Tech News Today

Apple, Google, Facebook to talk privacy with Senate
A hearing later this week will point the lens on Apple, Google, and Facebook’s mobile privacy policies. This is the second hearing following revelations that iPhones had been recording location data without consent.

Copper thieves knock out phone service
A Boston-area neighborhood was left without telephone service for several hours last week. Criminals cut copper telephone wires from two utility poles. Theft of copper is a growing crime across the country


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Beyond Skype: VoIP Alternatives
Tired of Skype’s problems? Don’t trust Microsoft’s plans for Skype? Then give these programs a try.

Intel CEO: Big shift to mobile
Paul Otellini says the chipmaker is redirecting its focus to low-power and small devices like smartphones, Netbooks, and tablets.

Criminals take aim at Macs
A new kit for building malware that targets Macs has emerged. The kit allows criminals to build Trojans quickly and easily. The kit could be a sign that Macs are finally a financially attractive target for criminals

Sony restoring PlayStation Network
Over the weekend, Sony began restoring its PlayStation Network. The network was recently hit with a security breach that affected more than 100 million accounts. The restoration process should be complete by month’s end. Sony says it has improved security on the site.

Winklevoss twins taking Facebook case to Supreme Court
The twins’ attorney says that a recent ruling against their appeal was wrong and that they will bring their argument to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Meet the most powerful man on the Web
The Drudge Report accounts for about 7 percent of referrals to news sites. That’s according to a new study. In comparison, less than 4 percent of referrals come from Facebook. The 14-year-old site is known for its minimal look and tempting headlines.

Tech News Today

Facebook smears Google
In what is possibly the stupidest idea ever, Facebook launched a smear campaign against Google. It hired a PR firm to plant negative stories in the media. The stories were designed to elevate fears about Google’s privacy policies. Facebook has had its share of privacy problems so this move is just stupid and plants seeds in peoples minds about just what Facebook is doing over there. It’s like it’s being run by a bunch of 14 year olds. Oh ya, it is.


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Five reasons why Google’s new Chromebook isn’t a Windows-killer
Some analysts are convinced that Google’s new OS marks the beginning of the end for Windows. But I’ve seen this movie before. The Chromebook is a glorified netbook, and its deceptive price tag

Five Reasons why Google’s Linux Chromebook is a Windows killer
After years, decades, of talking about Linux taking on Windows on the desktop, we finally have a serious contender with a serious backer, Google, behind it.

White House proposes cybersecurity plan
The White House has unveiled a new cybersecurity proposal. It would require that businesses better protect critical infrastructure. This includes financial systems and the electrical grid. The proposal also requires that companies notify customers of security breaches

Google to rebuild Chrome on secure foundation
A Google project called Native Client turns out not just to be for running fast software from the Web securely. Google plans to use it to run the entire browser, too.

LimeWire settles with RIAA for $105 million
Entrepreneur Mark Gorton agrees to pay $105 million to settle copyright case.

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NASA, Stanford hacked
Criminals have hacked sites belonging to NASA and universities such as Stanford. The hacked pages were used to tout software and other products. NASA has cleaned up its site; many of the other sites still host the pages

Microsoft buys Skype for $8.5 billion; creates new business division
The rumors were right. Microsoft announced on May 10 that it bought Skype, an Internet communications vendor, for $8.5 billion


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Google I/O day one: Android on top
New versions of Google’s mobile operating system, and new movie rental and music streaming services that run on it, took the spotlight at the developer confab.

Hackers plan third Sony attack
A group of hackers says it is planning another wave of cyberattacks against Sony in retaliation for its handling of the PlayStation Network breach.

Over 23,000 IP addresses cited in BitTorrent suit
A massive list of IP addresses was presented in U.S. District Court last week, paving the way for what could become the biggest BitTorrent case ever.

YouTube takes on Netflix with online movie rentals
YouTube’s new movie rental site isn’t going to crush Netflix. It’s built-in social tools will certainly give it a run for it’s money, though.

Survey: 7.5M Facebook users below minimum age
A Consumer Reports survey finds that 7.5 million Facebook users are younger than 13, in violation of the company’s terms of service, and that more than 5 million were 10 or younger.

Tech News Today

Thanks to tablets, PCs get less use
Tablets are changing the way people use computers. Tablet owners are using laptops and desktop computers less. They find tablets more convenient, and they like the instant-on feature. Owners also report neglecting gaming consoles for tablets

Sony may have headed off planned weekend attack
It appears the plan to hack into a Sony Web site and publish information from it online was thwarted when Sony found out about it ahead of time.


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Rumors swirl around next Xbox
Microsoft could announce the next version of the Xbox next month. Electronic Arts reportedly has a prototype at its studio. It is starting to build games for it. The console is expected to go on sale in 2012

HP unwraps 3G mobile broadband service
DataPass service allows users of 3G-enabled HP laptops a 3G mobile broadband service without worrying about lengthy contracts.

Apple bumps Google as most valuable brand
Google had reigned supreme on the "BrandZ" top 100 list for the past four years. But with Apple’s brand value rocketing 84 percent since last year, it knocked Google off its pedestal

What a Mac malware attack looks like
Remember last month when I showed you a malware attack that was targeting Google Chrome users? In a follow-up post, I wondered whether Macs would be far behind. Today I found one such attack.

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Is it the end of the line for television sets?
For the first time in 20 years, television ownership is down. Many low-income households couldn’t afford the switch to digital television. The proliferation of online streaming also contributed to the drop

Anonymous: We didn’t hack PlayStation Network
A letter purporting to come from the hacker group denies involvement in the PlayStation Network attack that forced Sony to take down its online service.


Knowledge is power, even if it is someone else’s knowledge.

iOS 4.3.3 arrives, patches location database
Apple has released an update to iOS users that addresses the size and security of a location database stored on the device, and within the iTunes software. The fix comes exactly a week since Apple addressed the issue.

IE users can now delete Flash cookies
Flash cookies aren’t normally removed when regular cookies are deleted. But the latest version of Adobe Flash lets users of Internet Explorer get rid of unwanted cookies.

Facebook, Google eye Skype deal: Consumer vs. corporate tug of war
Facebook and Google are reportedly pondering either an acquisition of Skype or a joint venture and strategically the two buyers couldn’t be more different.

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Sony: Some stolen data encrypted
Sony’s PlayStation Network was recently breached, affecting 77 million users. Sony now says that users’ credit card information was encrypted. It is unclear how strong the encryption is. Sony is working with law enforcement to identify the perpetrators

Yahoo! sells Delicious
Yahoo! has sold its Delicious social-bookmarking service. The buyers are none other than YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. The site will be an important part of their new Avos venture


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Google Docs finally hits Android- great on tablets
Imagine my surprise when today Google released Google Docs in the Android Market. I grabbed it immediately and have been using it since, having installed it to my tablet and phone

Google to take Apple’s app crown by July
Google’s Android Market is destined to be bigger than Apple’s App Store in just a few months, according to new research from Distimo. Google has already beaten Apple in terms of the number of free apps it offers in its store

Apple admits ‘bug’ behind iPhone tracking
Apple has reiterated that it does not track iPhone users. However, it admits that it is collecting location data due to a software bug. The company promises to fix the flaw and implement new protections

Tech News Today

White iPhone finally launching worldwide
Apple’s long-awaited white iPhone will retail for $199 and $299 for the 16GB and 32GB models, respectively. The smartphone will be available to both AT&T and Verizon Wireless customers.

Sony: Personal info compromised on PSN
Sony says billing addresses, user names, passwords, and possibly credit card information belonging to its PlayStation Network customers have been stolen.

Facebook just made you invisible to most of your followers. Here’s how to fix it.
Are all of your friends, family, and/or clients/customers seeing your posts in their news feeds? Probably not now! Here’s how to fix that.

YouTube to stream premium movies
YouTube is launching a premium movie rental service. According to reports, it will launch in May. The streaming rentals will start at $2. YouTube has reached licensing agreements with three of the six major studios

Facebook takes on Groupon
Facebook is launching a daily deals site to challenge services like Groupon. The goal isn’t to offer the best deals on products. Rather, Facebook is focusing on the social experience of the deals

Friendster to delete users’ data
Social-networking pioneer Friendster will restyle itself as an entertainment service. It will mostly target Asian users. It is urging members to export their profile data. Friendster will delete the data on May 31.

Tech News Today

Feds investigate hacker threat on military base
The Pentagon is investigating a threat against the military base holding Pfc. Bradley Manning. Manning allegedly leaked classified files to Wikileaks. A Pentagon spokesman says that Anonymous has threatened to disrupt communications.

iPad 2 launches tomorrow online and in stores
Tomorrow is going to be a very, very big day for Apple. The iPad 2 goes on sale tomorrow, and here are the official launch times – and they’re not what you’d expect.

Lost innocence for start-ups at a flashier SXSWi?
Annual geek-culture confab has gotten so big that wide-eyed young start-ups thinking it’s their ticket to fame may find it’s like hoping to get a record deal by showing up at Coachella with a guitar

Apple releases update to fix Java
Apple put out a patch that fixes 27 vulnerabilities in Java. Some of the flaws could be used to attack the whole operating system. The patches fix Java flaws in both Snow Leopard and Leopard operating systems. Your Mac isn’t immune from viruses.

Angry Birds maker lands $42 million in funding
Rovio, the company behind the wildly popular Angry Birds franchise, has secured its first investment round as it looks to spread the rage.

Chrome gets 25 new fixes before hacking convention
One day before a big hacking convention, Google has shored up its browser. In fact, it patched 25 flaws in total. Google even paid rewards to the intrepid developers who found the issues.

Pwn2Own 2011: IE8 on Windows 7 hijacked with 3 vulnerabilities
Using three different vulnerabilities and clever exploitation techniques, Irish security researcher Stephen Fewer successfully hacked into a 64-bit Windows 7 (SP1) running Internet Explorer 8 to win this year?s CanSecWest hacker challenge.

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Facebook going public soon?
Reports say that Facebook is preparing for an initial public offering. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company will soon reach 500 shareholders. The Securities and Exchange Commission will then require Facebook to file financial information

WSJ: Verizon will offer unlimited data plans with iPhone 4
Even if Verizon Wireless announces the availability of the iPhone within its network tomorrow, it’s still last year’s iPhone 4. So what’s a good way to attract consumers? Unlimited data plans.

Verizon’s iPhone: Here comes the fallout
Verizon Wireless will finally get Apple’s iPhone on Tuesday and the network and sales machine appears to be ready to roll, but the launch is only the beginning. The fallout will take quarters to play out for the likes of Motorola Mobility, AT&T and others.

Another huge round of job cuts for MySpace
MySpace is preparing to cut half of its staff by next month. That would be a loss of more than 500 jobs. MySpace hopes to reach target revenues set by parent company News Corp. Last summer MySpace cut 30 percent of its work force

Three reasons to dump your cable provider: Boxee, Roku, Apple TV
I don’t know of anyone that doesn’t want to cut the cord with their cable provider and now it’s possible thanks to several inexpensive solutions like: Boxee, Roku and Apple TV.

Skype buys Qik for $100 million
Skype has purchased video sharing company Qik. According to reports, Skype paid $100 million for Qik. Skype confirmed the acquisition on its blog. The post said Skype would take advantage of Qik’s Smart Streaming technology.

Android runs down iPhone in the Smartphone Races
Blackberry is still number one, but Android has passed the iPhone iOS for second place in the race to the top of the smartphone operating system hill.

Three bug fixes on the way from Microsoft
Microsoft is planning to patch three vulnerabilities tomorrow. The first fix is rated as critical and affects all versions of windows. However, the upcoming patch won’t address two zero-day bugs already being exploited

CES 2011: The biggest winners and losers
The Consumer Electronics Show is the biggest stage of the technology industry and every CES has its winner and losers. Here is the scorecard for CES 2011.

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Intel’s 2nd-gen chip arrives, with Hollywood in tow
Chip giant’s second-generation Intel Core processors are upon us. Hundreds of PC models will be released over the next several months based on Intel’s highest-performing chip to date.

Security expert: Chinese hackers exploit bug in IE
A Google security researcher has used a fuzzing tool to find a bug in Internet Explorer. The researcher also warned that Chinese hackers were likely already exploiting the bug. Similar vulnerabilities were found in Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera.

Chrome finishes 2010 with 10 percent share
Google and Apple browsers strip away usage share from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer overall, but IE8 and IE9 do show growth.

Nintendo says only 7 and up for new gaming system
Nintendo is warning parents to keep toddlers away from its upcoming 3-D handheld. The company says that the 3-D mode could harm their still-developing eyes. Nintendo’s 3DS is a 3-D gaming system slated for release in 2011

50 billion reasons why Facebook is not worth $50 billion
Facebook’s latest valuation verges on the absurd — its stable of investment partners don’t inspire confidence either.

Verizon to make Galaxy Tab $100 cheaper
Verizon will soon drop the price of the Samsung Galaxy Tab by $100. This will make the tablet $500 without a contract. The price drop comes only two months after the Tab’s debut