Tech News Today 469
Recorded: March 30, 2012
Published: March 30, 2012
Tech News Today 469: Spam-Cop Code
Foxconn workers unhappy about reduced hours, Google's plan to sell tablets, MasterCard and Visa hacked to pieces, and more.
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- Tom Merritt ( )
- Sarah Lane ( )
- Iyaz Akhtar ( )
- Jason Howell ( )
- Dick DeBartolo
- Apple Labor Pact Could Ripple Across China
- Apple supplier Foxconn cuts working hours, workers ask why
- Foxconn workers not all pleased with fewer hours
- Apple, Foxconn pay hike could damage other companies' bottom lines
- Foxconn's plans to cut overtime hours for its 1.2M mainland Chinese workers to 49/week is worrying some, even though compensation is supposed to be raised so that they don't lose wages. - Fair Labor Association's (FLA's) audit results showed employees working more hours than allowed under the FLA Code standard & Chinese legal limits. Some employees worked more than 7 days in a row, violation
- FLA surveyed Foxconn workers: 48% of Foxconn's employees found their workloads reasonable, over 1/3 of respondents said that they'd like to work more hours to make more $. 17.7% of the workers were interested in working less.
- Foxconn is thought (by workers) to be cleaner, safer, more stuff to do than some smaller factories.
- small shopping mall outside Longhua plant. Cramped apartment blocks have hair salons, snack stores, gaming arcades and Internet "bars", playing computer games, watching Korean & Hong Kong soap operas is popular
- Reuters talked to workers at Foxconn plant in Longhua, southern China: Wu Jun "We are worried we will have less money to spend. Of course, if we work less overtime, it would mean less money"
- Chen Yamei "We are here to work and not to play, so our income is very important" she says she's been told she can work max 36 hours/month overtime. "A lot of us are unhappy with this. We think that 60 hours of overtime a month would be reasonable and that 36 hours would be too little." She says currently she earns just over 4,000 yuan/month ($634).
- Scott Nova, exec. director of Workers Rights Consortium (labor right's group) tells CNET: Apple's own auditor has now confirmed that Foxconn never corrected the violations in areas like excessive overtime that were first exposed six years ago.
- RIM CEO Pledges Enterprise Focus, But Clock Ticks
- RIM: We are not withdrawing from consumer market
- For Struggling RIM, Sale Prospects Appear Tough
- BlackBerry Just 5% Of Recent Smartphone Purchases
- Thorston Heins told analysts yesterday RIM will focus on its Mobile Fusion product (device management tools that also control Android smartphones and the iPhone).
- Split between consumer and enterprise rather than one size fits all. Some outlets misinterpreted these comments to mean RIM was abandoning the consumer market.
- At one point during the call, he said that a sale of the company would be the absolute last resort, though later he hinted that the idea had certainly crossed the board's collective mind. Analysts are doubtful RIM could get much for a sale, and NY Times Dealbook points out that both the Canadian and US governments have an interest in who might buy RIM
- BB OSX on track for launch before the end of the year
- WSJ: Google to sell ASUS, Samsung tablets from its own online store
- Google planning online store to sell tablets
- Will Google-Branded Tablet Crash And Burn?
- Why Google's Tablet Store Isn't the Nexus One All Over Again
- WSJ reports that Google will sell Android tablets from a variety of manufacturers including Moto from its own store
- The Journal also reports it will sell co-branded tablets from Samsung and Asus
- Google was considering subsidizing the cost of future tablets i
- Google believes the current model for selling tablets is broken, said people familiar with its strategy.
- Otherwise, the report is sparse on details like the launch date
- Google tried selling the Nexus One back in 2010, but the biggest difference is that there shouldn't be carriers involved.
- MasterCard, VISA Warn of Processor Breach
- "Major" credit-card breach reportedly hits Visa, MasterCard
- Visa and MasterCard warning banks that a breach at an unnamed card processor may involve more than 10 million card numbers
- Visa and MC started sending out non-public warnings last week about specific cards to payment card issuers.
- The card associations stated that the breached credit card processor was compromised between Jan. 21, 2012 and Feb. 25, 2012
- The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the breached processor was Global Payments Inc.,
- law enforcement investigators believe that this breach may be somehow connected to Dominican street gangs in and around New York City.
- full Track 1 and Track 2 data was lifted, meaning the hackers would have everything they need to clone counterfeit cards.
- Update, 4:32 p.m. ET: Atlanta-based processor Global Payments just confirmed that they discovered a breach in early March 2012.
- Yahoo Layoffs Set to Begin Next Week, Followed by Restructuring the Week After
- Kara Swisher at ATD reports Yahoo is preparing to begin layoffs of what could be thousands of employees starting next week, according to multiple sources, and is then expected to announce a new restructuring of the company the week after. -- Swisher's sources also note the plans are not set in stone
- Thompson, along with consultants he has hired from the Boston Consulting Group, presented the possible plan in front of Yahoo’s senior execs on Tuesday. Then followed on Wednesday with meetings with other top executives.
- the cuts will be deep and mostly aimed at the product, research and marketing units of Yahoo.
- figure out how to dispense with its ad technology org and, potentially, its search business.
- New org would focus on media, advertising, and a small research group
- Wikipedia’s Next Big Thing: Wikidata, A Machine-Readable, User-Editable Database Funded By Google, Paul Allen And Others
- TC reports The first new project to emerge from the Wikimedia Foundation since 2006, is now beginning development. It's called Wikidata
- new effort to provide a database of knowledge that can be read and edited by humans and machines alike.
- DBpedia, a community effort to extract structured content from Wikipedia and make it available online tried this before
- the data will bring all the localized versions of Wikipedia on par with each other in terms of the basic facts they house. Will mostly drive the infoboxes across all languages
- Wikimedia Deutschland is leading the effort. They hope to hand it over to the Wikimedia foundation in March 2013
- August: One common source of structured data for all Wikipediae// December 2012 allow editors to add and use data//Phase 3 automatic creation of lists and charts based on the data
- Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence donated 1.3 million Euros to the project -- Another quarter of the funding comes from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, through its Science program, and another quarter comes from Google.
- Good news if you didn't like yesterday's News Fuse - we're not doing that joke today. The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) is currently weighing competing standards for the nano-SIM card, but won't make a decision this week according to Les Echos a French publication. The delay is actually due to the disagreements among all the parties (ahem, we're looking at you Nokia and Apple). The vote will be delayed by at least 30 days according to ETSI rules.
- Netflix just purchased DVD.com for an undisclosed amount of money. DomainName Wire noticed that DVD.com redirected to dvd.netflix.com and Netflix later confirmed the purchase saying, "Netflix cares about keeping DVD healthy, and this is just one small investment in keeping DVD healthy."
- Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam says that Verizon could offer a wireless video service by the end of 2012 if their deal with SpectrumCo is allowed to continue. SpectrumCo is a joint venture of cable companies and is selling its spectrum to Verizon. Even more intriguing is that McAdam said some content providers told Verizon they are willing "to do an a la carte approach…"
- Wasteland 2 may get more help than those who backed it via Kickstarter. If the project raises $2.1 million before the Kickstarter deadline hits in 17 days, Obsidian Entertainment will help develop the game. Currently, Wasteland 2 raised $1.7 million. Obsidian is behind games like Fallout: New Vegas and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II.
- Looks like someone put a quarter in the machine, because a new challenger has appeared - in the search engine market. DuckDuckGo has experienced a huge uptick in its direct queries per day starting in January of this year. Daily traffic is up 227% in 3 months. If you've never heard of DuckDuckGo, it's the search engine that says it'll never track you and it does not store any personal information like your IP address.
- According to a Glassdoor.com survey, Tim Cook is a smash hit with Apple employees with a whopping 97% approval rating. Of course, this will brings comparisons to Steve Jobs. Jobs' approval rating fluctuated between 95% and 97%. Also, Apple is the top brand in Japan according to a new Nikkei brand survey. Google was number two, but Sony and Nintendo didn't make the top 10.
- Trend Micro has connected an alias that was used to hack computers in India, Japan and those belonging to Tibetan activists to Gu Kaiyuan, a former grad student in Sichuan University. Gu may have recruited students at the school to work on research related to defense and computer attacks. The university receives money from the government, but the the attacks are not directly linked to the Chinese government. However, some researchers believe the targets of the attack strongly suggest state action.
- PocketNow.com got its hands on leaked LG Optimus Elite renders. The Android device is coming at Sprint and Virgin Mobile. It's got some low end specs with a 3.2-inch screen, 800MHz processor and running Gingerbread, but the Elite will also have a 5-MP camera and NFC. The device could cost around $100 off-contract.
- Neil Roseman, Zynga’s VP of Engineering recently oversaw the launch of Zynga's Project Z which enables games to be played directly on Zynga.com Then he quit. All Things D confirmed that Roseman left Zynga shortly after the announcement three weeks ago after spending just 15 months with the company. Roseman told ATD that he was commuting from Seattle to San Francisco 3-4 times a week and was looking forward to spending more time with his family.
- Sunday April 1st is the deadline to enter the 2012 Google Science Fair. online science competition seeking curious minds from the four corners of the globe. Anybody and everybody between 13 and 18 can enter.
- Sony’s new ICS update timeline: roll out begins mid-April - Xperia arc S, Xperia neo V and Xperia ray. Other models start geting the update in mid-May.
- Chrome version 18 has rolled out to the stable channel & comes with hardware-accelerated rendering for the HTML5 Canvas element on Windows and Mac OS X.
"Hi TNT gang,
Excuse my selfishness -- I intended to give Alan the last word in the HTML5 debate, but the discussion raised some very salient questions and I just couldn't miss the possibility of perhaps putting them to a group of regular users like the TNT audience and chat room...
UI geeks sometimes refer to the 'look and feel' of a user interface. As we all know, the web destroyed notions of a standardised 'look', so modern toolkits like Android, XUL (Zool), and JavaFX are highly styleable just like HTML. But what about 'feel'? If web apps are to rely on rival UI toolkits instead of a standard, things like touch gestures may vary across apps, reflecting the nuances of each underlying toolkit. The $64,000 question is: do you guys actually care? iOS developers can style their UI, but familiar controls (physical and screen) must behave largely as expected -- yet some say this is too limiting, so where should the future lie?
Talk of standards and toolkits may bore people, but I implore end users not to let computer scientists build the future for you; let us know what matters, so the tools and standards of today will give you the apps you want tomorrow.
Okay, I'm going to shut up now :)
Simon (Liverpool, UK)"
"why not open-source a competition to redesign the /r/technewstoday subreddit via CSS? User-interaction, you know it makes sense :) It could go alongside the TWIT-network theme, or whatever, but you have to admit it's pretty tame compared to /r/xbox360 or /r/apple, for instance. I'm just a spam-cop code makes my head warm-up
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- Edited by: Jason
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