Tech wrap: AT&T, Sprint admit using monitoring software

December 1, 2011

Phone makers RIM and Nokia denied installing on their mobile devices an app which can monitor what users are doing without their knowledge or consent while carriers AT&T and Sprint admitted to using it. The companies responded after a security researcher demonstrated in online videos how the “Carrier IQ” software worked on Google’s Android operating system and said that phones running RIM’s BlackBerry platform and Nokia’s Symbian OS also had the software installed. AT&T and Sprint said they use “Carrier IQ” to monitor network quality.

Disney comes to YouTube and Google TV

November 23, 2011

Photo: Reuters

When it comes to Hollywood movies and TV shows on the Web, all the focus is on Netflix, Hulu and even BlockBuster’s online ambitions. Yet YouTube, the daddy of the online video space with some 3.5 billion views a day,  has been quietly bulking up its traditional studio content. All this while there’s been a lot written about its $100 million investment to create hundreds of new cable channels of the future.

Tech wrap: Is intellectual property being used to restrict competition?

November 22, 2011

EU regulators investigating Apple and Samsung over their patents dispute are worried intellectual property rights may be unfairly used by some firms against their rivals, the EU antitrust chief said. “We need to look at this because IP rights can be used as a distortion of competition but we will need to look at the answers,” EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told reporters. “Apple and Samsung is only one case where IP rights can be used as an instrument to restrict competition,” he said.

Google’s Brin, wife donate $500,000 to keep Wikipedia going

November 18, 2011

Very few have missed Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales’ picture looming on all of the pages of the user-generated information website.

AOL rocks the GOP vote

November 14, 2011

No doubt this is a politically divided nation; just go to a dinner party and see what happens when some half-in-the-bag neighbor brings up health care or gay marriage or taxes — or, apparently, absurdly, email providers.  If you can believe it, a new poll out today shows a major difference between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to picking their favorite email service.

Google’s Two-Deal Thursday: Katango and Apture in the bag

November 10, 2011

Google’s dealmakers sure are busy these days.

On Thursday, the company announced two separate acquisitions, adding Katango and Apture to the Google mix.

Tech wrap: Adobe scraps Flash for mobile browsers

November 9, 2011

Score a point for Apple. Software maker Adobe scrapped its Flash Player for mobile devices after a mutli-year battle with Apple over the merits of the technology, which is used to view videos and play games on the Web. Take a look back at the legendary tech spat in this blow-by-blow timeline that stretches back to January 2007 when Apple launched its iPhone with a browser that was not compatible with Adobe’s Flash player. The company said in a blog post it plans to focus its future mobile browsing efforts on HTML5, a competing technology that is now universally supported on all major mobile devices.

Tech wrap: Can Nook tablet take on Kindle Fire?

November 7, 2011

Let the low-end tablet wars begin. Barnes & Noble unveiled a Nook-branded tablet on Monday, the company’s answer to Amazon.com’s recently announced Kindle Fire. At $249, the 7-inch Nook tablet is a bit pricier than the $199 Fire, but Barnes & Noble is betting that consumers will pay the extra $50 for the device because it offers faster processing speeds and 16 gigabytes of storage space compared to the Amazon tablet’s 8 gigabytes. Both devices hit shelves next week. Barnes & Noble, which operates a chain of 700 U.S. bookstores, also lowered the price on its Nook e-book devices in an effort to take on Amazon’s line of Kindle e-readers, which were recently reduced in price.

Microsoft: mobile getting better, no numbers yet

November 7, 2011

Microsoft  made a big deal of the launch of three U.S. phones running its Windows Phone 7.5 software, the latest upgrade to Windows Phone 7, which represents a complete overhaul of the Microsoft mobile phone software.  They built a giant model of a phone in Herald Square, New York City and had rappers and dancers performing around it on Monday, while pizza was handed out to bemused onlookers.

YouTube + Google+ = Engagement?

November 3, 2011

Google hasn’t had much trouble getting people to sign up for its Google+ social networking service. But getting people to come back every day and use the service as obsessively as they do with Facebook has been a trickier proposition.