Is this WikiLeaks fallout a kind of protective diplomatic move by China? The nation says it's arrested "hundreds" of naughty hackers, and uncharacteristically has admitted it's a big problem. Since WikiLeaks' cablegate leak suggested China's politburo was behind the big Google (and other company) hacks of 2009, you have to wonder. Anyway, enough speculation: on with the news
1. Wikileaks' leader Julian Assange is mired in controversy all of his own. After much to-ing and fro-ing, the Swedish legal system has issued an arrest warrant for the slippery chap, and now Interpol has added him to its "most wanted" list. Is the timing coincidental, given the global diplomatic fuss that his website has stirred up?
2. Twitter's swathed in fiscal intrigue too—there's a bidding war as part of the site's latest funding round. While Kleiner Perkins is apparently in the lead, the interesting data concerns Twitter's valuation: Close to $4 billion. This places it right in the same ballpark as Groupon, which is fascinating given Groupons heavy ad- and product-centric business model, and Twitter's much lighter one. Twitter's future looks bright.
3. For the first time, BlackBerry's mobile operating system has overtaken Apple's mighty iPad/iPhone engine, iOS, in mobile usage, according to Web analytics company StatCounter. iOS fell from 51% last November to 33% for the same month this year. BlackBerry OS jumped to 34.3%. Not to be discounted, Google's Android platform tripled its usage over last year's, jumping from 8.2% last year to 23.8% this year.
4. Remember when we thought 2010 would be the only year the e-ink e-reader had a big market? Looks like the leading device, Kindle, is already rapidly losing marketshare to the iPad. The tide of upcoming Android tablets (see above mobile usage stats) will help even more, even while Apple's product still marches ahead. Will the holiday buying season reverse Amazon's prospects?
5. It's a search-off! Microsoft's Bing challenges Google dominance on the social shopping front by just adding new shopping features that let you share the results of your efforts to find products and compare prices between vendors via Facebook. Meanwhile, Google's begun experimenting with a "most shared" news feed on the bottom of its search page that reflects which news stories were the most influential on Twitter and other social nets over a particular period.
To read more news on this, and similar stuff, keep up with my updates by following me, Kit Eaton, on Twitter.