theEweekly Wrap: Chips, apps and trolls
|Google and chips||Intel has announced that it will release a range of smartphones at its annual developers conference. The devices will include the powerful Intel Atom chip and run using the Google Android mobile OS, in a development partnership between the two tech giants. So far, Intel has lost out on the smartphone chip market to ARM Holdings, a Cambridge-based company whose systems are used by Samsung, Microsoft, Apple and many more. ARM has suffered a 4.5p drop in the stock market since the announcement.
Intel president and CEO Paul Otellini said: “By optimizing the Android platform for Intel architecture, we bring a powerful new capability to market that will accelerate more industry adoption and choice, and bring exciting new products to market that harness the combined potential of Intel technology and the Android platform.” Android currently powers a huge chunk of the smartphone market. With the addition of Intel smartphones and the recent purchase of Motorola Mobility, Google could soon have a monopoly. Intel-powered smartphones are expected to be available in the first half of 2012.
|Troll trapped||A man was jailed this week for posting offensive messages, images and videos mocking teenagers who died tragically, a practice known as ‘trolling’. Sean Duffy, 25, will serve an 18-month sentence and has been banned from using any social media sites under a five year Anti-Social Behaviour Order. He did not know any of his targets, but posted vile messages on Facebook tribute pages in their memory, defaced images of them and sent messages to family members.
Duffy was jailed under the Malicious Communications Act, which was introduced in 1988 to deal with threatening or obscene letters, and updated in 2001 to include reference to “electronic communication”. He is only the second ever troll convicted in the UK, after Colm Coss was jailed in 2010 for posting obscene messages on a Jade Goody tribute site.
|App-alling||Apple has removed a pair of controversial applications from its App Store this week. The first was Phone Story by Molleindustria, a video game parody of the smartphone industry. Players had to catch workers leaping from a factory building, supervise child labourers, then distribute the finished products to crazed westerners flocking to a shop with a white pear on the front. Apple initially approved the app, but having later noticed some similarities to incidents in the company’s past, removed the game from the App Store and banned it.
The second banned app this week was Jew Or Not Jew? by J Soft, which weighs up the evidence to decide whether or not a celebrity or public figure is Jewish. However, the app has only been banned in France, and only because French law forbids publishing some personal data, including religious affiliation, without the individual’s consent. The app is still the number one most popular download in Belgium and number two in Luxembourg. Johann Levy, the game’s (Jewish) developer, told Le Parisien: “For me, there’s nothing pejorative about saying that someone is Jewish or not.”