TechMediaWatch August 12: Chevy Volt, RealNetworks, Twitter Down, Online textbooks,HP, MS, Nokia, Office

August 12, 2009

Microsoft to Put Office on Phones From Nokia
Two giant rivals team up to try to fend off competitive threats from the likes of Google and Apple.(NYT)+++

G.M. Puts Electric Car’s City Mileage in Triple Digits
General Motors said its Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle, scheduled for release in 2011, would have a fuel rating of 230 miles a gallon in city driving.(NYT)+++

Debate in Germany: Research or Manufacturing?
As more investment goes to research, Germans are confronting the idea that manufacturing may not be their economy’s indispensable foundation.(NYT)+++

RealNetworks Barred From Selling DVD Copy Maker
A federal judge says that RealNetworks violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and its contract with movie studios in selling software to copy DVDs.(NYT)+++

Privacy Plan for Federal Web Sites Gets Mixed Reviews
The federal government plans to allow more tracking of visitors to its Web sites using cookies. But privacy advocates have expressed concerns about the changes.(NYT)+++

Twitter Goes Down Again After More Cyberattacks
Twitter, which suffered a severe outage last week, was hit by two more cyberattacks Tuesday and crashed again. The outages highlight weaknesses in the infrastructure of the popular micro-blogging service.(NYT)+++

Facebook’s Search Toolbar Gets More Muscle
Facebook is enhancing its search functions in an effort to provide a better snapshot of what people are doing and thinking right now.(NYT)+++

Entrepreneurs Wade Into ‘Dead Zone’
A Silicon Valley start-up wants to harvest algae in the Gulf of Mexico responsible for the dead zones – and turn it into biofuel.(WSJ)+++

Making Geekdom Cool and Profitable
Minnesota entrepreneur Robert Stephens turned a side job trouble-shooting computer problems into Geek Squad..(WSJ)+++

RealNetworks Loses Ruling on DVD Copying
RealNetworks lost a key ruling in a case about whether it can sell a DVD-copying technology called RealDVD.(WSJ)+++

Another DVD copying program bites the (courtroom) dust
U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel handed another important legal victory to the entertainment industry today, issuing a pretrial injunction that bars RealNetworks from manufacturing or selling its RealDVD disc-copying program on the grounds that it violates federal and state laws.(LAT)+++

The first — and maybe last — Twitter Opera
Calling all Twitter divas, this is your big chance. (LAT)+++

Online textbooks offered free

When California teachers return to their classrooms this month, they’ll have 10 free online texts at their fingertips to help them. (SFC)+++

Objection to Google Book deal
A judge grants The Media Exchange Company Inc. the opportunity to file an objection to a settlement reached between Google Inc. and the publishing industry.(SFC)+++

You can’t trust GPS
An 11-year-old boy is dead, and over-dependence on GPS may be partly to blame.(SFC)+++

GM, eBay to launch new-car sales site Tuesday
The new-car sales experiment between General Motors and San Jose e-commerce powerhouse eBay begins today in California, with the auto company making its entire inventory in the state available online in a four-week test.

Harris: Facebook buys FriendFeed
Facebook friended FriendFeed in a big and presumably lucrative way on Monday, buying the company and its talented, Google-seasoned team in a deal that figures to spice up Facebook’s emerging rivalry with the Mountain View search giant.(SV)+++

HP, Dr. Dre plan new ‘digital music ecosystem’
Famed rapper/producer is teaming up with the computer maker in an ambitious effort to overhaul the sound quality of digital(CNET)+++

Microsoft, Nokia eye mobile Office deal
The alliance, expected to be unveiled Wednesday, is part of Microsoft’s effort to expand its desktop strength into a trifecta of PC, Web, and phone.(CNET)+++

RealNetworks loses critical ruling in RealDVD case
Federal judge sides with Hollywood and issues a preliminary injunction that will prevent RealNetworks from selling RealDVD software.(CNET)+++

Google’s Caffeine: A jolt to search rankings?
A major overhaul is under way behind the scenes at Google that the company says will improve search results but could also change the way sites are ranked.(CNET)+++

How turf wars, miscues crippled SpiralFrog
Before the doors closed at the once-promising start-up, money got tight, and the payroll went unpaid. Management squabbles made a bad situation even worse.(CNET)+++

Facebook tweaks its terms to address privacy
Social network’s new rights and responsibilities document has a few subtle changes that will make it harder to use its members for advertising.(CNET)+++

North Americans pay more for cell phone service
Americans and Canadians pay more for cell phone service than people living Scandinavia.(CNET)+++

Sony extends Vaio laptop warranty for Nvidia glitch
Company says a small percentage of Vaio laptops with Nvidia graphics chips may have problems.(CNET)+++

iTunes 9 screenshots probably not the real deal
Integration with Twitter, Facebook, would be out of character for Apple at this point.(CNET)+++

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