Monthly Archives: May 2010

Well that didn’t take long.  Just a few days after Apple’s iPad hit international markets, both Asus and MSI, the Taiwanese PC brands best known for their netbooks, on Monday unveiled their respective versions of the tablet PC ahead of Computex

They weren’t the only ones, either.  Gianfranco Lanci, Acer chief executive, beat both his competitors to the mark by showing a glimpse of Acer’s tablet PC at a Beijing press conference last week.  So what to make of all these competing devices?  Several things stood out, after the jump: Read more

At some point tech executives will come to realise that just because Apple succeeded on the back of its applications store, it does not necessarily mean the same formula will work for everyone else.

That day, however, has certainly yet to come in Taiwan.  Not only do all three of the island’s mobile operators have their own, separate app store (two of which opened shop within the past month), but Asus, the netbook pioneer, on Monday also announced it would set up its own app store. Read more

Computex, the world’s second-biggest IT trade fair, does not officially start until Tuesday but already the hype about which tablet personal computer will challenge the iPad as the hottest product of the year is in full swing.

The chief executive of Nvidia, the specialist graphics card company that is also a big supplier of chips for tablet PCs, kicked things off by making the prediction that within five years “tablets will be the world’s biggest computing category”. Jen-hsun Huang said tablets could even surpass netbooks and notebook PCs in terms of volume. Read more

Maija Palmer

Facebook logoGiven the recent furore over the confusing privacy controls on Facebook, you would have thought that “Quit Facebook Day”, scheduled for Monday May 31, would be proving more popular. So far fewer than 25,000 people have signed up to the site set up by two Canadian web developers, pledging to delete their accounts from the social networking site.

Given that Facebook has somewhere around 500m users, these disgruntled leavers represent a minuscule fraction - 0.00005 per cent -  probably well within the normal levels of user churn. It seems, either Facebook’s latest attempts to improve its privacy controls have reassured the general public, or the vast majority of users don’t care enough about the issue to leave the site. Read more

David Gelles

Two days after Facebook unveiled simplified privacy controls, the furore over its perceived missteps is not dying down.

On Friday Congressman John Conyers, head of the House Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Facebook asking it to cooperate with federal regulators looking into its privacy policies. Mr Conyers also sent a similar letter to Google, which is facing scrutiny after it admitted collecting wifi data.

Mr Conyers’ letter followed a conference call on Thursday during which several privacy advocates who had given Facebook credit for their effort on Wednesday took a harder line against the company and called for federal regulation of social networking sites. Read more

This is a guest post by the FT’s media editor, Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson

Fleet Street has hyped the iPad’s international launch as loudly as any smitten blogger, but if Britain’s newspaper owners believe that Apple’s tablet promises them salvation they were not rushing to demonstrate it on Friday.

The Guardian already had a photojournalism application ready before the  international launch, but the only UK paper to unveil a new iPad app was The Times, which only days ago unveiled a new websiteRead more

Comparing the blockbuster Wired magazine application for the Apple iPad to other magazines on the device is faintly silly given its far greater size and ambition. You can get an idea of it from the promotional video below.

The Wired app is the closest thing the iPad yet has to a vision of how magazines could be transformed, and it has the bulk to prove it. It contains nearly half a gigabyte of data, including two clips from the new Toy Story film, and took me 10 minutes down download it over a WiFi connection.

But, as the the iPad goes on sale in nine countries outside the US – including the UK, France, Germany and Japan – the Wired app puts its competitors to shame, including GQ and Vanity Fair, two other Conde Nast titles that are more confused and less interesting. Read more

Paul Taylor

The first fourth-generation cellphone in the US – the HTC Evo on Sprint’s WiMax network – is a fast, video-rich smartphone that can turn itself into a Wi-Fi hotspot. Read our Personal Technology review from the Business Life section of Friday’s FT:

“Even without its 4G mobile broadband capabilities, HTC’s Android-powered EVO 4G smartphone is an impressive touchscreen-based handset because it combines many of the best features found in other devices to produce what could start a whole new category, which might possibly be called ‘superphones’.” Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Who needs another shiny rectangle in their lives?

Plenty of people, if the queues outside Apple stores worldwide was anything to go by.

I was at Apple‘s London flagship shop on Regent Street this morning to ask people why they’d waited for hours to splash upwards of £429 on an iPad: Read more

To his credit, Mark Zuckerberg has responded to the outcry over privacy, including my column on the subject, by making significant changes to Facebook’s privacy policies.

The most welcome aspects of the changes, discussed by him on the Facebook blog, are that it will be far simpler for a user to control how information is shared, and these choices will apply to future Facebook services. Read more