? Episode 287
 all tech radio show
  • With a new handheld gaming system, Nintendo aims to once again revolutionize the high-tech world of entertainment. But does it succeed? The Nintendo 3DS, which went on sale in the U.S. Sunday for $250, lets users play 3D games without wearing special glasses. It also takes 3D photos. And this summer, the 3DS will play 3D movies streamed from Netflix on its 3.5-inch screen. I've been playing with the 3DS for about a week now, and for me, the device walks the line between awesome and not-yet-so-awesome. Here's why.
  • PROS 1. It doesn't require glasses. I feel silly enough wearing 3D glasses in the movie theater, especially over my everyday glasses. But who wants to wear 3D glasses by yourself? Talk about nerdy! For the 3DS to be a success, Nintendo had to figure out how to do 3D without the need for glasses. With all the 3D hype over the past two years I was naturally skeptical that the gaming company's engineers could pull this off. They did.
  • 2. Personalized 3D experience. The Nintendo DS is a portable gaming console that you don't share; it's 3D just for you, which is a nice thing. You don't have to ooh and ahh in a movie theater about a tree branch just appeared in front of you. You don't have to tolerate other people's responses to the third dimension. It's just for you to enjoy at your leisure. I like that. And parents, imagine handing your kids "How to Train Your Dragon" in 3D -- that'll give you two hours of your life back.
  • Apple has traditionally debuted new iPhones at its annual software developers conference, but this year's event in June will be 100 percent software news, according to a report. Citing anonymous tipsters, well-sourced Apple blogger Jim Dalrymple claims there will be no iPad, iPhone or Mac hardware introduced at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, which kicks off June 6 in San Francisco. Apple's press release announcing the event doesn't give much hope for any hardware announcements. "At this year's conference we are going to unveil the future of iOS and Mac OS," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "If you are an iOS or Mac OS X software developer, this is the event that you do not want to miss."
  • Mozilla's Firefox 4's browser usage share grew over two-and-a-half times in the six days since its March 22 launch, a Web analytics company said today. According to California-based Net Applications, Firefox 4 accounted for 3.7% of all browsers used Sunday, up from last Tuesday's 1.4%. Firefox 4's Sunday share was double that of Microsoft's newest browser, Internet Explorer 9 (IE9), which debuted March 14. Mozilla has been touting Firefox 4's download count since the browser launched last week, when it recorded 7.1 million downloads in the first 24 hours, and an unofficial record of 8.75 million the second day.
  • We warned last year that the last of the IP 4 addresses were just about gone and they would be very expensive to keep. Microsoft decided to buy up over 600,000 IP 4 addresses from Canada because they realized they would be worth a lot as the world is no more ready for IP 6 than they are ready to move to the metric system. Computers and routers that are either too old or not configured properly will not be able to connect to websites on IP 6 and Microsoft knows this. They want people to be able to continue to connect to them until they are ready for the new standard. Other companies may not be so lucky.
  • Google is launching its own version of Twitter, and its called Disco. Disco will allow people to send text messages to massive amounts of people, just like Twitter. But unlike Twitter, it will be based off of your phone number instead of your Google account alone. This will allow people who already have you as a contact to be able to know it's you sending them a text message, rather than you having to launch an app to see it.
  • Avatar's James Cameron was helping NASA build a 3D camera into the next Mars rover, but NASA scrapped the plans because they are getting too close to launch time. The good news is that they will continue with their work for the next planned launch of a yet to be named rover of the future so we can see that and other worlds in 3D.
  • The hack that resulted in Comodo creating certificates for popular e-mail providers including Google Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Microsoft Hotmail has been claimed as the work of an independent Iranian patriot. A post made to data sharing site pastebin.com by a person going by the handle "comodohacker" claimed responsibility for the hack and described details of the attack. A second post provided source code apparently reverse-engineered as one of the parts of the attack. Whether the postings are authentic and accurate is, at present at least, a matter of conjecture. The post specifies a number of details that appear authentic. The writer fingers Italian Registration Authority GlobalTrust.it/InstantSSL.it (the same company operating under multiple names) as the weak link. A Registration Authority (RA) is essentially a local reseller for a Certification Authority (CA); in principle, the RA performs the validation of identity that would be too difficult or expensive for the root CA to do, and then sends a request to the root CA to generate an appropriate certificate. Comodo's systems trust that the RA has done its job appropriately, and issues the certificate. This is consistent with Comodo's statement that it was a Southern European company that was compromised.
  • Corporate espionage is a business almost as old as corporations, but thanks to the Internet revolution it has a new business model: cybercrime. A new report from McAfee illustrates how intellectual property and trade secrets are becoming the primary target for hackers, and providing the currency that fuels the cyber underground. The recent attack against RSA--resulting in the compromise of sensitive data related to the SecurID two-factor authentication that many corporations rely on to guard against unauthorized access and protect data--is an example of how even the very companies that we trust to help guard against corporate espionage are not invulnerable themselves. Hacked SecurID tokens could be used as a stepping stone to more serious corporate espionage.
  • Google is teaming up with MasterCard and Citigroup to add a mobile payment system to upcoming Android phones, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Google will give the credit card companies "more data about their customers and help them target ads and discount offers to mobile-device users near their stores," sources told the Journal. Mobile payment technology would allow consumers to pay for goods by swiping a credit card-linked phone across a digital reader, such as those manufactured by VeriFone. The most common digital wallet technology is "near field communication," which stores encrypted credit card data on your mobile phone. For more, see "What Is NFC, and Why Should You Care?" Long implemented in Japan, parts of Asia, and Europe, mobile payment technology has yet to penetrate the U.S. in any meaningful way. However it is often touted as the next big growth area for mobile companies.
  • Paul Baran, an engineer who helped create the technical underpinnings for the Arpanet, the government-sponsored precursor to today's Internet, died Saturday night at his home in Palo Alto, Calif. He was 84. The cause was complications from lung cancer, said his son, David. In the early 1960s, while working at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, Calif., Mr. Baran outlined the fundamentals for packaging data into discrete bundles, which he called "message blocks." The bundles are then sent on various paths around a network and reassembled at their destination. Such a plan is known as "packet switching."

Email from listeners

  • Andrew from Portland asks "Will 3D TVs ever be out without the need for glasses?"
  • Broadcast Sunday, April 3rd, 2011
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