It was the week that saw Amazon enter the tablet business, Google reveal new data center plans for Asia, and Intel and Samsung back yet another mobile operating system.
Amazon debuted its hotly anticipated tablet device, the Kindle Fire
, this week. It runs on a heavily-modified Android build developed for maximum integration with Amazon web services, and offers Wi-Fi connectivity only. And at under $200 (€148), it’s competitively priced.
What that means for Apple and the iPad is unclear, but Jamie Moss of Informa Telecoms & Media says that while the Kindle Fire could be iPad’s first serious rival
, it’s not so much because of the device itself as the mature direct-to-consumer billing relationship that comes with it.
Google – which has six data centers in the US but only two outside the country, both in Europe – said the focus on Asia was due to the tremendous growth of new users in the region.
The Linux Foundation and the Limo Foundation meanwhile announced
the Tizen project to develop a cross-architecture open-source device OS, led by Intel and Samsung.
In contrast to Android, the Tizen project plans to open the entire software stack, from the core OS all the way up. It will use an API based on HTML5 and other web standards.
Intel’s involvement is significant, as the chipset company also revealed it’s moving its focus away from MeeGo and to the new Tizen project as it wants to shift its OS investments towards HTML5.
Meanwhile, Australia’s Telstra made LTE services and its debut 4G dongle available to consumers
, who can use LTE in capital city CBDs and around 30 regional and metropolitan population centers. (The data plan is capped at 8GB.)
The European Commission announced a probe into bank’s efforts to self-regulate electronic payments
, amid concerns the rules will exclude new players.
And finally, it was the week that saw US lawmakers declare war on supercookies.
Two Congressional representatives asked the Federal Trace Commission to
probe the use of supercookies by companies like MSN and Hulu. Unlike regular cookies, supercookies cannot be deleted, and can reportedly recreate a user's profile after less powerful cookies are deleted.
The lawmakers claim use of supercookies “takes away consumer control over their own personal information, presents a greater opportunity for misuse of personal information, and provides another way for consumers to be tracked online, according to Reuters.