Tech News Today 251

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Tech News Today
Episode 251

Tech News Today 251: Zuckerpredator

Amazon starts a Mac Store, The end of purchase privacy: Google Wallet, Senator Wyden stands up for Net Freedom, and more.


Top Stories

  • Google Wallet and Google Offers announced
  • Google Wallet video hands-on
  • Motorola, HTC, and Samsung all building Google Wallet NFC-enabled Android phones for Sprint
  • Special Stickers Will Bring Google Wallet To Android Phones That Lack NFC
    • Google Wallet (120,000 merchants ready to go/ Citi, MasterCard, First Data, Sprint are partners/ Automatically supports Citi MasterCard, more to follow/Field Test starts today official release this summer/ Works with PayPass/ San Francisco and New York are first markets/ Toys R US and Subway listed as parnters/)
    • Google Offers (Contextual/ Real product with real merchants/ like American Eagle, Subway, and Macy's/)
    • Stephanie Tilenius, VP Commerce opened the announcement
    • Open platform
    • Demo app looks for discounts and apply all loyalty programs
    • IN fall digital receipts that transfer back to your phone
    • Tried to coin the phrase "MoLo" for Mobile Local Commerce
    • Can individually activate and de-activate cards, manage multiple cards
    • First Data is the "trusted services manaer" handling account info
    • Comes with GCard, a prepaid account you can load with cash
    • Card data only stored on NXP PN65 chip that is tamper and laser resistant. Google says the service is “more secure” than a credit card because of screen locking, use of PIN, and the fact that the full card number is never revealed.
    • If the screen is off, NFC is disabled
    • “In terms of iPhone, RIM, Microsoft — we will partner with everyone,” Google VP of Commerce Stephanie Tilenius said.
    • For older, non-NFC phones: Google’s Osama Bedier was intentionally vague about the details, users will be able to obtain special NFC stickers with a single credit card associated with them (such stickers already exist, but these stickers will apparently be able to communicate with the Google Wallet app)"
  • Hedge fund star calls for Microsoft's Ballmer to go
  • Microsoft board backs Ballmer over Einhorn
  • Ballmer Details China Piracy Problems
    • Speaking at the annual Ira Sohn Investment Research Conference in New York on Wednesday, Greenlight Capital Hedge fund President David Einhorn called for Steve Ballmer to step down.
    • Microsoft shares shot up 0.87 percent in after-hours trading, the most of any Dow Jones industrial average component.
    • An investor who put $100,000 into Microsoft stock 10 years ago would now have about $69,000 worth.
    • "It's time for Microsoft's board to tell Steve Ballmer, 'All right, we see what you can do, let's give so-and-so a chance,'" Einhorn said. as quoted in a Bloomberg story. "His continued presence is the biggest overhang on Microsoft's stock."
    • "Ballmer's problem is that he's stuck in the past," Einhorn said, according to Bloomberg. "He's allowed competitors to beat Microsoft in huge areas, including search, mobile-communications software, tablet computing, and social networking."
    • Einhorn owns about 9 million shares of the company, or 0.11 percent of its outstanding shares, according to Reuters.
    • "Charlie Brown Management"-Microsoft's nine-person board, including Chairman and co-founder Bill Gates, supports Ballmer, a source close to the board told Reuters on Thursday.------Microsoft stock price is up today.

Discussion Stories

  • Blacklists, ahoy! PROTECT IP Act sails on to Senate floor
  • Senate passes controversial antipiracy bill
  • Law Giving Feds Power to Blacklist Piracy Sites Advances
  • Sen. Ron Wyden to place a "hold" on the PROTECT IP Act
    • Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously advanced the Protect IP act to the Senate floor
    • Gov't could bring lawsuits against sites "dedicated to infringing activities"
    • Obtain court orders to require search engines to stop displaying links to such sites
    • DoJ can get court orders demanding ISPs stop rendering DNS for a website
    • Rights holders (as well as govt) could seek court orders instructing online ad services and credit card companies to end paretnerships with infringing site
    • Critics, who include Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, have said the legislation threatens free speech by providing the government with a simple, effective way of silencing critics: brand them copyright pirates.
    • Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon will put a hold on Protect IP as he did with the similar COICA bill. Wyden said today he’s “not willing to muzzle speech and stifle innovation and economic growth” in the name of fighting online piracy."
    • Defintion of infringing site: the term ‘‘Internet site dedicated to infringing activities’’ means an Internet site that:
      • (A) has no significant use other than engaging in, enabling, or facilitating the—
        • (i) reproduction, distribution, or public performance of copyrighted works, in complete or substantially complete form, in a manner that constitutes copyright infringement under section 501 of title 17, 10 United States Code;
        • (ii) violation of section 1201 of title 12 17, United States Code; or
        • (iii) sale, distribution, or promotion of goods, services, or materials bearing a counterfeit mark, as that term is defined in section 34(d) of the Lanham Act; or
      • (B) is designed, operated, or marketed by its operator or persons operating in concert with the operator, and facts or circumstances suggest is used, primarily as a means for engaging in, enabling, or facilitating the activities described under clauses (i), (ii), or (iii) of sub-23 paragraph (A);
  • Europe issues alert over "more or less potentially harmful" cell phone radiation
    • comment
    • Council of Europe issued new draft resolution and report on device radiation safety.
    • Wants its 47 member nations to adopt a "precautionary principle" when it comes to cell phone safety.
    • resolution 8.3.2 of the draft: "ban all mobile phones, DECT phones or WiFi or WLAN systems from classrooms and schools, as advocated by some regional authorities, medical associations and civil society organisations."
    • "waiting for high levels of scientific and clinical proof can lead to very high health and economic costs, as was the case in the past with asbestos, leaded petrol and tobacco." - Quote from the summary of the draft. ---These devices "appear" to have "more or less potentially harmful, non-thermal, biological effects on plants, insects and animals, as well as the human body when exposed to levels that are below the official threshold values."

  • EVO 2 console will bring Android gaming to your TV
    • Envizions Computer Entertainment Corporation announced today the planned fall release of its EVO 2 console, which repackages Android for a significantly larger small screen.
    • will retail for $249
    • Samsung 1.2 GHz processor, 512 MB of DDR2 memory and a modified Android 2.2 operating system.
    • EVO TV remote, a game controller and an HDMI cable
    • Pre-order now at
    • Points system can be converted to tokens to purchase premium Android games
    • Developers can get a jump now, ordering a free console dev kit to work with provided they’re will to commit to an annual $149 support fee for each.

News Fuse




"Hi TNT crew,

Tom asked me to email this link about the latest WHO figures for suicide rates in China (and other countries) compared to the rate within Foxconn.

The link gives you the figures for 2009 (most recent figures available.)

Great show by the way, I listen and/or watch every day on!

Many thanks, Paul Clements Exeter, Devon, UK"

  • CHINA (Selected rural & urban areas): 99-13.0-14.8 (male/female/ 100,000)
  • CHINA (Hong Kong SAR) 06-19.3-11.5
  • In 2010, foxconn had 14 suicidal death out of1 million employees. That is a rate of 1.4.

"Dear TNT team,

I heard many times on twit that ""Social Network"" movie is factually inaccurate so my question is where can I find a real story or what is the most accurate book?

Looooove the show and say hi to Leo! Best regards, Semyon Khanovych

P.S. I'm Ukrainian so once again you can try to make a Slavic accent ;-)"

  • (The answer: The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich)

"Hi TNT crew,

A few months ago, I, along with many others, emailed you to let you know about some of the ISP's wanting to put even more restrictive data caps on their internet plans in Canada. Shaw was one of those ISP's attempting to cap their plans at 60 or 100GB for the plans that most of their customer base subscribes to. The backlash on this was huge, and in late January Shaw said it was going ot crap that plan and go back to the drawing board.

In the interim the company had 34 customer consultation sessions where they invited customers to come and voice their opinions and beliefs, and come up with ideas to help shape what their future plans should look like. Many people, myself included, thought this was just going to be window dressing and that at the end not much would change.

Well, last night Shaw held a second round of Customer consultation sessions where they unveiled their new internet plans that take effect next month. And Shaw has just won at the internet. The old plans still exist, but have had their data caps doubled, and they are introducing new plans with caps that *start* with a 400GB data cap, going all the way up to unlimited. The speeds are also significantly increasing, they are immediately offering speeds of 50 to 100 megabit per second, and by august of 2012 will offer a 250 megabit per second plan. The best part of this, the cost. the 50mbit plan with a 400GB cap will cost $59/month when bundled with TV, and the 100Mbit plan with unlimited data will cost $120/month, and that plan will eventually be increased to 250mbit for the same $120.. Compare that to the old plans where 50mbit with a 175GB cap cost $100/month and 100mbit with 350GB was $150, or to some other ISP's who offer 25mbit and 75GB of data for $55/month.

Shaw is going to achieve this by switching the the majority of their TV channels from analog to digital only. They say that this will free up from 3x-10x network capacity, depending on location. This will take about a year to complete and is the reason why the 250mbit plan will not be offered immediately.

This is a wonderful example of a company making a mistake, admitting they made a mistake, and instead of just trying to do what everyone else is doing and actually went to the drawing board and innovated. These new plans are head and shoulders above anything else offered in Canada right now, and even Make Verizon FIOS in the US look a little bad.

here is a link to all of the new plans.

And a link to my article that I wrote that breaks everything down in more detail:

-- Tyler Hardeman"



  • Freshbooks -3
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Production Information

  • Edited by: Jason
  • Notes:
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