Tech News Today 480

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Tech News Today
Episode 480

Tech News Today 480: Nostalgia Can Be Dangerous

FCC gets catty with Google, Nexus comes to Sprint, 4K is for suckers, and more.

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Top Stories

  • FCC drops Google investigation over WiFi snooping, issues small fine
  • Google fined $25,000 for impeding FCC investigation
  • Google Is Faulted for Impeding U.S. Inquiry on Data Collection
    • FCC has dropped its investigation of Google's collection of WiFi "payload data" as part of the company's Street View project, but has slapped the company with a $25,000 fine for obstructing its investigation.
    • An investigation by the Federal Trade Commission was dropped in October of 2010
    • In a notice dated April 13, released in a partially redacted form (PDF) on April 15 by the FCC, the commission claimed, "For many months, Google deliberately impeded the (FCC Enforcement) Bureau's investigation by failing to respond to requests for material information and to provide certifications and verifications of its responses."
    • "As the FCC notes in their report, we provided all the materials the regulators felt they needed to conclude their investigation and we were not found to have violated any laws," the company said in a statement. "We disagree with the FCC's characterization of our cooperation in their investigation and will be filing a response."
    • “Although a world leader in digital search capability, Google took the position that searching its employees’ e-mail ‘would be a time-consuming and burdensome task,” the report said. The commission also noted that Google stymied its efforts to learn more about the data collection because its main architect, an engineer who was not identified, had invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
  • Oracle and Google's Android copyright row trial begins in Judge William Alsup's district court in San Francisco
  • Oracle's IP war against Google finally going to trial: What's at stake
  • Judge Alsup's calendar
    • Oracle is claiming about $1bn (£630m) in compensation for Android violating IP rights although those estimates has dropped as filings have flown. They hover around 32.3 (minimum - Oracle)-37.5 (Percentage - Google) Million dollars now. Mostly copyright infringement but two patent violation claims as well.
    • Java itself is free to use without a license: At issue is Android's use of 37 APIs (application programming interfaces) which allow developers to write Java-compatible code and 11 Java source code files. Oracle alleges that 103,400 lines of its API specifications appeared on Android's developer website.
    • "If Oracle wins the case and APIs are held to be copyrighted, then in theory, virtually every application - on Android, Mac OS, Windows, iPhone or any other platform - has to be at least re-released under new licence terms," Dan Crow, CTO Songkick told BBC
    • Google argues a programming language is not copyrightable "A given set of statements or instructions may be protected, but the protection does not extend to the method of operation or system—the programming language—by which they are understood by the computer,"-- and therefore neither is an API - "Without the APIs, the Java programming language is deaf, dumb and blind," its lawyers have claimed. "In addition, witnesses at trial will testify that developers expect the APIs to be available when they program in the Java programming language."
    • Of the two patents remaining, one covering a type of compiler and interpreter has been preliminarily rejected by the USPTO's re-examination.
    • Jury selection begins today with trial commencing later today or tomorrow
    • Because Android exploits Java but is not fully compatible with it, Android represents Sun's, and now Oracle's, nightmare: an incompatible forking of the Java platform, which undermines the fundamental 'write once, run anywhere' premise of Java that is so critical to its value and appeal.

Discussion Stories

  • Yet another OSX/Java Trojan spotted in the wild
  • Mac Trojan 'SabPub' Exploits Java and Microsoft Office
  • Researchers uncover new espionage malware preying on Mac users
    • Kaspersky and Sophos identified SabPub which arrives in a Word document that exploits a three-year-old vulnerability. (Backdoor.OSX.SabPub.a.)
    • It's an APT variant of a previously identified worm that targets employees of several pro-Tibetan non-governmental organizations. It hijacked machines without requiring the user to type an administrative password.
    • A March version of Sabpub also discovered last weekend exploits the same drive-by Java vulnerability seen in Flashback, one of the biggest botnet attacks seen in OS X.
    • "SabPub is different from MaControl, another bot used in APT attacks in February 2012," Costin Raiu of KAspersky wrote. "SabPub was more effective because it stayed undetected for more than 1.5 months."
  • RED teases 4K REDray player and projector for the theater / millionaire set
  • RED unveils Dragon sensor upgrade, turns Epic and Scarlet into a 6K camera
  • Canon unveils 4K lineup, DSLRs, lenses, and display
    • at NAB Red's announced details on the Red Laser Projector & RedRay Player
    • back at NAB 3 years ago, RED showed off footage at a party hinting a $1,000 device called Red Ray that can play 4k video off of standard DVDs. It's real: RedRay Player: 4k playback up to 120fps, 4 HDMI 1.4 video outputs, 7.1 HDMI 1.4 audio output, d/l 4K to internal HD, ingest from SD or flash media, tablet control, etc
    • REDray Laser projector will display 4k video, 3D for passive glasses up to 120fps, up to 15' screen (scalable to big theater screen), 25k laser hours, less than $10k, out later this year.
    • RED founder Jim Jannard also announced the RED Dragon upgrade kit, attaches to EPIC or Scarlet camera for resolution bump to 6K at 85fps or 5k at 120fps with 15+ stops of Dynamic Range. Jannard says the sensor is a little bigger than the Mysterium-X (the sensor in the RED 1 that arrived in 2010), but smaller pixel size, & "most of the current lenses will work" with the kit. EPIC users can get it later this year for $6K, Scarlet cams get nothing till at least 2013 & no word on price.
    • HDMI 1.4 relased in 2009, adds support for 4k
    • As expected Canon unveiled the EOS-1D C DSLR camera, can record 4k video as well as 19.1-mp still imgs, full-frame CMOS sensor, ISO goes up to 25600, great for low-light motion for example. $15k
    • Cinema EOS C500 (EF mount lenses) and the Cinema EOS C500 PL (PL mount lenses) are high-end 4k camcorders, both can output uncompressed RAW video. price expected somewhere above $16k (EOS C300 price)
    • 4 new EF Cinema zoom lenses will work with the Cinema EOS C500 4k video, & a new 4K display tech to preview these high-rez images

News Fuse





"Dear Tom,

On TNT479 you were discussing the "collusion" case against publishers, Apple, etc.

My biggest gripe with publishers is their continued insistence on having differing release dates for books in different parts of the world. In particular I'm sick and tired of trying to buy Audible books online only to get the dreaded message "not available for purchase in your area."

Then there's the other problem where for example Faye Kellerman's latest book was advertised and I purchased it through Audible under the US title "Gun Games", then saw another similar title "Blood Games" for sale with a different enough description that it could have been a new book, bought this too. It was soon obvious it was the same book and Audible quickly refunded my credit/money.

I don't understand why ebooks or any books need this "Protection" in this day and age. Why are they insisting on killing trees?

Trevor Collins Wagga Wagga, NSW Australia."


Big Commerce

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Production Information

  • Edited by: Jason
  • Notes:
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