Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have heavily criticised the US government over NSA spying. Speaking at the Techcrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, Zuckerberg said, "Frankly I think the government blew it. They blew it on communicating the balance of what they were going for with this." Mayer subsequently took the stage, arguing that the company was forced to comply, without making the requests public, as "releasing classified information is treason and you are incarcerated." Facebook and Yahoo, along with Google and Microsoft, are currently filling suits against the FISA court in order to allow them to release more information on the requests for the private data of customers they received from the NSA.
Tech Trailblazers, a global competition recognising enterprise startups, has announced that it is extending its submission deadline for potential participants to 26 September. The news follows confirmation of a number of new partnerships for the awards company, headlined by a tie-up with the GSMA, organisers of Mobile World Congress. As a result of the deal, the winner of the 2013 Mobile Trailblazer gong will win a free conference pass to MWC 2014, worth €699 (roughly £590). Category winners are now likely to enjoy a prize pot in the region of $50,000 (£32,000) that also includes hot-desking space, invitations to exclusive events like GigaOM's Structure: Europe and Morgan Stanley's CTO Summit, plus mentoring opportunities.
Apple's shares fell by over five per cent yesterday, immediately after the Tuesday launch of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. The company's shares closed at a month low of $467.71, representing a 5.4 per cent deficit. The iPhone 5C has been held responsible for the dip, with investors concerned that Apple has missed a big opportunity in the mid-range market. According to a number of analysts and consumers alike, the firm has failed to price the plastic 5C competitively. In the UK, the 16GB SIM-free version will cost £469, while in China, it will come at a price of 4,488 yuan, which is more than the country's monthly urban income.
European officials have proposed sweeping changes to its telecoms policies, in a move intended to help Europe compete in today's digital economy. The changes must be approved by EU member states and the Parliament before anything comes into effect, so specifics are likely to change as the debate evolves. Among the proposals most likely to affect consumers are plans to ditch roaming fees. Building on that, the commission's plan would ban incoming call charges when travelling in the EU starting on 1 July 2014. Carriers could either offer plans that apply to the entire EU or let customers switch to a provider with lower rates while they travel. Similarly, the rules would get rid of international call premiums within Europe. For more details, follow the link above.