Monthly Archives: June 2013

Tim Bradshaw

The Federal Trade Commission is probing Google’s $1bn acquisition of Waze, the social navigation app.

A Google spokesperson confirmed that the company had been contacted by the FTC about the mapping deal but did not comment on the nature of its investigation. 

An illustration by Toby Leigh depicting online communication©Toby Leigh

The little black book has had its share of technological transformations: from Outlook or Gmail organising our contacts to Facebook and LinkedIn, our personal networks have been digitised many times over. Yet the importance of meeting someone in person and striking up a rapport is unchanged. Dating services aside, few online social networks have succeeded in brokering new face-to-face connections offline.

That’s starting to change.

 

Tim Bradshaw

Leap Motion, a radical new device for controlling computers using hand movement, isn’t even on sale to the general public yet. But Highland Capital Partners, already an investor in the San Francisco startup, is putting another $25m behind a new fund for companies looking to build on the Leap platform. 

Tim Bradshaw

Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s founder, didn’t mention Vine at all when he unveiled his photo-sharing app’s new video function. But he wasn’t exactly subtle about pointing out the places where Instagram differs from Twitter’s 6-second video app. Here’s a quick rundown and some first impressions of how the two apps stack up: 

Fifty years ago, after dabbling in computing at the birth of the mainframe industry, General Electric missed the chance to add leadership in information technology to its industrial heritage.

But with the shift towards cloud computing that is now taking place, it might just get another chance – although, this time around, it sees itself more as an industrial version of Facebook than the next IBM.

 

By Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, FT media editor

Most marketers see the “second screen” (the smartphone or tablet catching your eye as you watch television) as a valuable second opportunity for engaging viewers, rather than a distraction from their expensively-crafted messages on the first screen. But in spite of this, some experimentation in how to make this extra channel pay its way is starting to take place. 

Tim Bradshaw

No wonder Tim Cook has escalated Apple’s position on the television market from “hobby” to “area of intense interest” in recent months. New figures from Apple suggest that it’s making at least $3m a day from TV and movie downloads. 

(and only one is, can we play with it?)

In a letter to Google chief executive Larry Page, the officials – from the EU, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Israel, Switzerland and three Canadian provinces – have formally raised their concerns about Glass.

Here are their questions and our brief commentary: 

It may seem hard to understand how one could go bankrupt selling iPads and MacBooks in one of Europe’s richest countries, but that is what happened Tuesday to iCentre, the largest Apple reseller in the Netherlands, writes Matt Steinglass in Amsterdam.

A judge in the Dutch town of Haarlem proclaimed the 34-store chain bankrupt on Tuesday, after a week of negotiations between the company, its creditors and potential buyers failed to produce a rescue plan. And on closer inspection, iCentre’s fate is not so hard to explain. Like other Apple resellers, iCentre was coping with a long-term shift from notebook and desktop computer sales towards smartphones and tablets, which have lower profit margins. 

It’s not just Apple that can generate sales buzz in China for new devices. A couple of weeks on from Amazon’s Kindle launch in China, and the new e-reading devices are becoming hot properties.

The company told beyondbrics in an email that the two Kindle tablets were sold out “almost immediately” and customers are leaving their contact information for the waiting list to be next in line for new stocks.