Monthly Archives: September 2010

Video conferencing may finally be set to go mainstream with Logitech and Cisco both set to unveil HD cameras linked to internet-connected living room TV sets next Wednesday.

With Skype HD cameras already being integrated with TVs and Microsoft due to offer video conferencing in its Kinect motion controller accessory in November, TV viewers will be getting used to being watched themselves. Read more

Ubisoft released a version of its hit video game Assassin ‘s Creed on Facebook on Thursday as part of a new digital strategy it calls companion gaming.

It looks a more joined-up concept than that of Electronic Arts, which was the first major publisher to bring a big franchise to Facebook with its Fifa Superstars soccer game in June. Read more

Though Google still makes the lion’s share of its revenues through search advertising, that may begin to change as Android, YouTube and display advertising mature, writes the FT’s Lex column.

Google is not the font of all knowledge, rather the rummage bag in which it resides. However, it has made bold predictions this week as it tries to grab the advertising industry’s attention. By 2015, the Googlers think mobile phones will be the most popular screen for web browsing, and the display advertising market will grow to $50bn.

 Read more

From FT’s beyondbrics blog

The recent dust-up between China and Japan suggested how neighbours can have incompatible interests. But in business, things are often rather different. In one example, China’s emergence as a producer of sophisticated technology is helping strengthen one of the few big microchip businesses left in Japan. Read more

From FT’s Alphaville blog

News of a big fall in the price of Apple shares at the open (on supposedly no news except, err, this) got the Twittersphere raging about the prospect of a mini flash crash in the making Tuesday: Read more

Research in Motion’s new BlackBerry PlayBook will be taking on the iPad, the Cisco Cius and a host of other tablets when it appears early next year.

But its closest rival, both in looks, specifications and marketing strategy, appears to be Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, with the two manufacturers looking to pair the devices with their existing smartphones. Read more

Hardly a week goes by without a big technology company trumpeting its cloud computing services. Not to be left out, telecoms operators are also eyeing the burgeoning market.

Orange has just announced a tie-up with Cisco, EMC and VMware that will see the four companies offering cloud computing service for businesses. Read more

Four years after Nintendo released the Wii and its motion controller, “Wiimote,” Microsoft prepares for the release of its rival device, Kinect.

Today’s Lex argues, “If Microsoft existed 100 years ago, it would probably be announcing an innovative new buggy whip while Henry Ford chuntered past in a Model T.” Read more

Vibrant Media, an in-text advertising company which has grown from a $500,000 investment in 2000 to $100m revenues last year, is hiring a new chief financial officer in preparation for a possible initial public offering, writes FT Media Editor Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson.

Jeff Babka is coming in from Sophos, an Oxford-based IT security company that had begun work on an IPO filing before its $830m sale to Apax Partners. Read more

The Kindle is finally being taken a little more seriously as a games platform with Electronic Arts releasing a version of Scrabble for the eReader on Friday.

To date, there had been few diversions from the act of reading on the Kindle and its capabilities as a games platform, with its grayscale screen and lack of touch control, seemed limited. Read more

From the FT’s beyondbrics blog
An Indian vegatable seller arranges vegatables as she speaks on a cellular phone at a roadside vegatable market in AllahabadIn India, some 600m people own mobile phones but just 60m have access to broadband internet. Hewlett-Packard is aiming to bridge that gap with apps that can access the web from any cell phone using voice and text messaging.

Continue reading “Can the world’s poor text their way out of poverty?”

The web has been getting a makeover this month with the introduction of Internet Explorer 9, Google Instant and a new Twitter.

Richard Waters covered the beta introduction of IE9 and the launch of Google Instant and @Tim – Tim Bradshaw – had some thoughts on the new Twitter website. All of these developments are wrapped up and reviewed in this week’s Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section Read more

AMD has followed Intel in warning that revenues suffered in the third quarter due to slackening consumer demand.

The news on Thursday reinforced the view that PC makers and their microprocessor partners have suffered a tough “back to school” season. With tablets, eReaders and smartphones exciting the consumer imagination more than laptops, it could be an equally tough holiday season ahead. Read more

Roku is a feisty and fleet-footed Silicon Valley company that has been running ahead of a flood of internet-connected devices threatening to engulf its tiny set-top box.

With its new lineup just launched, Roku stays out in front on price and content and gets in just ahead of its biggest challenger to date – Apple TV, which is due to go on sale by the end of the month. Read more

From the FT’s beyondbrics blog

Chinese entrepreneurs like to talk about ‘Win-Win’ – deals or situations that benefit both sides. But Jack Ma, one of the country’s most iconic business leaders, is finding himself stuck in what can only be described as a lose-lose situation. Read more

HP is extending its platform for touch-enabled computing with the release of its fourth-generation TouchSmart software and the launch of an Apps Center for free and subscription-based applications.

Owners of its TouchSmart all-in-one PCs will be able to get the upgrade later this year and it is installed on a new version of its TouchSmart PC, the 310, available on Wednesday in the US. Read more

Techcrunch reported over the weekend that Facebook is working on its own mobile phone, which will tightly integrate its social networking features into the device.

Facebook has said that it is “not building a phone”.

But Techcrunch’s Michael Arrington is standing by his story, noting that Apple doesn’t directly operate its own mobile manufacturing equipment either.

If the idea of a Facebook phone sounds familiar, perhaps you read FT Tech Blog’s post from February. If Techcrunch’s story is true, our crystal ball seems to have been working particularly well back then. Read more

The brief surge of interest in Chatroulette this year suggests we’re all a little intrigued at what a person might look like on the end of a connection.

But does that mean video calling on phones, the subject of this week’s Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section, is finally going to catch on with the mainstream consumer or just become another passing fad? Read more

Facebook has today launched its check-in feature, Places, in the UK.

In keeping with Facebook’s cookie-cutter approach to international product rollout, it’s identical to the US version, albeit using a local provider of location information.

But the social network’s ambitions for location-based information don’t stop there. Read more

Of the 16 social and media technologies making their debut at the Demo conference in Silicon Valley, was perhaps the most intriguing and original idea.

It’s social networking through your US number plate, or license plate as it’s called here – with possibilities for dating, car talk, safety messages and receiving offers all wrapped up in your bumper. Read more