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Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

Apple

Apple Transitions Hardware Leadership 108

Posted by Soulskill
from the let's-hope-we-don't-go-back-to-grape dept.
redletterdave writes "Apple will begin transitioning the leadership role within its hardware engineering department, now that Bob Mansfield, who led the engineering of many of Apple's most successful products since 2005, has decided to retire. Apple was quick to name Dan Riccio — currently the VP of hardware engineering for the iPad — as Mansfield's successor, mentioning that Riccio will learn the new role over several months. During that time, the hardware engineering team will continue to report to Mansfield."
Privacy

How a Lone Grad Student Scooped the FTC On Privacy Issue 120

Posted by Soulskill
from the dear-ftc-please-hire-people-like-this dept.
Pigskin-Referee sends this excerpt from an article at ProPublica: "Jonathan Mayer had a hunch. A gifted computer scientist, Mayer suspected that online advertisers might be getting around browser settings that are designed to block tracking devices known as cookies. If his instinct was right, advertisers were following people as they moved from one website to another even though their browsers were configured to prevent this sort of digital shadowing. Working long hours at his office, Mayer ran a series of clever tests in which he purchased ads that acted as sniffers for the sort of unauthorized cookies he was looking for. He hit the jackpot, unearthing one of the biggest privacy scandals of the past year: Google was secretly planting cookies on a vast number of iPhone browsers. Mayer thinks millions of iPhones were targeted by Google."
Books

When Your e-Books Read You 105

Posted by Soulskill
from the they-get-bored-and-put-you-down dept.
theodp writes "'Perhaps nothing will have as large an impact on advanced analytics in the coming year as the ongoing explosion of new and powerful data sources,' writes Bill Franks in Taming The Big Data Tidal Wave. And one of the hottest new sources of Big Data, reports the WSJ's Alexandra Alter in Your E-Book Is Reading You, is the estimated 40 million e-readers and 65 million tablets in use in the U.S. that are ripe for the picking by data scientists working for Amazon, Apple, Google, and Barnes & Noble. Some privacy watchdogs argue that e-book users should be protected from having their digital reading habits recorded. 'There's a societal ideal that what you read is nobody else's business,' says the EFF's Cindy Cohn."
Android

Sale of Galaxy Nexus Banned in the US 696

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the courts-give-up-and-ban-everything dept.
New submitter busyqth writes "After the injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 earlier in the week, A U.S. district court judge has now also granted an injunction against the sale of Google's flagship ICS phone, the Galaxy Nexus. Is Steve Jobs laughing in the great beyond? Is this the beginning of the end for Android?" Two blows to Samsung in one week, and now the FTC is investigating Google for misuse of Motorola Mobility patents in relation to RAND standards.
OS X

New Mac Virus Discovered, Making the Rounds 239

Posted by Soulskill
from the sharing-is-caring dept.
sl4shd0rk writes "A new Mac OS X exploit was discovered Friday morning by Kaspersky Labs which propogates through a zipfile attachment. The attachment tricks the Mac user into installing a variant of the MaControl backdoor via point-and-grunt. Embedded in the virus is an encrypted IP address belonging to a server in China which is believed to be a C+C server. Once installed, the virus opens a backdoor allowing the attacker on the C+C server to run commands on the compromised machine. Shortly after Kaspersky's announcement, AlienVault Labs claims to have found a similar version of the Mac malware which infects Windows machines. The Windows version appears to be a variant of the Gh0st RAT malware used last month in targeted attacks against Central Tibetan Administration. Both viruses are suspected of being tools in a campaign to attack Uyghur Activists."
Iphone

On the iPhone and Apple's Meteoric Rise To the Top 317

Posted by Soulskill
from the seems-to-have-worked-out-well-for-them dept.
zacharye writes "Friday marks five years since the world first got its hands on a smartphone that would turn the industry on its head. In five short years, Apple went from the ground floor to being the most profitable company in the smartphone business by a staggering margin. Apple and Samsung — two companies that weren't even on the smartphone industry's map a few years ago — are now the only two major global vendors making money, and the split was estimated at 80/20 in Apple's favor last quarter. That's 80% of smartphone industry profits in less than five years with just five different smartphone models under its belt during that span."
Facebook

Facebook iOS App Ditching HTML5 For ObjectiveC 240

Posted by samzenpus
from the goodbye-5 dept.
Wrath0fb0b writes "The New York Times reports that Facebook is overhauling their iOS App to ditch their HTML5 based UI for a native ObjectiveC one. This is an about face from their position a few months ago in which FB said HTML5 would allow them to write once run anywhere. While WORA certainly has a lot of appeal for both programmers (due to desire not to duplicate effort) and management alike (due to desire not to pay programmers to duplicate effort), the large number of negative reviews that FB for iOS has illustrate that this approach is not without drawbacks. No matter how the new app is received, this is more fuel on the native vs. web-app fire."
Businesses

Silicon Valley Values Shift To Customersploitation 244

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the but-being-treated-like-cattle-is-fun dept.
theodp writes "Bill Davidow is the real Silicon Valley deal. Commenting on how Silicon Valley has changed over the decades, Davidow is not impressed, dishing out harsh words for Facebook, Apple, Google, and others. 'When corporate leaders pursue wealth in the winner-take-all Internet environment,' concludes Davidow, 'companies dance on the edge of acceptable behavior. If they don't take it to the limit, a competitor will. That competitor will become the dominant supplier — one monopoly will replace another. And when you engage in these activities you get a different set of Valley values: the values of customer exploitation.'"
Patents

U.S. Judge Grants Apple Injunction Against Samsung Galaxy Tab 498

Posted by Soulskill
from the too-pad-roddenberry-never-patented-the-padd dept.
Bill Dimm writes "Apple scores a win against Samsung over a design patent. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh issued a ruling granting Apple's request for a preliminary injunction preventing Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the United States. She wrote, 'Although Samsung has a right to compete, it does not have a right to compete unfairly by flooding the market with infringing products. ... While Samsung will certainly suffer lost sales from the issuance of an injunction, the hardship to Apple of having to directly compete with Samsung’s infringing products outweighs Samsung’s harm in light of the previous findings by the Court."
Medicine

Transplant Surgeon Called Dibs On Steve Jobs' Home 291

Posted by timothy
from the so-are-you-an-organ-donor? dept.
theodp writes "The Commercial Appeal reports that Dr. James Eason, the surgeon who performed Steve Jobs' liver transplant, found himself grilled at length Monday by Shelby County Commission members. The Univ. of Tennessee-Methodist Transplant Institute, which Eason heads, is in a bitter dispute over the distribution of human organs. Pressed for details by Commissioners West Bunker and Terry Roland about the 2009 liver transplant that Eason performed on the late Steve Jobs, Eason acknowledged that he's now living in the Memphis home that Jobs used during his convalescence. Bunker asked, "Was that a deal cut to get him a transplant here locally?" Eason: "I understand. It's a fair question. Absolutely not." Eason said a company lined up the housing for Jobs. "I took care of him and visited him in that home. And when I learned that it was going to be going on the market, I asked him, I asked the administrator of the LLC, if I could purchase it." So, is it time for Apple to shed some light on The Mystery of Steve Jobs' Memphis Mansion? It was reported that Apple lawyer George Riley, reportedly a friend of Eason's, helped Jobs with the arrangements for the Memphis mansion, which was acquired at a bargain price of $850,000 from the State of Tennessee by the mysterious LCHG, LLC on 3/26/2009. LCHG was formed on 3/17/2009, apparently just days before Jobs received his liver (on 3/21/2010, Jobs noted he was coming up on the 1-year anniversary of his transplant). Records show that title to the mansion was transferred to Eason in May, 2011, about three months after the National Enquirer painted a grim picture of Jobs' health. LCHG, LLC was dissolved in February 2012."
OS X

On Orbitz, Mac Users Offered Pricier Hotels First 305

Posted by timothy
from the attached-illustration-says-they-love-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Travel site Orbitz found out that Mac users tend to select pricier rooms and swanky hotels. So, from now on, they will show more expensive hotel options to Mac users than to PC users. This is why, although I am a Mac user, my Firefox agent string says 'Windows XP' :)" The (paywalled) WSJ report on which Reuter's summary is based carries Orbitz' s softer explanation, which is that the results by platform are an experiment based mostly on presentation and search-result ordering rather than actually naming higher prices based on OS: "[T]he company isn't showing the same room to different users at different prices. They also pointed out that users can opt to rank results by price."
IOS

New iPhone Prototypes Have Integrated NFC chips and Antenna 114

Posted by samzenpus
from the next-generation dept.
zacharye writes "Apple's next-generation iPhone will feature an integrated NFC chip according to a new report, suggesting the Cupertino, California-based company may soon make its entrance into the mobile payment space. A report from 9to5Mac states that an analysis of code from Apple's latest iOS software includes references to an integrated NFC chip and antenna."
Patents

Are Patent Wars Worth the Price Tag? 128

Posted by samzenpus
from the cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face dept.
ericjones12398 writes "It's beginning to feel like a TV series, a weekly patent war drama. Apple and Samsung have consistently been going back and forth with claims of IP infringement, to the point where who is accusing who of what is exhausting to follow. The question I would like to ask and try to answer is what the opportunity costs are of pursuing litigation versus just toughing it out? Would it be more economic for both companies to live and let live, or is there value to be captured in legal finger pointing? My best guess would be that this isn't about stopping sales this quarter or next, nor is it about defending the small-scale tech features that merely mildly differentiate. It's instead about momentum and branding. Winning these cases is PR that says, we are the leaders in smartphone technology, we are the innovators."
Businesses

Apple Yanks Mac Virus Immunity Claims From Website 327

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-hard-to-be-humble dept.
redletterdave writes "Apple quietly switched out a statement that claimed its Mac computers were completely immune to viruses with a less-forward statement: 'It's built to be safe.' The PR shift comes in the aftermath of the Flashback Trojan, which affected hundreds of thousands of Macs back in early April. From the article: 'Apple strives for perfection, but stating something is perfect when it isn't is ultimately bad for PR and company morale. Jobs used his reality distortion field to "rally the troops," so to speak, but "Mountain Lion" will ensure Apple can tout its closed, highly-secure operating system for the foreseeable future in a much more realistic sense. Just because a product isn't impervious to sickness doesn't mean it isn't "insanely great."'"
Businesses

Georgia Apple Store Refuses To Sell iPad To Iranian-American Teen 1116

Posted by timothy
from the cultural-profiling dept.
pdclarry writes "An Iranian-American teenager was told by an Apple store employee that they could not sell her an iPad because it would violate U.S. trade restrictions. She returned to the store with a camera crew from a local TV station and was again turned down. Apparently an Apple employee heard her speaking Farsi. As he was also of Iranian extraction he recognized the language and used this as a basis for refusal."

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