European Technology, Media and Telecoms Correspondent
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Jul 30, 2012

Irish data watchdog to publish Facebook review by Oct

VIENNA/DUBLIN, July 30 (Reuters) – An Irish watchdog says it
will determine by early October whether Facebook, the
world’s biggest social network, will face legal action under
European privacy laws.

Ireland is the headquarters of Facebook’s non-U.S. business,
and the data regulator there is responsible for ensuring that
the company complies with European and Irish data protection
law, which is generally tougher than in the United States.

Jul 25, 2012

Vienna pitches urban chic to beleaguered bee colonies

VIENNA (Reuters) – Felix Munk gets stung up to 20 times a day but that doesn’t stop him from regularly clambering up to the roof of the Vienna Opera and other city landmarks to check on the bees living above the heads of unsuspecting music lovers and government ministers.

Munk is a member of Vienna’s Stadtimker, one of a growing number of urban beekeepers’ associations who are trying to encourage bees to make their homes in cities, as pesticides and crop monocultures make the countryside increasingly hostile.

Jun 29, 2012

EU steps up probe into Hutch’s Orange Austria bid

BRUSSELS/VIENNA (Reuters) – EU regulators are to step up their probe into a bid by Hong Kong’s Hutchison 3G to buy France Telecom’s (FTE.PA: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Orange Austria on concerns that the 1.3 billion euros ($1.62 billion) deal would shrink the number of players in Austria to three.

Hutchison, a unit of Hutchison Whampoa (0013.HK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), which is controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, unveiled the takeover plan in February.

Jun 14, 2012

Slim in talks for further 21 percent of Tel Austria: sources

LONDON/VIENNA (Reuters) – Telekom Austria AG (TELA.VI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) shareholder Ronny Pecik is in advanced talks to sell his 21 percent stake to Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, who is seeking to expand his telecom empire into Europe, according people familiar with the matter.

If the talks are fruitful, it would be a big step in Slim’s effort to expand the footprint of his company America Movil’s (AMXL.MX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in Europe. Slim already owns 4.1 percent of Telekom Austria.

Jun 14, 2012

Slim in talks for further 21 pct of Tel Austria-sources

LONDON/VIENNA, June 14 (Reuters) – Telekom Austria AG
shareholder Ronny Pecik is in advanced talks to sell
his 21 percent stake to Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, who is
seeking to expand his telecom empire into Europe, according
people familiar with the matter.

If the talks are fruitful, it would be a big step in Slim’s
effort to expand the footprint of his company America Movil’s
in Europe. Slim already owns 4.1 percent of Telekom
Austria.

Jun 13, 2012

Amazon, Google join rush for new Web real estate

LONDON, June 13 (Reuters) – An unprecedented land grab for
new Web addresses began in earnest on Wednesday with fierce
competition for new internet real estate including .app, .blog
and .web from applicants hoping to break the near-monopoly of
the .com top-level domain.

The ambitious plan to liberalise internet addresses
attracted 1,930 applications, almost half of them from north
America, with Web giants Amazon and Google
applying for dozens of domains including .cloud, .buy and .book.

May 31, 2012

Director Cameron sees slow takeoff for 3D at home

LONDON (Reuters) – Home viewing of movies in three dimensions will be slow to catch on until technology improvements deliver high-quality viewing without special 3D glasses, according to James Cameron, director of films including “The Terminator”, “Titanic” and “Avatar”.

Cameron, a fervent believer in 3D, said a lack of high-quality content was also a barrier to wider adoption, but a poor technology to accommodate groups of people watching from different angles without glasses was the main obstacle.

May 22, 2012

Internet domain name project relaunches after software bug

LONDON, May 22 (Reuters) – A project to allow companies to
set up a website with almost any address has relaunched after a
software glitch exposed sensitive details of applications last
month, forcing it to shut down.

In the most ambitious expansion of the Internet so far, the
body that oversees domain names has now given organisations
until May 30 to apply for their own Web address endings – for
example .london, .eco or .canon – provided they have a
legitimate claim to the domain name and can pay a hefty fee.

May 22, 2012

Japan’s Panasonic plans fridge factory in Europe

LONDON (Reuters) – Japanese electronics group Panasonic (6752.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) plans to open a European factory this year to make home appliances, a market it is targeting as sales of televisions stagnate, in a rare vote of confidence for manufacturing in the crisis-hit euro zone.

Panasonic is looking to minimize the effect of a strong yen on its exports by bringing manufacturing closer to its customers, and also hopes to capitalize on any incentives that struggling euro zone governments may offer.

May 22, 2012

Apple still dominates world’s top brands -study

May 22 (Reuters) – Apple has maintained its place
as the world’s most valuable brand over the past year, leading a
group of technology-related companies that dominate the top 10,
according to a study published on Tuesday.

The iPhone and iPad maker has boosted its brand value by 19
percent in the past year to $183 billion, or 37 percent of its
market capitalisation, according to the annual BrandZ study by
leading brands and market-research agency Millward Brown.

    • About Georgina

      "Currently based in London, with particular responsibility for professional publishers and the European activities of global technology, media and telecoms firms. Previously European technology correspondent based in Frankfurt. Began career in local radio in Glasgow and then worked in TV news for many years for Reuters, the BBC and Sky News in London and Moscow."
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