Remember those 1,000,000+ Apple UDIDs that were leaked last week? Well, it turns out that they probably didn't come from an FBI laptop after all. The CEO of Blue Toad, a small, Florida-based publishing company has issued an apology as the data was taken from their servers about two weeks ago.
The data originated from the company's servers, though this doesn't completely rule out that the data made its way to the FBI. It does, however, contradict the story that went along with the leak as the data was taken just two weeks ago, not back in March as claimed. Blue Toad was alerted to the likelihood of it being their data by security researcher David Schuetz.
Schuetz noticed that several of the device names included in the leak made reference, or contained, "Blue Toad." The numerous references seemed to indicate development devices, so he contacted the company. They ran a comparison between the leaked data and their database and found a 98 percent match.
"That's 100 percent confidence level, it's our data," DeHart, CEO of Blue Toad, said. "As soon as we found out we were involved and victimized, we approached the appropriate law enforcement officials, and we began to take steps to come forward, clear the record and take responsibility for this."
When Gottfried Svartholm Warg was arrested two weeks ago, it didn't really come as a surprise to anyone. But, as the time goes on, the plot thickens. Originally, it was thought that the arrest in Cambodia was due to his conviction of copyright charges. Now, sources are reporting that his arrest is in conjunction with an alleged hacking of Logica.
Logica provides IT services to Sweden's tax offices. It seems as though the Logica servers were infiltrated several times between 2010 and 2012. The result of this is that there appears to be a compromise of tax records stored on said servers. Why would Warg want to do something like this?
After all, his copyright charges weren't that big of a deal, but he if is responsible for these hackings, they are a big deal. It's not clear why someone already in legal trouble would want to bring more upon himself. Furthermore, the question must be asked: what did he want with those tax records?
Minecraft developer Mojang has just inked a deal with the United Nations, which will see the indie dev help upgrade urban spaces around the world through the use of Minecraft.
Mojang will work with UN-Habitat where they'll support its Sustainable Development Network with the developers 'Block by Black' programme helping the redevelopment of around 300 spaces around the world by 2016. Block by Block will get young people involved in the planning processes in urban areas, as well as letting them share with planners and decision makers how they would like to see their cities developed.
The United Nations first approached the indie developer after its Mina Kvarter project in Sweden, which encouraged people to take part in the reconstruction process of neighborhoods through Minecraft. The programme has actually been recognized internationally as an alternate way of development planning.
Windows Phone 8 is right around the corner, and industry giant Sony aren't ready to commit to the mobile OS just yet. Competitors will launch a slew of Windows Phone 8-powered devices in November.
Nokia and Samsung will pave the way for WP8-based devices, but Sony aren't talking about whether they should begin R&D on their own WP8-based devices, or just wait and see what happens first. Sony Mobile's Pierre Perron says:
Sony's strategy is one of openness. Microsoft is a Sony partner with the likes of our VAIO laptops and it's integrated onto our tablets. As far as Xperia smartphones go, Android remains the preferred partner, although Sony is not a single partner company.
Apple has, for the eight consecutive time, taken the #1 position on J.D. Power smartphone satisfaction survey
J.D. Power and Associates' latest rankings for consumer satisfaction with smartphones has the same winner it has for eight years now, Apple. Apple have continue to pushed back increasing competition from Samsung, HTC, Motorola and Google.
Out of a possible 1,000, Apple scored 849. HTC were behind Apple with 790 in second place, and Samsung and Motorola sat in third and fourth spots with 783, and 783, respectively. Motorola took in 777 points for fifth position, with six and seventh position going to Nokia with 763, and RIM with 742, respectively. Sitting in second to last is RIM with 740, and HP/Palm sit with 707.
The survey takes into consideration of overall satisfaction with features with performance (29%), ease of operation (26 percent), physical design (24 percent), and features (21 percent). For smartphones, the key factors were performance (33 percent), design (23 percent), features (22 percent), and ease of operation (22 percent).
The patent war between Apple, and what seems like every other company on Earth doesn't look to stop any time soon. A Chinese company, GooPhone, has already patented the design of the new iPhone, in China.
The new GooPhone i5, yes that's its name, was patented and released before the new iPhone was even announced (and it hasn't even really been announced yet, not until September 12). This gives the Chinese company a legal advantage over the real iPhone maker.
GooPhone i5 runs Google's Android 4.1 OS, and of course its internal goodies would be far different to that of the new iPhone's. The GooPhone i5 sports a 4-inch screen, smaller dock connector, and relocated headphone jack - all rumored to be changes included with the unreleased iPhone.
Since September of 2007, Google haven't seen their shares bust past $700, until last week. Google saw a 52-week high of $712.25 on Friday, where it floated back down to $706.15 at the end of trading on Friday.
Google's record high was in November 2007, where they hit $747.24. Google have had a great run recently, where they've seen their shares bounce up by around 19% since their last reported earnings, where they showed some strong earnings thanks to their core advertising business.
In the last couple of months, we've seen the stellar Nexus 7 making waves, which is helping Google. We should see some great things from Google in the coming months.
Riding on the wave of success of their super successful Galaxy S III, Samsung are poised to record a record Q3 profit of $6.2 billion. The Yonhap reports that according to analysts, Samsung could see an operating profit of $6.2 billion, up from $5.9 billion in Q2.
It wasn't too long ago that Samsung had announced they sold 20 million Galaxy S III handsets in just 100 days, as well as announcing and releasing the Galaxy Note II and the Galaxy Note 10.1.
Quarterly sales are estimated to have expanded by 24.5% to reach $45.5 billion or so, which sports a 78% year-over-year increase.
Research firm NPD Group are reporting that overall sales in the US video game market as sales of software are down 20% in August, falling to $515.6 million, down from $647.2 million from 2011.
The hardware sector has also felt the drop, seeing a decline of 39% year-over-year, now taking in just $150.6 million. The ageing consoles are hurting the market, as well as the huge surges in gamers going mobile with their smart phones and tablets. Social networking sites such as Facebook are also drying up the video game markets customers.
"Core gamers", who are the ones who purchase games for consoles, typically spend around 35% more than others. The 'average gamer' spent $48 on a physical game, and $16 on a digital title over the past three months. Core gamers spent $65 on physical games, on average.
These numbers should see a nice jump when new consoles hit us, which should also reinvigorate the PC market, too.
Mobile ad revenue is a huge business, and it is expanding quicker than some can keep up with. Billions of dollars per year are generated, but who is at the top of the list? Google, that's who.
Online market research firm, eMarketer, have put estimates out which show that Google would make $1.42 billion this year. Another interesting fact is that the two social networking juggernauts, Twitter and Facebook, are making some big figures, too. Twitter are estimated to make more money from ad revenue this year, looking at raking in $129.7 million, with Facebook sitting back with $72.7 million.
Next year is a different question, where the tables are reversed, considerably. Twitter are estimated to make $272.6 million, whilst Facebook zooms ahead with $387 million. Google's estimated 2013 numbers? A whopping $2.38 billion. We do have some other players, Pandora, Millennial Media and Apple's iAd's, making $226.4 million, $84.1 million and $75.1 million, respectively.
Apple, seemingly trying to strike a blow to its favorite legal adversary, has lowered its memory chip order to Samsung for the next iPhone. Samsung has long provided many components for Apple's products, even though Apple and Samsung are constantly involved in legal battles around the world.
Apple has continually been trying to diversify its suppliers and reduce the business it sends towards Samsung, a company Apple continually accuses of copying. "Samsung is still on the list of initial memory chip suppliers (for new iPhones). But Apple orders have been trending down and Samsung is making up for the reduced order from others, notably Samsung's handset business," the Reuters source said.
The reduction in orders is not expected to hurt Samsung by very much. Analysts figure that Apple's purchases of DRAM and NAND chips only make up about 2.5 percent of Samsung's business, so that is the most it could hurt Samsung if they were to completely end their business relationship.
Reuter's source notes that the speculation that Apple is cutting orders to Samsung over the legal dispute is not the case. However, one has to wonder if it doesn't play at least a minor role. Apple is more interested, according to the source, in diversification of supply so that shortages when new products are released are minimized.
Google has acquired the online virus scanner VirusTotal for an undisclosed amount of money. The deal appears to be a straightforward one, with VirusTotal continuing to operate independently. VirusTotal will gain access to Google's resources and infrastructure, which should help VirusTotal to continue improving their service.
Our goal is simple: to help keep you safe on the web. And we've worked hard to ensure that the services we offer continually improve. But as a small, resource-constrained company, that can sometimes be challenging. So we're delighted that Google, a long-time partner, has acquired VirusTotal. This is great news for you, and bad news for malware generators, because:
- The quality and power of our malware research tools will keep improving, most likely faster; and
- Google's infrastructure will ensure that our tools are always ready, right when you need them.
VirusTotal will continue to operate independently, maintaining our partnerships with other antivirus companies and security experts. This is an exciting step forward. Google has a long track record working to keep people safe online and we look forward to fighting the good fight together with them.
Intel has decided that it won't see the revenue that it had previously predicted for the third quarter and has lowered their forecast accordingly. The drop is relatively large going from from between $13.8 billion and $14.8 billion to between $12.9 billion and $13.5 billion, over a billion dollar difference between the top numbers.
The decreased perspective is due to a "challenging macroeconomic environement," according to Intel. They say the supply chain has decreased the inventory that it keeps, instead of historically growing during the third quarter. Intel also blamed slow demand in emerging markets and a weak enterprise market.
Of course, they qualified this change saying that the final figures could vary depending on a large array of different factors. At the time of writing, Intel Corp (INTC) was down $0.90, nearly 3.6 percent, bringing the share value down to $24.19.
The UK government proposed their controversial Communications Data Bill earlier this year, which would see British ISPs made to keep records of every website that their customers visit for 12 months. Of course, you can see where civil rights groups, and others, would have problems with this.
Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales, has stepped up to the debate and joined the opposition to the proposed bill, saying:
If we find that UK ISPs are mandated to keep track of every single webpage that you read at Wikipedia, I am almost certain we would immediately move to a default of encrypting all communication to the UK, so that the local ISP would only be able to see that you are speaking to Wikipedia, not what you are reading.
Wales has threatened to encrypt Wikipedia for UK-based users in order to protect their privacy. Wales adds that the data retention bill is:
Not the sort of thing I'd expect from a western democracy. It is the kind of thing I would expect from the Iranians or the Chinese.
Social networking giant, Facebook, have finally completed their acquisition of Instagram. Mike Schroepfer, Facebook's Vice President of Engineering said:
As we said from the beginning, we are committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Instagram will continue to serve its community, and we will help Instagram continue to grow by using Facebook's strong engineering team and infrastructure.
Instagram's team have confirmed they'll be packing their gear into those cool boxes I see on American TV shows when they move offices, or get hastily fired, and move over to the Facebook Menlo Park-based offices.
The new iPhone looks to be announced next week at Apple's September 12 event, and one analyst estimates the new iPhone could sell as many as 10 million in its first week. The question is, how do Apple amass 10 million (or so) new iPhone's in a short amount of time?
Simple. Force university students to work 12 hours per day, six days per week for around $243 per month on the new iPhone. This is what Foxconn is doing, reports the Shanghai Daily. Foxconn reportedly couldn't get their soul machine to work normally, so they secured more workers from universities, as classes were suspended at the start of the new semester.
Students began working on the new iPhone last Thursday, and are being "compensated" by the $243 per month wage. One student who wished to remain anonymous, claims that the authorities had ordered the schools to round up students to help Foxconn, with the company not informing parents, or signing agreements with students. Another anonymous student said that some universities would go as far as punishing students if they tried to leave the factory.
For the twentieth month in a row, the Xbox is the top selling console. With sales numbers at 193,000 for August alone, it's easy to see why. But how can it still be selling in that large of quantities when it's as old as it is? Well, there's several reasons for that, but it's important to note that a major factor is Microsoft hasn't provided a replacement.
And why should they? With sales numbers like this, they're finally making back the money they lost at the beginning of production. The Kinect was a key point in helping sell the console as it gave a sales boost and expanded the range of games that could be offered to consumers. Importantly, the Kinect allowed family games to be created and sold.
Microsoft has also turned the Xbox platform into a living room entertainment center, which has expanded its uses beyond just a gaming platform, similar to how the PS3 added a Blu-ray drive. It's widely believed the next Xbox will be announced sometime next year, though Microsoft has been silent on the topic.
OCZ lowered their forecast for second quarter earnings due to a shortage of NAND chips that it uses in the production of its solid state drives. This was seen as a good thing on Wall Street and both Micron's and SanDisk's shares jumped. This is because a shortage in NAND chips would stop the sliding price of flash memory that has been dropping lower in recent days due to overproduction.
Micron increased by 5.97 percent to $6.55 and SanDisk managed an 8.0 percent increase to $43.85. "Supply and demand is coming into balance with the cuts and the industry rationalizing its capacity," said Kevin Cassidy, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus. Supply had previously been increased to meet the demand for Apple's iPad and other devices.
Decreased sales had created an overabundance of NAND chips which lead to decreased prices. Toshiba announced back in July that they would be decreasing their output by 30 percent in order to help stabilize prices. Citi analyst Glen Yeung said that the effects have yet to be fully felt across the industry.
The Samsung Galaxy S III is probably the hottest phone right now and is likely to remain that way until Apple releases their next iPhone. It's so hot that Samsung has managed to sell 20 million phones in just 100 days. This rate makes the Galaxy S III Samsung's fastest selling phone ever.
However, this could all quickly change. Currently, Apple are seeking a sales ban on the device, which could wipe away all sales as soon as the court ordered. Notwithstanding is the rumor that the iPhone 5 is just 6 days away from launch, and if this proves true, Galaxy S III sales are likely to fall and iPhone sales are predicted to explode.
One analyst has predicted that the iPhone 5 could sell 10 million units in one week. Furthermore, if the iPhone 5 sells anywhere near as well as the iPhone 4S, then the iPhone 5 will easily outsell Samsung's fastest selling phone on record. But, as long as the Galaxy S III keeps selling at these numbers, Samsung will be happy.
According to Chitika's latest August 2012 market share reports, Apple are absolutely dominating mobile web traffic, seeing their share of mobile traffic pass 65%. iOS completely smokes the competition, made up of Samsung, HTC, Motorola, LG, and "other".
Out of the candidates, only two of them saw growth between July and August. Apple saw 1.28 percentage points (from 63.75% to 65.03%) and Samsung saw 1.56 percentage points increased, from 10.91% to 12.47%.
But, we're seeing Samsung release more and more devices, Motorola just announced three new smartphones today, and HTC should hopefully have a comeback with more than one device in the near future. The fight isn't over, and it never will be, but it is interesting to see just how much Apple's iOS platform dominates in mobile traffic.
Google have announced two key services for their Chromebook project, first up rentals, and secondly, the ability for Google's Apps customers to quickly purchase and deploy the hardware. Renting a Chromebook is not too expensive, at just $30 per month, which declines over time.
After the first twelve months with the Chromebook, the charge drops to $25 and after two years, to $20 per month. Chromeboxes can also be rented, at $25 per month, which declines to $18 per month over time. Google don't push any required time commitment for the rentals, making it a month-to-month service.
The Mountain View-based company also announced a new feature for Apps customers: bulk purchases of Chromebooks online. Current Apps customers can get up to 10 units from a new portal that Google have launched. They also want you to know that you "can manage your fleet of Chromebooks right from the Apps control panel".