Monthly Archives: February 2011

Chris Nuttall

Just ahead of an updated iPad, Motorola has come out with the best Android tablet to date to keep Apple up to the mark. The Xoom features Android 3.0, codenamed Honeycomb, which represents a big leap forward in terms of an interface purpose-designed for a larger tablet screen. The Xoom was the subject of this week’s Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • Groupon, owner of the biggest coupon website, has said it has started an online group-buying service in China, Bloomberg reports. The new Gaopeng.com site will initially cover Beijing and Shanghai before expanding to other major Chinese cities.

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Chris Nuttall

In between responding to hundreds of emails, I’m covering the Inbox Love event down in Silicon Valley.
I’m not sure whether it should be love or hate. A lot of the discussion here at this conference on the future of email is about information overload and the most entertaining talk of the day was entitled “Fear and Loathing in Las Inbox” Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • Google has announced changes to its search algorithm to combat ‘content farms’ – sites that that gaining top listings in spite of having ‘shallow’ or ‘low-quality’ content. ‘Our goal is simple: to give people the most relevant answers to their queries as quickly as possible,’ Google writes in its blog. ‘This requires constant tuning of our algorithms, as new content—both good and bad—comes online all the time.’

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Chris Nuttall

Intel and Apple raised a storm on Thursday for a new connection standard called Thunderbolt – formerly codenamed Light Peak. It sounds lightning fast and it is – with data transfer speeds of 10 gigabits per second. But it is not being widely embraced initially and competes with the more generally supported USB 3.0 standard. That provides an ample 5Gb/s of connectivity – 10 times as fast as the previous USB 2.0 generation. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • Spotify, the European music streaming service is ‘a few weeks away’ from inking a deal for US rights to songs from Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music company, people familiar with the talks have told Reuters. However, Spotify could end up launching without Warner Music Group, the number three music label group, says one person close to the talks.

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Chris Nuttall

For a few days at least, the iPad may have met its match in Motorola’s Xoom tablet, launched on Thursday, initially on the Verizon Wireless network in the US. There will be a full review of this first device to run the Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” operating system for tablets in Friday’s Personal Technology column in the FT, but for some first thoughts on the Xoom, see my video review after the jump. Read more

Google dealt the latest blow in its ongoing battle with Facebook, this time striking again in the fight over user data. The latest Android update for the Nexus S phone removes the ability to integrate Facebook contacts into the handset’s address book. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Apple has shown its usual disdain for other events and companies’ plans in choosing to launch its second-generation iPad at the same time and next door to where Nintendo could make its own big announcement next Wednesday. It is not inconceivable that a Wii 2 could be unveiled at the same time as an iPad 2, with Satoru Iwata, Nintendo chief executive, delivering the main keynote speech at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • Apple is lowering its minimum spend from advertisers on its iAds advertising platform from $1m to $500,000, says AllThingsDigital. The move, which follows the first run of iAd campaigns, is designed to appeal to smaller-scale advertisers who originally couldn’t afford the platform.

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David Gelles

Apple is returning to its favourite venue for product launches on March 2, hosting an event at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts where it is expected to unveil the iPad 2, according to people familiar with the plans.

The company has reserved the main stage at the multifunction venue for next Wednesday, marking a return to the site where it last year launched the original iPad and the iPhone 4Read more

Chris Nuttall

Hours after Lenovo announced new business laptops with up to 30 hours of battery life, HP has unveiled its latest range and claimed 32 hours of frugal living on one battery charge.

Lenovo announced six new ThinkPad notebooks while HP unveiled the first major update of its designs for its business laptops in two years, with 10 new models announced in its EliteBook and ProBook series. Read more

Square is zeroing in on the dog walkers and piano teachers of the small business world by removing another price obstacle from credit card processing: transaction fees.

The mobile payments company previously charged merchants 2.75 per cent of each purchase, plus a 15-cent flat transaction fee every time they used the tiny smartphone credit card reader. As of today, the company has dropped the extra flat fee. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Powered by social networks and mobiles, Chinese video games are set to topple America’s lead as the world’s largest gaming market, according to research by Digi-Capital, a boutique investment bank. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • Microsoft is on the verge of putting the finishing touches to a key stage in the development of Windows 8, according to WinRumors. The “M2″ build is then expected to be distributed internally and externally to the company’s closest partners.

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Spotify has stayed silent about the impact of Apple’s new subscription plans, perhaps because it was too busy negotiating $100m in new funding, but MOG has now joined the list of digital media start-ups and venerable publishers expressing consternation and confusion.

“From a principle perspective, I have a problem,” says CEO David Hyman. “We’ve spent years building this, and invested millions. It’s not clear to me why they deserve a bigger piece of my business than I get. It doesn’t feel right at all.” Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • Spotify is in the process of closing a financing that values the European streaming music start-up at about $1bn, according to TechCrunch. DST, the venture firm that has backed Facebook, Groupon and Zynga, is said to be leading the deal.

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Chris Nuttall

It was “Klingons on the starboard bow” time in video games in January, with the space genre dominating. Eve Online introduced a major update to its online universe, Electronic Arts released Mass Effect 2 on the PlayStation 3 and launched Dead Space 2, which sold 440,000 units in the US, according to monthly figures released by the NPD research firm on Thursday. Read more

Richard Waters

The spat that broke out today between Twitter and Idealab founder Bill Gross speaks volumes about Twitter’s own long-running failure to cash in on the success of its service. As one third-party developer told us: “Bill Gross has been saying he’s going to monetise better than Twitter and that could have upset them. He is either committing suicide or he is going to be extremely successful.” Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • Zynga, the company behind online games FarmVille and CityVille, is in talks on an investment that would value it at nearly $10bn and could pave the way for an initial public offering next year, the New York Times’ DealBook reports. The company is in discussion  with T. Rowe Price and Fidelity Investments, among other investors, for a round of financing near $500m.

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