It's been a generally quiet end to the week news-wise – unless you're Google, that is. Over in the US, the Internet search giant got slapped with a $22.5 million fine to settle charges that it misrepresented how users of Apple's Safari browser were having their online activity tracked. That's a whopping £14.5 million in old money, the largest penalty America's Federal Trade Commission has ever levied in relation to a commission order violation.
Back on ITProPortal's home soil, perennial bean counter Gartner released a report on Q2 activity in the UK and Western European PC markets. Advocates of traditional computing will find it makes for tougher reading than a Finnish translation of War and Peace: overall PC shipments plummeted nearly 8 per cent in the UK year-on-year, with sector stalwarts like HP and Dell among the worst hit. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Apple did alright, enjoying 2012 Q2 growth of 10 per cent, but the industry as a whole looks like it's in the death throes based on this limp showing.
Why is the desk-based and mobile PC market struggling so badly? One reason likely to be cited by many analysts is the rise of the tablet computer. And, as Casio seems intent on proving, slates aren't just nifty downtime toys anymore. The Japanese consumer electronics manufacturer announced that it is prepping a small range of devices aimed specifically at workers in the retail sector. The four tablets that make up the V-T/N500 series will be NFC-ready, ruggedised, and feature 10.1in screens, according to an initial glance at the spec sheet.
Another place where it hasn't been quiet of late is East London and, more specifically, the 2012 Olympics. Games fever has gripped the globe, with Jamaican sprinting legend Usain Bolt the source of many of the best headlines. The tech world hasn't been left out, with the iconic speedster adding a digital record to his gold medal haul. When the 25-year-old strode across the finish line in the 200 metres last night, sports fans across the globe tweeted furiously about his victory, making him the most tweeted about person in history with 80,000 tweets per minute.
Finally, a meatier piece to keep you occupied. Sebastian Anthony's ruminations on the relationship between Microsoft and its OEM channel really stood out today. The self-described "lonely, friendless hobo" contends that if the Surface's foray into the unified device market is a success, then you can essentially say goodbye to the OEM PC outside of the entry-level and enterprise sectors. Do you agree?