? Episode 307
 all tech radio show
 
 
  • After just a few weeks on the market and a week after dropping the price by $100, HP has decided to stop making the Touchpad built on the old Palm OS. Best Buy wants to return all of the Touchpads so they aren't stuck with them. To avoid that they sold them at $99. In the meantime TV commercials for the Touchpads continue to run. This action is proof there may not be room for another OS in the market and Apple, Android, and Microsoft may be the only ones who can continue to own any share of the tablet market.
  • Best Buy just beat Apple to the punch when it comes to offering a free iPhone - even if it is the bottom-of-the-line 8GB iPhone 3GS, for one day only Monday, which (naturally) requires a two-year contract. Rumors and reports have suggested that Apple intends to announce a free iPhone alongside the iPhone 5. The upcoming freebie is said to be based on the iPhone 4, have significantly lower onboard storage, and to be called the iPhone iCloud. If there's any truth to that report, this Best Buy offer may not look like such a good deal in a few months' time. Not to mention the fact that the iPhone 3GS is just $49 at its regular price, and requires you pay for data, with hefty termination fees. If you're on the lookout for a cheap iPhone 3GS, you may have a better time getting a second-hand, out-of-contract device on Craigslist or similar sites. Check out The Unofficial Apple Weblog's guide to finding one and pairing it with a pay-as-you-go data plan.
  • HP shocked the market on another front as they have decided to sell their PC business. HP is the number one PC maker in the world and experienced 3% growth in the last quarter. Despite this, they have decided that PCs were not the growth area they once were and its time to move on.
  • Skype is acquiring the company called Group Me. This will allow Skype users to chat to multiple people at the same time in a conference setting as well as give up information on location and allow sharing of data. This marries Skype's features to a social networking kind of experience.
  • Volkswagon is making a new car called the Up! It will be less than 12' long. The interesting thing is that they are making one version to run on natural gas instead of just gasoline. Natural gas has dropped in price by over half the past few years due to new discoveries. This may be just the beginning of a new line of natural gas cars to come to market.
  • Good news for Intel. A couple months ago, rumors emerged that Apple is going to switch from Intel to ARM processors for its notebook computers. Today, Intel exec Greg Welch told CNET that he's heard those rumors, too. Welch is heading up Intel's $300 million Ultrabook program, where the chip maker will invest in hardware makers to help them build ultra-thin notebooks like the Macbook Air. A couple weeks ago, he told the Wall Street Journal that Apple had actually threatened to dump Intel, but made it sound like that threat had been resolved when Intel released a roadmap to create more power-efficient chips over the next few years.
  • Following the lead of Warner Bros, Paramount, and Universal, Miramax has jumped on the Facebook app bandwagon offering movie rentals in exchange for Facebook credits. Along with watching movie clips and playing games, users will get access to full-length feature films from the Miramax library, including Clerks, Kill Bill, Good Will Hunting, and No Country For Old Men. As of right now, the app is still in beta. It was built in "just eight short weeks," so you should expect a few bugs and hiccups in the beginning. US Facebook users will have a choice between 20 movies, each of which cost 30 Facebook credits to rent - that's the equivalent of $3. The service was also made available in the UK and Turkey this morning, with France and Germany on deck, according to the Miramax Blog.
  • Some 700 hackers looking to show off their talents have piled into an upstart Web site called RankMyHack.com in the last month. Emerging from the shadowy underground, they have submitted evidence of more than 1,200 Web site hacks, eager to have their feats measured against those of their peers. The site was created by a hacker nicknamed Solar to bring a little accountability to the online forums and chat rooms where hackers gather to learn tricks of the trade, buy and sell contraband and form alliances. There, eBay-style ratings systems meant to establish reputations are routinely abused, morality tends to be fluid and anonymous young people often talk big while carrying a small stick.
  • Facebook has reinstated the posting rights of several activists after the company's spam filter incorrectly blocked their access to the site. The affected users received an apology email from Facebook, which denied that the individuals' accounts were blocked because of their views. "Your account was mistakenly blocked from posting on Pages," the email read. "These systems aren't directed at any particular cause or point of view. However, no system is perfect, and ours occasionally make mistakes. We're investigating the system that caused the block and making changes to help prevent future errors." The blocked users included Pittsburgh-based Gloria Forouzan, who has actively protested natural gas drilling, according to the AP, which first broke the story. She and others frequently posted on the Facebook Page for Gasland, an Academy Award-nominated documentary that the AP said has become a gathering point for opponents of natural gas drilling.
  • 1A former Wikileaks spokesman claims to have deleted thousands of unpublished files that had been passed to the whistleblowing site. Daniel Domscheit-Berg told the German Newspaper Der Spiegel that the documents included a copy of the complete US no-fly list. He said he had "shredded" them to avoid their sources being compromised. Mr Domscheit-Berg previously worked alongside Julian Assange until the pair had a high profile falling-out. It is understood that he took the files off Wikileaks' servers at the time of his departure. Wikileaks confirmed the claims on its Twitter feed, saying: "We can confirm that the DDB claimed destroyed data included a copy of the entire US no-fly list."

email from listeners:

  • James from Seattle asks "Which is selling better, IPHONE or Android?"