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Today’s guest hosts: Justin Robert Young, Darren Kitchen and Len Peralta!
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Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke to the Wall Street Journal today, promising additional steps to keep hackers out of user accounts, but said that none of the Apple ID’s and passwords obtained in the recent celebrity iCloud leaks were taken from the company’s servers. Cook said hackers obtained the nude photos of more than 100 women by either correctly guessing security questions to obtain passwords, or by obtaining the data from a phishing scam. Apple will launch new security measures in two weeks, alerting users via email and push notifications when someone tries to change an account password, restore iCloud data to a new device, or when a device logs into an account for the first time. Apple will also begin encouragin users to turn on two-factor authentication, and overall pay more attention to account security. We talk about this and more in a few with Darren.
Gigaom has the roundup of Thursday’s Motorola event in Chicago, where the company unveiled updated versions of its Moto X and Moto G smartphones and revealed its new Android Wear smartwatch, the Moto 360. As expected, the round smart watch was the star of the party. The Moto 360 pairs with any smartphone running Google Android 4.3 or above using Bluetooth and features wireless charging. Motorola says the wireless radio is powerful enough to allow a user to leave their paired phone several rooms away and still access apps on the watch. The 360 has a heart-rate monitor and pedometer and responds to touchscreen and Google Now voice commands. The watch weighs 1.72 ounces, features interchangeable bands, and costs $250 dollars. Oh also? it’s all sold out. But I’m pretty sure they’ll make some more.
We should probably tell you about those phones, too. The Moto X’s AMOLED screen grew from 4.7 inches to 5.2 inches, featuring full HD resolution. Motorola has contracted with a Chicago tannery called Horween (yeah, you heard me now let’s all say it together WHORE-WEEN) to custom-design leather back plates. The X will cost $100 WITH a contract from US carriers or $500 for the unlocked unsubsidized version. The Moto G, also got an ungrade to speaker, processor, camera and screen and will only be sold as an unsubsidized, unlocked phone for $180.
And one more Moto nugget to jab in your ear. The Verge reports that the company also unveiled a wireless earbud called The Hint, which is about the size of a peanut, and is intented to sit in your ear all day long. The hint has 3.3 hours of talk time, costs $149.99 dollars and will be available in the fall.
Reuters reports that an unknown hacker or hacker group broke into a test server supporting the US healthcare.gov site and uploaded malicious files. The first intrusion occurred on July 8th, when malware designed to launch a DDOS attack was uploaded. Healthcare officials told Congress no personal data was stolen.
Hoping to find DOTA 2 sharing the same schedule as Monday Night Football and SportsCenter? Don’t hold your breath. At Code/Media Series: New York, ESPN President John Skipper offered his opinion on eSports. “It’s not a sport — it’s a competition. Chess is a competition. Checkers is a competition, mostly I am interested in doing real sports.” In November of last year, Riot games claimed it had 8.2 Million concurrent TWITCH viewers for it’s League of Legends championship. Not to compare chip stacks, but ESPN reported a record 1.23 million total viewers for it’s live broadcast of the 2013 World Series of Poker final table.
Reuters reports that lawmakers in New Orleans have voted to allow online for-hire car companies like Uber to operate in the city. Under the new ordinance, Uber will be allowed to provide its Uber Black service, which enables passengers to connect with drivers of luxury cars via a smartphone app. The council did not vote on whether to authorize popular and less expensive ridesharing services like UberX and Lyft, which have been the focal point of legal challenges from taxi cab firms and regulators around the globe.
It’s that magic time, when all coffee is pumpkin coffee and the Full Corn Moon hangs heavy in the sky. It’s the silliest of seasons for Apple rumors in advance of their official announcement next week. So here are a few of the best. Brian X. Chen of the New York Times reports the new larger iPhones will have a one-handed mode that can be toggled on or off to make their large screens easier to use and furthermore, the rumored iWatch will be ANNOUNCED Tuesday but not available until 2015. What? You like your rumors more specious? How about this from SlashFilm editor Peter Sciretta who passed along a nugget on Twitter saying U2 ALLEGEDLY shot a commercial for an unnamed new Apple product in Ireland with legendary video director Mark Romanek. Or we can be boring and tell you the official announcement will be streamed to Safari Browsers and AppleTV’s at 1 pm ET / 10 am PT this Thursday September 9th LIVE from the Flint Center for the Performing Arts where near 30 years ago, Steve Jobs announced the original Macintosh.
News From You:
metalfreak passes along a PC World report on a Chinese man who is suing one of the country’s state telecommunication firms for disrupting access to Google after the government started blocking the company’s services in May. Wang Long, a legal practitioner, sued China Unicom, demanding that the company provide an explanation, and refund his Internet broadband and mobile charges from the past five months. One Chinese state-run publication said this is the first time a local resident has sued a company for failing to provide access to Google.
PTrevethan shares a TechCrunch report about a new Google indoor mapping backpack, which is not at all ominously named The Cartographer. The backpack uses a process called “simultaneous localization and mapping” (SLAM), which allows the user automatically generated a floor plan in real time, while using a tablet to map ‘points of interest’.
And ancrod2 has a Gizmodo report about the latest in wearable technology. Hint: It’s not a watch. Researchers at Hong Kong Polytechnic have created Fabric Circuit Boards--that’s fabric woven out of a mixture of copper and elastic threads using computerized knitting technologies. The stretchy fabric is bulletproof which has great potential for people who get shot; it can also carry a current and communicate, which means that someday your shirt can tell you that its dirty, and your yoga pants can inform you that they are, indeed, see-through.
Plug of the Day: The Sword and Laser Anthology collects 20 amazing stories from new writers in the Sword and Laser book club audience. 10 SciFi and 10 fantasy stories with an introduction by Patrick Rothfuss. Get a copy at swordandlaser.com/store
Pick of the Day: “What If” by Randall Munroe via Preston
Preston in only OK Silly-con Valley has our pick of the day: “I just wanted to throw in a pick of the day for Randall Munroe’s new book “What if?“. Although I haven’t read it yet I have read all his entries at his site what-if.xkcd.com and really enjoyed them all. Randall tackles absurd hypothetical questions such as “What if there was a robot apocalypse? How long would humanity last?” and “Has humanity produced enough paint to cover the entire land area of the Earth?” using science, logic and humor. Ever wonder if you could lift yourself in the air with guns Yosemite Sam style? The answer is in here. (The answer is yes, but don’t try it at home.)
Monday’s guest hosts: Scott Johnson, Brian Ibbott and Justin Robert Young!