THE WRAP: Another Google privacy scare, as Nortel mulls breakup

Robert Clark
13 Mar 2009

This week Nortel tried to break itself up and Google went into the phone business.

Nortel is in talks with rivals about selling off its wireless and enterprise business units rather than work its way through bankruptcy.

Google entered the voice business, offering VoIP calls and voicemail with speech-to-text. Google alarmed privacy advocates with a new feature that allows advertisers to target users with ads according to their interests and shopping habits.

Ebay said Skype made a profit of $110 million on sales of $550 million, but CEO John Donohoe would not rule out selling off the business.

UK carriers O2 and Vodafone considered network sharing. The European parliament voted to cap data roaming rates at €0.50 ($0.63) per megabyte.

Telstra came under fire for abandoning per-second charging in favor of 30-second increments for trunk calls. The Australian carrier began a $190 million upgrade of its cable network.

India hiked international termination rates by 33% but cut domestic fees.

China Telecom wrote down its Xiaolingtong business and issued a profit warning. BT froze pay for its 85,000 UK staff as its stock price hit an all-time low.

The burgeoning demand for in-flight voice and internet helped Inmarsat increase its pre-tax profit by 55%,

Microsoft promised apps developers a 70% share of revenue from its planned app store.

Smartphone sales growth slowed to 3.7% in the fourth quarter, representing 12% of all devices sold. Android smartphone sales will outstrip the iPhone by 2012, a research firm predicted. Sony Ericsson expects to return to profit by year-end.

Twitter's user base jumped by a third in February to an estimated 10 million, among them Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

A Microsoft executive estimated that 20% of all servers sold were being bought by a handful of IT and internet firms, such as Google, Yahoo and Amazon.

MIT engineers made a breakthrough that could mean lithium-ion batteries that can be fully charged in 20 seconds.

The head of US cyber-security resigned amid a Washington turf war. The FBI raided the former office of newly-appointed US government CIO Vivek Kundra in a corruption probe.

International Space Station astronauts boarded a Soyuz capsule for a possible fast exit as space debris traveling at 17,500 mph threatened to strike the orbiting station.

And Cathay Pacific apologized to the woman whose airport tantrum over missing a flight became a YouTube hit.

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