Tech News Today 440
Recorded: February 17, 2012
Published: February 17, 2012
Tech News Today 440: I Feel So Very Windows
Windows new logo, Google web tracking explained, Android's unlock patent, and more.
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- Tom Merritt ( )
- Sarah Lane ( )
- Iyaz Akhtar ( )
- Jason Howell ( )
- Darren Kitchen
- Microsoft announces new Metro style logo for Windows 8
- Redesigning the Windows Logo
- It's official. Microsoft has changed the Windows Logo
- Gone is the colorful flag; in its place is an angled monochromatic logo that looks like a window
- The logo was designed with the help of Pentagram (designers of things like OLPC, MoMA, Citi, the Oprah Winfrey Show, Guitar Hero and others.
- Paula Scher of Pentagram asked, "your name is Windows. Why are you a flag?"
- "We did less of a re-design and more to return it to its original meaning and bringing Windows back to its roots – reimagining the Windows logo as just that – a window."
- MS was kind enough to show off its many Windows logos on its blog and the new one looks like Win 1.0 a bit
- Google's iPhone Tracking
- Google and others caught circumventing Safari and Mobile Safari privacy restrictions
- Google hit with FTC complaint, says circumventing Safari privacy features accidental
- Garg's method
- Stanford researcher Jonathan Mayer's explanation of how he found the issue
- Stanford researcher Jonathan Mayer (and later confirmed by WSJ) found that Google's Doubleclick and Vibrant Media, Media Innovation Group, and PointRoll have used an iframe trick to set cookies in Safari that would otherwise be blocked. (This problem also occurs in IE6/7 but can be resolved by sending a P3P header.)
- Under its default settings, both the desktop and iOS versions of Safari only accept the files from sites that individuals specifically visit or interact with.
- developer Anant Garg first described the method in 2010, which uses a blank form sent in the background
- Google said in a statement that "the Journal mischaracterizes what happened and why. We used known Safari functionality to provide features that signed-in Google users had enabled. It's important to stress that these advertising cookies do not collect personal information."
- an update to Webkit that closes the loophole—and was prepared by two Google engineers—could be incorporated into future versions of Safari.
- The Consumer Watchdog advocacy group today asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether Google violated a previous privacy agreement with the FTC
- Essentially as I understand it,Safari blocks 3rd-party cookies by default, however third-party cookies are allowed when a form is posted. Google wanted to include +1 buttons in ads, but since doubleclick and G+ are at different domains, they used the form posting function to make the connection. Google claims this had the unintended side effect of allowing other cookies to be set from other advertising. Google has shut off the form and is actively removing the cookies that were set unintentionally.
- Amidst Apple Patent Fight, Google Preps New Android Unlock Options
- Google files for slide-to-unlock patent as Apple battle heats up
- Patently Apple reported a Google patent published earlier this month would offer Android manufacturers "new options to unlock future Android devices."
- Patently Apple suggests one way this might play out is o to have a user drag one icon to another icon on the screen
- There's also mention of dragging apps to unlock directly to that app as well as voice-activated unlocking as well as the option to draw an unlocking pattern on the touch screen,
- yesterday, Apple won a key ruling in a German court that said Motorola Mobility is violating Apple's slide-to-unlock patent in several of its mobile devices.
- Amazon taps Foxconn to make Kindle Fire 2. Should start shipping it in May/June
- China Times reports Amazon decided to add Foxconn to the Kindle Fire 2 OEM list. To lower the costs, Amazon will also take over the selection/certification of components
- Quanta reportedly will continue to assemble the original Kindle
- suppliers expect to start component deliveries in March. Next generation Amazon tablet volume shipments are scheduled for May/June.
- Nevada Approves Self-Driving Cars After Google Lobbying Push
- Bruce Breslow, director of the Nevada DMV: "These regulations establish requirements companies must meet to test their vehicles on Nevada's public roadways as well as requirements for residents to legally operate them in the future."
- one reported incident of a fender bender involving a driverless car but Google says it was in manual mode at the time
- BMW, Volkswagon, and Audi all in the process of developing self-driving prototypes.
- Florida and Hawaii looking into testing of driverless vehicles.
- Netflix Brings Back DVD-Only Subscription for $7.99 a Month
- dvd.netflix.com, no streaming subscription required. The plan is $7.99 a month, and as always, can sign up for a 1 month free trial now.
- The Washington Post reports the New York Times is angry with Apple. A NYT source tells the Post that, “They (Apple) are playing access journalism...I’ve heard it from people inside Apple: They said, look, you guys are going to get less access based on the iEconomy series.” The "iEconomy series" refers to the Times piece about Foxconn factory conditions in China where iPads are assembled. The Wall Street Journal was granted access to Mountain Lion in advance of its release and scored an interview with Apple CEO, Tim Cook.
- Proving that people love a good patent story, Phandroid.com has dug up a Google patent filing via Reddit that covers the notification bar in Android. The Reddit post asks the question "why hasn't Google sued Apple about this considering Notification Center is so similar?" That patent was filed back in January 2009, but has not been granted yet. If it's approved, patent war? Maybe.
- AFP reports Proview might sue Apple in the United States for $2 billion dollars. Proview says it owns the trademark to the "iPad" name, while Apple claims it bought the rights a long time ago from Proview. Meanwhile, Proview showed off its iPad which it produced between 1998 and 2009. The Proview iPad is an all-in-one PC which bears a resemblance to the original iMac. The first iMac debuted in 1998.
- Good news for Foxconn workers. The company has increased pay by 16 to 25% for its workers in China. While some may look at this as reaction to the impending Fair Labor Association investigations, Foxconn was quick to note that "the basic salary of junior workers in all of Foxconn's China factories is already far higher than the minimum wage set by all local governments."
- Twitter will allow 10,000 advertisers access to its ad-platform. To qualify, the advertiser must be an American Express card-holder or a merchant that accepts AmeX cards. AmEx also will credit advertisers $100 to each ad buyer. Twitter says 3,000 marketers are already in the program.
- All subscribers to Orange, a mobile carrier in Africa, will have access to Facebook via their mobile phones regardless if the device is a smartphone or a feature phone. Thanks to a partnership between Orange and Myriad, phones will receive Facebook data via Unstructured Supplementary Service Data, which is similar to SMS. The simplified version of Facebook will be text-only and users can check or update their status.
- Flickr and Hunch co-founder Caterina Fake has announced a new startup, called Pinwheel. The site is in private beta, and seems broadly similar to Pinterest. Fake explains Pinwheel as a way to "find and leave notes all around the world. The notes can be public or private, shared with an individual, a group, or everyone. They can be organized into sets." You can sign up to maybe get in the beta at Pinwheel.com.
- Piper Jaffray analyst Gus Richard wrote today that Apple is working on a laptop with an internally-designed chip based on ARM, a project that might pose a serious risk to Intel, an analyst said today in a research note. The statement asserts the Apple notebook project will not necessarily come to fruition in a commercial product.
- Members of the University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering have devised a low-cost way to find you based on your GSM cell phone. Attackers call the target's phone number several times, hanging up in about 5 seconds each time so that the phone doesn't ring. However it's enough time to see the cell tower page the phone using some open source monitoring software, as long as both attacker and target are in the same area known as an LAC for Location Area Code (different from a phone number's area code).
- When a cell phone is called the tower sends out a page containing a temporary MSI or Mobile Subscriber Number - not the customer's phone number, this temporary MSI changes often (but not often enough it seems)
- attackers also within the tower range of the victim can eavesdrop on these TMSI pages
- after several attempts attackers can figure out which TMSI is associated with their victim
- requires a cheap hacked Nokia feature phone, special cable and some open source software to pull off
- Only works against targets connected to GSM networks and configured to communicate over 2G networks: e.g. iPhones
- AT&T and Nokia have been notified
- Anyone can install Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and have access to the full range of multiplayer features for free from now until Monday on Steam. This game currently holds the title of biggest entertainment release of all time having made over $1 billion in only 16 days.
- Preorders begin for Spark, the open KDE tablet from makeplaylive.com. Spark runs the Mer platform, which is a community-driven mobile Linux environment based on the MeeGo project. The product is expected to ship to customers in May.
- Starting today, The Mojang team (the folks behind Minecraft) is working for 60 hours straight to pump out an all-new game for the Humble Bundle Mojam event & you can watch a live webcast of the whole thing! URL is humblebundle.com
- As part of a Q&A on Nikon France's Facebook page, the company said the D4 would be launching on March 15th, with the D800 launching a week later on March 22nd and the D800E coming on April 12th. The Verge asked Nikon about US dates and received some vague answers but answers nonetheless. The D4 will launch in the US in "mid-March." The D800 will follow in "late March," and the D800E in "mid-April"
- Nothing gets people excited like Angry Birds. Agitated Avian maker Rovio has announced they will launch a new game called Angry Birds Space on March 22. According to Rovio's official website, Angry Birds Space is a "completely new game with innovative new gameplay, but with some of the familiar Angry Birds elements that fans already know and love." So what? No gravity? The game will launch simultaneously in mobile gaming, animation, retail and publishing.
"Hi everyone I love your show, I listen everyday. What struck me as interesting in your recent story about the next version of OS X is it's expected release date, sometime in the summer. I was thinking that this would likely coincide with a refresh of the Mac Book and Mac Book Air line of computers. If this happens then it is likely that Apple would leave the iPhone update to the fall so as to spread out it's product launches. This would be in opposition to what many people think, that the new iPhone would be launched in June. I was wondering what you guys thought about this as a likely scenario? Keep up the good job.
"Hey guys and Sarah. Have you ever heard of an electric cooperative. If not, they are customer owned electric companies. There are also telephone cooperatives in areas of the country. Why don't people in rural areas form there own ISP cooperatives. Other cooperatives were formed when rural areas were underserved with electricity or phone service so why couldn't ISP's be formed. The infrastructure for supplying internet service is cheaper than it has ever been so now would be the time to do it. Also cooperatives are not meant to make a profit just provide the infrastructure and maintain it. Just sayin'
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- Edited by: Jason
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