Monthly Archives: February 2011

Publicity stunts can sometimes serve serious ends. That was the case this week, as IBM submitted a highly advanced computing system – four years and $30m in the making – to the rigours of the popular US television quiz show, Jeopardy!

Chris Nuttall

Shazam, the music recognition app that has been enjoying growing success of late selling songs as its user base has passed the 100m mark, now hopes to demonstrate it can sell clothes and other items with a new application of its fingerprinting technology. An ad campaign just launched with the Old Navy clothing chain in the US urges viewers to Shazam the music they hear on TV spots. The app then takes them to a screen identifying the band and song and inviting them not only to watch the music video and get the music for free, but also to shop for the clothes they see in the ad. Read more

Sony Xperia Play

Martians – at least the popular science-fiction kind – might have felt quite at home at the annual Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona this week. Google’s green Android robot was everywhere and almost all of the new smartphone and tablet devices that I came across were running one of the Android family of operating systems.

Chris Nuttall

Smartphone makers have been claiming for some time that their products are becoming as powerful as PCs, but with its new Atrix 4G phone, Motorola is actually proving its point by turning it into a laptop. I have been trying the Atrix 4G for the past week, most of the time docking it to a screen-and-keyboard laptop accessory that uses the guts of the Atrix for processing, memory and internet connectivity. The combination is unusual, but on the whole, works well and is being offered by AT&T in the US in an attractive package deal. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Intel’s “Moorestown”-codenamed Atom chip aimed at smartphones has turned out to be a lost generation for the world’s biggest chipmaker, with handset makers completely shunning the processor and the company now pinning its hopes on a next-generation chip for a breakthough in the market. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • US President Barack Obama is to meet Facebook chief Mark Zuckerbuerg, Apple’s Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt of Google  and a roster of other technology executives at a private dinner during a trip to the San Francisco Bay Area this week, Mashable reports. White House press secretary Jay Carney said the get-together will focus on “innovation and job creation”.

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Tech news from around the web:

  • Facebook has hired Microsoft’s global advertising head, Carolyn Everson, as one of its top sales execs, AllThingsDigital reports. Ms Everson will be the Silicon Valley company’s global sales vice-president but is likely to be located in New York.

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Apple’s new regime for subscriptions to newspapers, magazines and books on the iPad will take many publishers aback but the most interesting standoff is with Amazon.

The two companies have been battling for supremacy on electronic tablets, with Apple’s adoption of the 30 per cent “agency model” having already undermined Amazon’s e-book price regime on the Kindle. Read more

Groupon headquartersGroupon is stepping up its commitment to Russia and the country’s largest internet group, Mail.ru. The e-commerce site announced on Tuesday it would begin offering deals on Odnoklassniki, one of Mail.ru’s social networking sites, allowing customers to make one-click purchases and follow friends’ shopping habits without ever having to leave the Odnoklassniki site.

Chris Nuttall

Facebook Places, launched just five months ago, already appears to be sucking marketing dollars away from needy location-based startups such as Foursquare and Gowalla , according to a new survey. Responses from more than 8,000 local business owners in the US to a MerchantCircle quarterly questionnaire also suggest group-buying sites are failing to gain much traction versus traditional online marketing destinations such as Facebook and Google’s AdWords. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • Google has announced a new extension to its Chrome web browser that will allow users to block ‘content farms’ – sites with little or low-quality content – from their web searches.  The extension also sends information on the blocked site back to Google, which will then use the feedback in its search rankings.

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Chris Nuttall

Aside from the flashy phones and tablets unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, chipmakers have been giving us a taste of things to come with announcements on future technologies such as quad-core mobile chips, new user interfaces and breathtaking graphics capabilities. A summary of the news from Qualcomm, Marvell and Nvidia, as well as a note on the serious lack of any major news from Intel, follows. Read more

Sometimes when you hear executives from Twitter, it is almost as though they are on another planet or just speaking another language to the rest of the corporate world. Twitter’s users generate 130m tweets a day and the micro blogging site is one of the most talked about technology groups of the last few years. And yet when it comes to discussing financial matters, Twitters’ founders and its new chief executive Dick Costolo seem almost amused to be asked about their business. Read more

From around the web:

  • Foursquare announced that the start up has added 5 languages and now has 6.5 million users, TechCrunch reports.
  • More details have been revealed on the rumoured “iPhone nano”, Cult of Mac reports. “The iPhone nano will have no memory for onboard storage of media, our source says. It will have only enough memory to buffer media streamed from the cloud,” Cult to Mac writes.

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Tim Bradshaw

Tonight at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, Sony Ericsson has finally unveiled the Xperia Play – colloquially known as the ‘PlayStation phone’ after months of leaks and rumours online. Read more

Chris Nuttall

The traditional desktop PC may eventually be ousted by the tablet, but in Hewlett-Packard’s new TouchSmart 610 PC, we can already see its recline and fall as the design heads towards the horizontal. This week’s Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section reviews the 610, whose tilting screen could prove a tipping point for future versions of all-in-one touchscreen PCs. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Pandora has filed for a long awaited IPO, with the internet radio service on the verge of profitability and reporting more than 80m registered users in the US. That is double the 40m it reported in December 2009, when its backers first told us it was a prime candidate for a share offering. Read more

Arianna HuffingtonWhen Arianna Huffington launched The Huffington Post in 2005, critics wrote off the venture as doomed from the start. “The Madonna of the mediapolitic world has undergone one reinvention too many,” said acid-tongued Hollywood blogger Nikki Finke. “She is finally played out publicly.”

Continue reading “Woman in the News: Arianna Huffington”

From around the web:

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Nokia is leaping off a burning platform to adopt Windows Phone 7 as its operating system for smartphones.

The Finnish handset maker tried to justify its dramatic decision to analysts at a strategy event in London,  with chief executive Stephen Elop and Microsoft counterpart Steve Ballmer explaining the reasoning.

FT correspondents Mary Watkins and Andrew Ward were also there and their live blog is after the jump. Read more