Monthly Archives: February 2011

So Stephen Elop has taken the plunge. The chief executive of Nokia has just announced a “broad strategic” tie-up with Microsoft on phones and said it would make Windows its main smartphone operating system.

It’s a bold move for the Canadian and investors haven’t greeted the news that well. Shares were down as much 12 per cent in early morning trade. Read more

From around the web:

  • Yahoo has unveiled Livestand, a digital newsstand that personalises content to reader’s interests.
  • The Wall St. Journal reports that both Facebook and Google have had talks with Twitter about acquiring the micro-blogging service.

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The Square, that little plastic device Twitter founder Jack Dorsey invented about a year and a half ago to allow anyone to accept credit card payments via their smartphone, is having a makeover.

Designer Vivienne Tam has pepped up the boring black square with two red double happiness symbols, one on the front, one on the back. Now making payments on the go won’t just be convenient, it’ll be a design experience too! Read more

Chris Nuttall

While the media were not allowed to reach out and actually touch HP’s TouchPad at its launch in San Francisco on Wednesday, there was an opportunity to see some close-up demos after the unveiling and to handle the new Veer and Pre3 smartphones. My impressions were that this was a strong competitor in the power of its interface and hardware to the iPad, but its summer launch and comparative lack of apps may not put it in touching distance of the iPad or Android devices appearing months earlier. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

So, the Facebook phone is finally here. Or at least, the device which seems to have sparked all the speculation: the INQ Cloud Touch, nine months in development, and its qwerty-keyboard cousin, the Cloud Q. Read more

Chris Nuttall

HP is unveiling a long-anticipated tablet device today based on the WebOS operating system it acquired in its $1.9bn deal to buy Palm last year. I am liveblogging from the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, where the news conference is taking place. Read more

From around the web:

  • Wall Street Journal reports that Apple has “started manufacturing a new version of its iPad tablet computer with a built-in camera and faster processor.”
  • Ebay will reveal it’s three year plan for expanding its business, with close attention to Paypal on Thursday, Business Week reports.

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A leaked memo supposedly written by Nokia’s chief executive has delivered a blunt assessment of the company’s predicament, likening it to a man standing on a “burning platform”, torn between burning alive and drowning in icy waters, and saying the mobile phone maker must embrace a “radical change in behaviour” if it is to survive. Read more

While many Facebook employees are just a few years past decorating their college dorm rooms, the seven-year old company is now renovating a new 9-building, 57-acre campus it plans to move into this summer.

Facebook’s staff is growing faster than its current offices in Palo Alto can handle, so the company announced today its intention to move seven miles up the road to the former Sun Microsystems headquarters in Menlo Park.

The barren industrial park will be a big cultural shift from the university neighborhood employees are used to. So Facebook will simply build its own “urban experience,” adding shops and amenities to the courtyard running in between the two rows of buildings. Read more

Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC clearly did not take Chinese New Year off. On the first day after public holidays ended, HTC announced it had made two investments that could expand its online offerings.

The first is buying a US$40m stake in OnLive, the company offering console-style games over the internet. The second is a GBP30m acquisition of Saffron Digital, a London-based mobile video specialist. Read more

Paul Taylor

Smartphones – except the iPhone until relatively recently – have always had the capability to ‘multitask’ – run more than one application at the same time.
This comes in useful if you want to switch between applications quickly, or if you want to jump from one to another without having to close the first down. Read more

From around the web:

  • ComScore’s 2010 digital trends shows that email usage is down 59% among teens, TechCrunch reports.
  • Groupon founder and CEO Andrew Mason has responded to the Super Bowl ad controversy. He writes on the company blog, “The last thing we wanted was to offend our customers – it’s bad business and it’s not where our hearts are.”

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The raciest Super Bowl ads usually involve bikini-clad women beckoning football fans to buy a beer. But this year’s ad from Groupon, the US-based company that arranges group discounts at local merchants, broke new ground by stirring up political tensions around Tibetan independence to sell coupons to a restaurant.

The ad managed to offend advocates on both sides of the issue and could ultimately hurt Groupon’s expansion prospects in China. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Taiwanese handset maker HTC began 2011 with an announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas of three flavours of 4G phones for the leading operators in the US. The Thunderbolt should appear on Verizon’s LTE network by the spring, Sprint’s Wimax network will feature the Evo Shift and AT&T ‘s HSPA+ network has the Inspire from February 13. I have been testing the Inspire, which is very similar to the Desire HD, available in Europe and Asia. Read more

Chris Nuttall

HP launched a new version of its TouchSmart PC today with a striking reclining screen. The ability to pitch the 610’s 23-inch touchscreen to a 60-degree angle makes for a new, more comfortable computing experience.

It’s an ideal machine for a kitchen and I spent a few hours playing in mine with the 610 over the weekend and will have a full review in this Friday’s Personal Technology column in the FT.  A first look on video is after the jump. Read more

The first week of The Daily, Rupert Murdoch’s iPad-only newspaper has crystallised my evolving view of what does, and does not, make for a successful news publication on the tablet.

From around the web:

  • TechCrunch has gathered all of the tech company advertising that appeared during the Super Bowl.
  • The New York Times reports that Yahoo plans to announce “a publishing platform for applications that would let users get personalized content on their phones and other mobile devices.”

 Read more

Tim Bradshaw

In summer 2008, the FT was the first newspaper to record the new moniker that had been applied to the growing cluster of tech and digital media start-ups around London’s Shoreditch.
Two and a half years later, “Silicon Roundabout” is the centre of a major government growth initiative and entrepreneurs are still flocking to Old Street and its environs.
So the FT returned to the east end to investigate why start-ups are clustering there and what they think of David Cameron’s “Tech City” scheme. Read more

Chris Nuttall

The Apple ecosystem stretches from iPad cases to professional recording add-ons for high-powered Macs as peripheral makers capitalise on the popularity of the Cupertino company. In this week’s Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section, we look at the latest gear on display at the annual Macworld show. Read more

Paul Taylor

Verizon iPhone 4The enthusiastic initial response Verizon Wireless customers have given the CDMA version of Apple’s iPhone 4 – Verizon had to halt pre-orders just 17 hours after they began – is a double-edged sword for the largest US mobile network operator. 

That is because the hefty subsidy Verizon pays Apple for the iPhone – estimated at about $400 per unit – could depress earnings at least in the short term, if Verizon Wireless sells more iPhones than expected.  Read more