Global|Technology

Your Friday Tech News Round Up!

Steve Jobs' biography says he wanted to launch a full scale war on Google; Siri seems to underwhelm with it's refusal to carry out commands; Facebook users dislike design changes; Samsung beats Apple in shipments; social networking may be guilty for the rise of the 'flash rob;' Verizon's third-quarter profits sky-rocket and so much more!

1) A biography of Steve Jobs states how he wanted to wreak a 'thermonuclear war' on Google. Jobs, according to biographer Walter Issacson, threatened to use every part of Apple's $40 billion fortune if it meant that he could eradicate the Android which he believed to be a direct copy of the iPhone. [Huffington Post]


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2) Siri refuses to respond to some of the most basic commands iPhone users ask of it. The female automated voice service, the unique selling point of the iPhone 4S, has failed to perform some of the most basic tasks. When asked to launch an app, it's response is that she can't which is the same for other basic functions such as taking pictures and tweeting. A previous version of Siri, shut down by Apple, could do all these functions as well as booking concert tickets, but the updated version has no interaction with other services. [CNN]


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3) Facebook face lifts always seem to leave many users disgruntled which isn't suprising when you're trying to keep a balance between well over 500 million people. Facebook often makes small changes, but then come the bigger ones; many people seem to think that the latest Facebook design is the worst yet. [NY Times]


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4) Samsung has beaten Apple over the third quarter having sold over 20 million smart phones whereas Apple shifted 17.1 million. This is a boost for Samsung, who have done well using the Google Android software, as they have been locked in a courtroom battle with Apple over the patent rights of the iPad versus their Galaxy Tablet. Samsung also beat market competitors Nokia who only managed to sell 16.8 million units. However, Samsung does have more products on the market whereas Apple's unit sales are made up of just the iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4. [WSJ]


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5)The creation of the 'flash rob' has retailers in a state of panic in the run up to holiday season shopping. A name coined to them by law enforcers, the 'flash rob' is a group of people, who having organized themselves through a social networking site such as Facebook or Twitter, arrive in stores to steal merchandise. Most 'flash robs' have appeared in Philadelphia, Chicago and Washington D.C. This is not the first time pre-meditated mob behavior has been traced back to social media such as Facebook or the popular BlackBerry service, BBM. The London riots during the Summer were also said to have come from such sources. [WSJ]


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6) Verizon's third-quarter profits rose 31% after changes were made to pension plans and the amount of high-end wireless subscribers. The company's profit now stands at $1.38 billion and revenue also rose to $27.9 billion. The results are viewed as impressive with Verizon also boasting an addition of 1.3 million customers bringing the total to 107.7 million. [NY Times]


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7) News Corporation Shareholders are all set to take Rupert Murdoch to task at the annual shareholders meeting in LA. The phone-hacking scandal across Britain was a serious dent in Murdoch's credibility and today he will face angry shareholders who will be demanding accountability. The company has been embarrassed and with a contentious meeting predicted, many shareholders were asked for the first time to RSVP for security concerns. Investors will be given anything from 5 to 15 minutes to personally address Murdoch in the hope that he can address their concerns. [NY Times]


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8) Groupon has decided to reduce it's initial public offering by 28% setting it at $540 million. Having decided to release 30 million shares, Groupon is hoping they will sell at an average price of $17 each despite the fact that stocks have fallen and it's association with controversial accounting methods. [CNN]


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9) eBay has reported figures showing increased profits and revenue. Another company drawing success from it's third quarter is eBay, net income climed 14% although stock prices fell 4% after the results were released following disappointing projections. [NY Times]


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10) New research from Denmark states that there is little to suggest any link between mobile phone use and brain cancer. A debate that has been going on since mobile phones moved away from their brick-style form and became glued to people's hands, this new research shows that heavy mobile users are not any more likely to develop brain cancer than anyone else. The World Health Organization has however, placed mobile phones in the same group as coffee, meaning that they could still be carcinogenic although there is no proof. [BBC]


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