Tech News Today 419
Recorded: January 19, 2012
Published: January 19, 2012
Tech News Today 419: FBI Reaches Down Under
Megaupload thrown in irons, Apple eliminates need for schools, why XBox is better than Windows, and more.
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- Tom Merritt ( )
- Sarah Lane ( )
- Iyaz Akhtar ( )
- Jason Howell ( )
- Kathleen Fitzpatrick
- FBI charges Megaupload operators with piracy crimes
- APNewsBreak: Feds shut down file-sharing website
- Megaupload shut down by feds, seven charged, four arrested
- Justice Department calls MegaUpload an 'international organized criminal enterprise,' founder Kim Dotcom arrested in New Zealand
- Surprising New Figure in the Piracy Wars? Swizz Beatz, Megaupload.com’s Secret CEO
- New Zealand arrests in US led global copyright infringement investigation of Megaupload.com and related sites.
- Anonymous takes down DOJ website in response to Megaupload case
- FBI indicted 7 and arrested 4 (including leader Kim "Dotcom" Schmitz and Kim Tim Jim Vestor, 37, a resident of Hong Kong and New Zealand) in New Zealand. Founder Mathias Ortman, Finn Batao, and developer Bram van der Kolk
- charged in Eastern District of Virginia, which claimed jurisdiction in part because some of the alleged pirated materials were hosted on leased servers in Ashburn, Va. with crimes related to online piracy, including racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, and conspiring to commit money laundering.
- New Zealand police, "executed provisional arrest warrants requested by the United States,"
- Authorities say that Dotcom founded Megaupload and is the director and sole shareholder of Vestor Limited, which has been used to hold his ownership interests in the Mega-affiliated sites.
- The FBI worked with authorities from New Zealand, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Canada, Germany, the UK and the Phillipines, and in concert with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement on the case.
- Swizz Beatz, husband to Alicia Keys and producer-in-residence at NYU, also happens to be the CEO of Megaupload.com.
- Anonymous DDoSing DoJ in response to Megaupload arrests
- Apple announces iBooks 2, iBooks Author to "reinvent textbooks"
- Apple launches iBooks 2 digital textbooks
- Apple's iBooks 2 and iBooks Author announcements raise questions about hardware, content
- Apple's education announcement: what you need to know
- Apple’s New Math. Or: Why A $15 eBook Equals a $75 Paper Book
- Apple: 20,000 Education iPad Apps Developed; 1.5 Million Devices In Use At Schools
- Apple Move Will Spark Flurry Of New Companies, Content In Education Market
- The Unprecedented Audacity of the iBooks Author EULA
- Kathleen Fitzpatrick's reflections on the Apple iBooks 2 event
- iBooks2 - multiple-choice questions with immediate feedback within the text, the ability to make notes and highlights that can be found in a single location as note cards or sprinkled throughout the text, ways to explore embedded graphics and 3D animations, full-motion movies, and more. Book price capped at $14.99
- iTunesU app - download full courses from Apple's iTunes U section on iTunes and view them in an easy-to-use manner.
- partnerships with a host of major textbook makers, including Pearson, McGraw Hill, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
- Apple works with school districts on purchases and leases
- authors will be subject to the same App Store approval process as developers. Writers can offer their books for free, or for as much as $14.99 -- the same price cap for textbooks sold in the store. And, like developers, authors must agree to a 70/30 revenue split, with writers pocketing 70 percent after Apple takes its share.
- EULA on iBooks Author limits your distribution options if you charge for your book.
- "if your Work is provided for a fee (including as part of any subscription-based product or service), you may only distribute the Work through Apple and such distribution is subject to the following limitations and conditions: (a) you will be required to enter into a separate written agreement with Apple (or an Apple affiliate or subsidiary) before any commercial distribution of your Work may take place..."
- Facebook adds over 60 new apps with auto-share
- The Most Interesting Uses of Facebook’s New Open Graph
- Facebook Open Graph launches with 60 new partners, brings new verbs to Timeline
- Support for 60 new apps for "Frictionless sharing"
- Ticketmaster, Foodily, Pinterest
- Fab.com will actually pay users for opting in to share their purchase activity. For the first five months, Fab users who opt into the Facebook social shopping integration will get $10 of credits per month.
- listen to music on an Open Graph application like Spotify, Ticketmaster automatically detects (with your permission) and tells you when those artists are next playing in your town.
- Coming soon: Foodspotting will show on a map all the food you’ve recorded, and Kobo will make pretty charts and timelines of your reading activity.
- Also coming soon: more apps
- Update on what Congresspeople have changed SOPA/PIPA support stance
- SOPA protest by the numbers: 162M pageviews, 7 million signatures
- On PIPA, Senate in talks to yank search
- A whip count by OpenCongress found 35 supporters (including 34 co-sponsors), 18 opponents, and 12 more Senators leaning toward opposition. About 35 Senators have not committed to a position
- 162 Million people saw the Wikipedia protest message, 8 million looked up contact info
- Google had 13 million people visit their SOPA page and got 7 million signatures on their petition
- The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a liberal advocacy group, logged 200,000 signatures on its petition. The organization also says more than 30,000 Craigslist users called Congress through the the PCCC's website.
- Demonstrations in NYC, San Francisco and elsewhere
- Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) are in discussions to exempt search-result blocking from the PROTECT IP Act
- Here is the full list of new opponents. An * indicates a former co-sponsor.
- Roy Blunt (R-MO) *
- John Boozman (R-AR) *
- Scott Brown (R-MA)
- Ben Cardin (D-MD) *
- John Cornyn (R-TX)
- Jim DeMint (R-SC)
- Orrin Hatch (R-UT) *
- James Inhofe (R-OK)
- Mark Kirk (R-IL)
- Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
- Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
- Marco Rubio (R-FL) *
- Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
- David Vitter (R-LA)*
- Tom Coburn (R-OK)
- Pat Toomey (R-PA)
- Mike Johanns (R-NE)
- Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)*
- Mark Begich (D-AK)
- Kodak files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
- Kodak Sues Samsung in Next Step on ‘Aggressive’ Patent Path
- Apple Seeks ‘Clarifying Language’ on Patents in Kodak Loan
- Kodak announced that it's filed for Chapter 11 reorganization
- Chairman Antonio Perez reiterates in the press release that the company's remaining value is in intellectual property, particularly printing technologies and image capture patents.
- Owes $12 million to Nokia for IP royalties
- Kodak had $5.1 billion in assets and $6.75 billion in debt as of September 30th, 2011.
- Sued Samsung: Galaxy tablet infringes technology for capturing and sending digital images. (5 patents in all)
- no security interests or liens will attach to patents that Apple owns and has asserted claims on until the court resolves the ownership dispute between it and Kodak.
- Amazon Kindle Fire: More Profitable Than Expected?
- RBC Capital analyst Ross Sandler surveyed 216 Kindle Fire owners
- Our analysis assigns a cumulative lifetime operating income per unit of $136, with a cumulative operating margin of over 20%
- Twitter just bought Summify, the news aggregating service that created summaries of news from your social networks. Summify will no longer register new accounts and removing all its features before shutting down. The Summify team will join Twitter in San Francisco, but there's no mention when and if Summify-like features will be integrated into twitter.
- AT&T is set to introduce some new data plans with higher prices, but along with the higher prices are higher data caps. The lowest tier plan is now $20 and give you 300MB. Mid-range users can get 3GB for $30 per month and the highest-end plan is $50 for 5GB. The older plans were $5 cheaper but offered less data. If you have an older plan, you can stick to it. The new rates are for new customers and those who opt in.
- Nike introduced its FuelBand, a wristband device that tracks fitness metrics. The system uses what Nike calls "NikeFuel" which tracks via rate of oxygen consumption and motion. The band will work with the iPhone, with an Android app coming soon. It'll cost $150 and be available in the U.S. on February 22nd, May 1st for the U.K. and the rest of the world can use the FuelBand in the fall.
- Israeli hackers, IDF Team, took down Arab banking sites, Arab Bank and the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates. Another Israeli group calling itself "Nuclear" posted credit card information of 4,800 Saudi Arabian accounts on Wednesday. The IDF attack is thought to be a retaliation for the hacks to El Al airlines and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
- Sony Ericsson reported a €247 Million pre-tax loss for its fourth quarter. The company says the loss is due to "intense competition, price erosion and restructuring charges." Ericsson is still scheduled to receive €1.05 billion once Sony buys out its stake in the joint venture. The deal is set to close by February.
- McAffee disclosed two vulnerabilities to one of its products - SaaS for Total Protection - that would allow for someone to execute code via an ActiveX control. McAffee says that it has seen no evidence of data loss due to these vulnerabilities. The patch is rolling out now and will be applied automatically.
- Speaking to TrustedReivews, ZTE exec Santiago Sierra let slip that the company pays between $23 and $30 for a Windows Phone license. Reportedly, Samsung and HTC pay a much lower price at around $10 to $15. TheVerge contacted ZTE for a reaction to the price difference, but haven't received a response.
- Intel is offering insurance called "Performance Tuning Protection Plan" that currently applies to only five CPUs. If your CPU dies due to overheating, Intel will replace your processor for $20 to $35 depending on your processor model. The policy lasts three years and applies to retail boxed CPUs. You can buy the policy for a year after you buy the processor.
- Dave Cutler, lead developer of Windows NT, has moved on to the Xbox team at Microsoft. According to Mary Jo Foley's sources Cutler was "done" working on Windows Azure and wanted a new challenge. A Microsoft spokesperson said that Cutler will help make the Xbox more than a game console and into a "complete home entertainment device."
- Microsoft earnings meet expectations as Windows sales dip, Servers and Games offset. revenue of $20.89 billion for its fiscal second quarter that ended December 31, a 5 percent jump from the year-ago period. Operating income fell 2 percent to $7.99 billion. Earnings per share came in at 78 cents. Analysts had expected Microsoft to post $20.9 billion in revenue and earnings per share of 76 cents, according to Thomson Reuters.
- eBay reports jump in its profits
- eBay reported its Q4 2011 financials and they did quite well. Net income was $1.98 billion, up from $559 million last year. Some of that money came from selling its remaining stake in Skype, however not counting the Microsoft money, eBay still made $789 million.
- earnings per share were $4.62 per share (up 11 percent) for the quarter. Net income for the quarter was $5.5 billion, up 4 percent for the quarter, with revenue coming in at $29.5 billion, up 2 percent from the previous year. Sales missed but prfit beat expectations
- Google Comes Up Short In Q4 Earnings - EPS of $9.50 and net revenue of $8.13 billion. Google surpassed $10 billion in revenue for the first time in the company’s history AND HEY! 90 Million on Google +!
- Google Announces Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2011 Results
- Somehow, Intel Beats the Street -- Sales for the fourth quarter came in at $13.9 billion, and per share earnings were 64 cents, for a net of $3.4 billion. For the full year Intel finished with sales of $54 billion and a net of $12.9 billion and EPS of $2.39, all of them records.
- Rdio officially launches in Australia and New Zealand! Live for a week. The web-only plan apparently costs AUD$8.90, while mobile access will set you back AUD$12.90 Australian a month.
- EU to decide on Google, Motorola Mobility deal Feb 13
- Virgin Mobile will begin throttling data speeds on March 23rd. Each month that a user exceeds 2.5GB of data usage, they'll have their downloads capped at 256Kbps for the remainder of the billing cycle.
- after exceeding 2.5GB of data usage, speeds will drop to 256Kbps, but you'll be able to start a new month of service immediately to get your speeds back with a new data cap. If you hit 2.5GB, you'll get a text notification.
"Subject: Tracking SOPA & PIPA
I'm not sure if you've mentioned this site before, but Govtrack.us is a great resource to track legislation being considered by the US Congress.
The site includes full text of the bills, summaries and status..Additional resources on the site; Status of the bill, committees assigned and 'Related Legislation'.
The related legislation section is particularly interesting showing SOPA and PIPA are simply the latest & more well known bills related to online piracy, copyright & intellectual property.
The tech community must stay engaged in the political/legislative process if they want to ensure bills similar to SOPA/PIPA are not brought to the Congress in the future..Engagement in the process cannot be limited to online protest it must include voting, contacting members of Congress and talking with the MPAA, RIAA and others who (in their minds at least) have legitimate concerns regarding piracy and intellectual property rights..
Here are links to the information on SOPA & PIPA
- David Garcia"
In the discussions about the actual damage that piracy causes, one thing that I rarely here discussed is the actual value of the content. To me, it feels like music labels, book publishers, movie studios, etc, are almost using piracy to ignore the market. When music sales start to drop, it never seems to be considered that the music might not be as valuable as it was (because it's not as good, because there's more things fighting for our free time, and so on) but rather it is the fault of piracy. ""No, our content is just as valuable as it was ten years ago! It's piracy that is causing our drop in sales!""
- ad times: :35-:44 and 19:37-21:23
- Edited by: Jason
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