07/07/10 06:00 AM
When you think about it, 4th of July weekend was a great time to pull a heist online. People aren’t on the computer. They’re too busy barbecuing and watching fireworks to notice that someone’s stealing their money. But that’s exactly what happened over the past weekend and even as early as last week. Some customers of Apple’s iPhone app store noticed some odd charges to their accounts recently for apps they never intended to download, some of them were a couple dollars but sometimes up to $100 or more. Meanwhile, in the app store “books” category, some titles you’ve never heard of - all from the same publisher- were suddenly showing up as best sellers. Apple now says it’s identified who was responsible and has kicked them out of the app store. They also advise you check your purchases and change your password.
Joshua Topolsky, editor in chief of the tech site Engadget, brings us up to speed on the story. And John Hering, founder and CEO of the online security company Lookout offers tips on keeping safe online.
07/06/10 06:00 AM
There is no shortage of dumb things you can do on a smart phone. There are apps that simulate the vuvuzela, or a light saber, you can play Angry Birds or Plants vs. Zombies. So much dumb stuff available that it’s easy to forget how powerful a highly portable computer can really be.
Fortunately, some folks at MIT are being smart about it and they’ve come up with an app called NETRA, stands for Near Eye Tool for Refractive Assessment. Couple it with a little plastic eye piece and you can evaluate someone’s eyesight and what kind of glasses they might need. It could have huge implications for the developing world where fully equipped optometrist’s offices are hard to come by. We talk to associate professor Ramesh Raskar at MIT’s Media Lab and Ankit Mohan, a postdoctoral research associate there.
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07/05/10 06:00 AM
What if all the emails you wrote at work were published online? All the gossip, meeting agendas, dumb YouTube clips you sent to friends at work, all of it, slapped up on a website. That’s the deal right now for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. You can go right now to elenasinbox.com and read emails written by and sent to Kagan during the years she served in the Clinton administration. Messages received, sent, over 14,000 emails in all, publicly disclosed.
It’s the work of Tom Lee. He’s director of Sunlight Labs, the technology arm of the Sunlight Foundation, a group aimed at increasing transparency in government. We talk with him about what was involved in getting all those emails online. We also check in with Anil Dash of Expert Labs, a nonprofit group that’s trying to use crowdsourcing to assist government.
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07/02/10 04:30 AM
When Amazon.com first launched the Kindle electronic book reader, it was a fairly simple proposition: a little device for reading e-books. You could download the books off Amazon.com, read them right there on the device, it all made sense. But since then, the idea of the Kindle has started shooting off in a bunch of different directions. There’s the standard Kindle, which has had a dramatic price drop recently. There’s the Kindle DX, which had a dramatic price drop just yesterday. There’s the Kindle app for the iPad, a device that also has its own electronic reader built in. That Kindle app also features embeddable video and audio, something that Amazon doesn’t offer on the Kindle itself. And this week we also saw the debut of the Kindle app for Android.
It’s getting a little hard to determine what “Kindle” means any more, what they’re trying to do with it, and whether it’s worth your investment. We talk with David Carnoy from CNET (also author of “Knife Music”) about the moves Amazon has made lately and Joseph Esposito, CEO of Giant Chair and a publishing industry veteran about where Amazon may be going.
By the way, David Carnoy has a new book.
07/01/10 07:00 AM
(Today’s episode features guest host Jeff Horwich)
This week online TV service Hulu started rolling out Hulu Plus, a paid option that offers more content but also changes the game because, you know, it’s not all free any more.
You might think this would be nothing but annoying, especially since you still have to watch the same ads as on the free Hulu service. But Hulu Plus (which is currently available by invitation only; that will change soon) comes with some bonuses: Big extra back-catalog access to popular shows, and new Hulu Plus apps for iPad, iPhone, Xbox and more. Gizmodo’s Matt Buchanan has been checking out the new offerings, and joins us on this episode with the highlights.
Is Hulu Plus — this model of asking people to pay a subscription for on-demand access to shows — the beginning of the end of TV as we know it? Dan Frommer of Business Insider thinks Hulu Plus is great and all, but it’s no cable-killer. He drops by with some thoughts on the bigger picture.
What do you think: Is Hulu Plus going to change your TV habits? Or are you annoyed that the great heyday of free (good) TV on the web could be all too short?
Hi everyone. John Moe here. Starting Monday, September 20th, Future Tense will be going by the name Marketplace Tech Report.
Producer Larissa Anderson and I have been working closely with the folks at Marketplace ever since we took over Future Tense in May. It’s worked out great. We’ve helped them, they’ve helped us, and together we’ll find more stories you’ll want to hear. Basically, we loved Marketplace so much we married them. And kind of took their name too. Is it creepy to compare two radio shows to a married couple? Sorry about that.
As part of the Marketplace portfolio of programs (along with Marketplace, Marketplace Morning Report, and Marketplace Money), Marketplace Tech Report will keep bringing you stories that explain news and trends and technology and what it all means to you. We’ll be moving to a new simpler URL: marketplacetech.org, which will go live over the weekend. We’ll be bringing our entire archive of past shows and blog posts with us but in the meantime, we’re leaving futuretense.publicradio.org up so you can access the show archives from there as well.
- Google and competition
09/17/10 02:40 PM
- Bronado is the new Double Rainbow
09/17/10 12:53 PM
- Best Buy CEO: iPads are murdering laptops
09/17/10 12:02 PM
- New marketing: getting it right, getting it wrong
09/17/10 11:16 AM
- CROWS USE TOOLS, EAT HEALTH FOOD
09/17/10 11:09 AM
- 102.5 mpg vehicle wins the X Prize
09/16/10 04:45 PM
- Halo Reach pulls in 200 million dollars in first day
09/16/10 02:04 PM
- Oakley to release 3D eyewear
09/16/10 11:13 AM
- Internet Explorer 9 beta launches
09/15/10 05:49 PM