Tech News Today 479

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Tech News Today
Episode 479

Tech News Today 479: Redundant Array Of Crabs

RIM fired it's best ideas, Windows 8 on an iPad, why CISPA is worse than SOPA, and more.

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Top Stories

  • Exclusive: Former RIM boss sought strategy shift before he quit
  • Balsillie wanted Apple and Android to run through BlackBerry servers
  • The forecast for RIM: cloudy, with a chance of success
    • Reuters reports that Jim Balsillie suggested a shift for RIM
    • RIM would allow major wireless carriers to use its private network
    • Currently, RIM's network serves only BlackBerry devices.
    • The strategy was ultimately vetoed by new CEO Thorsten Heins and the board
    • This led to Balsille resigning from the board and leaving RIM entirely
    • Balsille talked with Verizon, ATT, Vodaphone, Deutsche Telekom, and at least one major Canadia carrier
    • Those wireless carriers would offer inexpensive data plans -- limited to social media and IM
    • RIM's network services is a high margin business for it earning $1B per quarter
    • The RIM network is integrated with cellular networks across the world. Managed from a string of data centers, RIM encrypts and compresses massive amounts of data it then pushes out to BlackBerry devices.
    • It charges carriers a monthly subscription fee per user for the service.
    • Allows for RIM's devices to use less bandwidth

I have some thoughts on the recent talk about the DOJ's case against publishers that you discussed in episode 477. A friend of mine spent some time working for one of the publishers accused in the case, and she insists that the accused collusion was a necessary evil to combat Amazon's business model.

However, my personal belief is that there needs to be a paradigm shift in the monetization of books. I've seen several people compare this case to when music transitioned into digital - musicians can't monetize their music via selling CD's so they have to make money in other ways, usually by selling merchandise and touring.

Two thoughts that come to mind are ad supported ebooks, which I personally think people might find annoying, but could be a source of profit for authors, or a spotify-esque service provided by the publishers.

For some monthly fee, you get access to some number of ebooks from a publisher's catalogue. This may allow for publishers and authors to still make money from writing, yet still allow for Amazon to price books cheaply for consumers.

There may even be other ideas for monetization that require thinking outside the box, I just feel like publishers aren't trying to do that and are instead clutching to a dying industry.

Thanks guys and keep up the good work.

Matt From Lawrence, KS"

  • Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr told several news outlets: "The DOJ's accusation of collusion against Apple is simply not true. The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon's monopolistic grip on the publishing industry."
  • "just as we've allowed developers to set prices on the App Store, publishers set prices on the iBookstore."

Discussion Stories

  • How developers can test Windows 8 apps on an iPad
  • Intel's Windows 8 tablet: Checklist goes public
  • Run Windows 8 on your iPad
  • Splashtop iPad App Could Affect Windows 8 Tablet Sales
  • Microsoft Needs Your Help: Promises Free Software In Return For Windows 8 Feedback
    • On Thursday, remote desktop software maker Splashtop is opening up its new iOS app, the rather clunkily named Win8 Metro Testbed, which will allow app developers to test their apps before the official launch in a Windows 8 environment on an iPad.
    • The regular price is $49.99, though it will be discounted for a limited time at $24.99. Expensive for an app, cheaper than buying a Windows 7 tablet
    • It's the Splashtop VNC built specifically for Win8. The app gives Windows 8 full run of your iPad's screen except for a small icon in the lower right. Tap it once, and a virtual keyboard pops up. Tap it twice, and a Splashtop toolbar appears with options to access the Hints Control Bar, enable a mouse cursor, lock the screen rotation, display navigation keys, and sever the connection.
    • IN BEIJING: Intel lined out two Windows 8 tablet designs implementing Clover Trail
    • Microsoft today announced that it is looking for volunteers to join its invite-only feedback program for active Windows 7 and Windows 8 Consumer Preview users in the U.S. In return for providing feedback to Microsoft – both by sending the company data or by filling out surveys – participants who stay in the program for more than four months will be eligible for “free software and Xbox games such as Microsoft Office 20120, Kinect Disneyland, and Forza Motorsport 4.”
  • 'hello' to CISPA, it will remind you of SOPA
  • Facebook supports horrible proposed Internet bill CISPA
  • CISPA: The rhetoric vs. the reality
  • Expert: New CISPA Bill Isn't SOPA, But Still Attacks Constitutional Rights
  • Activists fight "cyber-security" bill that would give NSA more data
    • 4 BIlls proposed in Congress, but CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) by Rep. Mike Rogers getting the most attention.
    • It focuses on facilitating information sharing, both between the government and the private sector, and between private network operators. It exempts ""cyber-security"" information-sharing from other legal restrictions, and it immunizes network providers from liability for failing to act on information they receive under the provisions of the act.
    • By granting firms who share information broad immunity from other provisions of law, Congress may be effectively changing any number of other statutes.
    • Dempsey: This is about government monitoring. [SOPA] is about the First amendment, [CISPA] is about the Fourth, but they both take a legitimate problem and try to tackle it with an overbroad solution.""
    • Rogers argument is that the government has info than can help private companies stop hackers but it's confidential and so illegal to share. CISPa would make it legal. But it also make it legal for the companies to share info, voluntarily, back with the government.
    • The bill doesn't technically require companies to share data with the government, but it also doesn't require the government to share cybersecurity secrets with the companies.
    • EFF worries that the language allows private companies to share data with anyone even other private companies in the name of cybersecurity. That's where the SOPA comparisons come in. "The term ‘cybersecurity purpose’ means the purpose of ensuring the integrity, confidentiality, or availability of, or safeguarding, a system or network, including protecting a system or network from–‘(A) efforts to degrade, disrupt, or destroy such system or network; or ‘(B) theft or misappropriation of private or government information, intellectual property, or personally identifiable information."
  • Privacy-protective ISP raises over $43,000 in donations in one day
  • Calyx Institute Donation page
    • yesterday Cnet profiled Nicolas Merrill, who's raising $$ to launch a national "non-profit telecommunications provider dedicated to privacy, using ubiquitous encryption" that will sell both mobile phone & Internet service.
    • Idea is to resell wireless service like 4G WiMax broadband, and add end-to-end encryption for browsing & encrypted e-mail. If there's a legal court order, Calyx couldn't help. "The idea that we are working on is to not be capable of complying," Merrill says.
    • story got picked up by Reddit and donations are now at $45k of $1M goal. 63 days left.
    • travel grant from the Ford Foundation, Merrill is heading to the San Francisco Bay Area later this month to meet with venture capitalists and individual angel investors.
    • Merrill: "The Calyx Institute is named after my former Internet Service Provider (Calyx Internet Access) which I started in NYC in 1994, and which became the plaintiff in the original challenge against the constitutionality of National Security Letters in the USA Patriot Act". In Feb 2004, the FBI sent Merrill a secret "national security letter" (not an actual court order signed by a judge) asking for confidential information about his customers and forbidding him from disclosing the letter's existence. He enlisted the ACLU to fight the gag order and won. A federal judge barred the FBI from invoking that portion of the law, saying it was "an unconstitutional prior restraint of speech in violation of the First Amendment."
    • Merrill's identity was kept confidential for years during litigation. In 2007, the Washington Post published his anonymous op-ed which said: "I resent being conscripted as a secret informer for the government," especially because "I have doubts about the legitimacy of the underlying investigation." He wasn't able to discuss his case publicly until 2010.

News Fuse



  • Monday 4/16 Ultraviolet in-store disc conversion service begins in Wal-Mart. Bring in your DVDs and Blue-rays, get them converted into digital UltraViolet files hosted with Vudu.




"Hey guys, love the show.

The manufactured story of the week seems to be the outrage over white space on the new Google+ page. It got me thinking, is there really more white space than any other website? So I did some measuring. I have a 1920x1080 display, so I do get a lot of white space, but it turns out the big block of white space on the right side of Google+ is about 650px by 770px or 500,500 square pixels.

Compare that two Facebook white has two blocks of white space, the left one measuring 380x900px and the left 500x900 pixels for a combined 792,000 square pixels. So Facebook actually has more white space. I think the whole problem would be fixed if Google would just centered the content between the left pane and the chat section, like the image attached.

Just my two cents. Thanks!

-- Jacob Bodnar"



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Production Information

  • Edited by: Jason
  • Notes:
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