Tech News Today 569

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Tech News Today
Episode 569

Tech News Today 569: The Last Word in Passwords

Why passwords have never been weaker, Google on the ropes in iOS, Our next trip to Mars


News Fuse

  • Those of you tired of the Samsung-Apple patent case, I'm thinking of you Judge Koh, should be happy to know that closing arguments are done and it's headed to the jury. Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung corporate strategy chief Gee-Sung Choi had a nice chat but didn't resolve anything. The jury must reach a unanimous verdict on Samsung's alleged uinfringement of 7 Apple patents as well as counterclaims Apple infringed 5 Samsung patents. Those of you who love patent cases, I'm thinking of... lawyers? should know that a separate Samsung-Apple case is moving ahead in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington.
  • Microsoft's Windows 8 Pro software has a price! $199, following a $69.99 promotional prices that expires on January 31st 2013, according to one source speaking to the Verge. For those upgrading from Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro in retail stores the price is the same at $69.99 until January 31st when the price reverts to $99.99. Both the Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Pro copies will be made available from retailers on October 26th.
  • Canon’s introduced two new cameras. The SX160 IS and SX500 IS are both 16MP cameras and launch in September. Canon’s bragging about the zoom ability of both cameras. The SX160 has a 16x optical zoom lens and the SX 500 has a 30x optical zoom. These are point and shoot cameras, so they’re supposed to still be able to fit in your hands. The SX160 will cost about $230 and the 500 costs $330.
  • It looks like RadioShack is entering the wireless business. Engadget published a screenshot of a RadioShack announcement heralding the arrival of its “RadioShack No Contract Wireless” service to be powered by Cricket Wireless. The announcement also says that if you go with RadioShack, you’ll also get access to Muve Music which is supposed to give you unlimited full-song downloads. It’s supposed to launch on September 5th.
  • Barnes and Noble lost $41 million in Q2, down from $57 million for the same period last year. The closing of competitior Borders probably boosted retail sales, as did booming sales of 'Fifty Shades of Grey'. Digital results were mixed. Online sales fell 7.6% but not for eBooks. Digital content rocketed up 46%. The Nook business remained flat.
  • US District Judge William Alsup, who oversaw the Oracle v. Google lawsuit, wants to know who Google may have paid to write about the trial. Google previously produced a general list of "types" of people at universities, grant recipients, Google employees, and bloggers that get money from the search giant and would have been in a position to comment on the case if they chose to. In a court document filed last Friday, Google denied specifically paying any of these individuals to write about the case, but that's not good enough for Alsup, who wrote that as it stands, Google hasn't complied with his order.
  • Microsoft is opening up 500,000 registrations for the company's Xbox Live fall dashboard beta program today. Aspiring testers must agree to a non-disclosure agreement to participate in early beta testing. The first round of registrations in July filled up in hours. The update gets you the new Internet Explorer for Xbox app, additional languages for Bing voice search, Xbox Music, and the new Play To option for streaming from Windows 7 or Windows 8.




Voicemail #1

E-mail #1

On your show today you guys (and gal) were discussing the merits of being able to see multiple news stories in one view, and how tablets and phones are disadvantaged to news papers this way. Have you tried the app called Pulse ( for ios and android devices, and now with a new web interface? I totally agree that most rss feed apps lack "info density" but this one is great for that! You can't skim through as much as a paper, but you can subscribe to tons of different sources and scroll through them in one view instead of flipping and clicking like Flipboard. Give it a whirl and it would be cool to hear your thoughts!

Sandi Puett Novato CA

E-mail #2


Many of the tech new outlets have a great headline today: Judge says Google Failed to Comply with Court Order!

The Judge ordered both Google and Oracle to disclose those who might have received payments from Google that might have been influencers on their behalf. I think it was not a very well-worded request and definitely overbroad. If I recall correctly, Google's response was that the request needed to be clarified and narrowed because responding to the broadest possible interpretation would result in a uselessly high number of names. It is perfectly normal to respond in a very narrow manner and request further clarification. Yes, that will result in a "failed to comply" response from the court, but it is just part of the process. I have had to do this myself on a couple of occasions, on a MUCH smaller scale, of course.

So, I think it can be a bit misleading when that quote is read out of context since it makes it look as if Google was either snubbing the court, or trying to hide something.


E-mail #3

Hey TNT,

Yesterday you were talking about what to call this hardware development surge coming out of Silicon valley. I think It already has a name: The Internet of things. While it's not a perfect name applied to an individual piece of hardware, all of these devices are either talking to the internet directly or through your phone:

A game console where you get your games from the internet A watch that talks to your phone (which is talking to the internet) A little printer that outputs pictures/data from the internet.

All of these things are headless mini-computers that take their orders from the internet. The folks down in the valley aren't really changing their tune. They're still working on the internet, just from a different angle.

thanks for the show, it's awesome. -Aaron Eiche (Ike)

E-mail #4

Hi TnT,

I've been working in the tech industry for more than 20 years and what happened at Onlive is not unusual, I've been at two different companies where a similar thing has happened.

In both cases the company is inherently viable but had some baggage that prevented it from being a going concern.

In Onlive's case it sounds like the problem was two fold, too much debt and leases on too many servers.

Usually, the only option other than "Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors" is to simply go under and let the creditors scavenge the pieces. Selling isn't an option because the baggage prices the company out of the market.

Rob from Toronto




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