Monthly Archives: December 2010

Big Bazaar, one of India’s largest hypermarket chains, is known for a two things: huge crowds of family shoppers and great discounts. Soon it will also be known for websites crowded with discounts on its wares – groceries, cosmetics, apparels, home ware products and small electricals. The group is among the first retailers to go online as the company launches a large-scale push for digital commerce.

Anshuman Singh, the CEO of Future Group’s logistics arm told beyondbrics that it is currently focusing on streamlining its digital commerce supply chains, a move that is designed to tap a larger portion of India’s growing consumer market. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Google is giving us a glimpse of the future with its Nexus S phone, the first to run Android version 2.3, and its CR-48 notebook, a prototype for its Chrome computing system.

Tim Bradshaw and Richard Waters wrote early reviews of the products before I had an opportunity to play with them for this week’s Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section. For me, the CR-48 represented the biggest change in my computing habits since I moved from the keyboard commands of MS-DOS to the Windows operating system nearly 20 years ago. Read more

Joseph Menn

Yahoo is planning to kill off a handful of enduring and quirky services, including the pioneering bookmarking service Delicious, as it continues to streamline operations.

Shortly after the company confirmed that it would be firing more than 500 staffers, mainly in its products group, a disgruntled employee leaked a slide from a meeting this week that listed Delicious and story-spotting function Buzz as among the offerings facing “sunset”. Read more

It has been around for fewer years than you can count on the fingers of one hand but the open wireless internet already feels like a birthright. For anyone with a touchscreen smartphone, it’s outlandish to think you couldn’t download any app – or tap into any internet service – you wanted.

The era of Wap and walled gardens, however, with all its limitations and frustrations, is not that far in the past. And the US, where the iPhone and its kind have made their biggest inroads, is about to put the new-found freedoms to their first serious test. Read more

The Twitter fund-raising led by John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers which values Twitter at $3.7bn is interesting in several  ways. One of them is what it says about the emerging rivalry between venture capitalists in Silicon Valley and those in New York.

Mr Doerr was known for Kleiner Perkins’ green energy investments, but the venerable venture capital outfit has recently been eager to get into the social media boom. It even conceded a valuation of Twitter high enough to beat out Yuri Milner of Digital Sky Technologies. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Google is investing in a start-up that hopes to shake up the vehicle rental industry and change the way people view their cars.

RelayRides.com, which launches in San Francisco on Tuesday after a successful pilot programme in Boston, says it is the world’s first operational peer-to-peer car-sharing service. Read more

Joseph Menn

Normally in the business of making others embarrassed, Nick Denton’s Gawker Media empire had some awkward explaining to do itself on Monday after hackers breached the database containing hundreds of thousands of usernames and passwords that people used to comment on the sites in the network.

Gawker executives, who had initially denied the breach, were forced to reverse course and apologise after the hackers posted a large batch of the passwords online. The intruders also took Gawker’s own source code and perused internal chats and employee e-mails, which in turn provided log-in credentials for Google Apps, taking a similar trajectory to the 2009 electronic break-in at Twitter that unearthed sensitive financial information. Read more

The more I read about the way that Google is giving prominence to its own information and shopping results in search queries, the more I think the European Union is correct to investigate.

Several of Google’s rivals in travel, shopping and health information, have been complaining to regulators that the world’s biggest search engine directs users to its own services rather than theirs. Read more

Richard Waters

With the iPad, Apple proved that less really can be more. Despite lacking some basic things, like a built-in keyboard and support for Flash, the iPad has risen above its own limitations.

The challenge for Google’s new Chrome operating system is to prove that it, too, can power a new category of device, one that justifies being judged on its own terms, not compared constantly to the traditional personal computing experience. The first machine to carry Chrome, the Cr-48, certainly goes a long way towards fulfilling Google’s vision of an internet-centric notebook – but this is no iPad. Read more

Richard Waters

Representatives of a large part of the US media industry – with Microsoft also along for the ride – have lined up to back Viacom’s continuing legal battle with YouTube.

It is a timely reminder of how far Google still has to go to win friends in the media world. The transgressions of which Viacom complained now lie more than two years in the past, and a Federal court has already found in YouTube’s favour: but there is still deep concern over what some claim was the video site’s willful blindness to piracy in its early days. Read more