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December 20, 2012

Technology News Briefs — Dec. 20, 2012

Apple CEO Tim Cook Runner-Up for Time’s Person of the Year

Apple CEO Tim Cook may not have been chosen for Time’s Person of the Year, but being the second runner-up for the positions isn’t too shabby.

Cook was beat out by U.S. President Barack Obama for the top spot and came in just behind first runner-up Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who took on the Taliban and is now a symbol of the struggle for women’s rights all over the world.

Cook who inherited the top spot at Apple after the death of Steve Jobs had big shoes to fill, the article suggests, and despite a few missteps, Cook has been a strong leader for the technology giant.

“On the day Jobs died, Apple was valued at $351 billion; at press time its market cap stood at $488 billion, more than that of Google and Microsoft,” the article reads. “That’s and as in plus: Apple is now worth significantly more than those companies combined. Apple’s cash hoard alone comes to more than $120 billion. It was news in 2011 when Apple passed Exxon Mobil to become the world’s most valuable company. Now Exxon Mobil can barely see Apple’s taillights in the distance, across an $83 billion lead.”

Nokia Rumored to Launch New Tablet in February

Rumors are swirling that Nokia may debut a new tablet early next year.

A Digitimes report revealed that Nokia has been in talks with Microsoft, Qualcomm and Compal Electronics to kick-start development of a 10-inch device powered by Windows RT.

Nokia was to have launched the product earlier, but put the brakes on its development due to Microsoft launching its Surface tablet. The Taiwanese company also wanted to gauge consumer reaction to Windows RT.

Sources have said the new Nokia-made tablet could be debuted at Mobile World Congress, which is set for Feb. 25-28.

Facebook Fighting German Privacy Watchdog

A German privacy watchdog is ordering Facebook to eliminate its rule insisting its members use their real names, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Dec. 19.

Privacy commissioner and head of the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ULD) Thilo Weichert maintains the German Telemedia Act gives citizens the right to use pseudonyms online, the article says. The ULD has jurisdiction in the state of Schleswig-Holstein.

The German data protection agency issued the order that Facebook change its name policy Dec. 14. Facebook has two weeks to object, the WSJ reported.

The ULD can only impose its directive on the social networking site for users living in the state of Schleswig-Holstein. But Weichert believes other German data protection authorities will also implement the directive.

Facebook, it seems, is ready to fight the order.

“We believe the orders are without merit, a waste of German taxpayers’ money and we will fight it vigorously,” a Facebook spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement to the WSJ. “It is the role of individual services to determine their own policies about anonymity within the governing law, she added. Facebook’s real name policy complies with European data protection principles and Irish law, according to the social network.”