Google makes broadband play

Martin Czernowalow
By Martin Czernowalow, Contributor.
Johannesburg, 24 Jul 2007

Google makes broadband play

Search giant Google has offered a $4.6 billion surety payment to guarantee it will pick up a 700MHz spectrum in the US if over-burdensome rules put off other competitors, leading to the company emerging as a future broadband powerhouse, notes

On Friday, Google CEO Eric Schmidt sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission reaffirming its position on net neutrality in the forthcoming US spectrum auction, which it hopes to bid for if the conditions are right.

A senior Ovum analyst suggests that while the surety may be Google's way of dealing with concerns that US taxpayers may be financially at a loss if there are no bidders for the spectrum, it may also be Google's way of ensuring its own rules of regulating the spectrum are adopted.

OLPC production begins

After a couple of bumps in the road, the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative has begun its path to helping children in impoverished nations, says TG Daily.

The OLPC foundation aims to put inexpensive laptop computers in the hands of children in Third World countries. It has received orders from multiple countries, some of which would need hundreds of thousands to make the plan viable.

Originally dubbed the "$100 laptop", the OLPC group said earlier this year it would need to up the price to around $170 per unit.

US game hardware sales surge

US sales of video game hardware and software in June rose 31% over the previous year, driven by stronger demand for gaming consoles from all three major industry players, reports Australian IT.

June sales of $1.1 billion were also up about 35% from May, showing strong momentum at the start of the traditionally slow northern summer season, the report from market research firm NPD showed.

"The industry continues to realise substantial gains, month after month, and on all fronts it's great growth," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier. With few blockbuster games hitting the shelves, consumers focused on hardware, increasing their purchases of Sony's PlayStation 3, Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii.

Ubuntu to target IT in coming year

The Ubuntu distribution of Linux is widely appreciated by open source supporters for its emphasis on integrating many elements of free software that appeal to desktop users, says Computerworld.

However, in the coming months, Canonical, the London-based commercial backer of Ubuntu, plans to focus on its server software for many of its system improvements.

In a keynote speech yesterday at the Ubuntu Live conference, Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical, said that over the next year "there will be increased investment" in the server version of the operating system.