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".
During Motorola's event in New York, Google chairman Eric Schmidt took to the stage announcing some stellar numbers for the Mountain View-based company. Schmidt said that there are now 1.3 million Android activations every day, with 70,000 of them tablets.
How many Android devices in total? An amazing 480 million, that's just a shave under half a billion Android devices - insane. Schmidt continued, talking of how much the Android ecosystem had grown in the years gone by, where he quoted Comscore numbers that show Android is ahead at 53% of the market, and Apple's iOS with just 33%.
Schmidt did step back and say that people do question these numbers, as we don't really know how those numbers are gathered. Google's Dennis Woodside took to the stage announcing that "the new Motorola begins today", also stating "Motorola invented the technology that underpins the mobile industry". Of course he'd say that, considering Motorola is now part of the behemoth that is Google.
The judge has smacked Oracle with a $1,130,350 bill payable to Google for its legal expenses incurred during the unsuccessful lawsuit. "Google was the prevailing party in this action. Oracle initially sought six billion dollars in damages and injunctive relief but recovered nothing after nearly two years of litigation and six weeks of trial."
It's not as much as Google would have liked--they asked for over $4,000,000--but a large portion of that was fees for an eDiscovery firm, something found to be not payable. Oracle objected the claim, saying they had brought a matter of great national importance, something that would protect them from the fees:
Apple, the world's biggest patent trolls have escaped paying money after an appeals court upheld the lower court's ruling. Originally, Apple was on the hook for $625 million after a jury had found that Apple had infringed upon patents held by Mirror World, a company founded by Yale University computer-science professor David Gelernter.
Apple, of course, appealed the ruling, saying the damages were too high and asking the court to reevaluate the evidence. Six months later, U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis sided with Apple, throwing out the damages, saying that Mirror World didn't set enough foundation for its arguments.
"In this case, Mirror Worlds may have painted an appealing picture for the jury, but it failed to lay a solid foundation sufficient to support important elements it was required to establish under the law," Judge Davis wrote.
Of course, Mirror Worlds appealed, and that brings us to today's ruling in which the appeals court upheld the lower courts ruling, effectively saying Apple did not infringe upon Mirror World's patents. This is just one of the many lawsuits going on in the technology world.
Finally someone is trolling Apple instead of Apple patent trolling everybody else. In China, a phone clone maker has produced an Android phone that was designed around iPhone 5 leaks. But they didn't stop there. No, they took the design to the patent office in China and received patents for the design.
The better part? They've threatened legal action if Apple tries to release the new iPhone in China as they basically own the patents for the new device, if it looks like all the leaks say it does. This is from GooPhone, a company that already has a cloned Samsung Galaxy S III on sale in China.
This easily could prevent Apple from selling the phone in China, which would be bad for Apple's bottom line. China is the fastest growing mobile market and is expected to soon be the biggest consumer of smartphones, lucrative for a company that makes smartphones. The iPhone 5 is widely expected to be unveiled on September 12 in San Francisco.
In a move that looks to instil confidence in the quite troublesome stock found in social networking site, Facebook, CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg has promised not to sell any of his shares in Facebook for twelve months.
The news comes from a filing from Zuckerberg with the SEC. Facebook board members, Marc Andreessen and Donald Graham will be selling some of their shares in the social network, but only to cover a tax bill reports the Business Insider.
Apple has confirmed September 12 as the day it is hosting a press conference in San Francisco. Of course, they haven't confirmed what they will be showing off or announcing at the press conference, but the invitation appears to hint at something that has been rumored for a while now. Take a look for yourself:
As you can see, the shadow of the 12 appears to be a 5. This is believed by many to be a hint that the next iPhone will indeed be called the iPhone 5 and that it will be announced at this event. Of course, announcing and availability are two different things. Rumors peg the device as going on sale about two weeks after the event.
Some peg the sale date just 9 days after the event on September 21. Either way, you can be assured that the staff here at TweakTown will keep you up-to-date on all of the latest iPhone happenings, including coverage of the event on September 12. Until then, you might want to consider holding off purchasing an iPhone as the next one seems to be almost here.
Over the weekend, Samsung were caught in a web of their own crap as it was revealed they were trying to turn two Indian tech bloggers into paid shills. Clinton Jeff and a second blogger were allegedly pressured into promoting Samsung products at the IFA event in Berlin.
It was meant to be part of Samsung's Mob!lers marketing programme, but news came out from the bloggers, who have painted quite the picture of Samsung. The original story from The Next Web shows that the two bloggers were independent bloggers, not there for any particular company, but for all the companies, to report on all products. Samsung had offered to fly them over to Berlin from India, and put them up in a hotel, how can you turn down that offer?
It turns out that Samsung had other plans for the bloggers, where once they touched down in Berlin, were asked to sign an NDA at the IFA event. They declined, and were threatened with their flights home being cancelled, and their hotel room stay finished. This would've left them stranded in a foreign country, with no way home, with the only option left to spend their own money, unexpectedly.
Kim Dotcom is creating the 'ultimate' version of MegaUpload, is working 24/7 with lawyers, developers and more
I'm sure by now you're fully aware of who Kim Dotcom is, founder of MegaUpload, and he also kicks ass at Call of Duty, too. It seems that the MegaUpload founder has learnt his lesson from his current situation, and is working with lawyers on the next-generation of MegaUpload.
When it launches, Dotcom says that it won't be running into legal troubles as easily as its predecessor. Dotcom posted on his Twitter page that he is working "24/7 with lawyers, developers, designers, investors & partners" in order to create the "ultimate" version of MegaUpload. A MegaUpload without the worries of legal problems of the original site.
Dotcom was asked by a Twitter follower if the new MegaUpload could face the same problems at the original site, with the founder replying "that will be IMPOSSIBLE. Trust me!" Kim Dotcom has also turned into a saviour, by vowing to rehire all 220 MegaUpload employees who had lost their jobs during the original MegaUpload problems, he also promised a pay raise once they were under the MegaUpload family once more.
If you're a long-term reader of TweakTown, you'll know that I'm quite passionate in the stagnation of the PC hardware scene. I've even touted Valve as the savior to all of this, and it seems I'm being proven right more and more with each day passing.
CVG reports that they've noticed a job listing on Valve's site, where the company is looking for an 'Industrial Designer'. The post says:
Valve is traditionally a software company. Open platforms like the PC and Mac are important to us, as they enable us and our partners to have a robust and direct relationship with customers. We're frustrated by the lack of innovation in the computer hardware space though, so we're jumping in. Even basic input, the keyboard and mouse, haven't really changed in any meaningful way over the years. There's a real void in the marketplace, and opportunities to create compelling user experiences are being overlooked.
Bruce Willis vs. Apple, actor to fight the company over his right to leave his iTunes library in his will
Our music collections are all precious to us, and now that they're going mostly digital, these tracks can't be passed to a friend, or family member in the case of your death. DRM, is hell, after all.
Die Hard actor, Bruce Willis, is worried that his extensive music collection on iTunes will revert its ownership back to Apple in the case of his death. Willis wants to leave his iTunes library to his three daughters, Rumer, Scout and Tallulah. Willis' lawyers are reportedly looking into the possibility of setting up "family trusts" to act as legal holders of the downloaded music, but Willis is also prepared to consider taking Apple to court over his iTunes library.
Solicitor Chris Walton, told the Daily Mail:
Lots of people will be surprised on learning all those tracks and books they have bought over the years don't actually belong to them. It's only natural you would want to pass them on to a loved one. The law will catch up, but ideally Apple and the like will update their policies and work out the best solution for their customers.
Clive Palmer, an Australian billionaire, is set to spend quite a bunch of cash on building a full-sized replica of the Titanic. Now, you're probably thinking a replica, would be a 1/100, or 1/1000 scale model, but this is the real deal, the real size of the original Titanic.
The design of the replica is being completed in Europe, with the construction of the ship to begin toward the end of this year in China. Palmer has said that the Titanic 2 will keep 98% of the original Titanic design, with the 2% in changes reserved for building in modern standards and regulatory requirements. Palmer says:
You'll have the exact same cabins as the original Titanic. If you want to go in third class, eat potatoes...dance around in circles with an Irish band, you'll be able to do it.
Pirate Bay co-founder, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, has been arrested in Phnom Penh after the Swedish government had made a request for his detention to the Cambodian.
A spokesperson for the Cambodian police has said that Cambodia doesn't have an extradition treaty with Sweden. Kirth Chantharith told the AFP:
We don't have an extradition treaty with Sweden but we'll look into our laws and see how we can handle this case.
Warg was arrested as he didn't show up for the start of his one-year jail sentence for copyright violations. Fellow Pirate Bay co-founders, Fredrik Neij and Peter Sunde both turned up for their hearings, and in return, received reduced jail sentences. The Pirate Bay have also displayed a new message on their website, stating that they are not responsible for the sharing of copyrighted content, or materials:
Only torrent files are saved at the server. That means no copyrighted and/or illegal material are stored by us. It is therefore not possible to hold the people behind The Pirate Bay responsible for the material that is being spread using the tracker. Any complaints from copyright and/or lobby organizations will be ridiculed and published at the site.
It looks as though Apple is getting thirsty for more Samsung blood, as they've amended their complaint with the US District Court for the Northern District of California, where the Cupertino-based company has added two versions of two Galaxy phones.
The first of which is the Galaxy Note, followed by the Galaxy S III. This case was lodged back in February, and is separate to the current Apple vs. Samsung case that saw the ban of a heap of Samsung smart devices.
This case takes aim at the Galaxy S III, it's Verizon-based version, the Galaxy Note, as well as the recently-released Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet. The total number of devices Apple are going against with just Samsung now stands at an incredible 21. According to Apple, Samsung has "continued to flood the market with copycat products".