’s Top 6 Posts for June 2013

by Jeff Wiener on July 2, 2013

1. Softbank Wins the Sprint Sweepstakes

The votes are in, the die is cast, and Japanese mobile giant Softbank is the winner of the Sprint sweepstakes. The oft-delayed shareholder vote was finally held earlier this month, with an overwhelming majority (98 percent) voting in favour of the Softbank bid, the penultimate step in ending this soap opera-like drama.

The deal must still get the stamp of approval from the Federal Communications Commission, but given all the bureaucratic hoops Softbank has already jumped through, that seems (as any FCC involvement often does) to be nothing but a formality. “The transaction with Softbank should enhance Sprint’s long-term value and competitive position by creating a company with greater financial flexibility,” Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said in a statement.

2. Blackberry Issues Critical Security Advisory

It’s a case of same garbage, different pile for the once great Blackberry, as the company issued a security advisory notice for all those who purchased the company’s Z10 smartphone, the first of its revamped flagship Blackberry 10 series, a major setback for a company looking to once again corner the security conscious enterprise market.

The advisory noted a “critical” vulnerability in the phone’s security and backup firmware, Blackberry Protect, and warned that the flaw could lead to “an escalation of privilege vulnerability exists in the software of some Z10 phones that could allow a malicious app to ‘take advantage’ of weak permissions in the in-built security software,” effectively leaving the phone vulnerable to hackers.

3. Verizon Interested in Entering the Canadian Wireless Market

Verizon Wireless could be a dark horse entrant into the Canadian wireless market, reviving hopes of creating better competition here north of the border with incumbents Telus, Rogers, andBell, and providing a solution for struggling wireless carriers like Wind Mobile and Mobilicity.

According to reports, Big Red has confirmed its interest in the Canadian market, and has entered into talks with both aforementioned struggling carriers, and because it serves as a solution to several lingering problems for our mobile market,  the federal government is looking to welcome Verizon with open arms.

4. The PRISM Scandal and our Digital Privacy

The technology world has been rocked by the US PRISM software scandal, which exposed how theUSgovernment agencies use the Internet as a means to carry out surveillance withinNorth America. As part of the fallout, the Office for the Privacy Commissioner has ordered their own investigation to see whether Canadian users have been affected by the scheme.

As a result of its investigation, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner has found that eleven (11) Canadian companies were found to be passing on private information to external sources without their customer’s permission.

5. Telefonica Backs Microsoft to Break Android/iOS Dominance

Telefonica, the world’s fifth largest mobile network provider, has decided its time to break the Android/iOS ‘duopoly’, earlier this month announcing a landmark partnership with Microsoft to “promote and foster sales” of the latter’s Windows 8 mobile operating system.

The Spanish carrier, with operations in Europe, Latin America, and Asia, said in a statement Wednesday that this arrangement with Microsoft “reinforces [Telefonica’s] commitment to improve the current balance of mobile operating platforms on the market, encouraging it to be more diverse and less of a duopoly,” and it will serve as a way for the mobile giant to enhance “its commercial offering, bringing compelling alternatives to customers from the ecosystem of smartphones on the market.”

6. Apple Unveils iOS 7, a Completely Overhauled Mobile Platform

Apple has done it again. During the company’s two-hour-long WWDC 2013 keynote this month, Apple gave us tech addicts a presentation of what the company has been working on during the past few months. And it was impressive: with iOS 7, Apple has completely overhauled its entire mobile operating system.

The world’s largest tech company presented the operating system that runs on (almost) all iPhones and iPads, sending a very clear message: they have undertaken what can be called the most audacious redesign since the iPhone was presented by Steve Jobs back in 2007.

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