Monthly Archives: June 2013

India has overtaken Japan to become the world’s third largest market for smartphones, joining China and the US on the podium.

In some ways, it’s unsurprising. With a population of over a billion people India is bound eventually to be among the largest markets for pretty much anything. What is interesting is how Indians are using their phones – and the local handset makers that are seeing lightning fast growth.

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Who’s buying?

PC companies just can’t get a break.

Shipments from the Taiwanese manufactures that make most of the world’s desktop and laptop computers hit a three-year low last quarter as consumers waited for fixes to Windows and decided to buy tablets and smartphones in the meantime. For those Taiwanese companies, those disappointing stats are one more reminder of the need to diversify away from their core PC business.

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How will they pay for souvenirs?

Imagine the faces of PayPal’s executive team when their boss asked for ideas on how to make payments in space.

Let’s just hope no one laughed, because David Marcus, PayPal’s president, wasn’t joking.

As if international expansion wasn’t hard enough, he has now launched PayPal Galactic – a partnership with the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute – to find ways of taking payments into outer orbit. Read more

http://www.jamesmartin.com/

One of the world’s greatest computer scientists and prolific authors, Dr James Martin, has died. His body was found in waters off Bermuda on Monday, although the news did not immediately become public. Police say there were no suspicious circumstances.

As well as writing 104 textbooks, Dr Martin stood out for his gifts totaling $150m to the University of Oxford for the study of future challenges. That highlighted his belief that people could anticipate the effect of technology if they put their minds to it in the right way. Read more

Intel sees something wrong with the way Americans consume and pay for television. So this week it confirmed that this year it would roll out a live television service delivered over the internet, without a subscription from established video distributors such as Comcast or Time Warner Cable.

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Robert Cookson

As apps go, Ant Smasher sounds simple enough. The free game, which has been downloaded more than 50m times from the Google Play app store, allows mobile phone users to entertain themselves by squishing digital ants as they scurry down the screen. Splat, splat, splat.

But Ant Smasher has a dark side. It is one of a growing wave of apps that contains “adware” – aggressive advertising technology that displays ads in a phone’s notification bar and other places outside of the app itself, without consent. Read more

Will some online users pay to preserve a free service for all? Wikipedia’s fundraising efforts seem to show that they will – but only if it is not founder Jimmy Wales personally asking for the money, writes Andy Bounds

As regular as Christmas, Mr Wales has fronted an end-of-year fundraiser for the past decade that features his personal appeal to keep the site running without resorting to advertising. Read more

… erm, sort of.

The PC-maker is selling Autonomy’s stake in video advertising engine Blinkx, which is traded on London’s AIM market.

And since that stake is worth around 40 per cent more than when the acquisition for Autonomy was agreed in August 2011, HP’s accountants can book a handy profit of around £16m (depending when the actual sale occurs). So no hard feeling about that $8.8bn write-down then, Ms Whitman?

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By Dan Thomas, telecoms correspondent

Sony will bolster its mobile range with a large screen “phablet” phone that is sized neatly between the high end smartphone and tablet launched last year to revive the Japanese group’s ailing devices business.

At 6.4 inches, Xperia Z Ultra acts perfectly as a small video screen, with a remarkably clear luminous display that carries HD videos with great clarity using Sony Bravia TV technology. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

For such a simple little app, Snapchat provokes some strong opinions.

Much of the reaction to its fundraising, announced on Monday, was one of amazement that the two-year-old ephemeral messaging app could be worth $800m. After all, that’s more than Facebook paid for Instagram last year ($715m after Facebook’s stock slumped from the time of its initial $1bn offer). Read more