Tech News Today 435

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Tech News Today
Episode 435

Tech News Today 435: Don't Root Your Wallet

Iran blocks the Internet, How bad is ACTA? and Google Wallet woes, and more.

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Top Stories

  • Google Wallet Woes Continue
  • Google Wallet flaws let attackers view card info
  • Second Major security flaw found in Google Wallet….Rooted or not No One is safe (Video)
    • The Google Wallet app can be reset without knowing its pin by clearing the data from Settings > Applications Settings
    • With the app reset an attacker can create a new pin and access funds available in your Google prepaid card
    • Google prepaid cards are tied to the device, not the account, so clearing application data does not clear the prepaid card
    • Google's response: "We strongly encourage anyone who loses or wants to sell or give away their phone to call Google Wallet support toll-free at 855-492-5538 to disable the prepaid card. We are currently working on an automated fix as well that will be available soon. We also advise all Wallet users to set up a screen lock as an additional layer of protection for their phone."
    • This vulnerability was disclosed on the XDA-Developers forum by Evangelion01 on December 26, 2011 and made popular by a video from on February 9, 2012.
    • Google Wallet supports prepaid credit cards through Google Checkout since not all major credit cards can be linked
    • From the Google Wallet FAQ: "The same rules that apply to unauthorized use of your plastic credit card, apply to unauthorized use of a credit card stored in Google Wallet"
    • This news comes after yesterday's report that a rooted Android phone can brute force the Google Wallet pin.
    • Google responded "To date, there is no known vulnerability that enables someone to take a consumer phone and gain root access while preserving any Wallet information such as the PIN."
    • ExtremeTech's Android expert Russell Holly confirmed that while many Android phones can be rooted without wiping data, no device that supports Google Wallet can be rooted without wiping.
    • Security researchers advise Google Wallet users to enable a lock screen, disable USB debugging, enable full disk encryption and keep the device updated.

Discussion Stories

  • Fire in the Hole! Amazon May Ship 9-Inch Kindle by Midyear.
  • Amazon denies plans for standalone video service
    • Pacific Crest analyst Chad Bartley this week raised his 2012 Kindle Fire sales estimate from 12.7M to 14.9M based on a 9-inch model he expects Amazon to launch mid-year
    • Amazon loses a few bucks per Fire unit, but last month an RBC Capital analyst report pegged cumulative lifetime operating income per Fire of $136, majority from ebook sales. 9-inch good for ebooks, better for video?
    • Bartley also reduced his Kindle e-reader unit estimates from 28.6M to to 24M. He doesn't say why but assumption is Fire is taking sales from cheaper models
    • new Amazon ad still pushes sunlight reading as win for e-readers, & that Fire, Touch, & original cheaper than 1 iPad. iPad 3 expected next month.
    • Amazon announced deal with Viacom this week- Head of Digital Video Content Acquisition Brad Beale told GigaOM no "near future" plans to unbundle a streaming service from Prime. Prime drives sales thru free shipping.
    • Prime Instant is only partial catalog, customers have to rent/buy certain TV eps and movies separately, more $ for Amazon.

News Fuse





"A couple of points in the US cable industry conversation. I agree with dropping all analog signals over the cable lines. They take up a massive amount of bandwidth. But the cable companies should still be pushing out AT LEAST the local OTA channels over unencrypted QAM. You can buy devices that can convert these signals for older televisions that will not require a monthly rental payment like cable boxes (and most cable cards). The cable companies are required to provide these channels unencrypted and they do not take up much bandwidth on their own. I'm fine with using switched digital video (SDV) for the other channels but just be aware that even if they use SDV you still need a cable card to use it with a Tivo. The latest cable cards support 2-way communication so they can use all the cable companies latest offerings. In fact the cable boxes from the last few years are required to have cable cards in them. I'd also like to be able to buy my own cable card instead of having to rent one.

But you are absolutely right that they should be moving towards an IP based model, as long as the QAM local channels are still available.

And forget all that I said above. All I really want the cable companies to focus on is providing me the fastest broadband possible, at a competitive price, with no bandwidth caps. But I'm an optimist.

18:00, 16 February 2012 (PST)18:00, 16 February 2012 (PST)18:00, 16 February 2012 (PST)18:00, 16 February 2012 (PST)18:00, 16 February 2012 (PST)18:00, 16 February 2012 (PST)18:00, 16 February 2012 (PST)18:00, 16 February 2012 (PST)Eva 18:00, 16 February 2012 (PST)

Sam Session"

"Hey ya'll, I just wanted to say I love the show and real quick wanted to recommend Bitcasa for Tom and Scott. I heard you guys complaining about the fact there is no cloud service large enough to hold your ridiculous amount of data and how you don't want to pick and choose which files to upload based on space constraints. Well Bitcasa claims to hold an unlimited amount of space for every user thus having the ability to host your entire computer on the cloud. It's still in beta so use with caution but I've been using it quite awhile and I have no issues with it so far. Keep up the great work guys and girls!

Sorry about any typos, written on my phone very early in the morning. -- Keith Williams Jr."



  • ad times: :47 - :57 and 13:05 - 14:49

Production Information

  • Edited by: Jeff
  • Notes:
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