• The board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, better known as ICANN, picked as the nonprofit group’s chief executive Rod Beckstrom, who until earlier this year served as cyber-security czar at the US Department of Homeland Security. Like his predecessors, Mr Beckstrom didn’t accomplish much there, but it later emerged he had a skeleton staff and equivalent funding. ICANN is as close to a governing body as the internet gets, but its core mission is minding the process by which Website names and numeric addresses are assigned.
  • Some early buyers of Windows 7 will get it for the knock-down price of $49.99. Rob Enderle thought the limited-time special offer was a direct response to the $29 Apple is charging for an upgrade to Snow Leopard. Michael Gartenberg called it a “missed opportunity” to give all Vista users the chance to move beyond the much-maligned operating system.

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  • Apple‘s new iPhone 3G S, which costs an unsubsidised $599 to buy in the 16Gb version, costs only $179 to make, according to iSuppli. The research firm took the phone apart to price its parts and found Toshiba provided the most expensive component – the flash memory at $24.
  • Google unveiled a public trial of a key piece of its mobile internet strategy - an extension of the AdSense network to mobile app developers. Developers will be able to include adverts in their apps targeted by keyword, demographics and location. This potentially gives developers access to the entire base of AdSense advertisers, posing a big challenge to specialist mobile ad networks like AdMobs.
  • Seagate Technology, which has cut jobs and salaries and restructured to combat slumping hard-drive sales, may have turned a corner. In a trading update, it raised its sales expectations for the current quarter to between $2.2bn and $2.3bn and predicted the industry would sell 120m hard drives, compared to its earlier estimate of 114m.

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The FT’s John Gapper writes that Apple, which just released the new iPhone 3GS, has become the hub of a creative network that is helping it stay ahead of its rivals.

It seems odd that companies can gain an advantage by working with others and by sharing knowledge. Yet being part of a network not only can help a company to gain from others’ knowledge but also can reinforce its market position, as Apple’s contest with Palm shows. Read more

  • A Tennessee hospital has confirmed it carried out a liver transplant on Steve Jobs, Apple chief executive.  The Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute in Memphis said Mr Jobs was “the sickest patient on the waiting list at the time a donor organ became available. Mr Jobs is now recovering well and has an excellent prognosis.”
  • Intel and Nokia unveiled plans to work together to create a type of mobile computing device beyond today’s smartphones and netbooks. The move takes Intel a step further towards a breakthrough into the highly prized mobile phone market. Nokia typically works with potential suppliers on joint research for several years before deciding to adopt a particular technology.

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The FT’s editorial page argues that Europe’s data-protection commissioners are right to pursue a new regulatory framework to protect online privacy on sites such as Facebook:

Users must be made aware of how much personal information about them has built up and prompted to think again about how they want that to be used, with tools that promote an informed decision rather than simply pester users with constant requests for permission. Read more

The FT’s Lex column looks at the dilutive stock sale that will see the founders of Dutch navigation device maker TomTom give up their majority stake in the company to head off a debt cruch. Its conclusion:

Painful, but a price worth paying to put the focus back on growth, and away from a tattered balance sheet. Read more

  • Access to the internet is a human right. So said France‘s constitutional council, striking down a controversial law that would have given officials the power to block the internet access of persistent copyright violators. The government of Nicolas Sarkozy had sided with content creators in backing the idea.
  • Palm completed its Apple make-over. Jon Rubinstein, the former Apple wizard brought in to mastermind the well-received Pre, was named chief executive officer, taking over from Ed Colligan.
  • Microsoft is to stop selling its Money personal finance software, according to Cnet. Money has never achieved the same popularity as Quicken from Intuit, a company it once tried to buy. Microsoft had signalled its fading interest in the product by failing to take it online as Quicken has done, to compete with newcomers such as Mint.com.

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  • EMC continues to court Data Domain. Joe Tucci, EMC’s chief executive, today took the unusual step of writing an open letter to Data Domain employees, explaining why their company would fare better with EMC than with rival NetApp. It was an opportunity for Mr Tucci to plead his case, but of course he’s barking up the wrong tree. It is Data Domain’s board, not its employees, who will decide its fate. Data Domain has agreed to a hybrid offer of $30 a share from NetApp. EMC has in a $30 all-cash offer, which looks to be superior. Data Domain said it will respond to the EMC offer by June 16. Stay tuned.
  • Google opened up another front in its broadening war with Microsoft today as the search leader made its increasingly popular Gmail, contacts and calendar applications compatible with Microsoft’s ubiquitous Outlook system. Outlook isn’t going away any time soon, but the move by Google means that Microsoft has one more piece of turf to worry about protecting.

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The FT’s Paul Taylor examines Microsoft’s Bing search engine, designed to improve on rival offerings:

With Google synonymous with internet search engines, it might seem foolhardy if not futile for a rival to try to outdo it – even if that rival is Microsoft. Never­theless, that is just what the world’s biggest software company is attempting to do with Bing, its new search engine, which was made publicly available on ­Monday. Read more

  • Intel paid $884m in cash for Wind River Systems, a software company that should help the chipmaker’s push into new markets. Wind River, based in the San Francisco Bay area, represents Intel’s biggest acquisition in the four-year tenure of Paul Otellini as chief executive.
  • Data Domain said it would evaluate EMC‘s all cash $30 a share offer, a day after saying it had agreed to an offer of $30 in cash and stock from NetApp. The unusual reversal signaled potential discord within Data Domain’s management. EMC has significantly more free cash than NetApp, and is well-positioned to win the bidding war.

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The FT’s Lex column says that EMC and NetApp are right to be fighting over de-duplication company Data Domain:

The excitement is over software and hardware designed to reduce duplication. Data Domain specialises in identifying and removing multiple copies of files when a back-up copy of data is made . . . As the volume of data that companies must process explodes, Data Domain is growing fast – analysts forecast sales growth of 28 per cent this year. Read more

  • If Carol Bartz is trying to cozy up to Microsoft, she certainly wasn’t showing it on Wednesday. Speaking at a Bank of America investment conference, the Yahoo CEO dismissed the new Bing “decision engine” with faint praise and predicted that it would have no impact on Microsoft’s status as an also-ran in the search business. She also suggested that some estimates of the cost-savings from a search pact with Microsoft had been overstated, and a deal would probably save Yahoo around $500m.
  • Google and Yahoo confirmed that they were among a number of tech companies to have received information requests from the Department of Justice about hiring practices. Following the DoJ’s decision to look into possible collusion arising from overlapping board seats between Google and Apple, the regulatory review was another sign that Washington’s new trust-busters are taking unusual approaches in their scrutiny of the tech industry.

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The FT’s Lex column considers the three-way war for the living room, and concludes that with little console innovation on the horizon, Nintendo’s Wii, the current leader, could be vulnerable:

Microsoft has an opportunity to catch up on Nintendo. The US software giant has the cheapest console on the market at $199 in the US, for something that is more capable than Nintendo’s $250 machine. Read more

  • Bing made an early debut, but Microsoft‘s new search service is about to test new social and legal limits in its presentation of video clips. On Bing, “thumbnail”-sized video clips play automatically when a cursor hovers over them. That might be as far as any major company has gone to test the limits of the “fair use” defence to copyright infringement when it comes to video content.
  • Prime View International, the Taiwanese maker of screens for Amazon’s Kindle e-book readers, aims to consolidate its hold on the nascent “electronic paper” industry by acquiring E Ink, the US company that owns key technology for making the screens.

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The FT’s Lex column says the netbooks segment should not be overhyped just because it is the only area of growth for the PC industry in a recession:

Light and, above all, cheap, netbooks are useful for casual travellers and children who are more likely to break or lose a computer and can live with less processing power. Business users, who buy half the world’s laptops, will still want something more capable. Read more

The FT’s Lex column considers the spin-off of AOL from Time Warner. The separation marks a final admission of defeat in the attempt to join film and television content with the free online world:

Talk about the mourning after. Almost a decade later, one of the worst deals of all time still has little to recommend it. In 1999, at the peak of the dotcom bubble, upstart AOL bought the old media dinosaur Time Warner for $164bn in stock. On Thursday – following the announcement AOL will be spun-out by the year’s end – Time Warner’s market capitalisation stood at $28bn, with the recently split-off Time Warner Cable valued at a further $11bn. Read more

Apple’s MacBook Air, Sony’s Vaio P Series and now Dell’s Adamo belong to an elite category of portable personal computers whose appeal owes as much to design aesthetics as it does to technology, writes Paul Taylor:

Sony and Apple have a reputation for such products. But Dell – outside of its Alienware unit, which builds high-performance PCs for games players – is best known for producing solid mainstream desktops and businesslike laptops targeting corporate buyers and penny-pinched students. Read more