SOFTWARE PATENTS BANNED in New Zealand -- Worldwide HACKATHON hits NYTIMES -- WIN8 apps may not run with Win8.1 -- BRAIN CONTROL over the Internet


August 28, 2013 06:00 PDT | 09:00 EDT | 13:00 UTC

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>> BREAKING: New Zealand bans software patents, by Rob P'Neill: "New Zealand has finally passed a new Patents Bill that will effectively outlaw software patents... Commerce Minister Craig Foss welcomed the modernisation of patents law, saying it marked a 'significant step towards driving innovation in New Zealand. By clarifying the definition of what can be patented, we are giving New Zealand businesses more flexibility to adapt and improve existing inventions, while continuing to protect genuine innovations,' .. nearly unanimous passage of the Bill was also greeted by Institute of IT Professionals (IITP) chief executive Paul Matthews, who... said it was a breakthrough day 'where old law met modern technology and came out on the side of New Zealand's software innovators'." Coming to a country near you? ZDNet

>> HACK O' THE DAY: DNS hack in Australia hits marquee US sites, by Jeremy Kirk: "Twitter, The New York Times and other prominent websites were… directing visitors to a site purportedly controlled by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA). The attackers apparently struck an Australian IT services company, Melbourne IT... hackers modified master DNS (Domain Name System) entries, allowing them to replace the correct IP addresses for and with their own." PCWorld

>>>> Details CloudFlare

>>>> Anatomy of a hack GigaOM

>>>> As of 5:15 AM EDT some reporting Twitter outages, and as of 3:00 AM some reported NY Times outages -- a side effect of the hack, via @mikko

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>> HIGH INSECURITY: US government says Android is a malware magnet thanks to OS fragmentation, by Nathan Olivarez-Giles: "Android devices expose US agencies to a significantly greater malware threat in large part because so many devices run outdated versions of the mobile OS. Of the malicious attacks documented in the study, 79 percent took place on an Android device. Meanwhile, Apple's iOS received just 0.7 percent of the recorded malware threats." The Verge

>> STALL OR CRASH?: Server revenue continued slide in Q2 on weak demand, says IDC, by John Ribeiro: "The server business continued to slide in the second quarter with worldwide revenue and unit sales down, IDC said Tuesday. Revenue was down 6.2 per cent to US$11.9 billion in the second consecutive quarter of year-over-year decline... Unit shipments were also down 1.2 percent to 2 million, after also falling in the previous two quarters." InfoWorld

>> MONEY SHOT: Twitter hires commerce chief to add shopping via tweets, by Jon Erlichman & Douglas MacMillan: "Twitter hired Nathan Hubbard, the former president of Ticketmaster, as its first head of commerce, part of a push to enable shopping via short postings on its social website.... Hubbard said he will look to team up with merchants and providers of payment services rather than compete with those companies, and may take a percentage of any transactions on its site." Bloomberg

>> DISENFRANCHISED DEVELOPERS: Microsoft provides guidance for developers targeting Windows 8.1, by Paul Thurrott: Developers need to test -- and possibly modify -- their apps before they're released for Windows 8.1. "But since developers can't publish apps for Windows 8.1 in the Windows Store until the day of general availability, which is October 18, 2013, what should developers do now? Here's Microsoft's advice, slightly expanded to accommodate a few things they left out." Bend waaaaay over and kiss your keester. Windows Supersite

>>>> BIT BRIGADE: 450 full-size screen shots of leaked Chinese version The Collection Book

>>>> ALMOST THERE: Pirate Windows 8.1 Enterprise RTM now on the newsgroups ... but it's a Russian/English version, based on the leaked Chinese version with patched-in language packs, to-wit, a Frankenbuild. Activation difficult.

>> ME TOO: HTC developing smartphone operating system, by Eva Dou: "HTC is developing a mobile software system specifically for Chinese consumers, people familiar with the project say, as part of a big China bet that the Taiwanese smartphone maker hopes will help revive sliding sales.... The software involves deep integration with Chinese apps like the Twitter-like microblog Weibo and is slated to launch before the end of the year." WSJ

>> SUICIDE WATCH: Groupon takes on Amazon, eyes warehouse network for goods, by Greg Bensinger: "Groupon's "Goods" business, which sells products such as teeth-whitening pens and memory foam pillows, has been performing well in North America, nearly tripling revenue to $186 million in the most recent quarter from a year earlier." WSJ

>> OUTING: Facebook finally joins Google, Twitter & Microsoft with a transparency report, by Mike Masnick: "Facebook... has finally released a transparency report covering government requests for data (so, no info on other types of requests, such as copyright takedowns). The report shows that Facebook is certainly rejecting a decent number of requests that it feels are inappropriate." TechDirt

>> CLOUD NEWS: VMware brings Suse Linux to newly launched cloud service, by Joab Jackson: "VMware vCloud Hybrid Service will start offering a fully supported Suse Linux Enterprise Server by the end of the year, making it the first commercially supported Linux OS that the cloud service plans to offer." InfoWorld

>> #FAIL: COBOL-based system for $160B pension fund is a political football, by Chris Kanaracus: "System used to support New York's $160 billion state pension fund has become the subject of controversy, with some officials claiming it poses a potential security risk and others defending it as 'battle-tested,' albeit set to be replaced... the system dates back more than 25 years." Computerworld

>> REALLY?: Researcher controls another person's brain over the Internet, by Nick Bilton: "In an experiment called 'Direct Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans,' the scientists involved in the research were able to send a brain signal through the Internet to control the way another researcher, seated in a separate area of the university campus, moved his hand." NYTimes

>> UNBREAKABLE: Physicists test quantum cryptography for handheld mobile devices: "Quantum cryptography uses the laws of physics to guarantee the secrecy of messages sent from one location to another...So governments, the military and commercial organisations such as banks are all interested having this kind of perfect secrecy... Today, Jeremy O'Brien at the University of Bristol and a few pals reveal a way to solve this problem which they say could make quantum cryptography available in handheld machines." Technology Review

>> MY FREE BIGGER THAN YOUR FREE: Microsoft fires back after box steps on its turf, boosts SkyDrive Pro storage to 25 GB, by Alex Wilhelm: "[Microsoft] has increased the storage capacity of its SkyDrive Pro ... service to 25 gigabytes, from the formerly proffered 7 gigabytes. Non-Pro SkyDrive users are stuck with the 7 gigabyte tally for now... The news comes directly on the heels of Box's doubling of its free storage option -- to 10 gigabytes -- and its creation of a new paid plan for its service that offers 100 gigabytes of storage per user for $5 per seat per month." No new name for SkyDrive yet. TechCrunch

>> WRITE ONCE: Windows Azure Pack: Cloud app convenience meets in-house hosting, by J. Peter Bruzzese: "The pack lets developers write once and deploy them locally in Windows Server 2012 R2, as well as in Microsoft's cloud" InfoWorld

>> GEEK SIREN: Retro DIY mini Mac fits in the palm of your hand Mashable

>> THE MIGHT OF THE DRAGONS: 'Clash of Clans' maker is considering bringing its iPhone games to Google's operating system, as it seeks to become a global mobile company. The FT (paywall)

>> FALLING TOWARD FREE: Google slashes Nexus 4 price and offers new Nexus 7 around the world GigaOM

>> DEPT OF COMPLAINTS: Big, bad tech press unfair to poor Microsoft Official Microsoft Blog

>> AND SCENE: Insightful analysis of the future of home entertainment by... Kevin Spacey Business Insider

>> MIDI turns 30: Still version 1.0 The Register

>> Japan World Cup 3

>> Aerial video of Yosemite fire

>> TWEET O' THE DAY: Creative suggestions for the new MS CEO continue to pour in. Today's topper: Recommend Kat Cole, Cinnabon CEO. #MorningMailbag @MaryJoFoley

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