Stories by Andrew Birmingham

My Mates PFN app builds privacy into the product

Privacy is moving beyond its traditional role in product development — too often it is viewed as only an issue of compliance. In an era of constant connectivity, it is now a central part of product development.

Thursday Grok: Microsoft and security, Facebook and privacy, Google and social

Sometimes you have to ask yourself why Microsoft even bothers. For as long as Grok has being writing about Internet Explorer, Microsoft has been announcing and responding to security vulnerabilities in its browsers.

Monday Grok: I see dead people — they’re running newspapers

In the Media Diary section of The Australian, there’s a small piece of media industry bonhomie that tells you more than anything about how disconnected from the world of real things the publishers of newspapers have become. (Or else it speaks to the amusing cynicism of the report’s author — it's hard to tell which when you are dealing with News Corp.)

Wednesday Grok: Zuckerberg finally speaks after Facebook IPO criticism

After months of being corn holed in the tech press and weeks spent enduring muttering about his leadership, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally went public today for the first time since the company’s much criticised IPO.

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Monday Grok: How much does Facebook know about you?

For those of you concerned that companies like Facebook might just be a little too invasive with regards to your personal browsing activities, this story on Business Insider today won’t do much to assuage your fears.

Wednesday Grok: 12 million Apple user IDs compromised

Twelve million unique Apple iPhone IDs have been stolen, a million of them have been released onto the Internet and hacker group Anonymous claims that the FBI has a copy of everyone’s Apple ID.

Tuesday Grok: Read, Fire, Aim – Bruce Willis suing Apple story all wrong

Hey Google, if I scream ‘Bruce Willis’, ‘dead’, ‘iTunes’ and ‘scam’ will you show me some love? How many millions of page impression is that worth and what’s the yield? So what if it ain’t right, you can’t take credibility to the bank (even if you can take your iTunes account to the grave).

Monday Grok: Reckon you know big data? You know nothing, they know everything

The US government is spending $2 billion building a data centre in the middle of nowhere — well actually, it’s in Utah — to eaves drop on communications in and out of the US. It is a huge facility that will cover an area of more than 1,000,000 square feet. The US government is also spending another $2 billion on a listening base in Georgia which will itself, according to ABC Radio’s PM program, employ more than 4000 staff.

Wednesday Grok: Google dismisses wider war talk after court verdict

It’s hard to imagine a court verdict resulting in a billion dollar damages ruling could be considered a warm up act, but that is the prism through which Apple’s pwnage of Samsung over the weekend is being viewed. The San Hose Mercury lead the pack yesterday with the argument that the legal victory is just the first phase of a wider war.

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Monday Grok: Apple pwns Samsung

Apple’s lawyers totally pwned Samsung’s lawyers. Over the weekend, it was decided by a jury that Samsung basically stole a lot of Apple’s smartphone ideas, giving the world’s biggest company a billion dollars’ worth of bragging rights. It is a trifling amount that will get lost in Cupertino’s vast mountain of cash, but that’s not the point.

Wednesday Grok: No, Apple is not the most valuable company ever

The Web was full of reports yesterday that Apple had finally become the most valuable company is the history of the world. Those reports were wrong, of course. Such is the modern age of media that speed has replaced accuracy as the driver of the decision to publish. Actually, for most of the history of media that’s been true.

Monday Grok: Bankers bet Facebook stock would fall while advising clients to buy

So a bloke takes a company from nothing to $104 billion dollars in just eight years and now everyone is calling for his head on a pike. What’s going on?

Wednesday Grok: Groupon's core business shrinks, earning estimates collapse, accounts queried again

Oh Groupon, let me count the ways. The daily deals leader never fails to disappoint, even while creating the illusion of success.

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Windows 8 may prove a hard sell in a world of BYOD

Microsoft has arrived at another benchmark on the path to Windows 8, announcing it has delivered its RTM (release to manufacturing) version of its new operating system. Conceived of for a world of mobile-first computing, the user experience of the new operating system marks a radical departure from previous iterations of Windows.

Thursday Grok: Oh, that “step by step guide on how to copy the iPhone”

Apple's long running patent violation war with Samsung has burst back onto the screens this morning after Apple successfully tendered into evidence a 132-page document prepared by its rival comparing Apple's offerings to Samsung's.