Monthly Archives: January 2013

Richard Waters

Why is it that text-to-speech services so often come with that cool-yet-sexy synthesised female voice straight out of a male fantasy?

Ivona, a Polish company, is no exception, judging by this avatar from the company’s website. She is likely to be coming to more Kindle devices soon, following Amazon’s acquisition of the company on Thursday. The most tantalysing question, though: Is Ivona also Amazon’s answer to Siri and a sign that it will soon be in the smartphone business? Read more

Skimming down the ski slopes of Davos this year, wearing the latest gadgets from this month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, digerati will be able to register their speed, altitude, position, distance, temperature, heart rate and even brain activity at any given second.

With point-of-view action cams attached to ski poles and helmets, the whole experience could be captured in wide-angle UltraHD quality and streamed to a smartphone screen or out to watching friends on Facebook. Read more

If Microsoft isn’t prepared to take a bet on the PC, then who is?

This explains why the world’s biggest software company is now considering dipping into its $67bn of cash reserves to back a buyout of Dell, a casualty of the fierce wars raging in the hardware industry.

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Chris Nuttall

Apple’s shares fell more than 10 per cent in extended trading in New York after the Silicon Valley company reported first-quarter revenues and iPhone sales below Wall Street expectations.

Apple reported $54.5bn in sales compared to an analyst consensus of $54.7bn. along with iPhone sales of 47.8m units, below expectations of around 50m.

Our live blog of the earnings announcement and subsequent conference call is after the jump. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Some analysts are calling Apple’s first-quarter results, coming after the market closes on Wednesday, the iPhone maker’s most important in years.

The company’s stock price has tumbled by a quarter since September’s peak and October’s warning that profit margins would come under pressure from the near-simultaneous launch of the iPhone 5, iPad mini and other upgrades last autumn. Read more

Interesting commentary from around the Web on the tech story that made headlines this week.

This week Mark Zuckerberg took the wraps off Graph Search, Facebook’s revamped search engine that allows users to search through their social connections. The unveiling of the feature triggered a wave of discussion from tech commentators over whether the social network can add a new revenue stream by going after Google’s large slice of the search cake. Read more

It’s not what you get out of it that matters, it’s what you put in.

That is the real significance of Facebook’s inelegantly named Graph Search, the new “social” search engine it unveiled this week. The company that probably already knows more about you than any other single business would now like you to divulge one other, extremely valuable thing: what you want.

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Ingram Pinn illustration

The death of the internet activist Aaron Swartz at the age of 26 has rightly evoked tributes to his creativity and selflessness. Swartz, who faced jail for illegally downloading millions of academic papers from an electronic library, committed suicide last week.

Five years ago, Swartz signed a “guerrilla open access manifesto” in which he complained of “the world’s entire scientific and cultural heritage” being “digitised and locked up by a handful of private corporations” such as Reed Elsevier. He advised computer hackers to “take information, wherever it is stored, make our copies and share them with the world”.

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Richard Waters

Facebook has announced a new social search service at an event at its HQ in California today.

Mark Zuckerberg has gone out of his way to stress that “graph search” is not intended to be a Google-killer. But for advertisers, this could be a significant moment. With a trillion social connections, Facebook believes that searching the social graph will yield something more revealing than trawling links on the Web.

Read our blow-by-blow analysis live from the event as the news unfolded.

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Richard Waters

Getty Images

Could a Dell no longer weighed down by the anchor of its original PC business carve out a new future of growth as an enterprise technology company?

That is the only conceivable rationale for a potential buy-out that has once again become a hot topic of conversation on Wall Street. But it will take a strong nerve to call the bottom at a time when Dell’s PC business looks to be in free-fall. Read more