Tech News Today 435
Recorded: February 10, 2012
Published: February 10, 2012
Tech News Today 435: Don't Root Your Wallet
Iran blocks the Internet, How bad is ACTA? and Google Wallet woes, and more.
Submit and vote on story coverage at technewstoday.reddit.com
- Iran reportedly blocking encrypted Internet traffic
- Iran cuts off Internet access
- Iran Reportedly Cuts Off Access to Secure Internet Sites
- Iran reportedly blocking encrypted internet access on eve of national anniversary
- A post from Sara70 on Hacker news alleges Iran is blocking the use of https:// (This means many Google services and APIs are failing) More users on Hacker news stated not only https, no IMAP over TLS and no SSH connections. One commenter claimed SSH has been disabled for months.
- CNET reports one source confirmed that Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo email, along with Facebook are blocked.
- According to the Washington Post, Internet users are increasingly seeing the error message "According to computer crime regulations, access to this Web site is denied."
- buzz on the streets is that anti-government protests are planned for Saturday. February 11 marks the anniversary of Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.
- Last month the country's information minister told the Islamic Republic News Agency that a firewalled national Internet would soon become operational.
- DNS Tunneling
- ICMP Tunneling
- On eve of protests, Germany backs away from ACTA
- As Anonymous protests, Internet drowns in inaccurate anti-ACTA arguments
- KILL ACTA: give the EU an earful about secret copyright treaties in Brussels tomorrow at 2PM (and more protests all over the world)
- According to Der Spiegel, the German government now plans to wait and see how the European Parliament votes on ACTA
- Poland made a similar move last week.
- All 27 nations must approve the treaty for it to go into effect in Europe.
- Organizers are planning ACTA protests in 200 cities across Europe on Saturday. In Brussels, thousands will mass at the Bourse De Bruxelles at 2PM to give the EU an earful.
- KillACTA.org is organising petitioning of elected representatives.
- If you're going to oppose ACTA, make sure you know what you're opposing. It ratchets copyright protection up worldwide, forces poorer countries to implement the same laws the US has, and solidifies current laws in the US making them difficult to change.
- 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 TheSmartPhoneChamp.com 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.
- Dispense with the pretense: Google's gunning for Apple
- Google testing 'next generation personal communication device' on temporary FCC license
- Google testing Google-manufactured personal communication device
- Google's home entertainment foray: Why the Motorola deal may work
- According to a document submitted to FCC, Google testing a "next generation personal communication device," through July 15
- It uses Bluetooth and WiFi and will have about 102 prototypes.
- The test will involve "throughput and stability of the home WiFi networks that will support the device" tested only by Google employees in Los Angeles, CA, Mountain View, CA, New York, NY, and Cambridge, MA.
- Could be the goggles, or even possibly the home entertainment device.
- Larry Dignan points out Motorola's hardware talents could play in nicely here especially regarding the home entertainment system.
- Casey Johnston from Ars Technica: There's a future out there where you're sitting on your couch, using your Google home entertainment system connected to your activity-tracking Google router, wearing your Android-powered smart glasses, and typing on the potential Chromeberry the company is testing now.
- No third-party code on the Windows on ARM desktop means no plugins for Internet Explorer
- Windows 8 Secrets: Windows 8 Is NOT Dropping The Start Button
- The Metro-style browser won't support plugins on any processor architecture. x86 and x64 Windows will allow sites to tell you to use the desktop browser, and if plugins are what you want, that's what you'll have to use.
- As for that Windows 8 button disappearing, Paul Thurott points out that Rafael Rivera has previously reported a Windows Key button is required for any PC or device to get the Certified for Windows 8 logo from Microsoft. This hardware button replaces the Windows button, and it will be present on all PCs and devices that come with Windows 8 preinstalled.
- 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.
- Apple Insider reports that sources tell it all MacBook Pros will look like MacBook Airs by the end of the year. That would mean no optical disk drives or traditional hard drives but flash-memory based solid-state drives, instant-on capabilities, and extended battery life. A rumoured ultralight 15-inch Mac laptop expected this spring could be the first example of the revamp.
- Tesla cars are growing up. On Thursday, Tesla Motors unveiled a prototype of its third vehicle, a family car crossover called the Model X. CEO Elon Musk said the car would enter production in late 2013. The Model X seems to fit into a growing niche of crossovers like the Acura ZDX and BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo. It's all-electric, but also features Falcon-Wing doors for the rear passengers. World, get ready for a new breed of wealthy green hipster soccer moms.
- More phone announcements are leaking out ahead of Mobile World Congress. Acer officially announced its flagship Acer CloudMobile which will support the AcerCloud connection service, and have a 4.3-inch HD display. Meanwhile Engadget passes on some intriguing leaked photos from PhoneArena that show an HTC phone running Ice Cream Sandwhich with definite hints of Verizon-ness. A New Incredible maybe?
- Patent Wars. A German court threw out out a Motorola Mobility patent lawsuit against Apple. The Dusseldorf Regional Court in Germany denied Apple's bid yesterday for a ban on the Samsung Galaxy tablet 10.1N. Apple filed a new case against Samsung in San Jose federal court alleging infringement of two recently awarded patents regarding mobile OS's. AND Apple filed a new lawsuit against Motorola today, targeting the company's patent licensing agreement with Qualcomm.
- According to a Canaccord Genuity analyst report, Apple pocketed around 80% of all mobile phone profits in Q4 with just 8.1% of the global mobile phone market. Samsung's profits shrank to 15% from 26% in the previous quarter, but its share of Android customers jumped 4%. So who took the other 5% of global profits? 3% went to HTC, while Nokia & RIM each took 2%.
- A free piece of software called Do Not Track Plus was released on Thursday. The software works seamlessly with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.-- Not only that, but it can apparently increase page load speeds by up to four times. And if you like to press Facebook's like button, the software lets users continue to use social-sharing buttons even as it blocks social tracking.
- A study from the University of Minnesota and Wellesley College, titled ‘Reel Piracy: The Effect of Online Film Piracy on International Box Office Sales’ found that US box office revenue isn’t affected by piracy, but International releases are. The study found that International revenues were at least 7% lower than they would have been in the absence of pre-release piracy. And contributed the loss to the longer release windows for overseas movies.
- Now for some good gaming news and some bad gaming news from NPD. In January, Microsoft's Xbox 360 was the best-selling platform in the U.S. for the 13th month in a row. But overall gaming sucked. Total gaming sales dropped 34 percent from last year to $750.6 million. Hardware sales slipped by 38 percent to $199.5 million, while total software sales declined 37 percent to $379.6 million from a year ago.
- Another German court denies Apple's request for a ban of Galaxy Tab 10.1N
- Xbox World magazine claims Microsoft's next Xbox will include a Wii U-like touchscreen controller, though the magazine claims the shape would be closer to a PS Vita. Other claims in the article about the next Xbox include augmented reality, directional sound, and a four-player, finger-tracking Kinect.
- The Droid 4 Is Now Available, $199 From Verizon or $99 At Amazon
- Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace has returned to theaters... in 3D.
- HP Global Partner Conference taking place at the Aria resort in Las Vegas Monday 2/13- 15. Dress code is business attire. HP announces earnings a week later.
- EU is set to decide on Google's Motorola Mobility acquisition deal Monday 2/13
"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)
"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."
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- Edited by: Jeff
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