On Tech Brief today: Nokia fights back, net benefits and letters of condolence for Microsoft's Kin.
• Recently we reported on government plans to conduct a review of 820 of its websites. A report by the Central Office of Information has revealed that the government spent £94m on website development in 2009 - 2010. Now, the Guardian Data blog has pulled the figures apart to find out how the figures were spent.
Some of the figures are in thousands, while others have the right number of zeros, while others in the comment field look as if they are for internal use. Some sites are missing data altogether. So it's entirely possible this may be revised and updated before the next release. Nevertheless, we've worked out the totals for each area - so you can see how the sites compare.
• Nokia has announced a fightback. Despite being the world's largest mobile phone maker, it has been losing "mindshare" in its battle with the new kids on the block: Google, Apple and RIM. Now, the firm's new head of mobile solutions - Anssi Vanjoki - has announced a "fightback". Tricia Duryee, at Moco News, breaks it down:
Unfortunately for Nokia, both Apple and Google are winning the publicity battle when it comes to holding the title of intellectual leader in the wireless industry. While the two Silicon Valley companies rack up sales, Nokia is still months out from new hardware and software releases.
• There has been a resurgence in the debate about whether or not the net is a, ahem, "net loss" to society, or a net gain. Pew Research has now offered some figures to add to the debate. In the Future of Online Socializing, the outfit surveyed 895 big thinkers, or "technology stakeholders and critics". Overall, the research suggests that the net is a force for good. In amongst the evidence, a couple of comments stood out to Tech Brief: Engineer Mike Gale is definitely enthusiastic about the nets benefits, for some:
"Will relations improve? Hell yes, for the smart people who figure out what the technology can and can't do for them!"
Fred Hapgood, is clearly one of those smart people, who already has it figured out:
"The development of holographic displays and the bandwidth necessary to carry them will allow us to spend more time in more contexts with our friends."
• Last week we reported that Microsoft had pulled the plug on its Kin mobile phones, just three months after their launch. For those, still in a state of shock, there is now a book of condolences online. Daniel Wolfe is one of the many eloquent - and clearly upset - contributors to the site:
"Oh Kin, you were like the 7 year old borrito I found under my brothers bed.... I didn't know you were there, but I'm so happy to know your gone."
Links in full
• Simon Rogers | Guardian Data blog | How much do government websites cost?
• Tricia Duryee | Moco News | Nokia's fightback
• | Pew Research | Future of Online Socializing
• | Forever Missed | Kin tributes