The Week in Tech: Apple’s iPad woes, so long SOPA and Syrian regime uses Irish tech
Every second tech story nowadays seems to contain the word Apple – Adam and Eve would be horrified – and this week’s tech news was absolutely no exception.
Apple’s very bad week
Things went a bit pear shaped for Apple this week. Their iPads were flying off Chinese shelves (not for the right reasons) and Mountain Lion OS got the most lukewarm response of any OS, probably ever.
After losing a naming dispute with Chinese company Proview in December, Chinese officials have begun taking Apple’s iPad off the shelves. The device is being confiscated because the Chinese company owns the rights to the iPad name. Strange huh?
To add a little more insult to injury, Apple launched its Mountain Lion OS this week. The new system, out later in the summer, has received about as much good press as a dead fish. Most updates are reportedly minuscule or absolutely pointless.
SOPA, ACTA, Minister Sherlock and the EU
A European Court of Justice ruling this week has cast doubt over the validity of some already shaky legislation. The ruling found that social networking sites could not be forced to block copyright content posted by users, because it would break the EU’s eCommerce Directive.
Officially our own Innovation Minister Seán Sherlock has welcomed it, but it will no doubt be a bit of a thorn in his side. The validity of his vague SOPA-esque tribute legislation could be further called into question.
Elsewhere, the ACTA agreement looks to be getting into a good stumble with the news that Poland, Czech Republic and Bulgaria have no intention of signing it, while Germany has put off a decision with apparent cold feet.
Irish software used by Assad’s brutal Syrian regime
Probably the most disturbing news of the week was that Irish software is being used by the despicable Syrian regime to oppress their citizens. The software in question blocks texts that contain certain keywords like ‘Uprising’, ‘Demonstration’ and ‘Protest’.
The Irish companies involved, Cellusys and AdaptiveMobile, have never been involved with the regime in Syria. However, Assad has forced the mobile networks who bought the software to use it in a way it was not intended. The companies sold the packages several years ago and have hand no dealing with them since then. It might not be great to have your business name associated with something like events in Syria, but it does at least prove that the software is top of the range, right?
Sneak peek of Google’s attempt at cloud computing
Google seems to be even closer to its ‘Drive’ service than previously reported. A reader of Geekwire claims to have had the service enabled on his account. Below is a screenshot which includes what’s though to be the logo. The image clearly shows the interface is largely similar to Google’s other service and will probably slot in to the stable fairly seamlessly.
If the screenshot is fake there will most likely be an announcement from Google along shortly. If it’s not then it’s an elaborate mock up.
Merging of TV and Online getting closer and closer
The bosses at Montrose announced during the week that over 1.1 million people have used the RTÉ Player. With 3.8 million streams in January of this year alone it looks like the migration to watching TV online is steadily gathering pace.
RTÉ have managed to catch up with the on demand systems pretty well in the last two years and now have a good, solid platform to stream content. RTÉ was also buoyed by the revelation that their apps for streaming have now been downloaded over 200,000 times.
Let’s hope the broadcaster manages to keep pace with tech advances so we won’t be left wishing we were British and had the BBC iplayer.
Main image credit: NiChionnaith