? All Tech Radio Episode 378
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  • For at least a brief period this week, when users typed in "sell" in the search bar on Google Finance, Google automatically directed them to the page for Apple's stock, as pointed out in several blogs and a thread on Reddit over the weekend. Google, for its part, said the result was due to its algorithm rather than any concerted effort to undermine Apple's stock. "This isn't deliberate," the company told Search Engine Land in a statement. "Our algorithms seem to be keying off of the words 'sell' and "sells" in the description of this very popular stock symbol. We're working on how to adjust things so it doesn't happen anymore." It appears that Google has since tweaked its algorithm so that now, when users search for "sell" on Google Finance, it brings up a list of stocks, including Selestra, whose ticker is SELL. Apple isn't anywhere to be found.
  • Sources based in China claim that Apple is working on releasing a smartwatch. According to a report on China's TGbus.com, the Bluetooth-enabled smartwatch will feature a 1.5-inch touchscreen display and work directly with the iPhone, allowing users to make phone calls and perform other operations from their wrists. First spotted by tech site TheNextWeb, the watch is supposedly a joint project between Apple and Intel.
  • The FCC issues a Report and Order allowing the use of satellite antennas on aircraft that would allow passengers to access the Internet while in flight. The arrangements that allow this to happen require both approval from the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Aviation Administration. Each airline had to work individually with the respective federal agencies to make this happen. It has been a complex process and it takes a while. But now, through a Report and Order issued by the FCC, the process has been streamlined, meaning that the FCC will issue the necessary approvals much more quickly than in the past.
  • Facebook recently fine-tuned its Nearby button, a feature of the social network's free apps for iPhones and Android devices. Separately, Groupon introduced an identically named Nearby feature in its free iPhone, iPad and Android apps. When you arrive at a destination, you can use Facebook Nearby to search for restaurants, coffee, nightlife, outdoor activities, arts, hotels and shopping in the vicinity. Before the update, Facebook Nearby merely enabled you to view these attractions in one list, mixing restaurants and bookstores within several miles of your current location. You could learn about their basic amenities and how many "likes" they've attracted, read posts about the place, and see which of your Facebook friends have "checked in" at the
  • Sony has ended Japanese production of its best-selling PlayStation 2 (PS2). The hardware first went on sale in March 2000 in Japan and since then more than 150 million PS2 consoles have been sold. The PS2 was so popular that it outsold its replacement for the first three years that the PlayStation 3 was available. By ending production, Sony has fuelled rumours it is putting manufacturing resources towards the PlayStation 4.
  • Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) had to be happy to ring out the old year and ring in the new--especially after the way the old year ended. First the streaming service suffered a major malfunction on Christmas Eve; then its DVD website started acting up on New Year's Eve. Reportedly, the website started experiencing technical difficulties for some users, a problem a Netflix spokesman told The Wall Street Journal was being addressed by the company's engineers. On a brighter note to ring in the new year, Netflix's online video steaming service, which took a hit Christmas Eve thanks to problems with the Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) storage service, is "not impacted" by the latest problem.
  • Ford is touting the Fusion as America's "most fuel-efficient" sedan, which is true, but the Fusion is also in a class of one. The only other plug-in hybrid sedan currently available is the much dearer Fisker Karma, which is rated at 54 MPGe combined. Since the Fusion Energi can travel up to 20 miles on electricity only, conventional hybrid sedans like the Toyota Camry Hybrid and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid can't really compete. Look for that to change in the near future, though, with the introduction of the Honda Accord plug-in. Relevant competition or not, the Fusion Energi's 100 MPGe rating is still impressive. It beats the Toyota Prius plug-in (95 MPGe) and the Chevrolet Volt (98 MPGe), two hybrid mainstays. The Fusion Energi goes on sale soon, with a starting price of $39,495 for a base SE model. That's significantly more than the $27,995 Fusion Hybrid, but as with nearly everything else in the car world, you have to pay more to get more.
  • Executing the cost-reduction plan CEO Mark Pincus announced in November, Zynga has shut down, pulled from the app stores, or stopped accepting new players to 11 games, with some turning off today. The gaming giant will reallocate resources to more successful titles as well as creating new ones. Along with layoffs, the shutdowns are part of the hard road to recovery for Zynga. The San Francisco-based company had overextended itself. During its heyday on Facebook it built dozens of games, then aggressively launched mobile games as smartphones gained popularity. It didn't seem like a problem when the company was preparing for a big IPO.
  • Xbox Live users may have suffered an outage over the weekend, but Microsoft is offering a free month of service to make up for it. Last Friday, Xbox Live subscribers lost the Cloud Saved Games feature, which allows gamers to store saved games online and pick them up later on a different console if they'd like. The outage lasted anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days. As of this morning, the feature was fully restored. But to make up for the lost game time, Microsoft is offering a free month of Xbox Live to those affected. What's even better is that the subscribers don't have to contact support to get their free month; Microsoft knows who was affected and will take care of everything on its end.
  • Microsoft is looking into a vulnerability in older versions of its Internet Explorer (IE) browser which, when exploited, could give the attacker administrative user rights on the computer and host malicious Web sites. In a security advisory issued last Saturday, the software giant said it is investigating public reports of the zero-day loophole in Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7, and Internet Explorer 8. Newer versions IE9 and IE10 are not affected by this vulnerability, it added. The company said the remote code execution vulnerability lies in the way "IE accesses an object in memory that has been deleted or has not been properly allocated". "An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights," Microsoft stated.

email from listeners:

  • Kelly from Chatanooga asks "If Apple moves away from Intel chips will it no longer be possible to install Windows on a Mac?"