Tech News Today 281

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Tech News Today
Episode 281

Tech News Today 281: Patent Passion

AntiSec hits the military, Ballmer keynote very un-Ballmer-like, Google gets an eReader, and more.

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Top Stories

  • Hackers claim they exposed Booz Allen Hamilton data
  • Anonymous releases 90k Military emails and passwords
    • Anonymous AntiSec movement compromised a server at consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton and have released internal data, they call "Military Meltdown Monday" including about 90,000 military e-mail addresses. Deleted source code from servers.
    • No comment from Booz Allen
    • Statement from AntiSec claimed they hacked Booz Allen for similar reasons as the hack on HB Gary
    • HB Gary was going to unmask Internet activists, conduct an astroturfing campaign, counter wikileaks and spy on unions.
    • AntiSec also includes an "invoice for our audit of your security systems," for a total of $310, for four hours of work. **Also claimed to have boosted "maps and keys for various other treasure chests buried on the islands of government agencies, federal contractors and shady whitehat companies. This material surely will keep our blackhat friends busy for a while."
  • Ballmer: Windows Phone 7 Not Successful Yet
  • Microsoft's Steve Ballmer says '400 million Windows 7 licenses sold'
  • Ballmer Talks About How Skype Will Fit Into Microsoft
    • Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer during the opening keynote Monday at the 2011 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, being held this week in Los Angeles.
    • In uncharacteristic Ballmer pridelessness - "In a year, we've gone from very small to ... very small," he said, referring to the market share that phone operating
    • He noted that Microsoft had sold more than 350 million licences for Windows 7, while other unnamed companies, presumably Apple, were celebrating success with only 20 million copies of their OS. "350 is a lot more than 20," Win7 the fastest-selling operating system in history
    • Also stressed the cloud - He noted that technologies from competitors such as Oracle and VMware "[have] merit, but what we think what customers want to do is match between the public and private clouds," he said.
    • One of the great motivations in acquiring Skype was enabling the enterprise to have as much control as it wants through Active Directory and Lync, but also making it easier to connect enterprises to consumers and business partners around the world.
    • Xbox Music coming this fall with 11 million songs
    • Windows marketing chief Tami Reller made the promise pretty explicit: "The hardware you're making today will be able to take advantage of Windows 8 tomorrow." Win7 software will run on Win8
    • "Bing is probably the Microsoft product or service that our partners spend the least amount of time with now. That will change over next few years. We're thinking about architecture that will allow us to open Bing up over time to be more of a platform."

Discussion Stories

  • 28% of US smartphone owners use them as primary 'Net connection
  • More U.S. Adults Own a Smartphone Than Have a Degree
    • Pew Internet Project 83% have some kind of cell phone, From that group, 42% have a smart phone, of THAT 28% access the Internet this way most of the time, which amounts to 10 percent of all cell owners or 8 percent of all adults in the US and OF THAT nearly 1/3 lack any kind of traditional broadband Internet access.
    • "Smartphone owners under the age of 30, non-white smartphone users, and smartphone owners with relatively low income and education levels are particularly likely to say that they mostly go online using their phones,"
    • nearly half of those who are employed full time have a smartphone, while just over a quarter of those who are not employed have one.
    • More Americans own Smartphones than hold a bachelor’s degree
    • Pew surveyed 2,277 US adults between April and May of this year
  • DOJ: We Can Force You To Decrypt That Laptop
    • Ramona Fricosu, is accused of fraudulent real estate transactions. During the investigation, the government seized an encrypted laptop from the home she shares with her family, and then asked the court to compel Fricosu to type the password into the computer or turn over a decrypted version of her data.
    • Prosecution (Department of Justice) claims this is similar to asking for blood samples, fingerprints or a key to a safe.
    • The prosecutor in the case has insisted that the defendant would not be forced to disclose her passphrase, but only to enter the passphrase into a computer to decrypt the drive.
    • EFF in an amicus brief says compelling the defendant to decrypt the laptop would violate 5th Ammendment protection against self-incrimination
    • "Decrypting the data on the laptop can be, in and of itself, a testimonial act--revealing control over a computer and the files on it," according to the EFF's Marcia Hoffman

News Fuse





"Hi Tom,

Loved the show as usual. Just listening in on the post show for July 8/11.

I too have had the unfortunate situation of dropping my iPhone into the water. It worked pretty well after a few hours in rice, with the exception of my ""sleep"" button (the button on the very top of the phone)...not the end of the world. Apple of course wouldn't fix it - water damage - so I suffered through without the use of the button. From time to time my phone would freak out and want to turn itself off (the slide to power off screen would appear, unprompted). After a few months of dealing with it...this week my phone suddenly began working good as new. I have full use of the sleep button again and no more unprompted powering off my phone. Perhaps there is hope for your phone too? Good luck.

Kate Halifax, Nova Scotia - Canada"

"I have heard a lot lately about what G+ is supposed to be for the end user. Many are looking to supplant Twitter or Facebook, others just can't quite put their finger on what G+ is all about. To me, its about targeted communication.

Twitter is really just a fire hose. Its great, you get a continual stream of information, but its untargeted and a bit cluttered, but fun. Facebook becomes more like a private club, where everyone in your circle is connected and you know anything said will be seen by all of them. G+ is more. This big thing for me with G+ is the circles. As a photographer and tech geek, I find myself often sharing information that is not germane to a portion of my audience. Now I can talk about developing film just to film photographers, discuss the finer points of Lightroom with the digital guys and talk about technology in general with those that are interested. I can control my signal to noise ratio to my audience, sending targeted messages to those who care... It strengthens my voice. That's why G+ is supplanting Facebook for me, because I need a firehose, but I don't need a private club when I can focus my message. G+ trumps Facebook for me, but does not fill Twitter's niche. Everyones mileage will vary. --

Michael W. Gray"



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Production Information

  • Edited by: Jason
  • Notes:
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