It's a big week for Microsoft as Windows 8 officially is released on Friday. It will begin not only on PCs sold in stores, but also on the new Surface tablet. I ordered mine and I hope to tell everyone about it very soon. We have been using Windows 8 for a while and there are some great things to look forward to, but also some challenges to learning the new way of doing things.
American Internet users can expect to start seeing notifications from their Internet service providers if they trade files on peer-to-peer networks. A blog post by Jill Lesser, executive director of the Center for Copyright Information, revealed the long-awaited Copyright Alert System (CAS) will begin "in the coming weeks" and provided some details about the partnership with ISPs to deter subscribers from infringement over peer-to-peer networks. ISPs to Roll Out Copyright Alert Systems This Year, CCI's New Executive Director Says In the coming weeks, participating ISPs will launch its version of the CAS. Each system allows content owners to send infringement notices to subscribers via the ISP. When infringing activity continues, CAS will send "enhanced alerts" that vary by ISP but range from a requirement that a subscriber review educational material to temporary throttling of the subscriber's Internet speed.
The government's latest line of defense against robocalls? You. The Federal Trade Commission is offering what's essentially a $50,000 bounty to slay telephonic spam once and for all. The contest is the FTC's latest attempt to stem a skyrocketing number of robocalls, which too often ring through when dinner's on the table. In July, the agency announced that complaints about automated calls had soared to 212,000 last April, compared with 65,000 in October 2010. The FTC Robocall Challenge asks for a way to block the calls on land lines and cellphones. Groups of up to 10 people can enter to win the $50,000 prize and a free trip to Washington, D.C.
Nearly half of all robberies in San Francisco this year are cell phone-related, police say, and most occur on bustling transit lines. One thief recently snatched a smartphone while sitting right behind his unsuspecting victim and darted out the rear of a bus in mere seconds. Another robber grabbed an iPhone from an oblivious bus rider -- while she was still talking. And, in nearby Oakland, City Council candidate Dan Kalb was robbed at gunpoint of his iPhone Wednesday after he attended a neighborhood anti-crime meeting. What do the robbers get? A blueprint for stealing your identity that could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars per phone theft.
Apple's iPad mini is almost certainly set to be announced next week at an event in San Jose Tuesday, and we're now hearing that it will ship a week and a half after that unveiling. November 2 is the ship date we've heard today from a source close to Apple's supply chain, echoing an earlier report by Geeky Gadgets that that's the day the iPad mini will go on sale. Geeky Gadgets cited a prominent U.K. retailer as the source of its information. For the iPhone 5, the September 21 retail availability date was telegraphed ahead of time thanks to leaked information from carrier partners, and retailers have been a source of Apple-related product leaks in the past. Our own source has also previously proven reliable with unreleased Apple info.
An outage of one of Amazon's cloud computing data centers knocked out popular sites like Reddit, Foursquare Pinterest and TMZ for some users on Monday. The outages, which began early afternoon Eastern time, appeared to be gradually improving as the afternoon went on. As of about 5 p.m. ET, Amazon Web Services was reporting "degraded" performance at one of its centers in northern Virginia. In addition to online retail, Amazon rents cloud storage space for clients to store Web data. Other sites that were impacted included Instagram, Flipboard, AirBnB, Imgur and GetGlue.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) said it will end its contract with BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd in favor of Apple Inc's iPhone, dealing a new blow to RIM just months before it launches a vital new device. The agency said in a solicitation document posted last week that it intends to buy iPhones for more than 17,600 employees - a purchase worth $2.1 million. The agency said it has relied on RIM for eight years, but the company "can no longer meet the mobile technology needs of the agency."
Millions of people are using Android apps that can be tricked into revealing personal data, research indicates. Scientists tested 13,500 Android apps and found almost 8% failed to protect bank account and social media logins. These apps failed to implement standard scrambling systems, allowing "man-in-the-middle" attacks to reveal data that passes back and forth when devices communicate with websites.
On Sunday the Skype blog was updated with an introduction to Skype for Windows 8, which will be released this Friday along with Windows 8 and Windows RT devices. It's a brand new experience, the blog states, focusing on people and messages front and center. Recent chat messages and calls will be presented next to frequently messaged contacts immediately after the client is launched. "Skype has also made it even easier for you to call landlines or mobile phones directly, with a new modern dial pad," said Mark Gillett, chief development and operations officer at Skype. "You can easily see how much Skype Credit you have along with active subscriptions and your recent calls all in one easy view." In this release, Skype has been "re-architected" from the ground up, and will feel more native than previous versions on Windows 7 and older. It will be "always on," running seamlessly in the background and alerting users about new calls and instant messages in boxy notification tags pinned to the right of the screen. And, naturally, because this will be a Modern UI app, the new-and-improved Skype will not only run in full-screen mode, but be touch compatible.
Samsung Display said Monday that it will terminate its contract with Apple and no longer supply liquid crystal display (LCD) panels to its long time partner. The news comes as speculation is mounting over a rift between the two firms that have shared a long relationship in electronic components. The display panel manufacturer plans to completely cut its years-long business ties with Apple as it believes its American partner is no longer a cash-generator due to the iPhone maker's stiffer supply-chain management structure. The Cupertino, California-based firm has been lowering its reliance on Samsung-manufactured displays for use in its popular i-branded devices as it is leveraging its influence to source components from Samsung's rivals attracted by better pricing. "We are unable to supply our flat-screens to Apple with huge price discounts. Samsung has already cut our portion of shipments to Apple and next year we will stop shipping displays," said a senior Samsung source, asking not to be named, Monday.
Sprint is making headway on its 4G LTE rollout, firing up its ultra-fast network in several new markets in Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, and Texas. The wireless carrier on Monday announced it turned on its 4G LTE network in a number of Chicago suburbs, known collectively as "Chicagoland," in addition to Hutchinson and McPherson, Kan.; New Bedford and Fall River, Mass.; and Wichita Falls, Texas. With the latest expansion, Sprint's 4G LTE network now covers 32 cities.
email from listeners:
Jody from Seattle asks "Whats the difference between the two tablets coming our for Microsoft?"