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

Nexon continued its march westwards this week as it partnered with one of the newest entrants to US video game development, writes Jennifer Thompson in Tokyo.

The Japanese online game maker is to take a minority stake in Shiver Entertainment, a Florida-based studio set up by industry veteran John Schappert, a former top executive at Electronics Arts and Zynga. Read more

Tim Armstrong, chief executive of AOL, has apologized to employees of the internet company for firing an employee last week in front of more than 1,000 coworkers, writes Emily Steel

During a conference call to discuss the future of AOL’s struggling network of local Patch sites, Mr Armstrong told the group’s creative director to immediately put down a camera then declared that he was fired. A recording of the call has been making rounds on the internet and been listened to more than 1,000 times. Read more

The world of video gaming used to be dominated by the big publishers releasing games on consoles and the PC. But the rise of smartphone and tablet gaming and new digital distribution channels has led to a big increase in successful indie games. Reaching a large audience used to be about having the biggest budget or the most successful franchise. That isn’t the case today, writes Daniel Garrahan. Read more

Example of a space selfie, from Planetary Resources' kickstarter page

More than 17,600 people have raised $1.5m for a space telescope Kickstarter campaign, with the majority to receive a picture of themselves from outside the Earth’s atmosphere, writes Connor Radnovich

Yes, a selfie from space.

Planetary Resources – the ambitious space mining company backed by Larry Page and Eric Schmidt of Google alongside other investors such as Ross Perot Jr, raised the money over a 33-day campaign. Read more

The most interesting nugget in Yahoo’s second-quarter earnings presentation is arguably not the web portal company’s own performance; but rather that of Alibaba, the Chinese ecommerce company in which Yahoo holds a 24 per cent stake.

With Alibaba gearing up for its highly anticipated initial public offering, the eye-popping numbers revealed on Tuesday by Yahoo are a must read for any potential investors.

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From the FT’s Charles Clover in Moscow:

Russia’s gas monopoly Gazprom has ordered a custom-built, $3.7m gadget for its chief executive Alexei Miller to help him run the company, according to tender documents posted on the company’s website on Tuesday.

Gazprom says that the bespoke device is not just a run-of-the-mill tablet computer, but an “integrated workstation” for Mr Miller. The company is frequently under fire for spending too much money on everything from the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi to steel pipe. Read more

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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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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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

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

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. Read more

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. Read more

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.

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Nick Lowndes illustration for Millennial Generation special report

Few “millennials” – or the generation aged between 18 and 33 – can remember a time when technology has not been a fundamental part of their lives. Not only does it answer their questions, but, through social media, it also gives them the ability to alter the way in which they are perceived by their peers and the greater world around them. Online tools and smart devices have empowered the generation born since 1980 in a way few previous technologies have done.

“Technology has played a huge role in how they’re different from the ­generation that came before them,” says Jean Case, chief executive of the Case Foundation, which she and her husband Steve Case, AOL’s co-founder, created in 1997.

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By Richard Waters and Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson

By showing that it is prepared to play by the music industry’s rules with its new All Access subscription service, Google has won itself new friends among the music labels.

The main questions now: Can it overcome a patchy past track record in the music business, take advantage of its early lead in subscriptions over Apple and show that it can carve an audience of paying punters out of its massive user base? Read more

As India’s IT sector looks to new markets for growth, the country’s fourth largest IT company, Wipro, has announced that it will pay $30m for a minority stake in the privately held Opera Solutions, a US organisation that works in predictive and prescriptive data analytics.

That translates into helping companies use data to manage costs, risks and other areas of the business. It’s a high-value element of the IT sector that many Indian companies are trying to expand into as growth in other services has tailed off.

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HTC, the bealguered Taiwanese phonemaker, expects sales to jump over 60 per cent between first and second quarter. That’s quite an uplift, and certainly better than last quarter, when sales significantly missed expectations, driving down its first quarter profits to record lows.

What’s behind the change? Well, it helps to have a flagship phone to sell.

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Shares in Sina Corp, the Nasdaq-listed Chinese online media group, rose nearly 21 per cent during trading on Monday after the company said it had agreed to sell 18 per cent of Weibo, its Twitter-like micro-blogging service, to Alibaba Group for $586m. The two came close to a similar deal five months ago. Now they have tied the knot.

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