Monthly Archives: October 2010

Chris Nuttall

Some of the best e-Reading experiences and innovations are happening on the web right now.

Ray Kurzweil’s Blio eReader is finally available and Scribd announced today it is enriching its entire library with Apture Highlights – a feature already enabled on this very blog post. Read more

Having been blocked in Vietnam for a year, Facebook is trying to “friend” the weary Vietnamese government in an attempt to gain better access to one of the world’s fastest-growing online markets. It is advertising  for a Hanoi-based “policy and growth manager” who will “lead the company’s interactions with policymakers and will be responsible for ensuring the site’s accessibility.”

The company has no plans to open an office in Vietnam but said that it wanted to hire a contractor to evangalise, or as Facebook puts it, “go round and explain the benefits of Facebook.”The social networking company has already recruited similar envoys in a number of countries where it faced difficulties expanding, including Brazil, India and Russia. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Nokia’s N8 smartphone takes gorgeous panoramic pictures, but its Symbian ^3 interface is cramped, cluttered and hard to navigate.

In this week’s Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section, I reviewed the flagship smartphone and assessed how it might fare against the latest Android and Windows Phone 7 rivalsRead more

Joseph Menn

A phishing attack aimed at small businesses accounted for as much as a third of all global junk email–or more than a quarter of all e-mail–for a 15-minute period Friday, showing that the Zeus family of keystroke-logging software remains a force to be reckoned with despite a recent spate of arrests.

The attack took the form of e-mails that had subject headings beginning “Your Federal Tax Payment” and said an electronic transfer had been rejected because of an invalid corporate identification number. Following a recent trend in such scams, the e-mails contain links to a genuine web page, in this case a US site that collects tax payment information including bank account numbers. Read more

Chris Nuttall

It’s two years this month since the birth of the first Android phone, the HTC G1, with its godfather T-Mobile celebrating with the release of an official successor, the G2.

Of course, there have been many other Android phones in between, but the G2 is as good a milestone as any to assess how far these Google phones have come. Read more

From FT’s Alphaville blog

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Paul Taylor

Windows Phone 7 is probably Microsoft’s last chance to remain relevant in the increasingly competitive smartphone operating system marketplace.

Over the past few weeks, I have had the chance to test out several of the new handsets based on Windows Phone 7, including models from Samsung, the Korean electronics group, and HTC, the Taiwanese smartphone maker, which has been a longtime Microsoft handset partner. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Tablets in, netbooks out is no longer a media-hyped fashion trend. Gartner and IDC have the cold, hard, third-quarter PC sales numbers to back it up.

Sales of PCs grew much less than expected worldwide, with consumers delaying purchases as they thought instead about buying a tablet, according to Gartner. Read more

On Monday, Microsoft launched its new smartphone operating system, Windows Phone 7, to positive reactions.

While many reviewers praised the phone’s user interface and Microsoft’s reboot of its smartphone efforts, others speculated it might be too late to catch up with Apple and Google. Read more

From FT’s beyondbrics blog

BlackBerry users in the United Arab Emirates narrowly avoided the cold turkey of having to abandon their devices after the government last week lifted its threat to ban them. Read more

From FT’s Alphaville blog

It was bound to happen. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Microsoft and Intel’s close bonds on the operating system and processor that dominate PCs became known as the Wintel partnership,  but Wincomm is now the name of the game on mobile phones.

All nine Windows Phone 7 smartphones announced globally on Monday will run Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipsets and the two companies are making much of the exclusivity. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

A little bit of Foursquare history was made in London last night. The UK’s first “super swarm” badge was awarded to more than 300 users of the location game. They all checked into the Jewel Bar in Piccadilly, with no other goal than to win the badge. Read more

Chris Nuttall

The second-generation Apple TV looks like being a bigger hit than the original, judging by a report that it is selling out across the US.

I tested Apple TV and compared it with the Roku XDS and a Western Digital media player in this week’s Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section. There are also earlier separate reviews of Apple TV, the Roku box and WD TV Live Plus HD on this blog. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Logitech has set a benchmark price of $300 for the new Google TV service, with the official launch of its Revue set-top box and controller.

That’s three times the price of Apple TV, but the two services are very different in features and approach, with Google TV offering much tighter integration with existing TV channels. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Cisco launched ūmi on Wednesday, a video conferencing system for the living room that is big in bulk, price and bandwidth requirements.

It may appeal to some as a premium single-function product, but it faces stiff competition from smaller, far cheaper multi-function video conferencing rivals. Read more

From FT’s beyondbrics blog

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Chris Nuttall

Qualcomm’s bold experiment of building a mobile TV network in the US from the ground up can officially be called a failure with the suspension of sales of its FLO TV Personal TV standalone device.

The San Diego-based chipmaker said on Tuesday it expected to maintain the network till next spring for existing subscribers and there would be refunds in the event of its closure. Some layoffs are also anticipated in the near future. Read more

Joseph Menn

Ukraine authorities said on Tuesday that the 20 suspects, including 5 key targets they detained as part of a global crackdown on crime rings using the Zeus malware to steal from online bank accounts, brought a total of $40m into the country.

At a press conference covered by the FT’s Mark Rachkevych, officials from the Ukraine’s SBU confirmed that the alleged kingpins had been released, but said the five could expect to be charged this week.

Potentially among them are money laundering, interfering with computer transmissions, and distributing malicious programs. Prison terms for conviction on the second or third of those start at two years, while money laundering can fetch as many as 15. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft‘s high-octane chief executive, addressed a crowd of students, academics and industry folk at the London School of Economics on Tuesday.

Invited there to deliver a lecture on cloud computing, Mr Ballmer answered a wide range of questions on topics ranging from tablets, piracy and regulation to the likelihood of Microsoft’s demise.

One eye-catching nugget: Mr Ballmer indicated that he was more excited about the potential for Kinect, Microsoft’s new Xbox motion controller, than he was for Windows Phone 7, which launches in London next Monday. Read more