Monthly Archives: December 2011

David Gelles

When the National Football League yesterday struck a trio of eye-popping deals with big TV networks, the focus was rightly on just how valuable live sports have become to broadcasters today.

But buried in the press releases heralding the agreements (which will bring the NFL $24bn over nine years) was some rather revolutionary news: the TV networks also secured the digital rights to the most popular sport on television.  Read more

Whoever thought up Amazon’s latest idea for squeezing other retailers – offering money off to people who scanned prices in US stores with its smartphone app and then bought the goods on Amazon – deserves an award for bad timing.

Continue reading: “Don’t make Amazon a monopoly”

Tech news from around the web:

PayPal, eBay’s payment service, is looking to take on Groupon and LivingSocial with plans to start offering coupons tailored to users’ buying habits and mobile phone locations, according to Bloomberg. The company will launch its mobile deals in the first quarter of 2012 in partnership with several US retailers. Read more

Does the solution to the US’s looming technology skills crisis lie in letting 15-year-olds play with computer-directed laser cutters?

To a growing band of enthusiasts such as Mark Hatch, who is just as happy to thrust welding torches into the hands of adolescents and simple computer programming tools in front of pre-teens, this is the best way to reverse the waning interest in science and technology among America’s children.

 Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Facebook is planning a push into mobile advertising by the end of March, according to Bloomberg. One idea being considered is to put Facebook’s Sponsored Stories ads, which feature friends’ interactions with brands, within the mobile news feed. Read more

Jive Software’s successful debut on the Nasdaq on Tuesday reflects investor enthusiasm for social media companies, though it is unclear how eager businesses are to bring a Facebook-style network to the workplace. Read more

Maija Palmer

ICO logoThe rhetoric over cookie legislation ratcheted up a notch on Tuesday, as the Information Commissioner’s Office told companies they “must try harder” in working out how to comply with the new rules on online privacy.

Christopher Graham, the commissioner, suggested that very few companies had yet come up with ways to get permission from online users to collect their details, as required by the new law. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Apple has announced that it has hit the 18bn mark in downloads of the 500,000 apps it has on offer at its App Store, PaidContent reports. Last week Google revealed that it had achieved 10bn downloads from its app store. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Amazon is to release an over-the-air software update to its latest tablet computer, the Kindle Fire, The New York Times reports. News of the uprgade comes as complaints about the tablet’s features and usability are on the rise. Among the complaints, the NYT reports, are:

  • There is no external volume control.
  • The off switch is easy to hit by accident.
  • Web pages take a long time to load.
  • There is no privacy on the device.
  • The touch screen is frequently hesitant.

 Read more

Google tv 


Apps, voice control and fresh interfaces are reshaping smartphones. Now the same is happening for televisions in the updates to services that have been made available for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Google TV. OnLive, meanwhile, is taking gaming out of the living room.

 Read more

Chris Nuttall

Video game publishers have had their best November on record in the US, according to the NPD research firm, with hard-core gamers loading up on two first-person shooters and a classic role-playing game.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 from Activision was the top-selling title, with Electronic Arts rival, Battlefield 3, at number three, and the highly-rated Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (pictured) from Bethesda Softworks splitting the two shooters. Read more

For Internet companies, a redesign can be a make or break moment. This week, Twitter unveiled a new look to the micro-blogging service’s website and mobile applications. While the company said it “simplified the design to make it easier than ever,” existing users saw the changes as a step towards Twitter monetising its service. Read more

Joseph Menn

Apple had a bad week in its multi-front patent war, capped by the real possibility of an iPhone and iPad import ban in GermanyRead more

Chris Nuttall

News apps that create magazine-style representations of your favourite feeds have been making daily news of their own this week.

Flipboard, a big hit on the iPad, launched its iPhone version on Wednesday, Google came out with its take on tablet-sized news with Currents on Thursday and now Zite has launched an iPhone app on Friday. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Panasonic is to launch a smartphone in Europe next year, according to Reuters. The move comes six years after the Japanese company abandoned overseas sales of its feature phones. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Jawbone says it has stopped production of its latest product – a health wristband  called UP- and will offer refunds, after numerous devices failed.

The San Francisco company made the unusual offer that customers could both have their money back and keep the product, even if they had no reason to request a refund. Read more

Richard Waters

When a company nabs high-profile social networking names like Reid Hoffman of Greylock and Matt Cohler of Benchmark Capital as directors with its B funding round, it’s a pretty good sign that it’s on a viral tear.

Edmodo, which just raised $15m, has taken off in the last year and offers a tantalising opportunity: a way to break into school classrooms. Read more

If you were running Yahoo, what would you do to revive its core internet services?

That question, or something similar, is being asked all over Silicon Valley and the internet industry – not just by the Yahoo board, which is looking for a permanent replacement to Carol Bartz, the ousted chief executive; but also by private equity investors such as Silver Lake and TPG that hope to buy a big stake and bring new leadership to one of the best web brands.

Tech news from around the web:

US telecoms company Verizon and Redbox, the group behind the $1 DVD-rental kiosks, are in talks to provide a film and TV download and streaming service, according to TechCrunch. The service is scheduled for a May 2012 launch. Read more

Chris Nuttall

OnLive has announced a major extension of its console-quality cloud gaming service with a launch on tablets and smartphones.

OnLive, available on PCs and TVs thus far, is releasing a free app for mobile platforms that will allow instant play of touch-enabled high-definition console games over its streaming service. Read more