? Episode 289
 all tech radio show
 
 
  • Best Buy is in trouble with Apple. They withheld sales of IPAD 2's in order to have enough on hand for a big promotion coming up. Apple reportedly was so furious with Best Buy that they have decided to cancel their contract with them and will no longer allow Best Buy to sell IPAD2's from here on.
  • But fear not because the Toshiba Acer Iconia tab will be available soon. It has all the same features as the IPAD 2 including front and rear cameras, etc., but they have two features the IPAD2 doesn't. The Iconia has a user replaceable battery and a micro sd slot for added storage. No word yet on price. Iyt will also feature Honeycomb 3.0.
  • On Friday YouTube officially began the initial roll out of YouTube Live, the new live streaming service that will offer live video capabilities on the site. Starting this off is the introduction of the new browse page youtube.com/live, where you can tune in to live events, subscribe to live-streaming partners, and add events to your calendar. This will be a great feature for businesses and schools to broadcast events without the need for special equipment. It can also be done from a smart phone, so it's likely we will start to see live coverage of the unrest in the Mideast.
  • Google has purchased Pushlife for Android. Pushlife is a very smart and fancy designed all-in-one music solution for all your needs, and hopefully will be the same way for Google. They've already been building for the Android and RIM platform, but today Google has purchased them for somewhere around $25 million. Pushlife for those that don't know is a media solution similar to iTunes. You can stream music, buy music with a click, and even access your music from your PC on the cloud. This would be great for Android.
  • Adobe has announced version 5.5 of all its major software suites for creative professionals. The bulk of upgrades are related to Web, mobile and digital content publishing and, while not every product in the suites are being updated, all suites are touched by the updates. Most notably, with Adobe Creative Suite 5.5, the company is introducing a new subscription payment model that it hopes will make it easier for people wary of the suite's massive price tags. The apps getting a 5.5 designation are Indesign, Dreamweaver, Flash and its variants, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition and Media Encoder. These .5 releases will become increasingly regular with a 24-month upgrade cycle for full 1.0 upgrades. With the heavy emphasis on new media in the 5.5 release, Adobe picked an appropriate set of tools to launch this midcycle update, as phone models, e-book readers, and other Web trends are moving too fast to keep customer needs addressed with an biennial upgrade cycle.
  • Shares popped after word surfaced that technology and media titan Facebook had inked a deal with Baidu to launch a jointly owned social network in China. According to reports published by our sister network MSNBC, the new venture would not involve Facebook.com, which is blocked inside China like many more social networking sites, but instead would be a new jointly owned website. It's unclear when the site could launch: joint ventures need to be approved by the Chinese government Nonetheless, the deal would give Facebook access to China's giant and protected market. Considering shares of Baidu are up about 50% since January and 130% higher over the past 52-weeks, how should you trade it?
  • The first official biography of the 56 year-old innovator is titled "iSteve: The Book of Jobs," and has been reportedly in the works since 2009, when author Walter Issacson began interviewing Jobs, his family, his colleagues at Apple and his competitors. It is due to be released in early 2012. "This is the perfect match of subject and author, and it is certain to be a landmark book about one of the world's greatest innovators," said publisher Simon & Schuster's Jonathan Karp. "Walter Issacson is telling a unique story of revolutionary genius." Never before has a chief executive been so closely associate with the phenomenal success of a company. In fact, Jobs' leadership is so highly regarded that his recent health problems put investors on edge and led to call for a succession plan should he have to leave the company. It's this public image, along with the high public profile fueled through Apple's famously theatrical product launches, that will likely stoke interest in the book.
  • Programmer James Laird wanted to help his girlfriend stream her iTunes music in her new house, so he hacked away at Apple's private key for streaming music, reverse engineered the script and made it available to the public. Laird calls his open source Perl script Shairport, which lets hardware and software receive AirTunes music from iTunes. Apple uses a public key encryption scheme for AirTunes streaming. This lets anyone encrypt and stream audio to the AirPort Express (or other compatible device), but iTunes would only stream to Apple devices. Now, with Shairport, iTunes can be tricked into streaming audio to anything at all. Laird did this by cracking open the AirPort Express (literally), dumping the ROM and then searching around for the private key. Apparently this was easy to find as Apple had hidden the private key "in the ROM image, using a scheme that made the de-obfuscation code itself stand out like a flare." He then cracked the crypto and now has the key. This is combined with an ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) decoder to make a small package that can be installed on computer. It's unlikely that hardware manufacturers will risk using this solution, but it's easy to see how a home user could install it on an unused computer or even a Linux-based router. That means we'll likely see some third-party programs taking advantage of Shairport. For example, someone might make an app for the Xbox 360 capable of streaming music from iTunes on your PC. Or, say you have a MacBook Air and want to stream music to your friend's iMac - Shairport makes this possible.
  • The Navy has successfully tested a laser weapon, with a warship successfully crippling a smaller boat by burning through its engine and igniting it. The test, conducted by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), is an important step toward mounting high-energy lasers on ships as weapons. Wednesday's test saw the USS Paul Foster take aim at a motoboat and then hit it with a 15-kilowatt (kW) pulse from a solid-state high-energy laser (HEL). Despite four-foot waves and high humidity (which can degrade laser output), the laser managed to hit the boat's engine and ignite it (see video of the test below). "This is the first time a HEL, at these power levels, has been put on a Navy ship, powered from that ship, and used to defeat a target in a maritime environment," says Peter Morrison, program officer at the ONR, in a press release. "We are learning a ton from this program-how to integrate and work with directed energy weapons." Such ship-mounted laser cannons could be helpful to ships in situations that require more finesse than today's armaments allow. While typical explosive munitions can be messy and possibly more destructive than necessary, a laser has the advantage of precise targeting and more control over the amount of damage. That could be potentially useful when facing small targets like pirates and aircraft.

Email from listeners

  • Paul from Portland asks " Why are tablets so much faster than laptops even though the tablets have slower processors?"
  • Broadcast Sunday, April 17th, 2011
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