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Samsung Throws Wet Blanket on Nokia Buyout Rumors

Samsung Throws Wet Blanket on Nokia Buyout Rumors

Today in international tech news: Samsung quells rumors of its plans to acquire Nokia, hacker group Anonymous stages protests across India, three Chinese telecommunications execs land in an Algerian jail, Google try to appease -- not fight -- the European Commission, and Sweden plows ahead with its revolving door of national spokespersons on Twitter.

By David Vranicar
06/11/12 8:39 AM PT

South Korean electronics company Samsung has shot down speculation that the company wants to acquire rival Nokia, according to Bloomberg.

Nokia shares rose some 6 percent last Friday as rumors spread of a Samsung acquisition, only to fall Monday as news of the non-acquisition broke.

Nokia's market share has plummeted the past few years as the iPhone and Android devices continue to surge. Nokia has declined 46 percent over the past year, according to Bloomberg.

An almost identical "Is Samsung going to acquire Nokia" story broke around this time last year.

Anonymous Stages India Protests

In response to what it claims is unjust censorship, the hacker group Anonymous has organized protests in at least 16 cities in India, according to the BBC.

India's blockade of copyright-infringing sites is a major grievance among the protestors, according to the article. Those blocks, prompted by Indian movie company Reliance Entertainment, were ratified in December. Last month, a handful of Indian Internet service providers began carrying out the ruling, restricting access to steaming platforms such as Vimeo and Dailymotion, as well as file-sharing site The Pirate Bay.

Anonymous' India branch responded by hacking into more than 15 websites, including sites for political parties, telecommunications providers and even the Indian Supreme Court.

Anonymous claims that while it does not encourage piracy, it supports file-sharing sites because of their ability to share legitimate content such as photos or software code, according to the BBC.

Sweden's Revolving Twitter Spokesperson

The New York Times ran an article Monday looking at Sweden's official yet unusual Twitter feed.

Sweden's national Twitter account, @Sweden, has different citizens post for seven days at a time. The system, according to the article, can cause some innocent gaffes.

For instance, the very first holder of the @Sweden handle dubbed himself the "masturbating Swede" when listing his favorite downtime activities. Later, an 18-year-old high school student spelled "finish" -- as in, to complete -- "Finnish" -- as in, Sweden's neighboring country. Another tweeter criticized foreign secretary Carl Bildt, and another, a Muslim lawyer, quipped about the ubiquity of the name Muhammad among immigrants.

Still, Sweden isn't planning to change anything. In fact, Sweden's revolving Twitter handle has prompted other countries, including Ireland and New Zealand, to tinker with similar ideas, according to the Times.

Corruption Lands Chinese Execs in Algerian Prison

A trio of Chinese executives have been sentenced to 10 years in prison in Algeria, according to Tech In Asia.

The executives, from Chinese telecommunications companies Huawei and ZTE, were accused of being part of a bribery scandal. The men were found guilty in absentia and, along with the 10-year sentences, were fined roughly US$65,000, according to Tech In Asia.

Huawei and ZTE have been fined and received a two-year ban from partnering with state-owned companies in Algeria, the report stated.

Google to EU: Let's Be Friends

Google is considering a "gentler approach" as it faces legal battles in Europe, according to Reuters.

Google has been bombarded with antitrust complaints from the EU for more than a year. And things now appear to be ratcheting up. Last Friday, the European Commission's Joaquin Almunia said that Google has until early July to reveal how it plans to comply with Europe's myriad grievances -- from disingenuous search results to data collection.

Google could face a fine of some $4 billion or, failing that, a protracted legal fight, according to Reuters.

Despite the accusation, Google has instead reportedly taken a conciliatory approach, highlighting, for instance, its job creation in Europe.


Tech Trek is a blog that looks at tech news from around the world. David Vranicar is a freelance journalist currently living in the Netherlands. His ECT News Network archive, with links to articles and podcasts, is available here. You can email him at david.vranicar@newsroom.ectnews.com



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