This is the last technology news round-up for 2011. We’ll return in the new year. So, until then, here’s the latest tech news from around the web:

Israelis are the world’s biggest users of social networks, TNW reports. According to a survey by Comscore, Israelis spent, on average, 11.1 hours on social networks during October 2011 – more than double the global average of 5.7 hours and ahead of markets like the UK (seven hours) and US (6.9 hours). Slightly behind Israel comes Argentina (10.7 hours), Russia (10.4 hours) and Turkey (10.2 hours). Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Microsoft, a 20-year stalwart of the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, has decided to pull out of the event after the 2012 show in January, the Los Angeles Times reports. The company, whose keynote address has been one of the main highlights of the show, said it felt that it would be better to make announcements on its own time. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has become the centre of bid speculation. The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft and Nokia had, in recent months, considered the idea of making a joint bid for RIM, people familiar with the matter told the newspaper. Meanwhile, Reuters says that online retailer Amazon had hired an investment bank in the summer to review a potential merger, but did not make a formal offer. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Apple has applied for a patent for a self-service kiosk that would read customers’  mobile devices and give them recommendations on accessories and apps, according to Mashable. The kiosk could be installed in Apple Stores and Best Buy outlets, Mashable speculates. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Facebook’s Android mobile app has overtaken the daily active user count of its iPhone app, TechCrunch reports. The Android app is now registering  58.3m daily active users compared to the iPhone app’s 57.4m. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Google’s Chrome 15 has replaced Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) as the world’s most popular browser edition, Computer World reports. During the last two weeks of November and the first week of December, according to data from StatCounter, Chrome 15 accounted for 24% of the global browser usage market, compared to IE8′s 22.9%. This is the first time that IE8 had not held the top spot since early 2010 and the first time a non-Microsoft application has led the list. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

PayPal, eBay’s payment service, is looking to take on Groupon and LivingSocial with plans to start offering coupons tailored to users’ buying habits and mobile phone locations, according to Bloomberg. The company will launch its mobile deals in the first quarter of 2012 in partnership with several US retailers. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Facebook is planning a push into mobile advertising by the end of March, according to Bloomberg. One idea being considered is to put Facebook’s Sponsored Stories ads, which feature friends’ interactions with brands, within the mobile news feed. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Apple has announced that it has hit the 18bn mark in downloads of the 500,000 apps it has on offer at its App Store, PaidContent reports. Last week Google revealed that it had achieved 10bn downloads from its app store. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Amazon is to release an over-the-air software update to its latest tablet computer, the Kindle Fire, The New York Times reports. News of the uprgade comes as complaints about the tablet’s features and usability are on the rise. Among the complaints, the NYT reports, are:

  • There is no external volume control.
  • The off switch is easy to hit by accident.
  • Web pages take a long time to load.
  • There is no privacy on the device.
  • The touch screen is frequently hesitant.

 Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Panasonic is to launch a smartphone in Europe next year, according to Reuters. The move comes six years after the Japanese company abandoned overseas sales of its feature phones. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

US telecoms company Verizon and Redbox, the group behind the $1 DVD-rental kiosks, are in talks to provide a film and TV download and streaming service, according to TechCrunch. The service is scheduled for a May 2012 launch. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Patricia Dunn, a former board chairman of Hewlett-Packard, has died at age 58 after a long battle with cancer, The Wall Street Journal reports. During her time on the board, the company was embroiled in controversy after it emerged that it had hired private investigators to identify the source of board-level leaks to the media. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Microsoft’s Xbox games console has taken a step towards coming a set-top box with its latest software upgrade, according to TechCrunch. The update makes it easier for the user to find pieces of content – from Microsoft’s own store or directly from the internet through YouTube – and control the Xbox remotely from a Windows mobile phone. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Google’s Chrome web browser overtook Mozilla Firefox in terms of global usage for the first time in November, research company StatCounter reports. Chrome’s browser market share hit 25.69% in November, beating Firefox’s 25.23% share with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer continuing to dominate, holding a 40.63% share. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

MasterCard is to invest in mFoundry, a company that provides mobile banking solutions for more than 500 US banks, TechCrunch reports. As part of the deal, mFoundry will offer MasterCard’s PayPass Near Field Communication technology to the banks and credit unions it works with. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Microsoft is planning an iPad version of its popular Office software suite, The Daily reports.The product is set to cost around $10 – about the same price Apple charges for its Pages, Numbers and Keynote products. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Research In Motion, the company behind the BlackBerry smartphone, is rolling out a new system that aims to help its corporate customers maintain and manage the security of their employees’ BlackBerrys as well as rival devices such as the iPhone, according to The Wall Street Journal. The new system, the first from RIM to incorporate competitors’ products, is seen as a tacit acknowledgment that an increasing number of employees are calling on their employers to allow work e-mails to be pushed to smartphones other than the Blackberry. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving – saw $816m spent online sales, according to research and monitoring group Comscore, making it the heaviest online spending day so far in  2011 and representing a 26%  increase against Black Friday 2010. Thanksgiving Day, achieved a  18%  increase to $479m, Comscore reports. Read more

Three and a half years after its unsolicited takeover bid for Yahoo collapsed in shambles, Microsoft has edged back for a second look.

The software company’s revived interest in the fate of one of the internet’s best-known brands marks the beginning of what all sides expect will be an intense few weeks of negotiations, as Yahoo races to come up with a deal that will appease unhappy shareholders before a potential fight for boardroom control breaks out early in the new year.

 Read more