Microsoft and other complainants in the Google EU antitrust case have commissioned an eye-tracking study to demonstrate the alleged ineffectiveness of Google’s proposed concessions. All this proves is that it’s time to move on. Read more »
The EU Advocate General has urged legislators to fix the controversial Data Retention Directive by properly defining safeguards, but member states’ control over national security affairs could make that a tall order. Read more »
The deal tells Truecaller users if the person calling them has a Twitter account, and even allows limited Twitter functionality from within the Truecaller smartphone client. Read more »
Cloud OS network includes OVH.com, T-Systems, and other cloud providers, hosting companies and telcos that can help companies run hybrid Microsoft-based clouds. Read more »
The app search outfit has taken its Contextual App Advertising system out of private beta, promising the most accurate contextual placement for ads. Read more »
The EU’s General Court has dismissed Cisco’s challenge against the European Commission’s approval of Microsoft’s Skype takeover. But it did so mostly because Microsoft is no longer the market-dominating powerhouse it once was. Read more »
Nokia may be working on an Android device as a successor to its low-end Asha efforts, but for new owner Microsoft the project risks consumer confusion and further entrenchment of an Android-first mentality among developers. Read more »
Rdio launched its music subscription service in 20 additional countries late Monday, bringing the total number of countries Rdio is available in now to 51. The new markets include 13 Latin American countries, Israel, South Africa, the Dominican Republic and a few smaller countries in Europe. The expansion could give Rdio a chance to leapfrog Spotify in some of these markets: The bigger competitor is thus far only available in 28 countries.
HP launches a pair of new CloudSystems hardware-software bundles, this time with Cloud OS, its special take on OpenStack. Read more »
Viber is now selling international long distance. The latest version of its iPhone and Android apps will connect calls to outside landline and mobile phone numbers. Read more »
Microsoft’s chances in this new world depend on its ability to balance old successes like Windows and Office with transformative new technologies, he said. Read more »
Chinese hackers targeted five European foreign ministries in the run-up to the Russia-hosted G20 summit in September, according to security firm FireEye. There is no evidence that it was state-sponsored snooping, though FireEye reckons they were after intelligence related to the then-possible invasion of Syria. This year’s G20 was quite the summit from a security standpoint – Russia subsequently had to deny issuing spyware-laden USB sticks and phone-charging cables to foreign leaders and other delegates.
Many users of the pornographic streaming-video service Redtube have received letters asking them to pay hundreds of euros per viewed clip. The illegality of viewing streams of copyright-infringing material is questionable, as are the methods used to identify the users. Read more »
The company has successfully completed a one-kilometer drone delivery of a packet of medicine from a Bonn pharmacy to its nearby headquarters. However, this was only a test, and DHL has no firm plans for commercial services as yet. Read more »
Are you a terrorist using virtual worlds and gaming networks to hide your communications? There’s no evidence you exist, but if you do, then be warned: according to fresh revelations in the Guardian, New York Times and ProPublica, the National Security Agency and Britain’s GCHQ have for years infiltrated World of Warcraft and the Xbox Live network. Hilariously, so many agents were knocking around Second Life at one point that the NSA identified a need to “deconflict” them, ensuring they weren’t wasting time by spying on one another or duplicating efforts.
Rene Obermann, who will end his seven-year spell as head of Germany’s big telecoms player at the end of the month, said in an interview that he doesn’t understand why everyone is “pussy-footing” around the U.S. on privacy issues. Read more »
The incident, which was probably a case of the French finance ministry going overboard in its efforts to monitor employee activities, provides a timely reminder of how certificates are the weak point in online security. Read more »
Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yahoo and AOL all want the U.S. government to take the lead on reining in suspicionless surveillance. It’s a significant step up in the companies’ demands, and with good reason. Read more »
The electronics firms, along with others, were the targets of unannounced inspections earlier this week. Details are scarce, but the nascent investigation relates to suspected restrictions placed on online sales. Read more »
Former Autonomy boss Mike Lynch has invested in a company called Neurence through his Invoke Capital fund. Based in Cambridge, the firm was itself formed by former employees of Autonomy’s Aurasma augmented-reality (AR) division after HP bought Autonomy. Neurence has a new iPhone AR app called Taggar, which lets users overlay their own photos, videos and stickers on top of real-world objects, for viewing by other users when they hold their phone up in front of the object. Invoke’s previous investment, in September, was a Cambridge security firm called Darktrace.
Bonjour and guten Tag: Netflix executives have visited Germany and France as they are looking for additional markets to launch their service. Read more »
The Swedish firm’s EyeX developer kit, which will ship in March, comes with the latest tools for creating games and other apps that build on the human gaze as a means of interaction. Read more »
Sweden’s FRA intelligence agency has been spying on Russian politicians on behalf of the United States, according to documents leaked by Edward Snowden. Swedish TV station Sveriges Television reported on Thursday that Sweden was a key regional partner for the U.S. National Security Agency because major telecommunications cables pass through it (suggesting bulk rather than targeted collection). Investigative journalist Duncan Campbell has previously warned of this situation, which dates back to the Cold War but was still apparently in play as recently as April this year. Diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks in 2011 also pointed to the arrangement.
The company will make it easier for governments in Europe, the Americas and Asia to inspect its source code for hidden backdoors. Microsoft will also apply encryption across its systems and, it says, step up legal challenges against gag orders. Read more »
Twitter has inked its first strategic partnership with a carrier that doesn’t involve subsidized data. It will surely be a boost for the microblogging platform in Germany, where it is weak, but the benefits for Deutsche Telekom are less clear. Read more »
The service now has a beta feature that allows users to enter their own criteria for comparing one thing to another, which should make it easier for the Versus team to tell what’s most important to people. Read more »
Should Twitter users be held in contempt of court if they retweet information about a sensitive court case? The UK government is reminding them of the risk. Read more »
London-based early-stage venture capital firm Hoxton Ventures officially revealed itself on Wednesday, despite having already made some quiet investments into startups Campanja and (according to TechCrunch) Tizaro. The firm will make 4 to 6 investments a year from its $40 million fund, which will apparently soon close at $50 million. Europe may be experiencing a much-needed boom in early-stage investment — Hoxton Ventures’ rivals include the likes of London’s Balderton Capital, Wellington Partners and MMC Ventures, and Berlin’s Earlybird and Point Nine Capital.
The mobile operator’s customers will get to use their domestic voice and data allowances while travelling in the United States, even though Three parent company Hutchison Whampoa doesn’t have a carrier operation there. Read more »
Alcatel-Lucent’s new site-certification program has identified 600,000 locations on billboards, cable lines, and street furniture in the U.S. and Europe as small-cell ready. Read more »
The new version of the open-source cloud management platform, codenamed “Retina”, introduces the ability to define scheduling policies for storage load-balancing. Read more »
The UN’s special investigator on the protection of human rights while countering terrorism has opened an investigation into Edward Snowden’s revelations of mass surveillance by the U.S., the U.K. and their close allies. Ben Emmerson will report back to the UN general assembly in autumn 2014, having looked into: whether Snowden is a whistleblower; whether his leaks weakened American and British counter-terrorism efforts; whether surveillance powers in those countries should be curbed; whether oversight of their spying is adequate; and whether the U.K. Parliament was misled by the country’s intelligence services. The UN itself was a target of NSA surveillance.
The latest example of European web censorship in the name of copyright doesn’t just target internet service providers — it also requires Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to remove links to the offending sites. Read more »
Spunky IaaS player DigitalOcean adds much more capacity and private networking capabilities in new Amsterdam facility. Read more »
German police are considering the use of a Shazam-like app for identifying neo-Nazi rock music, Der Spiegel reports. The app would identify far-right bands and their songs, apparently sparing police resources and speeding up investigations as they tackle extremist gatherings (and online radio stations, the article suggests). Nazism is illegal in Germany, as is racist hate speech. However, this app is unlikely to enter into use if legal authorities decide it’s a form of acoustic surveillance, which it plainly is.
The Finnish company, which is largely staffed by ex-Nokians, has finally put its smartphone on sale. The device runs a derivation of the Linux-based MeeGo operating system. Read more »
Bitcoin may be riding high, but spending it is still hardly an intuitive process. A new device called the nio Card, currently in Kickstarter mode, may provide an answer by allowing contactless Bitcoin payments — and because it has built-in NFC, it will work with the iPhone. Read more »
The European Parliament’s industry committee has approved a draft law that will make the sharing of infrastructure such a sewage and gas pipes and drainage systems a lot easier — thereby making broadband rollouts a lot cheaper. Read more »
The Geeksphone Revolution promises an intriguingly versatile device, but it’s not all good news — Geeksphone has had to inform those who pre-ordered its current theoretical flagship, the Peak+, that the device has been cancelled due to supply chain problems. Read more »