Tech News Today 367
Recorded: November 8, 2011
Published: November 8, 2011
Tech News Today 367: Apple Needs Charlie
Nobody wants WebOS, iOS app store insecure, self-checkout moves from groceries to Apple store, and more.
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- Tom Merritt ( )
- Sarah Lane ( )
- Iyaz Akhtar ( )
- Jason Howell ( )
- Sarah Houghton
- Exclusive: HP to hold all-hands meeting tonight, fate of webOS likely to be decided
- WebOS Sale Rumors Return; Oracle Named As Potential Buyer From HP
- Some surprises on list of firms reportedly mulling webOS purchase
- Hewlett-Packard Close to Deciding webOS Unit’s Fate
- Reuters: HP considering selling WebOS to Amazon, Research In Motion, IBM, Oracle [Mark Hurd] and Intel.
- Verge: all-hands meeting tonight 4:30 PM Pacific — led by Meg Whitman
- Arik Hesseldahl of ATD checked with sources, IBM and Oracle said no way.
- Intel teaming up with Samsung on Tizen.
- Reuters reports hundreds of millions asked. HP paid $1.2 billion
- Firefox 8 cracks down on add-ons
- Firefox 8 Now Officially Available, Includes Built-In Twitter Search
- Firefox 8 released with integrated Twitter search, other improvements
- third-party add-ons will be disabled by default
- A dialog box will appear once after the new browser is installed that lets people select which add-ons to enable or disable.
- Twitter is now an option for Firefox's search bar, letting people more easily find Twitter hashtags (keywords beginning with the ""#"" character, such as #fail) and Twitter usernames.
- updated Firefox for Android, which offers password management and support for saving bookmarks to the device’s homescreen.
- load tabs on demand (via the Menu –> Options/Preferences, General Tab), a feature that makes it faster to restore windows with many tabs
- support for Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS), which allows developers to load WebGL textures more securely.
- iPhone Security Bug Lets Innocent-Looking Apps Go Bad
- Apple kicks researcher out of iOS dev program for exploiting security flaw, Microsoft swoops in
- Charlie Miller, research consultant with Accuvant, and former NSA revealed a security hole in iOS introduced with iOS 4.3 that allows running of unsigned code
- Miller's Instastock app was used as an example. It contains no malicious code but can be used as a vector.
- Keeping details under wraps until SyScan conference Nov. 17th in Taiwain in order to give Apple time for a patch
- App has been removed from the app store and Miller has been struck from developer rolls
- Only can get the unsigned payload at install
- Reserve items, check yourself out with the Apple Store 2.0 app
- Apple Rolls Out Revamped Retail iOS App
- Buy Mac, iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, or iPad and pick up in an hour
- With Iphone 4 and 4S you can use the app to scan select accessories and use EasyPay to self-checkout while in the store.
- Also you can check if items are in stock
- Google's Schmidt: Android 'started before the iPhone effort'
- Google's Schmidt Insists Android Will Remain Open
- Re Jobs accusing Google of ripping off Android: "As a general comment, I think most people would agree that Google is a great innovator and I would also point out that the Android effort started before the iPhone effort."
- Android Inc. was founded by Andy Rubin in 2003. In 2005, Google acquired the company and hired Rubin to lead the development of the operating system.
- Regarding Motorola: "In general, with all of our partners, we told them that the Motorola deal will close and we will run it sufficiently and independently, that it will not violate the openness of Android...we're not going to change in any material way the way we operate,"
- News Conference on Tuesday in South Korea
- Union: AT&T/T-Mobile merger will create 100,000 jobs
- DOJ ready to take ATT to court: Attorney General
- The Communications Workers of America says ATT-T-Mobile merger would create an additional 96,000 jobs, alongside the 5,000 outsourced jobs AT&T has pledged to bring back.
- SprintNextel has their own study from David Neumark, a professor at the University of California at Irvine, saying there would be thousands of jobs losses.
- CWA called such studies "sloppy research and the inability to distinguish between the change in the number of wireline and wireless jobs"
- Sprint called the statement a distratcion from the main issue of "higher prices, fewer choices, and lower-quality products for mobile wireless services"
- "CWA is simply trying to reheat stale leftovers," said S. Derek Turner, a director at media reform group Free Press. Claims it doesn't accoutn for T-Mobile losing jobs.
- The Justice Department's antitrust division is prepared to take AT&T Inc to court to stop its acquisition of T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom AG, Attorney General Eric Holder told Seanators on Tuesday.
- Develop reports that Nintendo aims to bring support for at least two touchscreen controllers to the Wii U. When originally announced, Nintendo stated that the Wii U would support only one of those controllers. Develop cites "a trusted game development executive" who says there is multi-controller indications in the Wii U codebase. The source also said there is very little chance a Wii U could support 4 controllers.
- Consumer Reports reviewed the iPhone 4S and now recommends Apple's latest phone. The iPhone 4 did not get recommended by the magazine because of its antenna issues, but those antenna issues are not a problem on the redesigned iPhone 4S. That doesn't mean the iPhone is perfect - Samsung's Galaxy S II line of phones and Motorola's Droid Bionic both are ranked higher over the iPhone 4S.
- AT&T, the good guys that they are, introduced a new app called "AT&T Call International" that allows users to make low cost calls overseas via VoIP. As an example, you'll be able to call the UK or China for 4 cents a minute. The app will work on the iPhone and some Android and BlackBerry devices. AT&T has full information including a list of supported devices at Callinternational.att.com
- Twitter web users may be seeing some changes on their front page because Twitter is rolling out the Activity and @Username tabs that it announced back in August. The Activity tab is kind of like the Facebook News Feed where you will see your what your friends are favoriting or who they are following. The @Username tab replaces the Mentions and Retweet tabs. Apparently, Twitter is still tweaking the tabs as some users have seen them appear, then disappear.
- The Supreme Court of the United States started hearing arguments over the constitutionality of secretly placing GPS devices on vehicles without a warrant. While trying to determine where the line is on the the right to privacy, Chief Justice John Roberts asked Deputy Solicitor General Dreeben if the government could attach GPS tracking devices to the vehicles of the nine justices. Dreeben responded yes. Lower courts have made conflicting rulings on legality of the matter and the Supreme Court aims to clear it all up.
- Five counties in Oregon will use iPads to register votes. The AP reports that Apple donated 5 iPads and the state spent $75,000 on software that would allow people who could not make it to the polls to choose their candidate. Election workers would bring an iPad and portable printer to places like nursing homes and community centers. The iPad allows for font sizes to be increased or can speak the candidates names to voters with poor vision. After the voter chooses, a ballot will be printed, then stuffed into an envelope because Oregon allows for mail-in ballots for all residents.
- Speaking go to Bloomberg West, VP of Product at Google+ Bradley Horowitz said "We are delighted to be underestimated" in response to Mark Zuckerberg calling Google+ a "little version of Facebook." Horowitz also discussed the potential for Hangouts as it will allow brands to put a face to a company. Google posted some information important for brand pages - "no contests, sweepstakes offers, coupons or other such promotions" are allowed on their Google+ Page, but an outbound link is fine, though.
- On to the Patent Wars: Rapid Style! Microsoft is currently in talks with China's Huawei [wa-way] for royalties on its Android devices. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that Barnes and Noble has asked the Department of Justice to investigate Microsoft's patent-licensing scheme saying Microsoft is raising "rival's costs in order to drive out competition." Lastly, LG has signed a patent deal with Intellectual Ventures - if that name sounds familiar, Intellectual Ventures is currently suing Motorola, Dell and others.
- Honda Asimo slims down, grows up and goes it alone - can speed walk (doesn't run b/c both feet don't leave the ground), hop on one foot, jump, open containers with fingers
- Verizons double data plan for 4G phones launches today BUT - it's only for "existing customers who have upgraded their service or purchased a 4G smartphone within the last 14 days."
- Republic Wireless has launched their $19 unlimited Wireless plan which makes use of wireless connections whenever possible to keep data loads lighter. but has some limitations -their "fair use threshold" will hover around 550 minutes, 150 texts, and roughly 300 megabytes of data. Cross that too frequently and you're booted.
- Ad-Tech NY at Javits Center kicked off today and runs til the 10th
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus for T-Mobile available November 16th for $249.99 'down payment' - after signing on to a two year contract and waiting for a $50 mail-in rebate. Oh, that contract includes an extra clause, too: "20 interest free monthly payments of $10," for a grand total of $449.99.
"I think Tom is under estimating the value added for Nook buyers.
My father bought a Nook. When you go to B&N they have a nice big Nook display at the front of the store. Usually they have someone that can answer questions there as well and to the side is a lot of covers and such. Over all it is an almost Apple Store like experience for people.
As silly as it seems to you and I they also offer classes. All and all it is a very customer service oriented and friendly way for people to get into a tablet.
Yes the Kindle is available at Target and I think Walmart but it is usually behind glass. You can look at it but their is nobody to ask questions and no classes offered.
The Kindle Fire is for the Amazon user, it is for people that are comfortable with the online world. The Nook is for people that want a lot of hand holding and help."
I was catching up on the shows and I wanted to chime in on the debate between the new Nook Color and the Kindle Fire from episode 365. I really don’t think the Fire will dominate over the Nook Color like Sarah predicted, because people still want the ability to touch and play with a device before they buy. It's important to have someone nearby in the store if customers have questions or problems with their device. What would be the process for Amazon? You would have to call their customer service number and go through the roll-a-dex of questions. Fun...Fun. Yes, the customer could go to Target for help, but the people there would not be able to get technical with the device.
We visit the local B&N all the time, and there is always a small class on the Nook devices or a representative is demoing them. I think most typical customers would be willing to pay $50 more to have the security of a physical person to help them out. Also B&N has in-store promotional items that you can download to the Nooks. I have a Nook Color and I love it.
In my opinion, the only real difference in the devices is the Kindle has Amazon App Store and the video rental option. I have to be honest, I don't use either service from Amazon. I only use the Amazon App Store for the free app of the day. So I guess it will come down to personal preference, but I think the sales for both will be almost even. My wife and I very territorial, so we will keep buying the Nooks.
Eric from Denver."
Just a quick word about the Sony Limiting downloads to 2 machines , I work for a Video games retailer in the UK and think i know the main reason for this...
Map-Packs! not Games
On the 360 console Call of duty (example) map packs are locked to the account buying the maps, On the PS3 they are not, so say 20 friends play Call of Duty on the ps3, only 1 of them buys the map pack, then goes round all his friends and downlaods them to their machine's for free. I know this happens because we have customers come in gloating about how they have done so. This means Sony and say Activision has lost out on 19 sales of Map packs at £11.99 a time ....... Soon adds up! im sure Activision has been pressing for this change for years
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- Edited by: Jeff
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