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An Apple Lawsuit Finally Ends

posted Thursday Aug 11, 2011 by Scott Ertz

An Apple Lawsuit Finally Ends

Here is something I never thought I would get to report: one of Apple's many frivolous lawsuits has finally been settled. You might remember a long time ago in a galaxy very close to here, an Apple engineer left a prototype iPhone 4 in a bar. You might also remember that the person who found the phone, instead of returning it to Apple, sold it to a Gizmodo writer, Jason Chen for $5,000.

Shortly after the news broke that he had a prototype iPhone in his possession, law enforcement officers raided his house, breaking down his door, taking computers, drives, documents and more, all at the request of Apple. The resulting case finally came forward in the San Mateo County district attorney's office and they have decided not to charge him. The people who originally "found" the phone at the bar, however, will be charged with 2 misdemeanors.

Why is the lack of charges against Chen important? Hit the break to find out.

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Fake Apple Stores Are All Over China

posted Thursday Aug 11, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Fake Apple Stores Are All Over China

Remember those amazingly detailed fake Apple stores that were found last month? Well, China's Administration for Industry and Commerce promised they would look into the problem and you will never believe what they found.

So far, the administration has turned up another 22 unauthorized Apple stores. Yeah, you read that right: 22 more fake stores. As of now, we are unaware of whether the stores are selling official product unofficially or knock-off products. Knock-offs are a big business in China, but it is very unusual for an organization to go to the lengths these guys have to make the stores look so real.

Based on the photos we saw last month, obviously someone has direct access to the manufacturing of at least Apple's fixtures, because the first round of fake stores even had the official Apple product displays. From the reports, these stores are no different and, despite the coverage of the first round of stores and the fact that only 4 real Apple stores exist in the country, the employees of these stores still believe they work for one of the four.

Whether or not they work for Apple or are selling official Apple product illegally, they have been ordered to remove any Apple logos from their stores. To increase the speed of discovery, the agency has also setup a complaint hotline for residents to report what they believe to be counterfeit Apple locations. China sure is a fun place.

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TwitPic Founder Says heello to Twitter

posted Thursday Aug 11, 2011 by Jon Wurm

TwitPic Founder Says heello to Twitter

Noah Everett, the man responsible for TwitPic, has gone from 3rd party Twitter integrations to straight up creating his own Twitter service that has already managed to hit 1 million "pings" in 2 days. It is very likely that Everett feels revenge is not for the birds after Twitter decided to clip its wings and revoked tons of API tokens and apps in an effort to create a more consistent Twitter experience. You may have also noticed the pictures attached to people's tweets which is something Twitter does in-house now and could very well be the reason for heello (he low).

When you create an account for the first time, you might think you accidentally signed into your Twitter account; alas this is not the case. One obvious difference is that your profile page layout is flipped, your "ping" feed is on the right and only information pertaining to you is displayed on the left. It is also worth noting that the ping feed happens in real time. There is no "Similar to..." or "Following" preview. All that information on heello is available though the clearly marked links underneath your profile pic. The terminology is different and more sensible in my opinion, tweets are "pings" and retweets are "echos" which evidences his developer or Navy background. Follow is called "Listen," making the people you are subscribed to people you are "listening" to and people who listen to you are "Listeners."

To see what I'm talking about first hand, check out the pictures after the break.

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Unicorns + Ninjas + Vulcans = Xbox LIVE Security

posted Wednesday Aug 10, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Unicorns + Ninjas + Vulcans = Xbox LIVE Security

What do unicorns, ninjas and Vulcans have to do with security? Everything, at least if you're talking about Xbox LIVE security. There is a team at Microsoft, known as the Xbox LIVE Policy and Enforcement team, where all of the cheaters, hackers, phishers and thieves come to be dealt with. The team is entrusted with the responsibility of making sure "Xbox LIVE is safe, non-offensive and fun for all users."

They don't deal with everything, though. Obviously if someone is cheating or modifying a game the team will get involved, but there is a lot happening on LIVE that cannot be regulated. Xbox LIVE Enforcement Unicorn Ninja (there are your unicorns and ninjas), Boris Erickson, says,

If you're playing a game on Xbox LIVE, and somebody snipes you from across the map and you drop the F-bomb, we're not going to ban you – not for the occasional slip. We focus on the really bad stuff... We are not here to be the arbiters of all speech. But there are certainly some kinds of communication on Xbox LIVE that crosses a line – racism, homophobia, sexism, offensive comments about nationalities, and more.

To find out more about the ninjas, hit the break.

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Android Might Not Do in the Future

posted Monday Aug 8, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Android Might Not Do in the Future

Google has certainly made their mark on the world since getting ahold of Android Inc. in 2005. Recent numbers from Reuters show that Android is circling half of the global market share and has about 500,000 device activations per day for both tablet and smartphones. Those numbers are enough to make Google's and Android adopters' processors hot but Android might have indulged in too many honeycombs and could be at risk of a diabetic coma, from which it wouldn't wake up.

Most of the incredible adoption rate can be credited to Android being open-source and most of all, free for manufactures. Google has reaped the benefits of these since 2008 but things have moved from bad to worse in 2011 with fragmentation issues and patent infringements. The severe fragmentation Android has experienced is a side-effect of being a very open platform. Google not only had to deal with many versions of their OS populating devices but manufacturers tailoring the UI as they pleased. On top of that, there was no standard for hardware and all these things guaranteed there would be no consistent Android experience and confusion. In early April this year, Google put the lid on the honey jar and closed the platform up a bit so that changes to the OS would have to be approved but that was only after Nokia decided to take the WinPho7 approach.

Despite the fragmentation issues, Android seems to be conquering the mobile industry, can it overcome all the other factors playing against it now? Find out after the break.

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Federal IT Now Powered by Former Microsoft Executive

posted Sunday Aug 7, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Federal IT Now Powered by Former Microsoft Executive

On August 4th of this year President Obama announced the CIO, Chief Information Officer, position of the Federal Government to be filled by Steven VanRoekel. The former Microsoft executive, the 2nd person to fill the position, is responsible for managing the $80 billion set aside for IT spending. He was considered after heading up the project to transform the FCC's previously terrible website into something much more manageable and much less 1990.

His Predecessor, Vivek Kundra, laid the groundwork for policies that are intended to streamline government operations by reducing the current 2500 data centers to 1700 by 2015 using a "cloud-first policy." He was also a big proponent of "open government," which VanRoekel plans to carry on as well, despite continuous budget cuts. The CIO is also responsible for cyber security, including working with other government agencies like the NSA and Homeland Security to combat the increasing attacks on government systems.

VanRoekel talks about his take on the real problem that needs to be addressed to bring the government up to speed after the break.

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