Monthly Archives: March 2010

Chris Nuttall

The biggest losers in Admob’s latest survey of smartphone usage, released on Thursday, were Symbian operating system phones, with their share falling from 43 per cent to 18 per cent over the past year as iPhone and Android traffic boomed.

But don’t write off Symbian just yet. Lee Williams, executive director of the Symbian Foundation, gave a glimpse of two forthcoming revamps that could revive its fortunes when he visited us en route to the CTIA show in Las Vegas. 

Paul Taylor

When femtocells first appeared several years ago, they garnered little interest from mobile network operators which mostly saw them as expensive, difficult to manage and unnecessary.

Then the smartphone wave broke, mobile data consumption soared and some carriers including AT&T suddenly faced a capacity crunch in smartphone-heavy urban markets including New York and San Francisco. 

China benefits from open network links to the rest of the world. An FT editorial says any big step now in the direction of restricting access could have longer-term repercussions.

Its repressive stance has set a dubious leadership for regimes elsewhere, with the open internet under attack in many parts of the world. Diplomatic and economic pressure may have more effect elsewhere. If the global drift towards a more restrictive internet is to be halted, now is the time to draw a line in the sand. 

Mediatek, the biggest supplier of mobile phone chips to China, just became SAP’s newest client, hiring IBM to install the European software company’s Enterprise Resource Planning system globally.

This is welcome news for technology bulls, who will see it as concrete evidence of the return of corporate IT spending. After strong consumer spending on netbooks and smartphones helped lift the industry last year, there is considerable debate on whether this year and the next will see corporates lead a second wave in the global tech recovery.

 

David Gelles

The hacker who hijacked the Twitter accounts of celebrities including Britney Spears and US President Barack Obama was arrested in France on Wednesday, only to be released and ordered to appear in court in June.

“Hacker Croll” gained notoriety last year by taking over some of the most prominent accounts on Twitter, then sending out fake messages to millions of unsuspecting followers. A hacker by the same name also accessed a trove of internal corporate documents from Twitter and leaked them to TechCrunch, though it was not immediately clear if the man arrested on Wednesday was responsible for both attacks.

The AFP reported that the arrest was the culmination of a months-long operation that involved French authorities and the FBI. It was not immediately clear if the man was charged with a crime. 

“Google decided that its brand, which depends on its image as a champion of liberalism, was worth more than a slice of China’s still-nascent online advertising market,” writes the FT’s David Pilling. Now, he says, “Google’s decision has presented Chinese authorities with a quandary.”

Some officials have sensibly sought to characterise the pull-out as a purely commercial decision of little broader significance. To escalate the affair risks jeopardising China’s official stance of being welcoming to business and further poisoning already strained relations with the US. More, to paint the withdrawal in ideological hues risks putting Beijing into conflict with a subset of its own netizens who are embarrassed that a great company such as Google cannot operate freely in a great country such as China. 

Chris Nuttall

The day consumers buy long-life energy-saving LED lights to replace household bulbs has come a little closer with the launch of a product on Wednesday from Silicon Valley startup Bridgelux.

Its Helieon LED lighting module brings costs down to around $20 a unit in volume amounts for a light that will last more than 10 years and pay for itself in far less time in lower energy bills. 

Chris Nuttall

The first 4G phone in the US, the HTC Evo unveiled by Sprint at the CTIA show on Tuesday, ticks just about all the boxes for my ideal phone.

We await details of pricing and plans and exactly when the handset will be available this summer, but the features are mouth-watering enough to satisfy the thirst of smartphone addicts for the time being. Details after the jump. 

Joseph Menn

A bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate on Tuesday would require the US to penalise countries that don’t do enough to crack down on cybercrime that attacks US individuals, companies or federal assets.

Backed by Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, and Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, the bill would have the president identify countries of concern and establish benchmarks for rectifying the problems. 

David Gelles

After taking so much flack for its frequent outages and the regular attacks on its system, it is only fair that Twitter gets to toot its own horn once in a while.

In a bit of very good news for the company, Twitter says it has finally gotten spam on the site under control.

As Twitter was going through its major growth spurt last year, spammers and scammers flocked to the site. From May through October, as much as 9 per cent of all tweets were spam, according to Twitter’s own numbers. Now that number is down to about 1 per cent, said Twitter chief scientist Abdur Chowdhury in a blog post.