Wakey wakey: All the news in 30 seconds

Companies like BT are losing out to free VoIP call services such as Skype

Wednesday morning comes but once a week and what better way to kick it off than with a welter of phone-centric news snippets?

First up, we have the suggestion that a gaggle of major telecoms companies, including BT, are so fed up with losing customers to free VoIP call services like Skype that they're planning to launch a rival all of their own.

Skype begone

We're led to believe that the unnamed service, which could arrive next year, will work on both domestic and mobile phones and will provide free calls between customers of all companies involved.

If it does transpire, the newcomer will have to be mighty fine to lure millions of avid Skypers from their all-you-can-eat free phone calls.

Next, fans of the slightly moth-eaten Palm phone platform might want to hold off on jumping ship when they hear that the company appears to be readying two new devices for later this year.

Zeppelin and Skywriter are their codenames and Palm is currently on the lookout for software developers willing to prepare shiny new applications for the two handsets.

Tell us you love us

A US firm called TheCellShop looks like it's up to its neck in something stinking after it was caught appearing to bribe customers to write perfect reviews of its phones online. And we thought everything on the internet was gospel.

Lastly on the phone front, the latest 3G iPhone word is that it's due - in the US at least - on 15 June. That suggestion stems from the news that Apple partner AT&T has just cancelled all staff holidays for four weeks from that date. What else could it possibly mean?

Microhoo 2.0?

Swivelling our slightly boggly early-morning eyes onto something else for once, we simply have to share the news the Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang seems to be in everyone's bad books after Microsoft walked away from the negotiating table at the weekend.

Yang is currently taking the blame for messing up the potential mega deal, with investors hurling brickbats like, "I am extremely angry at Jerry Yang and at the so-called independent board." Ouch. Microhoo round two, anyone?

That's it for now, but stay tuned to TechRadar for the rest of the day's news as it breaks or grab a feed here - get it while it's hot.

J Mark Lytle was an International Editor for TechRadar, based out of Tokyo, who now works as a Script Editor, Consultant at NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Writer, multi-platform journalist, all-round editorial and PR consultant with many years' experience as a professional writer, their bylines include CNN, Snap Media and IDG.