DTNS 2439 – LLAP Mr. Nimoy

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comTim Stevens is on the show to chat about Tim Stevens world tour and the idea of Apple Watch controlling your car. We’ll also share a moment about how Leonard Nimoy affected our lives. And Len Peralta will be there to memorialize it all in song. Or art. Probably art.

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Show Notes

Today’s guests: Tim Stevens, CNET editor at large and Len Peralta, artist

Check out Len’s art for this week at lenperaltastore.com

Headlines: 

Engadget passes along that Google won’t ban adult content posted to Blogger after all. The company had announced that existing sexually explicit images and video would be made private and future such material might be deleted. Not anymore. Google cited “a ton of feedback” and the “negative impact on individuals who post sexually explicit content to express their identities.” Jessica Pelegio, Google’s social product support manager wrote in the Blogger Help Forum “we’ve decided to step up enforcement around our existing policy prohibiting commercial porn.” Google also called on blog owners to mark any blog pages with adult conent as “adult” so they can be placed behind a warning page.

The Daily Telegraph got to accompany Apple CEO Tim Cook on a surprise visit to the Apple Store in Covent Garden, London. While most of the article discusses known features of the forthcoming Apple Watch such as fitness tracking and Apple Pay, it also mentioned that Cook said the watch could replace car keys. That’s sure to give more fuel to the Apple Car rumors.

TechCrunch reports that Google has unveiled plans for new headquarters in Mountain View, which will be a simple block of offices. Ha. KIDDING! It’s going to be monstrous. The new headquarters would be made of a semi-transparent series of canopies covering lightweight block structures that can be moved around as Google focuses on new products. This is the first time Google has designed and built new offices from scratch, and it partnered with Bjarke Ingels at BIG and Thomas Heatherwick at Heatherwick Studio to create the design. The nearly ten-minute video of the concept is best enjoyed with a tiny espresso and a masters in architecture.

The Next Web reports UK TV and broadband provider Talk Talk confirmed that its networks were breached in December. Attackers took personal data like names, addresses phone numbers and TalkTalk account numbers. Some customers have been targeted as a result. TalkTalk has taken steps to remedy the situation and continues to work with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

As VentureBeat reports, VideoLAN launched a big update to its VLC media player today. After a year of work on the VLC engine and libVLC library by volunuteers you can get new versions of the player for desktop, iOS, and Android as well as beta versions for Android TV, Windows Phone and Windows RT. Lots of features have been brought across from one platform to another, like resume playback and in-app downloading coming to the desktop. But all platforms get the ability to automatically detect rotated videos as well as improved support for multiple codecs including VP89, and H265.

ZDNet reports Silent Circle has bought out Geeksphone’s share of the SGP technologies, maker of the JV and Blackphone products. Silent Circle plans to announce a privacy ecosystem, including new devices, software and services, at Mobile World Congress.

Lenovo’s next batch of Windows 10 PCs will ship with limited amounts of unrequested software reports the Verge. Lenovo announced it will begin shipping with fewer pre-installed apps hoping to “become the leader in providing cleaner, safer PCs.” Lenovo machines will come with the operating system and related software, software required to make hardware work well (like device drivers), security software and Lenovo applications. Lenovo will also post information about all pre-installed software and explain clearly what it does.

 

 

 

News From You: 

thgraphics sent us this story from ZDNet about the Chinese government backing away from US tech brands for state purchases. A recent Reuters report revealed a number of US tech brands like Apple, Cisco, Intel and McAfee have been dropped from the Chinese government’s list of authorized brands. The number of foreign technology brands fell by a third based on an analysis of the list.

If you thought patent wars were over, KAPT_Kipper would like you to think again. The GigaOm story he flagged says Ericsson filed two complaints Thursday with the International Trade Commission against Apple for “infringing Ericsson patents that are essential to the 2G and 4G/LTE standards.” It also filed multiple complaints in the US Eastern District of TExas court over the infringement of 41 patents. Well at least Apple ended a patent case Tuesday. OH wait! Smartflash LLC, which one $532.9 million Tuesday figured Apple’s too good a mark to let go. So Smartflash is suing Apple for infringement of the same two patents it one on Tuesday bit used in devices not covered int he previous case.

 

Discussion Section Links:  

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/watch/11439847/Apple-Watch-will-replace-your-car-keys-says-Tim-Cook.html
http://www.businessinsider.com/tim-cook-visiting-germany-belgium-and-israel-2015

 

http://www.cnet.com/news/actor-leonard-nimoy-mr-spock-dies-at-83/

Pick of the Day: 

@TheRealNimoy https://twitter.com/TheRealNimoy/status/569762773204217857

 

Monday’s guest: Lamarr Wilson

 

DTNS 2438 – We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Net

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comJustin Young is in to talk about the US FCC’s vote to adopt new Open Internet Rules under a Title II classification for ISPs. Plus Jonathan Strickland joins to help us understand what the heck Title II is.

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Show Notes

Today’s guests: Justin Robert Young and Jon Strickland

Headlines: 

The US FCC voted 3-2 to adopt an order for new Open Internet Rules. Broadly the rules will enhance the existing transparency order and prevent blocking and discrimination under the authority of Title II of the Communications act of 1934. The new rules have not been made public. The FCC must receive and respond to dissenting statements from the commissioners who voted against the rules. Once that has happened the rules will be published in the Federal Register and will go into effect 60 days from the date of publication.

The US FCC also voted 3-2 to preempt state laws to allow the City of Wilson, North Carolina and the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga, Tennessee to expand their existing gigabit broadband service to nearby towns where speeds offered are not as fast.

TechCrunch reports that Apple sent out invites today for an event at 10am on Monday, March 9th with the tagline “spring forward.” What in the world could they possibly be talking about on that day? Well Daylight Saving Time begins in the US on March 8, the day before the event so it could just be a really elaborate reminder to test smoke alarms and reset clocks. Or it could be the Apple Watch. And I guess it could also include MacBookAir or iPad updates to um, pad out the announcement.

TechCrunch reports Google launched a pilot program to allow app developers to advertise their apps in the Google Play store. Devs running Google search ads already can choose to have the ads also run against Play store searches. This would put their app at the top of the search result with a small ‘Ad’ button appearing under the App’s name. To start, the ads will begin running on the latest version of the Play store for a small number of smartphone users only.

ZDNet reports Docker’s orchestration services are now available to the public. Compose 1.1 and beta version of Machine and Swarm are all available for download. Machine lets any laptop, server or VM run Docker apps, Swarm clusters multiple servers into a single machine and Compose makes it easier to build a complex distributed app from a number of containers. This marks the evolution of Docker from one-off containers into a full platform. Docker has more than 30 partners including AWS, Google, IBM, Microsoft and VMware.

VentureBeat passes along news from Strategy Analytics that Apple’s estimated global smartphone operating profit reached $18.8 billion last quarter up 31% year over year making up 88.7% of the market. Android cashed in 4.8 billion for 11.3%. Careful mathematicians will note that adds to 100%. That means while Android dominates sales, Apple’s making all the money and no other platform is making squat.

Ars Technica reports on a blog post on EFF.org indicating evidence of possible exploitations of the insecure certificates issued by Komodia as part of Superfish and other software. Researchers Joseph Bonneau and Jeremy Gillula found more than 1600 entries in the Decentralized SSL observatory of certs that should have been rejected but were accepted by Komodia. Some of the certs might have been invalid due to routine issues but the researchers felt it was unlikely all of them were.

News From You: 

melchizedek74 and KAPT_Kipper want us to know that if that Superfish news wasn’t enough of a headache for Lenovo, Engadget reports that Lenovo.com was hijacked to show pictures of kids at computers with a link to a Twitter account claiming to represent the group Lizard Squad. In addition Ars Technica reports the DNS hijack was also able to intercept email before Cloudflare updated the MX records. Which basically means they took this hijack to the Max, Justin.

HobbitfromPA wanted us to make sure we mentioned the DroidLife story that Google Play Music has doubled its capacity from 25,000 songs to 50,000 all still at the low low price of nothing.

Discussion Section Links:  

http://techcrunch.com/2015/02/26/fcc-passes-strict-net-neutrality-regulations-on-3-2-vote/?ncid=rss
http://publicpolicy.verizon.com/assets/docs/VZ_NR_–_2-26-15_VZ_Statement_on_Open_Internet_Order_FINAL_1.pdf
http://live.theverge.com/fcc-title-ii-net-neutrality-live-blog/
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-25/at-t-verizon-set-to-clash-with-fcc-over-mobile-web-regulations
https://gigaom.com/2015/02/25/mark-cuban-on-net-neutrality-fcc-cant-protect-competition/
http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/why-everyone-was-wrong-about-net-neutrality
http://strawpoll.me/3738696/r
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2011/09/23/2011-24259/preserving-the-open-internet
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verizon_Communications_Inc._v._FCC_%282014%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comcast_Corp._v._FCC
http://www.circleid.com/posts/20100406_fcc_comcast_ancillary_jurisdiction_ancillary_to_something/
http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/26/8115953/fcc-net-neutrality-vote-reactions

 

Pick of the Day: Hola.org
Co-Executive Producer Biocow recommends hola.org. Hola is a browser plug-in that creates a VPN through dozens of countries.

Hola was simple to instal and very easy to use. It creates a button in the browser which when clicked opens a nice interface that lets you scroll through countries and displays a small flag of the country you’re browsing through.

I used this on a Mac using FireFox but their site says they have solutions for Mac and PC, FireFox and Chrome and even Androids, iPhone and iPad.

Thursday’s guest:  Tim Stevens and Len Peralta

 

DTNS 2437 – Gemalto Says it’s Just SIM Antics

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comChris Ashley joins us to talk about whether we believe Gemalto when they say no SIM keys were stolen, and whether Microsoft plans to supplant Google on Android.

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Thanks to our mods, Kylde, TomGehrke, sebgonz and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Today’s guest: Chris Ashley, co-host of the SMR podcast

Headlines: 

Gemalto issued a press release today stating it detected two sophisticated intrusions in 2010 that it now believes could have been an operation by the US NSA and UK GCHQ as described in leaks from Edward Snowden. Gemalto is the world’s largest supplier of SIM Cards for phones. One intrusion was an attempt to intercept communication by employees in a French office and another was a phishing attempt on a mobile operator. Gemalto detected no breaches in its SIM Card database and does not believe the breach of office networks could have resulted in massive theft of SIM encryption keys.

ReCode reports The US District Court for the eastern district of Texas ordered Apple to pay $533 million dollars after being found guilty for patent infringement. The jury found Apple willfully violated three Smartflash patents in iTunes related to DRM, storage and access through payment systems. Smartflash lodged the suit in May 2013 in Cupertino California but was held in Tyler Texas where Smartflash is based. Apple had asked the jury to find the suit invalid because previous patent inventions covered the same technology.

 

Motorola’s new Moto E has LTE and a bigger screen for $149 The second-gen Moto E has a 4.5-inch (but still 540 x 960 pixel) display, 4G LTE networking, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor. The removable backplate has been replaced by six colored bands that can be used to personalize the device. Other upgrades include a new 5-megapixel camera withautofocus, 8GB of internal storage, up from 4, and Android 5.0 Lollipop. Motorola also added its Quick Capture feature, which lets you launch the camera with just a twist of your wrist and the Active Display feature that wakes the screen up with notifications or when you pull it out of your pocket.

ZDNet reports Google unveiled an Android for Work program Wednesday which can establish work profiles on mobile devices. The program lets sys admins manage approved apps on the profiles and set up default encryption on Android 5.0 Lollipop devices. Employers can only manage work data and do not see personal data. Likewise users can add and remove apps at will on the personal side. Google is partnering with enterprise management firms to deliver the program, including Cisco, Salesforce, BOX and SAP among others.

Threatpost reports Google is making its bug-finding contest Pwnium a never-ending affair. Bug-hunters no longer need to wait for a security conference to cash in. Security researchers can submit bugs found in Chroium year round and Google will not place a limit on the number they will reward with cash money. In fact Tim Willis of the Chrome security team said the rewards pool “goes all the way up to infinity million dollars.” The bugs just have to meet the same criteria they always did. And winners have disclose all the details of the vulnerability along with the exploit.

Deep Q-network or DQN a product of Google’s DeepMind artificial intelligence program has successfully mastered 49 Atari 2600 games according to Ars Technica. Unlike previous AI game masters where information like rules for playing chess or trivia information was pre-loaded into the system, DQN taught itself how to play the games and win. Researchers modeled DQN’s AI on a trial-and-error behavior similar to humans and animals, and developed a process called “deep reinforcement learning”. By “remembering” past outcomes and its associated actions DQN was able to score about 75% of the points of a human game player. Games DQN successfully mastered include Breakout and space invaders but it failed at Ms Pac-Man and similar games that required planning and foresight.

CNET passes along the South Korean daily Donga News’ report that Amazon may open branch offices in Seou’s Gangnam area as early as next month. Amazon’s US carerres website lists several positions in Seoul and first-round interviews for 300 positions reportedly took place over the last week. That’s a challenge to local ecommerce heavyweights eBay Korea and Gmarket. At least it’s not Alibaba’s Tmall… Yet.

News From You: 

KAPT_Kipper sent us the news that the Eiffel Tower now generates its own power with new wind turbines. CNET reports that a pair of VisionAIR5 wind turbines designed by renewable energy specialist Urban Green Energy have been installed on the second level, about 122 meters or 400ft from the ground. The turbines have been painted to blend in with the Eiffel tower, and produce almost no sound. They can produce, a total of 10,000kWh per year — enough to power the tower’s first floor. The tower will also soon get LED lighting, solar panels, a rainwater collection system and high-power heat pumps. Not bad, giant iron tower built in 1889, not bad at all.

AllanAv submitted the Tom’s Hardware exclusive that A “source with knowledge of the matter” says the DirectX 12 will work much differently than older versions. For one the API will combine all graphic resources in one bucket and let devs divide up the workload as they wish. The upshot is reduced latency by reducing the frame queue to one or zero. The source also indicated that DirectX12 could work across multiple GPU architectures at once. Meaning you could build a system with a Geforce and Radeon working in tandem or even aggregating APUs with GPUs.

mranthropology passed along a Windows Central report that Microsoft will remove Google Chat and Facebook Chat support from Outlook.com in the next couple weeks. The People page in Outlook will stay updated with the latest contact information from Facebook and Google if you’ve connected them. Microsoft blames Google for discontinuing its Google Talk chat protocol. No word on why Facebook is getting the boot.

Discussion Section Links:  

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-31619907
http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/24/8101585/the-nsas-sim-heist-could-have-given-it-the-power-to-plant-spyware-on
https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/02/19/great-sim-heist/
https://gigaom.com/2015/02/25/gemalto-downplays-impact-of-nsa-and-gchq-hacks-on-its-sim-cards/
http://www.gemalto.com/press/Pages/Gemalto-presents-the-findings-of-its-investigations-into-the-alleged-hacking-of-SIM-card-encryption-keys.aspx
http://blog.cryptographyengineering.com/2013/05/a-few-thoughts-on-cellular-encryption.html

 

Pick of the Day: http://testmy.net/

Bill Russell writes: “I wanted to throw in another ISP speed test. TestMy.Net is a great alternative that I’ve been using since I read about the possibility that ISPs were prioritizing their packets to boost the numbers. TestMy.Net randomly generates the data that is sent so ISPs can’t even cache the data to deceive the meter.

One thing I really like about TestMy.Net is the ability to run repeated tests. You can set it to run once every 5 minutes for 100 repeated tests or every 24 hours for only 5 tests. This recently helped out a coworker that had a 60Mbps connection that was being slowed down every night around 11pm to the point that he couldn’t watch Netflix or play online games(less than 500kbps). He used TestMy.Net to show his ISP exactly when and how often this was happening and within a few weeks the ISP replaced hardware and now he’s getting his 60Mbps and sometimes more.”

Thursday’s guest:  Justin. Robert. Young.

 

DTNS 2436 – Stop– Pebble Time

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comPatrick Beja is in today, to marvel over the Pebble Time and its record-breaking Kickstarter. Is the Pebble bigger and/or better than the Apple and Android watches?

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If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here at the low, low cost of a nickel a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the headlines music and Martin Bell for the opening theme!

Big thanks to Mustafa A. from thepolarcat.com for the logo!

Thanks to our mods, Kylde, TomGehrke, sebgonz and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

DTNS 2435 – You’ve sunk my USS Net Neutrality

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comPeter Wells joins the show and we’ll talk about how the Lenovo Superfish issue is affecting dozens of other apps as well. Should you be worried?

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A special thanks to all our Patreon supporters–without you, none of this would be possible.

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here at the low, low cost of a nickel a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the headlines music and Martin Bell for the opening theme!

Big thanks to Mustafa A. from thepolarcat.com for the logo!

Thanks to our mods, Kylde, TomGehrke, sebgonz and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Today’s guest: Peter Wells  of Reckoner, Australia

Headlines: 

ReCode reports Google is buying some of the tech intellectual property behind mobile payments system Softcard, formerly ISIS, the system created by AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile USA. Google also inked a distribution deal for Google Wallet with the the three US carriers. All three carriers will pre-install Google Wallet on their Android phones, starting later this year.

Today Google started accepting requests to use Inbox for Work according to Tech Crunch. “Google Inbox” has been available since late last year by invite, but didn’t integrate with “Google Apps for Work”. Google’s Director of Project Management, Alex Gawley, said the Inbox for Work experience will be indistinguishable from the consumer version. Google Apps for Work sys admins can request an invite by emailing [email protected] Invites should start arriving next month.

Ars Technica reports two US FCC commissioners, Ajit Pai and Michael O’Reilly have requested the commission delay its vote on Open Internet Rules for 30 days and make the entire proposal available for public review. The FCC usually does not release final drafts of rules publicly to reduce lobbying. Exceptions have been made in the past such as in the case of a change in rules on media ownership in 2003. The FCC is scheduled to vote on the new rules Thursday and DTNS is preparing a special roundtable discussion for Friday’s show.

Paul Thurrot on his still fresh and new thurrot.com reports Microsoft is delivering the first major update to the Microsoft Band fitness wearable and Microsoft Health online service. The updates includes new health and fitness insights, support for cycling, and a web app that allows you to view your data in a more detailed dashboard on any Web browser. Still no word on when more Microsoft Bands will be available for those who didn’t get in on the initial ‘measured launch’.

9 to 5 macfound an image on Pebble’s servers of a smartwatch with a color e-ink display, a larger bezel, and smaller buttons. Pebble quickly removed the image. 9 to 5 adds the image bears out what their sources say about latest pebble, which also includes a revamped OS, a battery life that compares to the first gen Pebble and no touchscreen.

After reports that the NSA and GCHQ had stolen its SIM keys, Gemalto said it would look into the matter. CNET reports Gemalto’s first statement says “Initial conclusions already indicate that Gemalto SIM products are secure.” Gemalto plans to release the full results of its investigation this Wednesday Feb 25th at a press conference in Paris at 10:30am.

News From You: 

habichuelacondulce submitted the PC World article that a class action lawsuit has been filed against Lenovo in the US District Court for the Southern District. of California. Plaintiff Jessica Bennett, on behalf of the class, complained her laptop was damaged, her privacy invaed, her computer performance degraded and her bandwidth used by Superfish. Lenovo issued a fix to remove Superfish and its compromised certificate from all browsers on affected Lenovo computers. Meanwhile the Komodia software used by Superfish to intercept HTTPS traffic has been disovered in several other programs.

MacBytes wanted to let us know about another announcement from last week’s annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Jose. The BBC reports on a project to scan the Amazon Forest in Brazil, using a drone equipped with LIDAR or Laser Illuminated Detection And Ranging– to peer through the thick forest canopy. The project hopes to locate geoglyphs or large geometric patterns in the ground. More than 450 geoglyphs have been found in places where the forest has been cut down. The project could help answer questions about the size and complexity of Amazonian civilization prior to european contact.

Discussion Section Links:  Superfish

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2887392/lenovo-hit-with-lawsuit-over-superfish-snafu.html
http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/product_security/superfish_uninstall
http://blog.erratasec.com/2015/02/extracting-superfish-certificate.html#.VOt8WVPF8wz
http://marcrogers.org/2015/02/19/lenovo-installs-adware-on-customer-laptops-and-compromises-all-ssl/
http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/02/ssl-hijacker-behind-superfish-debacle-imperils-big-number-of-users/
http://marcrogers.org/2015/02/19/will-the-madness-never-end-komodia-ssl-certificates-are-everywhere/
https://blog.filippo.io/komodia-superfish-ssl-validation-is-broken/
http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/02/security-software-found-using-superfish-style-code-as-attacks-get-simpler/
http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/02/ssl-busting-code-that-threatened-lenovo-users-found-in-a-dozen-more-apps/


Pick of the Day:  Hindenburg via Anders

My good friend and former coworker, Nick Dunkerley, has developed an excellent audio editing tool specifically for radio and podcast work. It’s called Hindenburg, and I use it almost every day – It has filtering and compression and that sort of thing, it can record Skype conversations (in separate tracks), etc. has lots of keyboard shortcuts and can be picked up in a few minutes

http://hindenburg.com

Anyway, as mentioned in full disclosure, I know Nick and the others behind the company, I was the first alpha tester and have remained in frequent touch with them for feedback, input and feature requests.

The name, I should say, comes of course from the (in-)famous radio piece from the airship disaster – I’ve always thought it was slightly morbid, but hey…

Cheers, and keep up the good work,
Anders

And Simplenote via Peter Wells

and a very quick pick from me, you mentioned iftt’s new Do Camera last week on the show, and it has already made it to my home screen. Why? Well I’m very frustrated with Evernote, I much prefer the speed and simplicity of Simplenote- but I always wanted a way to take quick picks of serial numbers, receipts, etc for work, without those photos clogging up my camera roll. Do Camera allows me to do just that! You can turn off “Save to Camera Roll” in settings, then take those little “important for a few minutes” photos on your phone, and know they’ll immediately be uploaded to Dropbox or your preferred cloud service.

Tuesday’s guest:  Patrick Beja, DTNS contributor and independent podcaster.

 

DTNS 2434 – YouthTube

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comRoger Chang is on the show. Will Samsung make mobile payments easier for everyone, or just be the final nail in the company’s mobile coffin. Plus Len Peralta takes on the challenge of illustrating mobile payments!

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A special thanks to all our Patreon supporters–without you, none of this would be possible.

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here at the low, low cost of a nickel a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the headlines music and Martin Bell for the opening theme!

Big thanks to Mustafa A. from thepolarcat.com for the logo!

Thanks to our mods, Kylde, TomGehrke, sebgonz and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Today’s guest: Roger Chang, co-host of East Meets West 

Headlines: 

Ars Technica reports that an update to Windows Defender includes a signature to detect and remove Lenovo’s superfish software and certificate from affected Lenovo computers. Defender doe not appear to clean Firefox or Thunderbird though which users will have to do manually. Ars has instructions. Lenovo users should make sure Windows Defender is running to take advantage of the update. Reuters reports the US Department of Homeland Security issued an alert about superfish through its National Cyber Awareness System. Lenovo CTO Peter Hortensius told ReCode “We messed up.” He added they were talking a beating they deserved it plus “We are not just curled up in a ball,” he said. “We are taking real action to make this right with our customers.”

USA Today reports that YouTube will launch a kids channel called YouTube Kids this Monday Feb. 23 for Android devices. It has a simplified interface, and a parent-controller timer that shuts down the app after a set amount of time. The home screen shows eight large tiles featuring kids programming like Thomas the Tank Engine and educational videos from Khan Academy. No word on the biggest question: Will there be Minecraft videos???

CNET reports Gemalto issued a statement Friday that it is investigating allegations that the US NSA and UK’s GCHQ stole keys to SIM Cards the company makes. In addition the world’s largest SIM card maker’s statement said “We cannot at this early stage verify the findings of the publication and had no prior knowledge that these agencies were conducting this operation.”

Reuters reports the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia has opened a case against Google to investigate complaints made by Yandex about Google’s terms for use of Google apps on Android. European regulators are considering a similar investigation. At issues is Google’s practice of requiring Android devices who want to use Google’s brand and suite of apps to restrict competing apps and services from being pre-installed.

The US Department of Commerce will scale back its role in Internet governance according to TechCrunch, columnist, Leonard Hyman. In an editorial about the future of the US’s role in ICANN he says that with the Department of Commerce ICANN contract ending in Sept, oversight of ICANN will be completely handed over to the international community by the end of the year. ICANN’s next planning session happens this June in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The Next Web reports that the US FDA has cleared genetics testing company 23 and me to market one of their genetic tests. Back in 2013, the FDA asked 23 and Me to stop selling their DNA tests because they had not been reviewed and could lead to inappropriate treatments. The company is now approved to test whether a person is a carrier for Bloom syndrome, an inherited disorder characterized by short stature, sun-sensitive skin changes, and an increased risk of cancer.

News From You: 

Hurmoth sent us the Ars Technica report that Esperanza Martinez of Orange County California received a letter about canceling her Time Warner service, a letter that replaced her first name with a derogatory slang word beginning with the letter c. And Martinez never actually canceled her service. After the company was contacted by Ars Technica, Martinez received an apology and a free year of service. Time Warner blamed the issue on a third party vendor, and said they are changing their processes to prevent this from happening again. A timeline for the services? My guess is they’ll See You Next Tuesday

the_corley sent us a news story from RDMag.com revealing the National Institutes of Standards and Technology’s role in developing new tools to measure higher frequencies planned for next generation mobile communication technology like 5G. As devices reach millimeter wavelength frequencies above 10GHz, the tools to reliably and accurately measure them are incomplete. These toosl are needed to prevent interference and errors in transmission. So far NIST has produced a calibrated modulated signal source to test millimeter wave instruments and a new probe to measure electric fields operating over a 100GHz.

Discussion Section Links:  

https://gigaom.com/2015/02/20/why-samsung-is-right-to-bypass-google-wallet-for-looppay/
http://www.cnet.com/news/samsungs-looppay-what-it-is-and-why-you-should-care/
https://gigaom.com/2015/02/20/will-samsungs-mobile-wallet-plans-work-well-know-in-6-months/
http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2015/02/20/samsung-move-to-payments-creates-friction-with-google/
http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/20/8075133/google-may-pay-wireless-carriers-to-revive-google-wallet
http://www.looppay.com/faqs/

 

Pick of the Day:  BOM.GOV.AU

Nik in wet and windy Gladstone writes:

As I wright this we have a category 5 cyclone bearing down on us. A site that many Australians may have heard of but not known how useful it is in the event of bad weather is bom.gov.au. Yes the good ol’ Bureau of Meteorology or just The Bom as us young’ins call it. It has rain radar, weather charts, satellite images, forecast, historical data, flood information, tropical cyclone information just to name a handful of features and is super useful in times of natural disaster. So if your in Australia and have some weather related event you want to know more about check out The Bom at bom.gov.au.

From Nik in wet and windy Gladstone.

Monday’s guest:  Peter Wells

 

DTNS 2433 – Super Fishy

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comJason Snell is with us today to talk about just how likely it is that Apple will build a car.

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Show Notes

Today’s guest: Jason Snell, editor of sixcolors.com 

Headlines: 

Oh Lenovo. See. Let me tell you story, Jason. Lenovo had this idea. It would make a little extra money off consumer models by preinstalling some software called Superfish that would subtly alter ads contextually in browser sessions. Now see they would do it right though. The software was quiet. Kept to itself. It didn’t profile or monitor user behavior. It didn’t record user information. It didn’t even know who the user was.

But then then the neighbors began to notice odd behavior. Popups at all hours of the night. So Lenovo stopped pre-installing it in December turned off Superfish in January. But Chris Palmer wasn’t satisfied. Palmer conducted his own investigation. And he found bodies. Bodies of evidence that Superfish installs its own root certificate, meaning it’s a master of disguise, it can impersonate any site on the Web including your bank and you’d never know the difference. Now, it doesn’t do this. But it’s not careful with its keys. In fact Rob Graham of Errata Security cracked the key on the Superfish’s certificate meaning Rob can now sign any website as legitimate for any Lenovo computer with Superfish still running.

It’s going to take a lot to get Superfish off a computer. You need to uninstall it and then remove the certificate. And even though Lenovo stopped preinstalling it, how do you know the Lenovo you bought didn’t have it? Well thanks to Filippo Valsorda you can go to /filippo.io/Badfish/ and check. Read Dan Goodin’s article at Ars Technica if you want all the gory details. (Lenovo’s chief technology officer, Peter Hortensius told WSJ they’re working a tool that “removes all traces”)

Tech Crunch reports that A company called A123 Systems is suing Apple for allegedly poaching auto engineers in order to build an “advanced battery division.” A123 claims that it had to shut down some of its projects due to talent loss. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012. According to Reuters, Apple has also been trying to hire battery engineers from LG, Samsung, Panasonic and Toshiba, as well as hiring engineers from Tesla.

Happy 25th birthday, Photoshop! The Next Web has a nice writeup about how on February 19th, 1990 brothers John and Thomas Knoll launched their small software package meant to be bundled with a scanner. Check out the interview with Photoshop’s senior product manager Zorana Gee, who’s been with the Photoshop team since 1999, and the great illustrations of Photoshop icons and toolbars through the years.

TechCrunch reports on a new direction for IFTT the incredibly useful service that lets you automate online tasks. First of all, IFTT has three new apps that make it dead simple to use pre-made IFTT recipes. Do Camera will do something anytime you take a photo with it. Do Notes will do something any time you take a note. And Do Button lets you basically do anything by just choosing from pre-made recipes. Like “get out of an awkward situation” rings your phone. Each app can store up to three recipes so you can simply tap the right button to do what you want to do.

The Intercept has a report describing how agents of the US NSA and UK’s GCHQ stole encryption keys from Dutch company Gemalto, the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, in order to facilitate spying on cellphone communications. The allegations are based on documents from 2010 leaked by Edward Snowden.

 

 

 

 

 

News From You: 

Google opposes the US Justice Department’s proposal to ease the requirements for search warrants to know the location of a search when the location of a computer is hidden by something like a VPN. The justice department calls it tweak to protocol for remote searches. Google calls this a “monumental” constitutional concern. 1MoreMatt sent us The National Journal writeup noting Google believes any change in accessing computer data should be decided by the US Congress.

Starfuryzeta sent us the story from Fusion.net that Dropcam says it has received a “limited number of law enforcement requests” for stored video from individual accounts. Dropcam notifies owners of accounts of such requests by email unless prevented by law from doing so. Although Google-owned Dropcam says it is working on a way to report these requests it’s not not clear if such requests will be included in Google’s transparency report in the future.

Discussion Section Links:  Apple Car?

http://9to5mac.com/2015/02/19/apple-electric-car-team/
http://techcrunch.com/2015/02/19/apple-car-new-hires/#TQUNqg:xm5
http://daringfireball.net/linked/2015/02/18/hairball
http://bgr.com/2015/02/19/apple-car-rumors-team-revealed
http://arstechnica.com/cars/2015/02/battery-maker-accuses-apple-of-appropriating-battery-scientists/
https://gigaom.com/2015/02/19/apple-sued-for-poaching-car-battery-experts/

 

Pick of the Day:  Tempo.ai

Co-executive producer Charles Silvey wants to recommend an iOS calendar app called Tempo at tempo.ai He writes “the killer features for me is that Tempo looks at all of the people that are in a meeting and gives me one click access to their contact information in the calendar, it also looks at the meeting invite and determines what are the conference call numbers and allows you to dial numbers and pin codes with just one click. The app also looks at the location, and with one click launches Waze to give you directions. You also have the ability to send off quick “i’m late” messages if you are running late, boy does this come in handy sometimes. This is a great app and the current beta offers new features and an enhanced user interface and it is FREE!”

Friday’s guest: Iyaz Akhtar

 

DTNS 2432 – Also, Spider-Man

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comJustin Young is on the show and we’ll talk about how Sony shows the days of the electronics company are over.

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Show Notes

DTNS 2431 – Nadella Opens Windows

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comPatrick Beja is on the show to talk about Microsoft integrating with competing cloud platforms, committing to international privacy standards, allowing everyone to develop apps for the Xbox. What is this strange new Satya Nadella-run company?

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A special thanks to all our Patreon supporters–without you, none of this would be possible.

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here at the low, low cost of a nickel a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the headlines music and Martin Bell for the opening theme!

Big thanks to Mustafa A. from thepolarcat.com for the logo!

Thanks to our mods, Kylde, TomGehrke, sebgonz and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes

Today’s guest: Patrick Beja, DTNS contributor and host of Le Rendez-Vous Tech, Pixels and The Phileas Club

Headlines: 

Ars Technica passes along the WSJ info from sources that Apple wanted more sensors on the Apple Watch but left them out for lack of reliability. Among the sensors erejected were a skin sensor that could measure stress and heart rate and one that measured blood pressure and Oxygen in the blood. WSJ also reports Apple ordered between 5-6 million united to be manufactured for the first quarter of the watch’s availability.

Microsoft announced today that its Office for iOS apps now support iCloud as well as File Picker— allowing any cloud storage service to integrate with Office for iOS.  Similar support for Android and Windows 10 is coming. Microsoft also announced a Cloud Partner Program for Office online that launches with Box, Citrix and Salesforce as partners.

Microsoft also announced adoption of the International Standards Organization’s Standard for cloud privacy. The policy means Microsoft is committed to letting you control your cloud data, providing transparency about how its handled, placing strict limits on public use, including not using it to sell ads, and informing on government requests for your data when the law allows. The British Standards Institute has verified Azure office 365 and Dynamics CRM are aligned with the code of practice.

The Verge reports that Sony is taking pre-orders for the developer version of its own augmented reality glasses called SmartEyeglass that connect to your smartphone. The glasses look like heavy wrap arounds, and attach by a cord to a circular, err, thing? Controller? Hoozywhatsit? — that houses the battery,speakers, microphones, NFC and touch control sensors. The controller clips on to the lapel of your trendy raincoat to announce to everyone on the street that you are using augmented reality glasses— in case the heavy black glasses on your face didn’t do that already.  The glasses go on sale March 10th for $840.

TechCrunch reports that IDC believes Xiaomi has passed Samsung as China’s number one smartphone maker. IDC estimates Xiaomi’s marketshareat 12.5% in 2014 compared to 5.3% in 2013. Samsung’s share dropped from 18.8% to 12.1% over the same period. Xiaomi’s success could be attributed to its low prices, online flash sales as well as a combination of fewer models and longer average selling time per device.

TechCrunch reports Pebble has brought Android Wear support out of beta and made it available for everyone. That means Android apps on your phone that support Android Wear can work with the Pebble now.  Pebble’s integration works with phones running Android 4.0 and newer. Users should update their Pebble to the firmware v2.9 and update to the latest Pebble Android app (v.2.3.0)

The Next Web is reports the release of Android One phones in the Philippines. Andoird One is the program to bring full Android to affordable phone models on a standardized platform.The Cherry One and MyPhone Uno, will go on sale in a few weeks. Both phones feature dual SIM support, a MicroSD slot, a special offline YouTube playback feature and special data plans.

News From You: 

starfuryzeta submitted the Verge article pointing out Microsoft announced at the Stanford Cybersecurity Summit on Friday that Windows 10 will support Fast Identification Online, AKA FIDIO. FIDO uses localized authentication to replace passwords. Microsoft, Google, PayPal, and Bank of America are all supporting the open standard.

tninja3000 sent us the Wired news that the company building Elon Musk’s HyperLoop is going public. With Musk’s permission, crowdfunding outfit JumpStartFun created Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Inc. which gathered 200 engineers together to brainstorm in exchange for stock options.  These engineers have day jobs at places like NASA, Boeing and Airbus.
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies will go public in Q3 2015, hoping to raise $100 million towards developing a useful prototype.

Yesterday we mentioned the infected firmware on hard drives being spread by folks Kaspersky calls the Equation Group. Buried in one of the exploits was an MD5 hash that Kaspersky could not crack. KAPT_Kipper submitted the Ars Technica report that after asking from help from the wider community, password crackers Jens Steube and Philipp figured out the plaintext behind the hash was Arabic for “unregistered.” The hash was probably meant to prevent infecting unwanted users. Six other hashes in different exploits remain unknown.

 

Discussion Section Links:  Microsoft

http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/17/8050743/microsoft-xbox-one-apps-sdk-plans

http://blogs.office.com/2015/02/17/new-cloud-storage-integration-office/

http://www.engadget.com/2015/02/17/microsoft-adopts-cloud-privacy-standard/?ncid=rss_truncated

http://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2015/02/16/microsoft-adopts-first-international-cloud-privacy-standard/

https://medium.com/@jason/microsoft-is-interesting-again-very-f9c5bef7116

Pick of the Day: Forecast.io

Hello Tom, Jenny, and esteemed Guest du jour,
I am a long time listener, first time emailer and Co-Executive Producer of the show. I am kind of addicted to weather websites and, with all the weather that we have experienced on the east coast lately, I wanted to pass on my new favorite website for viewing up-to-the-minute and forecast information. It’s forecast.io and it uses the same data that is fed into the darksky app but it’s web based and free. Check it out and you’ll be hooked too! Love the show and keep up the great work!
–Mark Kerzner, Centreville, Maryland

Wednesday’s guest: Justin Robert Young

DTNS 2430 – Headlines Edition

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comIt’s the Presidents Day holiday in the US, so here’s a brief headlines only edition of the show to fill the gap.

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A special thanks to all our Patreon supporters–without you, none of this would be possible.

If you enjoy the show, please consider supporting the show here at the low, low cost of a nickel a day on Patreon. Thank you!

Big thanks to Dan Lueders for the headlines music and Martin Bell for the opening theme!

Big thanks to Mustafa A. from thepolarcat.com for the logo!

Thanks to our mods, Kylde, TomGehrke, sebgonz and scottierowland on the subreddit

Show Notes