MediaFile

Tech wrap: Twitter swallows TweetDeck

Twitter confirmed that it has bought TweetDeck, a popular third-party software application that organizes tweets, the short messages delivered through the online social network. Terms were not disclosed but a source told Reuters earlier this month that a deal for up to $50 million was imminent.

Twitter will seek to notify its users so they can defend themselves before it hands over user information to the authorities, a senior manager said when asked about a privacy dispute in Britain. Users have posted details on Twitter of celebrity scandals, in contravention of so-called super injunctions and could face an unlimited fine and up to two years in prison.

“Platforms should have responsibility not to defend the user, but to protect that user’s right to defend him or herself,” said Tony Wang, general manager of Twitter’s European operations.

At the conclusion of a two-day forum in Paris, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg warned governments to tread lightly on Internet regulation because moves to tame its rough edges risked hurting its virtues. Their comments exposed deep rifts between tech titans, academics and policy makers as they tried to agree on a message to take to world leaders at the G8 meeting on Thursday in Deauville, France.

Zynga may file for a multibillion-dollar IPO as early as this week, tech blog AllThingsDigital reported, as the maker of the Farmville and Mafia Wars games for Facebook heads toward a long-awaited market debut.

Tech wrap: Facebook, Google mull Skype tie-ups

Facebook and Google are separately considering a tie-up with Skype after the Web video conferencing service delayed its initial public offering, two sources with direct knowledge of the discussions told Reuters. A Skype deal could be valued at $3 billion to $4 billion, the first source said.  The discussions are in early stages, and it is not clear which option the companies favor, the first two sources said.

The Internet vigilante group Anonymous denied responsibility for a cyber-attack on Sony’s networks that exposed the personal data of more than 100 million video gamers. “Let’s be clear, we are legion, but it wasn’t us. You are incompetent Sony,” the group Anonymous said on its blog on Thursday.

Sony said the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, the first PlayStation phone, is not affected by the massive data breach of PlayStation user accounts.

CES: Palm in spotlight on Day 1

Palm Pre

The official start of the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas saw PDA pioneer Palm unveiling its answer to the popular iPhone smartphone and a new, Web-oriented operating system. Investors pushed the stock up 30 percent for two consecutive days and bloggers affirmed their optimism in early hands-on reviews.

Gizmodo’s Adrian Covert admired the Palm Pre’s intuitive design and “beautiful” screen. And Engadget’s Joshua Topolsky found switching between applications graceful and simple.

Elsewhere in Vegas, Sony continued blazing the organic light-emitting diode trail showing off a bendable OLED video screen that would make it possible to literally wear what you want to display. Actor Tom Hanks demonstrated a pair of prototype Sony eyeglasses with built-in video screens for watching full-length movies.