Samsung is still on the hook in the EU over antitrust concerns – regulators there reckon that if you’ve agreed to license standards-essential patents to competitors at a fair rate, and a competitor is willing to pay that rate, you can’t then use the patents as legal weapons against them, as Samsung did to Apple. On Friday, EU competition chief Joaquin Almunia said Samsung has now sent him “a set of commitments seeking to address our concerns,” and he will “market test” those proposals over the coming weeks.
Roamers can relax — Samsung says buyers of its top-selling handsets can freely use SIM cards from foreign regions, as long as they activate the device using a SIM from their home region or with the assistance of a service partner. Read more »
People buying the unlocked Galaxy Note 3 in regions such as Europe or North America will not be able to use a SIM card from another region in it, meaning they will have to pay exorbitant roaming fees if they travel outside the region. Read more »
German researchers have come up with a cheap way to spray gas sensors, based on a relatively new material, onto thin film. If health fears are cleared, this could result in smart food packaging — perhaps with sprayed-on radio antennas, too. Read more »
Big tech firms want to make sure that a soon-to-launch unified European patent system doesn’t let trolls game the system on a wide scale, so they’ve asked for modifications to the rules of the new EU patent court. Read more »
The cloud stack may lack an OpenStack-style marketing push, but its first global conference in Berlin this week has been full of stories of successful, interesting deployments by the likes of Akamai, Fermilab and the Santander Group. Read more »
Many people in Finland are feeling understandably sore at the sale of Nokia’s venerable handset division to Microsoft, and this won’t help quell the conspiracy theories. Nokia previously said outgoing CEO Stephen Elop had a similar bonus structure to that of his predecessor, but on Tuesday it emerged that Elop’s contract included a “change of control” clause that helped him net $25 million on the way out. There was effectively a built-in incentive for Elop to see the share price fall and then have to sell off the handset business.
The Spanish Wi-Fi sharing community has scored what it suggests will be the first of multiple carrier deals in the U.S., giving its members access to AT&T’s 30,000 hotspots around the country. Read more »
The reported move will give people in a new free-trade zone access to currently-banned services such as Facebook and Twitter, while also allowing foreign telcos to apply for licenses to provide internet services locally. Read more »
The European Commission has no concerns about Vodafone’s Kabel Deutschland buy, as the two companies’ German operations are complementary — regulators said the combination could even enhance competition in the multi-play market. Read more »
The venerable Chaos Computer Club hacker collective claims to have bypassed Apple’s much-vaunted TouchID biometric security mechanism, as used in the new iPhone 5s. Here’s what they did, and what it means. Read more »
It’s the biggest wad of object-based storage that EMC has ever shipped, the company’s EMEA COO said at Structure:Europe on Thursday, but the buyer remains a mystery. Read more »
At Structure:Europe in London, two venture capitalists offered quite divergent takes on big data. Read more »
Felix Baumgartner’s jump was record-breaking in many ways, and — as Google’s Barak Regev said on Wednesday at GigaOM’s Structure:Europe conference in London — surprisingly greedy on the bandwidth front. Read more »
A contract, obtained by freedom-of-information request outfit MuckRock, shows the NSA buying tools that can help it attack flawed software. Previous reports have suggested the U.S. is the biggest buyer of these “zero-day” flaws. Read more »
When the filters stopping Iranians from using popular Western social media services evaporated on Monday, some suspected a thaw in the country’s censorship policies. They were wrong. Read more »
The move will boost Sailfish OS’s chances in China, where third-party Android app stores are the norm. Also, Jolla will open up pre-orders for a second batch of its smartphone later this week, targeting patriotic Finns first. Read more »
Belgium’s federal prosecutor is looking into a claim by Belgacom that its systems were hacked into and infected with a virus. Reports say the complexity of the malware suggests an intelligence agency was to blame. Read more »
The NSA may have found a way to monitor some credit card transactions, according to a Snowden-derived report from Germany’s Der Spiegel. The agency said in leaked documents that it found a way to access Visa transactions in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, but the financial services company denies the tapping of its networks. The report highlights an NSA financial database called Tracfin, into which SWIFT international transfer information also flows through the interception of “SWIFT printer traffic from numerous banks.”
Indisys is best known for its vaguely creepy virtual assistant technology, components of which will no doubt complement Intel’s recent push in gesture-recognition technology. Read more »
Enough Kabel shareholders have agreed to sell in order to allow the sale to go through. However, there may be further resistance from hedge funds, and regulatory approval is also still needed. Read more »
European competition chief Joaquin Almunia has reiterated his wish that his department examine Telefonica’s proposed takeover of KPN’s E-Plus, which would create Germany’s largest network by subscriber count. Almunia said a week ago that he doesn’t want to leave the case in the hands of the German national regulator due to Telefonica and KPN’s size and importance at the EU level. On Friday, he added that the Commission would “likely continue to assess [mergers such as O2/E-Plus] on the basis of national markets — at least for some time.”
The Snowden scoops have caused a great deal of excitement in the security community, of both the good and bad kinds. But mostly bad — when your job is to help people rest easy, but you can’t rest easy yourself, you’ve got a problem. Read more »
Laurence, who has been with Vodafone for 13 years, will take over from current Rogers CEO Nadir Mohamed in December. Read more »
Genband has reportedly paid $50 million for fring, and it will use the Israeli firm’s technology to help fixed-line and mobile carriers hit the market with their own “over-the-top” consumer text, voice and video chat services. Read more »
Good news — the finalized text of the EU Regulation for creating a single telecoms market is a lot tighter than earlier drafts when it comes to protecting consumers from net neutrality abuses. Maybe not watertight, though. Read more »
Vodafone is having trouble finding enough Kabel Deutschland shareholders willing to sell up. Reuters reports the British mobile giant has secured only around 20 percent of the German cable firm’s shares, and it needs 75 percent by midnight Wednesday or the deal is off. It could be shareholders are waiting until the last minute in case a rival offer comes in — either way, it’s a nailbiting finish for freshly flush Vodafone and its plans of pushing further into the European fixed-line market.
Berlin’s Waymate has learned a few lessons since going live earlier this year, chief among them the fact that users need a transport comparison and booking service more for urban situations than for long-distance travel. Read more »
A leaked opinion from the Commission’s justice department pointed out serious risks in proposals made by the digital agenda department — proposals that would allow ISPs to charge content providers to prioritize their traffic. Read more »
Nokia’s Here business, a serious rival to Google’s mapping and navigation efforts, is partnering up with Germany’s Mercedes-Benz on autonomous vehicles. Like Nissan, Merc parent Daimler wants self-driving cars on the road by 2020. Read more »
The Norwegian browser firm is now thinking truly post-PC. Its Coast browser does away with traditional desktop browser elements such as tabs, forward and back buttons, and even the URL bar. Read more »
Could the monitoring of an oil giant be the first sign of the NSA using its surveillance systems for economic espionage? Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says that doesn’t happen, but doubts will linger. Read more »
Germany’s Der Spiegel reports that the U.S. National Security Agency can access user data such as contacts lists, SMS traffic and location from the leading phone platforms and — embarrassingly given its security reputation — email from BlackBerry. This latest Snowden revelation begs the question: is any mobile OS safe?
Who thought subverting not only widely-used security mechanisms, but the security standards-setting process itself, was a good idea? Read more »
It’s a common mistake: you mean to put a bunch of email recipients in the “bcc” field to hide their identity from other recipients, but instead you put them in the “cc” field. Oops — particularly when you’re ZTE trying to survey buyers of your Firefox OS phone. According to multiple people on Twitter, the Chinese handset maker managed on Friday to out the identities of hundreds of customers in this fashion. Hilariously, the email includes the line: “As always, we treat the issue of privacy with utmost seriousness — any personal information you have supplied us will remain confidential.”
Creative’s Senz3D camera is up for pre-order as of Thursday. It’s the first peripheral to use Intel’s perceptual computing tech, which will be built into computers from next year. Read more »
The NYT has published an interesting piece about the negotiations leading up to Microsoft’s takeover of Nokia’s handset business. Of particular note: Nokia’s insistence on hanging onto its Here business (the key to its future, in my opinion). And on the symbolism front: at one early meeting, Ballmer tripped over a coffee table and bloodied his brow.
The Stockholm outfit wants to save developers the hassle of juggling local development environments, framework installs, deployment services and hosting. Read more »
Traffic management could be key to the future of the open internet, so what proportion of UK consumers takes such policies into account when choosing a broadband deal? A whopping one percent. Read more »