Navx logoWhile we await the big decision by the European Commission on whether Google is behaving anti-competitively in the search market, there are a few smaller battles to watch, which may also prove significant.

Navx, the French location data company, is seeking €23m in damages from Google in the Paris Commerical Court, for alleged abuse of a dominant position, related to a dispute between the two companies over an Adwords contract.

The €23m is not, in itself, a huge amount of money for Google. But if Navx’s case is successful, it could open up the floodgates of other claimants who feel they have been treated unfairly by the Adwords system. This is certainly what Jean Cherbonnier, chief executive of Navx, would like to happen. Read more

Iceland subsea connectionsIceland’s hopes of becoming a global hub for data centres came a step closer on Thursday, when plans for a new transatlantic subsea cable were announced, that would link New York and London via Iceland and Ireland.

Iceland has long been trying to market itself as a prime location for data centres. Its plentiful, cheap geothermal energy is attractive to data centre operators who are becoming increasingly worried about electricity costs, and the cold climate means cooling the racks of servers is virtually free. Read more

Google, PayPal, Visa and leading mobile phone operators are all rushing to announce mobile payments services, in a battle to establish a foothold in a lucrative new market.

In September, Google launched its mobile wallet service in the US, allowing people to pay for goods at stores including Bloomingdale’s, Toy’R’Us and Walgreens, by using a mobile handset equipped with a near-field communications (NFC) chip that communicates wirelessly with the cash till.

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George OsborneThe UK government does not have a lot of money to pump into the technology sector so it is trying to be generous with something it does have in plentiful supply – data.

On Tuesday, as part of the government’s Autumn Statement George Osborne, the chancellor, is expected to announce plans to open up access to more government data, including transport data, health records, house prices and Met Office weather information. Read more

London cyberspace conferenceThe London Cyberspace conference is an elegant metaphor for why government involvement in the internet should be limited as much as possible.

Even its name is already out of date, as quaint as calling it the “information super-highway” these days.  A roomful of young people, convened as a “Youth Forum” on the fringes of the conference, were asked if anyone used the word “cyber” any more. No one raised their hands. Read more

Nokia Lumia 800While Nokia was busy unveiling its new Windows smartphones at Nokia World on Wednesday, there was already speculation around the conference – will a Nokia Windows tablet follow? Read more

Milko van DuijlStill high on overtaking Dell last week to become the world’s second largest PC manufacturer by sales, Lenovo is becoming ever more bullish. Milko van Duijl, Lenovo’s senior vice president, is now not shy of admitting the company is gunning for the number one position – which it could reach within two or three years. Read more

gemalto imageThe disruption suffered by companies in the recent spate of technology patent wars became apparent last week when Gemalto, the French smartcard company, revealed a €13.5m shortfall in its patents revenue, following a dispute with makers of Android smartphones.

The Paris-based company launched a suit against Google, Motorola, HTC and Samsung last October, alledging that they had used Gemalto’s smartcard technology in Android devices without a licence. Read more

This internal email was sent by Tim Cook to all Apple employees early on Thursday morning, reassuring them that the company “is not going to change”.

Below is the full text of the e-mail:


I am looking forward to the amazing opportunity of serving as CEO of the most innovative company in the world. Joining Apple was the best decision I’ve ever made and it’s been the privilege of a lifetime to work for Apple and Steve for over 13 years. I share Steve’s optimism for Apple’s bright future.

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Hand holding ipadWhat a difference two years makes.  In 2009 my colleague Tim Bradshaw wrote about the advertising industry’s early experiments with augmented reality and the FT printed an AR image on its pages to give readers a practical demonstration.

We printed another augmented reality image on Tuesday, and the difference between the two projects has been like moving from black and white silent film to colour television. Read more

Google logoA strange episode in the long-running battle between Google and Belgian newspaper groups over the weekend highlighted the complex and delicate relationship that exists between the search engine company and the media.

Copiepresse, an organisation representing Francophone Belgian newspapers, sued Google in 2006, for posting links to pictures and content on the Google News service. Copiepresse won the case and the judgement was upheld by the appeal court in May.  Read more

Icann logoRepurposing Churchill quotes is popular among those involved with Icann. Those pushing for reform of the organisation that manages the world’s internet domain names call it the “worst system of internet governance, apart from all the others”.

Steve Crocker, Icann’s newly elected chairman, has his own favourite quote: “It is not the end, not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning.”

A veteran computer scientist who help create the very foundations of the internet,  Mr Crocker wants people to be patient with the Californian non-proft company, which is only 13 years old and just beginning to get into its stride in improving the structure of the internet. Read more

no to spamAt first this looks so promising. Volumes of spam are down nearly 70 per cent from last year according to a report from Symantec, the IT security company. In June, there were 39.2bn unsolicited, “spam” messages in circulation each day, compared with 121.5bn a day in June 2010. This echoes findings earlier this month from rival McAfee, which suggested spam levels had halved in the last year.

But sadly, this doesn’t mean we are winning the war on cybercriminals and botnets. Rather, it is a reflection on how use of the internet is evolving to become more centred around social networking sites and mobile phones. Spam on Twitter and Facebook is becoming a growing problem. Read more

mobile walletNow there is another mobile wallet to add to consumer confusion. The UK’s three largest mobile operators, Vodafone, O2 and Everything Everywhere, on Thursday said they had teamed up to create a single platform for making payments by mobile phone. Read more

Visa logoThe headlong rush into mobile banking continued on Thursday with Visa announcing two deals in this area. The payments company has bought Fundamo, a South African mobile software company for $110m. It has also signed a 5-year deal with Monitise, a UK company that helps verify mobile banking transactions.

The deals come after last month Google, Mastercard and Citigroup announced plans to launch a “mobile wallet” that could be used at a number of stores in the US. Read more

RSA fobSo it begins. Infosec, a UK-based IT security company has said it will no longer be selling RSA’s SecurID tokens, following news that the authentication devices had been hacked and used in an attack against defence contractor Lockheed Martin. Read more

EastWest Institute Second Worldwide Cybersecurity SummitIt was appropriate that the day that Google was unveiling details of a new Gmail hacking attack, an august group of politicians and business leaders gathered in London, at a security summit organised by the EastWest Institute,  to tell each other that, well, cyber security is a big problem. Read more

Microsoft phoneMicrosoft’s sneak preview of its latest Windows mobile phone operating system on Tuesday has left the critics bemused. The new software is the first glimpse of what Nokia/Microsoft smartphones might look like when they are launched at the end of this year. It is the first chance to judge whether Microsoft – which has just 3.6 per cent of the market for smartphone operating systems – might be able to challenge Android and Apple. The answer is still a “maybe”. Read more

Nokia logoYet another instalment of the story of Nokia’s long slow decline came on Thursday with the new global mobile phone handset figures. Nokia is still the world’s leading handset maker but its market share is now down to 25 per cent, a level last seen in 1997. Read more

For Microsoft Skype could form the glue between its PC, mobile and gaming businesses that it has hitherto lacked.
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