Monthly Archives: June 2011

Chris Nuttall

Raising awareness about energy management was always going to be a slow burner of a project, no pun intended, for Google and Microsoft. But, within days of Google announcing the closure of its PowerMeter service, Microsoft has announced Hohm will be discontinued. Both were only two years old. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Groupon competitor LivingSocial is considering a $1bn initial public offering, according to PaidContent. The IPO could value the social shopping site, which expects to generate $1bn in revenue this year, at $10bn-$15bn.

Hewlett-Packard’s chief executive officer Leo Apotheker has said the computer manufacturer is in talks to license its WebOS mobile software, says Bloomberg.  WebOS would give hardware makers a choice beyond Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows software as they seek to challenge Apple’s hold over the smartphone and tablet markets. Read more

When the media were first shown the HP TouchPad in February, we were not allowed to touch it, ironically.

Well, from hands off to hands on. The long awaited tablet goes on sale on Friday in the US, France and Germany and I have been trying it out for the past week. Some video first impressions after the jump, ahead of a review in this Friday’s Personal Technology column.  Read more

Chris Nuttall

When the media were first shown the HP TouchPad in February, we were not allowed to touch it, ironically.

Well, from hands off to hands on, the long awaited tablet goes on sale on Friday in the US, France and Germany and I have been trying it out for the past week. Some video first impressions after the jump, ahead of a review in this Friday’s Personal Technology column. Read more

Chris Nuttall

The big tablet event of the week is Friday’s launch of the HP TouchPad, while the little tablet event is represented by today’s unveiling of the LeapPad, a $100 device for kids aged four to nine. I was sceptical when I was first shown it – why do kids need their own tablet when I have seen toddlers use the iPad more adeptly than me? – but LeapFrog, the educational innovator from the San Francisco Bay Area, gave me some compelling reasons for its existence. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

A big part of Google’s pitch for its new social networking service is that it’s easier for users to manage who sees what they post on the site.

Privacy has never been a strong suit for either Facebook or Google, but the Circles feature on Google+ is a simpler way to categorise groups of friends than is available on Facebook. Users are given the option of which Circles of contacts to share a piece of content with, each and every time they post something. Google has today been able to bathe in the rare warmth of widespread praise for its approach to privacy.

But this is a beta and there are going to be bugs. One appears to be in Google+’s “resharing” feature, which works a little like a retweet on Twitter or reblogging on Tumblr. Read more

The big tablet event of the week is Friday’s launch of the HP TouchPad, while the little tablet event is represented by today’s unveiling of the LeapPad, a $100 device for kids aged four to nine.

I was sceptical when I was first shown it – why do kids need their own tablet when I have seen toddlers use the iPad more adeptly than me? – but LeapFrog, the educational innovator from the San Francisco Bay Area, gave me some compelling reasons for its existence.

 Read more

Three things irritate me about Biz Stone’s announcement that he will step back from running Twitter.

1) He doesn’t know the difference between “it” and “it’s”. (Too much time reading his followers’ tweets, I suspect). Read more

Video chat, and a neat way of differentiating between contacts, colleagues and friends, give Google+ unique functionality, but digital media correspondent Tim Bradsaw is not convinced that it will be enough to attract people away from Facebook. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Lawyers for Paul Ceglia, who is claiming he is entitled to half of Mark Zuckerberg’s multibillion-dollar stake in Faceboo,k have quit, according to the Los Angeles Times. DLA Piper confirmed in a statement that it withdrew from the case. Mr Ceglia’s new consel is San Diego’s Jeffrey Lake. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Between Google envisaging our computing future through a browser on its Chromebook machines and Apple accustoming us to app-filled screens, the familiar PC desktop and its installed software appear to be under threat.

Now SweetLabs, a San Diego start-up, has come up with the idea of planting something of a Trojan Horse called Pokki in our taskbars and attacking the traditional desktop with web apps that empower a new generation of developers. Read more

RockMelt, the social web browser, has secured $30m in Series B funding from some of the biggest names in venture capital, and added Jim Breyer at Accel Partners and Vinod Khosla at Khosla Ventures to its board of directors as observers.

Both were brought on by early investor Marc Andreessen, partner at Andreessen Horowitz and founder of Netscape, the first widely used web browser. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Using Storify, here is a collection of early comments and reviews of Google’s latest push into social media… Read more

Maija Palmer

no to spamAt first this looks so promising. Volumes of spam are down nearly 70 per cent from last year according to a report from Symantec, the IT security company. In June, there were 39.2bn unsolicited, “spam” messages in circulation each day, compared with 121.5bn a day in June 2010. This echoes findings earlier this month from rival McAfee, which suggested spam levels had halved in the last year.

But sadly, this doesn’t mean we are winning the war on cybercriminals and botnets. Rather, it is a reflection on how use of the internet is evolving to become more centred around social networking sites and mobile phones. Spam on Twitter and Facebook is becoming a growing problem. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

More adults in the US own dedicated e-readers than tablet computers, the Los Angeles Times reports. According to a study from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, the share of adults in the US who own an e-reader hit 12 per cent in May, up from 6 per cent in November.  In contrast, the share of US adults owning a tablet computer hit 8 per cent. Read more

Richard Waters

During the 1990s, stock options became a part of Silicon Valley lore. They represented the right of even the most junior engineer to strike it rich and became a standard part of any pay package.

But things aren’t that simple anymore. The Valley’s approach to pay has changed greatly since the last dotcom bubble, and workers who don’t learn the new rules of the game can get caught out. Read more

It may not be quite as serious as the Federal Trade Commission’s anti-trust probe in the US, but Google is facing a fight with the regulators in Taiwan that has forced the internet giant to suspend all paid apps in Android Market on the island of 23m people.

At issue is Taiwan’s consumer protection laws, which require online retailers to give customers a seven-day period for getting a full refund on their purchases – much longer than the 15 minutes Google currently gives its customers. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Reuters reports that Facebook in the UK has overtaken Microsoft websites for the first time last month, becoming Britain’s second-most popular site after Google. The social network attracted 26.8m visitors in Britain in May, up 7 per cent year on year, beating the 26.2m who visited Microsoft’s MSN/WindowsLive/Bing sites combined. Google had 33.9m. Read more

Joseph Menn

Lulz Security, a small but more sophisticated hacker offshoot of Anonymous that rapidly won attention from the general public–and, perhaps more importantly, from law enforcement–is calling it a day. Read more

Oscar Wilde said: “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” That still applies in digital times, as companies work hard for “likes” on Facebook or “re-tweets” on Twitter to build their online presence and community interaction.

This week, online advertising was in the spotlight as sites like Facebook and Twitter made headlines with their efforts to generate revenue. Read more