Monthly Archives: November 2011

Tech news from around the web:

Microsoft is planning an iPad version of its popular Office software suite, The Daily reports.The product is set to cost around $10 – about the same price Apple charges for its Pages, Numbers and Keynote products. Read more

Chris Nuttall

The Black Friday glad tidings from consumer electronics makers continued on Tuesday, with Sony announcing a big rise in US sales and Microsoft reporting a record week for its Xbox 360 console and Kinect controller.

The news followed Nintendo’s announcement on Monday of record sales of its Wii and 3DS gaming machines. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Research In Motion, the company behind the BlackBerry smartphone, is rolling out a new system that aims to help its corporate customers maintain and manage the security of their employees’ BlackBerrys as well as rival devices such as the iPhone, according to The Wall Street Journal. The new system, the first from RIM to incorporate competitors’ products, is seen as a tacit acknowledgment that an increasing number of employees are calling on their employers to allow work e-mails to be pushed to smartphones other than the Blackberry. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Solid-state drives are all the rage with laptops like the Macbook Air and its Ultrabook rivals utilising them for their speed and battery-saving features. But capacities are still limited and prices much higher than slower traditional hard drives.

Seagate offers a middle way with its Momentus XT hybrid drive – mixing solid-state memory with the traditional spinning platter – and has sold 1m of the drives since it came up with the new category last year (the company says its 2007 Momentus PSD drive doesn’t really count). Read more

Richard Waters

Until now, it has been advisable to take rumours of an imminent Facebook IPO with a large pinch of salt.

Yet according to one person familiar with the company’s planning, all the pieces are now in place for a Wall Street debut that could come in the second quarter of next year – even if that timing has yet to be finalised. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Nintendo has received a Black Friday boost after a black year for sales – shifting more than 500,000 Wii consoles on the biggest shopping day of the year in the US.

Sales of the 3DS handheld console have also been booming, due to a new Mario game, bundling offers and a precipitous price cut. Read more

Maija Palmer

George OsborneThe UK government does not have a lot of money to pump into the technology sector so it is trying to be generous with something it does have in plentiful supply – data.

On Tuesday, as part of the government’s Autumn Statement George Osborne, the chancellor, is expected to announce plans to open up access to more government data, including transport data, health records, house prices and Met Office weather information. Read more

Scott McGregor

There are not many chief executives who would volunteer the results of their personal psychological tests. But Scott McGregor, the boss of chipmaker Broadcom, is clearly into brutal honesty. “My personality tests show my conflict-avoidance score is zero,” he confesses. “I have to be careful about it; I will upset people and I will cause unneeded friction.”

The comments say a lot about the 55-year-old as well as the company he heads. He relishes directness. While his manner comes across as amiable – perhaps partly a result of the effort he says he has made to pay more attention to “the human aspect of things” – there is a precise and carefully controlled edge to his delivery.

 Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving – saw $816m spent online sales, according to research and monitoring group Comscore, making it the heaviest online spending day so far in  2011 and representing a 26%  increase against Black Friday 2010. Thanksgiving Day, achieved a  18%  increase to $479m, Comscore reports. Read more

Three and a half years after its unsolicited takeover bid for Yahoo collapsed in shambles, Microsoft has edged back for a second look.

The software company’s revived interest in the fate of one of the internet’s best-known brands marks the beginning of what all sides expect will be an intense few weeks of negotiations, as Yahoo races to come up with a deal that will appease unhappy shareholders before a potential fight for boardroom control breaks out early in the new year.

 Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Arabic has become the fastest-growing language on Twitter, TNW reports. A study by Paris-based agency Semiocast found that out of approximately 180m tweets posted on a daily basis in October 2011, 2.2m of them were posted in Arabic, against 30,000 in July 2010 and 99,000 October 2010. A sample of 5.6bn public tweets, gathered from July 2010 to October 2011, revealed that the top five languages in use on Twitter are English, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish and Malay. Arabic comes in at number eight. Read more

HMV is entering the highly competitive digital video market with a new online rental service that takes on Apple’s iTunes and Teso’s Blinkbox.

Customers will be able to stream or download hundreds of movies, many released online at the same time as they go on sale on DVD, from hmvondemand.com. The struggling entertainment retailer already offers a digital music store, powered by 7digital, in which it owns a 50 per cent stake.

The content, website and billing for HMV’s on-demand service are provided by FilmFlex, a joint-venture between Sony Pictures and the Walt Disney Company, which also provides on-demand movies for Film4oD and Virgin Media. FilmFlex and HMV will share revenues from the service.

 Read more

Chris Nuttall

If the growth of Android smartphones continues at its current rate, the world’s population will need much larger hands.

That is, if you look at screen sizes rather than units sold, although the staggering smartphone fact-of-the-month is that the number of Android devices activated has doubled from 100m to 200m over the past six months. Read more

Chris Nuttall

With the holiday shopping season now underway this Black Friday in the US and the Christmas rush also begun in the UK and elsewhere,  there are many bargains to be had in tablets, laptops, digital cameras and big-screen TVs.

There are too many to list here (Retrevo is keeping tabs on some of them), but consider these 10 recommendations instead  for stocking fillers under $100 or £100, as the case may be. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

China has overtaken the US as the world’s biggest smartphone market by volume in the third quarter, Reuters reports. According to research company Strategy Analytics, smartphone shipments grew 58% to reach 23.9m units in China during the quarter, while US shipments fell 7% from the second quarter to reach 23.3m devices. Read more

Nokia has much resting on the launch of its first Windows smartphone, the Lumia 800, the first off the production line since its exclusive partnership was agreed with Microsoft in February. The phone is key for Nokia to claw back a position in high-end phones having been marginalised by Apple and Google’s Android in recent years, writes Daniel Thomas,  FT telecoms correspondentRead more

Tim Bradshaw

It isn’t news to say that Facebook is good for sharing content. Indeed, if this weekend’s debate is anything to go by, some people are coming to think the site promotes oversharing to an annoying degree.

But quite why the viral effect in Facebook is so strong has been difficult to understand in detail. In spite of its best efforts to nudge users towards looser privacy settings, navigating Facebook still feels like a set of small networks for friends rather than one large network.

A new study by Facebook and the University of Milan sheds some light on this. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Time Out, the entertainment reviews and listings group, has acquired Keynoir, a London daily-deals service, for a sum well below its inspiration Groupon’s multi-billion-dollar valuationRead more

Zhao Jing recently suffered an unexpected parting of the ways with his alter ego. The Chinese political journalist and blogger is better known as Michael Anti, the name under which he writes. The pseudonymous character was deemed “real” enough for Harvard university to award Mr Zhao a fellowship in that name.But Facebook decided earlier this year that Michael Anti did not exist. Under rules that require the social network’s members to use their real names, he had to go. No matter that the fictitious Mr Anti had more than 1,000 Facebook “friends”, his account was suspended without notice.

 Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Facebook has approached Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC to build a handset  with the social network integrated into its operating system, according to AllThingsDigital. Code-named “Buffy” – after the television vampire slayer – the phone is planned to run on a modified version of Android that Facebook has tweaked heavily to deeply integrate its services. Read more