Tech News Today 430
Recorded: February 3, 2012
Published: February 3, 2012
Tech News Today 430: Preloaded With Love
Anonymous is listening to the FBI, Panasonic and Sharp are hurting, watch those Xooms, and more.
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- Sarah Lane ( )
- Iyaz Akhtar ( )
- Jason Howell ( )
- Darren Kitchen
- Stephen Johnson
- Anonymous 'intercept FBI and Scotland Yard phone call
- Anonymous Smashes Boston Police Department’s Website
- FBI Investigating ‘Illegally Obtained’ Conference Call On Anonymous Probe
- @AnonymousIRC tweeted: "The FBI might be curious how we're able to continuously read their internal comms for some time now."
- Anonymous has released a 16-minute long conference call recording between the FBI & UK police from January discussing Anonymous & other hacking groups, dates of planned arrests, and other details
- FBI confirmed the intercept and said in a statement “The information obtained on the call was intended for law enforcement only. It was illegally obtained and a FBI criminal investigation is underway""
- Anonymous also published an email, apparently from the FBI that went out prior to the phone call, showing the email addresses of law enforcement officials in the US, UK, Sweden, Ireland and others, inviting them to "discuss the on-going investigations related to Anonymous, Lulzsec, Antisec, and other associated splinter groups".
- British police at Scotland Yard said the matter was being investigated but that no operational risks had been identified.
- some usernames are audible in the recording, though real names appear to be bleeped
- Hackers operating under the Anonymous name also took over the website of Greece's justice ministry before officials took it offline. The hackers say they're protesting Greece's signing of a global copyright treaty and poor decisions in the current economic crisis.
- Motorola Mobility Wins Second German Ruling Against Apple
- Apple: All iPad and iPhone Models Will be Back on Sale Online in Germany Shortly
- Apple hits Samsung with 278 patent claims in revised Australian lawsuit
- Samsung 'confident' of favorable EU antitrust ruling on patents
- The Mannheim Regional Court in Germany found Apple's iCloud service infringed a Motorola patent used to synchronize e-mail accounts. The ruling holds Apple liable for damages, potentially blocks sales of devices including iPhone and iPad in Germany that use iCloud, and allows Motorola Mobility to ask for information about past device sales.
- Apple spokesperson calls this an "old pager patent" and is appealing.
- If Motorola seeks to suspend Apple product sales during the appeal, it must post 100M euros ($132M) as collateral. Common in German courts to enforce a ruling during an appeal, amount reflects the losses Apple may suffer while complying with the ruling. If Apple wins appeal, it can seek damages, recover collateral.
- Second case: Motorola wants to force an injunction it won against Apple in Germany over a cellular-communications patent that forced Apple to take down older iPhones and iPad models including iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and 3G/UMTS-based iPads its online store in Germany overnight. Another court this morning temporarily suspended this injunction. “Apple appealed this ruling because Motorola repeatedly refuses to license this patent to Apple on reasonable terms, despite having declared it an industry standard patent seven years ago.” AKA FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory)
- Unclear how long Apple has here, Florian Mueller at FOSS Patents says the suspension could stand throughout the appeals process which could keep products on shelves well over a year.
- Meanwhile in Australia Apple has expanded its patent lawsuit against Samsung include 278 claims, across 22 patents that cover 10 new products.
- Originally was 3 patents in question over the GT 10.1, which was returned to shelves in time for the holidays after a judge overturned an Apple injunction against it.
- Samsung is still trying to secure a ban on Apple’s iPhone 4S and fighting Apple over its 3G patents, requesting that the courts split the hearing into two parts in order to start the case later this month. Apple says that's too soon: case will “become chaotic with witnesses being cross-examined while still preparing evidence for the second component of the case”
- Samsung has responded to the EU antitrust investigation over whether Samsung enforcing several 3G patents violate an agreement it made to provide the patents to other companies on "fair and reasonable" terms. FRAND again. Statement "upon the scrutiny of the facts, the commission will conclude that Samsung Electronics has acted in compliance with EU competition rules."
- letter to Google penned by Chairman of the Article 29 Working Party, which constitutes representative from the data protection authority of each EU Member State,
- Google's response to Article 29 Working Party:
- "Our approach to privacy has not changed."
- "We're not collecting any new or additional data about users."
- "As you will know, we had extensively pre-briefed data protection authorities across the EU prior to the launch of our notification to users on 24 January 2012. At no stage did any EU regulator suggest that any sort of pause would be appropriate."
- In short, similar things that Google told the US Congress
- Google reps appeared before the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade
- "At the end of the day, I don't think their answers to us were very forthcoming necessarily in what this really means for the safety of our families and our children," Rep for CA & subommittee head Mary Bono Mack told reporters, according to The Hill.
- Pablo Chavez, Google's director of public policy, and Michael Yang, a Google senior counsel, tried to walk through the steps that users can follow to manage their privacy settings. But Bono Mack apparently still found the process cumbersome.
- Panasonic heading for record $10 billiion annual loss
- Sharp Forecasts Record $3.8 Billion Loss on TVs, Write-Off
- Exclusive: Sony Has Quietly Cut 100 U.S. Jobs Over Last Several Weeks
- Japan's Panasonic Corp warned of a record annual $10.2 billion net loss
- almost all due to restructuring charges and writedowns for its Sanyo Electric unit (acq'd by Panasonic in 2009).
- Panasonic trimmed its forecast for the number of flat-screen TVs it will sell by 1 million to 18 million sets.
- Panasonic President Fumio Ohtsubo dismissed any suggestion he will ditch the TV business.
- Sharp Corp. forecast its worst annual loss since it was founded a century ago, on slumping prices for its Aquos televisions, an economic slowdown and a tax charge.
- net loss in the year ending March 31 may be 290 billion yen ($3.8 billion), the Japanese electronics maker said in a statement today, reversing an earlier forecast for a profit of 6 billion yen
- Sharp said it will halve the output at its largest TV panel factory in Sakai city, Osaka prefecture.
- Yesterday, Sony announced a loss from selling TVs for an 8th consecutive year.
- AllThingsD Reports that Sony cut 100 jobs in the US
- Sources say the moves have been in the works for months and is part of a broader effort by Sony Electronics chief Phil Molyneux to reshape operations here.
- Part of a "Fit for the Future" program aimed at improving profitability, and getting consumer loyalty via revamped stores and putting its workers inside third-party retailers.
- Refurbished Motorola Xooms came with private data from previous owners
- Moto provided Xooms to woot.com last fall, and of the thousands sold, 100 were shipped out to new owners with information the previous owners had left on them, including passwords, account information, photos, and documents.
- Of the 6,200 tablets sold, Motorola announced, 100 were not fully scrubbed of data left on them by previous owners.
- Motorola is offering any customers who bought and returned the tablet from a number of retailers (Amazon.com, Best Buy, BJ’s Wholesale, eBay, Office Max, Radio Shack, Sam’s Club, or Staples) between March and October 2011 two years of membership to Experian's Protect My ID credit monitoring service.
- New Ting cell phone service turns contracts on their head
- Tucows launches Ting: cellular service with a conscience
- Ting just launched yesterday, it's an MVNO running on the Sprint network. You pay separately for each voice minute, message, and megabyte.
- At the end of the month, Ting credits whatever you don't use, and charges for any extras beyond the plan (but at a higher rate) with no additional penalty fee.
- Plans: Talk, text, and data bundles range from "XS," where you pay nothing until your bill comes in, to "XXL," which covers 3,000 minutes of talk time, 6,000 text messages, and 3G of data over 3G and 4G.
- Phone selection: a number of Android smartphones and feature phones, including the Motorola Photon 4G, LG Optimus S, and HTC Detail, a variant of the HTC Evo 4G.
- Phones must be unsubsidized and you can't use a Sprint phone on Ting.
- RIM plans to offer PlayBook to Android developers for the low low cost of Zero dollars. RIM's blog post says "the plan is to provide one free 16GB BlackBerry PlayBook to every registered BlackBerry App World vendor who converts their Android app for use on the BlackBerry PlayBook and submits it to BlackBerry App World between February 2, 2012 and February 13, 2012." So you've got a couple of days if you want a free PlayBook.
- Stm Labs announced its developing a new Linux distro for the Raspberry Pi $25 computer and it's Raspbmc - a variant of XBMC optimized for the super-affordable PC. The distro has some cool features including PVR support, AirPlay support, NFS and SMB file sharing and it's open source. XBMC is not involved in Raspbmc however.
- The Pew Research Internet Project just published a report that says women use Facebook more than men. Women update their Facebook status 11 times a month and men only 6. Women also commented more on other people's status updates.
- Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom lost his appeal for bail. Even thought his defense tried to explain Dotcom would not flee, the court still thinks he's an extreme flight risk. He'll be back in court February 22nd.
- Seamus Blackley, co-creator of the Xbox and president of the startup Innovative Leisure are partnering with a team of former Atari designers to make games for the iPhone and iPad. passionately believes that gameplay will triumph in the game business. That is why he and his new startup are relying on a team of famous designers from Atari to make a series of games for the Apple iPhone and iPad. Blackley explains “We are looking at the new arcade, and 99 cents on the iPhone is the new quarter."
- Remember (Kelly Hos) Kelihos, AKA Hlux, that 41,000-computer stong botnet that Microsoft and Kaspersky Lab took down in September? It's baaaaack. In a blog post, Kaspersky Lab explains that the sinkholing strategy originally used to take down Kelihos provided a quick fix but “It is not very effective if the botnet’s masters are still at large.” Changes in encryption and packaging of the botnet's messages mean that sinkholing is no longer effective, and a new sinkhole would have to address these changes. If the botnet master has a list of active router IPs, he or she still hold the cards.
- The US Military's going Android! Sources says at least some officials this year will receive smartphones capable of handling classified government documents over cellular networks, running modified Android software, which is being developed as part of an initiative that spans multiple federal agencies and government contractors.
- Apple updated its iBooks Author app and the only change is an updated End User License Agreement. This new EULA makes clear that only the the work with the extension .ibooks is being limited to the Apple iBooks Store and that works not in that format are not covered by the EULA which means authors are free to publish their works anywhere without fear that Apple will try to pull something.
- Sad day - Micron's CEO died today. Steve Appleton, the company's chief executive and chairman, died Friday morning in a small plane accident
- In lighter news, Skype's 5.8 software update for Windows is out and brings some new goodies: HD video calls, Facebook video calls, and if you pay for Skype Premium, group screen sharing.
- Good news, Windows Phone users of the world! Microsoft announced the launch of the Windows Marketplace in five additional countries: Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru and the Philippines
- SuperBowl's on Sunday and for the first time the NFL is streaming the game on NBCSports.com and NFL.com in the U.S. The game will also be available on Verizon's NFL Mobile app.
- On Monday, February 6th, Lillyhammer - a Netflix original program debuts. All episodes should be available at the same time.
"Re. Google Android 'bouncer' (TNT #429)
I don't know about Android's Dalvik Virtual Machine, but bytecode destined for the Java Virtual Machine has to be highly deterministic. In layman's terms: it's possible to predict things like how data structures will be accessed, and how the 'stack' holding local data will resize between entering and exiting each code portion. (Indeed, by default, the JVM actually traces all potential paths through web applets before they run, to guard against unauthorised activity.) This predictability makes it easier to understand how an app is using data; for example, to assert that a given network message contains data originating from a key press. Of course, this doesn't betray the intent of the behaviour -- broadcasting keypresses might be fine for an instant messaging app, but deeply suspicious for a screen saver. One assumes the app's marketplace category might determine what counts as dubious, and what does not(?)
So, unlike some software platforms, Java makes it that bit easier to do analysis of code behaviour using software alone -- potentially!! -- but the Bouncer still has to guess whether the intent is malicious. Perhaps that's why Google's blog made reference to previous known app malware..? :)
Simon Liverpool, UK"
- ad times: :53-1:02 and 23:15-24:53
- Edited by: Jason
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