Google’s earliest social network, the decade-old Orkut, will shut its virtual doors at the end of September, the company said on Monday. This mainly affects Brazilians, as the service has been more or less specific to that country for the last six years (it was also successful in India for a while). Seriously, Orkut was huge in Brazil — Facebook only overtook it there two and a half years ago — but now it has well under 1 percent of the market. In a blog post on Monday, Google said new Orkut registrations were now closed and people could export their photos and other data using Google Takeout.
The .io domain is a hit, but few startups using it appreciate the associations it carries — a mass expulsion that took place within living memory, and a crucial staging-post for the “War on Terror”. Read more »
Cisco has bought a Danish firm called Assemblage for its skills in wrangling browser technologies like WebRTC for real-time collaboration that don’t require the user to download any programs or plugins. Assemblage currently offers a range of tools including Kollaborate (for videoconferencing), Presentation and Same (for screen-sharing), and says it will continue to do so for now. In a blog post on Friday, Cisco — purveyors of expensive telepresence equipment that plays in the same space — said it was after the startup’s engineering prowess and third-party integration record.
The device’s release will be a test case both for bundling privacy-centric tools in a user-friendly way, and for carving out a niche in the modern mobile platform wars. Read more »
A new site called Tom Kabinet sells secondhand ebooks. Publishers say this is illegal, and with a deadline passing on Friday the case looks set to go to court. Read more »
The German secure server outfit only set out to raise €500,000, but it ended up with 6 times that amount. Since investors get a cut of future profits, and as Protonet has more than enough to internationalize now, it was time to press pause. Read more »
The U.S. firm’s contract for running Germany’s federal administrative infrastructure will be allowed to expire next year, and the NSA revelations are a big, explicit reason. Read more »
The search provider has started complying with a recent ruling that says it must de-link some personal information, if the data subject asks and if the information isn’t in the public interest. Read more »
Yandex.Disk can now import photos from and share photos to Facebook and other social networks — Yandex hopes the latter feature will help it strike deals with printing and stock photo services down the line. Read more »
Germany’s Moviepilot has taken an unusual trajectory, beginning as a film recommendation site called Moviepilot.de and expanding into the U.S. and elsewhere with a fan site called Moviepilot.com. Now it’s going to focus on the newer company with a fresh $20 million cash infusion that comes from French media firm Webedia, the proud new owners of Moviepilot.de. The German site has 5 million monthly users and 2 million Facebook fans, along with popular German-language YouTube channels. Moviepilot CEO Tobias Bauckhage said the sale would let his team “press ahead with even more energy and focus on our expansion into the U.S. market.”
EU justice chief Viviane Reding has welcomed a proposal by the Obama administration to give Europeans a right to judicial redress if their data, sent to the U.S. by authorities in their home country, has been abused. Read more »
The Norwegian browser vendor now has pole position on the Linux-based handsets Microsoft is selling in emerging markets and beyond. Read more »
The Respect Network’s creators claim to have found “a scalable business model for privacy on the internet.” You’ll need to pay to get in during the early days, but the concept may actually be sustainable. Read more »
The move, reported in local media, could dent the business of x86 processor makers in Russia. Read more »
Having dropped Linux support around the time of its root-and-branch revamp, Opera is now offering its first developer version for Linux users in over a year. Read more »
EBlink provides wireless “fronthaul” technology, which could help Alcatel-Lucent sell its vision of sticking the base station into the cloud. Read more »
Details continue to emerge confirming how the NSA’s mass surveillance efforts often rely on the cooperation of other governments, reportedly including those of Germany and Denmark. Read more »
The defense research agency’s information innovation director reckons the internet of things will need a “fundamentally new security model”. Read more »
The investment in the Parisian outfit may help the German publishing giant “see how search works”, it says. Read more »
The massive Target data breach last December was a “clarion call” for retail executives, according to Gap’s senior director of infrastructure architecture. That’s unsurprising, seeing how the breach lost Target’s CIO and CEO their jobs. Read more »
The Berlin-based startup’s first consumer app is finally out. It provides a fine-grained way to browse through different app types, but Read more »
The two companies have been working together since last year, and the takeover should help Red Hat pitch its OpenStack distribution as being easy to deploy. Read more »
An Irish judge has asked the Court of Justice of the European Union to say whether it was OK for the country’s data protection watchdog to refuse to investigate the alleged breakdown — as evidenced by the Snowden revelations — of the U.S.-EU “Safe Harbor” principles. Read more »
Extortionists reportedly got several million euros out of Nokia around 2007-2008, according to a report from Finnish TV station MTV. Reuters has also got confirmation from Finnish police that a blackmail investigation is ongoing. It seems the criminals had acquired encryption code for parts of Nokia’s Symbian operating system, which was the global smartphone market leader at the time. They were threatening to release this code, potentially allowing others to insert malware into Symbian phones. Nokia reportedly left money in a parking lot, and the criminals made away with it while also evading police capture.
The Israeli startup examines precisely how people use the banking and e-commerce sites it is protecting, in order to spot when something is out of the ordinary. Read more »
Civil liberties activitists sued the British intelligence agencies over their surveillance programs, forcing the government to explain its legal rationale for intercepting certain online searches and communications. Read more »
The Lisbon-based Independent app distribution firm Aptoide has complained to EU regulators about Google’s alleged unfair tactics against third-party app stores. Read more »
Fusion.io will bolster SanDisk’s data center efforts, while its shareholders will get $11.25 per share in cash. Read more »
The deal should aid and potentially speed up the 5G standardization effort. It also takes in research on related subjects such as the cloud and the internet of things. Read more »
OnApp’s big federated cloud play will soon be here in the shape of Cloud.net, a user-facing marketplace for memory, storage, CPU and bandwidth that’s leaning heavily on transparency as a selling point. Read more »
Feedly is suffering yet another distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, the third since the news aggregation service was first targeted on Wednesday. The company, whose service was going up and down like a yoyo at the time of writing, tweeted on Friday that it was “working on it” — presumably with CloudFlare, as the CDN and security firm’s name appears on Feedly’s error page. When the first wave hit, Feedly said the attacks were part of an extortion attempt that apparently also targeted other unspecified firms.
The company says that, in “rare cases,” some power adapters sold with iPhones between 2009 and 2012 might overheat and pose a safety risk. Read more »
The OECD has published a report on so-called termination rates, pointing out the folly of governments who think keeping them high will boost telecom revenues. Read more »
The European Commission’s record-breaking fine for Intel’s illegal anti-AMD kickbacks was justified and proportionate, a top court has ruled. Read more »
European authorities want to know if the Irish tax authorities’ deal with Apple unfairly advantages the company or a specific group of companies. If it does, it may constitute illegal state aid. Read more »
It’s easy to assume that traditional players protesting against their nimble new competitors are just sore losers — easy, but not always fair nor accurate. Read more »
Evernote’s denial of service attack seems to have been going on for at least 10 hours, causing data synchronization problems for users. Feedly’s seems to be connected with an extortion attempt. Read more »
Looks like there may be some consolidation in the augmented reality scene: TechCrunch reports that the U.K.’s Blippar has bought Dutch rival Layar. Both companies focus heavily on bringing print ads to virtual life. Layar is a real AR veteran; 5 years ago its original, non-marketing-centric app did a lot to popularize the concept (at least, among geeks.) Now both Blippar and Layar are trying to make AR finally take off through the use of Google Glass. If the deal’s real — I’ve been unable to get confirmation — I wonder what will happen to Layar’s interoperability pact with Metaio and Wikitude.
Like Protonet, Sherlybox offers a collaboration-friendly alternative to public cloud services — although this Raspberry Pi-based device can also play nicely with those services as well, for those who want it. Read more »
We’ve covered TransferWise quite a few times – along with one or two rivals such as CurrencyFair, the London-based financial technology startup offers a genuinely disruptive foreign exchange service that significantly undercuts the banks. Its backers apparently also continue to see great potential: having led TransferWise’s $6 million Series A round just over a year ago, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures has again participated in the firm’s $25 million Series B, alongside Index Ventures, Virgin boss Richard Branson, IA Ventures, TAG, and Le Monde owner Xavier Niel. TransferWise, run by former Skype director Taavet Hinrikus, says it will use the funds for marketing.