Weekly high-tech hot topics in the blogs: Google Wave crashes, BlackBerry Torch, Android vs iOS

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The Independent Tech

Hot topics in the tech blogs for the week ending August 6 include Google's plans to get rid of Google Wave, rumors about Google and Verizon forming agreements that would end net neutrality, RIM's BlackBerry Torch 9800 unveiled, Android sales overtaking iPhone sales in the US, and the release of the first browser-based iPhone jailbreak.

Google waves goodbye
Google announced their plans to scrap Google Wave, an in-browser, real-time social networking and collaboration tool that provided users with a "radically different kind of communication." "Maybe it was just ahead of its time. Or maybe there were just too many features to ever allow it to be defined properly," said bloggers about the revolutionary (but underused) service.

Google and Verizon on web priority
A New York Times article suggesting Google and Verizon "are nearing an agreement that could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content's creators are willing to pay for the privilege" caused controversy in the tech blogs. The article implied the agreement would mark the end of net neutrality and result in higher charges to individual internet users. Both Verizon and Google soon rebutted the accusations saying, "The NYT article regarding conversations between Google and Verizon is mistaken" and "The New York Times is quite simply wrong. We have not had any conversations with Verizon about paying for carriage of Google traffic. We remain as committed as we always have been to an open internet."

BlackBerry Torch 9800
Research In Motion (RIM) unveiled the BlackBerry Torch 9800 in front of a crowd of journalists and tech bloggers this week. The BlackBerry Torch 9800 is the first handset to run RIM's updated operating system, BlackBerry 6. The company was relying on this new handset to light the way into the future but bloggers revealed RIM's "flagship" device was "too little too late." "Underwhelming BlackBerry spells doom for RIM," wrote msnbc.com's Wilson Rothman while BGR called the new OS "uninspired, old, clunky sometimes, and cluttered," adding that "[t]he screen is laughable. For a company that is always ‘planning three years out' they surely didn't get the memo that a 480×360, poor, poor LCD wasn't going to cut it in 2010."

Android sales overtake iPhone in the US
The war between smartphone OSs has been all over the blogs this week after market researcher Nielsen announced Google's Android OS overtook Apple's iOS to become the second most sold smartphone operating system in the USA (RIM's BlackBerry is still in first place). Android is seeing exceptional growth in the rest of the world too. Market researcher Canalys estimated that "Android smart phone shipments [grew] 886% year-on-year in Q2 2010." Days later Google announced via a blog post that it was activating around 200,000 Android units a day.

First web-based iPhone 4 Jailbreak
Hackers released the first-ever web-based jailbreak for the iPhone this week. After visiting JailbreakMe.com on their mobile browser and accepting to download the hack, iPhone users are able to run apps other than those found in the iTunes store. Bloggers revealed that the jailbreak "relies on the exploitation of an unpatched mobile Safari vulnerability," while Apple was quick to explain that jailbreaking your device voids any warranty protection you may be afforded (regardless of a recent law change that makes it legal to jailbreak and unlock your phone in the USA).