Tech News Update - January 28, 2010
In this week’s World Tech Update Apple unveils its iPad that Steve Jobs said fills the gap between a cell phone and a laptop, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses Internet freedom, Sony’s PlayStation 3 is hacked by the same hacker who first cracked Apple’s iPhone, new e-readers from Taiwan offer color screens with fast refresh rates and a robot keeps soldiers in Afghanistan safe.
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Tech News Update - January 28, 2010
Nick Barber: Thanks for joining us here on World Tech Update, I’m Nick Barber. Welcome to our 100th episode. Thanks for all your support over the past two years in making us such a success. Coming up on this week’s show, we’ll take a look at Apple’s announcement from Wednesday, Device news out of Taiwan, and Hillary Clinton’s thoughts on internet freedom.
On Wednesday, Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs took the stage and announced the company’s latest creation.
Steve Jobs: I would like to show it to you today for the first time. And we’ll call it, the iPad.
Nick Barber: The computer sports a 9.7 inch HD touch screen and runs on a one gigahertz processor developed by Apple. It can run all iPhone applications and Apple will also offer a word processor, spreadsheet and other productivity applications. It also features a compass, accelerometers, speaker, microphone and Bluetooth 2.1 but no camera. It will start shipping in two months.
To talk more about it joining me now from San Francisco is editorial director of Macworld Jason Snell. Jason, what are your thoughts on Wednesday’s announcement?
Jason Snell: Well I think Apple had a tougher road on this one than it actually did with the iPhone because everybody sort of got that you have a phone, where a phone a might be. And the iPhone may have redefined that a little bit but it was a clear kind of slot for that pride to fit in to.
And with this tablet product, we’re all wondering where does it fit? because that tablet category didn’t really take off, and that’s the reason why. So with the iPad, Apple has really tried to communicate with I think this fits in people’s lives. That was a, yeah I think it’s a real challenge, I think I better need to do a lot more of that communication. But they’ve done a pretty good story, they really have sort of figured it out where this device is supposed to fit in your life.
Nick Barber: Steve Jobs called the browsing experience on the iPad phenomenal and we also saw a number of games on it too. So who is this device targeted at?
Jason Snell It’s a great question and I think we’ll find out exactly over the next 60 days. I think one great instance is going to be people in the home who would like to have kind of hang out on the couch and surf the web and check their email, and also for travel. And I think maybe business people a little bit as lighter device to take with them, the fact that it has eye work on it, and then you can, attach an external keyboard to it.
Make something interest thing kind of business device, not for hard core computing but if you’re just traveling and you need basic computing I think, there’s a possibility there.
Nick Barber: The pricing is what stunned a lot of people. It starts at $499.00 and goes up to $829.00. That was a big play for Apple. What do you think?
Jason Snell: The pricing is fantastic. I don’t know if anybody thought that we will be seeing a product like this, being introduced to $499.00. I think that everybody was really thinking, “Well without cellular reimbursement from a cell carrier, it’s probably going to be a thousand dollars.”
And Apple came in the Netbook price range, they hit $500.00 with the base model and then they kind of go up form there, if you want more memory, there’s a 16-32 and 64–gig model. And then you add all a little bit more if you want the cellular connection, and then the cell connection is actually a lot cheaper, too. They start at $15.00 a month plan and a $30.00 a month plan.
So everybody who tried to pick the price of this product was too high. And if this was the price as right, you could bid a dollar and you would have won because everybody was over.
Nick Barber: Alright, Jason Snell with Mac World in San Francisco, thanks for coming on.
Jason Snell: Pleasure for me to bee in there.
Nick Barber: Two weeks ago, Google announced that it may exit China because of cyber attacks originating from the country. Late last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke about internet freedom. And while the officials said her talk wasn’t in reaction to China, she did address it.
Hillary Clinton: The Internet has already been a source of tremendous progress in China. And it is fabulous. There are so many people in China now online. But countries that restrict free access to information or violate the basic rights of internet users risk walling themselves off from the progress of the next century. But the United States and China have different views on this issue and we intend to address those differences candidly and consistently in the context of our positive, cooperative, and comprehensive relationship.
Nick Barber: Court went on to say that China and other countries that sensor the internet run the risk of being left behind in the world’s economy.
Sony’s Playstation3 has been hacked by the same hacker that first cracked Apple’s iPhone. It took George Hotz who you’re seeing here at last year’s iPhone 3GS launch in Boston, five weeks to get read/write access to the entire system memory and hyper visor level access to the processor.
On Tuesday he released the exploit online and said that it took some very simple hardware, cleverly applied and some not so simple software. Playstation 3 consoles typically only run software that has been digitally signed by Sony.
For some of the prime goal would be to crack the encryption system that ensures illegally copied games cannot be played on the console, while others were likely be motivated by the technical challenge of running their own software on the powerful Playstation3 platform.
In our News in Brief this week, we’ll take at some e-reader news out of Taiwan. The new N reader by BenQ launched in Taipei on Wednesday. The N reader has a six inch black and white touch screen and plays music in addition to displaying e-books. Handwriting capability is scheduled to be added in the next model, due out on April.
Also from Taiwan, Delta electronics plans to start marketing a new 13.1 inch color touch screen e-reader and an 8.1 inch monochrome touch screen device. The 13.1 inch reader will use Bridgestone’s color electronic paper technology which has a faster refresh rate than the current technology from e- ink using Amazon’s Kindle. A faster refresh rate means less time flipping between virtual pages, and opens the door to more multimedia content.
And we round up this week’s show with video from Afghanistan, of a robot that’s working to keep soldiers safe. Called the TALON, it’s the newest edition to the 211th engineer company, that’s charged with a route clearance in Afghanistan.
Weighing a 115 pounds, the robot can help to identify improvised explosive devices, or IEDs and assisting detonating ammunitions collected from the battle field. It has several cameras to monitor its surroundings and can send those images back to its controller.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen robots on the battlefield but we’re beginning to see more and more of them because they have keep soldiers out of harm’s way.
Well that’s our show for this week, thanks for celebrating our 100th episode with us. And as promised a few weeks ago, we have our winners of the CES press bags that we’re tying to give away. The winners are Johnny Griffin and Judy Joseph, you are now the proud owners of a special CES press bag courtesy of the World Tech Update. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to find out what’s coming up on every week’s show.
I’m Nick Barber and for all of us here at the IDG News Service, thanks for watching episode 100 and we hope to see you next week.
Tech News Update - January 28, 2010
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