Monthly Archives: March 2010

In the Comment section of Thursday’s Financial Times, Richard Waters looks ahead to this weekend’s launch of the iPad:

“This launch is about much more than just another piece of personal technology hardware, no matter how desirable. For the iPad is an extension of the most significant new development in computing since the birth of the personal computer. If it takes off, it would seal Apple’s rebound to the very top of the heap in the computing world.” 

Access to Google search results from within mainland China was blocked recently for many hours, then restored, even as the US company switched explanations for what was happening.

In the meantime, Yahoo email users in China specialising in politically sensitive material complained that their accounts had been compromised, while malicious software tried to install itself on computers in Vietnam used by critics of a Chinese mining investment in that country. 

Chris Nuttall

Setting up a Wi-Fi network in the home appears to be beyond many consumers, with retailers sometimes seeing returns of upwards of 20-25 per cent on wireless routers.

Enter the Cisco Valet – a simplified product that doesn’t even say it’s a router on the box – aimed at the two-thirds of US homes still without wireless. 

Chris Nuttall

Servers, whether the tall wardrobe type or those pizza-box slices of hardware that slide into racks in data centre ovens, seem suddenly almost sexy.

We have had lavish beauty-contest launches from AMD and Intel on Monday and Tuesday of new high-performance server chips at San Francisco’s De Young Museum and the old Federal Reserve building respectively. 

With less than 100 hours to launch, the rate of stories appearing per hour about the iPad is rising as fast as Apple’s share priceit hit a new all-time high on Tuesday.

Techblog has been tracking some of the main developments – from Greenpeace criticising the iPad’s carbon footprint to forecasts being raised to shipments of up to 10m units this year. Our roundup after the jump: 

Richard Waters

When Google’s search service became widely unavailable in China a few hours ago, it looked like the other shoe had dropped: the authorities were finally retaliating after Google’s decision last week to end its long and miserable submission to self-censorship.

But the truth, as this rather embarrassing statement just put out by Google makes clear, is very different:

Lots of users in China have been unable to search on Google.com.hk today. This blockage seems to have been triggered by a change on Google’s part. In the last 24 hours “gs_rfai” started appearing in the URLs of Google searches globally as part of a search parameter, a string of characters that sends information about the query to Google so we can return the best result. Because this parameter contained the letters rfa the great firewall was associating these searches with Radio Free Asia, a service that has been inaccessible in China for a long time–hence the blockage. We are currently looking at how to resolve this issue.

Who needs censors when you can walk blindly into a giant firewall like this?

Update: This story just keeps getting weirder – see after the jump. 

Paul Taylor

HTC’s Android-powered  Evo 4G – the first Wimax-enabled smartphone which will be offered for sale by Sprint Nextel this summer in the US – was unquestionably the star of the telecoms industry’s CTIA show in Las Vegas this week. (See Chris Nuttall’s earlier post.) But it was not the only smartphone show in town.

Other new smartphones launched at CTIA included HTC’s HD2 which looks very similar to the Evo 4G but runs Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 6.5 and is available from T-Mobile immediately for $199  – if you can find one. 

Chris Nuttall

Incredible detail, natural movement, photo-realism and 3D are the imagery-grabbing headlines from Nvidia for its new flagship PC graphics processor (GPU), unveiled at the PAX East gamers’ show in Boston on Friday.

The $500 GeForce GTX 480 may be blazingly fast, but Nvidia itself has been exceedingly slow in releasing the product a full six months after its rival AMD launched its equivalent card – the $400 Radeon HD 5870 – catching last October’s Windows 7 upgrade to the Microsoft operating system. 

David Gelles

The latest changes to Facebook’s privacy policy are already drawing the ire of privacy advocates concerned about the social networking site’s plans to automatically share user information with certain sites.

Yet included in the proposed changes are hints that Facebook is also preparing to make location-sharing an integral part of its service, something that could further push the boundaries of how much personal information users are, perhaps unwittingly, exposing to the public. 

Robin Harding

From Games are Evil, via Kotaku, a brilliantly complicated chart that shows who owns which video game developers and how they all ended up there. Visit the original page for a version you can properly magnify.