31 March 2014

How Michael Malone kickstarted the Australian internet Australian Financial Review

The news that iiNet supremo Michael Malone is departing the business he built from scratch marks the end of an era. He's a young man and we haven't seen the last of him, but his resignation closes chapter one of the story of retail internet access in Australia. We'll leave it to the finance writers to chronicle iiNet's stellar commercial performance. For us, it's a time to reflect on the technical dream that Malone and his contemporaries turned into reality.

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15 March 2014

Bill Gates: The Rolling Stone Interview - The richest man in the world explains how to save the planet Rolling Stone

At 58, Bill Gates is not only the richest man in the world, with a fortune that now exceeds $76 billion, but he may also be the most optimistic. In his view, the world is a giant operating system that just needs to be debugged. Gates' driving idea - the idea that animates his life, that guides his philanthropy, that keeps him late in his sleek book-lined office overlooking Lake Washington, outside Seattle - is the hacker's notion that the code for these problems can be rewritten, that errors can be fixed, that huge systems - whether it's Windows 8, global poverty or climate change - can be improved if you have the right tools and the right skills. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the philanthropic organization with a $36 billion endowment that he runs with his wife, is like a giant startup whose target market is human civilization.

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13 March 2014

New boycott called on Apple products for toxic chemical use Network World

Green America, a D.C.-based non-profit group, and The Nation magazine launched a campaign Wednesday intended to persuade consumers to boycott Apple products unless the company makes changes in its production and supply chain operations.

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Mapping the tubes: The hidden world of undersea cables that make up the internet The Independent

When former US senator Ted Stevens described the internet in 2006 as a "series of tubes" he was mocked mercilessly, but as this map of the vast network of undersea cables that the internet runs through is anything to go by, he wasn't too far off.

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06 March 2014

For Bitcoin, a Secure Future Might Require Traditional Trappings New York Times

Nearly half a billion dollars has gone missing, and nobody knows how. Some say there was outright theft. Others suspect fraud. Many blame lax controls, poor oversight and, above all, a reckless, globe-spanning, Wild West culture -- a culture that everyone agrees is ripe for wholesale reform.

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02 March 2014

WhatsApp vs. Asian Rivals: The Mobile-Messaging War Goes Global Businessweek

As more people choose to send messages through free apps instead of paying to use their smartphones' standard texting services, valuations of companies that make the apps are soaring. Facebook's $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp came just five days after Rakuten, the largest e-commerce company in Japan, snapped up messaging service Viber for $900 million. SoftBank is seeking to buy a stake in Japan's top mobile messenger, Line. Even BlackBerry could cash in. With 85 million users, its BBM messaging service suddenly looks ripe for a spinoff.

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South Korea's internet giant: Now or Naver The Economist

At home, South Korea's biggest web portal has thrashed Yahoo and kept Google at bay. Now its owner plans to conquer the world with its messaging service

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20 February 2014

Facebook snaps up messaging service WhatsApp in $19bn deal The Guardian

Facebook is to buy the messaging service WhatsApp for $19bn, the social media company said on Wednesday.

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16 February 2014

As War for Web Messaging Users Grows, Rakuten Buys Viber for $900 Million New York Times

He recently lost the pitcher Masahiro Tanaka to the New York Yankees, but Hiroshi Mikitani, the billionaire owner of the Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, may now have found some solace. On Friday, Rakuten said it would buy Viber Media, which runs a popular app for calling and messaging, for $900 million.

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The Plus in Google Plus? It's Mostly for Google New York Times

Google Plus, the company's social network, is like a ghost town. Want to see your old roommate's baby or post your vacation status? Chances are, you'll use Facebook instead.

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08 February 2014

Sony's exit from the PC market will not be the last The Guardian

Sony's decision to exit the PC business means that after 17 years in the industry, the Vaio brand will probably disappear from western retailers before the end of 2014.

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29 January 2014

Old-school Wi-Fi is slowing down networks Computerworld

The early Wi-Fi standards that opened the world's eyes to wire-free networking are now holding back the newer, faster protocols that followed in their wake, Cisco Systems said.

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25 January 2014

Google patents ad tech linking restaurant to taxi ride BBC News

Google has patented a way of linking online ads to free or discounted taxi rides to the advertising restaurant, shop or entertainment venue.

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24 January 2014

Microsoft Earnings Illustrate Move to Devices and Services New York Times

A picture of the new Microsoft, one transformed from a software factory into a maker of devices and online services, came into sharper focus on Thursday.

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21 January 2014

How can Google feather its Nest with the internet of things? The Guardian

Looking past the glitter, big names, and big money ($3.2bn), a deeper look at Google's Nest acquisition doesn't yield a good theory. Perhaps because there isn't one

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19 January 2014

From Weibo to WeChat: After a crackdown on microblogs, sensitive online discussion has shifted The Economist

When Luo Changping, an investigative journalist, tried on November 22nd to post the latest chapter of his big scoop on WeChat, a popular Chinese mobile messaging service, censors blocked it. But he was able to work round them. In a follow-up message he told his subscribers they could send him the words "Chapter Seventeen"; users who did so automatically received the post on their mobile phones, uncensored.

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The new GE: Google, everywhere - With a string of deals the internet giant has positioned itself to become a big inventor, and reinventor, of hardware The Economist

At Google they call it the toothbrush test. Shortly after returning to being the firm's chief executive in 2011, Larry Page said he wanted it to develop more services that everyone would use at least twice a day, like a toothbrush. Its search engine and its Android operating system for mobile devices pass that test. Now, with a string of recent acquisitions, Google seems to be planning to become as big in hardware as it is in software, developing "toothbrush" products in a variety of areas from robots to cars to domestic-heating controls.

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10 January 2014

For PC Makers, the Good News on 2013 Is That It Is Over New York Times

The two leading analysis companies tracking the PC industry just delivered their reports on the fourth quarter of 2013, and it was bad.

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How the 'value trap' squeezes Windows PC makers' revenues and profits The Guardian

Analysis of the revenues and profits for the 'big five' PC manufacturers - HP, Lenovo, Dell, Asus and Acer - which make more than 60% of the Windows PC - shows a multi-year squeeze on prices and profits. What next?

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23 December 2013

Into the Bitcoin Mines New York Times

On the flat lava plain of Reykjanesbaer, Iceland, near the Arctic Circle, you can find the mines of Bitcoin.

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20 December 2013

Bitcoin, Nationless Currency, Still Feels Government’s Pinch New York Times

If Bitcoin is a bubble, as its critics contend, it is showing signs of deflating.

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19 December 2013

Bitcoin sinks after China restricts yuan exchanges BBC News

Bitcoin has fallen to less than half the value it recently traded for, following reports of fresh action by Beijing to restrict trade in the virtual currency.

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18 December 2013

Apple misled customers about their consumer rights, Australian watchdog finds The Guardian

Apple has come to a court-enforceable agreement with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission after investigations by the watchdog found the computer giant was misleading some consumers about their rights to refunds, replacements, and repairs.

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15 December 2013

Google's Road Map to Global Domination New York Times

Fifty-five miles and three days down the Colorado River from the put-in at Lee's Ferry, near the Utah-Arizona border, the two rafts in our little flotilla suddenly encountered a storm. It sneaked up from behind, preceded by only a cool breeze. With the canyon walls squeezing the sky to a ribbon of blue, we didn't see the thunderhead until it was nearly on top of us.

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30 November 2013

The internet's fifth man: Louis Pouzin helped create the internet. Now he is campaigning to ensure that its design continues to evolve and improve in future The Economist

At a glitzy ceremony at Buckingham Palace this summer, Queen Elizabeth II honoured five pioneers of computer networking. Four of the men who shared the new £1m ($1.6m) Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering are famous: Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn, authors of the protocols that underpin the internet; Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web; and Marc Andreessen, creator of the first successful web browser. But the fifth man is less well known. He is Louis Pouzin, a garrulous Frenchman whose contribution to the field is every bit as seminal.

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