Tech News Today 524
Recorded: June 18, 2012
Published: June 18, 2012
Tech News Today 524: The Quick Recrap
What Microsoft thought was so important, Google wags fingers at governments, leaks on the Xbox 720, and more.
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- Microsoft is announcing a new lunar base, or possibly an invented species or maybe just a tablet. Doors open to the press at Milk Studios in LA at 3:30 Pacific Time, we'll cover it live right here on TWiT.
- It's official, Facebook just picked up facial recognition company, Face.com. Face.com produces mobile and desktop products, which makes tagging photos easier. Facebook's mobile tagging isn't as great as its desktop version, so that's one potential use for the pick-up.
- Every six months the list of the fastest supercomputers gets updated and that usually means a new champion. Today's list crowns IBM's Sequoia on top, putting a US computer on top for the first time in two years. Sequoia is an IBM BlueGene/Q System using 1,572,864 processor cores, abd scored 16.32 petaflop/s on the Linpack Benchmark. Japan's K computer fell to 2nd place with 10.51 petaflops/s.
- Google released another transparency report, this time spotlighting data about government requests to remove videos or blog pots or to hand over user information to those governments. Google says it does not comply with every request it receives, but has complied with 65% of court orders and 47% of more informal orders. Google described the trends as as troubling because some of these requests come from democracies like the United States and Spain.
- Samsung is cozying up to big business. Starting in July Samsung will offer a few smart phones including the Samsung Galaxy S III with SAFE branding, standing for Samsung Approved for Enterprise. With the catchy name you get AES-256 bit encryption, better MS Exchange ActiveSync support and support for major VPN and Mobile Device Managament systems. You can trade in old phones too for up to $300 towards a new phone.
- Microsoft security must be just an unattended sign that says "Don't steal our stuff" because a 56-page document leaked over the weekend and it appears to detail Microsoft's plans for its next XBox, a possible Google Glass competitor and the Kinect 2. The document is from August 2010 and says the Xbox 720 (named as such in the document) will support 3D, Blu-ray and would even have DVR functionality at a price under $300. The leaked document posted on Scrid has since been taken down with a note saying it was removed "at the request of Covington & Burling LLP," - oh, that's one of Microsoft's attorneys.
- Winning awards hasn't changed Linus Torvalds candor. The Linux Kernel inventor gave a talk at Aalto University in Finland and during a Q&A session was asked about Nvidia's lack of support for Linux with its Optimus technology. Torvalds called Nvidia "the single worst company we've ever dealt with" and finished with a decisive "f you" while flipping off the camera. The outburst may not be representative of his entire talk on hardware support which was generally positive, but it certainly grabbed all the attention.
- Mozilla demoed its iPad browser in a video presentation last week. Dubbed "Junior," Mozilla wanted to build a browser for the tablet form factor and threw away all kinds of chrome - no more address bar or tabs on the top of the screen. Junior would bring full screen browsing with two overlaid buttons - the back button and the plus button. So when is this rethought browser coming to you? No idea. Mozilla didn't mention any dates.
- Reuters reports Facebook has agreed to pay $10 million to settle a lawsuit concerning its Sponsored Stories advertisements. Five Facebook users alleged Facebook's Sponsored Stories used its users' "likes" without paying them or giving them a chance to opt out.
- The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, otherwise known as CERT, found a vulnerability that affects every Intel 64-bit processor. The vulnerability takes advantage of AMD's x86-64 instruction set on Intel processors, which would allow a local hacker to run malicious code at the highest security level. Microsoft has already issued a patch. The exploit could affect BSD and potentially OS X as well.
- US government takedown requests more than triple in 12 months, says Google Report
- Google says US government takedown requests have doubled in last six months
- Google Blog post
- Report itself
- Google Transparency Report updated to show data showing government requests to remove blog posts or videos or hand over user information made from July to December 2011.
- US court and governmetn requests doubled over the past 6 months. (from 92 to 187 was 54 year over year)
- Google did not comply with a request from Passport Canada objecting to a video of a Canadian urinating on a passport
- US made 6,321 requests for user data Google complied 93% of the time
- UK had the higest number of requests per capita at 23 per million citizens (US at 20 pmc)
- Jordan, Bolivia and the Czech Republic made their first requests. Hooray!
- Google says it stands up for the rights of its users and only complies if the request conforms with local laws
- But should Google be in that judgemental position?
- What if other companies are not so civic-minded, or Google changes its ways?
- Why we believe most of the massive Xbox roadmap rumor
- Leaked document points to $299 "Xbox 720" for 2013
- Kinect v2: would have better voice recognition, use stereo imaging for better accuracy, track up to four players and better cameras. The Kinect 2 may be a two separate camera units.
- Kinect glasses (codenamed Fortaleza) aimed for 2014 - connects to a smartphone synced with the 720 over Wi-Fi will offer ""ambient experiences"" and provide ""seamless integration of the digital world with the physical world."" Would use Xbox Live to provide real time info on people, places and things.
- 720 Spec wise: 6-8 2Ghz ARM/x86 cores, 2 add'l ARM/x86 cores for the OS, 3 PowerPC cores for backwards compatibility - suggests base hardware with multiple configurations.
- 2015 evolution: MS moves to cloud rendering w/ a microconsole
- Misc: Whole home DVR, Wireless tech: WiMax and HSDPA
- Target date of 2013 holiday season with price of $299 (bundle includes new Kinect hardware)
- Mozilla working on iPad mobile browser to challenge Safari
- Mozilla takes aim at the iPad browser market with its 'Junior' prototype
- Mozilla's iPad browser called "Junior"
- Address bar gets tossed out, two buttons - one on either side of the screen. back and plus button. (In the video, one of the presenters says URL field not necessary for casual browsing), buttons are pullable to bring reload, forward buttons - other side share and print
- full screen browsing
- didn't want to go to a gesture based system
- built in multi-user support
- speed dial (guy said he made speed dial for opera), redone version and went with logos (looks a bit like the AppleTV UI). The website would have to define a logo/favicon replacement. (calls it favicon 2)
- "We wanted to look into how we could reinvent the browser for a new form factor," - Alex Limi, Product designer at Firefox
- OPA: iOS And Android Level In U.S. Tablet Market, Penetration 47% By 2013, $2.6B Spent On Apps In 2012
- Survey from OPA
- Online Publishers Association study says 52% of US own iPad while 51% own Android, most of that Kindle Fire
- Kindle Fire accounts for 28% of all tablets, close to the iPad 2 (31%) and ahead of iPad 3 (8%).
- tablet owners use their devices for 13.9 hours per week on average, with 74 percent using it daily
- by 2013, it says 47 percent of consumers will own a tablet, up from a mere 11 percent in 2011
- Ingrid Luinden at TechCrunch points out: It's taken 5 years since the 1st iPhone for the majority of US to own a smart phone
- online survey of 2,540 internet users between the ages of 8 and 64. It notes that the sample was matched to the U.S. Census with regard to age and gender, March 19-26 survey period.
- FunnyJunk's lawyer personally sues The Oatmeal creator
- FunnyJunk's lawyer gave money to The Oatmeal's fundraiser
- Angry "Internet lawyer" sues The Oatmeal, bears, and cancer research
- Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman's fight against Funny Junk is not over
- RECAP: Inman mad at how Funny Junk handled the posting of Otameal comics to its site, FunnyJunk sent a threatening letter claiming defamation and asking for $20,000 dmaages, Inman created Operation "Bear Love Good/Cancer Bad" to raise $20K for charity and raised much more
- NOW: Friday FunnyJunk lawyer Charles Carreon filed a lawsuit (with himself as plaintiff) in San Francisco Federal Court naming Matthew Inman (aka "The Oatmeal"), the Indiegogo website Inman used to raise the money, and Inman's two charities of choice, the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society. Did we mention that Carreon sued 100 anonymous "Does" in the same suit, too?
- In the filing he revealed he had contributed to the fund, giving him styanding as a contributor.
- Carreon demands that Indiegogo, which provided the fundraising platform, not get any money and that, further, none be paid out to Inman.
- Claims the charities "have failed to perform their statutory duty to exercise authority over the Bear Love campaign"
- Inman's fundraiser was conducted in violation of the California law pertaining to "commercial fundraisers," that someone incited by Inman created a fake Twitter account posing as Carreon, and that Inman incited "cyber-vandalism" again Carreon with the "Bear Love campaign."
- The AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III is due to ship starting today
- The European Union’s International Trade Committee (INTA) is now set to meet this Thursday, June 21 in Brussels to give its recommendation to the European Parliament regarding the ACTA treaty. This vote is the most significant in the run-up to what will eventually be the full vote before the European Parliament, which has slated it for a vote in July.
- Canadian Galaxy S III launch pushed to June 27th due to 'unprecedented demand'
"What's up TNT Crew,
I was listening to your report a few days ago in which you mentioned Yelp's problems with Google scraping their results as well as their partnerships with Apple and Bing, and I couldn't help but notice that Yelp relies on Google Maps for their Mapping feature on the web as well as mobile.
With their newly minted partnerships, I wouldn't be surprised if Yelp starts using Bing Maps or Apple Maps in their mapping feature.
What are your thoughts?
"Hi, I have something to add to the discussion on TNT June 15 about people being annoyed with Dropbox removing the Public folder.
I make websites and the Public folder has proven invaluable for super simple web hosting. I use it to test designs on different computers and iPad/iPhone and this won't work as far as I can tell with the new ""custom"" public folders.
I won't have to worry about this but for new users it's definitely one less awesome feature.
ps. An alternative solution has luckily been provided by http://get.drapache.com/ ds.
Thanks for an awesome show!
-- Robin Andeer"
"Hi TNT crew,
Just to explain the difference between the old Dropbox public folder and their new model. The old model acts like web space; files load directly into a browser and any dependencies (for examples images on a web page) are fetched too. The new model acts like a file repository; files are not served 'as is' but wrapped in a preview page with a link to download the original, and dependencies must be downloaded separately.
Sure there are other ways of putting files up on the web quickly, but none of them as convenient. In a world being ever more seamlessly integrated into 'The Cloud', it seems odd that DropBox are shifting towards a sharing model that requires an explicit download step. Perhaps their ad hoc web space was being abused?
Simon Liverpool UK"
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- Edited by: Jeff
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