Tech News Today 441
Recorded: February 21, 2012
Published: February 21, 2012
Tech News Today 441: OG 4G
PlayBook gets it's update a year late, Comcast squares off against Netflix, is MS Office coming to the iPad?, and more.
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- Tom Merritt ( )
- Sarah Lane ( )
- Iyaz Akhtar ( )
- Jason Howell ( )
- Mark Milian
- BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 software available for download
- BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 now ready for download
- New PlayBook 2.0 commercials show off smartphone to tablet integration, native email
- Android App Player on BlackBerry Q & A - Answers to the *Tough* Questions!
- BlackBerry Android RunTime
- Today RIM announced that BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 software is now available for download.
- a unified inbox that along with your work and personal e-mail includes messages from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
- Calendar and Contact too
- updated BlackBerry Bridge app, display documents, Web pages, e-mails and photos that appear on your BlackBerry smartphone. Phone can also be used as a wireless keyboard
- New video store
- Developers who are registered with BlackBerry App World are eligible for a 16 GB Playbook if they port their application and submit it to BlackBerry's App World between Feb. 2 and Feb. 13. RIM is requiring that applications meet its BlackBerry App World Vendor Guidelines.
- Android Apps on PlayBook
- You can use the BlackBerry Runtime for Android apps to run Android 2.3.3 platform applications on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. To use the runtime, you must first repackage your Android applications to BAR file format, which is the compatible file format required for an application to run on the BlackBerry Tablet OS.
- New $199 Nook Tablet to compete with Fire
- Nook Tablet 8GB official at $199, Nook Color price down to $169
- Barnes & Noble 2012 Q3 Report: loss-making Nook generates sales, tears
- Barnes & Noble Misses Estimates, Though In-Store Sales Rise Slightly
- Barnes & Noble Delivers New 8GB Tablet, Disappointing Earnings
- E Ink lands 6-inch color e-book reader module orders from Amazon, says paper
- $199 Nook Tablet with 8GB of memory. ($50 cheaper with 1/2 memory of prev. matches Fire)
- Nook Color e-reader, which will now cost $169.
- earnings today, saw sales rise 5 percent year over year to $2.44 billion. However, profit fell 14 percent from a year ago to $52 million, or 71 cents a share.
- $1.49 billion (up two percent) in high-street retail, online sales took $420 million (up 32 percent year-on-year) and the Nook in all its forms and glories took $542 million (up 38 percent) Digital purchases increased 85%
- the company believes the device currently holds around 30 percent of the overall e-reader market
- For the full fiscal year, Barnes & Noble is still looking at substantial losses, between $1.10 to $1.40 per share (roughly $60 to $80 million).
- CEO William Lynch said in an investor call today that apps are the company’s fastest-growing content area, and “within apps it’s entertainment, movies, Netflix, games, kids.”
- Microsoft Office for iPad expected in coming weeks
- Microsoft Office for iPad spotted in the wild, coming soon?
- Microsoft Office for iPad: Separating fact from fiction
- "Leaked" Office iPad app seems questionable, and Microsoft is staying mum
- Microsoft Disputes Report of Office for iPad
- The Daily Stands By The iPad Office Pic And Story
- Original Story:
- The Daily reports Microsoft will soon submit Office for iPad for Apple's App Store approval.
- The Daily also got a hands-on of a "working prototype" saying the interface is like OneNote, with "hints of Metro"
- This version of Office would include Word, Excel, and Powerpoint
- Files can be created and edited locally and online
- No Android version
- Initial Reaction:
- The Verge says it understands "that Microsoft's Mac Business Unit has been working on Office for iPad"
- MJF pointed out this sounds very similar to Office 15 for WOA
- Ars Technica's Jacqui Cheng couldn't confirm Office for iPad with the site's sources
- noted that there's no Mac Business Unit branding
- Also noted that 3-apps is not the norm for apps on iOS
- Microsoft Responds:
- A Microsoft spokesperson contacted MJF and said the screen shot accompanying The Daily’s story is not a picture of a real Microsoft software product.
- The spokesperson also said Microsoft is declining to comment as to whether or not the company has developed a version of Office for the iPad and/or when such a product may come to market.
- “The Daily story is based on inaccurate rumors and speculation,” Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw told AllThingsD. “We have no further comment.”
- Daily gives a statement to TechCrunch:
- "We’ve been chasing this story down for weeks. We did not fabricate the image and Microsoft isn’t denying the existence of Office for iPad. All this fuss over a photo is nonsense. The story is real." - Peter Ha
- Original Story:
- Comcast launching new subscription VOD service
- Netflix signs deal with The Weinstein Company, gets 'The Artist' exclusive
- Samsung scores Blockbuster movie streaming deal, eyes US and European launch by June
- Blockbuster On Demand pulls back from TiVo and others, is it on its way out?
- Smarthouse.com reports Samsung has signed deal w Blockbuster, streaming content for smartphones, tablets, and Smart TVs. In 2009 Samsung added BOD to HDTVs.
- first half of 2012 for US and Europe customers, Australia this year, where it's #1 for movie rentals.
- Blockbuster OnDemand originally launched on 2008. Tivo announced partnership in March 2009. Customers notified that this will end March 31. Previously ended partnerships with Vizio & Western Digital TV Live.
- Blockbuster acquired by Dish Network in April 2011, launched Blockbuster Movie Pass in October. $10/month add-on for DVD, Blu-ray, video game rentals by mail, & streaming movies and TV. Existing Dish customers so not a direct Netflix competitor.
- Coinstar bought Blockbuster Express Kiosks from former owner NCR earlier this month.
- Netflix announced multi-year deal with The Weinstein Co. for US subscribers, exclusives for The Artist, Undefeated.
- Earlier this month Netflix paid $9M to settle class-action lawsuit based on Video Privacy Protection Act, requires video rental companies to get written consent from users on viewing history & destroy data within a year. Resulted in 14% dip in profits for Q4.
- Comcast announced Streampix, subscription VOD service that requires Comcast subscription. Sounds like Xfinity with out-of-home access to select content via PC, mobile and TVs. Free to Comcast's triple-play package subscribers or $4.99 on top of other plans.
- Comcast CEO Brian Roberts to the WSJ in Feb 2011 "We’re not [looking to launch a VoD service available to non-subscribers]. Where we can add value, at least in the world that I see today, is taking our existing customers and giving them full access to all content online because they’re subscribers."
- Microsoft Says Google Circumvents IE Privacy Policies Too
- Google: Microsoft grandstanding over web privacy
- Google tricks Internet Explorer into accepting tracking cookies, Microsoft claims
- Google now facing class-action suit over Safari cookie circumvention
- Microsoft on Monday accused Google of bypassing privacy protections in Internet Explorer, following accusations last week that Google was doing so in Apple's Safari browser.
- Dean Hachamovitch, corporate vice president for Internet Explorer: "Google's P3P policy is actually a statement that it is not a P3P policy. It's intended for humans to read even though P3P policies are designed for browsers to 'read',"
- Facebook presents a P3P statement that says: "Facebook does not have a P3P policy." The text allegedly sent by Google actually reads "This is not a P3P policy" and includes a link to a Google page which says cookies used to secure and authenticate Google users are needed to store user preferences, and that the P3P protocol "was not designed with situations like these in mind."
- Lorrie Faith Cranor, an Associate Professor of Computer Science and of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University: reportedly alerted Microsoft back in 2010 to the potential for the kind of privacy breach it describes Google uses, according to the All About Microsoft blog.
- senior VP of communications and policy, Rachel Whetstone, Google says Microsoft’s system is outdated and over-involved, and more importantly breaks features like the Facebook “Like” button.
- a 2010 research report that, at the time, indicated more than 11,000 sites were not complying with P3P policies
- A class-action complaint has now been filed against Google for its circumvention of Safari's privacy features. The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for Delaware, accuses Google of willfully violating of the Federal Wiretap Act, the Stored Electronic Communication Act, and the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
- NSA: Anonymous could target power grid
- Alert on Hacker Power Play
- Anonymous Denies It Is Pursuing Power Outage Attacks
- WSJ reports NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander has stated in White House meetings that within a year or two Anonymous could have the ability to cause power outages
- he has warned publicly about an emerging ability by cyberattackers to disable or even damage computer networks.
- Last week, for instance, Anonymous announced a plan to shut down the Internet on March 31, which it calls Operation Global Blackout.??
- Intelligence officials believe that, for now, the cyber threat to the power grid is relatively limited. The countries that could most quickly develop and use cyber means to destroy part of the grid—such as China and Russia—have little incentive to do it. Those who might have more incentive, like Iran or North Korea, don't have the capability.
- A similar threat was described to lawmakers at a hearing last week. "A near-peer competitor [country] could give cyber malware capability to some fringe group," said Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "Some hacker, next thing you know, could be into our electrical grid. We have to get after this."
- “Why would Anons shut off a power grid? There are ppl on life support / other vital services that rely on it. Try again NSA. #FearMongering,” tweeted YourAnonNews, a popular Twitter account that announced the temporary downing of the CIA website on February 10."
- Microsoft's bulking up SkyDrive. LiveSide.net published pictures showing that SkyDrive will support OpenDocument formats, there will be Windows and Mac apps to access to SkyDrive and will also support files up to 300MB in size via web upload (up from 100MB). Meanwhile, Gemind reports Microsoft will offer additional storage for a fee - 20GB for $10, 50GB for $25 and 100GB for $50 per year. That capacity is in addition to the free 25GB offered by Microsoft.
- Distimo looked at the top 110 apps that are on both the Amazon Appstore and Android Market and found that 42 of them make more money on Amazon's appstore. That still means approximately 62% of apps make more money with Android Market. However, Distimo also found that roughly 50% of Amazon's apps are not available on Android Market.
- Apple removed the 99-cent "Pokemon Yellow" game from the App Store because it turns out it was an unlicensed game by House of Anime and not Nintendo. The app was first noticed by Ars Technica, which also reports the app was really a collection of YouTube videos and Pokemon news -- it wasn't even a game. On top of that, reviews said the app was crashy.
- Canonical announced Ubuntu for Android. Here's how it would work - you'd dock your Android phone and then you'd be brought to a full desktop version of Ubuntu. The distro would include Chromium, Thunderbird, VLC and more. The desktop will also integrate things like contacts, calendar and messages from your Android set up. Canonical will show a demo at Mobile World Congress.
- You might not be able to get real time access to tweets via Google, but Twitter announced a deal where Russian search engine Yandex will gain access to Twitter's firehose. Yandex will display real-time information in its search results with the partnership. The site owns approximately 60% of the search engine market in Russia and 2.8% of the global market.
- Bloomberg reports Samsung will spin-off its LCD division as the Samsung Display Co. on the 1st of April. Samsung's LCD division lost over $600 million last year. A Samsung spokesperson says that Samsung may merge its LCD and OLED operations in the future.
- Samsung isn't waiting until Mobile World Congress to introduce some new phones. The company announced the Galaxy Mini 2 and the Galaxy Ace. Both are positioned as entry-level phones and run Gingerbread. The Mini 2 will have an 800MHz processor, but the Ace 2 will have an 800MHz dual-core processor. Pricing wasn't announced, but the Mini 2 will hit France in March and the Ace 2 will be available in the UK in April.
- LG announced three new handsets - two of which will run Android 4.0. First the ICS-phones: the LG Optimus L5 will have a 4-inch screen, while the Optimus L7 has a 4.3-inch display. Internal specs weren't announced. The Gingerbread oddball is the L3 with a relatively small 3.2-inch screen. Expect the phones to launch in during the first half of the year.
- Analytics company Kantar Worldpanel ComTech says Android has 36.9% of the UK smartphone market as of the end of January 2012. Last year at the same time, Android had 20.1%. iOS has 28.5% losing a little under 1% of the UK market between 2011 and 2012. And somewhat of good news for RIM - it still has 18.1% of the UK smartphone base.
- Squintasaurus will stretch your nearsighted eyes into shape
- uses a pulley system that would stretch the skin of his eyelid back when he needed to focus, pulling the eye lens flat.
- Playstation Vita ships in the US & UK tomorrow, 2/22
- The extradition request for MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom was expected be filed tomorrow 2/22, but instead it looks like we'll just have another bail hearing because he made bail, deemed not a flight risk. extradition put off till march 2nd
- SoftBank launching 110Mbps AXGP 4G network in Japan this week - cross-compatible with the TD-LTE system that's rolling out across China, and in the US via Clearwire
- China Telecom To Get iPhone In March
- Happy Birthday Zelda! Nintendo released the original game for its Famicom console in Japan on February 21st, 1986.
"Hi Tom and crew,
Just thought I should weigh in on the discussion on municipal internet. In Lund, Sweden where I live, the municipality provides an open city network where any internet provider can offer services as long as they are competitive and doesn't have any long term contracts.
As a result, I pay approximately $8 per month for 100 Mbit/s and if I'm not happy with my current provider, I can switch the next month without any fees or downtime. Just thought you might find it interesting to hear of an example where municipal internet is working amazingly good!
-- Erik Jansson"
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- Edited by: Jeff
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