Hot topics in the tech blogs for the week ending July 1 include the soft launch of Google's new social network, MySpace gets sold for a song, rumors about Google and Apple's flagship smartphones, BlackBerry employee calls to bosses to encourage innovation, and hacking group LulzSec disbands.
Google wins friends with Google+ social network
Google finally unveiled its long-rumored social networking service, Google+ (pronounced Google Plus). The Google+ project attempts to enhance online sharing, rather than aiming to be a fully fledged Facebook rival; however, there is no denying that many users will view the social network as an alternative to Facebook, Twitter, Skype or website discovery services like StumbleUpon and Digg. Bloggers praised Google+'s privacy features and commented positively about the social network's design and full integration into other Google services. A lucky few have been invited to join the project's limited field test phase.
MySpace sold to Specific Media for $35 million
Ailing music community and social network MySpace was sold to advertising network Specific Media for a rumored $35 million - a far cry from the $58 million News Corp. paid for the thriving company back in 2005. As part of the deal, MySpace halved its some 450 staff and will have to continue to take further cost cutting measures. ZDNet reported that musician and actor Justin Timberlake "has been given a minor stake in the company" and will be "employed to revamp MySpace's direction and brand."
Google's flagship 'Nexus Prime' and two new iPhones for Apple
The latest smartphone rumors circling the internet suggest Google is working on a Samsung-made Ice Cream Sandwich flagship smartphone and Apple has two new iPhones up its sleeves for a September release. Technology blog BGR reported that "the world's most anticipated Android phone" will be manufactured by Samsung, will be the first to run Google's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS and will be called the "Google Nexus Prime." In an article on CNN's Fortune website, editor Philip Elmer-DeWitt disclosed that Apple may be working on both a completely redesigned iPhone (dubbed the iPhone 5) and a "speeded-up iPhone 4" (possibly called the iPhone 4S).
BlackBerry employee's anonymous and open letter to RIM bosses
An anonymous RIM employee, believed to be a 'senior executive,' posted an open letter to the RIM Senior Management Team pleading with them to "Focus on the End User experience" and to "start an internal innovation revival" to help RIM regain its position as an industry leader. RIM responded to the letter with, according to BGR, an "extremely defensive stance." The Financial Post reported, however, that RIM "will create a committee that will examine possible changes to its corporate structure."
Hacking group LulzSec disbands after 50-day rampage
Notorious hacking group LulzSec called off its hacking rampage, announcing that it had disbanded. Headlines ranged from "Word on the internet is Lulzsec got scared and went into hiding...." to "Lulzsec & The Jester Expose each other, Long Live Anonymous !" to "What is LulzSec afraid of?"