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Mobile Technology News, May 17, 2012

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Time Warner Cable and Viacom Settle Lawsuit Over iPad Television Streaming
    TwctvTime Warner Cable and Viacom have settled their legal entanglements regarding Time Warner’s streaming of Viacom video content on its iPad app, according to the New York Times.

    The breakthrough comes as a result of a settlement between Time Warner Cable and Viacom, which owns cable channels like Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV and others. For months there had been a heated dispute over whether the cable company should have access to Viacom programs through its TWCable TV app.

    On Wednesday, Viacom said that the companies had agreed “to resolve their pending litigations” and that “all of Viacom’s programming will now be available to Time Warner Cable subscribers for in-home viewing via Internet protocol-enabled devices such as iPads.”

    The companies have been fighting over streaming rights for more than a year. Time Warner argued that its existing agreements give it the right to provide video streams on any screen, rather than just the television. Viacom said the app was “unlicensed distribution of Viacom’s programming.” Viacom still has a pending lawsuit with Cablevision over its Optimum live TV app.

    Viacom’s programming will roll out on the Time Warner Cable app over the next few weeks.

    Time Warner’s app, TWC TV, is available free on the App Store for its cable customers. [Direct Link]


  • Security Firm Symantec Analyzes the Profitability of the OSX.Flashback Botnet
    FilevaultSecurity firm Symantec previously estimated that the authors of the Flashback malware that affected hundreds of thousands of Macs at its peak could have been generating up to $10,000 per day by hijacking users’ ad clicks. Further analysis from the company suggests that the developers may have only earned $14,000 over the three weeks the malware was active.

    From our analysis we have seen that, for a three-week period starting in April, the botnet displayed over 10 million ads on compromised computers but only a small percentage of users who were shown ads actually clicked them, with close to 400,000 ads being clicked. These numbers earned the attackers $14,000 in these three weeks, although it is worth mentioning that earning the money is only one part of the puzzle—actually collecting that money is another, often more difficult, job. Many PPC providers employ anti-fraud measures and affiliate-verification processes before paying. Fortunately, the attackers in this instance appear to have been unable to complete the necessary steps to be paid.

    It is estimated the actual ad-clicking component of Flashback was only installed on about 10,000 of the more than 600,000 infected machines. In other words, utilizing less than 2% of the entire botnet the attackers were able to generate $14,000 in three weeks, meaning that if the attackers were able to use the entire botnet, they could potentially have earned millions of dollars a year.

    Symantec notes that the malware developers displayed more than 10 million hijacked ads and could have delivered many more if the developers had been more successful in their attacks.

    Some security specialists have said that the Mac OS is “really vulnerable” to further infections, though these claims should perhaps be taken with a grain of salt — those security specialists make their living off vulnerabilities and it is in their best interest to promote awareness of them.


  • Marshall Headphones Pitch Black Series Delivers Shock and Awe
    MarshallToday, Marshall Headphones released its “dark horse” of the company, the Pitch Black series. Among these new “black” products lies The Major and Minor. The Major symbolizes much of what makes up the Marshall Legacy; It is a powerful set of headphones designed with non-stop all day listening in mind. It comes equipped with an…
  • A Facebook Co-Founder Reflects on the Path Forward
    Eduardo Saverin, who left the company after two years, has settled in Singapore and is assessing how best to manage the extraordinary wealth that will come his way in Facebook’s initial public offering.

  • Samsung loses $10 billion market value on Apple report
    South Korean electronics giant loses $10 billion in market value — all because of a report in DigiTimes.
  • Microsoft bolsters parental controls with Windows 8
    Aiming to give parents the option of keeping an eagle eye over their kid’s computer use, Microsoft revamps its parental controls in a “monitor first” approach that includes weekly reports.
  • DealBook: Ahead of Facebook I.P.O., a Skeptical Madison Ave.
    Despite the overwhelming level of interest in its I.P.O., Facebook is facing fresh concerns over its ability to attract enough advertising revenue. Will the social network reach its advertising potential?

  • VIDEO: Ad boss on Facebook’s power
    Sir Martin Sorrell explains to Rory Cellan-Jones the strengths and weaknesses of Facebook when it comes to advertising, as the company prepares to float on the stock exchange.
  • Firefox gets a ‘reset’ button
    A new option in the latest Firefox beta will let you ‘reset’ Firefox without scrapping your personal data.
  • Hillel Fuld: StartApp Brings Search Revenue to Mobile, Pays Out Its Millionth Dollar to Android Developers
    The oversaturated space of app monetization clearly needs some out-of-the-box thinking, and StartApp definitely brings a unique angle here.
  • Eric K. Clemons: "Say It Ain’t So, Joe, Again, and Again, and Again …": A Legacy of Continued Bad Behavior at Google
    I believe, as I have believed for some time, that more active regulation of Google is warranted. Google has demonstrated that it cannot be trusted. In fairness, no one could be trusted or should be trusted with so much power.
  • Andy Plesser: (Video) Most Americans Multitask on Other Screens When Watching TV, Industry Study
    Nearly two-thirds of media-savvy U.S. consumers say they used an Internet-connected device for at least a few minutes the last time they watched TV,…
  • Andrew Z. Cohen: When All Our Problems Disappear
    Highly educated, thoughtful, sensitive men and women are gradually becoming more and more aware of the fact nobody seems to know how human life is supposed to be lived in this second decade of the 21st century.
  • Larry Magid: Privacy Is Important But What’s Wrong With Letting People Share?
    People worry about what they choose to share on Facebook but may not even think about what they’re already sharing with corporations.
  • Government to miss cookie cut-off
    Most government websites will miss the UK’s deadline for complying with EU regulations over cookies, the Cabinet Office tells the BBC.
  • Fold To Unlock Concept Extremely Sharp
    FoldToUnlockArtist and designer Anton Kudin has created what I believe to be the best looking concept for a replacement of Apple’s “Slide to Unlock” feature: Fold To Unlock. As noted by Cult of Mac, it brings a Smart Cover-esque fold to the iOS homescreen. Kudin’s creation was inspired by Dribbble user, ididi’s Android concept which was based…
  • Solar-Powered Implants Could Help The Blind
    For anyone who needed further evidence for the benefits of solar power: A new device being developed at Stanford University relies on solar-powered implants to…
  • Sarah Lacy: Poke By Poke: How Facebook Ate Your Life, One Feature At A Time
    Former TechCrunch senior writer Jason Kincaid is just young enough to remember those days and, in the book, he explains feature-by-feature how Facebook went from something most "grown ups" said they’d never use to something nearly 1 billion people can’t live without.
  • Facebook Billionaire Might Not Be Allowed Back In U.S.
    Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin might not be allowed to return to the United States. Billionaire Saverin, who ditched his U.S. citizenship ahead of Facebook’s mega…
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