The digital business week

5 Mar 2012

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A digest of the top business and technology news stories from the past week.

Apple’s future as a TV juggernaut takes shape

As the world waits on tenterhooks for the shape of the next iPad and whether or not Apple will enter the TV business with an actual TV, it is clear that frenzied negotiations are happening. The days of linear TV are over and streaming content to a multitude of devices is the sweet spot Apple wants to capture.

According to reports, Apple is planning to launch a streaming TV service by Christmas and its internet chief Eddie Cue is negotiating with broadcasters with the intention of enabling to offer their channels as apps.

Apple already owns most of the modes for the consumption of streaming TV – everything, except that good old display on the wall in your living room, barroom, bedroom, etc. Apple doesn’t own that, but the consensus is it will take its knowledge of software, display technology and content delivery and disrupt the over-commoditised TV display industry.

Zynga steps beyond Facebook with its own platform

Zynga is reducing its dependency on Facebook by launching its own gaming platform on Zynga.com, which will host games from the social-gaming firm itself and third-party developers.

The platform will be a big move for the company, which currently hosts all of its games on Facebook. Facebook gets 12pc of its revenue from Zynga games while Zynga gets 90pc of its revenue from Facebook.

The social-games company will activate the beta of Zynga.com within the next few days, which will feature games such as Words with Friends, CastleVille, CityVille, Zynga Poker and Hidden Chronicles.

Dubliners and Westerners most likely to shop online (info graphic)

Greater numbers of consumers living in Dublin and the West of Ireland are likely to shop online than other parts of the country, according an e-commerce survey by Amas.

In 2011, half of Dubliners had bought something online within the previous 12 months, compared with 48pc for the west, according to the analysis and info graphic published by online consultancy AMAS in the quarterly State of the Net bulletin.

Lowest online shopping adoption levels were recorded for the border counties (31pc) and the southeast (35pc). Nationally, 43pc of Irish consumers bought online in 2011, compared with 36pc the previous year. This puts Ireland on a par with the EU27 average but some distance behind the UK, where the comparative figure is 71pc.

Foursquare moving from Google Maps to OpenStreetMap

Location check-in service Foursquare has moved from using the Google Maps API to the crowd-sourced OpenStreetMap, with start-up MapBox providing the visuals for the data.

According to Foursquare, while it had been using the Google Maps API since it started, it wanted to move to another provider due to Google’s pricing.

The company noticed that other companies were moving to other map options and decided it wanted to use its own maps using OpenStreetMap data.

OpenStreetMap is a crowd-sourced geographical database with 2.7bn GPS traces from more than 545,000 registered users. Foursquare worked with MapBox to provide map images for the OpenStreetMap data and will now use global block-level map MapBox Streets to power it.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com