? All Tech Radio Episode 394
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  • A 35-year-old Dutchman thought to be responsible for launching what's been called "the largest publicly announced online attack in the history of the Internet" was arrested in Barcelona on Thursday by Spanish authorities. The man, identified by Dutch prosecutors only as "SK," was being held after a European warrant was issued for his arrest in connection with a series of massive online attacks last month against Spamhaus, an anti-spam organization. t is not clear who SK is, but according to multiple sources, the man identified as SK is likely one Sven Olaf Kamphuis who is the leader of the biggest spam organization in the world called Cyberbunker.
  • The cyber attack Friday on the Internet deal site LivingSocial that forced it to reset the passwords of some 50 million users has elements of what's becoming an all too familiar storyline. Along with the names, birth dates, and email addresses of some of the site's users, the intruders also accessed those users' passwords. The passwords could have been used to access user accounts on LivingSocial, but the online deals firm says it doesn't believe any accounts have been compromised. Since LivingSocial hashes and salts passwords stored on its system, any data thief will have to work to unscramble the passwords.
  • Siri may be feeling a little job insecurity. The sometimes droll assistant that answers questions and helps people manage their lives on Apple's iPhone and iPad is facing competition from an up-and-coming rival made by Google. The duel began Monday with the release of a free iPhone and iPad app that features Google Now, a technology that performs many of the same functions as Siri. It's the first time that Google Now has been available on smartphones and tablet computers that aren't running on the latest version of Google's Android software. The technology, which debuted nine months ago, is being included in an upgrade to Google's search application for iOS, the Apple Inc. software that powers the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It's up to each user to decide whether to activate Google Now within the redesigned Google Search app, which is available through Apple's app store.
  • The rumor mill has been churning out claims that Apple is planning to show a refreshed version of iOS this year that's flatter than previous iterations, and today yet another such report has surfaced. 9to5Mac claims to have been told by sources that iOS 7 will indeed sport a new, flat look that one tipster says will drop all of the gloss and skeuomorphism that's built up inside Apple's mobile platform. Another source has described iOS 7 as being "very, very flat," while an additional tipster compared iOS 7's level of flatness as being near Windows Phone's tiled look. Along with this new flattened look, it's rumored that iOS 7 (which is reportedly codenamed "Innsbruck") will feature new icons for Apple's built-in applications. The tool bars, tab bars and another basic features of iOS 7 will also purportedly be getting a makeover. Apple is also said to be interested in adding more glanceable information and panels to iOS 7. One example that's said to have been kicked around is the ability to swipe from the left and right of an iOS device's display to bring up new panels. However, it's not yet known how Apple will ultimately implement this feature or if it will at all. Although Apple is reportedly bringing a fresh look to iOS with the next major update to the platform, 9to5Mac says that the basics of the OS will remain unchanged. For example, both the lock and home screens of iOS 7 are expected to function in a manner similar to how they operate today in iOS 6.
  • Apple (NSDQ:AAPL)'s iPad mini met its newest competitor Monday in the form of Samsung's new 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3. Samsung is touting the new tablet as being a thinner and faster version of its predecessor, the Galaxy Tab 2, which made its debut last February. The new Galaxy Tab 3 runs Google (NSDQ:GOOG)'s Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, has a screen resolution of 1,024 by 600 and boasts a 1.2GHz processor, making it a step up, performance-wise, compared to the Galaxy Tab 2 and its 1 GHz chip. Samsung said the new tablet will come in both a Wi-Fi and 3G version, slatted for availability in May and June, respectively. Pricing details have not yet been announced.
  • At this year's CES, both LG and Samsung proclaimed that concave OLED screens are the next big thing in televisual entertainment, and promised working systems. Now LG has began taking orders for a 55-inch model and will begin deliveries next month. The curvy EA9800 1080p model has a carbon-fiber reinforced plastic screen that's 4.3mm (0.17 inches) thin and weighs 17 kg (37.5lb). While the device has a much bigger footprint than a standard LCD or plasma screen, it more than makes up for this in image quality, according to the manufacturers. The idea is that the display area feels like it has more depth, LG says, and the RGB screen has white sub-pixels built in that brighten up the display, along with computer-controlled contrast levels to adjust for ambient light and positioning better than do other viewing systems - or so says LG. "Our Curved OLED TV is not only the proof of LG's unmatched leadership in next-generation displays but also a testament to LG's commitment to bringing to market the most exciting TV technology available today," said Havis Kwon, CEO of LG Home Entertainment in a canned statement.
  • Thanks to Polygon, who recently published an article (April 26th) with information from their sources, the Xbox 720 has a bunch of new rumours kicking about it. Polygon's sources claim that the Xbox 720 will have expansions to its social and connected features, and that the console apparently won't require an always-on internet connection to play its games (much to the opposite of what has been previously rumoured). The flipside of that is, however, that publishers will allegedly able to make the call on that decision and dictate the always-on internet connection requirement should they wish. Before I get onto that, I'd like to first talk about one of the other claims made by Polygon's contacts. Like what was detailed during the PS4?s reveal, the Xbox 720 is said to allow its gamers to record their gameplay shenanigans digitally and share them via networks like Facebook and YouTube. Microsoft are allegedly coming up with this feature but they haven't disclosed anything as of yet. Once the feature is turned on, the console will apparently start capturing and storing footage as if it were a DVR (Digital Video Recorder). Gamers can apparently later go into the stored footage and select highlights of that footage. It is also said that gamers can schedule recording to occur automatically whenever a particular in-game event happens, like gaining achievements or scoring headshots. The fast pace of technology often means that law enforcement has to play catch up with emerging technologies, from messaging services to social networks. According to a new report from The Washington Post, a "government task force" is once again examining ways to apply wiretap laws to Internet firms like Facebook and Google. The feds can place a wiretap on landlines, cell phones, or text messages, but what happens when terrorists or other criminals take to Facebook, Twitter, or another app of the moment to discuss their illegal activity? At this point, the government doesn't have a way to follow that chatter in real time, the Post said.
  • Smartphone instant messaging applications like iMessage and WhatsApp are more growing in popularity and even far outpacing traditional SMS, according to a new study from Informa. In 2012, on average 19.1 billion messages were sent and received each day over the six most popular mobile chat applications, including Blackberry Messenger, Nimbuzz, Apple's iMessage, KakaoTalk, WhatsApp, and Viber. Informa estimates that 17.6 billion SMS messages were sent each day during the same year. Texting has become the new way people communicate - years ago replacing telephone calls and even email. But more and more people seem unwilling to pay pricey texting plans, so they are opting for free applications that give them unlimited texting plans that allow them to communicate for free with anyone across the world - no matter what type of phone they have.
  • Opera has been busy repositioning itself as a middleware player for the mobile Web recently, but that isn't stopping the company from defending its investment in browser technology. The company has filed a 20 million Kronor ($3.4 million) lawsuit against a former employee and consultant, claiming that he stole company secrets and incorporated them into a mobile browser for Mozilla. According to a report by Norwegian IT site Digi.no, Opera has filed suit against Trond Werner Hansen, a Norwegian musician and designer who worked for Opera from 1999 to 2006 as a user interface designer and developer before leaving to pursue his music career. Hansen also worked for Opera as an outside consultant from 2009 to 2010. Last year, Hansen was involved with the development of the Mozilla prototype "Junior" browser for Apple iOS. Hansen and Alex Limi-former Firefox UI head and now manager of Mozilla's product design strategy-demonstrated the browser prototype in a video on Air Mozilla last June. Hansen said in the video, "I spent almost seven years trying to simplify Opera and didn't really succeed. Simplification of something that already exists is really hard. That's way beyond product design issues-it's company issues. I feel like we failed in making something really easy."
  • On Sunday, new studio Greenheart Games released its first product, a game-development simulator called Game Dev Tycoon. In the SimCity-style game, you build a game developer up from the ground, managing resources and growing it from garage startup to the next Activision. Trouble is, if you downloaded a pirated version of the game - that Greenheart itself put onto BitTorrent in an attempt to dragnet would-be freeloaders - you would eventually hit a wall that didn't exist in the paid version, as shown above. The game tells you that you can't make any more money as your fictional product is being excessively pirated.

email from listeners:

  • Ken from Portland asks "Is it ok to copy CDs to MPs and into my Apple itunes account?"