Monthly Archives: December 2009

Chris Nuttall

The futurist Ray Kurzweil has come up with a major advance on eReader software that consumers can try out as early as next month.

Blio, available free for the PC and iPhone, offers features such as 3D page turns and a bookshelf where readers can rotate books to see backcover and spine. Read more

Joseph Menn

Albert Gonzalez, a onetime star informant for the US Secret Service, pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy charges in the largest known identity theft case to date. He stands to be sentenced to more than 15 years behind bars at hearing scheduled for March.

Mr Gonzalez formally entered the plea in US District Court in Boston in a case brought over the penetration of multiple retail chains and Heartland Payment Systems, a credit card and debit card processor that prosecutors said coughed up more than 130m records. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Some analysts are getting a little weary of Amazon’s continual tease on Kindle sales figures.

The internet retailer’s shares rose on Monday, based on its press release that the eReader had become the most popular gift in its history.

But Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts complained in a note that they continued to be frustrated with the limited data from Amazon, which has never released any dollar or unit numbers on Kindle sales. Read more

David Gelles

Apple has something big up its sleeve for next month.

The company has rented a stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco for several days in late January, according to people familiar with the plans.

Apple is expected to use the venue to make a major product announcement on Tuesday, January 26th. Both YBCA and Apple declined to comment.

The company most recently used the YBCA stage in September, when chief executive Steve Jobs made his first public appearance after a medical leave and showed off new iPods. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Jajah has become the latest internet phone company to be snapped up by a bigger player, with the Silicon Valley company announcing it is being acquired by Europe’s Telefónica for $207m €145m) in an all-cash transaction. 

The deal is much smaller than the $3.9bn eBay paid for Skype in 2005 but larger than the rumoured $50m  Google deal to acquire GrandCentral in 2007, which it renamed Google Voice. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Serial entrepreneur Jack Dorsey is pointing out the origins of his new start-up, Square, as he stands in the middle of its new office space inside the San Francisco Chronicle building.

It is move-in day in a section of the newspaper’s emptying headquarters that now has to be sub-let. The Chronicle, founded in 1865, has seen its staff and circulation shrink by more than a quarter in the past three years as people turn to the internet for their news. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Just in time for the Consumer Electronics Show and the launch of an assault on its mobile strategy, Intel has announced an upgrade to its Atom microprocessor.

Atom has dominated the netbook category but it faces a challenge at CES from smaller, leaner-on-energy smartbooks featuring Arm-based processors. Read more

David Gelles

It seems that a half billion dollars was not enough. That’s the price Yelp, the local reviews site, was set to fetch on Friday as it entered into late stage negotiations with Google. But last night TechCrunch reported that the deal had fallen apart.

Perhaps news of the imminent deal attracted new bidders to the table, but it’s not yet clear what caused the last minute scuttling. Read more

Joseph Menn

In its 33-year history, Apple has been at the forefront of technological design and innovation. From the Apple I to the iPhone, through the Apple Macintosh, the iMac, the iPod, the Nano and iTunes, the company has won over customers by bringing something new and exciting to the market.

However, among the winners, Apple has produced its fair share of losers: products that were either ahead of their time, not able to do what they promised, or just unloved by the tech-buying public.

Here’s a countdown of a top ten of these products:

10. Apple III
Lifespan: 4 years (1980-1984)
Introductory price: up to $7,800
The Apple III was built as a rival to IBM’s business model, but 14,000 had to be recalled early because of a problem with overheating. Despite a re-design and lowering the price, the Apple III was discontinued after four years. Read more

Paul Taylor

Ray Davies was not talking about personal technology when he sang: “It’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world,” in the Kinks hit. But he might as well have been

Dell is going into smartphones, Google is getting into operating systems and Nokia, the world’s biggest mobile phone manufacturer, has launched a classy netbook, the Booklet 3G. This is, in fact, a re-entry into the PC market for Nokia. In the 1980s the Finnish company produced a range of desktops called MikroMikko, but left the PC market when it sold the Nokia Data business to Britain’s ICL in 1991. Read more