Fifty years ago today Yuri Gagarin became the first human ever to journey into space–a symbolic moment that psychologically, technologically severed the human race into those who lived before that moment, and after it. Google has a special Doodle for the occasion, and Gagarin-mania and space-themed posts will be everywhere today. Poyekhali!
1. Paul Ceglia is a name you will get to hear more–and you may already know him as the controversial businessman who’s the other party suing Mark Zuckerberg for a stake in Facebook. He’s just filed an extended petition with the court that contains more data, and at first glance it seems very suggestive that Zuckerberg did do business with Ceglia, the deal went sour, and under agreed terms Ceglia may own up to 50% of Facebook.
2. Late last night the ongoing changes to AOL in the wake of the Huffington Post acquisition took a strange turn: AOL shut down, with notice effective immediately, popular software blog DownloadSquad. Its staff were immediately jobless, and no more posts were made. The site was much loved in the industry, and the drastic, swift move left its editor Sebastian Anthony stunned–even tweeting that the move was “insane.”
3. According to some new stats from Hitwise, Microsoft’s Bing has just secured 30% of the search market in the U.S., scoring its win by stealing business from Google. In February Bing had 28.48% of searches, and in March 30.01%, says Hitwise–actually quite a big step for MS–the growth was sourced in Bing itself and Yahoo search (which is Bing powered). Maybe Google does need new PR campaigns after all.
4. The Netherlands, usually one of the more relaxed nations about regulating the Internet, is planning on tightening up its rules to outlaw the sharing of IP-protected files, and it’s gunning after the Pirate Bay in particular. New laws will try to block access to sites that help propagate pirated material, but the authorities have noted they’ll no longer be chasing individual pirates. A refreshing stance, compared to France.
5. Nokia is in trouble–if you don’t believe it, then check this: Its staff are facing the steepest cuts in numbers in around 20 years. R&D seems to be taking the most serious hit with 6,000 jobs or around 38% of the global R&D workforce going. It’s all down to structural failures in the cell phone giant that have led to inefficiencies and have forced a reliance on Microsoft for a new smartphone OS (Windows Phone 7).