Tech News Today 300

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Tech News Today
Episode 300


Tech News Today 300: A Warm Fuzzy War

Google robot car crashes, Court won't give back seized domain name, Tablets are dead, and TNT is 300!

Submit and vote on story coverage at technewstoday.reddit.com

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Top Stories

  • Google Blames a Human for Its Robot Car Accident
    • Google's self-driving car got in an accident while under manual control. Rear-ended another Prius.
    • Have logged 160,000 miles autonomously without incident.
    • Google statement: "Safety is our top priority. One of our goals is to prevent fender-benders like this one, which occurred while a person was manually driving the car."
  • Court Refuses to Return Seized Domain Name, Claims Shutting Down Speech Doesn't Cause a Substantial Hardship
  • Judge says domain name loss is not a "substantial hardship"
    • Judge Paul Crotty rejected a petition by the Spanish company Puerto 80 for the return of the domain names Rojadirecta.com and Rojadirecta.org.
    • Puerto 80 pointed not only to the loss of traffic since the seizure, but also to the infringement of its First Amendment rights. It also pointed out that its activities had already been ruled legal by the Spanish courts.
    • Judge felt that Puerto 80 had registered alternative domains like rojadirecta.me and rojadirecta.es, and that Rojadirecta can use its "large Internet presence" to "simply distribute information about its new domain name to its customers."
    • Also rejected First ammendement defense.
    • Electronic Frontier Foundation's Corynne McSherry says that the Supreme Court has ruled otherwise. "We are aware of no general principle that freedom of speech may be abridged when the speaker’s listeners could come by his message by some other means," the high court wrote in 1976.


Discussion Stories

  • Ultrabooks and tablet PCs are short-term fads, says Acer founder
  • Intel issues 'Ultrabook' reference specs with sub-$710 BOMs
    • Acer founder Stan Shih has commented that the fads for ultrabooks and tablet PCs are both short-term phenomena and urged companies in the notebook supply chain to come out with more value-added products through innovation.
    • Shih pointed out that PCs are the base of the IT industry and tablet PCs are also developed from the base; therefore, in the future, products will still need to go through the PC platform to create even more add-on value.
    • Intel will meet with notebook ODM partners in Taiwan next week to discuss its proposed BOM and other details related to the standard. Sources said Intel is already pushing next-generation Ultrabooks based on its 22nm Ivy Bridge CPUs in 2012 and Haswell-based models in 2013.
    • Intel has sent a reference bill of materials to its partners with costs of $475-$650 for 21mm notebooks and $493-$710 for 18mm models
    • PC makers have struggled to match Apple's pricing with its MacBook Air. Some notebook makers have reportedly discovered that actual production costs for their Ultrabook designs are roughly as high as retail prices for Apple's ultra-lightweight laptops.
  • Pottermore hit by dark magic ahead of big launch
    • GFI Lab's Christopher Boyd has exposed a number of scams circulating around the Google-powered eBook centred site, with the most obvious being scammers selling fake accounts for the beta trial period.
    • They are also using search engine poisoning to direct Potter fans to sites that are seeded with viruses and other malicious programs.
    • A "magic quill challenege" is run every day now until August 6
    • Pottermore administrators said buying and selling accounts was "expressly prohibited" in the terms and conditions.
  • Apple iPhone tops smartphone charts in 2nd quarter
    • According to research firm IDC, Apple's sales of 20.3 million iPhones worldwide during the second quarter of 2011 helped the company secure 19.1 percent market share and lead all other vendors.
    • Nokia saw its shipments decline 30.4 percent during the second quarter from 24 million last year to 16.7 million this year.
    • Nokia ceded the number one position for the first time in the history of IDC's Mobile Phone Tracker, with smartphone volumes dipping below the 20 million unit mark for the first time since 3Q09
    • Nokia is still leading in total mobile phone shipments with 88.5 million handsets, Samsung second with 70.2 million
    • Overall, the worldwide smartphone market grew by 65.4 percent to 106.5 million shipments, IDC said.

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"Hey TNT crew, love the show.

There seem's to be no legitimate explanation for AT&T's recent decision to throttle a percentage of users, as opposed to imposing a specific cap. So I propose a reasoning as nonsensical as their decision:

What we are seeing here is a brilliant move by AT&T towards the gamification of bandwidth caps. In this new model any app that tracks your monthly data usage would be useless. Instead we should all get excited for AT&T's inevitable ""bandwidth hog leader boards"" We'll be able to compare our monthly usage against those of family and friends. Thus giving data gluttons bragging rights in addition to throttled throughput. As an Android user I can only pray I'll soon see my home screens filling with AT&T branded badges, which will only be removable with root access.

Keep fighting the good fight,

Ben from Maine"


"Just a reminder our (New Zealand) three-strikes copyright law goes into effect from August 11 not Sept 1.

Don't we all just love the MPAA :-p

- Nicholas Webster"


"Finding the first 5 digits of an SSN isn't nearly the trick (or as scary) as it sounds.

The first three digits of your social identify the geographical region of your birth. The next two identify the hospital.

So, with your date of birth and a name that isn't overly common (like mine), finding the public birth records would be pretty easy. This would include the hospital you were born in, and (therefore) the first 5 digits of your social security number.

Which, of course, means that everyone who uses the last 4 as a pin has now given out the whole thing, but that's a whole new problem.

--Ben"

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Production Information

  • Edited by: Tony
  • Notes:
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