Monthly Archives: November 2011

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. 

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 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.


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. 

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. 

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. 

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 correspondent

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. 

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 valuation

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.


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.