theEweekly Wrap: Advice for AOL, aid from Apple, and tech takes over Texas

By admin topicIcon Manchester
Private lives US consumers are to get a bill of rights regulating their online privacy, reports the Guardian. Concerns are mounting over the amount of information gathered by sites such as Facebook, Google and Twitter. The proposals – set out by Lawrence Strickling of the commerce department – would see the introduction of a privacy bill, stating the required levels of protection and revealing how the authorities would regulate this.

Ideas from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) include limiting the use of tracking technology such as cookies. This shows similarity to the impending EU directive on online privacy, and echoes fears expressed by the German government leading them to ban Google Analytics in January 2011. However, FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz emphasised that the purpose of the bill would be to improve consumer trust and therefore boost e-commerce.

Apple in Japan Apple has decided to delay the release of the iPad 2 in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami disaster. Although many technology firms in the country shut down in the aftermath of the quake, Apple said the delay was not due to a supply shortage. Company spokesperson Natalie Kerris said: "We are delaying the launch of the iPad 2 in Japan while the country and our teams focus on recovering from the recent disaster".

According to MacRumours, Steve Jobs sent an email to Apple staff in Japan, telling them to take whatever time and resources they may need, and offering to arrange delivery of supplies. The Apple homepage and iTunes are accepting donations to the Red Cross appeal which will help victims. Meanwhile, Microsoft attracted anger by offering to donate $1 in exchange for every RT on the Bing Twitter account.

Bizness advisor Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, has taken on a second job at AOL. On Monday, Stone took to Twitter and his personal blog to explain: "My role at Twitter has not changed. I'm keeping my day job in addition to accepting a role as Social Impact Advisor at AOL". According to the Telegraph, the job will include advising the tech behemoth on "developing a platform to help people share their work in their local community".

AOL acquired the Huffington Post for £196 million in February 2011. The deal saw co-founder Arianna Huffington become editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, a media conglomerate with an audience of over 270 million. Since the buyout, 900 jobs have been cut across AOL, while Arianna Huffington has been hiring from the US media elite.

SXSW 2011 The tech and interactive section of the annual SXSW conference drew to a close on Tuesday. The five-day event saw a horde of almost 20,000 tech fans descend on Austin, Texas, hoping to find out what will be the next big thing. SXSW 2007 saw the launch of Twitter, while Foursquare premiered in 2009. This year, the BBC concluded the apps to watch in 2011 were Scvngr (a check-in game), Hashable (mobile business networking) and Instagram (a retro-style camera); meanwhile, TechCrunch predicted that the temporary Apple store set up outside the convention centre would "sell a metric ton of iPad 2s".

In the awards section of the event, The Arcade Fire won two awards for their HTML5 music video, The Wilderness Downtown. The Old Spice 'Smell Like a Man, Man' viral video won the award for best digital marketing campaign, while the crowd-sourced Johnny Cash music video project won the art award.