IN BRIEF: Twitter trying to shut down uSocial, CEO says

Microblogging service Twitter is trying to shut down an Australian Web promotions company with accusations of spamming, the company’s CEO claims.

Leon Hill, CEO of uSocial.net, said in a press release he’d been contacted by a brand management company hired by Twitter to accuse the company of using Twitter for spam purposes. Hill said that’s just not so.

“The definition of spam is using electronic messaging to send unsolicited communication and as we don’t use Twitter for this, the claims are false,” Hill said.

uSocial.net sells packages of Twitter followers to companies and individuals to expand their Twitter footprint. The recently launched service sells followers in blocks of 1,000 and sells packages as big as 100,000.

It’s the second “artificial popularity service” from the company. In December 2008, the company launched a paid social bookmarking service that allowed clients to buy votes on sites like Digg and StumbleUpon.

The company received and ignored a cease-and-desist order from Digg for selling votes on the site, according to uSocial.net.

Mobile phone market recovering, IDC Canada says

IDC Canada Ltd. says the Canadian mobile phone market is well on its way to recovery after a strong second quarter improvement.

The Toronto-based research firm said the mobile phone market shrunk about one per cent year-over-year in Q2 of its Mobile Phone Tracker results.

Mobile hardware makers shipped 2.36 million units to the Canadian market compared to the 2.4 million units shipped to wireless carriers and channel partners in the same time period last year.

IDC Canada also found that smart phone devices grew 49 per cent in the April to June 2009 time period versus the same quarter in 2008.

“The market is slowly recovering from a rocky start,” Kevin Restivo, lead analyst for IDC Canada’s Mobile Phone Tracker unit, said in a release. “The rebound last quarter can partly be attributed to the growing popularity of QWERTY slider messaging phones and smart phones with consumers. These form factors helped the market improve upon the disastrous first quarter.”

A significant increase in new product launches and the improving economy also attributed to the better than expected second quarter, he added.

InterAct buys BIO-key law enforcement assets for US$11 million

InterAct Public Safety Systems announced Friday the US$11-million acquisition of all assets of the law enforcement division of BIO-key International Inc.

The Winston-Salem, NC.-based safety and security software vendor for government agencies and enterprises will therefore own MobileCopR, PocketCopR, MobileRescueT, MobileOfficeT, and InfoServerT product lines. InterAct will also own all employees in the Wall, New Jersey-based company’s law enforcement division.

BIO-key’s law enforcement division’s products have long formed part of InterAct’s Connections Framework, a collection of integrated products designed to improve the efficiency of emergency response operations, like geographic information and records management systems.

“Looking ahead, we will build on the best attributes of both mobile product suites to give first responders the most advanced resources with which they can protect their communities,” said InterAct CEO Andrew J. “Flip” Filipowski.

“This transaction will not only allow BIO-key to focus on our core offerings by providing the most secure and easily deployable biometric identity products on the market today, but allow for InterAct to take a clear leadership position in public safety software,” said Thomas J. Colatosti, chairman of BIO-key International.

ViewOh gets $20K in seed funding from C3 program

Two University of Toronto engineering grads have received $20,000 in seed funding as winners of C3 Network’s Start-a-Business Program.

ViewOh, brainchild of David Leung and Mehdi Ravandi, will also receive incubation space, business seminars and introductions to angel investors from C3, an initiative of Communitech, a Waterloo, Ont., technology commercialization partnership.

ViewOh is a service that derives semantic meaning from content, returning recommendations the user might be interested in, Ravandi said in a statement.



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