? All Tech Radio Episode 353
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  • The DNS changer malware was a big story this week but by the time the FBI cutoff the remaining people known to have the virus, only 46k were affected.
  • Following the success of their Kindle Fire, Amazon is rumored to be developing a smartphone. Bloomberg reports that "two sources with knowledge on the matter" claim the company, until recently best known as an online retailer for books, is working on a device to compete with Android and the iPhone. Foxconn International Holdings Ltd. (2038), the Chinese mobile- phone maker, is working with Amazon on the device, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. Amazon is seeking to complement the smartphone strategy by acquiring patents that cover wireless technology and would help it defend against allegations of infringement, other people with knowledge of the matter said.
  • If you've been wondering who would be joining Asus, Dell, and Microsoft itself in building ARM-based Windows RT tablets, add another name to the mix: Samsung. The company plans on introducing an ARM-based tablet when Windows RT is officially released, according to Bloomberg. Apparently, Samsung's tablet will be using Qualcomm's Snapdragon chip as the processor. That's interesting given that Samsung makes its own Exynos ARM chips, but then again Qualcomm revealed at Computex that its chips were already ramped up and in production for Windows RT devices.
  • Facebook is launching a new type of mobile advertising that targets consumers based on the apps they use, pushing the limits of how companies track what people do on their phones.The social network is tracking the apps that people use through its popular Facebook Connect feature, which lets users log into millions of websites and apps as varied as Amazon.com, LinkedIn and Yelp with their Facebook identity. The company then targets ads based on that data, said people familiar with the company's plans. The new ads could stoke privacy concerns because they let Facebook go a step further than mobile-ad networks, which track what ads people have clicked on through a phone's Web browser. Those networks aren't aware of all the apps that a user has on their phone.
  • Windows 8, the next major upgrade of Microsoft's operating system for PCs, tablets and laptops, will be released to manufacturers in August and will ship commercially in October, the company announced on Monday. Microsoft had previously said that the OS would be commercially available before the end of the year but hadn't given a firm shipping date. When Windows 8 is released to manufacturers (RTM), Microsoft will also activate the Windows Store and start charging for applications, which during the test period have been free, the company announced at its Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto. In a keynote appearance at the conference, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that this is "an epic year" for Microsoft because of all the new product upgrades it's delivering, in particular Windows 8, which he called "the biggest deal for our company in at least 17 years." Windows 8 will hit its RTM milestone in early August and will begin shipping commercially in late October, according to Microsoft. Those dates apply not only to the Windows 8 version for x86 chips from AMD and Intel, but also for Windows RT, the Windows 8 version that will run on ARM-based devices. Windows RT will ship embedded with its devices, which will be made by Microsoft and third-party hardware partners. It will not be sold as a stand-alone OS like Windows 8 for x86.
  • Sharp will pay a total of $198.5 million to Dell and two other companies a part of an out-of-court settlement reached over the Japanese tech company's thin-film-transistor, or TFT business. It's not clear from initial reports which companies are invovled or even what the suit pertained to. AT&T and Nokia both sued Toshiba a few years back and are likely the two unnamed companies paid in the settlement. However, the news likely relates to last week's news that Toshiba, Samsung, LG, and Sharp colluded to fix prices of LCD panels.
  • In June, Research In Motion suffered its worst month to date. First, a $518 million quarterly loss. Second, its lowest share price since the company's peak in 2008. And last, a delay for the forthcoming line of BlackBerry models and an updated operating system that may make or break RIM's future. Considering this, with RIM's annual meeting scheduled this week, CEO Thorsten Heins may not be looked upon with friendly eyes by investors. Displeasure, and investors brooding over their dwindling stake, may not be the only thing to occupying shareholders' minds at the meeting. The New York Times reports that investing parties and security law experts may take the issue of the BlackBerry 10 delay further, and transform worry over invested capital into lawsuits.
  • Wireless carriers received at least 1.3 million requests for customer information from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies last year, according to data released today. Many of these requests were in the form of subpoenas or orders and warrants, according to the data, which was released by Rep. Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat. Markey requested information about government data collection from nine carriers in May after the New York Times said agencies were requesting a lot of consumer cell phone data, sometimes without judicial oversight or user knowledge.
  • A Trojan app designed by spammers to steal copies of iPhone and Android users' address books found its way last month onto both the official Apple App Store and Google Play app marketplace, and appeared to be active for at least a week. The app, dubbed "Find and Call," was more akin to "leak and spam," said Denis Maslennikov, a security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, who detailed the malicious apps--pitched to Russian-language iPhone and Android users--in a blog post. Both Apple and Google Thursday removed the offending versions of the application.
  • Staples office supply stores will sell the Nexus 7, a computer tablet that Google designed to compete against the Kindle Fire and iPad. Monday's announcement makes Staples Inc. the second major retailer to embrace the Nexus 7 since Google unveiled the device last month. Video game retailer GameStop Corp. also plans to stock the Nexus 7 in its U.S. stores. Other merchants are expected to agree to add the Nexus 7 to their store shelves when the tablet ships later this month. Adding more stores as sellers exposes the Nexus 7 to more shoppers as Google Inc. tries to make a bigger dent in the increasingly important tablet computer market. Google is also peddling the Nexus 7 through its own online store, Google Play.

email from listeners:

  • Sarah from Portland asks "What happens if I don't install antivirus on my Windows computer?"