Tech News Today 301

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Tech News Today
Episode 301

Tech News Today 301: EA Running Out Of Steam

Android can hijack your bank account, Cuban vs. Akhtar PATENT WAR, optical disk makers give up on consumers and more.

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Top Stories

  • Market meltdown likely to hit tech spending
  • Dow Slides 5.5 Percent, Ending Below 11000
    • Larry Dignan from ZDNet warns tech spending about to hit a soft patch
    • Early indicators: Juniper Networks recently noted that it was seeing a few economic hiccups. Cisco has been seeing warning signs amid its own execution issues. And Forrester Research was ready to cut its IT spending forecast based on debt ceiling talks.
    • Inventory vuildup: Mirae Asset, a Hong Kong research firm reports glut. Some companies stocked up to avoid shortfalls after apan earthquake
    • Qualcomm had 50.9 days of inventory in the second quarter, the highest since the first quarter of 2009.
    • AU Optronics, which makes LCD panels, had 45.9 days of inventory in the second quarter, up from 43.3 days in the first quarter. Those tallies are the highest since the third quarter of 2008. LG Display has a similar situation.
  • Ten-Year-Old Hacker presents mobile games hack as part of DefCon kids
    • 10-year-old CyFi (listed as a founder of DefCon kids) presented a way to hack games that have time-based aspects.
    • She shut off WiFi and tried different time increments to get around time checks
    • She's following reasonable disclosure so not all details of her exploit are known, but she did demonstrate it.
    • A sponsored session at DefCon Kids gave a cash prize to the youngster who found the most games suffering this loophole in 24 hours.
  • Developers warn of Android pop-up threats
    • Nicholas Percoco, senior vice president and head of SpiderLabs at Trustwave and Sean Schulte, SSL developer at Trustwave presented Focus Stealing Vulnerability. at DefCon,
    • API allows an app to push itself into the foreground instead of just sending an alert.
    • Disables to ability to back out of it.
    • Google: "Switching between applications is a desired capability used by many applications to encourage rich interaction between applications. We haven't seen any apps maliciously using this technique on Android Market and we will remove any apps that do."
    • Percoco and Schulte don't agree with this "wait until its reported" aspect of security
    • Malicious uses could be pop-up ads or login screen hijacking."

Discussion Stories

  • Battlefield 3 is not coming to Steam, but EA has a real reason
    • until Valve changes its policies, the game won't be available on the most popular digital distribution service in the United States.
    • Valve has placed restrictions on how content can be shared on the games sold via Steam.
    • EA hasn't made Battlefield 3 exclusive to its own Origin service
    • Ars's take: Reading between the lines, it sounds like EA wants to offer patches as well as for-pay content directly to gamers through the games itself. Valve seems to have rules in place that state such content must be sent through the Steam servers.
  • Want To See More Jobs Created? Change Patent Laws
  • My Suggestion on Patent Law [Cuban's fuller explanation]
  • Congress to consider patent reform
    • Ahead of reconvening Congress, Mark Cuban posted a call for patent reform. Essentially arguing Small companies get hit by patent suits, resources are then devoted to defending, more resource devoted to acquiring for help in defense, all that money could have been used to improve products and hire employees.
    • Iyaz will explain the patent landscape
    • Cuban suggests, end all software patents, copyright is enough - end all process patents.
    • Cuban wants to amend S.23 and/or H.R. 1249 to include limiting damages from “non-practicing entities”
    • Congress to take up patent bills when they reconvene after Labor Day"
  • GE brings holographic storage back from the dead
  • Start-up to release 'stone-like' optical disc that lasts forever
    • GE Global Researchdemonstrated blue laser micro-holographic recording material and can record data at Blu-ray speed.
    • Nobody makes the drives or disks yet of course.
    • 500 GB capacity (20 single-layer Blu-ray discs, 100 DVDs) Think they can get it to a terrabyte
    • Money would come from archiving not consumer. InPhase, with its 300GB, 20MB/sec Tapestry holographic drive, is not dead yet.
    • Millenniata and LG plan to soon release a new optical disc and read/write player called M-Disc which meets DoD standards of resiliency
    • Only need firmware upgarde to make DVD players read M-Disc. Can only do 4X speed. Again market seems to be long-term archiving
    • New optical disc technology has given up on consumers. We're headed to the cloud baby.

News Fuse




"I was listening to Tom Merritt talking about upgrading his Google Revue on Twit, which I was also considering. Until I read some comments; that a lot of apps will cease to work as they did. Most importantly Netflix, which is the main thing its good for besides Amazon Vod and HBO go. Hope this gets to you in time. (Podcast listener). Oh btw awesome show.


"On Friday, you reported that Google was shuttering Translate along with Dictionary, but this isn't the case. In fact, the Google Dictionary site now directs you to Translate as an alternative. I'd be curious what source mis-reported that.

Hey, Happy 300! I've enjoyed every one.

Richard Gunther"

  • When Google announced that it was shutting down Google Labs, that included the popular Translate API, which is used to by developers who want to add translation into their applications and sites. they'll still be offering a paid version.

"I drove past my local Verizon office in Delaware. A red tent was set up and about twenty sign toting workers. I haven't found out why…Can you help? Thanks in advance!

- Thomas birdzetf in the chat"



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Production Information

  • Edited by: Jason
  • Notes:
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