This is the week that was

Wow. I complain that the tech news week is slow, so what happens? Stuff. iPad speculation, high-tech worms, a new tablet computer from RIM and much, MUCH MORE!


I Own An iPad, So What Do I do With It?
NPD has released the second in its series of iPad surveys. While the first looked at buying intentions prior to the launch this one is more focused on what the current ownership looks like and how those owners are using their iPad. In conjunction with the press release we thought we would add some color around the iPad experience, bypassing some of the more contentious product based discussions out there. The survey provided some in-depth information on all aspects of the iPad, but today we are going to look at two distinct areas. First, is what owners like and dislike about their iPads, and second is how consumers are using their iPad.

iPad owners: younger and more male.
As part of Advertising Week‘s Mobile Ad Summit Tuesday, the Nielsen Company released the results of a survey of 5,000 consumers who own a tablet computer, eReader, netbook, media player or smartphone – including 400 iPad owners. The survey found some curious demographic differences.

Apple shuts flagship Beijing store as iPhone 4 scalpers run amok
We reported earlier this month on the quaint habit of iPhone purchasing for a profit all across London, as various folk pick up units to send into the lucrative Chinese grey market for the device — today we learn that Apple had to close its Beijing Apple store yesterday because grey market buyers were sucking all the store’s supply.Seems that Apple bumped up the sales limit on iPhone 4 from two to unlimited in Beijing’s flagship store, drawing an immediate huge crowd of eager customers — but these folks were buying iPhones in large quantities to resell on the grey market, which caused such a commotion security eventually shut AAPL’s flagship Chinese store down.

Apple TV review
You’ve been waiting, and it’s finally here: the Apple TV review. Months before Steve Jobs announced the new set top box at Apple’s annual fall event, we had been reporting on news that the company would strike out again into the TV market, offering a small, low-cost box that had more in common with the iPhone than the iMac. When those rumors came to fruition, we were presented with the completely revamped Apple TV — a tiny black puck of a device priced at a staggering $99, and centered around a handful of completely new ideas (for the folks in Cupertino at least) about getting content onto your TV screen.

Goldman Sachs says Apple planning thinner iPad with camera, mini USB
A team of analysts for investment bank Goldman Sachs said Monday that their sources lead them to believe Apple will introduce a second-generation iPad during the spring of 2011 that will feature a camera, mini USB and a lighter design. Citing supply chain checks, the analyst duo of Henry King and Kevin Lu said they believe that Hon Hai will remain the sole manufacturer of the new 9.7-inch model, explaining that the Cupertino-based electronics maker remains undecided on a second partner to help build the tablets.


Google’s Mayer criticizes content “locked” inside Facebook
Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice president of search and user experience, mostly dodged questions on-stage today about the company’s future plans, including rumors of some sort of social networking service in the works. Both Mayer and Google chief executive Eric Schmidt made similar comments at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco over the past couple days. They said Google is working to add social features to all of its applications rather than building a standalone social network. But Mayer also talked about how she sees Facebook, and about whether or not it’s a competitor.

Microsoft and Windows Live partnering together and providing an upgrade for 30 million Windows L…
Over the last few weeks, we’ve spent a good bit of time talking about our approach to partnering with the web, and as part of that, how we’re deeply integrating with the leading consumer services that you find most valuable. Earlier today, I had the opportunity to get on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt, and with Toni Schneider, CEO of Automattic (the parent company of, announce an exciting partnership between our companies.


In a Computer Worm, a Possible Biblical Clue
Deep inside the computer worm that some specialists suspect is aimed at slowing Iran’s race for a nuclear weapon lies what could be a fleeting reference to the Book of Esther, the Old Testament tale in which the Jews pre-empt a Persian plot to destroy them.

Stuxnet Questions and Answers
Stuxnet continues to be a hot topic. Here are answers to some of the questions we’ve received.

Q: What is Stuxnet?
A: It’s a Windows worm, spreading via USB sticks. Once inside an organization, it can also spread by copying itself to network shares if they have weak passwords.

Privately held Facebook in 5-for-1 stock split
Facebook, the world’s No. 1 Internet social network, is splitting its stock, as shares in the privately held company have surged roughly seven-fold in the past 15 months.

WebP, a new image format for the Web
Most of the common image formats on the web today were established over a decade ago and are based on technology from around that time. Some engineers at Google decided to figure out if there was a way to further compress lossy images like JPEG to make them load faster, while still preserving quality and resolution. As part of this effort, we are releasing a developer preview of a new image format, WebP, that promises to significantly reduce the byte size of photos on the web, allowing web sites to load faster than before.

Tim Armstrong: We Got TechCrunch!
I’m very pleased to announce that we have acquired TechCrunch. Details are in the press release below, and I’m sure founder Michael Arrington will have a few words to say as well. This is a great complement to our continued investment in world class content.

AOL’s Wild Acquisition Day Concludes With Thing Labs, Maker Of Brizzly
It’s a Ronco kind of day for folks who cover AOL (NYSE: AOL)—you think you’re done and then the company says, but, wait, there’s more. For the last one (today), paidContent can confirm that AOL has acquired Thing Labs and its Brizzly social media reader. It’s also acquiring a new management team: the Thing Labs team, headed by Google (NSDQ: GOOG) and Blogger vet Jason Shellen, will run AIM, AOL Lifestream and Brizzly, reporting to Brad Garlinghouse, president of consumer applications


Change to ‘Bios’ will make for PCs that boot in seconds
New PCs could start in just seconds, thanks to an update to one of the oldest parts of desktop computers. The upgrade will spell the end for the 25-year-old PC start-up software known as Bios that initialises a machine so its operating system can get going.

Some Android apps caught covertly sending GPS data to advertisers
The results of a study conducted by researchers from Duke University, Penn State University, and Intel Labs have revealed that a significant number of popular Android applications transmit private user data to advertising networks without explicitly asking or informing the user. The researchers developed a piece of software called TaintDroid that uses dynamic taint analysis to detect and report when applications are sending potentially sensitive information to remote servers.

RIM Gets into the Tablet Game, Throws Out the PlayBook
Research in Motion co-CEO Mike Lazaridis had his “one more thing” moment today at the company’s 2010 DevCon conference. Near the end of his opening keynote address, Lazaridis–after making a number of big announcements, including in-app payments for BlackBerry apps, a BlackBerry Advertising Service and the opening of BBM as a social platform–uncrated the PlayBook, RIM’s long-rumored tablet.

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