? All Tech Radio Episode 406
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  • CNET reported rumors that the more powerful version of iPhone Lite will have features that are similar with those of the iPhone 6 although specs would be less powerful and the design will be made up of a plastic material similar with that of the iPhone 5. Likewise, the phone will be Apple's budget version in the US and other regions that have carrier subsidies. The lesser version of Lite will be free from standard iPhone 6 features such as LTE for the sake of lowering down its price and giving it a competitive price point in other areas around the globe where there is a lack of carrier subsidies. In this case, smartphones are usually sold at its full retail price. The move still enables Apple to be generous with its iPhone 6 design irrespective of its internal costs since subsidies would still be able to bring down the price point to $199 which has been the standard among American users. Domestically speaking, the iPhone Lite will be priced somewhere between $99 and will be contract-free as mentioned by Stabley Times. On the whole, the two phone models make up the new 2013 iPhone product matrix of Apple thereby putting an end to its iPhone 5 lineup that the company released only a year ago.
  • Your phone's sim card at risk. After three years of research, German cryptographer Karsten Nohl claims to have finally found encryption and software flaws that could affect millions of SIM cards, and open up another route on mobile phones for surveillance and fraud. Nohl, says his is the first hack of its kind in a decade, and comes after he and his team tested close to 1,000 SIM cards for vulnerabilities, exploited by simply sending a hidden SMS. It could allow hackers to remotely infect a SIM with a virus that sends premium text messages (draining a mobile phone bill), surreptitiously re-direct and record calls, and - with the right combination of bugs - carry out payment system fraud. Cards that have the old encryption are vulnerable but the new ones are not. The problem is that you don't know which one you're getting.
  • The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has voted to overhaul its E-rate program, which subsidizes internet and telecommunications access for schools and libraries, with a goal of facilitating greater availability of modern, high-speed wired and wireless networks. E-rate was first authorized by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, at a time when just 14 per cent of US classrooms had internet access. Over the last 16 years, the program has helped increase that figure to 97 per cent. A 2010 survey of E-rate applicants revealed that half had internet connections that were slower than the average American home. Asked what was keeping them from upgrading, 39 per cent cited cost as the barrier.
  • Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), the second-largest U.S. telephone company, is boosting its FiOS Internet speeds to 500 megabits a second, faster than Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)'s speediest service and half that of Google Inc.'s. Verizon aims to attract consumers and small businesses to its FiOS Quantum fiber-optic services, available in parts of every FiOS market today. Customers that combine Internet with TV or telephone service will pay $309.99 a month, or $329.99 for a package of all three services, according to a statement. The phone company, based in New York, is promoting speed as a competitive advantage for people willing to pay top dollar. Comcast, the largest broadband provider, exceeded Verizon last year with a service promising 305 megabits-a-second speed for $299.95. Last quarter, Verizon added 161,000 FiOS Internet customers for a total of 5.8 million.
  • Verizon's Dupe of Frontier, Fairpoint Comes Full Circle As Telco Uses Fixed LTE To Lure Back Sold Customers. We've noted several times how Verizon's sale of their DSL and landline assets to Fairpoint and Frontier was strategically brilliant (unless you're one of the impacted customers). Not only did Verizon sell both companies millions of neglected customers and lines they didn't want to maintain or upgrade, the deals offloaded huge amounts of Verizon debt onto these companies (driving Fairpoint into bankruptcy) while netting Verizon a huge tax write off. As I noted back in 2010 the best part for Verizon was the fact that after the smoke cleared, they could come back into these areas and market their more expensive fixedLTE Home Fusion service to those same customers, luring them back to the Verizon fold under the much more profitable pay-per byte model.
  • If your flat-screen HDTV isn't cutting it these days and you have money to burn, LG has something that is sure to impress your friends. The tech giant on Monday announced that the EA9800, a 55-inch OLED HTDV with a curved screen, is now available in the U.S. for $14,999. The large-screen set is on sale exclusively at Magnolia stores inside Best Buy. At this point, it's only available the at big box retailer's flagship Richfield, Minn. store. It's slated to hit Best Buy stores in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, and San Antonio in the coming weeks before rolling out nationwide later this summer. As for specs, the LG 55EA9800, which went on sale in Korea in April, is just 0.17 inches thin (or 4.3 millimeters) and weighs less than 38 pounds. It produces super-clear, realistic images thanks to LG's four-color pixel system, which features a white sub-pixel that works with the traditional red, green, and blue pixels for "the perfect color output," LG said.
  • Over the last few decades, the U.K. has earned a reputation for being on the cutting edge in terms of harnessing technology to fight crime, including London's "ring of steel" surveillance camera network. Now, Prime Minister David Cameron has announced plans for another tech-powered initiative - blocking Internet porn by default for all U.K. citizens. The details of the plan were laid out in a speech, which focused on stamping out illegal pornographic images on the Internet, as well as limiting the ability of Web surfers under the age of 18 to access legal pornographic images. "By the end of this year, when someone sets up a new broadband account, the settings to install family friendly filters will be automatically selected," Cameron said. Officials worked with U.K. ISPs TalkTalk, Virgin, Sky, and BT, which "rewired their technology so that once your filters are installed, they will cover any device connected to your home internet account," Cameron said.
  • After Apple's main developer portal was down for maintenance for three days, the company fessed up and revealed that the Developer Center website was compromised by an intruder late last week. The purported "hacker," it turns out, was a well-meaning independent security researcher. Even though his actions were supposedly benevolent, the researcher could be in hot water if Apple decides to take legal action. "Last Thursday, an intruder attempted to secure personal information of our registered developers from our developer website," Apple wrote in an email to developers. "Sensitive personal information was encrypted and cannot be accessed, however, we have not been able to rule out the possibility that some developers' names, mailing addresses, and/or email addresses may have been accessed."
  • Google appears to be preparing to ramp up production of its Google Glass product with an investment in a Taiwanese chip maker that manufactures components used in the wearable device. Google will buy shares to hold a 6.3 percent interest in Himax Display, a subsidiary of Himax Technologies, the Taiwanese company said on Monday. The investment will fund production upgrades and expand capacity at Himax Display's facilities that make liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) chips. These chips are typically found in projectors, but are also used in the head-mounted display for Google Glass. Since this year's second quarter, the company had already begun expanding capacity to meet demand for its LCOS products. "Himax Display has been a great partner for several years now," Google said in an email. "This investment is an extension of this partnership, which we hope will allow the team to continue to develop their operations."

email from listeners:

  • Sharon from Portland asks "Is the new TMobile plan's ability to upgrade once per year going to save me money?"