On this week's show Sony apologises for the Playstation network outage, Intel promises faster devices with a new transistor and cars go high tech at the New York Auto Show.
We'll start this week with the news that made headlines around the world, the death of Osama bin Laden. When news hit late Sunday night the world turned to social networking sites to spread it and celebrate. Twitter saw its highest sustained rates of tweets ever, ranging between 3,000 and 5,000 twitter messages a second over a four hour period.
And it was a Pakistani IT consultant who tweeted a play by play of the raid on bin Laden's compound without realizing the signifgance saying "Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1 am (this is a rare event.)" Hackers though are taking advantage of the news. For example, the FBI warned computer users on Tuesday that messages claiming to include photos and vidoes of bin Laden's death actually contain a virus that could steal personal information. Scammers have also used a technique called search engine poisoning to try to trick search engines into listing hacked Web pages that are loaded with malware in their search results.
Another item topping our news this week is the Playstation Network that is this week beginning to come back online. Ten days after the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services were taken offline, Sony executives including the head of its gaming division apologized on Sunday for the potential loss of personal information on millions of customers.
The attack on the company's servers in San Diego saw the probable theft of names, addresses, birthdates and login details for the two services. Three firewalls were breached to get the information. Sony called the attack highly sophisticated, but the company did make one embarrassing admission:
The PlayStation Network and Qriocity service will resume in stages beginning this week with online gaming and music streaming. Customers will be asked to change their passwords. Sony will offer selected games for download at no cost, and one-month extensions on premium accounts to users.
Intel made headlines this week when it announced its advanced chip manufacturing technology with three dimensional transistors. It means that PCs, smartphones and tablets can get faster and more power efficient.
The new chip technology, called tri-gate transistors, replaces flat, two-dimensional streams of transistors with a 3D structure. The tri-gate transistors will be up to 37 percent faster than Intel's current chips made using the existing 32-nm process. Intel has also said it would release the 22-nm processors for tablets in 2013.
The New York International Auto Show wrapped up this week and on show were the most technologically advanced cars yet.
One of the biggest technology trends there was connectivity from the car to the Internet. One example is the Entune infotainment system from Toyota.
Entune is Toyota's multimedia application that's designed to bring the power of off board content into the vehicle safely and responsibly. And the basic gist of it is y ou go to a Toyota dealer and buy a Prius and then go to an app store, any app store and download the entune app. Go to your vehicle and pair the phone with your vehicles on board head unit navigation system through bluetooth which is a bluetooth pairing task that people are used to doing now. And once you do that you can open up the entune application that includes Bing for local search, ihearradio which is 750 terrestrial radio stations aggregated by Clear Channel that you can listen to from all over the United States, Pandora which everyone is familiar with Pandora internet radio, MovieTickets.com and OpenTable for restaurant reservations
Entune will be available in the 2012 Toyota Prius, which is due out later this year. For drivers looking to be green, Fiat just released its EcoDrive system for North America. EcoDrive records drivers habits to a USB stick that then can be reviewed on a computer. The application rates drivers on different categories and compares them to other drivers on the leader board.
A few months back we told you about The Daily, Newscorps iPad only daily digital newpaper. On the company's most recent earnings call it said it lost about $10 million on the project so far, but has seen more than 800,000 downloads. A spokesman said that the lost is primarily due to investment costs and that the app itself has just gone from free to paid. During a trial period, users could access the app for free, but eventually needed to start paying. Newscorp wouldn't say how many trial subscribers became paying customers.
The Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone that we first showed you in Barcelona a few months ago has begun to trickle out in small quantities across Europe. In England electronics retailer Expansys got 600 units with 1000 more coming this week. The phones costs €600 or about $890. It has a dual core processor, 4.3-inch screen and front and back cameras.