? Episode 303
 all tech radio show
 
 
  • Apple is apparently considering a bid for online-streaming service Hulu, according to Bloomberg. The news service drew that information from two anonymous sources, paraphrasing them as saying the bid was in early talks and "may lead to an offer." Hulu is a streaming TV and movie service that offers both free and paid models. Hulu is currently owned by several media studios, and it doesn't make a lot of money, and it takes a lot of manpower to run, so the studios want out.
  • The Internet buzz generated by a blogger's revelation of several fake Apple Stores in China seems to have prompted Chinese government officials to look into the matter and closed several stores. Citing China's Xinhua news agency, The Wall Street Journal reports that an investigation by authorities in Kunming, a city in the southwest of the country, will look into whether the stores in question have proper business licenses and branding permits, and from whom they're getting their goods. (Reuters had reported the investigation previously, also citing Xinhua.) Earlier this week, a blogger with the handle BirdAbroad posted a story, with pictures, about several elaborate and detailed counterfeit Apple Stores in Kunming, where she says she's lived for a couple of years.
  • Here is a strange match. Walgreens Co. said its electric-vehicle charging station program will expand to include about 800 of its 7,733 stores by the end of the year. The drugstore chain operator began its charging station program late last year, as electricity producer NRG Energy Inc. began creating a network of them in Houston. Walgreens on Thursday cited U.S. Energy Department data that indicates that its public charging stations will represent about 40% of such sites in the country. The retailer said installations will begin later this month. Major markets expected to host them include Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Select locations in Florida, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington also will receive the charging stations.
  • Since it was announced in March, the AT&T/T-mobile merger has been met with grief from consumers and mobile competitors alike. Those oppose have cited loss of competition, stifling of innovation and costly services as some of reasons to avoid the merger. The consensus was that the merger would benefit a few while hurting many. Attorneys from Bursor & Fisher say AT&T's purchase of T-Mobile would be in violation of current law--Clayton Antitrust Act--which protects harm to competition. So far, the New York law firm is working with 11 AT&T customers on the grounds these customers, "could suffer higher prices and inferior service as a result of the merger," as reported by SlashGear.
  • BlackBerry maker Research In Motion announced on Monday that it is slashing 2,000 jobs, or 11 percent of its global work force, as it loses out in the lucrative consumer market to iOS, Android, and even the nascent Windows Phone 7 mobile operating systems. Affected employees will be notified this week, the Canadian company said in a statement. After the layoffs, RIM will have 17,000 employees worldwide. RIM said the changes were "intended to create greater alignment of the organization and to streamline RIM's operations in order to better position the company for future growth and profitability." Earlier this month, the company promised shareholders it would revive the company's share price, down around 60 percent this year, within six months.
  • An issue that had simmered for several weeks boiled over this weekend, as Google apparently accelerated deletions of Google+ accounts over the site's requirement that members use their real names. Google+ members started complaining about this situation about a week after Google launched the social networking site in late June, and over the past three weeks, various Google officials have address the issue.
  • Hackers have started to release gigabytes of secret documents stolen from an Italian cybercrime unit. The 8GB of files has allegedly been taken from the network of the Italian CNAIPIC which oversees the country's critical IT infrastructure. In a message announcing the release, the Anonymous hacker group said it received the files from a "source". The attack on CNAIPIC is thought to be in retaliation for arrests of Italian members of Anonymous. The documents include information about government offices such as Australia's Ministry of Defence and the US Department of Agriculture as well as data about private firms Gazprom, Exxon Mobil and many others.
  • It looks like you can't buy the Nintendo 3DS direct from Amazon anymore, thanks to either a sales goof or some sort of actual manufacturing glitch. Nintendo's notorious no-glasses 3D games handheld is officially not for sale from the site at this moment. You can still grab it from third-party resellers, like Target, of course, but Amazon's dropped a disclaimer at the top of the page, noting the 3DS is an "item under review." No one's sure what forced Amazon's hand, but speculation is that the slender rubber feet (they look like grains of wild rice) situated at either side of the 3DS's top screen may be inadequate.
  • Apple's longest running carrier partner, AT&T, is preparing for a mid-September launch of the fifth-generation iPhone, according to a new report. Citing a "proven source," Boy Genius Report said on Monday that AT&T has begun communicating with its employees that the company's retail stores are expected to see a great deal of foot traffic in September. Those workers have been asked to finish any employee training as soon as possible. AT&T's moves are said to be related to an upcoming iPhone launch, with the handset expected to be announced in late August and go on sale in the first half of September. BGR has a respectable track record with regard to Apple's partnerships with wireless carriers, based on its sources in the wireless industry.
  • AT&T Android users can breathe a sigh of relief, as the carrier has announced that all post-paid Android smartphones released in 2011 will be getting updated to Gingerbread if they didn't launch with it already. Additionally, last year's Samsung Captivate will be getting the update too. The HTC Status was released this month with Gingerbread out of the gate, and the Motorola ATRIX 4G just received an update to Android 2.3 Gingerbread last week. The rest of the phones due for the upgrade include the HTC Inspire 4G, LG Phoenix, Pantech Crossover, and the Samsung Infuse 4G. AT&T says that HTC Inspire 4G owners can expect the update to show up in a matter of weeks.

email from listeners:

  • George from Seattle asks "Should I unload my blackberry phone since RIM is having problems?"