Monthly Archives: February 2012

Paul Taylor

It has taken Research in Motion 10 months to update the software running its PlayBook tablet and deliver features like native email that should have been there to start with.

Aside from email, RIM’s PlayBook 2.0 software, released as a free upgrade for users today, adds features including support for Android apps in a belated effort to address weaknesses that have attracted widespread criticism and rendered the PlayBook an afterthought in the fast growing PC tablet market. Read more

From the FT’s Business blog:

Fujitsu’s plan to enter the European smartphone and tablet market has a 1980s ring to it. By the early part of that decade, Japanese companies had already grabbed large shares of the markets for televisions, hi-fi, calculators, electronic toys, and digital watches. These days, Europeans are more used to hearing about new Chinese, Taiwanese and South Korean entrants.

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Google’s latest privacy breach? Late in the week, a researcher at Stanford University discovered that Google and several other advertising companies were bypassing privacy settings in Apple’s Safari browser.

Although Google admitted it “now started removing these advertising cookies,” the news brought a fresh example of the risks of online browsing to Internet privacy. Read more

Richard Waters

There are two ways to interpret the news that Eric Schmidt is going to sell $1.45bn worth of Google shares this year – his biggest annual disposal yet and first big sale in four years. Either he thinks the stock is looking pricey again or he is cutting some of his ties with the company. Read more


The Nintendo 3DS put 3D gaming in consumers’ hands last year without the need for special glasses. Now Sony is launching its own take on next-generation portable gaming in the form of the PlayStation Vita, with its superior motion and touch controls, social networking features and cameras.

The notion of a dedicated handheld games console seems almost quaint in the age of the iPad and smartphone gaming. An extra nail in the coffin of such devices appeared to be hammered in a year ago, when Sony unveiled the Xperia Play, an Android phone with slide-out controllers that are very similar to those on a PlayStation 3 or PSP (PlayStation Portable).

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Chris Nuttall

Apple has extended to software its policy of only allowing a chosen few reviewers to see and try out new products ahead of release, with reviews of Mountain Lion, a new update to the Mac operating system, appearing in the US media on Thursday.

It’s a clever move by the company – journalists tend to go big on stories where they have some exclusivity and Apple can be guaranteed that the blogosphere will amplify whatever’s reported. We were not among the anointed ones, but, sour grapes aside, this does seem a fairly predictable and incremental update of OS X, if nicely timed for when Windows 8 should be appearing. The essentials you need to know are after the jump. Read more

Maija Palmer

Companies are not exactly beating down Icann’s door to get their hands on a new .anything domain name, it seems.

One month into the application process, just 100 companies have so far registered to apply for  a new top level domain name such as .coke or .london.  It is the first indication of what the uptake will be like of the controversial expansion of internet names by Icann.   Read more

Last month the European Commission proposed adding a new “right to be forgotten” to privacy law. This deceptively simple idea is a ticking time-bomb in the booming internet economy. It is also essential – both for Europeans and Americans – to protect personal privacy in the age of pervasive social media and cloud computing, writes Richard Falkenrath, cybersecurity adviser and adjunct senior fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations.

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Chris Nuttall

Apple appears to have acknowledged it needs to tighten up enforcement of its app guidelines following Path’s much-criticised uploading of users’ contacts to its servers without their knowledge.

“Apps that collect or transmit a user’s contact data without their prior permission are in violation of our guidelines,” an Apple spokesman told the FT. Read more

Venture capitalists have long been touting Russia as the undiscovered market for e-commerce. While the postal system is notoriously bad and Russians have been reluctant to embrace online payments, investors argue that the market simply needs to be consolidated for homegrown versions of to enjoy the success of their western counterparts.

The leader of this consolidation appears to be – the online book, music and vido seller – which on Wednesday announced it would be acquiring, a dot-com shoe retailer.

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