Reading this on the move? If so, the chances are you are using an Apple or a Samsung Electronics device. By the time you have finished (we give you 10 minutes), the two companies will have sold almost 5,000 smartphones. Everyone knows about Apple. The iPhone has been flying off the shelves since 2007. But it is currently being outsold by Samsung. Of every five smartphones sold by the two companies, three will be a Samsung. Most impressively, South Korea’s largest company only began to gain traction in this market in 2010.

Continue Reading: Lex in depth: Samsung

Could some corporate twitter feeds – shock and horror – not be as popular with real people as they appear? New research published on Friday by a professor at Milan’s IULM University suggests that may well be the case, writes Eric Sylvers in Milan.

Marco Camisani Calzolari, a professor of corporate communications and digital languages, has examined the Twitter followers of 39 companies with major consumer brands, including DellOutlet, Starbucks, and Blackberry, and tried to determine which followers are likely humans and which are likely bots, or fake accounts. Read more

The dismal performance of Facebook’s initial public offering, after several years in which it was expected to crown the emergence on public markets of social networks, is bound to dampen the mood in Silicon Valley.

Paul Graham, who runs Y Combinator, a start-up incubator, says the effect will be what you might expect – early-stage valuations will suffer. His email to portfolio companies, obtained by Business Insider, contains this warning:

“If you haven’t raised money yet, lower your expectations for fundraising. How much should you lower them? We don’t know yet how hard it will be to raise money or what will happen to valuations for those who do. Which means it’s more important than ever to be flexible about the valuation you expect and the amount you want to raise (which, odd as it may seem, are connected). First talk to investors about whether they want to invest at all, then negotiate price.”

 Read more

Last month the European Commission proposed adding a new “right to be forgotten” to privacy law. This deceptively simple idea is a ticking time-bomb in the booming internet economy. It is also essential – both for Europeans and Americans – to protect personal privacy in the age of pervasive social media and cloud computing, writes Richard Falkenrath, cybersecurity adviser and adjunct senior fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations.

 Read more

Venture capitalists have long been touting Russia as the undiscovered market for e-commerce. While the postal system is notoriously bad and Russians have been reluctant to embrace online payments, investors argue that the market simply needs to be consolidated for homegrown versions of to enjoy the success of their western counterparts.

The leader of this consolidation appears to be – the online book, music and vido seller – which on Wednesday announced it would be acquiring, a dot-com shoe retailer.

 Read more

The internet industry scored a tactical victory this week with Wednesday’s blackout of sites such as Wikipedia and Reddit, and the White House’s decision to oppose parts of two bills intended to curb the file-sharing of films and copyrighted material. “Piracy rules,” tweeted Rupert Murdoch angrily.

Continue reading: “Halt the Silicon Valley historionics”

Almost everything about the introduction of new internet domain names stinks of self-interest. Politicians, pornographers, regulators and big business have been dragged into the suffix wars, as Icann – the internet naming organisation – tries to add new tags to the familiar handles in the web’s current system, such as .com and .org.

The whole controversy sounds very Web 1.0. I thought domain-name investment had peaked a decade or more ago, when unlikely sums were spent on generic names such as (once part-owned by the Financial Times). That bubble burst along with many of the dotcom companies.

 Read more

The Israeli military’s in-house high-tech research and development unit has spawned a process for coming up with new ideas

When Aharon Zeevi Farkash enters the offices of his company south of Tel Aviv, he needs neither key nor code. As soon as he leaves the elevator, a camera captures his face and body shape, and feeds the information to a computer that recognises his features. The door unlocks.

Should the face recognition software fail, Mr Farkash will be prompted to speak a few words into a receiver. The computer will switch to voice recognition – and unlock the door.

 Read more

In the titanic power struggle that has been taking shape between the giants of consumer technology, the looming clash between mobile and social has become the most intriguing.

It is almost hard now to remember a time, in the hazy past of half a decade ago, before the iPhone made the digital life a constant accompaniment to analogue existence, or before most people became enmeshed in the web of virtual personal connections that make up Facebook.

 Read more

After the spectacular leadership bust-up at Yahoo, co-founder Jerry Yang and Carol Bartz, the just-dumped chief executive, probably don’t make for the closest of boardroom allies. Ms Bartz, you will recall, denounced her former colleagues on the Yahoo board as “doofuses” and attacked chairman Roy Bostock for a lack of class in firing her over the phone.

Five miles east of Yahoo’s Silicon Valley HQ, though, Ms Bartz and Mr Yang still have to make nice. That’s the home base of another troubled tech titan, Cisco Systems, where both are on the board.