January 1 – 6, 2013

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Mobile devices steal the show Christmas day

image from savidtech.com
image from savidtech.com

Device activations and software downloads indicate that tablets and mobile phones were a hot items for Christmas presents. In the weeks leading up to Christmas new activations for mobile devices averaged 4 million a day. On Christmas day there were a a jaw-dropping 17.4 million activations. Mobile software downloads soared in the week following Christmas when smartphone and tablet owners downloaded a record 1.76 billion iOS and Android apps.

and elsewhere in Tech News.

  • Soon your mobile phone will be able to act as your life coach. Researchers at Cambridge’s Computer Laboratory are developing an app that uses a mobile phone’s GPS and other local information to monitor the users environment, and reactions to the environment every minute of every day creating a life “narrative” to determine what the researchers describe as “meaningful events” – those combinations which trigger stress and strong emotion. The app analyzes those meaningful events and suggests ways to alter behavior to lead a longer, and healthier life.Can your phone double up as your life-coach? [University of Cambridge]
  • A new type of interface is coming to Asus PCs and Tablets later this year. Asus announces that it will be bundling Leap Motion’s gestural interface with some models of its computers. Rather than using a mouse or touchpad, users can use Leap Motion to control screen action with hand gestures. Check out the video in the show notes.Leap’s Gestural Controls Coming to Some Asus PCs, Tablets [News Factor]This Tiny Gizmo Could Be A Very Big Deal In 2013 – And Beyond [ReadWrite]

    Video: Introducing Leap Motion [YouTube]

and in Information Security news this week…

  • Microsoft has confirmed a zero-day bug in Internet Explorer versions 6, 7, and 8. A zero day bug is one that is actively being used by attackers to take over computers. Microsoft has posted a quick-fix on its support site, but has not announced a permanent fix in this week’s patch Tuesday.Microsoft Issues Fixit [Computerworld]Quick fix [Microsoft Support]

    Microsoft to patch Windows 8, but stays mum on IE zero-day fix [Computerworld]

  • A number of companies are adopting tactics long used by law enforcement and intelligence agencies to turn the tables on hackers. Companies are salting their servers with fake data, such as bogus user log-ins and passwords and phony system configuration files. They hope to frustrate hackers who will have to work much harder to find and verify real data.To thwart hackers, firms salting their servers with fake data [Washington Post]

and in Tech Industry news…

  • After an investigation that lasted nearly 2 years, the Federal Trade Commission has declared that Google DOES NOT illegally stifle competition. However Google will have to allow competitors access to some standard technologies, and will have to provide advertisers more flexibility to manage advertising campaigns on Google’s AdWords platform and on rival ad platforms. Just prior to the verdict, Microsoft lawyers reiterated their plea to the FTC to crack down on Google which they said abuses its dominance of Internet search, as well as its leadership in online video and smartphones, to thwart its rivals to the ultimate detriment of consumers.Google, US FTC settle antitrust case [Computerworld]Google Gets A Pass in U.S. Antitrust Investigation [TechReview]

    Microsoft Renews Plea for Crackdown on Google [NewsFactor]

  • Elsewhere in litigation news, an Oakland judge has ruled against Apple saying that it is fine for Amazon to use the term Appstore.Amazon’s ‘Appstore’ Marketing Doesn’t Imitate Apple, Judge Rules [NewsFactor]
  • Anyone out their using the Ubuntu operating system? Ubuntu is a popular version of Linux for personal computers. Canonical, the maker of Ubuntu, has announced that a version of Ubuntu will soon be released for smartphones to provide an alternative to Android – the other Linux-based mobile OS.Canonical Announces Ubuntu for Smartphones [NewsFactor]

and finally….

  • Well, it’s official! Technology is good for humanity! How do we know? Rock star Bono says so. In an interview with MIT’s Technology Review, Bono said that Technology is the key to eradicating disease and extreme poverty. Read the interview yourself by following the link in the show notes.Bono Sings the Praises of Technology [TechReview]

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