Hot topics in the tech blogs for the week of November 6: Google gives users more control over collected data, Apple pitches a $30 a month TV service, AT&T sues Verizon over 3G network coverage ads, Microsoft rolling out MSN homepage redesign and Sony Ericsson announces their flagship XPERIA X10 device.
Data collection has long been a worrisome subject for internet users. With Google's market share continually growing technology journalists have often voiced their concerns about the large amount of data collected and stored by Google. On November 5 Google announced the launch of Google Dashboard - a place where users can log on and view the information Google has collected on their Google-based internet habits. Google Dashboard also lets users edit and delete the stored information giving them greater control over stored information.
Apple's $30 a month iTunes TV service pitch
According to multiple technology blogs, Apple has been in talks with TV networks during the last couple of weeks to gather support for a $30 per month iTunes TV subscription service. Bloggers reveal that Apple's pay TV subscription service, dubbed "over the top", would compete against other pay TV subscriptions purchasable from cable TV networks. Articles on the subject suggest Apple will launch the service sometime during the first half of 2010.
AT&T sues Verizon
American telecommunications companies AT&T and Verizon have entered into a legal battle over Verizon's "There's a map for that" ads. AT&T has stated that it thinks the ads will "mislead consumers into believing that AT&T doesn't offer ANY wireless service in the vast majority of the country." The "There's a map for that" adds run by Verizon contrasts two maps that show each company's 3G network coverage within the US. Many bloggers commented that AT&T would be better off spending money on upgrading and expanding their 3G network coverage rather than filling legal battles that may only result in them drawing more attention to Verizon's ads.
On November 4 Microsoft Corp. announced the MSN home page has been given its first makeover in over ten years. The newly-designed MSN homepage sports a clean, white background, organizes information that is more relevant to visitors, offers access to Microsoft's Bing search, integrates selected social networks, and displays the top headlines and entertainment news. Bloggers joked about the ten year website design hiatus while at the same time commenting that the social networking, search and location-based features gave the website a much needed refresh.
Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10
On November 3, Sony Ericsson revealed their flagship device named the XPERIA X10. It is the first Sony Ericsson device to run on Google's Android OS. The 4-inch scratch resistant touchscreen phone will feature Sony Ericsson's newly-released UX (user experience) platform, signature applications, social media services and Sony Ericsson's newly developed "intelligence capabilities." Technology bloggers that managed to get their hands on an early version of the device gave mostly positive reviews.