Tech News Today 474

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Tech News Today
Episode 474

Contents

Tech News Today 474: Freedom Of Communications Union

Google Tablet coming in July for cheap, Sergey Brin takes Project Glass IRL, MPAA chief talks reviving SOPA, and more.

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Top Stories

  • First Google tablet now expected in July due to price cutting effort
  • Google's Android tablet won't arrive until July, report says
    • Verge reports Google's 1st stab at a co-branded Android tablet w Taiwan-based Asus has been pushed back to July from May, say sources close to the project. Tweaking device, price
    • 7-inch screen, Tegra 3 quad-core processor, Wi-Fi-only, Ice Cream Sandwich. $249 price tag which apparently Goog trying to cut. Most obv competitor is Kindle Fire, 7-inch, $199. reports that Apple working on 7.85-inch screen, called the iPad mini
    • rumors that Google wants to delay its tablet until after June so it can install the next version of Android, codenamed Jelly Bean
    • Google/Asus partnership similar to Android Nexus smartphones. co-branding is great for Asustek since Google's brand is huge.
    • Lots of reports already: Last month, Android & Me wrote the tablet would retail for between $149- $199. Couple weeks ago WSJ reported it would be sold exclusively through Google's online stores.
    • Amazon's fourth-quarter sales estimated at as high at 5M units, proven market for 7-inch, $200 price range
  • Microsoft Is Writing Checks to Fill Out Its App Store
  • Microsoft still paying developers to create Windows Phone apps
    • The New York Times put a spotlight on Microsoft's practice of paying developers to create apps for its Windows Phone Operating System.
    • One of those financed applications was Foursquare. Its head of business development said that the company probably would not have made its app available for Windows Phone had Microsoft not offered to help pay for a third party to port FourSquare.
    • App development could cost anywhere from $60k to $600k depending on the complexity of the app
    • Facebook's app underwritten by MS, NYT app itself was assisted (no mention if paid or not)
    • Incentives from MS include free devices and prime spots in the app store and WP ads
    • Sr. Marketing Manager of Windows Phone Casey McGee said "We are by no means satisfied with our catalog." MS is up to about 70k apps (Apple has 600k, Android 400k)


Discussion Stories

  • Twitter sues spammers to beef up security
    • Twitter filed several lawsuits in San Francisco Federal Court against people who post spam or provide tools to create similar messages. Targeting the five most-used tools that make Twitter spam possible. TWeetAttack, TweetBuddy, TweetAdder, James Lucero (best known for his how to get Justin Bieber to follow you page), and Garland Harris of Troption.com.
    • Twitter said it hopes the lawsuits will prevent other spammers from accessing those tools as well as serve as a deterrent to other spammers.
    • Twitter said in a blog post “As our reach expands, we become a more attractive target for spammers. While spam is a small fraction of the incredible content you can find on Twitter, we know just how distracting it can be.”
    • “With this suit, we’re going straight to the source. By shutting down tool providers, we will prevent other spammers from having these services at their disposal. Further, we hope the suit acts as a deterrent to other spammers, demonstrating the strength of our commitment to keep them off Twitter.”
  • Security hole in Facebook iOS app doesn’t require jailbreak or theft, and Dropbox has it too (Updated)
  • Facebook ID theft threat impacts all iPhones, Dropbox
  • Facebook, Dropbox login credentials vulnerable to theft on iOS and Android
  • Security researcher Gareth Wright revealed today a vulnerability in the way Facebook and Dropbox store credentials on iOS and Android devices.
    • If exploited this vulnerability would allow an attacker to copy a plain-text file from one device to another, effectively granting the new device access to the account in question.
    • The plain-text file, in the case of Facebook, contains the full oAuth key and secret, similar to a cookie, which authenticates the device with the online service for 60 days.
    • Facebook released a statement claiming that only jailbroken or rooted devices are vulnerable to this attack, which has been proven untrue.
    • Dropbox stated that their Android app is not vulnerable and that they are working on a fix for the iOS version.
    • It is possible for an attacker to copy the plain text file from the device with an installed app
    • Devices are also vulnerable to having the auth key stolen from a physically connected device, such as a disguised public charging station or speaker dock, if the device is not passcoded or unlocked.
    • Facebook warns users when their account has been accessed by another computer, but not a mobile device.
  • Slow learner? MPAA chief hints at talks to revive SOPA
  • MPAA Chief Christopher Dodd Says SOPA Debate Isn't Over
    • Christopher Dodd, the former Connecticut senator who now leads the Motion Picture Association of America told Hollywood Reporter that Hollywood and the technology industry "need to come to an understanding" about new copyright legislation.
    • "conversations going on now," about SOPA-style legislation, but that he was "not going to go into more detail because obviously if I do, it becomes counterproductive."
    • Public Knowledge President Gigi Sohn criticized Dodd's comments. "It is simply amazing that a mere two months after 14 million people voiced their opposition to SOPA and PIPA, that the head of the Motion Picture Association of America said the dreadfully flawed legislation could be reworked in the back rooms of Washington,"
    • MPAA Statement: Sen Dodd did not say SOPA is coming back to life. He said the tech and entertainment industries need to come together to work on a new solution and those conversations are beginning. SOPA is gone. The path forward now is a serious conversation between all involved industries about new solutions, and that was Sen Dodd's point.

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"In TNT 473 you discussed the ME3 expanded ending and how re-doing an ending could probably not be done for films. I do not know if it is still done, but there was a time when Hollywood studios would pre-screen a film using test audiences and make changes based on the feedback (essentially doing a beta-test). Given the costs of making a film, this is a sensible and practical way of maximizing the ROI.

All of that being said, I know of one instance back in the early-to-mid 1960's where a studio deliberately shot *two* separate endings for a movie and released both versions simultaneously. There was a notice at the beginning of the movie telling the audience not to reveal the ending; this was because when you went to the theatre to see the movie you had absolutely no idea which ending you were going to see.

Enjoy the show and keep up the good work.

-- Ed. Hillman in Virginia Signature?!? I don't need no stinking signature!!"


"Hi Sarah

Friendster is own by a Malaysian based company called MOL. MOL sells online game credit at outlets such as 7/11 where a lot of South East Asian kids have no access to Credit cards. They sold some of the social network patents owned by Friendster to Facebook in exchange for some Facebook shares and exclusive right to sell Facebook Credit in South East Asia for a couple of years.

Friendster was recently rebuilt by the Pivotal labs folks and now try to differentiate itself from Facebook by trying to be te place you can create multiple identity of yourself especially for online games. (as compare to your real identify what Facebook and Google+ is doing)

Sincerely,

Daniel CerVentus"

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Production Information

  • Edited by: Jason
  • Notes:
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