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Tech Industry Sucked Into Euro Maelstrom

Tech Industry Sucked Into Euro Maelstrom

Today in international tech news: U.S. tech companies are among those feeling the squeeze from Europe's worsening economic crisis. Also: In response to the U.S. Embassy's BeijingAir Twitter account, China warns other countries to quit publishing reports about its air quality. Meanwhile, heeding the Twitter era, the Queen's English Society says "GTG."

By David Vranicar
06/05/12 8:52 AM PT

The U.S. tech industry is feeling the pain from Europe's deepening economic crisis, according to an article from The New York Times.

The technology industry is among the most exposed to Europe's economic problems, according to the article. Analysts hypothesize that about one-third of U.S. tech revenue comes from Europe.

Unfortunately, the industry is also a catalyst for the U.S.'s own recovery

Cisco, Dell and NetApp are among the U.S. companies to point out unexpectedly weak European sales. In May, for instance, Cisco's shares dropped 11 percent in one day.

The market in Europe and certain parts of Asia was rougher than the company anticipated, Dell's CFO also said recently. Europe posed "headwinds" that would last all year, according to HP CEO Meg Whitman.

The article quotes technology analyst A. M. Sacconaghi with Sanford C. Bernstein and Company who says there has been a "real shift in outlook" as Europe's economy continues to deflate.

Last week, the unemployment rate in the eurozone -- the 17-country group that uses the euro -- reached 11 percent for the first time ever.

China Irked by U.S. Updates

Wu Xiaoqing, a senior Chinese environmental official, told foreign embassies Tuesday to quit publishing reports on the air quality in China, according to an AP article.

This was in response to a Twitter account run by the U.S. Embassy, @BeijingAir, which tracks pollution in the notoriously smoggy capital Beijing. The Twitter account, which has more than 19,000 followers, issues hourly readings of Beijing's air quality.

China's standard for particulate matter is nearly twice as lax as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's.

Tech In Asia has a post about Tuesday's news, as well as a post about a phone app (Dirty Beijing) that measures pollution levels.

Queen's English Society: Peace Out

The Queen's English Society, founded in 1972 to defend proper English grammar, is calling it quits, according to The Guardian.

The Guardian posits that the move is a concession that the society can't survive in the era of Twitter and textese.

The group's chairman, Rhea Williams, declared the group would disband after its annual meeting was attended by a mere 22 people.

Earlier this year, the society had planned to open an Academy of Contemporary English, but that idea was quickly shelved.

More than 80 percent of undergrad students were unable to correctly spell the word "effect," and 43 percent couldn't spell "miniature," according to The Guardian.

But that's not to say people are disinterested in the royal lexicon. On Monday, Digital Spy, a British tech outlet, had an article about a new mobile app which allows users to send emails, texts and tweets like the Queen herself.

The app-maker, SwiftKey, reportedly deciphered the most distinctive phrases used by the Queen during her 60 years on the throne. Among the common phrases were "my government will," "delighted" and "pleased." The app is programmed will anticipate and correct such phrases to make it appear more Queen-like.

A Different Kind of Cybercrime

A think tank has issued a report saying that crime victims in the UK should be able to track their cases on secure website and mobile devices, according to the BBC.

Institute for Public Policy Research says that more information should be available to victims, including updates on investigations, arrests, court appearances and sentences.

A 2011 survey found that among victims who reported incidents, more than 50 percent did not get an update from authorities. This, according to the IPPR, has an impact on citizens' trust in the criminal justice system.


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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