This screen on the left is what greeted visitors to Wikipedia on Wednesday, as the online encyclopedia site began its ‘blackout’ protest of two controversial intellectual property bills currently being discussed in the US Congress.

For 24 hours starting from 5am GMT on Wednesday, Wikipedia blocked users from viewing or editing all of its English-language pages except for the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect Intellectual Property Act, the bills it is protesting against. 

When Acer last March unceremoniously ousted its then-chief executive Gianfranco Lanci, it was not an amicable parting, with both sides apportioning blame on the other for the split.

But if the Taiwanese company had thought they were rid of Mr Lanci by forcing his resignation, then they are sorely mistaken. Mr Lanci was this week appointed the head of Europe, Middle East and Africa by none other Lenovo, Acer’s Chinese rival. 

When Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt on Wednesday addressed a Taiwanese audience for the first time, he was in some sense preaching to the choir.

As Mr Schmidt noted, Taiwan already fared better than the US in terms of broadband penetration, the speed of its internet, and the percentage of its people with smartphones. Yet there was still one looming problem, he noted, and that was the rising cost of building more advanced telecommunications networks

When Taiwan’s Quanta landed orders from Facebook and Google to help custom-build their data centres earlier this year, it was the first step into a new industry for the world’s biggest contract maker of notebooks.

Quanta chairman Barry Lam’s said on Monday, however, that his ambitions go further than just completing built-to-order projects for tech companies. Quanta will instead look to offer a full turnkey solution for servers, he said for the first time. It is a move that will put it into direct competition with industry leaders like HP, Dell, IBM and Sun Microsystems. 

HTC has had an amazing run as it grew from anonymity to one of the top Android phonemakers. This has been reflected in its shipments, which have been record-breaking for the Taiwanese company for each of the last six quarters.

But is that run about to end, amid intensifying competition and a weak global economy? HTC said on Monday that it expects fourth-quarter shipments, and revenues, to be down slightly from the third quarter. 

Over the past decade, technological advancements have made televisions thinner and thinner, with giant cathode ray tube sets replaced by flatscreen TVs whose thickness are now measured in millimeters.

Starting next year, however, ‘fatter’ flatscreen TVs may be making a comeback in emerging markets, according to one screen maker.

 

When HTC chief executive Peter Chou said this month that he was on the lookout for further acquisitions, he wasn’t kidding. The Taiwanese smartphone company on Tuesday announced it had acquired Inquisitive Minds, a US company that developed Zoodles, a kids-friendly browser designed to give children a safe browsing environment. 

Google announced on Wednesday that it is spending more than $200m to build its first proprietary data centres in Asia, a move that reflects the growth in demand for internet and cloud-based services in the region.

These are not, of course, Google’s first servers in Asia, though they are the first in the region where Google is publicly disclosing their locations. They will also be the first that Google will build from the ground up, from acquiring the land to designing the customised servers. 

If MiCloud had been launched this week in the US, it would have been just the latest entrant into the growing market of cloud-based services aimed at developers and small companies, a la Amazon’s Elastic Computing Cloud.

But the venture, a joint effort by MiTAC, one of the world’s biggest IT distribution and systems integrators, and Joyent, whose cloud services power LinkedIn, had its debut in Taiwan. There, it makes the claim of being the island’s first public cloud service. 

It is no secret that HTC is keen to move beyond hardware manufacturing to online services and content – it had earlier acquired or partnered with, variously, a games provider (OnLive), a mobile video specialist (Saffron Digital), an e-books company (Kobo), and a music streaming service (Taiwan’s KKBox).

But its ambitions may range further still. Cher Wang, HTC chairwoman, recently revealed for the first time that the Taiwanese smartphone maker had considered acquiring a mobile operating platform.