• 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.

 

  • 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.

 

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. 

  • 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.

 

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. 

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. 

  • 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.

 

  • 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.