Weekly high-tech hot topics in the blogs: Sidekick, Google online book store, superphone wars

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The Independent Tech

Hot topics in the tech blogs for the week of October 16: Sidekick users' data lost and then recovered, Google plans to launch an online electronic book store in 2010, Google is optimistic after posting positive third quarter results, a double-screened eReader from Barnes & Noble and Superphones battle it out in a smartphone war.

Sidekick data loss
On October 10 technology blog Engadget kick-started a wave of angry blog posts when it reported that T-Mobile, a subsidiary of Microsoft/Danger, had lost all personal data stored on their Sidekick branded mobile phones. The post advised customers not to turn off their device or they would lose any personal data stored on the device. Bloggers started calling it the "biggest disaster in the history of cloud computing." On October 15 Microsoft issued an apology and stated "we have recovered most, if not all, customer data for those Sidekick customers whose data was affected by the recent outage."

Google to launch online electronic book store
On October 15 Reuters announced that Google had set its sights on launching an online electronic book store that would directly compete with Amazon and Barnes & Noble's online book stores. The store - which will be called Google Editions - will be launched in the first half of 2010 and will be stocked with approximately half a million eBooks, reported Reuters. Some bloggers joked that it didn't matter as "nobody reads anything anymore" while others commented that it would shake up the electronic book market and create further competition within the online eBook marketplace.

Google third quarter results
Despite the difficult economic conditions, Google posted a seven percent year-over-year revenue growth and a 27 percent rise in net income for the third quarter of 2009. Bloggers were quick to spread the news of Google's third quarter results, writing articles about the many different factors that lead to the company's better than expected results. Technology blog TechCrunch wrote an article about the forthcoming "explosion" and wide-spread adoption of the Android mobile operating system. The New York Times focused on Google's optimism about the future and the company's plans to invest in personnel during the following year.

Barnes & Noble eReader
The first (unofficial) images of the new Barnes & Noble eReader appeared on technology news blog Gizmodo on October 14. The images show the device sporting both a main black & white e-ink screen and a smaller 6-inch colour touchscreen underneath. Bloggers were happy to see that the device combines the best of both worlds - e-ink for better reading and a colour touchscreen for convenient browsing. Bloggers are hoping the device will be released at an October 20 Barnes & Noble press event.

Smartphone wars
The ever-growing war between smartphones - and the new breed of "Super Smartphones" - is forcing mobile phone manufactures to design and produce phones that not only function as a device for calling, but are an all-in-one internet browser, high quality camera, digital diary, media player and an everything-you-could-possibly-need-in-your-pocket device. As bloggers point out, the war is on, and it is great news for consumers. "Superphones" are getting more sophisticated and prices are dropping. Bloggers writing reviews of Motorola's CLIQ (also called the Dext in European markets) and RIM's BlackBerry Storm2 are comparing them to Apple's iPhone, dubbing these ultra-compact computer phones the next generation of Superphones.

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