After an interesting battle with the FCC, LightSquared, and subsequently Sprint, who had announced a plan to partner with LightSquared for 4G LTE, the company has been dealt a crippling blow. The FCC has suspended a waiver granted to them in 2010, that would allow them to build-out their LTE network. The waiver was revoked over concerns that the spectrum used by LightSquared would be dangerously close to navigational GPS, and that it could affect up to 75% of GPS signals.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, in a letter,
Based on NTIA's independent evaluation of the testing and analysis performed over the last several months, we conclude that LightSquared's proposed mobile broadband network will impact GPS services and that there is no practical way to mitigate the potential interference at this time.
What does LightSquared have to say about all of this? Hit the break.
Microsoft has made a bold move this week, announcing the end of an era; the most inappropriate branding in the tech industry. For the past 20 years, Microsoft has used a flag to denote its Windows line of products, but it didn't used to be that way and won't be that way much longer.
Paula Scher, from the Pentagram design agency, asked the Windows team a very simple, but important question:
Your name is Windows. Why are you a flag?
Indeed. So, how do you solve that problem? You return to Windows origins, as so much of the consideration for Windows 8 and the Metro UI in general has done, and re-imagine the original logo with a modern flare. The new logo features live tiles, the foundation for the Metro interface, arranged to form a window. When compared against the existing Windows logo, it seems a huge departure, but when compared against the original Windows logo, everything over the last 20 years seems to be the departure from the sane.
Hit the break to see the new logos side-by-side, along with the current Windows logo.
As if Kodak doesn't have enough trouble on its own, Apple has asked the bankruptcy court for permission to sue the struggling company, again. Apple believes that Kodak's importing of some products, including printers and digital cameras, infringes on patents held by Apple.
While this is not the first time Apple and Kodak have gone head-to-head in court, it is certainly the most interesting. First, Apple wants to bar the importing of products Kodak has announced it will no longer manufacture. While we all know Apple is a company known for suing instead of innovating, it would seem that trying to block the import of non-existent product would be a waste of time, granted the printers will still exist.
Secondly, what patents could Apple possibly hold on digital imaging that the inventors of digital imaging could possibly be infringing on? Kodak has been involved in digital imaging since before Steve Jobs was openly involved with fruit. How could Apple believe they hold a patent on the technology? I guess only time will tell, if this case is allowed to go to court.
It has been an interesting week at Google. Last week, it was discovered that there were two security flaws in Google Wallet. This week, the laughably-easy to exploit issue was addressed by the search giant quickly and publicly.
It started with Google shutting down provisioning of pre-paid cards, the important step in stealing a user's information, until they were able to find and fix the issue. Google has issued a hotfix to prevent re-provisioning of existing pre-paid cards and restored access to pre-paid cards in general.
To find out what Google said about the issue and find details on the "fix," hit the break.
Motorola just seems to have a lot of ups and downs as of late. While their CES booth was certainly miles ahead of what was presented last year, the disaster of the "CES Best In Show" Xoom still looms. This week, Motorola can chalk another mistake to their "oopsies" column. Motorola sold a batch of Xooms to the one day, one deal site Woot who then resold those units between October and December 2011.
Everything would seem perfect except for the fact that out of 6,200 Xoom tablet that were refurbished, 100 of them "may not have been completely cleared of the original owner's data prior to resale." So a previous user's private data, possibly including credit card numbers and the like may still exist on these tablets, not to mention usernames and passwords to various sites, email accounts and other sensitive information. Like I said, oopsies.
The security mishap affects customers who purchased and then brought back a WiFi version of the Xoom to Amazon.com, Best Buy, BJ's Wholesale, eBay, Office Max, RadioShack, Sam's Club, Staples and a couple select standalone retailers between March and October. To fix this, they are providing these customers with two years of free credit protection service from Experian's ProtectMyID Alert system. Any customer who may be affected should contact 1.866.926.9803 and sign up for the service. Motorola (and common sense) says to change any and all passwords to any service that may have been downloaded to or visited from the tablet. Users who have done a factory or "hard" reset to the device prior to return obviously do not need to worry.
Woot is working with Motorola to find who purchased the units that may not have been completely reset so that they can wipe or replace the tablets. Concerned customers should also contact Motorola Mobility at 1.800.734.5870 or go to Motorola's Xoom Return page to see if their tablet is on the list of possibly affected devices.
The question is, is this a problem that exists a lot more than we realize and companies cover it up, or is this a one-off sort of thing? How comfortable does it make you feel? We want to know in the comments section below.
We've been covering Apple's relationship with several of their manufacturing companies, including Foxconn, for quite some time already. From the harsh working conditions to workers pledging not to kill themselves anymore, we've been reporting on these issues for over a year. Our good friend Avram Piltch of Laptop Magazine discussed more issues at length on our last episode of F5 Live as the media has just picked up on these issues.
Things have gotten a little worse since we last spoke of Foxconn and after Apple's posting of $46.3 billion in profit; I guess people aren't too happy that they're making so much bank while people are suffering. The cash stack is skyrocketing and the work conditions of the employees are getting to the point where even the nanobot infected iSheeple are starting to turn their heads towards the issue - even though some of them may not be able to copy and paste the story to their friends.
Now, a hacking group has decided to get involved and make the outsourcing giant pay for allowing this to happen to their employees. Apple also needs to be concerned here because what happened directly affects them in more than one way. We have the details after the break.