The Tech 10: iPhone Speaks French, FCC Backs Down and Amazon Beats Feds

Note: John Paczkowski is on vacation and won’t be writing or posting videos until he returns on Monday.

To keep you abreast of tech news while he’s away, we’re compiling a daily digest of 10 must-read tech stories. Our Tech 10 appears below.


  1. Bienvenue, iPhone: France Telecom has begun selling Apple’s cellphone at selected Orange stores in Paris and other cities. The device itself will cost about $1,106 with no plan attached, or 399 euros (about $590) with one of four “Orange for iPhone” plans, Computerworld notes, adding it will cost 100 euros ($148) to unlock the handset.
  2. FCC Says ‘Uncle’: A proposal by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin to tightly regulate the cable TV industry has been “drastically” trimmed, reports the New York Times, which noted that Martin had sought more diverse programming and reduced cable costs.
  3. Amazon: 1; Feds: 0. The federal government has lost its bid to compel Amazon to release details about the book-buying habits of thousands of its customers, according to Declan McCullogh on his blog, The Iconoclast. The Justice Department sought the information to prove its case against a former Madison, Wisc., city official accused of evading taxes in selling used books online.
  4. Google, Online Snitch? The search colossus has voluntarilygoogle.israel given the IP address of an Israeli blogger who used “Google Blogger” to allegedly slander municipal council members running for reelection, the Israeli Web site Globes Online reports, calling the move “unprecedented.”
  5. YouTube, Censor? The popular video-sharing site has suspended the account of a well-known Egyptian anti-torture activist who posted videos of alleged brutality by a number of Egyptian policemen, Wael Abbas told Reuters, claiming that about 100 images he had sent were no longer available on YouTube.
  6. But It Doesn’t Mind those CondéNet Vids: CondéNet is announcing today that it will distribute videos from its various consumer-interest Web sites via YouTube, The Wall Street Journal reports, adding that the deal is the latest in a series for Condé Nast Publications’ digital division.
  7. LinkedIn Link to News Corp.? A “well-placed source” linkedin.logohas told VentureBeat that News Corp. (owner of this site) is in talks to buy business-networking site LinkedIn. But LinkedIn CEO Dan Nye told Fortune’s Adam Lashinsky that “It would take a helluva lot” to get him to sell.
  8. The Earth, Updated: Google Maps is updating its features, prompting Duncan Riley at TechCrunch to wonder if the new features won’t ultimately send Google Earth down the path of the dodo.
  9. Feeling Insecure: Web applications and holes in Windows Office are the top concerns of Internet users, according to the annual security report by SANS, a computer training and security organization, in its Top 20 risk assessment for 2007.
  10. How Green Is My Gaming? Greenpeace has released a report slamming Nintendo and Microsoft for making their video-game consoles with toxic chemicals, reports BusinessWeek, noting that the enviro group’s latest ranking of electronics firms this week also highlights questions over the environmental impact of the products and how much consumers care about them.

–posted by Associate Editor John Sullivan

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald