Tech News Today 222
Recorded: April 15, 2011
Published: April 15, 2011
Tech News Today 222: Google Does Not Hurt Pandas
The truth about the Android Skype vulnerability, new Windows 8 features, Government wants to eliminate passwords, and more.
- Tom Merritt ( )
- Sarah Lane ( )
- Jason Howell
- Iyaz Akhtar
- Chris Dehghanpoor
- Bug in Skype for Android Could Expose Your Personal Data
- Skype acknowledges Android privacy vulnerability, says it's 'working quickly' on a fix
- Android Police blog post
- Skype for Android vulnerability could expose account balance, name DoB, location, phone numbers, email addresses, IMs
- Vulnerability found by AndroidPolice.com. They wrote an app to collect info w/o rooting or special permissions.
- Affects Skype Mobile for Android, not the version for Vz
- Skype's response: "We advise users to take care in selecting which applications to download and install onto their device," **AndroidPolice.com suggests the following fixes to Skype: use proper file permissions, second, they should probably implement some type of encryption scheme, and third, they need to have their applications reviewed for security issues prior to release. It's a permissions problem in the Skype directory folder. Any app can gain access to the folder. Usernames are stored in a static location which once parsed allows a malicious app to follow the path to Skype's stored data.
- Windows 8 to feature USB-runnable Portable Workspaces, sales of 16GB thumb drives set to soar
- Watch Windows 8's new Metro login while this creepy guy watches you (video)
- Intel, Micron Shrink NAND Flash
- What they did: IM Flash Technologies (a joint venture of Intel and Micron) shrunk the size of NAND flash memory to 20 nanometers. What it means: 128GB flash can be smaller than a postage stamp; 8 GB flash takes up 30-40% less circuit board space, leaving more room for a bigger battery, larger screen, or another chip; cost drops to 33 cents per gigabyte vs. 50 cents per gigabyte for 25-nm NAND.
- Google denies Panda hit on rival
- Microsoft-owned Ciao.co.uk web visibility down 94% since Google algorithm update (called ""Panda"") according to analysis by Searchmetrics. Sistrix found an 81% drop.
- Google denies it singled out Ciao
- Update meant to weed out content farms
- Ciao.co.uk involved in starting an EU investigation of Google in Nov 2010
- Other sites hit by Panda: hubpages.com down 85%, ehow.co.uk down 53% (numbers by Sitemetrics)
- Technology news website Electricpig.co.uk was downgraded by 94% by the Panda update, according to Searchmetrics. Site editor James Holland told BBC News: ""We haven't seen an immediate impact. "Comparing our traffic from Google for that week, we're actually only down 0.5% versus the week before Panda took effect. That suggests most of the keywords Searchmetrics are measuring us against weren't being clicked anyway, and our best-performing stuff is still doing the business."
- Android Draws Antitrust Complaint in South Korea
- Google whacked with another monopoly moan
- 2 South Korean search companies filed an antitrust complaint against Google with the FTC of the Republic of Korea
- Claim that Goog is pressuring companies to not preload NHN or Daum applications
- NHN runs S. Korea's top search engine
- Goog denies claim
- With passwords "broken," US rolls out Internet identity plan
- US Chamber of Commerce Event - Feds showed off a final version of the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (draft in Jan)
- Tries to solve 2 problems: passwords are broken & almost impossible to prove your identity online.
- Govt wants more to be possible online like health records, signing mortgages
- Not a set of imposed rules. Voluntary and to be done by the private sector
- When the Department of Defense moved away from passwords to a smartcard security solution, it saw network intrusions drop by 46 percent. From the NSTIC: "The realization of this vision is the user-centric “Identity Ecosystem” described in this Strategy It is an online environment where individuals and organizations will be able to trust each other because they follow agreed upon standards to obtain and authenticate their digital identities—and the digital identities of devices".
- NPD: Video game sales slumped 16 pct in March
- Nintendo either sold 400,000 (USA Today) or 440,000 (Bloomberg) Nintendo 3DS units last month. NPD reported 3DS sold 100,000 less than DS did in its launch month in November 2004, but the 3DS generated more money. Total game console sales rose from 440.6 million to 495.4 million +12% year over year. Accessories also grew 13 percent. --- Total Physical game sales dropped 16% from 875.7 million to 734.5 million year over year.
- Apple and Google Capture U.S. Video Game Market Share in 2010
- Nintendo 3DS clocks up 400,000 US sales in opening week, nearly matches month-long total for DS
- Sony ships 50 million PlayStation 3s, eight million Move controllers worldwide [#s are to retailers]
- In a separate report, Flurry estimates ios and Android's share of the mobile gaming market grew from 5% in 2009 to 10% in 2010, while portable non-phone gaming shrunk from 24% to 16% in the same period.
- You've heard the rumors about a Google Music service, but it doesn't look like it's going to happen soon. According to a source familiar with the matter, Google's negotiations with the music industry aren't going well. Describing the negotiations, words like ""broken"" and ""backwards"" are being used.
- According to mSpot's CEO Daren Tsui, you'll be able to stream movies on mSpot's movie club on the same day as the movie's DVD release. The company already works with Sprint to provide streaming movies and has its own apps for iOS, Android and BlackBerry. The only catch is there would be a limit as to how many movies you could stream per month, and the payment plans are numerous and complicated.
- Discover just introduced a person-to-person payment system called Money Messenger. All you need is a Discover card and the other person's email address or mobile phone number. The other person needs to already have or has to set up a PayPal account to get the payment. Also, since the payment is a purchase on a Discover card, the payer gets cash back rewards.
- Let's get litigious! Garen Meguerian is suing Apple on behalf of himself and other parents and guardians who got hit with in-app charges after downloading a free app subsequently used by children. The complaint is a fun read with gems like "Apple entices the child with a free download of a gaming platform that then offers the sale of irresistible Game Currency in order to enjoy the game as it was designed." Resistance is futile.
- President Obama is not too thrilled with current White House technology. While speaking at a fundraiser, Obama said, "I'm the president of the United States. Where's the fancy buttons and stuff and the big screen comes up? It doesn't happen." He went on to complain that the White House is 30 years behind in technology. Looks like all those movies and TV shows lied to us and the President about how advanced government technology is.
- Awhile back, some websites were replaced with a message from Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) saying the domain was seized. A newly released Firefox plugin called MafiaaFire will automatically redirect links of seized domains to their new sites. MafiaaFire's site says it introduced the plugin for fairness and chides the music and movie industries for the domain seizures.
- Fans of Portal 2 were incredibly excited today when a countdown from the the alternate reality game used to promote the upcoming title finally reached an end. Speculation ran rampant about what would definitely be the last phase of the game before the April 19 release of Portal. Anticipation turned to rage when another countdown was revealed that encouraged fans to buy more portal games and play them in an effort to speed up the reboot of GlaDOSS and thus hasten the release of Portal 2. I rarely say this, but bad move Valve.
- Oracle's Chief Corporate Architect Edward Screven has announced the company plans to make OpenOffice.org a purely community-based open source project, and Oracle will no longer offer a commercial version of the productivity suite. Left unsaid is whether Oracle will reach out to the LibreOffice project which split off in September after Oracle acquired Sun.
Kickers and Weird Science
- Anonymous plans Sony boycott for April 16
- File Transfer Protocol (FTP) marks its 40th anniversary on Saturday (April 16).
- The venerable network protocol was first proposed by Abhay Bhushan of MIT in April 1971 as a means to transfer large files between dissparate systems that made up ARPANet.
- Froyo-based LG Thrive gets to call itself AT&T's first prepaid smartphone, ships Sunday April 17
- Verizon eliminates its one-year contract option on April 17, so hurry up and get them while they still exist.
- And Internet Explorer 9 will get foisted on you as part of a Windows Update next week. You won't be forced into it, though. A splash screen'll let you either install, decline or delay the upgrade. You won't see any of this if you use Windows XP though. IE 9 only runs on Vista and 7.
- Just in time for Earth Day, the Samsung Replenish is shipping May 8 for $50. It comes with fully recyclable packaging and a casing that includes 34.6 percent post-consumer recycled plastic content. And there's a postage-paid envelope to recycle your old phone.
"Tom, and gang, Tthe You-tube ""Squirrel"" is actually ""Happy Tree Friends"" which is NOT kid friendly (very psychotic cartoon).You-tube must have paid A Lot of money to get the rights itself for Happy Tree friends, as I believe one of the first take downs that were issued were for ""Happy Tree Friends"". Although I agree with what you said, you missed the whole Irony of using the HTF to talk about copyright issues. I am kind of shocked that nobody knew this at Twit, as HTF was one of the first Viral videos ever. Aslo, again, not enough Amiga news -LOL -Glen"
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- Edited by: Jason
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