Tech News Today 177
Recorded: February 10, 2011
Published: February 10, 2011
Tech News Today 177: While My Guitar Hero Gently Weeps
Get all passwords off anyone's iPhone, Facebook and Google want to buy Twitter, Activision kills all music games, and more.
- Tom Merritt ( )
- Sarah Lane ( )
- Dr. Kiki ( )
- Jason Howell
- Researchers in Germany have shown how to access an iPhone's passwords to email accounts, voicemail, and VPN without unlocking the phone. The attacker must have physical access but can jailbreak the device, install an SSH server then copy an access script which can use material available from within the phone to create a key and unlock the keychain. If you lose an iPhone, it's recommended to change any passwords that were stored on it.
- Bloomberg: Nokia definitely in talks with Microsoft, partnership likely (update: WSJ, too)
- Google VP Vic Gundotra's no-so-subtle jab at impending Nokia-Microsoft partnership
- Google Tweet-Bashes Nokia Again, but Will Elop Get the Last #Laugh?
- Exclusive: Nokia’s Stephen Elop Talks About How He Made His Big OS Decision
- Google and Microsoft offer Nokia hundreds of millions to abandon MeeGo, Symbian
- INQ introduces Cloud Q Android QWERTY smartphone
- Exclusive Video Of INQ’s Facebook Phone
- Two phones INQ Cloud Touch (May in Europe, "later" in US, no price) and INQ Cloud Q (QWERTY keyboard, 2.6 inch screen, coming to Q3)
- Front and center - Facebook news feed, can flip to status updates, photos, videos and shared articles
- Apple TV gaming hinted strongly in iOS 4.3 beta code
- Code in iOS 4.3 beta 3 refers to ATVGames and ATVThunder. "com.apple.appletv.play.live.thunder" and ".play.archive.thunder
- Also references to "Sedona" and "Flagstaff" Sedona refers to director, episode, season so probably about video merch. "Flagstaff" refers to account types and Merch.
- Yes, Apple Is Lining Up For A “Surprise” This Fall. And Yes, It’s Likely An “iPad 3″
- John Gruber referred to an iPad 3 and says he guesses it would hit in September. Gruber thinks it would be "iPad 2.5" and just be an attempt to move yearly release dates closer to Holiday buying. Techcrunch reports "fall surprise" will mean a third iPad. Possibly a smaller form factor
- Guitar Hero gets axed; Activision shares dip 7%
- Activision Blizzard has solid 2010, confirms layoffs
- Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg during earnings call, announced they're stopping development on True Crime: Hong Kong and all music games, including Guitar Hero. Activision will lay off 7% of staff (about 500 people) Focusing on Call of Duty and Blizzard games. Overall revenue up in 2010 and profit quadruples over 2009, but 4th quarter revenue dropped from 1.6 billion in 2009 to 1.4 billion in 2010. Still posted a smaller loss for the quarter over 2009 because of a reduction in expenses.
- Google and Facebook named as Twitter suitors
- Twitter at $10 Billion: Insanity?
- Understanding Twitter’s valuation
- Wall Street Journal reports low-level acquisition talks between Twitter and both Google and Facebook. Also report Twitter's value may be as high as $10 billion. Analysts and pundits at each other's necks over the meaning of this valuation, and whether there is a tech bubble again.
- Meanwhile Exclusive: Facebook Exploring Permitting a Tender Offer for $1 Billion of Employee Shares at $60 Billion Valuation.
- 2 or more investors would get to buy up to $1 billion worth of shares from Facebook employees, based on a company valuation of $60 billion
- Google is extending two-factor authentication to all users, increasing your security options. If you choose the option in your settings you'll be required not only to enter a password, something you know, but also enter a code delivered to your phone by SMS, call or app, something you have, in order to log in. You can set up a backup phone number and tough-to-answer security questions as a last chance, in case you lose your phone.
- Good news for Sprint-Nextel: Customer retention has finally improved to the point where the carrier is able to report actual gains in postpaid subscribers, rather than losses. Sprint said it added 1.1 million total wireless subscribers, 58,000 of them two-year contract customers. or the quarter, Sprint added almost 1.1 million wireless subscribers, its best showing in nearly five years. All that AND scoring David Blaine! Things are looking up
- Installing a camera in your skull is a headache. Literally. Last autumn NYU professor Wafaa Bilal had a camera implanted in the back of his head for a year-long art project. Now he has been forced to have part the device removed early, because his body has rejected it, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. The camera uploaded a shot every 60 seconds to 3rdi.me which was then projected on screens at a museum in Doha, Qatar.
- Speaking at a Department of Homeland Security Event, Bill Woodcock, research director of the Packet Clearing House, reported that Egypt shut down thes internet not by phoning ISPs but by simply throwing a switch at the Ramses Exchangel data center in Cairo. The report also suggested that the ISP Noor escaped the shutdown because it was harder to get ahold of them, not because they hosted the Egyptian Stock Exchange.
- Last week, Anonymous hackers broke into servers for HBGary in retaliation over threats to reveal the names of Asome Anonymous members. The hackers released 50,000-some emails from HBGary, including a slide presentation proposing a series of dirty tricks against Wikileaks and its supporters. Targeted attacks on Salon's Glenn Greenwald, infrastructure attacks, disinformation campaigns, and sabotage were proposed. There's no indication that Bank of America signed off on this plan.
- Facebook announced this week it will begin enforcing a policy that requires app developers to run advertising from a list of approved providers. The list is not short–it includes 40-some options–but it notably does not include Google’s AdSense and DoubleClick.
- Micron Technology tomorrow is set to disclose a hybrid memory technology that it claims will boost performance 20-fold over the memory chips used in PCs today. The secret sauce is the memory controller (see graphic) that's been added to the memory. Micron says by putting a logic layer--which is actually a controller chip--we were able to overcome that bottleneck by crafting a higher speed bus that will go from the (controller) chip to the CPU.
- President Obama has announced a plan to free up 500MHz of spectrum in the US by allowing current spectrum holders to share in the profits from selling it. The rest of the money would be used to invest in 4G for rural areas, and build out nationwide public safety network. The whole operation would pay for itself, and the government has identified 115 MHz of its own spectrum it can free up without cost.
Kickers and Weird Science
- The big new release that everybody's been waiting for finally hit today. That's right, the feature-complete IE9 release candidate from Micrososft is now available for public downloading at www.beautyoftheweb.com
- Oh right. You might have thought I was talking about another release. Yeah, that one isn't as exciting apparently. Verizon iPhone launched at 7 AM today - gives multiple meanings to "yawn"
- 3net 24/7 3D channel launches this weekend, but only on DirecTV
- House Subcommittee Schedules Net Neutrality Hearing For Feb. 16
- HP Pre 2 available to pre-order for $100 on Verizon, shipping out February 17th
- Windows Phone 7's copy and paste update now coming March 8?
- 16GB BlackBerry PlayBook Priced at $499 and heading to Office Depot in March or Early April (it has been previously reported will come to Staples as well)
ANkh: Alien Dalvik
"Hi everyone! I just wanted to clarify a couple things about current console mods. First of all the xbox 360 can be hacked with a modchip, however this is not what most people mod their 360 DVD drives with these days. The most common mod is a modified DVD firmware file that needs to be flashed to that specific drive. (Each 360 has a unique key flashed to the motherboard and dvd drive that is essential for proper functionality.) In regards to the ps3 hacks it was at first a USB dongle that jailbroke ps3's and put them into developer mode. Recently geohot's firmware hack which uncovered the master key to the ps3 negated the need for any additional hardware. Just an FYI- there are very few games on any current console that have dedicated servers that let you choose which servers you can play on. No current games in the past year or two come to mind.
Love the show guys!
You know, ask me a week ago if I thought HP would ever ship desktops without Windows and I would have laughed. The other day I was by a local office store and they had one of HP's TouchSmart PCs on display. I thought the UI on-screen was an image... until I touched it. A good ten-fifteen minutes later it dawned on me that the UI I'd been -playing- with was something on top of Windows and that my task bar and system tray was missing. I was floored. Not only because of how fun the touch was, but because I had used something other than Windows for so long without realizing it.
Keeping in mind that this was the TouchSmart app on top of Windows 7 and not webOS, I think I'd be OK with a touch OS on a desktop. After all, what's the local OS got to do these days anyway, launch a browser?
Loving the show!
Tommy in Kingston [Ontario]"
"An interesting addendum to the ho-hum launch today... perhaps states that had very spotty AT&T coverage is where all the action will be. The one quote from the Verizon regional public relations manager in Montana is quite interesting: ""Bob Kelley, regional public relations manager for Verizon, said Wednesday that his store managers in Montana were too busy with the pre-iPhone rush to give interviews to The Associated Press."" Because of the costs with breaking contracts, we have been looking in the wrong areas (NY, San Francisco) for where the real action will be (Montana, the Dakota's, etc.)? -CurtisB" http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110210/ap_on_hi_te/us_phone_frenzy
- Edited by: Jason
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