Monthly Archives: June 2010

David Gelles

CTIA – The Wireless Association is one of those industry groups that annually descend on a marquee city with a massive trade show, flooding the streets with badge-wearing conference-goers, and hotels and local businesses with dollars.

For five of the last seven years, CTIA’s show has been in San Francisco, as it will be this October. But this year’s show will be the last one in the City by the Bay for the foreseeable future.

The group is taking its show elsewhere (along with 68,000 attendees and $80m in economic activity according to CTIA), a response to the cellphone radiation law passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. Read more

David Gelles

As is custom, Apple devotees are camping out in front of Apple stores around the country to get their hands on the latest product at the first possible moment. At San Francisco’s main store, one man brought an inflatable green couch.

Early reviews suggest that the iPhone 4 is worth the wait, with everyone from Engadget to the New York  Times calling it the best smartphone yet.

David Gelles

Is the low-level radiation emitted from cellphones bad for your health?

The scientific evidence is inconclusive, but the debate is nonetheless gaining steam as more and more smartphones fly off the shelves and into people’s front pockets.

The city of San Francisco is expected to pass a law today that will require retailers to display the amount of radiation emitted by the cellphones they sell. And an app that monitors the real-time radiation level of your phone is getting blocked from Apple’s App Store. Read more

Maija Palmer

Google inside buildingSlowly but surely, cases against Google over WiFi snooping are gathering pace. The UK police on Tuesday officially began to investigate the search company for criminal interception of wireless content, following a complaint by Privacy International, the pressure group.

Getting the police to take up the case was not easy, said Simon Davies of Privacy International. There were nearly two weeks of deliberations as to exactly how to proceed and which police body would handle it.  This is not surprising. The UK has long struggled to pursue any internet-related criminal cases, and only recently re-established any sort of centralised e-crime reporting body. A muddle of regional police forces have occasionally struggled to track even the more mundane phishing scams, much less accusations against a rich and powerful international internet company.

Still, the case now has an official crime reference number:  2318672/10, and a certain due process of gathering evidence must begin. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

The Cannes Lions International Advertising festival is upon us. Once again, agencies, advertisers and tech companies are vying to out-geek each other, to prove they’re on top of the latest digital trends.

Delegates are welcomed to the Palais des Festivals by a giant “touchwall” – a 12-foot by five-foot screen by WPP unit Schematic, showing seminars, 3D maps and other interactive goodies.

SapientNitro – the digital agency which caused a stir last year by buying a traditional agency and scooping several awards for its “best job in the world” campaign for Tourism Queensland – has unveiled what it claims (and who could say otherwise) is the world’s first smile-activated ice-cream van. The van dishes out Unilever treats from Ben & Jerry’s and Wall’s to passers-by in return for a photo of a big grin, which is (inevitably) uploaded to Facebook.

Microsoft, meanwhile, is crowing about its first advertiser to use Kinect, the motion-sensing camera for Xbox 360 that was unveiled at E3 last weekRead more

Tim Bradshaw

Last time Facebook met a UK government minister, it was enduring tabloid hell after a 17-year-old girl was murdered by a man she met through the social network.

Today saw what seems to have been a much more amicable meeting.

Mark Zuckerberg, who began his trip to Europe yesterday at a London Facebook “hackathon”, this morning met with David Cameron, the prime minister, and Jeremy Hunt, secretary of state for culture and media. Read more

Joseph Menn

Security firm KnujOn (backwards for No Junk, reflecting the small outfit’s anti-spam roots) has a new report out this morning, pointing a finger at website registrars for facilitating a wide range of internet crime.

My story in today’s FT centres on the case KnujOn makes against eNom, the No. 2 seller of domain names and a profitable unit of Demand Media, which would probably prefer that any stink wait until after its anticipated IPO.

But the bigger picture is more important. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Slingplayer has come to my rescue more than once during the current World Cup, relaying games live to my mobile device when travelling.

A beta version for Android on my HTC Evo has taken the experience to the next level – providing better controls and a great picture on the phone’s large 4.3-inch screen. Read more

Chris Nuttall

THQ received a bloody nose recently with the timing of the release of its mixed martial arts UFC Undisputed 2010 game.

Brian Farrell, chief executive of the video game publisher, is hoping for a better outcome by holding fire with Homefront, a new first-person shooter that faces formidable opposition from Activision, Electronic Arts and Halo-maker Bungie. Read more

David Gelles

AOL’s fire-sale of social networking site Bebo marks another ignominious end to an overpriced deal for the company saddled with dishonour of having engineered “the worst deal of the century,” its dot-com era merger with Time Warner. But the FT’s Lex column writes that “it is at least becoming clear what AOL thinks its purpose in life ought to be.”

It is now all about content for AOL, with its mix of hyperlocal news and more focused blogs such as TMZ and engadget. “Actually making the reorganisation work will be a mean feat,” writes Lex, “but falling technology and media costs as AOL taps a network of more than 30,000 freelancers will help.” Read more

Chris Nuttall

Microsoft and Sony made major claims for their Kinect and Move motion controllers at the E3 video game trade show this week, but can either hope to emulate the success of Nintendo’s Wii?

This week’s Personal Technology column in the Business Life section of the FT looks at the capabilities of the new entrants. Read more

Richard Waters

We’re honoured to have been named Best News or Politics Blog in this year’s Editor and Publisher awards.

It was one of three for the FT – the others were for Best Business Website with more than 1m monthly visitors and Best Business Blog, won by FT Alphaville. The Las Vegas Sun and NPR.com were among the other multiple award winners, with four each. Read more

Joseph Menn

The contest among established Wall Street analysts to see who can make the most dramatic bull case for investing in Apple appears to be gathering steam. The newest entry came late yesterday from Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley,  who brings the advantage of having been right fairly often in the past.

Still, her forecast is an eye-popper: Apple had 30m iPhone subscribers at the end of last year, and she said it should have better than triple that number–exceeding the nice, round figure of 100m–by the end of 2011. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Nintendo’s 3D handheld console is the undoubted star of the E3 video game show here in Los Angeles this week, judging by the long lines of gamers at the Nintendo booth waiting to try one out.

While Apple has emerged as a new challenger, with the iPhone and iPod touch, to handheld consoles, the unique features of the 3DS look like giving Nintendo a significant and long-lasting advantage in mobile gaming. Read more

Chris Nuttall

In this week’s Digital Business supplement in the FT, the Valley View column looks at how the features of the latest displays are leaping out of the screen at us.

From 3D, to added yellow sub-pixels and wedge optics that project separate images from a display to different viewers,  the future will be seen through new prisms and paradigms. Read more

Richard Waters

Couldn’t resist a snap of this sleep pod spotted on the Googleplex in Mountain View yesterday:

 Read more

David Gelles

Apple’s new phone already seems too popular for its own good. Since becoming available for pre-order this morning, the iPhone 4 appears to be in such high demand it has all but crashed the online ordering systems of Apple and AT&T.

Like many trying to pre-order the iPhone 4, I was able to get as far as the “check eligibility” stage on Apple’s online store before getting bounced. The screen read “Please wait while we access your AT&T account information”, then delivered a message saying “Your request couldn’t be processed” and instructed me to try again later.

(Update: I was able to reserve an iPhone 4 for in-store pickup using the Apple Store app on my current iPhone.) Read more

Chris Nuttall

Video game industry executives have gathered in Los Angeles for their annual E3 convention in the shadow of April sales representing the fourth worst month ever recorded.

But, according to Michael Gallagher, president of the Entertainment Software Association – the trade association that organises E3, there is a “disconnect” between sales statistics and an industry in rude health. Read more

As Apple founder Steve Jobs was noisily pitching the company’s soon-to-be-launched iAds advertising network last week, Apple was quietly making sure it could block Google and Microsoft from delivering commercials to iPhone and iPad owners.

Google complained that the rule change would be bad for app developers and consumers, while federal antitrust regulators are examining the switch to see if it runs afoul of the law. But experts said Apple is most likely within its rights, however much competitors and developers fret, and the FT’s Lex column agreesRead more

Tim Bradshaw

Nokia has been showing off its latest response to the iPhone, the N8, in London today.

It’s the first device running the new Symbian ^3 operating system, and although it isn’t out until the third quarter of this year, Nokia is clearly hoping that a preview of a few prototypes will make people think twice before locking themselves into a two-year contract with the iPhone 4.

On first impressions, the N8 is a sturdier competitor than its predecessor, the N97Read more