Tech News Today 187
Recorded: February 25,2011
Published: February 25,2011
Tech News Today 187: To Xoom or not to Xoom
Who's buying MySpace? Google spikes its search results, and zombies ATTACK!
- Tom Merritt ( )
- Sarah Lane ( )
- Iyaz Akhtar
- Google search to reward high-quality sites
- Google fellow Amit Singhal and principal engineer Matt Cutts announced yesterday that Google has tweaked their search algorithm to ensure that sites considered "high quality" rank higher than those deemed "low quality." High quality sites feature original information, such as research, in-depth reports, and thoughtful analysis, low value sites merely copy content, or "are just not very useful". Google says it is not incorporating data from the "personal blocklist" but it has compared the new algorithm's results and found them jiving.
- Google to content farms: It's on
- Finding more high-quality sites in search
- News Corp kicks off Myspace sale process
- Reuters reports News Corp has kicked off the process to explore the sale or spin-off of Myspace according to a person familiar with the talks. NewsCorp has received early interest from around 20 parties and expects to hold discussion the second week of March. BetaNews speculates potentail buyers may be interested in MySpace's mobile audience which helped the site grow its audience 32% in Europe in 2010.
- MySpace's relative stability in mobile usage attracts potential buyers
- Motorola Xoom rooted in two hours flat
- Engadget reports Motorola Xoom owner and hacker Koush has succussfully installed a ClockworkMod recovery image and ROM Manager making the Xoom ready for custom builds of Android mere hours after its launch. But that doesn't make Xoom corp feel any better. Xoom corp is a money-transfer business that has filed a trademark suit in California Districtl court.
- Motorola Sued Over Use of Xoom Name
Chinese company Huawei has published an open letter criticizing various allegations against the company, including supposed links with the Chinese military, financial support from the Chinese government and threats to US national security. Huawei USA chairman Ken Hu invited the US authorities to investigate Huawei and its security. -addressed these issues in UK by setting up a intelligence agency monitored testing center - US administration opposed Huawei's takeover of an insolvent Californian server company called 3Leaf --- In 2008 such anxieties forced it to abandon a $2.2 billion deal to acquire network equipment vendor 3Com.--- Huawei founder and chief executive Ren Zhengfei once served in the PLA Engineering Corps from 1974 to 1983, without rank.
- Huawei reacts to Chinese military link 'misperceptions'
- Huawei to U.S.: I’m Ready for My Examination, Doctor
- Google Pulls VoiceMail App in Possible In-App Payment Move
- GigaOm reports Google has pulled the PhoneFusion's Visual VoiceMail app from Android Market, for violating developer payment rules. PhoneFusion believes the app was targeted for not processing in-app payments through Google Checkout. PhoneFusion offers the app for free, but makes money through premium features like voicemail transcription, ad-free service and the ability to receive faxes through a dedicated number.
- If you weren't aware, Google is trying to acquire ITA Software which specializes in organizing airline data. Politico reports that the DOJ is warning Google that it may block the merger due to antitrust issues. Coincidentally, Bing just announced "Price Predictor" which gives you flights, prices and predictions on whether the price will go up or down, right from the search box. Who's powering this new Bing service? ITA
- Twitterverse: 'King's Speech' will win Best Picture
- A service called Tweetbeat has been collecting each and every Oscar-related tweet, and has released the winners. "The King's Speech" emerged as the clear winner with 31.4 % of mentions. Natalie Portman gets Best Actress with 54.5 percent of tweeters. And Colin Firth takes home Best Actor with 56.4 percent of Twitter love. Oops. Spoiler alert.
- A while back when the iPhone 4 was introduced, Consumer Reports couldn't recommend it because of the deathgrip issue that caused signal strength to drop. Did the Verizon iPhone 4 do any better? Nope. After some extensive testing, Consumer Reports says the Verizon iPhone also has a deathgrip issue. So now AT&T and Verizon users can bond over that.
- "If you've ever considered liking an ""I Hate Facebook"" page because their privacy settings make you want to scratch your eyeballs out, your vision may be saved by Facebook's latest attempt to squash confusion around their notoriously unclear privacy terms. The website’s privacy team is working on developing an updated policy written for regular people, as opposed to legalese for regulators and privacy pros."
- HarperCollins has decided to change their agreement with e-book distributor OverDrive. They forced OverDrive, which is a main e-book distributor for libraries, to agree to terms so that HarperCollins e-books will only be licensed for checkout 26 times. Librarians have blown up over this, calling for a boycott of HarperCollins, breaking the DRM on e-books--basically doing anything to let HarperCollins and other publishers know they consider this abuse.
- "Bendable microchips? What is this, the future? Yes, say designers at this week's Solid-State Circuits Conference who are showing off world’s first microprocessor made with organic semiconductors. So what jf it's just an 8-bit model 70's era throwback...it's bendy, and may pave the way for concepts like Munich-based company Orkin Design's Rolltop, the laptop that rolls up like a burrito, to actually come to market. Messenger bags, your days are numbered."
- The Android Market now has ebooks available to buy at market.android.com/books. There are about 500 titles available right now. Also, if you play with the URL and replace the word "books" with "music" or "movies" it still takes you to the Android Market. Try other words and you get a 404 error page. More evidence Google might get into the downloadable music and movies business soon.
- PayPal has re-instituted the account of nonprofit, Courage to Resist, a group raising money for Bradley Manning, but PayPal says his association with Wikileaks had nothing to do with the initial blocking of service to the nonprofit. It was a just a "technical procedure due to the fact that the organization was not operating under PayPal's terms of service". Nope, nothing to be paranoid about.
- Bing's friendship with Facebook is allowing them to one-up Google. Earlier this month Google announced it would add links, photos and relevant web pages from your friends to Google’s normal search results, when you're logged in. Bing just announced they will do the same thing with one extra, data from Facebook. Google and Facebook are not friends right now, so Google gets none of their data. They're status is "It's complicated"
- Yesterday we mentioned how police raided hacker graf_chokolo's house on behalf of Sony and graf_chokolo responded by releasing everything he knows about reverse engineering Sony's Hypervisor. well as you might guess, Sony didn't like that and reacted by demanding the hacker remove the link to the hypervisor information and PAY 1 MILLION EUROS. Sadly for Sony that won't do anything for the now ifinitely copied zipfile of hypervisor info.
Kickers and Weird Science
- Get chased by zombies in Google Streetview!
- Boing Boing points out Mike Lacher's "Streetview Zombie Apocalypse" is a great Google Streetview mashup: enter your location and then watch (and flee) as zombies converge upon you from all directions. I lasted 20 minutes without getting attacked, which proves I am a zombie.
- World's first robot marathon gets off to a slow start, will likely stay that way. The Robo Mara Full, put on by Japanese robotics company Vstone, kicked off today in Osaka, Japan, and will see the mechanized competitors through a 42 kilometer (26 mile) race, estimated to last at least four days.
- Nintendo 3DS set to launch in Japan tomorrow
- LetsTalk goes out in a blaze of glory, sells Atrix 4G and Laptop Dock bundle for $250 as AT&T partnership ends
- Sony slashed the price of the PSP to $130 starting on Sunday the 27th. Whoo-hoo! So go get one or wait for the NGP
- Windows Phone arriving on Verizon, March 20 according to WinRumors
- Free Trial of 'The Daily' iPad Mag Extended Until March 21
- Weta collectibles auction to benefit Christchurch quake victims
- Watch the TWiT studios get built
"WP7 update worst update possible ever?” … really? You mean iPhone updates never caused update issues to phones?
http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2151449&tstart=45 - Just one example to make my point im sure if you were to be honest youd find a ton of issues people have forgotten about.
Want another example I suffered through personally? How about iOS 4.0 update that caused my iPhone 3G to backup for something like … 10 hours I think? I recall it was terrible and was so slow that my phone was afterwards pretty much unusable.
But yeah, this MUST BE the worst update ever that hurt 10% of the phones and not even impacted all of those 10%. Shit happens, but don’t push to make us look THAT bad.
I will now await your apology on the next TNT recording J
Dmitry who wrote the TWiT WP7 app and an avid TNT fan"
So, I thought Lightpeak/Thunderbolt was supposed to simplify matters. From what you said on the show 186, it sounds like there could be a shed load of different skews! I can see people buying the cheapest one, getting home and finding that it doesn't power their device, surely everything with the Lightpeak/Thunderbolt name should have the same capabilities.
Love the show.
English John from England"
"Hello Tom and Sarah, I question the requirement to return the Xoom for upgrade to LTE. Shouldn't the Xoom be backward compatible with the 3G system? Why isn't Motorola shipping a dual band unit? What happens if you are in a non LTE area with only 3G? Great show, keep up the good work.
- Edited by: Jeff
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