Tech News Today 210
Recorded: March 30, 2011
Published: March 30, 2011
Tech News Today 210: Go Robots
Should government broadband be illegal? Samsung installs secret keyloggers, the robots ride to the rescue in Fukushima, and more.
- Tom Merritt ( )
- Sarah Lane ( )
- Jason Howell
- Iyaz Akhtar
- Cable-backed anti-muni broadband bill advances in North Carolina
- North Carolina bill called the "Level Playing Field/Local Govt Competition act" has passed the NC House of Representatives. Makes it difficult for municipalities in the state to operate competitive ISPs. According to Rep. Bill Faison, ""Let's be clear about whose bill this is. This is Time Warner's bill." Tennessee's city owned EPB Fiber Optics service now advertises 1,000Mbps. Wilson, North Carolina's Greenlight Community Network, which offers pay TV, phone service, and as much as 100Mbps Internet . Time Warner's Road Runner plan advertises "blazing speeds" of 15Mbps max to Wilson area consumers.
- Google bringing ultra high-speed broadband to Kansas City, Kansas
- Background on the Google broadband (1 Gbps)
- Google signed a development agreement with the city, and we’ll be working closely with local organizations, businesses and universities to bring a next-generation web experience to the community.-----Plan to offer service starting in 2012
- Verizon to install 100 gigabit network in U.S.
- Upgrade segments of the backbone by the end of the second quarter The upgrade to 100G will happen in three segments: Chicago to New York, Sacramento to Los Angeles, and Minneapolis to Kansas City.
- Samsung notebooks found shipping with keyloggers
- Samsung responds to installation of keylogger on its laptop computers
- Mohamed Hassan, founder of NetSec Consulting, discovered StarLogger software on Samsung laptops with model numbers R525 and 540 after running security scanning software on the systems after he bought them last month, he writes in a guest column in Network World posted today. The supervisor who spoke with me was not sure how this software ended up in the new laptop thus put me on hold. He confirmed that yes, Samsung did knowingly put this software on the laptop to, as he put it, "monitor the performance of the machine and to find out how it is being used."
- Vanity Fair Excerpt
- Mr. Allen says he eavesdropped on a discussion in the Microsoft offices in Bellevue, Wash., between Mr. Gates and Steve Ballmer, now the company's CEO, in which he heard the two men talking about Mr. Allen's recent lack of productivity and how they might dilute his equity in the company by issuing options to themselves and other shareholders. Mr. Allen said he burst into the room and confronted Messrs. Gates and Ballmer, both of whom later apologized to him and backed down from their plan. "While my recollection of many of these events may differ from Paul's, I value his friendship and the important contributions he made to the world of technology and at Microsoft," Mr. Gates said in a written statement.
- Google rolls out +1
- Meet +1: Google’s Answer To The Facebook Like Button
- 1 shows up next to search results (extending to websites "soon")---Pressing it shares it with your +1 Social Network (Gmail, Google Talk, Google COntact, People you follow in Google Reader and Google Buzz) --- You see a note under the search result when someone in your network marked a result. ---- Showing up for a small percentage of users. You can force it to show up by turning it on at http://www.google.com/experimental/index.html.
- All ads will be getting these buttons
- There’s no way for advertisers to turn them off
- Clicks on the +1 button next to ads do NOT count as a paid ad click
- Advertisers will be able to see stats about which ads are getting the most +1s"
- For Now, Twitter Shares Count More Than +1′s in Google Search Ranking
- Google 'to be audited' on privacy after Buzz complaints
- Google settles FTC charges over Buzz
- Google opted people into its Google Buzz service.--- Google will be subject to independent audits once every two years for twenty years. (Similar to Twitter/FTC's arrangement for privacy violations).--- Google seemed apologetic in its blog posting discussing the matter.
- Dell: Apple iPad Will Lose to Android, Windows Tablets
- Dell's Andy Lark bashes the iPad, points out far-fetched figures instead of actual flaws
- Dell head of global marketing Andy Lark in a recent chat with CIO Australia. - "I couldn't be happier that Apple has created a market and built up enthusiasm but longer term, open, capable and affordable will win, not closed, high price and proprietary," said Lark. "[Apple has] done a really nice job, they've got a great product, but the challenge they've got is that already Android is outpacing them." "An iPad with a keyboard, a mouse and a case [means] you'll be at $1500 or $1600; that's double of what you're paying," he claimed. "That's not feasible.... Apple is great if you've got a lot of money and live on an island. It's not so great if you have to exist in a diverse, open, connected enterprise; simple things become quite complex." Turns out he meant New Zealand Dollars which makes it about $1219.04 US.
- Tablets might be a flash in the pan: Microsoft global chief strategy officer
- Way to Sell Those Windows 7 Tablets, Craig
- Speaking at a lunch held in Sydney by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA),Microsoft's global chief research and strategy officer Craig Mundie -- I think there’s an important distinction–and frankly one we didn’t jump on at Microsoft fast enough–between mobile and portable,” he said. “Mobile is something that you want to use while you’re moving, and portable is something that you move and then use. These are going to bump into one another a little bit and so today you can see tablets and pads and other things that are starting to live in the space in between. Personally I don’t know whether that space will be a persistent one or not.”
- Radioactive water removal hits snag, high iodine detected in sea
- highest concentration of radioactive iodine-131 was detected Tuesday in a seawater sample taken near the plant's drainage outlets in the Pacific Ocean. -- pumping was halted at the number 1 reactor. Despite the halt of water-pumping operations at the No. 1 turbine building, the depth of stagnant water was confirmed to have been halved to 20 centimeters, the agency said.-- reports of smoke temporarily from a power distribution panel, but it stopped shortly after it was reported. ---radioactive water has also been soaking the basements of the Nos. 2-3 reactor buildings and filling the underground tunnels linked to them. "This will not lead to a sustainable condition. We want to restore power and rebuild the cooling system, but such efforts are hampered by the stagnant water, Nishiyama said. We have to find a way out of the contradictory missions of the incoming water and the removal of contaminated water.
- As steps to resolve the situation, a member of the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan, a government panel, has suggested digging a pool outside the turbine buildings in case the pumped contaminated water exceeds the capacity of the tanks.
- Dr. Peter Lyons, an acting assistant secretary for nuclear energy with the Department of Energy, told a Senate panel on Tuesday that the government is shipping radiation-hardened robots to assist the Japanese. He said the robots could begin to give Japanese and U.S officials readings on the environment inside the nuclear power plants
- Nuclear Crisis Stopped Time In Japan
- After an Iranian hacker claimed responsibility for hacking to partners of Certificate Authority Comodo, the CA has revealed two additional registration authorities were also compromised. Robin Alden, CTO of Comodo said that the company is now in the process of rolling out a new two-factor authentication system for its Registration Authorities. Comodo also is installing other security measures as a result of the attack.
- U.S. electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc. is sueing the BBC's “Top Gear” show alleging libel and malicious falsehood. Top Gear did a test of the Tesla and claimed it ran out of juice after 55 miles it's supposed to have a 200 mile range. The report showed the car being pushed into a hangar, according to the suit. Tesla said the Roadster that was pushed into the hangar hadn’t run out of power and didn’t need to be pushed.
- The battle for the ""App Store"" trademark continues. Microsoft has decided to bring in Dr. Ronald Butters - a linguistics expert who says that ""app store"" is as generic as ""computer store."" Butters' 20 page explanation can be found in Microsoft's documents opposing Apple's trademark. Oh, those 20 pages don't include things like exhibits or references. It looks like a fun read if you've got the time.
- Prior to today if you wanted to buy a Roku box in a brick and mortar store, you'd probably be picking up a Netgear-branded box. Well, Roku's hit the big time now. You'll be able to pick up the Roku-only branded XD will now be in Best Buy, Fry's and Radio Shack. f you don't want to venture to the outside world, you can still go online to order a Roku box.
- Reports from Bloomberg and the New York Times says that Microsoft will build in Near Field Communications (NFC) support into Windows Phone 7. If you're unfamiliar with NFC, it would allow for things like waving your phone for payments. Microsoft has not made an official statement either way about this. Looks like we'll have to wait and see.
- IE 9 is the champion of the world in power consumption according to real world tests! IE9 beat out heavy hitters like Chrome 10 and Firefox 4. That would mean running IE9 instead of the other guys would waste less battery on your laptop. Wait a second who ran these tests? Microsoft. In fairness, Microsoft detailed its tests on its MSDN blogs. Feel free to recreate its results.
- Want to use Google Maps in China? Well that might be a problem if Google doesn't file an application required by the Chinese Government. The deadline is tomorrow and Google still hasn't filed. Google, consider this your GCal reminder.
- WinRumors is reporting that Microsoft is sending vendors like HP copies of Windows 8 using Microsoft Connect (the testing system, not the Xbox thing). Microsoft is mum on the situation with a spokesperson stating that Redmond doesn't comment on future versions of Windows. Windows 8 is rumored for a 2012 release.
Kickers and Weird Science
- HP rolling out webOS 3.0 beta to Early Access developers today
- Boxee details next Box update with iPad support and more in May
- Star Wars on Blu-ray September 16th
- Acer, Asustek Computer, Sony and Samsung Electronics to mass ship Chrome OS notebooks in 2H11
In episode 209, Sarah compared tech analysts to meteorologists and claimed that what they do essentially the same things - make guesses and then just ""revise their outlooks"" when things don't match up. I am not a meteorologist but as a fellow scientist, I would like to take exception to this. Meteorology is based on extremely complex and computationally intensive weather models whereas most tech analysts' predictions are based on pulling claims out of a certain body part. Obviously, both occupations have prediction errors but those in meteorology stem from pushing the boundaries of science whereas those in tech analysts' world come from rumors and half-baked thinking.
I know Sarah was only being half serious and I might be being pedantic but I thought it fair to point this out.
Love the show, Nitin"
I was just listing to the march 29 episode on the way to work and tome mentioned mp3tunes being gone. Just in case no one else mentioned in, they have not died. When I bought a roku box I had that chance to signup and authorize the roku app to use mp3tunes. This gave me a 20gb locker to store music and video. There is a app, airband, that let's you play your music on iOS devices. It is still a bit primitive but functions well. You can also use the pc sync app to keep it updated and tie a couple systems together. I use dropbox for my document moving service and mp3tunes for my ""most wanted tunes"" for online access. That way I can keep more space on the iPad for TNT!
Thanks for always being interesting.
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- Edited by: Jason
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