Monthly Archives: October 2012

Richard Waters

There has been no shortage of calls recently for European regulators to drag Google’s controversial new data privacy policies into their anti-trust investigation of the company. But with settlement talks at an advanced stage, we hear this one isn’t going anywhere – at least, not in this round of Google v the EU. Read more

Flooding in New York

A monumental presidential election in 2008, social revolutions in the Middle East last year, and now Hurricane Sandy.

Photos of water lapping at the base of the Brooklyn carousel and spindly trees crashed upon car roofs have, er, flooded social media channels.

Just as Facebook burst into the mainstream during Barack Obama’s first presidential election campaign, today Instagram, the photo-sharing app now owned by Facebook, is finding widespread use as the preferred storytelling medium of the biggest storm in decades to hit the east coast. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Asus sales rise to $3.8bn

Asustek’s latest results confirm that the Taiwan-based company has some reason to feel as optimistic as it does. Its tablet sales, both of the Nexus 7 and its other convertible tabs, are already doing well, and, looking forward, reviewers and analysts have been relative positive on the new Windows 8 devices it launched this week.

A few weeks ago, its competitor Acer reported an 11 per cent fall in revenue, and global PC shipments are down more than 8 per cent this quarter. For the third-quarter, however, Taiwan-based Asus said its sales were up 9.2 per cent year-on-year to NT$111bn ($3.8bn), slightly more than analysts had been expecting. Read more

Chris Nuttall

The Slingbox 500 costs $300

When Dish Network bought Sling Media five years ago, I feared the worst for Slingbox, a remote TV viewing device on which I had come to depend.

I saw the technology being incorporated into the satellite TV service’s DVRs, which has happened to some extent, while the standalone boxes would slowly be allowed to fade away.

The signs have not been good in recent years, with no new consumer hardware since the Pro HD in 2008 and I’ve found little improvement in the video streaming software, with services such as HBOGo, WatchESPN and the BBC iPlayer offering me better quality video of late than my Slingbox’s relaying of my TV source at home. Read more

Richard Waters

If it’s Monday, it must be Windows Phone 8. Not to mention Google’s Nexus range. Would you prefer that in four, seven or ten inches?

At this time of year, the flow of new smartphones, tablets and things that defy categorisation becomes a flood. But the message left by the latest deluge of hardware (which includes a new iPad mini last week) is a somewhat paradoxical one: with the number and type of screens proliferating, the real key now lies in integration between machines, not in the devices themselves. Read more

Chris Nuttall

New smartpen connects to a wireless network

Livescribe’s digital pen has finally been set free from the need to tether it to a computer to synchronise its text and audio capture, with the release of a Wi-Fi model that saves documents in the cloud.

Its Sky Wi-Fi smartpen, launched on Monday, connects to a wireless network and automatically uploads the pen’s sessions to the Evernote note-capturing service. Read more

Apple’s final launch event of the year was jam packed with updates to the Macbook, Mac Mini and iMac line of computers. But above all, the unveiling of the iPad Mini and the new generation iPad created much of the commotion this week.

The introduction of a smaller version of the iPad didn’t go over so well with many tech commentators. At 7.9 inches, they thought the $329 price would push shoppers toward cheaper alternatives, such as Amazon’s $159 Kindle Fire and Google’s $199 Nexus 7. Read more

Apple has grudgingly complied with a UK court’s request to publicise the fact that it lost a case against Samsung. But rather than show any contrition, the US tech group took the opportunity to take a dig at its South Korean rival, writes Robert CooksonRead more

Tech has had a rough week, between the worries surfacing about Microsoft’s Windows 8 and doubts about Apple’s newly unveiled iPad mini and disappointing second quarter results.

Those worries have taken their toll on supply chain companies and computer makers in Taiwan, for whom the fourth quarter is not shaping up to be the holiday-led recovery many hoped for.

 Read more

Chris Nuttall

While Google has managed to resolve a lot of the bugs and frustrations of its Chromebook, the main issue of having to pay a relatively high price for a fairly limited laptop has remained.

Until now. The launch this week of a $249 (£229) Chromebook makes Google’s vision of computing in the cloud affordable and appealing, with a thin and light machine from Samsung that is $200 cheaper than its previous model released in May. Read more