? All Tech Radio Episode 341
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  • Finally! After years of confusing consumers with multiple, slightly different versions of the same operating system, Microsoft announced today that Windows 8 will come in only four versions: One for home use, one for business, one for devices running ARM chips, and one for large enterprises who buy in bulk. For most people buying an operating system for a traditional desktop or laptop, the choice will be between just two versions. The version called simply "Windows 8" is designed for home users. "Windows 8 Pro" is for business users and includes features for encrypting a file system, virtualization, and domain management. "Windows RT" is the new name for what had been called Windows on ARM. You won't be able to purchase it on its own; It'll come preinstalled on PCs and tablets that run ARM processors. Windows RT won't be able to run traditional X86/64 desktop software. Instead, it'll run touch-oriented apps based on Windows Runtime (or WinRT), Microsoft's programming model for mobile apps. Apps for the touch-oriented Metro interface are built using Windows Runtime.
  • A new tablet hit market last week. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 delivers an Android Ice Cream Sandwich experience for only $250. The tablet also trumps the Kindle Fire in extras by including dual cameras, expandable memory, and TV remote control functionality. The 7" screen is to compete with the Kindle Fire and so far seems to be a better value.
  • The principles of openness and universal access that underpinned the creation of the internet three decades ago are under greater threat than ever, according to Google co-founder Sergey Brin. In an interview with the Guardian, Brin warned there were "very powerful forces that have lined up against the open internet on all sides and around the world". "I am more worried than I have been in the past," he said. "It's scary." In China, which now has more internet users than any other country, the government recently introduced new "real identity" rules in a bid to tame the boisterous microblogging scene. In Russia, there are powerful calls to rein in a blogosphere blamed for fomenting a wave of anti-Vladimir Putin protests. It has been reported that Iran is planning to introduce a sealed "national internet" from this summer.
  • The FCC tries to save face this week as they fined Google for violations when pertaining to their collection of personal data procedures. The FCC said that Google did not violate any laws after a thorough investigation, but fined Google $25k anyway to make a point. No one is really happy that Google takes our personal information and targets us with ads based on what we search for, but the FCC seems less than generous for fining Google when they found nothing wrong.
  • Forget Google Glass check this out: The Pentagon has put in an order for prototype contact lenses that give users a much wider field of vision. The lenses are designed to be paired with compact heads up display (HUD) units - glasses that allow images to be projected onto their lenses. Much bulkier HUDs are already deployed by the US Army and Air Force to superimpose data about targets and other status updates over users' views. The tech could help troops enhance their awareness on the battlefield. The iOptik system's developer, Innovega, told the BBC it had signed a contract earlier this week to deliver a fully-functioning prototype to the Pentagon's research laboratory, Darpa.
  • In his opening statement, Oracle attorney Michael Jacobs said that Oracle "will prove to you from beginning to end ... that Google knew it was doing the wrong thing" in using proprietary APIs to build the operating system. Oracle attrney Michael Jacobs came out swinging hard at Google on April 16 in his opening argument as the company began its $1 billion copyright-infringement lawsuit against the Web services giant in federal district court in San Francisco. Jacobs, a partner in the Palo Alto, Calif.-based Morrison & Foerster law firm, attempted to convince a 12-person jury and presiding Judge William Alsup that Google IT managers were quite aware that they used proprietary Java application programming interfaces owned by Oracle to create the Android mobile-device operating system -- one that now runs more than 300 million smartphones and tablet PCs.
  • If your mobile apps takes a few seconds too long to start, imagine if your Windows Phone could predict what app you're about to use and intelligently cache it in the background so it starts instantly when you want to use it. A team at Microsoft Research's Mobile Computing Research Center have not only thought of this but already have a small demo to show off. To be presented at the MobiSys 2012 conference in June, the research dubbed "FALCON" is part of a broader Microsoft Research project called "Context Data OS (ConDOS)".
  • It's less than two months before the biggest event in gaming happens in Los Angeles. E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, will bring in lots of news and video game goodness from June 5 to June 7, but we all know that it's the day before, when most of the major companies hold their high-octane media events, that really matters. And Microsoft will be the company that sets the E3 bar this year. Just like last year, the Redmond-based software giant will be the first to hold its E3 media event, while Sony, Nintendo, and major publishers will follow. The events are referred to among the enthusiast crowd as the E3 "press conferences," though that name is sort of a misnomer since at no point during the event itself does the press get to ask questions. They are instead highly orchestrated presentations and they set the tone for the rest of E3, and really the rest of the year for each company. Microsoft's E3 press conference will take place on Manday, June 4 at 1:00 PM Eastern Time (10:00 AM local time in Los Angeles where the event will be held). Sony, meanwhile, will come at the end of the day. That company has set its media spectacle for 9:00 PM Eastern Time. Microsoft's event location has not been revealed, but Sony announced it will hold its event at the Memorial Sports Arena, the same venue that it used last year. Sony took advantage of its last-of-the-day status and opened up the venue to a night full of open bars and playable game stations. It looks like it will be doing the same this year.
  • While Americans struggle to finds jobs, some of the country's biggest companies insist they're struggling just as hard to find workers with the skills they need. AT&T's solution: A $350 million commitment to a program called "Aspire," which provides grants to schools, non-profit organizations and researchers for ventures aimed at increasing the country's high-school graduation rate. AT&T says it has spent $100 million on the program over the past four years, but it recently scaled up its investment, pledging an additional $250 million in funding over the next five years.
  • Pew study finds one in five Americans still won't go online Luddite fringe exposed as internet use plateaus By Iain Thomson in San Francisco o Get more from this author A hardcore 20 per cent of Americans ain't using the internet and don't want to neither, according to the latest survey data from the Pew Internet and American Life project. The survey data showed that since 1995 internet use in the US had grown from around 10 per cent to just over 78 per cent in August of last year. The rate of internet use hasn't changed much in the last few years, indicating that the market has reached maturity, but there's still a group of neo-luddites who see the whole thing as pointless.

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  • Lew from Portland asks "What are the different ways I can connect my PC to my TV?"