Tech News Today 381
Recorded: November 28, 2011
Published: November 28, 2011
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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- Tom Merritt ( )
- Sarah Lane ( )
- Iyaz Akhtar ( )
- Jason Howell ( )
- Nicole Lee ( )
- AT&T pulls T-Mobile application from FCC, records provisional $4bn loss
- Judge Delays AT&T, T-Mobile Status Hearing
- A doomed deal? AT&T withdraws T-Mobile bid at the FCC
- AT&T To Press: We Withdrew Our Merger Application First
- Asset Sale May Be Next for AT&T
- AT&T readies a Hail Mary pass on T-Mobile--report
- AT&T Desperate To Save T-Mobile Bid
- T-Mobile may partner with cable companies if ATT merge fails, leaving Sprint high and dry
- Court delays AT&T merger hearing
- Thursday AT&T withdrew their pending approval of merger to FCC. They would re-submit "as soon as practical, AT&T Inc. and Deutsche Telekom AG intend to seek the necessary FCC approval." Best bet is they wanted to prevent information from the FCC's finding from going public.
- Also took a $4 billion pretax charge on its Q4 2011 accountancy sheet, in recognition of the risk of this deal not going through.
- AT&T later issued another statement arguing that the FCC could not stop it from pulling its merger application from the commission and pledged to "immediately challenge in court" any efforts to stop the move. They claim they withdrew the application before the FCC officially voted to approve the move for law review.
- A status hearing on the Department of Justice's case against AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile has been pushed to Dec. 9, according to court filings. Judge Ellen S. Huvelle cited a court "scheduling conflict" for the delay.
- What possibilities are left? --- According to Bloomberg, the telecom giant is preparing to offer a deal to the Department of Justice under which AT&T would divest as much as 40 percent of T-Mobile's assets as part of the acquisition.
- Could scuttle Sprint's attempts to make deals with cable cos.
- Retailers Expecting Another $1 Billion-Plus Cyber-Shopping Spree Today
- Cyber Monday Online Sales Are Already Up 15 Percent From Last Year
- Amazon Says Kindle Purchases Up 4X on Black Friday
- Black Friday E-Commerce Spending Up 26 Percent To A Record $816M; Amazon Most Visited Retailer
- 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.
- 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.
- Acer Iconia Tab A200 promo video leaks onto Web
- Acer Iconia Tab A200 gets sentimental, strengthens families and makes video debut
- Acer Iconia Tab A200 video popped up on YouTube French blogging site called iLoveTablette.com
- Powered by an Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, the tablet will offer 1GB of RAM and sport a resolution of 1280x800 pixels. Weighing just 1.5 pounds, the A200 will be lighter than its A500 predecessor. And it will be offered in a choice of two colors: black titanium or metallic red.
- full-sized USB port and a microSD slot
- 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.
- For those of you suffering from the Galaxy Nexus volume bug, there's an unofficial fix available from the MoDaCo Android forum. Last week, Google said it would release a fix and the one from MoDaCo is claimed to be the "forthcoming official fixed boot image." The site warns that the fix is still in a testing phase internally and you are applying the fix at your own risk.
- Twitter has acquired Whisper Systems, a company that offers security solutions like encrypted voice, text, and backup apps for Android, and happens to have been co-founded by computer security expert Moxie Marlinspike who is also the CTO. Whisper Systems made the announcement via a blog post and explained its current services will continue to live on, but there will be a time that its products will be offline temporarily. As for how this security company will be integrated into Twitter, neither company unveiled any details.
- Koushik Dutta, a programmer at CyanogenMod, announced via Google+ that the CyanogenMod 9 alpha 11 for Nexus S is good enough to be a "daily driver." Keep in mind it's still in alpha and some people have complained of choppy video playback and MMS issues. A beta of Android 4.0 is also available for the international Samsung Galaxy S - although bugs affect the contact list and phone app while some users complained of wiped internal SD cards.
- Bloomberg reports that Skype will have discussions to get its service available on more British wireless carriers. Currently, Skype is banned on both Orange and T-Mobile, while Vodaphone charges its subscribers an extra fee for Skype access. UK telecommunications regulatory authority Ofcom said it may take action if Skype continues to be blocked.
- HTC smartphone sales may be banned in Germany soon. IPCom won a patent case three years ago and HTC had been fighting an injunction on sales since the case was decided. HTC recently pulled its latest appeal and IPCom said it would execute the injunction. Foss Patents said it received a statement from HTC saying HTC pulled the appeal because it has engineered a solution that works around the patent in question.
- AT&T announced that its latest LTE phone, the LG Nitro HD, will land in the United States on December 4th for $250 with contract. Let's get to the specs! It's got a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 4GB of internal storage plus a 16GB microSD card, and a 4.5-inch 720p IPS display. It'll run Gingerbread, but LG has said that the international version (known as the Optimus LTE) will be one of the first to get Ice Cream Sandwich.
- Intel has previously claimed cracking HDCP would require making your own semiconductors. Not so much. Using $250 worth of readily available tech, researchers at Ruhr University in Germany cracked HDCP allowing for uncompressed HDCP content to be displayed on non-HDCP devices. Lead researcher Professor Tim Güneysu said that the "The fact that we were able to achieve this … using materials costing just €200 is not a ringing endorsement of the security of the current HDCP system."
- Bloomberg reports that the first iOS game app that allowed subscription payments is now gone from the Apple App Store. Big Fish Games co-founder Paul Thelen said he hasn't received an explanation why the "Play Instantly" app got the boot. The app went live on November 18th and was removed by the 23rd.
- According to Eurogamer's sources, the next Kinect device will be able to read lips as well as be able to "measure different emotional states" by picking up cues from a player's voice and facial expressions. Eurogamer calls it the "Kinect 2" and it would be bundled with future Xbox consoles. These new abilities would come to the Xbox because the Kinect 2 will be able to send data at a higher rate than the original version.
- Best Buy UK closing down retail stores by January 2012, just couldn't make enough money to keep going, but the good news is that means clearance sales! up to 50 percent on DVDs, CDs, and Blu-rays and more.
- Russia launched another Glonass-M navigation satellite into orbit today. Glonass is Russia's version of GPS. The system currently has 23 operational satellites, but it needs 24 to provide total global coverage.
- Apple's offering free shipping on US online orders until Dec 22nd, the actual product prices will stay nice and high though, not to worry
- Reminder that Spotify's big "we're going in a new direction" announcement is on Wednesday at 12PM Eastern
- The head of marketing for Sony Ericsson Italy responded to a customer's question on Facebook, saying Android 4.0 "should arrive by March" to Sony Ericsson phones.
- if you've been to the ASUS Transformer Prime pre-order page, you may have noticed it now has a December 8th release date
"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,
- ad times: :34-:48 and 17:05-18:17
- Edited by: jason
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