Monthly Archives: September 2013

The British love for a good moan was focused on TalkTalk in dog-and-bone terms in the June quarter. Read more

Taiwan smartphone maker HTC will sell back its remaining stake in headphone and audio tech company Beats Electronics as the Taiwanese group tries to turn around its shrinking core phone business. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Environmentally conscious or just clumsy people buying a smartphone are better off with a new Samsung or Motorola than with one of the new iPhones.

A new ranking from iFixit, a group that specialises in tearing apart phones to figure out to repair them, looks how easy it is to fix the top smartphones on the market. Read more

Hannah Kuchler

The digital age should have killed off those familiar little yellow square notes covered in near-illegible handwriting, stuck on your desk as a reminder of something you should have done long ago.

The Post-It, originally created by 3M as a use for a low tack glue the company discovered, should have been replaced by the buzzing smartphone alerts, shared electronic calendars and cloud storage services which rule organise our lives today.

But Evernote, the cloud company which aspires to act as a “second brain” storing the thoughts of its 75m users, is resuscitating the aide memoire by signing a deal to give “new digital life” to the tired old Post-It. Read more

China’s biggest ecommerce company, Alibaba, has joined the growing enthusiasm for cloud storage applications, buying Kanbox for an undisclosed amount.

Kanbox offers free storage for documents, photos and other files, bringing Alibaba into competition with other Chinese heavyweights Tencent and Baidu, which offer similar services. The company raised $20m in Series B funding two years ago, so the acquisition value is likely to have been several hundred million dollars. Read more

If you’re wondering why Jack Dorsey’s payments company Square hasn’t launched in Europe, here’s one possible answer. The market is just too competitive.

Already several European companies do what Square does – allowing small businesses to process card payments without a monthly contract. They are now engaging in a price war, ripping up the 2.75 per cent transaction fee that Square made standard. Read more

Every six months Mediacom, the media buying agency, surveys 1,000 kids in the UK and asks the name of their favourite website. The big story over recent years has been the decline of Facebook.

In 2010 nearly half of kids (aged 8-16) said it was their favourite site – now that number is just one in six. The top performer is YouTube, which is quoted as the favourite of more kids than Facebook and Twitter combined (see graph below).

That’s interesting for a couple of reasons. Read more

Ever since Apple launched the iPhone 5S with a fingerprint scanner, hackers have been trying to embarrass the company by circumventing it. Now a German group says it has succeeded – by making a copy of person’s fingerprint and using it to unlock the handset.

This trick is less ludicrous than the idea that thieves might chop off people’s fingers to unlock their iPhones (a new definition of computer hacking). But is it a serious blow to Apple’s foray into biometrics?

The Chaos Computer Club posted a video in which a person’s fingerprint on a glass surface is photographed, then printed out onto a thin film used to make a fake finger, which can unlock the phone. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Backlash? What backlash? Adoption of Apple’s latest update to iOS has been strong in its first 24 hours, despite fears that some iPhone owners would freak out at its bright colours and new design. Installs of iOS 7 are ahead of iOS 6 at the same point last year, according to external estimates. Read more

Mobile operators have warned that customers shouldn’t expect to easily buy an iPhone 5s when it goes on sale this weekend – but there will be plenty of the cheaper multi-hued 5c model lying around for the casual Apple fan.

While sell-outs are expected of Apple’s latest premium iPhone 5s in many phone stores this weekend in the UK, the colourful, lower cost device will be well-stocked, according to several operator sources close to the retail end of the business. Read more

Robert Cookson

If any single piece of technology underpins the $100bn global online advertising market, it is the cookie.

So news that Google plans to ditch cookies and replace them with its own tracking solution has big implications for advertising technology companies and the venture capital funds that have poured billions of dollars into the sector in recent years.

Rocket Fuel, a real-time ad-buying platform that went public in the US this week, and Criteo, a French ad tech company that this week filed for an IPO on Nasdaq, have both warned about the reliance of their businesses on cookies. Read more

Here’s our digest on the conclusions of the top US and UK reviewers ahead of the 5s and its cheaper, plastic sibling, the 5c, going on sale on Friday. Read more

Richard Waters

Wednesday will be a big day in the life of Lawrence J Ellison, co-founder and chief executive officer of Oracle, multi-billionaire, defending champion of the America’s Cup and head of Oracle Team USA.

It will also present an interesting test of where his true allegiances lie. As the boat he bankrolled with tens of millions of dollars faces defeat, will he choose to front Oracle’s quarterly earnings call or be out on San Francisco bay? Read more

Hannah Kuchler

The much-anticipated Twitter IPO (TwIPO?) has arrived. Twitter chose to announce it, of course, on its own site:

 Read more

So sales of tablets will soon overtake those of PCs, according to the new figures from IDC. But one mobile device that isn’t surging is the ereader.

Sales of ereaders, such as Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook, seemed to have peaked – with sales currently declining faster than even those of PCs. Only 16m ereaders will be sold this year, Gartner estimates, down from 24m in 2011 and 18m in 2012. Gartner cut its forecasts for future shipments by nearly half earlier this year.

Ereaders face two big problems. Read more

Mark Zuckerberg accused the US government of bad PR, saying it failed to communicate the balance of security and economic interests behind its internet surveillance efforts – in turn creating a massive PR problem for Facebook.

“I think the government blew it,” he said at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco on Wednesday. “It’s my job and our job to protect everyone who uses Facebook and the information they share with us. It’s our government’s job to protect all of us and also to protect our freedoms and protect the economy and companies. And I think they did a bad job of balancing those things.” Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Wall Street doesn’t like the new iPhone 5c.

I do.

After briefly trying out the new smartphone at its launch on Tuesday, I think it’s going to sell in record volumes for Apple. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Photo: Pandora

Pandora has just appointed a veteran of Microsoft’s advertising technology business as its new chairman, president and chief executive.

Brian McAndrews left his role at Seattle’s Madrona Venture Group, once a seed investor in, to join the internet radio service as it braces for new competition from Apple’s iTunes Radio. He replaces Joe Kennedy, who is retiring after leading Pandora since 2004. Read more

Hannah Kuchler

Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer admitted on Tuesday that her biggest weakness was making too many decisions, saying that she needed to learn to pull back and focus her energy on key strategic moments.

The chief executive has been busy: going on a buying spree including bagging Tumblr for $1bn, transforming Yahoo’s mobile team and appearing in the pages of VogueRead more

Federal judges evaluated the privacy and free speech implications of a California law that would create a database of online identities for sex offenders, noting the shift in public sentiment around such data collection since voters passed the law last November and today, as revelations about the US’s monitoring of online communications continue to emerge.

“We’re living in a post-Snowden world,” said Judge Jay Bybee of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, referencing the surveillance practices revealed by former CIA contractor Edward Snowden and questioning whether a database of email addresses and online identities intended to help solve sex crimes could be used to monitor people’s political speech.

Mr Bybee was one of three judges hearing oral arguments in a case about Proposition 35, the California law that requires convicted sex offenders to register their email addresses and user names for online news sites and social networks. The initiative was passed by a majority of voters last November, after receiving financial backing from Chris Kelly, Facebook’s chief privacy officer between 2005 and 2009. Read more