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Tech News 2Night 61
Tonight, the security flaw that could have exposed one-third of the internet, Comcast's plans for WiFi phone service, and the Air Force embracing Google Glass...
Tech News 2Night is Next!
This is Tech News 2Night Episode 61, for Tuesday April 8, 2014
This episode of Tech News 2Night is brought to you by iFixit (I-Fix-It). iFixit makes electronics repair easy with free repair guides, plus all the parts and tools you’ll need. For $10 off your purchase of $50 or more, go to ifixit.com/twit and enter the code TN2 at checkout.
I'm Sarah Lane, Let's get right to the Tech Feed!
A bug in OpenSSL — that's an open source cryptographic library secure a big percentage of the Internet’s traffic, from apps to websites and services — has just been discovered and publicly disclosed. The bug, dubbed "heartbleed" tricks almost any system running any version of OpenSSL from the past 2 years into revealing chunks of data sitting in its system memory, including encryption keys, which can lead to username, password, credit card and other information breaches. Worse, the bug leaves no trace in server’s logs, So there’s no easy way for a system administrator to be sure their servers haven't been compromised. OpenSSL has released an emergency patch for the bug along with a Security Advisory this afternoon. in the meantime though, Developer and cryptography consultant Filippo Valsorda has published a tool that lets people check Web sites for Heartbleed vulnerability. Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook, and Dropbox appear unaffected, but popular services Imgur, OKCupid, and Eventbrite don’t - and this morning in an emailed statement, Yahoo acknowledged it was working to fix the vulnerability on many of its properties such as the Yahoo Homepage, Yahoo Search, Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Food, Yahoo Tech, Flickr and Tumblr.
The Information is reporting that Comcast is in the early stages of building a WiFi-based wireless phone service, which would rely on wireless routers and public hotspots to handle the bulk of its services. The remaining coverage would be gathered from leased spectrum from traditional carriers when Wi-Fi coverage is unavailable. Republic Wireless, a US company already using this model, is able to undercut larger wireless carriers with attractively low monthly plans that start at just $5. But Comcast's infrastructure of customer service centers and retail locations could give it an edge in this market. The company is actively pursuing a buyout of Time Warner Cable, and in a 180-page merger filing with the FCC, Comcast confirmed it was considering using wireless home gateways and outdoor hotspots to create a “Wi-Fi-first” network that could both complement and supplant the carriers’ 4G data networks.
Twitter unveiled a new design for user profile pages today- bigger images and the option to choose a top tweet to display. The shift joins Twitter's recently redesigned desktop home page and profile pages, and new features in the app that allow multiple photo uploads per tweet and user tagging. What other social network does this remind you of? Many Twitter users are saying: Facebook. Twitter had 241 million monthly users at the end of the December quarter, less than a fifth of Facebook's user base, and its pace of user growth has slowed, but the company has already broadened its ad retargeting program and is reportedly planning to roll out 15 new ad products over the next six months, including app-install ads, both money-making formats that have worked well for Facebook. If you can't beat 'em... clone 'em?
Windows XP reached the end of its extended support period today, and Microsoft will stop providing automatic security updates, plus Microsoft Security Essentials will also no longer be available for the OS. However, Netcraft.com reports that Thousands of websites are still hosted on Windows XP computers, The largest share (nearly a third) of which are hosted in the United States. Including 14 US government websites, such as a webmail system used by the State of Utah. Unsupported web-facing Windows XP servers are prime targets for hackers, especially if new XP vulnerabilities are discovered, as no security updates will be available to fix them. In an effort to ease the transition, The UK Government recently struck a deal for Microsoft to provide it with an extra year of support for Windows XP, although there are currently no Windows XP-powered websites under the gov.uk top-level domain.
The curved AMOLED screen on Samsung's Gear Fit smartwatch has been criticized by some for its vertical display mode, which isn't always convenient to read on a wrist. But by its official April 11th launch date, though. Business Insider, Pocket-lint and SamMobile have all reported an update that lets you rotate the Fit's interface to portrait view. In other Samsung wearable news, A report from the Korea Herald says the company is developing a smartwatch with its own integrated Universal Subscriber Identity Module, or USIM, to allow a user to make and receive phone calls without having to pair the watch with a smartphone, and reports a patent has already been filed with the Korean Intellectual Property Office for the name "Gear Solo".
Coming up... who need a bionic kangaroo? We all do!
Up next I'll talk with Richard Byrne Reilly from VentureBeat about his exclusive article on how the Air Force is using Google Glass.. but first
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Richard Byrne Reilly, Reporter VentureBeat
Wrote the exclusive article: “U.S. Air Force is testing Google Glass & building apps for battlefield use” You also broke the story about the New York Police and their interest in Glass.
This is basically an off-the-shelf version of Google Glass the Air Force is using as a prototype. It’s interesting how they got their two pairs of Glass.
Who is developing the software?
You say in your article the military is trying to move away from laptops to smartphones and other devices. What kind of data will the soldier see in Glass and how will they use it?
Today Google just introduced Glass for Work. What are some of the industries looking at Glass? Do you think this is a better market space over the consumer market?
Finally, say hello to the best thing you'll see all day - the Bionic Kangaroo, a hopping robot developed by Germany-based Festo. It weighs just over 15 pounds and is 39 inches tall, and the Kanga-bot can jump forward at lengths of about two-and-a-half feet and has a vertical leap of a about one-and-a-half feet. When it lands, it uses the recovered energy stored during leaps for its next jump. The robot's movements can be controlled through a wireless armband attached to a human, who can direct the Bionic Kangaroo to hop forward or turn in small circles to change its direction.
[good bye] That's it for this edition of Tech News 2Night.
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Don't miss our morning news program, Tech News Today, tomorrow and every weekday at 10am Pacific, 1 pm Eastern. I'm Sarah Lane, thanks for watching.