THE WRAP: The Georgian cyberwar

15 Aug 2008

This week Georgians and Russians fought an online war while Apple battled an iPhone glitch.

The Georgian cyberwar began weeks before the shooting match began, with a stream of attacks on Georgian government web sites. The Georgian president moved his website to Atlanta after being hacked, while the Foreign Ministry posted its bulletins on a Google-hosted server.

Google denied erasing Georgia from GoogleMaps.

YouTube kept the world up to date on war and the Olympics. A Georgian reporter was shot while broadcasting live. A UK TV journalist was detained for covering a short-lived Tibetan protest near the main Olympic stadium. The IOC sent YouTube a takedown notice for posting a video of a pro-Tibetan protest outside the Chinese consulate in New York.

A US intelligence official told Americans travelling to the Olympics to leave their electronic devices at home to avoid cyber-spying.

Amid a crescendo of iPhone complaints, Steve Jobs admitted it had been "a mistake to launch MobileMe at the same time as iPhone 3G, iPhone 2.0 software and the App Store."

The bug is reported to be an Infineon chip that causes dropped calls and web connections. Apple believes it can be fixed with a software patch.

Still, Apple shipped 3 million 3G iPhones in the first month. Users downloaded 60 million apps. One of them, called "I Am Rich", which charged $1,000 to show just a glowing ruby, was torn down by Apple.

Intel unveiled a new chip that will wake up PCs to receive phone calls.

Google remained silent on the progress of its Android handset platform, despite a petition from developers. Its Gmail service went down for an hour or so.

Australian operators are overcharging roaming users, a study found. European regulators said EU cellcos were charging their mobile customers extra "by a significant margin" by billing per-minute for roaming.

Not even Koreans are interested in watching TV on their handsets. A survey showed that mobile TV viewing rate peaked 3.5% during rush-hour, despite the high number of equipped terminals.

Bangladesh's biggest cellco, GrameenPhone, was fined $36 million for using VoIP. Last year it was fined $24 million for the same offence.

Hewlett-Packard said it would acquire Wi-Fi and Wimax gear-maker Colubris.

Verizon topped a customer service survey of US mobile carriers, knocking T-Mobile from the top spot.

LG leapfrogged Samsung to take the No. 2 spot in the US handset market behind Motorola.

Websurfers crashed the site of American hunters who claimed to have found BigFoot. And the blue screen of death made an unscheduled appearance at the Olympic opening ceremony.

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