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TECH SPACE
7,500 Germans rally for greater data privacy
by Staff Writers
Berlin (AFP) Sept 11, 2010


More time spent on Facebook than Google: comScore
Washington (AFP) Sept 10, 2010 - US Web surfers spent more time on Facebook than on Google sites in August, the first time the social network has surpassed the Internet titan, online tracking firm comScore said Friday. Americans spent a total of 413 million minutes on the Internet during the month and about 10 percent, or 41.1 million minutes, were spent on Facebook, comScore said. A total of 39.7 million minutes were spent on Google sites, which include the Google search page, YouTube, Google News, Gmail and others. Yahoo! sites were next with 37.7 million minutes. In July, US Web surfers spent 40.5 million minutes on Google sites, 39.9 million minutes on Facebook and 38.7 million minutes on Yahoo! properties, comScore said.

A year ago, in August 2009, US Web surfers spent 34.0 million minutes on Google sites, 16.8 million minutes on Facebook and 41.7 million minutes on Yahoo! sites. Facebook announced in July that the number of members of the social network had topped the 500 million mark. The privately held Palo Alto, California, company does not publish its financial results but research firm eMarketer said last month that Facebook should rake in over one billion dollars in advertising revenue this year. The Mountain View, California-based Google reported second-quarter net profit of 1.84 billion dollars on revenue of 6.82 billion dollars.

Some 7,500 people demonstrated Saturday in Berlin to express their concerns about personal data privacy as the German government and private companies amass giant databases, organisers said.

Called out by numerous civic organisations and political parties under the banner of "Liberty Instead of Fear!", the protestors denounced a government database which will collect information on wages, taxes and social payments.

They also protested against electronic passports, electronic health insurance cards, and an accord allowing the United States to access EU banking information as part of anti-terror efforts.

Personal and data privacy are sensitive issues for many Germans given their experiences under Nazi and Communist dictatorships.

Google's Streetview, which lets users view panoramic street scenes, ran into strong opposition in Germany, where many found it too intrusive.

Eventually the company allowed Germans to block publication of images of their residences, the only country out of over 30 where the service is available where users have such an option.

Germany's consumer minister, Ilse Aigner, in June deleted her Facebook account in protest at the networking site's inadequate privacy policies.

earlier related report
Android to challenge Nokia's Symbian by 2014: Gartner
Washington (AFP) Sept 10, 2010 - Google's open-source Android will become the number two mobile operating system this year, leapfrogging BlackBerry and challenging market leader Nokia's Symbian by 2014, a research firm said Friday.

The technology firm Gartner said Symbian and Android will account for 59.8 percent of mobile operating system (OS) sales by 2014.

"Symbian will remain at the top of Gartner's worldwide OS ranking due to Nokia's volume and the push into more mass market price points," Gartner said.

"However, by the end of the forecast period, the number one spot will be contested with Android, which will be at a very similar share level," it said.

According to Gartner, Symbian will hold a 40.1 percent OS market share at the end of 2010 followed by Android with 17.7 percent, Research in Motion's BlackBerry with 17.5 percent, Apple with 15.4 percent for the iOS used by the iPhone and Windows Mobile from Microsoft with 4.7 percent.

By 2014, Symbian's share will fall to 30.2 percent while Android's will rise to 29.6 percent followed by Apple with 14.9 percent, Blackberry with 11.7 percent and Windows with 3.9 percent, Gartner forecast.

Symbian last year had a 46.9 percent share of the OS market followed by Blackberry with 19.9 percent, Apple with 14.4 percent, Windows with 8.7 percent and Android with 3.9 percent, Gartner said.

Gartner said it expected handset manufacturers such as Samsung to launch a number of budget devices in the second half of the year using Android and for other players such as Sony Ericsson, LG and Motorola to follow suit.

"This trend should help Android become the top OS in North America by the end of 2010," Gartner said.

Nokia on Friday named Stephen Elop, a former Microsoft executive, to head the Finnish telecom giant as it battles slumping profits and an eroding market share in the smartphone segment.

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