Tech wrap: Microsoft cries foul

March 31, 2011

Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer addresses a news conference in the northern German town of Hanover March 3, 2008. REUTERS/Christian CharisiusThe hunted became the hunter when Microsoft filed its first-ever complaint to antitrust regulators, claiming that Google thwarts Internet search competition. Thomas Vinje, who led a coalition that won EU fines against Microsoft said the software maker “has learned from its own unpleasant experiences how to cause maximum disruption for its competitors via competition law”. Google controls over 90 percent of the Internet search advertising market in Europe, well ahead of Microsoft’s Bing. And browsers such as Firefox and Google’s Chrome have eaten away at the market lead by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

Google is tightening control over its “open” Android operating system to reduce fragmentation and restrict additional partnerships that it doesn’t understand, Bloomberg’s Ashlee Vance and Peter Burrows writes. Google says its procedures are about quality control, early bug fixes, and building toward a “common denominator” experience, Vance and Burows add.

Small-budget film producers have nearly perfected a slick, courtroom-based business strategy that’s targeted suspected movie downloaders, writes Wired’s David Kravets. One lawsuit alleged 5,865 illegal downloads of the film Nude Nuns With Big Guns, asking a federal judge to order ISPs to dig into customers’ records for names. It was the first step in a process that could lead to each defendant receiving a letter suggesting they settle the case, lest they wind up named in a public lawsuit having downloaded Nude Nuns With Big Guns, Kravets adds. 

James Cicconi, the head of AT&T’s lobbying effort to acquire T-Mobile USA, said government remedies to free up more U.S. airwaves for wireless services are not coming fast enough and were an important driver behind his company’s bid. AT&T estimates it will carry the equivalent of the volume of all the mobile traffic it handled last year in the first six or seven weeks of 2015.

Anti-virus software maker ESET’s Randy Abrams lauded Facebook for making users’ preferences remember if they log in to “grossly insecure apps such as Farmville” from unsecured connections, like those found at coffee shops and airports, and restoring encrypted connections to Facebook once users log back in. Abrams called developers who haven’t fixed their apps to afford you a safe Facebook session “careless”. You can find your connection preferences on Facebook under Account->Account Settings->Account Security. Check the box beside “Browse Facebook on a secure connection (https) whenever possible” to enable the feature.

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