Oh, those silly governments. Internet censorship won't withstand the onslaught of web-savvy geeks! Nevertheless, the British and Dutch governments recently ordered ISPs to bar users from accessing The Pirate Bay whatsoever. Despite claims from anti-piracy groups that the blockade is being effective, new reports show that simply isn't true, and one website even explains how you can bypass the ban using only a web browser.
If you can sell an old CD when you're done with it, why can't you sell off an mp3 you no longer want, too? That very question is currently winding its way through the U.S. court system, but the European Union dished out a surprise ruling this week that says users have the right to resell their digitally downloaded software as they see fit, no matter what the original EULA or license says.
An unknown factor in Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility has always been the scrutiny it would receive from European regulators. It’s a good day in Mountain View, because Reuters is reporting that the EU is prepared to grant its unconditional approval of the deal. Google announced the $12.5 billion buyout last year, but said Motorola will operate as a separate entity.
Panasonic just put the world on notice that it intends to launch an Android smartphone in the European market in March of next year. The upcoming Android smartphone launch is part of Panasonic's larger plan to increase its overseas smartphone sales to 9 million units in fiscal year 2016, and Europe is the "stepping stone" in reaching the global market, Panasonic said.
It's not as though the European Union has typically needed much convincing to go after big corporations with antitrust suits, but just in case, Microsoft is trying to light a fire under European regulators' feet to zero in more aggressively on Google. As such, Microsoft filed a formal antitrust complaint in Europe against the sultan of search, alleging Google isn't playing fair by limiting access to some of its data from YouTube and other services, the L.A. Times reports.
Sony has been dealt a severe blow by a European court in its ongoing patent battle with LG. According to the Guardian, the latter has been granted a preliminary injunction on the import of PS3 consoles into Europe by the civil court of justice in the Hague, thus requiring European custom officials to seize all PS3 shipments for at least 10 days. Hit the jump for more.
Call it merely a regional victory if you will, but Firefox's rise to become the most used browser in Europe is a victory nonetheless. According to the free website analytics firm StatCounter, Firefox took 38.11 percent of the European browser market in December 2010, enough to inch ahead of Internet Explorer (37.52 percent).
"This is the first time that IE has been dethroned from the number one spot in a major territory," commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. "This appears to be happening because Google's Chrome is stealing share from Internet Explorer while Firefox is mainly maintaining its existing share."
A similar trend was noted by Net Market Share, whose data showed Chrome nearly doubling its market share in 2010 while IE dropped 5 percentage points. But as far as Europe is concerned, it's pretty clear the so-called Browser Ballot is having an impact on browser usage.
What began as a preliminary investigation in Europe has just turned into a big headache for Google. The European Union has begun an official investigation into the search giant for alleged violations of Europe's antitrust laws. The investigation was spurred by complaints from competing search companies. Specifically, Google is accused of intentionally down ranking their results in both paid ads, and regular searches.
Europe is taking these allegations seriously because Google owns over 80% of the search market there. While some of the complainants are small vertical search companies, they believe Google is intentionally suppressing their results. For example, Google is accused of giving preferential placement of its own services in search results, and keeping competitors' results lower. They also claim that Google restricts where ads for these competitors can be placed.
If Google is found to have violated the law, the fines could be hefty. The penalty could be up to 10% of Google's global sales, which last year was $24 billion. A $2.4 billion fine would sting, even for Google.
Those of you holding your breath for the Nintendo 3DS will have to do so until late February or March (depending on which part of the world you call home). Nintendo has confirmed the launch date of the 3DS and also revealed its price. The handheld will debut first in Japan on February 26, 2011 and then go on to launch in Europe, Australia and the U.S the following month.
The autostereoscopic successor to the Nintendo DS will cost ¥25,000 (US$298), according to Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. He made the announcement at a press event in Japan. The hardware package will include a Nintendo 3DS hardware unit, recharging cradle, AC adapter, 3DS stylus, 2GB SD memory card and 6 AR Cards (used for games with AR technologies). The complete 3DS spec list is available here.