More tech Stories
In Brief

LG’s Smart TVs may be reporting a tad too much information back to the company’s servers, according to a detailed and convincing post by British blogger “DoctorBeet”. Apparently in the name of targeted advertising, it appears some of the sets are monitoring not only what channels are being watched (even when told not to), but also details of files stored on external hard drives hooked up to the TV. And here comes the really dumb bit: they’re sending that data back to LG’s servers sans encryption. I’m awaiting comment from LG.

Upcoming Events

In Brief

Nokia’s extraordinary general meeting, convened to discuss the takeover of the Finnish firm’s handset division by Microsoft, is still ongoing at the time of writing. However, The Financial Times reports that it’s a formality — 99.7 percent of shareholders who voted before the meeting (that’s 4 in 5) have already said yes to the $7.2 billion deal. The remaining bits of Nokia are nothing to be sneezed at: the Here location business, a division creating new advanced materials, sensors and so on, and of course the NSN networking business.

loading external resource
In Brief

Twitter’s post-IPO path to prosperity presses on: the company has opened up its self-serve advertising platform to companies outside the U.S. Small-to-medium-sized businesses in the UK, Ireland and Canada get first (well, second) shot at the platform, and others will presumably follow. The move lets those without a deep working relationship with Twitter to pay to promote their accounts and tweets in a targeted fashion – so expect a lot more of those in your timeline soon, if you’re in one of the aforementioned countries.

In Brief

Jolla, the Finnish mobile firm that’s trying to revive Nokia and Intel’s old MeeGo operating system, will release its first handset in less than two weeks’ time. Jolla said on Thursday that the first of its €399 ($537) phones will go on sale in the firm’s native country on 27 November.

Although Jolla wants developers to write natively for its Linux-based Sailfish OS operating system, the devices will also support Android apps, and the handsets will come with the Yandex Android app store. Finnish carrier DNA was one of the first partners that signed up for Jolla, along with Chinese distributor D.Phone.

In Brief

A lot of money is going into trying to disrupt the stock photography market – something investors hope will be possible through advances in the quality of smartphone cameras. This year in Europe alone we’ve already seen funding for Finland’s Scoopshot ($1.2 million), Germany’s EyeEm ($6 million) and Sweden’s Foap ($1.5 million).

Now Scoopshot has (sorry) scooped up more: a $3.9 million Series A round led by Conor Venture Partners and Finnish Industry Investment. The cash will help Scoopshot establish sales teams in the U.S. and U.K. The firm also said on Wednesday that it now has over 60 publishers using its on-demand photography service, including News Corp Australia and the California Newspaper Publishers Association.

In Brief

Ripple Labs — formerly known as OpenCoin — has pulled in $3.5 million in fresh investment, bringing the total to $9 million. New investors include Core Innovation Capital, Venture 51 and Camp One Ventures, while existing investor IDG Capital Partners is back for more. Earlier investors include Google Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz.

Ripple is a decentralized currency exchange that’s been riding the Bitcoin hype wave while not actually being dependent on Bitcoin – it handles traditional currencies too, and uses its own virtual currency (XRP) for transaction tokens. Apart from the name change, Ripple recently completed its open-sourcing and released an iOS app for monitoring XRP prices.

In Brief

Deutsche Telekom said on Sunday that it will buy GTS Central Europe, a 20-year-old telecommunications firm that focuses on the business market. The deal, which requires regulatory approval, is worth €546 million ($731 million). GTS Central Europe is currently owned by a private equity consortium. The buy will provide much-needed fixed-line infrastructure for Telekom in Poland and the Czech Republic in particular, although it’s worth noting that GTS also has a fair amount of data center infrastructure that might come in handy.

In Brief

The latest Snowden scoop, according to Germany’s Der Spiegel: the NSA and its British counterpart, GCHQ, have thoroughly infiltrated the computer systems of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The NSA has already been shown to be spying on Brazil’s Petrobras.

Meanwhile, reports in Australia indicate the country’s intelligence agency – a regular partner of the NSA and GCHQ – spied on Japanese firms for the benefit of Australian companies during trade negotiations. Particularly favored were “firms that provide employment and cover for spy operatives.”

In Brief

Google has declared a white space broadband trial in Cape Town, in which it participated, a resounding success. The firm said on Friday that the 6-month trial, which involved running wireless broadband in the fragmented buffer zones between chunks of TV spectrum, did not interfere with the complex TV broadcast set-up in the city. I went to see the pilot in June and am delighted to learn that the network will stay operational for the schools that have been using it, even though the trial is over. Similar experiments are taking place around the world.

In Brief

It’s not exactly a surprise, but confidence in the cloud has taken a battering in Germany after the Snowden revelations. A PricewaterhouseCoopers survey released on Thursday suggested 22 percent of German companies now see the risk of using cloud services as “very high,” up from 6 percent before the leak; 54 percent say risk is high or very high.

Thirty-eight percent said they were now looking at email encryption and 25 percent at encryption of mobile communications while 15 percent want to switch to European tech providers that won’t cooperate with American or British intelligence services.

In Brief

What’s the sensible reaction to the NSA spying on European countries (with, ahem, some cooperation of those countries’ own intelligence agencies)? According to European Commissioner Viviane Reding, who is in charge of justice, the answer is… more spying!

Reding apparently told a Greek newspaper on Monday that the EU should have a proper counterpart to the NSA — “so we can level the playing field with our U.S. partners” — by 2020. She may have been speaking “off the cuff” and it’s very unlikely to happen (member states handle their own national security), but it’s still an odd suggestion when spying victims such as Germany are trying to rein in the global espionage frenzy, not ramp it up.

1121314151633page 14 of 33

You're subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings