? All Tech Radio Episode 322
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  • Researchers at MIT came up with the following recommendations to the federal government. "The threat of cyberattacks on the U.S. power grid should be dealt with by a single federal agency, not the welter of groups now charged with the electric system's security", researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reported on Monday. We have been saying this for years before they put the electric grid on the internet.
  • Google, Facebook, Amazon -- and now Apple? The world's largest tech company is nearing a decision about whether to build a large data center in Prineville, a quarter mile south of the Facebook server farm that opened this year, according to two people with direct knowledge of Apple's plans. The only problem with all these data centers are that they employ typically less than 50 people because they are so automated, and they use up a tremendous amount of the power grid. On top of that they take advantage of big tax credits for land use that was designed for companies who do employee a lot of people. We will likely see some laws change in this area in the near future.
  • Microsoft has given us a new reason to buy an Xbox 360. Forget Apple or Google TV, Check out Xbox TV. On Tuesday Microsoft will release an update to the Xbox that will encourage owners to turn on the Xbox even when they aren't playing games. Besides adding content from providers such as FIOS TV, XFinity from Comcast, HBO and more, Xbox will also be voice activated. You can talk to your TV and tell it what show you want it to play. This will seriously cut into the sales of other set top makers, and give consumers an all in one place for TV and gaming entertainment. Itw ill also have the same type of interface that their Windows phone 7 and Windows 8 uses.
  • Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest maker of mobile phones, rose in Seoul trading after Apple Inc. lost a bid to block sales of the South Korean company's Galaxy phones and tablet computers in the U.S. The company gained as much as 2.2 percent to 1.07 million won, before trading 1.5 percent higher at 10:53 a.m. The benchmark Kospi index fell 0.1 percent. The U.S. District Court in San Jose, California, ruled Dec. 3 against Apple's plea to ban Samsung from selling its 4G smartphone and Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer in the country. The victory builds on an Australian court ruling last month that lifted an earlier injunction on the tablet in the country. Samsung and Apple have filed at least 30 suits against each other on four continents since April.
  • iPhone jailbreakers should probably stay away from the latest Siri port, dubbed H1Siri, which brings Apple's digital assistant to the iPhone 4. The new hack comes from a group of Chinese hackers calling themselves the "CD-Dev Team." According to the team's account on Weibo (a Chinese microblogging service similar to Twitter), the hackers had originally wanted to just run a small test, but the code was leaked. Now their servers can't keep up with the demand. But beyond server unresponsiveness, there are several other good reasons to skip this hack, including the fact that it seems to break people's phones and involves running illegal code. H1Siri (aka, Hi Siri!), for those of you tracking the Siri-hacking space, is a different hack from the one that emerged in October and the other arriving last month. According to iDownloadBlog, which wisely advises readers to be wary of this new port after its own tests with H1Siri failed, the new port involves the use of copyrighted binaries from the iPhone 4S. Simply put, it works because it uses illegal code. Notable iPhone hacker @chpwn (Grant Paul), confirms this.
  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg ought to consider adding members of the Federal Trade Commission to his holiday gift list. They wouldn't be allowed to accept his gratuities, but he certainly owes them a great big thank-you for the settlement announced last week that will, among other things, require Facebook to "not misrepresent itself" when it comes to what information it collects and how it uses it. The agreement also requires Facebook to obtain user consent before it makes any changes that override existing privacy preferences and to prevent anyone from accessing user content within 30 days if a user cancels his or her account. The reason Zuckerberg ought to be thankful is the final part of the agreement, which requires Facebook to obtain "independent, third-party audits" that its privacy program "meets or exceeds the requirements of the FTC order," and to "ensure that the privacy of consumers' information is protected." Those privacy auditors might very well wind up on Zuckerberg's best-friends list because, assuming Facebook lives up to its agreements, the audits will serve as government verification that it's being honest about how it treats user information. It's almost as if the FTC is putting its stamp of approval on Facebook's future privacy policies.
  • Though it seems like just yesterday that we were first unboxing the HTC ThunderBolt, the first smartphone to roll out on Verizon's still-impressive 4G LTE network here in the USA, it's been one year to the day that the network has been active. On the first day the network was officially deployed, it covered an already impressive 39 markets, this eclipsed at this one year marker by the current 190 markets the Verizon 4G LTE network sits in today. While the Verizon LTE network has been their "4G" offering since they originally started promoting the "4G" term, they mention the competition as being less prepared for the eventual oncoming of higher speed networks - sarcasm in tow, of course.
  • Comcast Corp, the largest U.S. cable operator, will start selling Verizon Wireless products in four markets early next year, its top cable executive said on Monday. Comcast, Time Warner Cable Inc and Bright House Networks last week said they had reached a deal to sell wireless spectrum to Verizon Wireless for $3.6 billion in a transaction that will also see Verizon sell cable products and the cable companies bundle Verizon wireless products.
  • Research In Motion Ltd.'s commitment to keep battling Apple Inc.'s iPad even as demand for its BlackBerry PlayBook slumps means the company will likely have to sell the tablet at a loss. Its strategy depends on it. The company said on Dec. 2 that it would book $485 million in pretax charges to write down the value of its PlayBook inventory and that it doesn't expect to meet its full-year earnings target. Shipments have fallen for two consecutive quarters and are now about 1 percent of those of the iPad, forcing RIM to cut the price by $300, or more than half, making it unprofitable.
  • The iPad has been a success for Apple in business, apparently in spite of Apple's lackadaisical approach to promoting its products directly to enterprise customers. But there's a specific vertical market where the company is clearly making a concerted effort to promote professional adoption of the iPad: medicine. Apple has a medical market manager, Afshad Mistri, who was profiled by Wired in a feature on Monday. Mistri is rare because he has a specific type of business to sell to: health care. Mistri is behind the dedicated iTunes store section for professional health care apps, has organized conferences on how to use the iPad in medicine, and is known to make house calls for medical professionals hoping to set up their organizations with iPads for use in treatment and patient care. We have talked in the past about how iPads can help hospitals and doctors modernize their record-keeping systems. A program instituted in July offers doctors incentives for using electronic medical record (EMR) software on the iPad, and during our recent RoadMap conference, MIT Media Lab's director of new media medicine, Frank Moss, said that "everyone's got an iPad" at the nation's leading medical schools these days.

email from listeners:

  • Lynnette from Portland asks "If I get an IPAD, will I be able to replace my laptop?"