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Today’s guests: Darren Kitchen of hak5.org and Len Peralta, artist and author
CNET reports that Apple has asked a California court to dismiss an anti-trust case. Apple alleges Marianna Rosen, the last remaining plaintiff in the case, did not purchase any iPods within the required timeframe for the class action suit. Apple claims the iPods were purchased by the law firm of her husband. If the court agrees, Rosen would not be able to collect damages, or show injury, thereby preventing a class action suit. Rosen’s lawyers have the weekend to come up with response. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said, “I am concerned that I don’t have a plaintiff. That’s a problem.” The plaintiff’s lawyers are expected to respond this weekend claiming Ms. Rosen did purchase the iPods.
Ars Technica reports that AT&T’s policy change on throttling customers does not yet apply to LTE customers. AT&T previously throttled its legacy unlimited customers who used more than 3GB of data in a month. But awhile back changed policy to only apply the throttling when the network was congested. It turns out that AT&T cleverly left LTE users out of that new policy. Any LTE user who passes the 5GB mark in a month will be throttled for the remainder, although users can buy more data to add to their unlimited plan. AT&T told Ars the policy will be changed for LTE customers sometime in 2015.
The BBC wraps up the nightmare weeks that have been the last two for Sony Pictures Entertainment. While most of its internal systems are back online, the attackers have leaked stolen data. It’s not inconsequential data either, including movie budgets, payroll data, salary information for 6800 global employees, social security numbers for more than 47,000 employees, health care files, unreleased films, home addresses, and contracts for Sony Pictures employees and freelancers, and more. Sony says it will offer a year of free credit monitoring and fraud protection to current and former employees.
Reuters UK reports that Taiwan has identified 12 smartphone brands that do not conform to privacy standards. The phone makers could face fines or a ban unless they address the issue. No brands were named, but the government is expected to release their findings within weeks. The Taiwanese government got involved after media reports claimed Xiaomi smartphones could send user data to home servers in mainland China without user permission. Xiaomi said its devices “never actively send any private user information without the users’ approval.
The New York Times reports the UK’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal ruled Friday that data collection programs conducted by the UK’s GCHQ and the US NSA do not violate the country’s human rights laws and that safeguards in place protect people’s online privacy sufficiently. Privacy groups that brought the case, including Amnesty International, said they would appeal the British court’s decision at the European Court of Human Justice.
Hola Cortana! The Next Web reports that Microsoft’s Cortana virtual assistant is coming to Windows Phone Preview users in Spain, France, Germany and Italy. Additional languages will be part of an update that is rolling out to Windows Phone Devs. Alpha Cortana will be missing some features, like flight data, and transit data in smaller cities. Fortunately European football data will be included in the update.
Its handy that we’ll be able to ask Cortana in German things like “How much money do telecommunications companies give Chanellor Merkel. Because the Local reports the Chancellor, speaking at a Vodafone-hosted conference in Berlin called Digitising Europe, called for a splitting of services on the Internet, “one for free internet, and the other for special services.” She added, “An innovation-friendly internet means that there is a guaranteed reliability for special services. These can only develop when predictable quality standards are available”.
The New York Times reports NASA’s Orion spacecraft passed its first flight test Friday. The unmanned capsule carrying test equipment launched Friday morning at 7:05 AM Eastern time from Cape Canaveral Florid, made two orbits and successfully splashed down about four and half hours later at 8:29 AM Pacific Time in the Pacific Ocean, 600 miles southwest of San Diego. The test is the first step towards a manned Orion mission in 2021 and eventually missions to an asteroid and Mars.
News From You
Inge_Aning posted the PC World article about a conference on privacy and cybercrime held in Washington, DC Thursday. During one discussion, Judge Richard Posner, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit said he believes privacy is overvalued, and just used to hide disreputable conduct. Posner thinks it’s fine for the NSA to copy all data in worldwide networks. He said “If someone drained my cell phone, they would find a picture of my cat, some phone numbers, some email addresses, some email text. What’s the big deal? Other people must have really exciting stuff. Do they narrate their adulteries, or something like that?” — Judge Margaret McKeown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Michael Dreeben, deputy solicitor general in the U.S. Department of Justice expressed their support for the notion of privacy.
MikePkennedy sent the Engadget summary of tests that show solid state drives could last a lot longer than you think. TechReport.com forced six drives — including Kingston’s HyperX 3K, Samsung’s 840 Pro and Intel’s 335 series — to continuously write and rewrite 10GB of small and large files. Four of them failed at the petabyte mark, well past specified limits while the Samsung and Kingston models passed two petabytes and were still going. Essentially, those drives could write data until the parts themselves disintegrated.
Hurmoth (and Starfuryzeta) both sent in the Ars Technica report that US Senator Ron Wyden introduced a bill would prohibit law enforcement from subverting encryption on electronic devices. The Secure Data Act would prevent US government agencies from equiring any “backdoors” be placed in US software or hardware.
Discussion Links: Sony hack week
Pick of the Day: Slice.com via Frederik “The Belgian” from (currently rainy) San Jose & Garrett
Frederik says: On Tuesday’s podcast, Justin asked whether the day’s pick, Junecloud, could scan your inbox the way TripIt does and automatically add packages to track. I’ve never used Junecloud, but my go-to package-tracking app of choice, Slice, does just that. In my experience it does a fairly good job of it (though it occasionally creates duplicates, especially for eBay orders that generate emails from both eBay and PayPal). It also does a fairly good job of finding a photo for each item you’ve ordered, letting you easily scan all your orders in a more visual way. There’s both an Android and iOS app, in addition to the website. You can find it all at slice.com.
Garret says: I am currently using slice.com which is pretty good. My biggest complaint is that it doesn’t pick up amazon tracking numbers because amazon doesn’t send those in email, only a link to their tracking page. Slice is still able to key off of the estimated delivery date in the confirmation email so it does a pretty good job. I used to use https://www.packagetrackr.com/ I don’t remember why I left. Just another example if people want to try it.
Monday’s guest: Breki Tomasson