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The Wall Street Journal reports attorneys for consumers told a jury Wednesday that Apple deleted music from some users iPods between 2007-2009. The case revolves around music that emulated Apple’s fairplay DRM. The lawyers claim when music from those competing services was synced to an iTunes library, an error message would ask to restore factory resettings and delete the non-Apple DRM’ed music without notifying the user. Apple security director Augustin Farrugia claimed it was a legitimate security measure and hackers like DVD Jon made Apple “very paranoid.” DVD Jon is Jon Lech Johansen of Norway who reverse engineered DVD encryption, and also developed several ways around Apple’s FairPlay DRM. ALSO the Verge reports Eddy Cue testified Apple wanted to license its DRM to other companies but “couldn’t find a way to do that and have it work reliably.”
TechCrunch reports Barnes and Noble has terminated its commercial agreement with Microsoft surrounding its Nook eReader business. Barnes and Noble will also buy back Microsoft’s 17.6% stake in Nook Media. Nook segment revenues fell 41.3% year over year and device sales have fallen 63.7%. Barnes and Noble also announced the planned spin-off of Nook into a separate company will be delayed until later in 2015.
BBC reports that Google is developing child-friendly versions of its search engine and Chrome browser, as well as a child-friendly YouTube. An example used by Google: A child searching for “trains” on the kid page might get information about Thomas the Tank Engine instead of train-booking sites. (Or news about train accidents.) Google is also developing tools to let parents monitor and manage their children’s online destinations.
The Intercept revealed details about a US NSA program called AURORAGOLD which involves targeting major cellular networks including the GSM Association to find or even create weak spots in mobile networks. The aim would be to be able to use the networks surreptitiously to spy on targets. The article indicates AURORAGOLD may have helped the NSA to crack A5/3 cellular encryption. Previous Snowden leaks indicate the NSA already cracked A5/1.
Reuters notes an anonymous North Korean Diplomat told Voice of America that North Korea is not responsible for the attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment’s internal system, saying allegations of a connection are “another fabrication targeting the country.” Gizmodo reports BuzzFeed has looked through a folder alleged to be stolen during the Sony hack. It contains “139 Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, zip files, and PDF’s containing thousands of of passwords.” Reuters reports a US national security source says North Korea is still being investigated as a suspect in the attack.
Australia’s Target and Kmart superstores have both announced that they will not sell Grand Theft Auto V due to concerns about the games depiction of violence against women. The South China Morning Post reports that 40,000 people signed a change.org petition authored by three former sex workers who called the game “sickening.” The Austrialian versions of both superstore chains are owned by Wesfarmers Limited and are not affiliated with the US superstores.
News From You
Hurmoth sent Jon Brodkin’s Ars Technica article about the perils of editing while Comcast. Comcast has argued that its proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable won’t reduce competition in towns or cities. A Comcast VP wrote a blog post that accidentally left in this sentence: “We are still working with a vendor to analyze the FCC spreadsheet but in case it shows that there are any consumers in census blocks that may lose a broadband choice, want to make sure these sentences are more nuanced.” We at Daily Tech News Show are surprised to find Comcast believes there is even a slight possibility it has direct competition in a US market.
gowlkick passed along the post on the official US Department of Defense science blog describing DARPA’s development of a soft, lightweight exosuit that can reduce injury and fatigue. Researchers from Harvard University‘s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering developed a suit with a series of webbing straps contain a microprocessor and a network of strain sensors. The suit mimics the action of muscles and tendons helping the wearer expend less energy. The program, called Warrior Web is being tested at the US Army Research Laboratory.
MikePKennedy sent us the news that Amazon has launched a restaurant takeout and delivery service. Engadget reports that Amazon Local will allow customers to browse available restaurants and order a meal for pickup or delivery. Amazon is testing the service in Seattle with dishes from more than 100 local restaurants. Users can pay with the same account used for Prime deliveries. In related news, Amazon unveiled its own line of diapers and baby wipes called Amazon Elements for Prime customers. Said Huggies and Pampers, “WAAAAAAAAAAAAH!”
Discussion Links: Uber’s Road Ahead
Pick of the Day: Gesture Search via Alexis Perez
Hello Tom, Jennie and DTNS contributors. Hi from sunny Puerto Rico.
You were talking about the Nokia Z-Launcher ( I guess it was on November 18) and talked about how it has this feature where you can start writing the name of the app you are looking for and it gives you a list of the apps that match what you are writing. Google has an app that does just that. The app is named Gesture Search and it is a black screen that gives you a list of apps and contacts based on what you are writing. I’ve been using it for a couple years now without any problems. I don’t know why this app is not more known.
Degratia Daniels: I really liked hearing about the all girls robotic team. I coach two all girl robotic teams, along with several others. My comment is that i think we’ll need to have all girl teams around for a while. I’ve noticed a distinctive difference between how boys operate and how girls operate (middle/high school aged kids). My personal opinion is that girls and boys at that age just have different interests and different perspectives. By having two separate teams, i’ve notice that the teams develop at the same rate. I think this is due to each team gets to resolving challenges in method that’s logical to them. Granted this isn’t my all girls team, here’s a documentary I put together on another robotics team that I coach:
Friday’s guests: Darren Kitchen and Len Peralta!