? All Tech Radio Episode 338
 all tech radio show
 
 
  • A global operation has been undertaken to disable a number of botnets believed to be responsible for the theft of millions of pounds, Microsoft has said. The company is working in collaboration with financial services to disable botnets powered by Zeus malware. Microsoft described the action as its "most complex effort to disrupt botnets to date". However, security company Sophos Labs said it had not seen any "significant disruption" to the illegal network. The Zeus system is sold to criminals as a crimeware kit - typically selling for between $700 (£440) and $15,000 (£9,412) - allowing extra botnets to be created, increasing the threat. He said that Microsoft estimates that more than 13 million computers have been infected with Zeus malware worldwide.
  • There is a new trend where employers demand the usernames and passwords to Facebook for their employees, or perspective employees before getting hired. The row over employers' demanding the Facebook logins of staff has widened further, with two US senators asking whether such demands would break federal laws. Senators Chuck Schumer and Richard Blumenthal have asked the Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to launch a federal investigation into the practice of employers demanding access to the Facebook names and passwords of job applicants. "A ban on these practices is necessary to stop unreasonable and unacceptable invasions of privacy," Blumenthal said in his release.
  • The FCC's campaign to secure the internet gained new momentum last week, when a group of major ISPs signed on to a new code of conduct aimed at mitigating cybercrime. Adopted by the FCC's Communications, Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC), the new code targets three main security threats: botnets, DNS attacks and internet route hijacking. The Anti-Bot Code of Conduct invites ISPs to adopt sharper detection methods, and to notify and assist consumers whenever their computers are infected. The DNS code, meanwhile, offers a list of best practices by which ISPs can tighten security.
  • SpaceX owned by Paypal founder Elon Musk, will be delivering about 900 pounds of dried food to the space station next month by rocket. It appears the Obama administration has cut off any ability for NASA to be able to deliver it themselves since cutting the next generation of spacecraft after the retirement of the Space Shuttle. The only other alternative would be to continue to hire the Russians, which we still do to transport the astronauts.
  • How much gasoline would it take to charge an iPhone? One gallon would charge an iPhone everyday for the next 20 years. A new study about the density of fuels is shedding new light on the efficiency of gasoline compared to electric vehicles. Electric cars are just not as efficient as gasoline according to Exxon. You would have to stop multiple times to recharge an electric car over a 400 mile trip compared to the same trip on one tank of gasoline. Exxon also says that because of this fact gas powered cars will run 90% of all vehicles until at least 2040. We will likely need to find a way to pump that out of American wells if we're going to use it for that much longer. That's going to mean more fracking and off shore drilling.
  • AT&T will sell Nokia's high-end Lumia 900 smartphone for $99.99 with a two-year contract in the United States. The device, which boasts Windows Phone 7.5 ("Mango") and a 4.3-inch ClearBlack AMOLED display, will go on sale exclusively from the carrier April 8. Other features of the smartphone include support for AT&T's 4G LTE network, a 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a rear-facing 8-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics (paired with a front-end aperture for video conferencing), and a selection of pre-loaded apps, including the ESPN sports hub and Nokia Drive turn-by-turn navigation.
  • Australia has banned Chinese technology giant Huawei from bidding to help build a nationwide high-speed Internet network due to concern about cyber attacks traced to China. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Monday the move was among "prudent decisions" to ensure the planned network functions properly. The ban highlights concern about Beijing's cyber warfare efforts, a spate of hacking attempts aimed at Western companies and the role of Chinese equipment providers, which are expanding abroad. Huawei Technologies Ltd. is one of the world's biggest producers of switching equipment that forms the heart of phone and data networks. The company rejected suggestions it might be a security risk and said it has won the trust of global telecoms carriers. Beijing's relations with Western governments have been strained by complaints about hacking traced to China and aimed at oil, technology and other companies. A U.S. congressional panel has said it will investigate whether allowing Huawei and other Chinese makers of telecoms gear to expand in the United States might aid Chinese spying.
  • Microsoft was looking to an October launch timeframe for Windows 8. The wellspring for that rumor: Bloomberg, whose sources added that the launch would support both Intel and ARM chips, though in disproportionate numbers: about five ARM devices, compared with over 40 Intel-based systems. Microsoft was said to "finish" Windows 8 by this summer, followed by an October retail date. Now we're hearing the Release Candidate - a time-limited version of an operating system that's all but ready to go and occasionally shared with the public as a final test - could hit the streets as early as "the end of May." The claim, made by Windows blog WinUnleaked.tk, is all but absolute in tone: "We know the Release Candidate of Windows 8 will be shared with the public between the end of May to the beginning of June," writes the blog (perhaps they possess extrasensory powers).
  • The week is just getting started, and we already have a new patent infringement lawsuit on our hands. The twist this time is that it is a counter suit from TiVo against both Motorola and Time Warner Cable. A little over a year ago, Motorola filed a lawsuit against TiVo over patent infringement related to digital video recorders -- some of which focused on patents stemming from as far back as the 1990s. Now, TiVo has filed counterclaims with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that Motorola and Time Warner Cable (one of Motorola's customers) infringed upon the following U.S. patents owned by TiVo:
  • As with any high-profile product release, Apple's new iPad device has been peppered with complaints since reaching consumers' hands on March 16. Among them: that magazines look terrible on the iPad 3?s high-resolution display. The complaints were first brought to light by Tumblr blogger Jamie Billett. He pointed out that in the New Yorker's iPad app, the text on some pages is rendered as HTML, and the text on other pages is rendered as an image (.png) file. The latter pages now appear "badly aliased" -- i.e. conspicuously pixelated -- throughout the app because the images haven't been formatted to accommodate the iPad 3?s 2048 x 1536-pixel resolution, he complains. (The iPad 2, by comparison, has a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels.)

email from listeners:

  • Sarah from Portland asks "Is the heat given off by tablets like the new ipad dangerous?

    Consumer reports says the new iPad is up 13 degrees to 116 degrees. If you put an egg on it, it would take roughly 50 minutes to cook. If you're a man and put it in your lap you have a 25% chance of killing your sperm, and a 9% chance it will cause sperm to become damaged at the DNA level. If you hold it to your face for 5 minutes you will get a 1st degree burn. Especially the lower left side of the iPad is hot.