? Episode 284
 all tech radio show
  • In a bold move likely aimed at bolstering its software business, HP CEO Leo Apotheker revealed in an interview with BusinessWeek published Wednesday that its WebOS operating system will make it on to every HP PC by 2012. Apotheker's comments confirm earlier ones made at the launch of the TouchPad last month. WebOS will not replace Microsoft's Windows as the primary operating system, nor apparently run within Windows itself. Instead, HP has decided to make new computers dual-boot, meaning consumers would have a choice of which platform to run.The reason for putting WebOS front and center among so many of its customers may be much more than just making use of a platform HP can get for free: it may be the survival of the OS itself. Currently, some 350,000 apps exist for the iOS platform. Compare that to WebOS, which only has about 6,000.
  • Google has acknowledged that it removed "a number" of malicious malware applications from the Android Market on March 1, and it has now reached out over the airwaves to remove the apps from end users devices as well.Last week, reports indicated that more than 50 Android apps had been loaded with info-pilfering software known as DroidDream. Google immediately responded by pulling the apps from the Market, but the company remained silent on the matter until tossing up a blog post on Saturday evening.
  • China and Russia and growing more uncomfortable with Boeings latest X37B sub orbital spy place. It will launch this week, and there is only speculation about its capabilities. It could be used to disable satellites, or launch weapons. It could sit in orbit for months or years at a time waiting for something to happen. I'm just glad this plane is on our side.
  • Microsoft wants you to stop using Internet Explorer 6. The product is ten years old and has been hacked so many times Microsoft has stopped patching it. Move up to IE8 as soon as possible. Currently 12% of the world is on IE 6, and Microsoft is hoping to get the word out to upgrade asap.
  • A month ago, Microsoft issued invitations to the press for a March 14 event at SXSW (South by Southwest Conferences and Festivals) in Austin, Texas. The company had also promised to ship IE9 in the first quarter, which ends in three weeks. IE9 will be available for download from Microsoft's servers beginning at 9 a.m. PT Monday, said Dean Hachamovitch, the head of IE's engineering, in a blog post today. At some point after the "release to the Web," or RTW of March 14, Microsoft will start offering the new browser to Windows Vista and Windows 7 users. If it hews to its usual practice, those offers will begin to appear about six weeks later.
  • While tablets may be a hot market this year, companies hoping to compete with the popular iPad from Apple Inc. may be overestimating their prospects, leading to a potential glut of inventory later in the year. A report from J.P. Morgan on Wednesday morning raised the prospect of a "bubble" risk for the tablet market this year. Many companies are rushing into the sector with hopes of competing with the iPad, which moved nearly 15 million units last year and is expected to grow exponentially this year - especially after the new iPad 2 goes on sale on Friday.
  • Google is preparing anyone using Chrome 10, which released yesterday, for launch of Chrome OS. The new standalone browser has reached feature parity -- for business, consumer or IT pro evaluator users, anyway -- with Chrome OS browser front-end running on Google Cr-48 laptops. Chrome 10 is a much bigger browser release than even Google's boasting -- "speedier, simpler, safer" -- lets on. Google is beginning its biggest push yet to the cloud, and Chrome OS is quickly, and I do mean quickly, approaching v1 release. Apple and Microsoft had best watch out, because among major platform developers they have the most to lose should Google's cloud ambitions succeed. Chrome 10's standout features, at least for cloud computing, all begin with "s": sandbox, search, services, simplicity, security, settings, speed, stability and synchronization. Many of these attributes interrelate or aren't new to this browser release -- they're improved for cloud readiness.
  • A small batch of 64GB iPhone 4 prototypes was reportedly discovered in a "grey" market in Hong Kong, according to a couple Chinese blogs. First announced on Chinese-language blog Unwire.hk and later "confirmed" by MIC Gadget, the 64GB model appears to be unlocked and running iOS 4.1. MIC Gadget posted photos of the phone's exterior showing that, like the iPhone 4 prototype Gizmodo found in a bar last spring, this model has plenty of X's printed on its case: the model number states 'XXXXX'; FCC ID number is 'BCG- XXXXXX,'; printed capacity is 'XXGB.' However, as Macrumors notes after analyzing photos of the serial number, the phone was produced in early 2010, pre-dating the launch of the iPhone 4 in June 2010.
  • There's something ritualistic about finishing off a letter with a stamp before dropping it in the mailbox (except these days, it's less likely to be a letter and more likely to be the rent check or an expense report). In Sweden, however, that ritual is about to be replaced with a more high-tech one: people may soon be able to pay for their postage via text message, thereby eliminating the need for a stamp. The system works like this: Swedes will be able to send a text message to the postal service saying that they want postage for a letter. The postal service will then presumably charge an account on file, then respond with another text that contains a code. The letter-sender will then write the code on the envelope to show that postage had been paid. According to Swedish postal service head of marketing and development Anders Åsberg, forged codes aren't as much of a risk as they sound-they are apparently on the same level as traditional stamps. Citizens will be able to use the postal codes for packages up to 2kg (roughly 4.4 pounds).
  • The upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook will come with a music store, Research In Motion announced today. Customers in the U.S. and Canada will find the 7digital Music Store preinstalled on their BlackBerry tablets at launch. International customers will have access to the store later in the year. 7digital, which is based in London, already offers an app for several BlackBerry smartphones, including the Torch, Curve, and Pearl. 7digital sells DRM-free MP3 tracks--mostly for 99 cents--and boasts more than 13 million songs altogether. It previews songs before purchase and has a recommendation engine to help people find other music they might like. The key detail that 7digital didn't reveal is when its PlayBook store will launch. There's a good reason for that: RIM hasn't said when the tablet will actually reach store shelves.

Email from listeners

  • Stacey from Seattle asks "What's the difference between the Android OS and the IPHONE OS?
  • Broadcast Sunday, March 13th, 2011
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