Monthly Archives: April 2012

Chris Nuttall

Barnes & Noble already produced the best pure eReader for me in the $99 Simple Touch, with its touchscreen, a great display that was never washed out by sunlight and two months of battery life, due to E Ink technology being used for its 6in black-and-white screen.

But with no backlight, it was no good for reading in the dark.

That chapter has been closed with Thursday’s announcement of the Simple Touch with GlowLight, a lighter 7oz version which adds a soft, adjustable glow to the E Ink display. Read more

Maija Palmer

The deadline to apply for a new top level domain name has been extended by just over a week to Friday, April 20th after the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) was hit by software problems.

The deadline to apply for new, generic internet suffixes such as .london and .nyc was meant to close at midnight on Thursday, but California-based Icann said there had been technical issues with the software handling applications.  Read more

Chris Nuttall

United States v Apple, Inc et al is more than a US Justice department antitrust action against publishers allegedly colluding on ebook prices. The 36-page complaint filed on Wednesday is an ebook in its own right, in its pdf format, about how Apple changed the publishing industry and dealt a blow to Amazon, its biggest content rival.

While Apple may not have come up with the idea for the new agency model for selling ebooks – the docket suggests Hachette and HarperCollins were responsible – it was allegedly the main coordinator of the new strategy – refining it, winning a consensus among publishers and ensuring it was imposed on all other retailers. Steve Jobs, chief executive, and Eddy Cue, in charge of iTunes and its App Store, played key roles, according to the DOJ. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Gartner upped its 2012 worldwide tablet sales forecast on Tuesday to 119m units, from the 103m it predicted last September and almost double its final figures for 2011 of 60m units.

The research firm predicted Apple would still dominate with a 61 per cent market share, with Android taking 32 per cent. Toshiba will hope to have some of the latter share, with three new Excite tablets announced on Tuesday, including a supersized 13.3in version. Read more

Richard Waters

Can you name this start-up?

Some 18 months after launching, it reaches 20m users and may be on the way to owning its category. An established internet giant, which has been trying to break into the same market, jumps in with a takeover offer worth more than $1bn – even though it’s not clear how the start-up will make money. With a market value that has soared to over $100bn, though, the acquirer feels it can afford the risk.

No, this is not Facebook buying Instagram – but the parallels are striking. Read more

Richard Waters

Microsoft just wrote the final chapter in a historic rivalry that defined the early years of the Web – and which became Exhibit A in its anti-trust showdown with the US government.

We hear that the legal remains of Netscape – along with its patents – have just been traded to Microsoft by AOL as part of a landmark $1.1bn deal. More than a decade after it was vanquished in the browser wars, Netscape really does seem to be worth more dead than alive. Read more

The iPhone’s 3G is off, the Wi-Fi is shut down and my flamboyantly sadistic 19-year-old son has taken custody of my iPad for the next week. Out comes the network cable and I draft an automatic reply for email messages. As the witching hour approaches, I bid farewell to my 200,000-odd followers on Twitter: “Internet addiction check-up. Off-line for a week from tomorrow. Be in touch”.

Continue reading: “A week without the worldwide web”

Paul Taylor

Nokia’s Windows Phone-powered Lumia 900, available today in the US from AT&T, has broad shoulders – which is fortunate because Nokia, Microsoft and AT&T all need this new handset to be a big success.

The Lumia 900 runs on AT&T’s expanding LTE network and boasts a distinctive unibody design with curved side edges, a big 4.3 inch screen and an 8 megapixel digital camera sensor but despite these high-end specs, costs only $99. Read more

Richard Waters

Two researchers from Dutch electronics group Philips, a professor at New York University, an independent inventor in San Jose – and a certain Mark Zuckerberg.

These are some of the people whose assembled brainpower Facebook has drawn on to defend itself against Yahoo’s patent infringement case. If successful, it will count as one of the most effective legal defences mounted by a young internet concern that until recently had little in the way of patent reserves to draw on. Read more

Could Google become one of the beneficiaries of improving ties between Taiwan and China?

The US internet company on Tuesday began construction of its own data center in central Taiwan, one of three that it is building in Asia, after Hong Kong and Singapore. The groundbreaking comes just a week after the Taiwan government approved the construction of the first-ever undersea cable directly linking China and Taiwan. Read more