1. Apple‘s cloud music service (possibly to be called iCloud) is looking more like a done deal–“multiple” sources are saying Apple’s just signed a deal with EMI and is close to signing Sony and Universal too. Considering we’ve heard a while back that Warner is already on board, this means that unlike Google’s or Amazon’s attempts, Apple’s cloud iTunes will, when it arrives, have very broad industry backing…which could let it sew up the market.
2. Microsoft has made an official attempt to rebuff Intel’s claims that Windows 8 will be fragmented and lack backwards compatibility: Intel’s words were “factually inaccurate” and “misleading.” We don’t know which bits in particular, nor what MS’s plans actually are…so this story now has an even more unusual angle–Intel and Microsoft have been close allies for decades. Are they now falling out?
3. The U.K. authorities seem set to support a revamp of the nation’s 300-year-old copyright laws, in a move that may set a global precedent. An independent review has this week concluded that IP protection laws were founded in a century when most of today’s innovations weren’t even conceivable–and the U.K.’s creative industries, “high technology businesses,” and smaller enterprises needed new laws so their progress wasn’t “impeded.”
4. Google’s Eric Schmidt has warned against facial recognition technology being used in certain ways online–such as automatically scanning faces in imagery to aid its search systems. The tech has extreme privacy-violating risks, and it’s “surprising accuracy” makes it more worrying–to the point it becomes “creepy” and it’s unlikely, Schmidt says, that Google will be doing it soon. “Some company” will though, he warned, intimating Facebook.
5. In a study commissioned by the Wall Street Journal, the social media “Like” and share phenomenon has spread very far across the Web: One third of the top 1,000 most visited websites have Facebook’s “Like” button in place, 25% have an option from Google, and 20% bear Twitter’s code. Meanwhile TV shows have received 1.65 billion Likes on Facebook–suggesting that Facebook may be more important to the TV industry than we had thought.