the company was prepared to commit 5-10 per cent of its annual operating income (2008 total: $22bn) to search for the next five years.

This is not really surprising. He has made similar comments in the past. And as Youssef Squali at Jefferies points out, based on the last few quarters Microsoft is already losing around $2bn a year in online services. So all Ballmer’s statement really adds up to is a declaration that he is prepared to stay the course.

However, coming nearly three weeks after the launch of Bing, it is the timing, rather than the content, of the message that is important. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Anyone doubting that social gaming is the next big growth area for the video-game industry should note which way top executives in the industry are moving.

Electronic Arts has just announced that John Pleasants (pictured), its chief operating officer and president of global publishing, is leaving the company. His destination is the chief executive role at Playdom, the leading social game developer on MySpace. Read more