Monthly Archives: January 2012

Kim dotcom

Kim Dotcom, the 37-year-old man behind Megaupload, was already a notorious figure in the online file-sharing world before he was forced out of the “panic room” of his $24m New Zealand mansion and arrested, in one of world’s largest criminal copyright cases.

Despite being convicted for computer hacking and later insider trading in Germany in the late 1990s, the man formerly known as Kim Schmitz has always denied any wrongdoing.

But since moving to Hong Kong and then New Zealand, he has never been shy about flaunting his success either.

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Chris Nuttall

Intel has announced a management reshuffle that provides fresh clues to the eventual successor to Paul Otellini as chief executive.

Brian Krzanich, (pictured left), head of manufacturing, is also taking on a chief operating officer role – a position that has not existed since Mr Otellini held it prior to becoming CEO in 2005. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Anonymous, the amorphous hacktivist collective, has claimed its “largest attack ever” on 10 music industry and government websites in retaliation for Thursday’s shutdown of MegaUploadRead more

Facebook’s release of 60 new lifestyle apps that let users track the recipes they cooked, the dresses they bought, and the trip to Paris they want to take, are turning the social network into a personal online scrapbook.

The apps, plus Facebook’s opening of its platform to any developer that wants to build on it, are clearly aimed at diversifying the experiences people can have on the site – to stem boredom, and to keep people participating. That’s a sensible business move ahead of the company’s IPO, as it keeps engagement rates up, and that keeps marketers optimistic and spending money.

But is seamlessly sharing the most minute details of daily life truly a way to stay connected with people, even within the limited confines of the internet? Read more

The internet industry scored a tactical victory this week with Wednesday’s blackout of sites such as Wikipedia and Reddit, and the White House’s decision to oppose parts of two bills intended to curb the file-sharing of films and copyrighted material. “Piracy rules,” tweeted Rupert Murdoch angrily.

Continue reading: “Halt the Silicon Valley historionics”

Chris Nuttall

Livescribe, the digital pen company, has announced a new chief executive, new funding and a new strategy as its founder Jim Marggraff steps down.

Gilles Bouchard, a former senior HP executive, becomes CEO. $10m has been added by existing backers in a new round and the company plans to release a wireless version of its Echo smartpen later this year as it explores cloud services. Read more

Chris Nuttall

For an extreme gaming PC maker, Alienware has come up with the smallest and most moderately priced machine in its history in the $699 X51.

The company, acquired by Dell in 2006, is looking to expand beyond the 1 to 2 per cent share of the PC market owned by enthusiast gaming PCs, with a model that is quieter, more affordable and less obtrusive in a living room environment. Read more

This screen on the left is what greeted visitors to Wikipedia on Wednesday, as the online encyclopedia site began its ‘blackout’ protest of two controversial intellectual property bills currently being discussed in the US Congress.

For 24 hours starting from 5am GMT on Wednesday, Wikipedia blocked users from viewing or editing all of its English-language pages except for the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect Intellectual Property Act, the bills it is protesting against. Read more

Maija Palmer

Facebook has taken the unusual step of making public the names and personal details of five men it believes to be behind the Koobface computer worm that attacked hundreds of thousands of computers through the social network’s profiles.

The alleged gang appear to be living in St Petersburg and were tracked by Facebook and a team of researchers over three years. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

In a number of security issues exposed in the last 24 hours, Chinese hackers claim to have infiltrated the secure smart card system used by US Government employees, according to a report by AlienVaultRead more

Wikipedia confirmed that it would black out all English language versions of its website around the globe this Wednesday, in opposition to two proposed anti-piracy laws in the US.

More than 1800 “Wikipedians” discussed various protest actions they could take to stall the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), and late on Monday, settled on the 24-hour blackout, to begin at 5 a.m. UTC/GMT on Wednesday.

Wikipedia users will not be able to read or edit English pages, though articles about SOPA and PIPA will remain accessible to readers. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Wikipedia is planning an online “blackout” on Wednesday, in protest against proposed US legislation intended to stem web piracy. Read more

Almost everything about the introduction of new internet domain names stinks of self-interest. Politicians, pornographers, regulators and big business have been dragged into the suffix wars, as Icann – the internet naming organisation – tries to add new tags to the familiar handles in the web’s current system, such as .com and .org.

The whole controversy sounds very Web 1.0. I thought domain-name investment had peaked a decade or more ago, when unlikely sums were spent on generic names such as business.com (once part-owned by the Financial Times). That bubble burst along with many of the dotcom companies.

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Tim Bradshaw

Facebook is heavily incentivising its advertisers to keep users within the social network, rather than clicking out to their own sites, according to a new report by social marketing agency, TBG DigitalRead more

Chris Nuttall

TVs, Ultrabooks and smartphones may have grabbed the headlines at the Consumer Electronics Show this past week, but there was a quieter wireless revolution also taking place that is set to provide important connectivity benefits for all our devices this year.

2012 could be the year of 5G – the 5th-generation of Wi-Fi - along with the maturity of a number of other wireless and wired technologies that will provide a major leap in speeds and easier ways to transfer video and other content from device to device. Read more

Chris Nuttall

CES is over for another year and the awards have been handed out for best in show, with the CNET tech site choosing the HP Envy 14 Spectre in the PC category and Simple TV in “Home Theater”.

I liked both at close quarters when I was briefed on them, but also had some reservations. Read more

Twitter’s displeasure with Google’s “Search plus Your World” may have been the most loudly heard reaction,  but tech commentators also took to their blogs to criticise Google’s latest enhancement to personalised search this week. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Nintendo was demonstrating its forthcoming Wii U next-generation console and Sony its PlayStation Vita handheld at CES in Vegas this week and they cannot come soon enough for the video game industry.

Cowen and Company analysts, mulling December’s NPD-collated US sales figures on Friday, described them as a Wii-saster, with a 42 per cent fall in Wii software dollar-sales year-on-year contributing to a 21 per cent overall industry decline in hardware, packaged software and accessory sales. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Google has admitted that employees in its Kenyan office have pillaged a local rival’s database to try to sell their competing products to its customers.

In an embarrassing lesson for any company that is growing fast internationally, Google – motto: Don’t be evil – was caught out by its victim, Mocality, in a sting operation. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

IBM claim that they have finally broken one of the most frustrating trends in computing history – that the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years, known as Moore’s Law – by creating a memory bit about 100 times more dense than current memory systems. Read more