Archives: August 2008

Comcast's Usage Cap: What Does It Mean?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on August 29, Categories: Net Neutrality

Comcast has posted a change to its broadband user policy today. It's now limiting subscribers to 250 Gigabytes of monthly usage, which can include e-mailing friends or uploading photos. Is this a big deal? Yes.

Will U.S. Appliances Go Green?

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on August 29, Categories: Green technology

I spent some time today checking out home appliances at the "white goods" pavilions at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin. The main thing that struck me, other than...

Android Developer Challenge Results in Some Mighty Cool Apps

Posted by: Olga Kharif on August 29, Categories: wireless

The Android Developer Challenge, in which software programmers competed for cash awards to see who will create the coolest applications for upcoming Android-based cell phones, has ended. Reading the list of winners, I was pleasantly surprised: Many of these applications are nothing like what other cell phones -- yes, even the iPhone -- offer.

3D TV: Not So Fast

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on August 29, Categories: TV

LG Electronics has become the latest consumer electronics firm to show off a 3D display, only to show off again that the technology is nowhere close to ready for for...

PDA Inventor Jonah Klausner Is At It Again.....

Posted by: Olga Kharif on August 28, Categories: VOIP

It's amazing how much power a single patent owner can wield in the telecom industry. Just consider Klausner Technologies. The company, which is headed by PDA and electronic organizer inventor Judah Klausner, is currently suing Verizon Wireless, Google, LG and others claiming that their visual voicemail feature infringes on Klausner's patents.

Mozilla Ubiquity: Back to the Command Line

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on August 27, Categories: Firefox

Ubiquity, a new Firefox plugin from Mozilla Labs offers a really nifty way to get a variety of Web services from any page. Unfortunately, its text based interface will probably...

tuitalk: Ads-Supported VoIP Calls

Posted by: Olga Kharif on August 26, Categories: VOIP

I just heard about an interesting new service, tuitalk, which, if successful, could potentially alter Skype's business model. The service allows anyone with a computer to call phone numbers in many countries around the world for free. (Remember, Skype charges for this feature, which it calls Skype Out). The catch is, the caller has to view a 30-second ad from the likes of BMW or IMAX.

Should Wireless Carriers Offer Mobile VoIP?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on August 26, Categories: VOIP

Web-calling expert Andy Abramson made an interesting comment on our mobile VoIP story that came out today. He thinks that wireless service providers may wish to compete with mobile Web-calling start-ups and to offer their own mobile VoIP services. That makes sense.

Here Comes Kindle 2.0

Posted by: Peter Burrows on August 25, Categories: Amazon.com

My sources say the new version is significantly thinner, has a better screen, is more stylish and includes fixes to some of the user interface annoyances with the first version. One person that has seen the device says it is as big a leap from its predecessor as the iPod mini was from the first iPod. “They’ve jumped from Generation One to Generation Four or Five. It just looks better, and feels better,” says the source.

Do You Use Mobile VoIP?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on August 21, Categories: VOIP

I'd also love to hear from people who are using VoIP applications on their mobile phones. Could you please e-mail me at olga_kharif@businessweek.com? I'd love to hear about your experience with the application.

Palm Goes Pro

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on August 20, Categories: Smartphones

Ever heard of a little handheld company called Palm? The company that helped popularize smartphones with the executive set even before the word smartphone was born is trying to get...

Intel: Nothing but the Net

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on August 20, Categories: Intel

Has Intel finally come up with a winning formula for conquering the digital living room? The magic eight ball says maybe. The company's announcement Wednesday of a partnership with Yahoo!...

Maryland Company Seeks Ban on Wii Imports

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on August 20, Categories: gaming

If Rockville, Md.-based Hillcrest Labs has its way, the Nintendo Wii will soon be off the market in the U.S. Hillcrest has designed a motion-sensitive remote control and accompanying user...

Is Microsoft's Vision of Search Enough to Catch Google?

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 19, Categories: Google, Live Search, Search, Yahoo

Short answer: No. Not even close. Not for a long time, anyway. But it's sure trying hard, and it would be dangerous for anyone to write off Microsoft. Its...

Google's FreeTheAirwaves Push

Posted by: Olga Kharif on August 18, Categories: wireless

Today, Google has launched yet another publicity campaign. FreeTheAirwaves.com asks the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to carve out a piece of available airwaves, called white spaces, for free public broadband use. But while the idea sounds good, and has gained support from FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, I just don't see it going anywhere any time soon -- despite this additional pressure from Google.

NBC: A Gold Medal for Cluelessness

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on August 18, Categories: media

As on old-media guy myself when I'm not blogging or podcasting, I tend to bristle when bloggers treat mainstream media as some sort of all-purpose curse word. But I have...

Google's Upcoming Phone: More Details

Posted by: Olga Kharif on August 15, Categories: Google

The first mobile phone based on Android, which is software supported by Google, will debut this fall. Moe Tanabian, senior principal at IBB Consulting, has been able to give me a lot of details today on the software inside the device.

Cable and the Digital Transition: Stuff I Left Out of the Column

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on August 15, Categories: TV

In my column on the digital TV transition, space limitations forced me to shorthand what happens if you have cable, particularly if you have cable connected directly to a cable-ready...

Good Enough Technology: My New $30 TV

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 14, Categories: TV, Tech Spending, Transitions, consumer electronics, iPhone

It so happened that my rather old TV decided to die on the second day of the Olympics, the one sports event my wife cannot do without. So I...

Developers Frustrated With Apple

Posted by: Olga Kharif on August 14, Categories: Apple

I still remember how excited software developers were on July 10, when Apple launched its iTunes App Store, which offers iPhone applications from third-party developers. Many programmers figured Apple would finally give them a way to make the big bucks off of their craft. And some, indeed, have since struck gold. But many haven't -- and are seething with resentment at Apple.

Will New Directors Help or Hurt Yahoo?

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 14, Categories: Google, Icahn, Microsoft, Yahoo

As expected, Yahoo has just appointed former Viacom CEO Frank Biondi Jr. and former Nextel Partners CEO John Chapple to its board. They're two of the slate proposed by activist...

eBay acquires 36% stake in GMarket

Posted by: Catherine Holahan on August 13, Categories: eBay

EBay plans to acquire a minority stake Asian e-commerce giant GMarket (GMKT). The U.S. e-commerce company announced the planned purchase Aug. 13, two weeks after initially sending a letter to...

Yahoo's Web Location Platform Fire Eagle Takes Flight

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 12, Categories: Yahoo

For all the distractions of its battle with Microsoft, Yahoo has managed to come out with some interesting technology initiatives in recent months--and the most interesting are those that attempt...

GMail Crashes - For Many

Posted by: Arik Hesseldahl on August 11, Categories: Google

Just tried to sign into my personal email account via Google Hosted Apps and it's down. Then tried my backup GMail account. It's down too. Turns out there's a systemwide...

Why No One Loves Windows Mobile

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on August 11, Categories:

Fans of Apple's iPhone are famously rabid and don't try to pry a BlackBerry away from a devoted user. Even struggling Palm has a hard core of devotees of its...

Do You Use Several Phones?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on August 07, Categories: wireless

I am looking to talk to people who use several phones at the same time. If that's you, could you please e-mail me at olga_kharif@businessweek.com? Thank you very much for your help!

YouNoodle Says It Knows The Value Of Your Start-Up

Posted by: Catherine Holahan on August 07, Categories: Web 2.0

Hi Guys, My colleague Jay Yarow wrote this post about YouNoodle. On Tuesday, Weplay, a social networking start-up aimed at young athletes, announced that it closed an $8.6 million round...

Apple to iPhone Users: Big Brother is Watching?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on August 06, Categories: Apple

I just read a report that claims that Apple can remotely disable any app on your iPhone. Scary? You bet.

Ad Surf Daily

Posted by: Catherine Holahan on August 05, Categories:

Scams have gone Web 2.0. On Aug. 5, secret service officials raided the Quincy Fla. office of Ad Surf Daily, a purported online advertising company that the government says was...

NYTimes.com Is Down Back Up

Posted by: Arik Hesseldahl on August 05, Categories: Internet

A friend in Michigan just wrote to say she noticed that The New York Times Web site is down. I just checked, and it's down for me as well. Below...

Touch Screen Nanos on the Way?

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on August 05, Categories: Apple

My colleague Olga Kharif quite succinctly walks you through in this blog all the reasons why its unlikely Apple in the next month or so won't release a stripped-down version...

Sonos Goes 802.11n

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on August 05, Categories: Digital Music

One of the great things about the Sonos wireless digital music streaming system is that it just works. Except, that is, for people who live in homes with thick walls...

Yahoo Recount

Posted by: Catherine Holahan on August 05, Categories:

Yahoo’s critics have long complained that Jerry Yang counted out Microsoft’s offer too soon. Now they say the firm it hired to tabulate shareholder votes simply can’t count. On Aug....

Microsoft: In Trouble in China?

Posted by: Olga Kharif on August 04, Categories: Bill Gates

I just read a report saying that Microsoft may end up being the first defendant in a lawsuit stemming from a new anti-monopoly law that went into effect in China on Aug. 1. Apparently, a number of Chinese IT companies are paging through the new law trying to figure out the best way to tackle the software giant.

That iPhone Nano Rumor ....

Posted by: Olga Kharif on August 04, Categories: Apple

That old rumor – that Apple would introduce a stripped-down version of the iPhone – is being floated again. This Sunday, Daily Mail has run a story citing sources close...

FCC's Comcast Ruling Opens a Can of Worms

Posted by: Olga Kharif on August 01, Categories: Net Neutrality

Today, the Federal Communications Commission ruled that Comcast was at fault for fiddling with peer-to-peer traffic such as movie downloads. This ruling is not the end -- just the beginning of the raging net neutrality debate.

LIVE from Yahoo's Annual Meeting

Posted by: Rob Hof on August 01, Categories: Google, Icahn, Microsoft, Search, Yahoo, advertising

Yahoo's long-awaited (or long-dreaded) annual shareholders meeting is about to begin, and wireless gods willing, I'll be liveblogging the proceedings--even if they aren't expected to be very exciting. You can...

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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