? Episode 288
 all tech radio show
 
 
  • Windows 8 alpha testers are releasing pictures of the new operating due out in another year or so. The biggest change is the ribbon user interface. This was originally released in office 2007 and took everyone by surprise. Gone are the vile edit view menus, as they were replaced with the ribbon UI. Now it appears that all programs, including the start menu, will be based on the same ribbon interface.
  • Although the Apple iPhone was the biggest smart phone seller in February of this year, the Android phone has jumped another 7% in market share last quarter. This means that 1 in 3 phones is now an Android. It is the single biggest selling platform in the world with no end in sight to its market share climb. The biggest reason is that the OS is free and there are many choices. With Apple you get one choice.
  • Android is taking over the world one phone at a time, but some developers are not happy with the way the platform is splitting apart into multiple phones and app stores. That could spell good news for Apple and newer competitors -- like Microsoft -- who could draw unhappy developers to build more apps for their platforms instead. Baird Research surveyed 250 mobile developers, and the results were picked up by Fortune's Apple columnist, Philip Elmer-DeWitt. Baird found that 71% are writing apps for Android, versus only 62% for Apple's iOS. But they're not necessarily happy about it. Of those Android developers, a startling 56% said that platform fragmentation is a "huge" or "meaningful" problem. Only 14% called it no problem at all. This matches what we've heard in our conversations with Android developers. They worry that the apps they write today won't work on future versions of Android, especially if companies take it and modify it for their own devices.
  • Lizamoon is the new virus that is infecting millions of new computers from hundreds of thousands of infected websites. It pops up as an antimalware program when you visit an infected site. The simple way to keep from getting infected is to click the X on the top right of the box when it comes up, or do a ctl-alt-del and end all instance of Internet Explorer. The fake software say it's the "Windows Stability Center".
  • Google comes out with an annual April Fool's day joke every year. This year Google released a video of you can use your web cam connected to your computer and your Gmail to use hand motion to control your email. Thousands of people tried this and were left feeling foolish as they were waving their hands around to no avail. Since then researchers at USC have announced they are working on that very technology for real and hope to have it available to the public soon. They already released a world of warcraft version that allows you to control the game with your Microsoft Kinect.
  • A data breach involving online marketer Epsilon, whose clients are a Who's Who of major banks and retailers, was only the latest in a string of hacking attacks aimed at getting email records for more thefts, security experts warned on Monday. The breach, disclosed in stages since Friday, involved the Epsilon unit of Alliance Data Systems Corp, which said some clients' customer names and email addresses were obtained via an "unauthorized entry." Companies that have said they were exposed since then include banks Citigroup Inc and Capital One Financial Corp, and retailers Walgreen Co and Best Buy Co. Compromised files apparently did not include the payment card data that has created scares in the past, such as at retailer TJX Cos. But security experts said just having email addresses -- plus knowing where someone shops -- can help thieves write more sophisticated emails to steal financial data or spread malicious software, or malware.
  • Online radio service Pandora has received a subpoena from a federal grand jury investigating whether popular smartphone applications share information about their users with advertisers and other third parties. Pandora says it believes it is one of many companies to receive subpoenas in a probe into the information-sharing practices of publishers that make apps for the iPhone and other Apple Inc. devices, as well as smartphones that run on Google Inc.'s Android operating system. Pandora says it shares information with third parties to help it track how users interact with the service and to deliver targeted advertising. But the Oakland, Calif.-based company says it is "not a specific target" of the grand jury investigation. The company noted the development in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission detailing plans for an initial public offering. Pandora declined to comment or provide additional information about the probe. The disclosure comes at a time of mounting concern about Internet privacy in Washington and growing unease about the vast amounts of personal information that companies are scooping up online - from Web browsing habits to smartphone locations to Facebook preferences - and then mining to target advertising.
  • A developer behind the short-lived ChevronWP7 jailbreak for Windows Phone 7 has released a hack that lets you bypass Microsoft and carriers to download WP7 updates on your own. "I don't care which carrier you are on, which phone you have, it'll just update your phone accordingly," wrote Chris Walsh in a blog post. The tool is meant to address recent, controversial delays to releasing WP7 updates. The glitches prompted Microsoft to halt a minor update on Samsung smartphones. Walsh used Microsoft's own support tool to create a program that applies all WP7 updates at once. This includes "NoDo," which brings features like cut and paste to WP7 phones. The official updates are supposed to roll out on Tuesday, starting with the HTC HD7. Typically, Microsoft works with carriers to send over-the-air software updates.
  • Due to a technicality, Verizon's attempt to sue the Federal Communications Commission over net neutrality regulations will have to wait. The FCC voted in favor of net neutrality regulations last December. The rules prohibit wired broadband providers from blocking lawful uses of the Internet or discriminating against individual types of traffic. Wireless carriers are prohibited from blocking websites that compete with their own services, and all broadband providers must disclose their network management policies. Verizon and small wireless carrier MetroPCS appealed the decision in January, arguing that this kind of regulation is best left up to Congress. Now, the U.S. Court of Appeals has dismissed both cases, Ars Technica reports, but not because of their substantive claims. In going straight to the appeals court, Verizon and MetroPCS tried to argue that the rules were technically a modification of the companies' existing spectrum licenses, and therefore up for appeal rather than a direct challenge to the rulemaking process. The court didn't like that argument, so now Verizon and Metro PCS must go the traditional route and challenge the rulemaking directly. They can't do so until the regulations are officially published in the Federal Register, and that hasn't happened yet.

Email from listeners

  • Lisa from Portland asks "Are CD ROMs dead?"
  • Broadcast Sunday, April 10th, 2011
    Right-click this link and choose 'save-as'
    to download the mp3 directly