Monthly Archives: January 2011

Facebook’s Deals service landed in Europe on Monday, three months after its US launchRead more

Powerchip, Taiwan’s biggest D-Ram company, said on Monday it was exiting the commodity PC D-Ram market in favour of making more specialised chips used in mobile computing devices such as tablets and smartphones.

Frank Huang, chairman, said his company would wind down its business of selling PC D-Ram chips under the Powerchip brand. Instead, Powership would become a contract manufacturer of PC D-Ram chips for long-time partner Elpida of Japan, the world’s third biggest D-Ram company. Read more

Egypt faced an internet and mobile-phone blackout on Friday, as authorities attempted to restrict communication between anti-government protesters and the watching world.

Vodafone confirmed that it had been asked by the Egyptian government to “suspend services in selected areas” and that Egyptian legislation meant it was “obliged to comply”. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • Microsoft says it is still considering whether to offer Office on Apple’s App store for its Mac computers, says AllThingsDigital.
  • Mashable reports that the Motion Picture Association of America, working with Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN, has cracked down on the file-sharing of pirated films and TV programmes by shutting down 12 “torrent” websites in the US and at least 39 sites abroad by filing copyright violation complaints with the sites’ hosting providers. 

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Time to throw out the 78s, LPs, CDs, cassettes and even your digital downloads? With so many services offering to stream your favourite songs over the internet and store playlists now, there seems no need for a permanent record collection. After exploring cloud gaming last week, the Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section this week looks at cloud music services, ahead of the inevitable entry of Google and Apple. Read more

There was one inexplicable omission in the features unveiled for Sony’s next-generation portable (NGP) device in Tokyo on Wednesday night and one bold and exciting move regarding the future of the PlayStation platform. Read more

Facebook’s head of platform marketing, Dan Rose, sought to pour cold water on persistent rumours of a “Facebook phone” at a briefing today in London – but potentially started another ball rolling on the future applications of Facebook CreditsRead more

Tweetdeck, the software for social-media ‘power users’, is today unveiling, the latest strand of its plan to ease its dependence on Twitter and become a greater platform in itself.

At a basic level, allows Tweetdeck users to post Twitter updates longer than 140 characters. Read more

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, has for the first time laid out its roadmap for moving to bigger silicon discs to drive down chip manufacturing costs.

The world’s biggest chipmaker said on Thursday that it plans to have a trial production line using 18-inch wafers ready by 2013 or 2014. Full production would begin in 2015 or 2016. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • RIM is considering a feature that will allow BlackBerry devices to run Android apps, according to BGR. The company is looking at using a Java virtual machine that would allow the forthcoming PlayBook and other QNX devices to run just about any application built for the Android platform.

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Yes, Demand Media’s IPO looks frothy. But there’s a reason for all the attention: purpose-built business models for creating online content are few and far between, and this just might be one that has a future. Read more

Facebook is to offer its users greater security when they log in, after the social network’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy suffered hacking attacks. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • Mark Zuckerberg’s fan page on Facebook appears to have been hacked, TechCrunch reports. A strange message appeared on the page on Tuesday and generated more than 1,800 likes and nearly 500 comments before Facebook took it down:

Let the hacking begin: If facebook needs money, instead of going to the banks, why doesn’t Facebook let its users invest in Facebook in a social way? Why not transform Facebook into a ‘social business’ the way Nobel Price winner Muhammad Yunus described it? What do you think? #hackercup2011

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European tech startups establishing offices in San Francisco and Silicon Valley seem almost an everyday occurrence as they strain for a whiff of that oxygen of publicity and VC money uniquely available here. However, SoundCloud’s announcement on Tuesday of its new West Coast operation is unusual in the extent it takes to heart the entrepreneurial cafe culture of San Francisco. Read more

A transport coordinator, a teacher for the children’s centre, a specialist in diversity recruitment – oh, and the odd engineer or two. Those are some of the jobs Google is looking to fill as it gears up for its most active year of hiring yet. Read more, front man for the Black Eyed Peas, is following Dr Dre and Lady Gaga in lending his pop-star credibility to technology companies. It has to be a sound and vision thing. As technology companies try to figure out how best to sell their growing multimedia firepower to consumers, they are turning to creative types like for ideas, insight into the tastes of a younger demographic and looking for their star power to add some sheen to their products. Read more

Ongo, a digital news aggregator launching in the US on Tuesday, starts life with promising credentials. Not only does Alex Kazim, its founder and CEO, come with a revenue-generating background as head of marketing for PayPal and then president of Skype, but its $12m of Series A funding came from the top of the US newspaper pile: the New York Times, the Washington Post and Gannett, owner of USA Today. Read more

Reports that Apple could include near-field communication tags in its next iPhone, allowing people to transfer data – and probably iTunes payments – to and from their phones, have got tech watchers very excited indeedRead more

Tech news from around the web:

  • Apple is planning a service that would allow customers to use their iPhones and iPads to make purchases, reports Bloomberg. The company is set to introduce Near Field Communication technology – a system that can beam and receive information at a distance of up to 4 inches – into the next generation of the iPhone and iPad. According to TechCrunch, if Apple can tie NFC directly into its  iTunes payment system, “it could change everything”.
  • The New York Times is poised to unveil its long-heralded online paywall, says the Wall Street Journal. The new system, expected to be rolled out next month, will see the NYT sell an internet-only subscription for unlimited access to the site, as well as a broader digital package that bundles the site with its iPad application.

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The patent wars raging in the smartphone business are not the only example of how IP rights are being brought to bear in the fight for control of an important new consumer technology market. Microsoft has just extended its case against TiVo, asking a US court to block imports of set-top boxes it claims infringe four of its patents. Read more