? All Tech Radio Episode 324
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  • After seven years, an antitrust case brought against Microsoft by Novell has ended with a hung jury. According to Utah's Deseret News, a 21-year-old security guard was the lone holdout in handing down a judgment against Microsoft. "There were so many inferences that needed to be drawn that I felt that it was unfair to Microsoft to go out on a limb and say yes," Corbyn Alvey told the paper. In a statement, Novell said it would pursue a re-trial. "Novell still believes in the strength of its claim," Novell attorney Jim Lundberg said in a statement. "Clearly, this is a complicated technical case and Novell is hopeful that a re-trial will allow the opportunity to address any uncertainties some of the jurors had with this trial."
  • The future of the U.S. Global Positioning System is taking shape in a vast white room south of Denver, where workers are piecing together the first of more than 30 satellites touted as the most powerful, reliable and versatile yet. The new generation of satellites, known as Block III, will improve the accuracy of military and civilian GPS receivers to within three feet, compared with 10 feet now, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Block III will also have additional signals for civilian use - one brand new, others already in the first stages of deployment - offering more precision and making more navigation satellites available to civilian receivers.
  • According to a report by Digitimes, Apple are likely to release a down-sized iPad with a 7-inch screen, the "iPad Mini", by the end of 2012. The move comes in response to growing competition from smaller tablets such as Amazon's highly successful, and aggressively priced Kindle Fire as well as large-screen smartphones from companies such as HTC and Samsung. The report indicates that the iPad Mini would be a separate device to the next-generation iPad 3, which is expected to launch sometime in 1st-quarter 2012.
  • Windows 8 touch screen devices will have a new way to log in. Called Gesture passwords, the user will be able to use their finger to draw a circle around their default picture or use a finger to draw other gestures only you and the device are aware of to log in. Since passwords have become more complex, Microsoft is thinking of ways to be more secure but take less time to log in.
  • A San Francisco judge has declared cyberstalking on Twitter, and other types of blogs, are constitutionally-protected free speech, reports The New York Times. The ruling is a victory for the First Amendment. But like all things worth fighting for, it comes at a price. Here's what happened: A Buddhist religious leader in Maryland named Alyce Zeoli became friends with a man named William Lawrence Cassidy. At some point, the two had a falling out. Cassidy took the mature route, and began posting thousands of messages on blogs and Twitter, often using pseudonyms, that aggressively disparaged Zeoli. Some of them even called for her death. Understandably distraught, Zeoli then worked with the FBI to have Cassidy arrested, which he was, based on interstate stalking laws. Cassidy, the government argued, had caused Zeoli "substantial emotional distress." This, however, was not enough to convince Judge Roger W. Titus, who declared that Cassidy's actions, while distasteful, were not enough to set a precedent that could cause serious harm to the entire foundations of the law.
  • Even though Facebook for Android came out later than Facebook for Apple, the Android app - like the mobile OS itself - has taken the lead over its iPhone/iPad counterpart. AppData documented the rise in Facebook for Android's daily users, which culminated in this week's technical knockout with 58.8 million daily active users, vs. Facebook for iPhone's 57.6 million. (These are, by the way, the official mobile apps made by Facebook, not third-party ones.) Of course, considering the increasing ubiquity of Android devices and downloads, it shouldn't come as too much of a shock to anyone that it's on top, especially since it's a free download.
  • Facebook now lets iPhone owners view its new Timeline layout and has added several extra handy features in an app update pushed out to iPhone users on Sunday. iPad users still can't view Facebook Timeline layouts. Facebook launched its updated Android apps last week when Timeline was released. Facebook has already updated its Android mobile app with the layout. It's unclear why the iOS update was delayed until the weekend but possibilities include waiting for approval from Apple's app store and bug fixes. The Timeline layout was shown earlier this year at the company's f8 Conference.
  • Verizon Galaxy Nexus users no longer have to hack their phones to install Google Wallet. The forum-goers at XDA-Developers have released a modified version of the Google Wallet app that runs on any Galaxy Nexus, with no rooting or hacking required. Simply download and install the Google Wallet APK, and you're good to go. To install the file, you'll need to enable apps from outside the Android Market. (Go to Settings, then Applications, and check the "Unknown Sources" box.) You'll also need a file explorer, such as AndExplorer, to find the app file once you've loaded it onto the phone. Place the downloaded APK file from your computer into any directory on the phone, open it in phone's file browser and follow the installation instructions.
  • British Telecom is claiming billions of dollars of damages from Google in a lawsuit filed in the US which says that the Android mobile operating system infringes a number of the telecoms company's key patents. The lawsuit, filed in the state of Delaware in the US, relates to six patents which BT says are infringed by the Google Maps, Google Music, location-based advertising and Android Market products on Android. And that's not all, there are claims that Adwords itself (which, for those of you who don't know, is where Google makes nearly all of its money) breaches a BT patent. BT has filed the suit in a Delaware court and alleges that six patents are violated. These are: USPTO 6,151,309 (the 'Busuoic' patent); 6,169,515 ('Mannings'); 6,397,040 ('Titmuss 1?); 6,578,079 ('Gittins'); 6,650,284 ('Mannings 2?); and 6,826,598 ('Titmuss 2?). The IP protected by these six, says BT, can be used to stream music over low-bandwidth connections, provide route guidance and produce location-based shortlists. The telco claims this technology is used by Google Maps and Adwords. Titmuss 1 describes location-based advertising services, directions and other services that are alleged used by Android market and Google Books.
  • Apple may be secretly developing wearable iPods that offer full support for voice commands using the company's Siri software. Details surrounding the supposed project were revealed by The New York Times on Monday. Apple is reportedly working on a "curved-glass iPod that would wrap around the wrist," which sounds similar to a watch-like device that could replace the iPod nano and shuffle in gyms around the world. Presuming Siri support would be the same as it is on the iPhone 4S, users could command the device to play a specific song, check the weather or more. We're even imagining deeper Siri integration where a user might be able to ask their iPod how far they have run or what their current heart rate is. Read on for more. The New York Times also suggested that Apple's small group of engineers working on the project have considered using the iPhone as the central information hub. So, for example, your iPhone might do all of the hard processing work while the wearable iPod is simply a means to display what you need. Google may be working on a similar project in its Google X labs, although less information is known about it. Google is said to have already hired engineers from Apple, Nokia Labs and universities to begin development on wearable products.

email from listeners:

  • Henry from Portland asks "Will Apple's Itunes store be bogged down once again this year after Christmas?"