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News Roundup: Yahoo 2.0, Kim DotCon And File Format Phonetics

Mobile dominated by the big two

Plenty of mobile news this week. As IDC announced that Android and iOS accounted for a combined 92.3% of all smartphone shipments in Q1 of 2013, HTC is reportedly on the edge of imploding and Blackberry sales have dropped 70% in Indonesia, previously one of its bigger markets. Jolla, the phone made from an axed-Nokia project, has also been shown off on the Beeb.

Meanwhile Apple is seemingly ok with dodging tax at every turn, and is rewarded with retaining its title as the world’s most valuable brand. Can this Google/Samsung vs. Apple fight keep going on with such dominance forever?

Yahoo revitalised

If nothing else, Marissa Mayer has made Yahoo newsworthy again. This week the company bought Tumblr for a huge amount of money, revamped Flickr, and bought gaming software house PlayerScale. Quite how all these acquisitions will pan out is yet to be seen, but as start, Yahoo has returned to the list of most valuable brands after a four year absence. Albeit they’re only placed at number 92, but progress is progress.

Jobs, job, jobs, and no one to fill them

IT vacancies in the UK have risen for the fourth consecutive year, according to IT recruitment firm CWJobs. They are still 15% down on pre-recession levels, but three years ago that figure was 41%. Good news for UK techies, even the old ones (See earlier roundup). As the story pointed out, however, just because there are jobs, doesn’t mean there’s anyone to fill them. Cue hysteria about skills shortages.

Meanwhile, in South Africa, minister of communications Dina Pule claims the South African ICT sector has created more than 37,000 jobs since 2010. We here at IDG Connect have done quite a lot on IT jobs in SA, read our report on it here.

Opening doors for the disabled

A good bit of news this week was SAP’s announcement that they will be recruiting more people with autism, with the aim to have them make up 1% of its workforce by 2020. This move makes sense, since those with autism generally are very good with logic, numbers, and things that make up the core of technology. The German company already has six people with autism at its Bangalore office, where they work as software testers. Good to see big companies helping those who don’t always find it easy getting jobs.

Kim DotCom, victim of IP theft

Kim DotCom, founder of Megaupload, is a maverick of the tech world, easily on par with the escapades of John McAfee. But since his site closed down he’s been fighting a long legal battle, and busy basically setting up the same website again. And to fund his on-going efforts, he’s asked internet giants such as Facebook, Google and Twitter for some cash- on the basis that he actually invented & patented two-step authentication systems. Since these companies have been using his system without permission, he could sue if he wanted to. Quite how this would hold up in court is unknown, but you’ve got to love the guy for his ambition. And his Call of Duty skills.

Turns out there is a Silicon Shipyard, maybe

Earlier this month I had a bit of a rant about the amount of Silicon Valley wannabes loitering around the UK. 13 places around the country deem themselves worth comparison to the spiritual birthplace of modern day tech, and a competitor to London’s Tech City. According to Accenture’s MD Bob Paton, the North East –known as the ‘Silicon Shipyard’ to some people- has more than 25,000 people working in technology, the most outside of that London. While that’s impressive, and good for the region, it still doesn’t mean it’s a ‘Silicon’ anything.

Faltering Facebook

It’s been a bad week for Mark Zuckerberg’s social network. First Eminem sues them for copying one of his tracks, then news breaks that the European release of the Facebook phone has been delayed because of disappointing US sales and poor feedback. The sense that Home is becoming an albatross around Facebook’s neck is growing. Maybe all this bad news is why Mark is looking to get into politics.

GIF, JIF, CIF?

GIFs bring untold joy to the internet. And to commemorate this, its creator, Steve Wilhite won a lifetime achievement award at The Webby Awards this week. Wilhite created the Graphics Interchange Format back in 1987, he’s apparently still pissed that people aren’t pronouncing it right. “The Oxford English Dictionary accepts both pronunciations,” he said. “They are wrong. It is a soft ‘G,’ pronounced ‘GIF.’ End of story. Why he didn’t make more of a stand years ago, for example actually getting in contact with the OED, is a mystery. Also amazing is that he’s never actually made an animated G- er, JIF, his favourite is the dancing baby from ’96. Retro.

Also, why do we say “P-N-G”, but “Jay-Peg”? Or “Doc-X” but never “P-P-T”? File format phonetics, a linguistic minefield.

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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