Tech Blog

This is the week that was

by Retired Blogger on ‎10-17-2010 10:54 PM

Apple hints at an OS update, while images leak of a hard-drive-free MacBook Air. Significant details arrive regarding Microsoft's Windows Phone 7, and Google reminds you to change your password...it's been a busy week!


Apple

Is this the new MacBook Air?
[Engadget] just received this shot of what is purportedly the inside of the new MacBook Air. Contrary to popular belief, the machine appears to be another 13.3-incher, with the primary modification being extra room for battery cells and apparently no room for a hard drive. Of course, this is only one SKU, so who knows what else Apple has in store. From what we can tell from the photo, Apple is taking its unibody styling and construction and running with it here, not that the MacBook Air was too far off from the MacBook Pro to begin with. The telltale sign is the black hinge, though it also appears Apple has done away with the drop-down side ports.

Apple trademarks "There's an app for that"
Apple has been awarded a trademark for the phrase, "There's an app for that." The tagline has been used to promote the App Store and iOS devices almost since their inception, and has really caught on. From tech articles to jokes told around the water cooler, many people have adopted the phrase.

iPhone 4 glass breaking 82% more than iPhone 3gs - four months in

We examined the accident claim rate reported by SquareTrade customers to supply some concrete data to the discussion. We looked at the accident claim rate for over 20,000 SquareTrade iPhone 4 warranty owners and compared this to the iPhone 3gs claim rate.

Our data shows that iPhone 4 owners are reporting accidents 68% more frequently than iPhone 3gs owners. 4.7% of iPhone 4 owners reported an accident to SquareTrade in the first 4 months of ownership, almost 70% higher than iPhone 3gs owners, 2.8% of whom had an accident over the same time period.


Apple holding ‘Back to the Mac’ event on October 20
This just in: Apple will be holding a media event titled “Back to the Mac” on October 20. The invitation seems to indicate that the focus of the meeting will be on/around Mac OS X 10.7 — maybe to be called “Lion”? — and the Mac. That’s all we have for now. Let the speculation begin.

Google

Google: Change Your Password Twice a Year to Keep Safe

Change your passwords twice a year and never reuse them. Those are a few of the tips Google lists in an online security checklist that helps people stay one step ahead of the scammers.

With most Internet users now wary of spam messages, fraudsters have increasingly focused on popular Web services such as Gmail, Facebook, Yahoo, and Hotmail. They break into accounts and then send their messages to the victim's contacts, hoping that the spam will be more effective because it comes from a friend. "People are far more likely to respond to a message from someone they know," said Andrew Brandt, lead threat researcher with antivirus vendor Webroot, speaking via instant message.


Microsoft

Windows Phone 7: A Fresh Start for the Smartphone
The goal for Microsoft’s latest smartphone is an ambitious one: to deliver a phone that truly integrates the things people really want to do, puts those things right in front of them, and either lets them get finished quickly or immerses them in the experience they were seeking.

“When you first get the phone, the stuff that’s more obvious makes you smile,” says Andy Lees, Microsoft’s Mobile Communications Business president. On the phone’s Start screen, “live tiles” show users real-time content, such as social media updates and contacts. “The features sort of scream out at you,” says Lees. “But the other thing that is even deeper for me is the elegance of the experience, which you only appreciate if you’ve used the phone for some time.”

 

Online

Google's First Personalized Doodle
Google found a nice way to wish you Happy Birthday. If you visit Google's homepage when you are signed in and it's your birthday, you'll see a special doodle that links to your Google profile. When you go to your profile, you'll find colorful confetti and a Happy Birthday message, but that's not new.

Why Groupon Is No (competitor)
Chicago-based Groupon is certainly one heck of a startup. Like Zynga it sort of came out of nowhere in 2009. Even last December I was sort of only vaguely aware of how fast it was growing.

But it was clear by early 2010 to the whole world that Groupon was on a tear. First a round valuing it at $250 million. Then just a couple of months later it raised new money at a $1.35 billion valuation.


Facebook in Privacy Breach

Many of the most popular applications, or "apps," on the social-networking site Facebook Inc. have been transmitting identifying information—in effect, providing access to people's names and, in some cases, their friends' names—to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found.

The issue affects tens of millions of Facebook app users, including people who set their profiles to Facebook's strictest privacy settings. The practice breaks Facebook's rules, and renews questions about its ability to keep identifiable information about its users' activities secure.


Suddenly, Bing Has What Google Doesn't: Data From 500 Million Facebook Users

Bing will incorporate users' social data from Facebook to improve the personal relevance of your search results starting today.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Bing leader Qi Lu, and longtime Microsoft online veteran Yusuf Mehdi announced the news at Microsoft's Mountain View office this afternoon.


Hardware

Intel, Microsoft, and the curious case of the iPad
"That tablet thing? Yeah, we'll get back to you on that." That's a crude but fairly accurate encapsulation of the attitude Microsoft, Intel, and Advanced Micro Devices have toward the iPad and the tablet market in general.
Why the cavalier attitude? Before I defer to the opinion of an IDC analyst I interviewed (below), here's one pretty obvious reason I'll put forward. All three companies look at their revenue streams--traditional PC hardware and software on laptops, desktops, and servers--and come to the conclusion that the tablet is a marginal market

AMD holding off on tablets, admits iPad cannibalizing notebooks
AMD Chief Executive Dirk Meyer weighed in on the iPad's impact on sales of netbooks and notebooks, surmising that Apple's tablet has cannibalized both. Meanwhile, the company is waiting for the market to develop before committing R&D resources to developing tablet processors.
The Associated Press covered Meyer's response to a question on tablets' impact on netbook sales during an earnings call Thursday. "Clearly, in the last quarter or two, the tablet has represented a disruption in the notebook market," said Meyer. "If you ask five people in the industry, you'll get five different answers as to what degree there's been cannibalization by tablets of either netbooks or notebooks."
"I personally think the answer is both, and given the pretty high price points of the iPad, there's probably some cannibalization even of mainstream notebooks," he continued.

US, Canada have priciest cell phone plans in the world
Mobile users in the US and Canada tend to pay more for a complete cell phone package than anyone else in the world, according to a new report from the New America Foundation's Open Technology Initiative (OTI). The foundation examined the different types of mobile packages in various countries in order to determine the minimum cost for voice minutes, texting, and data, and found that—surprise!—countries with more competition and more regulation tended to have the best pricing.

 


Your Turn
So, did I miss anything? What online story really got you going this week? Link to it in the comments!













Comments
by Retired Blogger on ‎10-18-2010 09:29 AM

Nice, and so cool that common-tech can make things like this happen!

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