? Episode 292
 all tech radio show
 
 
  • As news of Osama bin Laden's death made its way across the globe Sunday night, Internet traffic exploded. Twitter: At the news event's peak, Twitter said that users were sending off more than 4,000 tweets per second. That makes the volume of tweets surrounding the event either the second or third-highest in Twitter's history.
  • Cisco Systems launched its first containerized data center on Monday, coming late to the party but offering some unique management features that could help set it apart from other vendors. The container can house up to 16 racks, with a maximum power capacity of 25 kW per rack. The containers can be parked side by side or stacked two deep to save floor space. "You're able to put a lot more equipment, and get much better power utilization, versus the floor space in a traditional data center," Siracuse said. Cisco opted for a chilled water cooling system that is housed in the floor of the container, under the racks. That means equipment is less likely to get damaged in the event of a water leak, he said. Most other vendors run the chilled water above the servers. Leaks aren't a common occurrence, but it's a concern that data center operators sometimes cite when considering water-based cooling systems.
  • This week Sony revealed new details in media comments and posts to its PlayStation blog. It commented that up to 10 million users' credit card numbers were likely obtained by the intruder. Until now it was unknown whether or not the hackers had gained access to the part of the database containing credit card numbers. They state it was unclear whether the information thief could gain access to users' credit cards as the numbers were encrypted. Sony indicated that it did not encrypt any of its other user records -- including username, real name, address, email addresses, and birth date. Those records were stored as plain-text and should be easily usable by a malicious party.
  • Apple promised last week to release a software update to address a location tracking bug in its iOS mobile operating system, and a pre-release build of iOS 4.3.3 indicates the company is acting quickly to release the update. The early build of iOS 4.3.3 was sent on Monday to Boy Genius Report. The site said that the update will likely be issued within the next two weeks, but possibly even sooner. Sources reportedly told the site that after installing the update, iOS 4 will no longer back up the location database file, "consolidated.db," to iTunes when a user syncs their iPhone or iPad 3G. Apple will also, as promised, reduce the size of the file and limit the length of time that location data is stored.
  • A bill that would require California retailers to inform consumers of the possible health risks of cell phone use received its first reading this week in the Rules Committee of the state senate. Following minor amendments, the legislation now proceeds to the Senate Environmental Quality Committee for initial consideration. Sponsored by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), SB 932 would require retailers to include notices on product packaging that cell phones emit radio frequency (RF) energy. A second notice also must be posted at the point of sale when purchasing online or in a physical store.
  • A fairly new company has emerged in a potential David vs. Goliath battle for the new LTE 4G. Lightsquared has received the ok from the FCC for both wireless and satellite communications for providing companies with 4G to their customers. Although they won't sell directly to the public, they will sell to third party smaller cell phone companies like Leap Wireless. This will allow small cell phone companies to have the same 4G quality as Verizon and ATT without investing billions of dollars.
  • Also, as I predicted on the in the past year, Clearwire is struggling for financing to complete their nationwide network as LTE is clearly the better technology. They could be history in less time than previously thought.
  • It's not unusual for a new malware attack to pop up on the Internet every other moment, but the latest vicious bit of software floating around is particularly fascinating because it specifically targets Mac users. The Next Web reports that a malware version of the popular MacDefender antivirus application is confusing and infecting a great number of Mac users right now: Early reports show that users have been targeted as they search Google Images, one user stating that the bogus MacDefender application was automatically downloaded as he browsed images of Piranhas. Further searching through the Apple Discussion boards suggests that the malware campaign is targeting users of Apple's Safari browser, displaying warnings that the user's computer has been infected with viruses that only the unofficial MacDefender application can remove.
  • Wearing black is the time-honored technique for appearing thinner without shedding an pound. Apparently it works for the iPhone 4, as well. Recently an avalanche of news and tech sites reported that the white iPhone 4 was thicker than the black iPhone, even showing side-by-side photos claiming it was 2mm thicker than the black version. But when we compared a white iPhone 4 with a black iPhone 4 in our Yonkers, NY, lab using high-quality calipers, we found they were both the same thickness (0.37 inches). this supports Apple's assertion that the devices are the same size. What's more, we also tried several cases we bought for the black iPhone during its antenna trials. These were the Griffin Etch Graphite, a hard-backed case with soft rubber-like sides; Incases Snap Case, a hard plastic case with a hard plastic sides; and the official iPhone 4 Bumper. All fit the white iPhone 4 as well as they did the black version.
  • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange touched on the subject of social networking in an interview with Russia Today, calling Facebook "the most appalling spy machine that has ever been invented." Assange said he believes Facebook is a giant database of names and records about people, maintained voluntarily by its users but developed for U.S. intelligence to use. "Everyone should understand that when they add their friends to Facebook, they are doing free work for United States intelligence agencies, and building this database for them," Assange said.

Email from listeners

  • Jeanie from Portland asks "I just bought a new laptop but it doesn't have any USB 3 ports on them. I thought this came out a long time ago so where is it?"
  • Broadcast Sunday, May 8th, 2011
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