? All Tech Radio Episode 317
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  • If you have an Apple iphone 4 or 4s and have upgraded to the latest operating system then you have a problem. The location services, which got Apple in hot water with the government earlier this year, cause the battery to continue to run as the phone constantly searches for where it is in the world. Turning off location services fixes the problem, but then your applications, like Siri, can't really help you find anything in the area. Apple is looking into the problem.
  • Samsung's new mobile device lineup will feature flexible screens starting in 2012, the company announced today. In its quarterly earnings call, Samsung's vice president of investor relations, Robert Yi, told investors, analysts and press, "The flexible display we are looking to introduce sometime in 2012, hopefully the earlier part. The application probably will start from the handset side." After flexible-screen mobile phones roll out, the company plans to introduce the same technology for tablets and other devices.
  • How much personal information do you have on Facebook? Computer hackers attempt to break into at least 600,000 Facebook accounts using stolen username and password details every day, the social networking giant has revealed. The online criminals attempt to crack the accounts so they can steal user information, spread frauds or send bogus offers and messages trying to sell counterfeit goods to members' friends.
  • Computer hackers, possibly from the Chinese military, interfered with two U.S. government satellites four times in 2007 and 2008 through a ground station in Norway, according to a congressional commission. The intrusions on the satellites, used for earth climate and terrain observation, underscore the potential danger posed by hackers, according to excerpts from the final draft of the annual report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. The report is scheduled to be released next month. Besides military implications, damage to satellites could render our GPS, banking, TV and radio useless. China attempted to break into the US Military over 71,000 times last year. It's not known on how many times they were successful.
  • AT&T is rolling out LTE service to Washington, Baltimore, Boston and Athens, Ga., on Nov. 6, the company said in a Monday news release. Coinciding with that launch, the carrier is also pushing out its first two LTE smartphones: the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket and the HTC Vivid. The Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket will have a 4.5-inch Super AMOLED screen, 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 8 MP camera and 1080p digital recording capability. The Vivid will also have a 4.5-inch screen, with a qHD display, and 1080p capability and will run on a 1.2 Ghz dual-core processor. It has an 8 MP rear-facing camera and a 2 MP front-facing camera.
  • Barnes & Noble has scheduled an event seemingly to launch the company's new NOOK ereader, with the New York City press conference taking place on Monday, November 7. While the invite itself makes no mention of the ereader, the NOOK logo features prominently; leaks last week suggested that B&N would indeed launch the NOOK Color 2 on the 7th, in an attempt to take on the new Kindle Fire. "Please join us for a very special announcement" is all the hint B&N gives, but with the first-gen NOOK Color now over a year old, we wouldn't be surprised to see the ebook retailer refresh it. Specs are unknown at this stage, but a color touchscreen and Android underpinnings look likely if it's to compete with the Kindle Fire. However, Barnes & Noble lacks the broad multimedia ecosystem that Amazon can call upon to bolster its new ereader, such as the Amazon Prime streaming TV and movie content. Instead, B&N will have to focus on how it can leverage its ebook catalog as well as build on the popularity of the original NOOK Color with developers.
  • Hewlett-Packard's TouchPad is back for sale at Best Buy. Unceremoniously killed under HP's former leadership in August after disappointing sales, the device quickly found a market after retailers and HP itself slashed the prices on remaining stock. This time, according to Best Buy, a 32-gigabyte TouchPad is going for $149 with the purchase of an HP or Compaq-branded notebook or desktop PC. Sold separately, the price jumps to $599.99. HP, for its part, has sold out of its internal stock of the device, according to a statement on its website. They can, however, still be found on Amazon and eBay.
  • Microsoft said Monday that its Kinect SDK for PCs, which will allow developers to create new uses for the motion-based system beyond gaming, will be available early next year. "The commercial program will give businesses the tools to develop applications that not only could improve their own operations, but potentially revolutionize entire industries," Microsoft said in a blog post. Back in June, Microsoft released the Kinect for Windows SDK as a free download via Microsoft Research. It included drivers, APIs, device interfaces, installer documents, and resource materials for developers.
  • If he was irked by Steve Jobs' posthumous criticism in a new biography, Bill Gates isn't letting on. Appearing on ABC's "This Week" Gates was asked by anchor Christiane Amanpour to respond to the portrayal Jobs offered of Microsoft's co-founder in the biography by author Walter Isaacson as someone was is "basically unimaginative" and "had never invented anything." Jobs is also quoted saying that Gates had "shamelessly ripped off other people's ideas.". Gates acknowledged the rivalry between the two companies, and said they also spurned each other on to greater products, and the criticism doesn't bother him one bit.
  • LINUX VENDOR Canonical wants a future beyond the desktop, the firm's founder Mark Shuttleworth said today in a conference call. Shuttleworth said that a key focus for Canonical's Ubuntu Linux distribution is a future beyond the desktop on smartphones, tablets and TVs. However, Canonical isn't announcing a delivery schedule for Ubuntu beyond PCs, and it will "to some extent be in the hands of our partners," Shuttleworth said. He added, "We don't expect to ship any products in the near term, but prototypes will be available to developers in the short term. The products will be available in the next 18 months, depending on partners."

email from listeners:

  • John from Portland asks "Do I still need a video camera if I have one of the new Samsung or Apple smart phones?"