Tech News Today 427

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Tech News Today
Episode 427

Tech News Today 427: You Got A Frand In Me

Amazon has good and bad news, Megaupload files are safe for now, Google's privacy policies, ...and more.

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Top Stories

  • reports Q4 sales up 35 percent to $17.43 billion; Kindle sales nearly triple during holidays
  • Amazon Misses; Q4 Sales Up 35 Percent To $17.4B; Net Income Down 58 Percent To $177M
  • Amazon: Big Kindle sales, but sales and outlook fall short
    • Amazon reported its Q4 numbers
    • It missed projections, but its earnings were ahead
    • Earnings were $177 million in the fourth quarter, or 38 cents a share, on revenue of $17.43 billion, up 35 percent from $12.95 billion a year ago.
    • Wall Street was expecting earnings of 17 cents a share on revenue of $18.25 billion.
    • Amazon says Kindle sales tripled over the holidays, but didn't give numbers. Stifel Nicolaus analyst Jordan Rohan estimated 6M Kindle Fires sold over the quarter.
    • Amazon says its Appstore for Android customers nearly tripled in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter. In addition, customers downloaded more apps from the Amazon Appstore during the fourth quarter than they had during all previous quarters combined.
    • 2012 expectations: the outlook for the first quarter fell short of expectations. Amazon projected first quarter sales between $12 billion and $13.4 billion with a wide profit and loss range. Amazon projected an operating loss $200 million to a profit $100 million.

Florian Mueller at Foss Patents said "the launch of a full-blown investigation after a few months of preliminary investigations is an important step." warrants a more formal inquiry

    • Apple says it didn't receive a patent offer from Samsung until after the lawsuit. Offer terms aren't public, but Apple calls it "manifestly not FRAND."
    • Back in October a Dutch court ruled that Samsung is indeed obligated to offer Apple patent licensing under FRAND terms — which it hasn't done.
    • "The Commission will investigate, in particular, whether in doing so Samsung has failed to honour its irrevocable commitment given in 1998 to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to license any standard essential patents relating to European mobile telephony standards on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms," the commission said in a statement.
    • "Such commitments were given to ETSI by many patent holders, including Samsung, when the third generation ('3G') mobile and wireless telecommunications system standards were adopted in Europe," the EU said. "In order to guarantee undistorted competition and to reap the positive economic effects of standardisation it is important that FRAND commitments be fully honoured by the concerned undertakings."
  • Google responds to Congress over privacy policy inquiries
  • Google clarifies what isn't changing with new privacy policy
    • Google responded to the U.S. Congress concerns about its new streamlined privacy policy.
    • Google tried to explain that it is not collecting more data, it is collecting the same data.
    • As for the lack of opting out, Google argued that its privacy settings offer control: "If a user is signed in, she can still edit or turn off her search history, switch Gmail chat to "off the record," control the way Google tailors ads to her interests using our Ads Preferences Manager, use Incognito mode on Chrome, or use any of the other privacy tools we offer."
    • Google noted the new policy doesn't change old settings
    • To educate users on the new privacy policy, Google says it will continue to conduct "the most extensive user notification effort" in the company's history. The notifications will continue past March 1 when the new privacy policy takes effect."
    • Google put up a post on the "Google Public Policy" entitled "Changing our privacy policies, not our privacy control." reiterating the points it made to Congress.
      • We’re still keeping your private information private -- we’re not changing the visibility of any information you have stored with Google.
      • We’re still allowing you to do searches, watch videos on YouTube, get driving directions on Google Maps, and perform other tasks without signing into a Google Account.
      • We’re still offering you choice and control through privacy tools like Google Dashboard and Ads Preferences Manager that help you understand and manage your data.
      • We still won’t sell your personal information to advertisers.
      • We’re still offering data liberation if you’d prefer to close your Google Account and take your data elsewhere.

Discussion Stories

  • Megaupload data to get two-week extension
  • FBI used MegaUpload Skype conversations to build its case
  • Feds: We obtained MegaUpload conversations with search warrant
  • MegaUpload ripped off YouTube, tried smearing rivals, U.S. says
    • Ira Rothken, an atty for Megaupload, says that the hosting companies for Megaupload Cogent and Carpathia had been “very open to negotiating” to preserve the data.
    • The company has worked with hosting companies to preserve the data for at least two weeks.
    • Meanwhile the DOJ told CNet that it had a warrant to obtain internal Megaupload conversations held via Skype.
    • "Electronic evidence was obtained though search warrants, which are reviewed and approved by a U.S. court," a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia said.
    • Previous reports said Skype did not receive any legal process.
    • The Verge speculates that some tracking software was placed on Megaupload computers since Skype holds onto data for 30 days while the conversations the government have date back 5 years.
    • Cnet dug into that 72-page indictment and found that the DOJ claims that Megaupload padded its library of content by downloading videos from YouTube in 2006
    • "Well we only have 30 percent of their videos yet," Ortmann [MU employee] wrote. "In my opinion it's nice to have everything so we can decide and brainstorm later how we're going to benefit from it."
    • Ira Rothken, MegaUpload's attorney, said today: "We believe the indictment is both wrong on the facts and wrong on the law. We will not comment on the specifics of the indictment we will save that for the court of law."
  • Did Apple Really Best HP as Top PC Maker?
    • A report from research firm Canalys is causing controversy
    • It says that Apple is to the top PC maker for the fourth quarter of 2011, beating out HP.
    • However, Canalys counts iPads as PCs (this isn't new for this research firm to do this)
    • 120 million PCs were shipped globally last quarter, up 16 percent from the same time last year.
    • 15.43 million were Apple iPads and 5.2 million were Macs, accounting for 17 percent of the total, Canalys said.
  • Final Cut Pro X updated with multicamera editing features, advanced time syncing, new import options
  • Apple releases updated Final Cut Pro X, brings multicam support, broadcast monitoring love
    • Apple introduced a major upgrade to Final Cut Pro X
    • Multicam support finally back, but also includes the ability to sync automatically. FCP will sync via audio cues and other properties. Supports timecode syncing, creation time, markers, and audio.
    • Photos are lined up automatically as well, good for time lapse
    • Supports up to 64 cams
    • Deeper XML import and export support, but no standard EDL support. Apple says "EDL is a legacy format, and XML is really the future."
    • New chroma keying features
    • And there's support for third-party plugins and tools including 7toX a tool that lets you move your FCP7 files to FCP X.
    • "Broadcast Monitoring," which will allow Macs to connect to a broadcast monitor via PCIe card or a Thunderbolt device, once the appropriate drivers are developed

News Fuse



  • Tonight's the Crunchies in San Francisco. Awards will be issued for things like best mobile app, best cloud service, and Investor of the year. They'll be streamed live online.



"Hello All,

First off let me tell you that I am a fan of your show and that you guys do great work.

Secondly, you guys were talking about the MegaUpload case and their hosting provider. It is common practice in the enterprise hosting industry with the dedicated server (which they had) market to not keep backups unless they wanted to do so. In 99.99% of the cases with dedicated server clients they get a dedicated server (and pay the big bucks to do so) because they want a custom completely tailored solution to fit their needs. Also, when a client has their equipment seized it is up to them (the client) to get the data to their clients, it is not up to the hosting provider to provide the data to the client of the client (confusing.. I know).

Keep up the good work


-- Nick Zyren CTO Future Hosting"

"Hey guys, girls and guests, just wanted to mention:

My wife works for a mobile carrier and is often asked if the galaxy tab is a phone... The reason why they ask is always the same... They are older and have terrible eyesight but are not quite blind and with a lackluster of feature phones especially large button ones. I think the Samsung Note would probably fit these peoples needs. Only problem I see is that these people probably don't want to spend $300 on a phone. Thanks for the great show.

Josh Pittsburgh, PA"



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Production Information

  • Edited by: Bryan
  • Notes:
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