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'You will download your sneakers within 20 years. Yarr'

Plus: Fruity smugness - 'momentum is incredibly strong'

QuotW This was the week when Microsoft filed a lawsuit against a Russian man who allegedly created and operated the Kelihos botnet before it got taken down in September last year.

RIM co-chiefs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis stepped down as joint CEOs of the beleaguered BlackBerry-maker, a move investors have been howling about for some time now, but they didn't exit the firm entirely. Lazaridis remains on RIM's board as vice-chairman and as chair of the board's new innovation committee while Balsillie remains as a board member.

It remains to be seen whether the half-hearted sacrifices will have any effect.

It was also the week when Apple's Tim Cook was feeling particularly cocky about the wonder of the iPad. Last year was not the year of the tablet, the chirpy chief said, but the year of the iPad:

I looked at the data – particularly in the US – on a weekly basis after Amazon launched the Kindle Fire, and in my view there wasn't an obvious effect on the [iPad sales] numbers.

And really, it was hard to dent the CEO's confidence when the fruity firm had just announced an awe-inspiring $13.06bn for the first quarter of its fiscal 2012. The happy head honcho said:

Apple's momentum is incredibly strong, and we have some amazing new products in the pipeline.

It's a tease that may or may not refer to rumours of the iPhone 5's imminent arrival.

Meanwhile, America's war on file-dump site Megaupload continued throughout the week, when the site's supremo Kim Dotcom was collared in a panic room and refused bail by a New Zealand court.

Some file-sharing sites were squirming under the spotlight, with Filesonic and Uploaded.to disabling file-share features and restricting access, while others, like Rapidshare, remained unconcerned.

Pirate Bay was another famed file-sharing site that seemed unruffled by the week's events. The torrential site has added a new category for files of 3D objects, which can be printed out on 3D printers. At the moment, those printers are only capable of making small plastic desk toys, but the Bay is clearly looking ahead:

We believe that things like three dimensional printers, scanners and such are just the first step. We believe that in the nearby future you will print your spare parts for your vehicles. You will download your sneakers within 20 years.

Rules and regulations were also giving people headaches in the tech world this week. First, in Europe, a draft data bill has business up in arms at the cost of being upfront about user data.

James Mullock, head of data privacy at law firm Osborne Clarke, said:

Leaked versions of what is expected to be announced... clearly show the EC’s train of thought is to increase the overall regulatory burden on business and require more time, personnel and cash to be thrown at compliance.

And over in the US, a statement from the CEO of the Motion Picture Ass of America came across rather threateningly. The comment seemed to imply that politicians who took money from the entertainment industry and then abandoned the controversial SOPA/PIPA online piracy legislation should watch out:

Those who count on ‘Hollywood’ for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who’s going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don’t ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don’t pay any attention to me when my job is at stake.

Over at the Chocolate Factory, the privacy policy is undergoing major changes, which might have something to do with its upcoming antitrust battles. The Factory blogged:

Our new Privacy Policy makes clear that, if you’re signed in, we may combine information you've provided from one service with information from other services. In short, we’ll treat you as a single user across all our products, which will mean a simpler, more intuitive Google experience.

Virgin Media customers were then surprised to find that they were also Google users, even if they didn't know it. Virgin Media partnered with the Factory back in 2009 on email services, but has its own privacy policy, so customers weren't expecting to be updated by email direct from Google on its new policy.

One subscriber posted on the forum:

I'm sure VM subcontract and outsource to hundreds of companies - nothing to do with me however, my privacy agreement etc is with VM.

However, a Virgin Media spokesperson only had this to say:

Google provides our email platform and we're aware they’ve emailed some Virgin Media Mail users directly. We’re speaking to Google to understand why.

The telco was unable to tell El Reg whether its own privacy policy was going to be affected by Google's changes or not.

Finally, a new hi-res image of the Earth, taken by the three-month-old polar orbit satellite Suomi NPP, sparked some ire with Reg readers, who wished the image was a little less American. Which was a bit of an odd wish really, since it's a NASA-sponsored satellite.

Even more irate was the chap who thought the whole thing was another of those pesky fake-we've-been-in-space things:

More like "photo of a small portion of one hemisphere made to look passibly full-hemispheric". It's like they used a fish-eye 'lens'. Poorly faked, they think would anyone really believe Mexico takes up that much area of a hemisphere? ®

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