Tech News Today 381

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Tech News Today
Episode 381

Tech News Today 381: Ice Cream Sandwich Fatigue

AT&T withdraws T-Mobile bid, the Cyberist of Mondays, jet-packs racing jets, and more.

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Top Stories

  • Piper Jaffray reports on Apple's impressive Black Friday sales (Updated)
    • IBM’s Coremetrics retailer data. online sales are already up 15 percent for this same time period over Cyber Monday 2010 -- expect it to top $1 billion again
    • Black Friday online sales of $816 million, making it the heaviest online spending day to date in 2011 and representing a 26 percent increase over the same day in 2010, comScore
    • Amazon sold 4x amount of Kindles they sold last year on Black Friday
    • Munster estimated the Apple store(s) he surveyed sold about 10.1 Macs per hour and 14.8 iPads per hour. This is a 23% increase in Mac sales and a 68% increase in iPad sales year over year. --- Deutsche Bank's Chris Whitmore polled local Apple stores and found that 75% had sold their entire inventory of the 4S on Black Friday. These stores were quickly replenished and, 30% of stores were sold out again the next day.
  • European high court rejects Internet traffic filtering as violation of fundamental rights
    • TorrentFreak ran a list of more than 130 domains it said were seized by the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security's Immigrations and Customs Enforcement division as part of "Operation in Our Sites."
    • TorrentFreak reported that the seizures were limited to sites that directly charge visitors for their services. Most domain names suggest clothing. Some had movies.
    • PRO IP act lets law enforcement seize "property" used in the commission of certain crimes--without ever having to get a conviction for the crime itself.
    • The ABC is reporting that 'Australia's five major ISPs have revealed their plans to crack down on online piracy by sending warning notices to suspected illegal downloaders while assisting rights holders to pursue serial offenders through the courts.' Three strikes and you're in court.
    • The highest court in the European Union overturned a ruling that would have forced a Belgian ISP to preemptively filter Internet traffic to prevent the unauthorized sharing of music files.
    • The broad monitoring required to filter file-sharing would "infringe the fundamental rights of (Scarlet's) customers, namely their right to protection of their personal data and their right to receive or impart information, which are rights safeguarded by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU," the court panel wrote.

Discussion Stories

  • Four hack suspects linked to terrorist group
    • The FBI and Philippine law enforcement officials arrested four people in the Philippines this week who were allegedly paid by terrorists to hack into AT&T's system, but the company said its system was not breached.
    • arrested Wednesday in Manila, were paid by the same Saudi Arabian-based terrorist group identified by the FBI as funding the 2008 attack on Mumbai, the Philippines' Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said in a statement.
    • The suspects hacked the trunk-like PBX (private branch exchange) phone lines of different telecommunications companies, including AT&T, the CIDG said. Money stolen in the hacks was diverted to bank accounts belonging to the terrorists, who paid the Filipino hackers on commission, the group said.
    • An AT&T representative told Reuters that it "ended up writing off some fraudulent charges that appeared on customer bills" but did not comment on the $2 million figure.
  • Google bows before Europe for Motorola's hand in marriage
    • According to a filing on the European Commission website dated November 25, Google and Motorola are applying under Council Regulation 139/2004, which covers all rules around merger regulations for the European Commission. The provisional deadline for the regulator’s decision has been set for January 10, 2012.
    • Google has applied to the European Commission for regulatory approval for its acquisition of Motorola Mobility.
    • Motorola Mobility Holdings shareholders agreed to the merger at a special meeting on November 17, but it still needs the nod from the US Department of Justice and the European Commission.

News Fuse



  • Reminder that Spotify's big "we're going in a new direction" announcement is on Wednesday at 12PM Eastern




"Hi TNT Folks,

I have to chuckle whenever the TWIT world makes a Star Trek reference, especially as it concerns the iPad and our PADD, which you discussed briefly on Wednesday's TNT. I was the senior illustrator-slash-designer for the Trek franchise for 15 years at Paramount Pictures, and was tasked with updating a lot of the props that we all knew and loved from the original 1960s show. The PADD came into being in 1987 as an update to the big, chunky electronic ""clipboard"" that Captain Kirk would sometimes use. Kirk pretty much just signed off on orders and such, but little did we realize just how much exposure the PADD would receive through four of the ""modern era"" Star Trek shows and at least four of the feature films.

What I didn't see coming was the *shrinking* of some of today's devices. I drew the original 4""x6"" PADD to be about 1/2"" thick, which is clearly chunky compared to today's iPad or iPhone. I knew the PADD could network with the main computer on the Enterprise or any other ship, network with Starfleet Command through subspace, and contained enough magical solid state storage to hold several LOCs (Library of Congress).

We made the PADD mostly an information storage and retrieval device, the tricorder mostly a data gathering and analysis device (based loosely on my HP-41C), and the communicator badge, well, mainly a communications device. There's no reason on earth why all three could not have been combined, of course, but you can chalk up the separation mostly to giving the actors some ""business"" to perform with different gizmos. Ask Levar Burton; he knows. :)

If you want to read more about the dusty history of this stuff, dig back to the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual from Pocket Books. Mike Okuda and I wrote it in 1990 (on Macs) and illustrated it when graphics software wasn't -quite- there yet. Today, of course, we could do it all as apps with animated CGI and beeps and boops and narration.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and we'll see you on the other side.

All the best,

Rick Sternbach"



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Production Information

  • Edited by: jason
  • Notes:
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