Monthly Archives: December 2010

By Ralph Jennings in Taipei

Could this be a way to turn any computer monitor into a touchscreen, at least for limited applications like adding a signature to a document?

A company in Taiwan has designed electronic sticky notes that can “melt” everything from a signature to a drawing right through a computer LCD screen and into the system. Read more

Facebook and Twitter have removed accounts run by computer hackers who have made revenge attacks against services perceived to have abandoned WikiLeaks in recent days.

The online campaign, known as Operation Payback, has been using the social networking sites, as well as other chat rooms, to co-ordinate its computer assaults.

Chris Nuttall

Electronic Arts is launching a rival games portal to Apple’s Game Center on the iPhone and iPad touch on Thursday.

Apple has approved the video game publisher’s Pogo app, which brings its PC browser-based casual games service to the App Store. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Intel, which has made slow progress to date in tablet devices, pointed on Wednesday to a pickup in 2011 with 35 design wins with manufacturers.

But the world’s biggest chipmaker continues to struggle to break into smartphones, with Paul Otellini, chief executive, telling Barclays Capital’s Global Technology Conference in San Francisco that its first would not appear until the second half of next year. Read more

Chris Nuttall

OnLive, the company offering console-style gaming over the internet, is planning to use its technology and data centres to offer remote computing to consumers and businesses.

Speaking as OnLive announced iPad and Android apps for its service, Steve Perlman, chief executive and founder, said it would be breaking down boundaries in serving not just games, but distributing movies and television and allowing access to sophisticated software programmes. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Google will release the latest version of its flagship Android smartphone this month, made by Samsung and offering a curved screen and faster processor.

The Nexus S is the first handset to feature the latest version of Google’s Android operating system, dubbed Gingerbread. It comes as smartphones running Google’s software overtake Apple and close in on Nokia in global market share. More than 200,000 smartphones running Android are activated every day, Google says. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Facebook has announced a new look for its members’ profile pages, which, while largely cosmetic, does encourage users to add more information on their work interests.

In upgrading to my new profile page, I was prompted to add my current work information, a move that puts the 500m-strong social network in closer competition with the LinkedIn service. Read more

Richard Waters

That famous love-in between Hillary Clinton’s state department and the world’s favourite micro-blogging service must be wearing a bit thin this weekend.

As other internet services have acted to cut Wikileaks off over its massive dump of US diplomatic cables, Twitter’s willingness to carry the renegade site’s messages has become increasingly noteworthy.

In fact, as it becomes harder to find Wikileaks domains that are still accessible, Twitter has become the most reliable platform for it to get its message out to the world. Read more

Chris Nuttall

The video game industry is adding accessories rather than reducing prices this holiday season to try to extend the life and appeal of home consoles.

In part two of the annual gift guide in the Personal Technology column of the FT’s Business Life section, we highlight the best games on each platform as well as add-ons that make them more lifelike and easy to play than ever before. Read more

Richard Waters

Google has been trying for much of this year to win music industry support to launch its own streaming music service – so far without success. But its latest moves to make copyrighted material easier to find through its search engine (while at the same time suppressing pirated content) already show signs of winning it more friends and can only help to steer things in the right direction.

Most intriguing of the steps Google outlined in a blog post on Thursday was an offer to give “authorised preview content” more prominence in its search results. Read more

Joseph Menn

Japan’s antitrust authorities have cleared Yahoo Japan’s plan to rely on Google for algorithmic search results, rejecting complaints from Microsoft and others that the combined service would field as much as 90 per cent of the nation’s search queries.

Japan Fair Trade Commission officials told wire services that they would not block the deal announced in July but would continue to monitor it for any harm to the market. Read more

I am struggling to believe in Groupon, which Google is reported to be considering buying for $5.3bn, making it the company’s largest acquisition. Despite Groupon having some social media trappings, and being profitable, it feels oddly old-fashioned.

Groupon amasses groups of users to take part in mass one-off discounting programmes by retailers – hence the name. In the US, where coupon-clipping is still popular, despite the power of Wal-Mart’s “every day low prices”, it grown very rapidly.

Google seems to be interested in Groupon to boost its local advertising and e-commerce business, the reason it almost bought Yelp a year ago.

But while Yelp clearly fitted with Google’s mission to organise the world’s information, Groupon feels more like a way for bricks-and-mortar retailers to compete with the Amazons of the world. Read more