Tech News Today

Facebook unveils video chatting, thanks to Skype
The world’s largest social network will allow users to communicate with others via video, thanks to Skype.

Google, Microsoft sued over mapping sites
A Louisiana company is suing Google, Microsoft and MapQuest for copyright infringement. At issue are the sites’ street-level images. Transcenic says it owns patents on capturing and navigating within panoramic images.


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Verizon kisses goodbye to unlimited data plans
Verizon Wireless has confirmed that unlimited data plans for new smartphone customers will be withdrawn on July 7 and replaced with a tiered plan.

Spotify makes it official, announces U.S. launch
The European streaming music service, that has made numerous past promises to enter the U.S. digital music market, is finally on its way.

It’s the end of the road for Office XP
Microsoft will end support for Office XP. Security updates will no longer be available after next Tuesday. It is also ending support for Vista SP1; users who upgrade to SP2 will continue to receive updates

Report: Microsoft wants $15 per Android handset
South Korea’s Maeil Business Newspaper says Samsung is willing to pay $10 per Android handset if Microsoft agrees to a closer alliance on Windows.

Google to rename key brands
According to online reports, Google will kill the Blogger and Picasa brands. They will be renamed Google Blogs and Google Photos, respectively. The move comes as Google is tying more of its services to Google+

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Does Windows phone matter? Microsoft keeps on getting Android vendors to sign patent-protection deals so if Microsoft is going to get a cut of every Android device(they arguably make more now from Android patents than from Windows phone licensing) then they are going to win this war where it matters, on the bottom line.

Microsoft convinces another Android vendor to sign a patent-protection deal
Microsoft has added another Android backer to the list of those signing with Redmond for patent protection: General Dynamics.


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As LulzSec disbands, threats remain
Hacktivist group LulzSec officially disbands, but the threats are far from over. Should organizations begin addressing the problem, or continue chasing the solution?

Hulu: as TV landscape shifts, it’s pass the potato
Hulu owners Walt Disney Co., News Corp. and Comcast are mulling whether to sell the video streaming site. Will it do more damage in someone else’s hands?

FTC investigating Google
The FTC is reviewing Google’s search and advertising business. Google says it will cooperate. Google also says it isn’t sure why the agency is investigating. However, the Wall Street Journal reports that the FTC is launching an antitrust probe

Supreme Court strikes down California video game law
The Supreme Court overturned a California law that sought to restrict the sale of violent video games to minors on First Amendment grounds, calling it "seriously overinclusive."

Google curbs Web map exposing phone locations
Google limits access to geolocation database linking Wi-Fi devices with physical locations after a CNET article highlights potential privacy concerns.

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FTC, Senate rachet up Google antitrust probes
The Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Senate appear to be stepping up their antitrust investigations of Google, a development that follows more formal investigations already underway in Europe.

Pentagon gets guidelines for cyberwar
President Obama has given the Pentagon guidelines for cyberattacks. They govern the use of cyberattacks in warfare. They also stress the importance of strengthening defenses against computer attacks


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Rumor: iPhone 5 set for September launch
According to insiders, Apple is planning to launch a new iPhone in September. The phone will feature a faster processor and an 8-megapixel camera. Apple will reportedly also launch a cheaper version of the iPhone

In wireless lawsuit fray, Apple snags mobile touchscreen patent
Apple snags a U.S. patent related to user interactions with touchscreen displays on mobile devices. It’s the latest win in an epic volley of wireless tech lawsuits.

Apple iPhone Patent a Huge Blow to Rival Smartphone Makers
Apple’s newly awarded patent gives it ownership of the capacitive multitouch interface, spelling big trouble for rival smartphone makers, say patent experts.

Trojans, viruses, worms: How does malware get on PCs and Macs?
What’s the best way to deal with malicious software on PCs and Macs? You can’t answer that question until you know how malware gets installed in the first place. Here’s a reality check

Looking for a smartphone bargain? Check out prepaid
While traditional mobile operators get rid of unlimited data and raise pricing, prepaid operators are getting hot new smartphones and offering cheap unlimited everything plans.

Firefox 5: New, but improved?
Yes, there’s already a new version of Firefox out. Hurray! But, is there anything really "new" in it? Not so much.

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iCloud sues Apple over name
An Arizona company has sued Apple over its use of the iCloud name, claiming the tech giant’s use of it infringes on its trademark.

Facebook shedding U.S. users as Brazil, Mexico gain
Overall growth rate drops below 20 million new users for two months in a row, pushed by loss of users from early-adopting countries, according to an Inside Facebook report.


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UN says Internet access a priority
Internet access is a human right. That’s according to a report from the United Nations. The report says that the Internet helps promote human rights and combats inequality.

Advertising growing for Web TV
Online television sites used to show few ads during shows. But, as online TV becomes more popular, this is changing. Some sites show four times as many ads as they did a year ago. Others show as many ads as they do on TV.

Privacy worries? Google shouldn’t be your biggest fear
The bigger threats to compromising your privacy are you, your friends and your family – they’re posting about you on social networks, too.

New Bill Gates interview: "Legacy is a stupid thing! I don’t want a legacy."
A new interview with Bill Gates has been posted online, and it’s amazingly revealing.

Members of Anonymous arrested
Police in Spain have arrested three suspected members of the hacker group Anonymous. They are charged in attacks against Sony websites and Spanish banks. They have not been linked to the attack on Sony’s PlayStation Network, however.

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Nintendo site hacked
Hackers have attacked Nintendo’s servers in the United States. Nintendo says that no customer information was compromised in the attack. Hacker group LulzSec is claiming responsibility. It recently broke into Sony websites

Site facilitates illegal drug sales
Two senators will ask authorities to crack down on an online drug market. Silk Road facilitates the sale of illegal narcotics. The well-protected site uses an untraceable digital currency. The senators want the site shut down immediately.

Apple’s iCloud and what it means for wireless data service
Will the Apple iCloud service cost you more money on your wireless data plan?

Sony unveils PlayStation Vita
At E3 2011, Sony’s Kazuo Hirai debuts the company’s next-generation handheld, the PlayStation Vita. Due in stores in time for the holidays, the Vita will come in WiFi and WiFi/3G models for $249.99 and $299.99, respectively.

Dragons in the Cloud: Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft
Four mighty "Dragons" will claim their territory in the Cloud. Will they interoperate, or will users of these services be imprisoned, and subjected to the terrors of their reign?

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Criminals stay a step ahead of Apple
Apple has released a security update to thwart the MacDefender Trojan. Unfortunately, the criminals were quick to respond. They released a new variant that can slip past the update. MacDefender is fake antivirus software

Can Microsoft’s Windows 8 really do it all?
Microsoft’s biggest risk with Windows 8 revolves around the familiar themes that always haunt the company: Reverse compatibility and the need to make Windows the Swiss Army knife of computing.

Windows 8, iOS 6 set for tablet face off in 2012
Microsoft says the next version of Windows will not be out this fall, making 2012 a better candidate. Will Apple be on iOS 6 by then?

Windows 8’s user interface a touching experience
Don’t let demos of Windows 8’s new touchscreen interface scare you — you’ll be able to revert back to a UI that looks and works much like Windows 7’s

Miramax, Hulu ink deal
Miramax has signed a multi-year deal to make its movies available on Hulu. The films will only be available to Hulu Plus subscribers. Miramax is responsible for such films as Pulp Fiction and Good Will Hunting. Miramax recently signed a similar deal with Netflix.

Microsoft ships free malware cleaner that boots from CD or USB
In a move aimed at cutting down on support call costs, Microsoft has released a malware recovery tool that boots from a CD or USB stick.

Apple gains control of iCloud domain
The company, which is rumored to have paid $4.5 million for the domain, is scheduled to unveil a cloud-based storage system of the same name next week.

Google’s +1 extends to Web pages for one-click recommendations
When Google launched the +1 button last month – its version of Facebook’s "Like" button, but in search results – I said it was incomplete without a web page version of the button.

It’s official: your cell phone may cause cancer
Cell phones are now up there with lead, engine exhaust, coffee, and chloroform.

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Apple continues to tell support reps: do not help with Mac malware
Apple continues to maintain a public silence on the current outbreak of Mac malware, which may have affected more than 60,000 Mac owners.

Microsoft shows off new Windows Phone 7 features
The software giant demonstrates new features for its lagging phone operating system, including smoother social-networking and multitasking services.


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Little divides Apple, music publishers on cloud deal
Negotiations between Apple and music publishers to license an iTunes cloud music service are going well. Hopes are high that an agreement will be reached soon, but it’s not a slam-dunk

Laser sets data transfer record
Researchers have set a record for the amount of data that can be transferred via laser. A single laser can transfer 26 terabytes of data in a second.

Smartphone app tracks wages
The Department of Labor has released a new smartphone app. The app lets workers keep track of their own wages. Proponents say the app can help in a labor dispute. But employers worry that it could drive litigation over unpaid wages.

Man pleads guilty in online poker case
Bradley Franzen has pleaded guilty to Internet gambling charges. He acknowledges creating websites and companies to hide gambling payments.

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Windows 8 coming in 2012
Microsoft leader Steve Ballmer announced that the next version of his company’s operating system – Windows 8 – will be available in 2012.
At the Microsoft Developer Forum in Tokyo on Monday, Ballmer said the software giant is hard at work producing Windows 8, which is also expected to hit tablet computers, PC Magazine reports.
Ballmer has yet to comment on rumors regarding the features of the new OS.

How Google Apps could boost Chromebook sales
Google’s sales partners are eager to coax existing Google Apps customers to embrace the Chrome OS hardware as well. The pitch could be just the thing for business buyers

Sony hacked again
Sony is alerting users that it has been hacked again. Criminals broke into Sony’s So-Net service and stole virtual points. This comes after two breaches that exposed data on 100 million customers.

Forget the tethering police, the rooting police are here, led by Google
Disturbing news cropped up that Google is looking for rooters and denying them full use of rooted Android devices. Content providers may push Google into full-blown DRM hysteria.

Foxconn: Explosion won’t hurt iPad production
Last week’s explosion at a Foxconn factory that killed three people won’t delay iPad or iPhone production, according to the company.

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Apple near cloud-music deals
Apple already had a deal to offer cloud music from Warner Music and is said to have agreement in place with EMI, music industry sources tell CNET. Sony Music and Universal Music are also close


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LinkedIn soars in first day of trading
Shares of the business social network have doubled this morning from the IPO price of $45

Free app leads to $500 phone bill
An Oklahoma woman was shocked when she received a $500 phone bill. She had downloaded a free app for her young daughter. The daughter racked up the bill through in-app purchases.

Apple to support reps: "Do not attempt to remove malware"
A confidential internal Apple document tells the company’s front-line support people how to handle customers who call about malware infections: Don’t confirm or deny that an infection exists.

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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.