Opening the book on Chrome (week in review)
Amid the frenzy of news streaming from Google's developer conference this week, the unveiling of the Chromebook seems to shine brightest. Also: Microsoft buys Skype.
Google grabbed the news spotlight this week as it hosted its annual I/O developer conference in San Francisco, but nothing shone as bright as its Chrome browser and the Chrome-based laptop.
The Chromebook, touted as an always-on and always-connected computing experience, will be offered by Samsung and Acer starting June 15. The Samsung Chromebook will go for $429 in the U.S. for the Wi-Fi only version and $499 for the 3G version. Acer's Wi-Fi only Chromebook will cost $349.
The devices will be sold in the U.S. by Amazon.com and Best Buy. Google will also be selling Chromebooks internationally in the U.K., France, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands.
Though the Chromebooks look as if they're pitted against inexpensive Netbooks and even possibly new tablet PCs, the pricing seems expensive given that the devices leverage only Web apps from Google's cloud services. No real software is running on the devices.
Android,, had a day to itself at the developer conference before Chrome took hold. Google announced Android 3.1, an update to Honeycomb that adds new interface options, lets people plug in USB devices, and sports a movie rental service that works directly from the device.
Another eagerly anticipated announcement from I/O was the
The software giant says that Skype's video-chatting platform will bolster its Kinect and Windows Phone platforms. It will also "connect" Skype users with Xbox Live.
Entrepreneur Mark Gorton, creator of the LimeWire file-sharing system, agrees to pay $105 million to settle copyright case.
Lime Wire settles with RIAA for $105 million
Protect IP Act requires search engines, some Domain Name System providers, and other Internet companies to "disable access" to Web sites accused of piracy.
Sony's multiplayer gaming network will offer free ID theft monitoring for customers whose personal data was stolen. PC- and PS3-based online gamers will also get free in-game bonus items and currency.
Sony Online offers ID theft monitoring, in-game bonuses
Proposal is designed to prod Congress into enacting new laws, which have been stalled over concerns about privacy, Internet "kill switches," and overreaching regulation.
White House proposes cybersecurity legislation
Warnings will pop up to block malware attacks, while security codes via text messages can be used for new device log-ins.
Facebook adds new user security features
Apple has responded to a letter from U.S. Congressman Edward Markey about what it does with location data from iOS devices.
AT&T didn't find many allies at U.S. Senate hearing, where politicians claimed the proposed $39 billion deal would lead to less competition and create a mobile "duopoly."
AT&T defends T-Mobile deal to U.S. Senate
The Web giant says in a regulatory filing that the charge covers a "potential resolution" of a Justice Department probe, but does not provide specifics.
Google takes $500M charge for potential antitrust claims
After severing partnerships with affiliates in several states already, the retail giant threatens to cut ties in even more states over the hot-button issue of tax collection.
Amazon vows to cut more affiliates over state taxes
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