Tech News Today 197

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Tech News Today
Episode 197

Tech News Today 197: Never Joke About Unicorns

The Japan earthquake and how it affects technology and social media, Eric Schmidt as Commerce Secretary, does your camera need 3G, Unicorns, and more.



  • Eric Schmidt rumored to be contender for Commerce Secretary
  • Current Commerce Secreatary Gary Locke, to be the U.S. ambassador to China. former Pfizer Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Kindler and Google Inc. CEO Eric Schmidt and US trade representative Ron Kirk all being considered.The next Commerce secretary will have a significant role in Obama’s National Export Initiative to double U.S. exports to $3.1 trillion within five years. Kindler was part of a presidential advisory board on increasing U.S. exports that Obama named last July. Schmidt gave $25,000 to Obama’s inaugural committee and has been called on regularly for economic advice.

Discussion Stories

  • Dell’s Number Two In The PC Market Again, Thanks To The iPad
    • 4th quarter survey sales numbers from iSuppli are in. Overall, iSuppli says the fourth quarter set a record for overall PC shipments with more than 93 million units, up nearly 5 percent from the same period in 2009. Dell takes back number two spot as Acer suffers from slow sales of netbooks.
  • Amazon Ditches Illinois Affiliates (Including Roger Ebert) To Avoid Web Tax
    • Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill into law Thursday that will require Amazon and other internet retailers that use “affiliates” in the state to start paying the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax. Apparently, that spurred Amazon to quickly notify its Illinois affiliates—which include famed movie critic Roger Ebert—that their Associates accounts will be shut down on April 15.
  • iPhone and Blackberry brought down in hacker competition
  • iPhone - Charlie Miller principal security analyst at Independent Security Evaluators (4th year in a row pwning something, usually Mac Laptops in the past) in collaboration with Dion Blazakis of ISE. Took one week to discover a flaw using fuzzing software to identify bugs. Drive-by attack that exploited a heap overflow in code related to Safari. Exploit will not work on iOS 4.3. Still, he won $15,000. BlackBerry Torch 9800 running BlackBerry 6 - Willem Pinckaers from Matasano and independent researcher Vincenzo Iozzo with help from researcher Ralf Philipp Weinmann.. Stole a complete contact list and cache of pictures and wrote to file storage. Used the webkit-based browser to visit booby-trapped site with a chain of vulnerabilities including an integer overflow flaw. A reseracher withdrew from attacking the Dell Venue Pro running Windows Phone 7, but may come back at it today. No one has stepped up to attack the Nexus S running Android or Mozilla's Firefox browser.

News Fuse

Kickers and Weird Science

  • Saving the Earth: meet NASA's Planetary Protection Officer
    • PPO has two main jobs: to make sure that missions we send into space looking for extraterrestrial life don't end up contaminating their destinations with earthlings, and to make sure that anything we bring back to Earth doesn't accidentally end all life on Earth. NASA's Planetary Protection Officer is Cassie Conley --- Recently, several missions have returned samples from space, including Stardust, Genesis, and Hyabusa. Upon returning, their samples have been kept in biosafety level (BSL) 4 facilities, similar to the kinds of rooms we use for studying pathogens like ebola.



"Hy TNTeam,

as probably lots of viewers wrote you:

non Google-sanctioned devices which use the OpenSource edition of Android are not allowed to use the Android Marketplace and there are lots of those in China. This is also what Amazon speculates on with there (soon to be?) Android App Store.

keep up the good work --Jakob from Romania"


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Production Information

  • Edited by: Jeff
  • Notes:
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