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Saturday, June 4, 2011

This week at The Fonecast: 4th June 2011

Mark Bridge writes:

I’ll start with a personal comment. One of my friends has described my music taste as eclectic - and he didn’t mean that in a good way. It probably explains why I’ve been sitting at my desk singing “melty head” to the tune of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face”.

Yes, mobile phones and health concerns are back in the news. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organisation, has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans. In a nutshell, it confirms that previous research has raised this as a possibility but says other factors can't be ruled out. Much of this report is based on last year’s Interphone study, which - as we reported at the time - suggested an increased risk of a particular type of cancer at the highest exposure levels, although biases and error were possibilities as well. So we’re not really any the wiser. More research is needed before anyone can be definite about any potential hazard.

While we’re worrying, let’s take a look at 4G technology. It could mess up your TV reception, said Ofcom this week. Mind you, Ofcom wants the 4G licence holders to fix the problem, so that should all work out nicely. Even if it doesn’t, we’ll probably be able to watch TV on our 4G phones.

Nokia added to the glum mood with a warning that the current quarter wouldn’t be as good for sales as previously thought. Apparently it’s "no longer appropriate" to provide target figures for 2011. Ouch. Elsewhere, Acer is writing off $150 million and losing 300 staff after discovering a few problems of its own, while LG is recovering more slowly than expected. Ouch again.

Still, cheer up, eh?  Apple has an announcement next week. Unusually, it’s already told everyone what the announcement is about: a preview of iOS 5 for iPhone and iPad, a new cloud service and some Mac stuff. Wot, no iPhone 5?

Microsoft’s been doing its own previewing at the Computex technology show in Taiwan. It’s shown off the next version of Windows - codenamed Windows 8 - that apparently will be just as happy on tablets as on conventional PCs. And Asus has been demonstrating the Padfone, which is part tablet - can’t imagine what inspired the ‘pad’ part of the name - and part smartphone. The phone fits neatly inside the back of the tablet.

So ultimately a week of good and bad, as Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder might have sung.

And, ending with another lyric, it’s time to say farewell to Kevin Russell, CEO of Three UK. He’s returning to the land down under, leaving current COO David Dyson in charge. Enjoy the break, Kevin - I’m told the vegemite tastes much better back home!

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Author: The Fonecast
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