Tech news from around the web:

Google has officially launched games on its social network, Google+, ZDnet reports. The launch, which will roll out gradually, includes games like Angry Birds, Bejeweled Blitz and Zynga Poker, the company said on its blog

Tech news from around the web:

Online game group Zynga has teamed up with Chinese social network Tencent to launch a version of its CityVille game for the mainland Chinese market, VentureBeat reports. Tencent is China’s most popular internet service portal with more than 674m users. 

Chris Nuttall

Tablet makers are reintroducing the pen in digital form in their attempts to gain an advantage over Apple and its iPad. Lenovo’s ThinkPad Tablet, unveiled on Wednesday, offers an optional pen that allows on-screen handwriting to be converted to text, among other applications. This week’s Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section looks at this and other pen options including the HTC Flyer, Penultimate for the iPad and the Livescribe Echo. 

Quietly brilliant. The pithy two-word slogan of Taiwan’s HTC could readily sum up the company’s recent performance.  

Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC clearly did not take Chinese New Year off. On the first day after public holidays ended, HTC announced it had made two investments that could expand its online offerings.

The first is buying a US$40m stake in OnLive, the company offering console-style games over the internet. The second is a GBP30m acquisition of Saffron Digital, a London-based mobile video specialist. 

From around the web:

  • ComScore’s 2010 digital trends shows that email usage is down 59% among teens, TechCrunch reports.
  • Groupon founder and CEO Andrew Mason has responded to the Super Bowl ad controversy. He writes on the company blog, “The last thing we wanted was to offend our customers – it’s bad business and it’s not where our hearts are.”


Chris Nuttall

Taiwanese handset maker HTC began 2011 with an announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas of three flavours of 4G phones for the leading operators in the US. The Thunderbolt should appear on Verizon’s LTE network by the spring, Sprint’s Wimax network will feature the Evo Shift and AT&T ‘s HSPA+ network has the Inspire from February 13. I have been testing the Inspire, which is very similar to the Desire HD, available in Europe and Asia. 

Tech news from around the web:

  • Twitter is set to more than triple its advertising revenue to $150m this year as more companies use it to spread marketing messages, according to Bloomberg, with ad sales set to hit $250m by 2012.
  • In a move that could let its users avoid having their online actions monitored, Mozilla Corp is planning to add a “do-not-track” feature to its Firefox browser, the Wall Street Journal reports. The announcement would make Firefox the first Web browser to heed the Federal Trade Commission’s call for the development of a do-not-track system.


Chris Nuttall

It’s two years this month since the birth of the first Android phone, the HTC G1, with its godfather T-Mobile celebrating with the release of an official successor, the G2.

Of course, there have been many other Android phones in between, but the G2 is as good a milestone as any to assess how far these Google phones have come. 

Part of the charm of HTC, the fast-growing Taiwanese smartphone company, is that it strives to maintain an air of eager-to-please humbleness – or as its marketing tagline goes, of being “quietly brilliant” – even as it climbs through the ranks of the world’s biggest smartphone makers.
So it was a bit of a surprise when Cheng Hui-ming, chief financial officer, bawled out an analyst during the quarterly results conference call on Thursday for asking what seemed a rather innocuous question.