Tech News Today 308

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Tech News Today
Episode 308

Tech News Today 308: Apple Pokes Hard

Amazon conquers world, secret of fanbois unlocked, Google and Facebook spat gets vicious, and more.

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  • Amazon is retail king, reaching 1 in 5 Web users
  • Amazon releases secure cloud for government
    • Amazon Web Services (AWS) today announced AWS GovCloud, designed to allow U.S. government agencies and contractors to move more sensitive workloads into the cloud by addressing their specific regulatory and compliance requirements.
    • U.S. Treasury's Recovery Accountability and Transparency board, which hosts Recovery.gov and Treasury.gov on AWS, as well as NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which processes telemetry data and high-resolution images on an array of EC2 cluster compute instances.
    • Data regulations like ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) have prevented use of cloud because it wasn't limited only to US persons. this region is logically and physically accessible only from US
    • AWS security controls and certifications such as FISMA, FIPS 140-2 compliant end points, SAS-70, ISO 27001, and PCI DSS Level 1
    • 1 in 5 users worldwide visited Amazon in June according to ComScore
    • eBay, which reached 16% of the global Internet population, and China’s Alibaba.com Corporation, which drew 156 million visitors, or 11% of the global Internet population.
    • In US, Amazon was third behind Wal-Mart and HP. Amazon strong in Europe and Asia.
  • Apple Sued by 27,000 South Koreans
    • This morning some 27,000 South Koreans sued Apple, alleging its iPhones illegally collected and stored their location data for a year. The suit seeks one million won (about $936) in damages per class member.
    • Attorney Kim Hyung-suk, won a similar case against Apple in June.
    • Previously Korean Communications Commission fined Apple for collecting users' location data without permission
    • A file on iPhones had cached location data and was discovered in April.
    • Apple changed the behavior of the file in May and has avoided litigation in other countries.
  • Google alleges that Facebook is blocking links to Google+
  • Report: Facebook Exec Takes Jab at Google+
    • Google alleges that Facebook posts containing a link enabling the recipient to sign up for Google+ aren’t always getting posted.
    • The link works fine when you put it on a blog or send it out in your Twitter feed. But when you send it out on Facebook, something weird sometimes happens.
    • Bradley Horowitz, a vice president at Google who works on Google+, and another Google executive, Vic Gundotra, posted a video on their Google+ feed that appears to demonstrate this.
    • “We have seen the video but have been unable to replicate the experience it shows.” The statement goes on to say that Facebook’s news-feed feature is an automated system that evaluates hundreds of factors and then “decides what to display to you and what to filter.” The statement goes on to say that its system is designed to block spam, and that “links have a history of the most abuse and are given the most scrutiny. As a result of all of these factors, a given link may be shown or filtered to people differently at different times.”
    • According to CNN, Sean Ryan, Facebook's director of game partnerships, recently took a stab at the number of people on Google+. "Google is at five percent because they don't have any users," he said."Google has emulated aspects of our system, which is what they have the right to do. We just need to be better."

Discussion Stories

  • Apple Mulling Sharp Adjustment in LCD Screen Supply
    • MF Global FXA Securities analyst David Rubenstein says Apple is considering a $1 billion investment in a Sharp LCD plant.
    • “We think it is highly possible that Apple will make an investment in Sharp’s Kameyama plant to the tune of around US$1 billion in order to secure a stable supply of screens for iPhones and iPads.,”
    • Samsung PLS display is 1280 x 768 and rumoured to be the iPad's 'retina display'
    • reportedly, Apple spent nearly $5.7b on Samsung parts in 2010
  • Fanbois treat criticism of favorite brands as threat to self-image
    • according to a recently published study out of the University of Illinois, fans may defend criticisms of favorite brands because they view them as a threat to their self image. The study, which will be published in the next issue of the Journal of Consumer Psychology, examines the strength of consumer-brand relationships, concluding that those who have more knowledge of and experience with a brand are more personally impacted by incidents of brand "failure."
    • The researchers performed two experiments, one on a group of 30 women and another on 170 undergraduate students. Those who had high self-brand connections (SBC)—that is, those who follow, research, or simply like a certain brand—were the ones whose self esteem suffered the most when their brands didn't do well or were criticized. Those with low SBC remained virtually unaffected on a personal level.
    • those with high self-brand connections [those who like a brand] tend to discount negative news about their favorite brands, and sometimes even ignore it altogether in favor of happier thoughts.
    • From the study's abstract: "We argue that consumers with high self-brand connections (SBC) respond to negative brand information as they do to personal failure — they experience a threat to their positive self-view."
  • Tiered pricing comes to the Internet backbone
    • You request a website not on your ISP's network or a network it peers with. So the ISP pays another for "transit" which allows your request to make it and get data back.
    • Transit deals are usually flat Mbps ""blended rate"" deals. Sometimes the traffic is off-net for the transit provider, which carries extra costs.
    • A new paper from Georgia Tech and Stanford researchers argues this approach is inefficient. Less-costly transit subsidizes costlier transit.
    • Just charging more for off net traffic isn't optimal. Tracking every bit is too complex and costly overhead.
    • ISP reaps most of the profit possible with infinitesimally fine-grained tiers using only two or three tiers, assuming that those two or three tiers are structured to account for demand and cost to deliver.
    • The reason for all this bit wrangling? Costs of transit have fallen an average of 30% a year. Sadly that is not translating into monthly consumer price drops for end users.

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"I know I'm a bit late to the game on this one, but a few weeks back there was a lot of buzz about Google+ not allowing user name pseudonyms. During that discussion there was a brief mention of possible solutions involving user name verification and I was surprised that I never heard any mention of the verification system that is already in place for knol.google.com. At one point in time it was even integrated into the generic Profiles view where it placed a green circle/check mark on verified profiles. But now this only shows up when you view a user profile through the knol interface. (Here's a link to my knol profile in case you need an example)

It has been a while since I verified my account, but if memory serves me correctly, it was a quick and painless process involving a $0.00 transaction on my credit card. (Though this blog entry from lifehacker seems to indicate that there was a telephone verification option available as well)

Why they aren't putting it to use on Google+ is beyond me.

David Woodward"


"Hey TNT Crew,

I just wanted to comment on the story you ran on yesterday's episode of TNT about FOX and ABC delaying their shows by 8 days. Other networks have been doing the same for quite some time now and the 8 day delay is fine. The problem is that there's no consistency in these types of policies.

When I cut the cord nearly 2 years ago my wife and I had 2 or 3 shows every night we wanted to make sure we caught the new episodes of on our DVR. At that time it was fairly easy to watch all of them day after they aired online, so to save some money I cut the chord and plugged my PC into my big screen. As its gotten more and more complicated we've started giving up on shows. We've gone from following 15 - 20 series during down to 3.


At this point our evenings are filled with other activities now, video games, card games, internet surfing, or socializing with friends. Our TV hours have decreased dramatically and we're ok with that. The content providers want to play games with us, so we'll just go play games without them.

-Mike Thies Otego, NY"

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Production Information

  • Edited by: Jason
  • Notes:
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