Tech News Today 448
Recorded: March 1, 2012
Published: March 1, 2012
Tech News Today 448: Probing The Limit Of The Unlimited
Is Zynga leaving Facebook? AT&T stops throttling you... so much, Japan wags a finger at Google, and more.
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- Tom Merritt ( )
- Sarah Lane ( )
- Iyaz Akhtar ( )
- Jason Howell ( )
- Owen J.J. Stone
- Rafe Needleman
- Zynga takes its first step toward a post-Facebook future
- Zynga readies 'private cloud' to run partners' games
- Zynga’s “Project Z” Revealed: Social Games on Its Own Web Site (Through Facebook, of Course)
- Zynga to launch Zynga.com and host third-party games
- Open beta of Zynga.com begins in a few days including CastleVille, Words With Friends, CityVille, Hidden Chronicles and Zynga Poker
- Games can be continued from or to Facebook and use Facebook credits
- Zynga Chief Operating Officer John Schappert said players can chat and connect without having ""to look at your family photos"" as they do when playing on Facebook, says .
- Facebook has exclusive rights to some Zynga games so they must have approved the move
- Can play against and chat with 'zFriends' which are independent of Facebook
- There are agreements in place for Facebook in the future to sell advertising on a site hosted by Zynga, according to AllThingsD Tricia Duryee
- CNET's Rafe Needleman points out Zynga has moved servers back into Zynga in preparation for this: "Our servers are optimized for game performance," CTO of infrastructure, Allan Leinwand told me. "They're not four-door sedans." He says that Zynga's particular architecture, called zCloud, needs two-thirds the machines to run games than AWS does.
- developers, including Row Sham Bow and MobScience, will be rolling out games on Zynga. Later, Zynga plans to open up its platform and APIs to independent developers, and will provide a version of the software development kit used, so far, only internally.
- AT&T relents on unlimited data throttling, increases cap to 3GB for HSPA+ and 5GB for LTE
- AT&T Adjusts Data Throttling Policy In Response to Customer Complaints
- You’ll receive a text message when your usage approaches 3GB in one billing cycle.
- Each time you use 3GB or more in a billing cycle, your data speeds will be reduced for the rest of that billing cycle and then go back to normal.
- The next time you exceed that usage level, your speeds will be reduced without another text message reminder.
- If you have a 4G LTE smartphone and still have an unlimited data plan, the same process applies at 5GB of data usage, instead of 3GB.
- "even with reduced data speeds, these customers will still be able to email and surf the web, and continue to use an unlimited amount of data each month."
- Japanese Government Issues Google Rare Public Reminder of Privacy Laws
- Google privacy changes 'in breach of EU law'
- EFF instructions to remove search history
- memo from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry was sent to Google's Japan subsidiary and posted online by the government on Wednesday evening
- The memo stressed the importance of following local privacy laws, fully explaining the changes to users, and maintaining a flexible stance toward undertaking additional explanation or measures if needed in the future.
- "This was just a notification, and requires no action or response from Google," said Hayato Okai, an official from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
- IN EU: EU's justice commissioner Viviane Reding told the BBC that authorities found that ""transparency rules have not been applied"".---Google said it believed the new policy complied with EU law.
- Google had more than 70 privacy policies - they now have one -- You can visit http://www.dataliberation.org/ to take your data out of Google. --EFF has instructions on removing your Google search history---- If your account has Web History enabled, Google will keep the records indefinitely. "With it disabled, they will be partially anonymized after 18 months, and certain kinds of uses, including sending you customized search results, will be prevented," the EFF states.
- Constitutional Showdown Voided: Feds Decrypt Laptop Without Defendant’s Help
- In 2010 authorities seized an encrypted Toshiba laptop from Ramona Fricosu with valid warrants while investigating her for mortgage fraud. Told her to decrypt it.
- Big Q- is decrypting HD a breach of the Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination. Her lawyer was suggesting she forgot p/w
- In Jan, CO U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn ordered her to decrypt laptop by end of Feb & refused to stay his decision to allow her time to appeal.
- Last week in separate case, 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled an encrypted drive is like a combination to a safe, & unlocking them is forcing testimony. 1st appellate court to issue this
- Judge Blackburn wasn't legally bound to follow that precedent because he sits in the circuit covered by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who wouldn't review his decision.
- HD now decrypted says Philip Dubois, Fricosu's attorney. On Wed police gave him a copy of info they got off the drive. Dubois thinks Fricosu's ex-husband & co-defendent supplied the PW.
- XP loses ground to Windows 7 but still top OS
- Windows 8: Last of the big bang consumer releases?
- Windows 8 Consumer Preview hits one million downloads in a day
- Is Windows Server 8's Hyper-V finally the VMware killer?
- NetApplications found that XP's share of the market dipped to 45 percent from 47 percent in January. At the same time, Windows 7 grabbed 38 percent of all users, up from 36
- Larry Dignan speculates Windows 8 may be Microsoft's last big OS, as users switch to mobile computers like tablets
- Microsoft's Building Windows Twitter account claims there were 1 million downloads of the Windows 8 Preview in less than a day
- Windows 8 server also getting some love. rebuilt from the ground up to better support virtualised servers.
- Lytro pre-orders start shipping, infinite focusing now within reach
- Lytro review
- Lytro review (Wired)
- If you pre-ordered a Lytro camera, they are now shipping. If you try to order one, it is backordered already. $400 for 8GB, $500 for 16GB
- A bunch of sites have their reviews up
- Background: Lytro uses "Light Field Technology" which allows you to focus after you take a picture.
- Image quality: It works well for a particular kind of shot and if it is lit well.
- Poorly lit images can cause issues with the focus effect
- Wired explains how important composition is and how extra care is necessary to make these Lytro images stand out
- Mac only software and moving photos (around 16MB each pic) took a while and is resource intensive
- JPG versions of the images resolve to 1080 x 1080
- Lytro plans to release updates later this year allowing for things like genuine tilt-shift focus and native 3-D images from a single lens. Another filter currently in the works will let you place an entire image in focus.
- Review notes:
- The Verge and Wired both had issue with the touch sensitive zoom control. Wired's John Bradley accidentally hit the shutter button.
- David Pierce thought the design made it strange to use as a camera and took issue with some of the design choices like the zoom control - which blends in with the design, but the touch sensitive bumps are hard to distinguish. Overall, the design was simple and clean
- The Display is 1.46-inches and doesn't have good viewing angles
- Everything your teacher taught you was wrong! Game Informer has confirmed with Ubisoft that the next installment of Assassin's Creed will take place at the time of the American Revolution. The game is set in the 18th century and the Templars and Assassins will continue their war in America. Assassin's Creed III will introduce a new hero in the franchise as well.
- It's Rumor Mill time! Digitimes reports that Apple is launching two iPad 3 models at 16 and 32GB. The 64GB model seems to be missing and an 8GB iPad 2 model would also be in the line-up. Also CNET's sources say that the iPad may be in short supply because of a lack of display panels due to manufacturing difficulties. The Apple event is on the 7th, so blogs, get your rumors in!
- Guess what? Patent Wars! The Munich I Regional Court granted Apple an injunction against Motorola because Moto was found to infringe on an Apple patent related to photo management on a portable electronic device. If Apple chooses to enforce the injunction, it could ask Motorola to destroy the devices -- however, that is unlikely and a Motorola software update could remedy the problem.
- A new ruling from the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit says that the police do not need a warrant to search your cell phone. However, the ruling limited to a particular fact pattern. In this case, the police were searching for the cell phone's phone number on that same device. The court ruled that this kind of search was "minimally invasive" and does not require a warrant. The court stressed that not all searches on a cell phone can be conducted without a warrant.
- China's firewall was temporarily down this week which opened up access to all those blocked sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. What caused the firewall's failure is unknown and was back in place by Wednesday.
- Research by Google engineer Arvind Jain shows that a 250 millisecond delay is enough time for web surfers to leave a website as it loads. A 400 millisecond delay in search is enough to get people to search less. 400ms is about the time it takes to blink.
- An internal investigation found that a NASA laptop containing International Space Station control codes was stolen. The laptop was not encrypted either. Apparently, this isn't a solitary event, other devices containing info on NASA's Orion and Constellation programs were also lost.
- Readability just released its much anticipated iOS app and boy are people excited. I mean kind fo weirdly excited, but no judgements. Readability is a free service that saves webpages for reading later in an easy to read stripped-down format. Readability competitor Instapaper has responded with a redesigned its "Read Later" bookmarklet.
- The wars for mobile payment domination may not get the press of the patent wars but they are simmering along nicely. Square just won a victory in New York by conquering the Taxi system there. The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission approved a proposal to deploy Square in 30 taxicabs as part of a test phase that will begin in a few weeks. No word on whether you'll be able to use CardCase but cabbies do not despair, CardCase does allow for tipping.
- 4 years in the making, Bioshock Infinite to be released on 10/16 in the US & 10/19 interntionally for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC versions. So far the Bioshock franchise has sold 9M units
- $299.99 Parrot AR Drone 2.0 quadrocopter up for pre-order today at online retailer Brookstone for an April 9th delivery. Otherwise, it'll be released in May. Cool new feature- record in-flight video from the onboard HD camera directly to a thumb drive through a USB port
- Week-long Game Developer's Conference kicks off next Monday in San Francisco
"I definitely think that facebook numbers are overblown. Many of us out there have more than 1 facebook account. I know a lot of people who have 2 accounts 1 for themselves and 1 for their pets.
I have an account for myself and I also have an account for my pet bird Persephone Decimus Moulton. My friends and family want to know what's going on with Persephone. Like when she used to be named Perseus until she laid an egg then got the name Persephone. Facebook is the perfect forum to inform the world about the changes in my birds life- like now she is laying on a lug nut and a big D20 to take the place of the unfertilized eggs.
"Hey TNT people!
I just wanted to make a quick observation about Google+ over the last few months. My stream has actually gotten way more interesting and that may be why Tom doesn't see as many comments on his posts. I never see his posts anymore because my stream is filled with tons of great stuff. His posts just whizz by. Also, I'm circled by new people every day and am up to over 500 people circling me, so I don't think it's a ghost town.
Keep throwing that tech news down and beating out some sense!
Jeff Pomona, CA"
By redirecting bodog.com, the united states has just extra-territoriallyseized the assets of a Canadian company, one operating in canada and doing something that was legal under canadian law. If this was anything other than a domain name it would be an international incident.
Worse, the united states isn't even against gambling, this is a protectionist law sponsored by real life gambling interests in the US.
That, coupled with the fact your congress and senate are happily trying to pass laws enabling them to seize domains without due process and for flimsy offences and you can see why the rest of the world is getting a little freaked out.
It's time to get the domain registration system out of the United States,it isn't mature enough to manage it.
Thanks, Rob in Canada"
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- Edited by: Jason
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