Digital Zone 230: HP “Pre”dicts

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In this edition of the Digital Zone, we talked about:

  • Facebook sharing private data
  • Android 3.0 details leaked
  • Google is being “disingenuous”
  • Palm Pre 2 set to debut
  • debuts
  • Intel spending big bucks
  • Two billion internet users
  • Clearwire launching 4G network

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Facebook users are inadvertently providing access to their names and in some cases even their friend’s names to advertising and Internet tracking companies, through some popular applications. According to their report, the issue affects tens of millions of Facebook app users, including people who set their profiles to Facebook’s strictest privacy settings. The practice violates Facebook’s rules and raises questions about its ability to keep identifiable information about its users’ activities secure. A Facebook spokesman told the Journal that it is taking steps to “dramatically limit” the exposure of users’ personal information.


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Phandroid released details of Android 3.0, or “Gingerbread.” It’s rumored to be released sometime in the next few weeks, and will be a significant overhaul of the smartphone OS. Here’s what they say will be included: Built-in video chat support, the death of third-party “bloatware,” a possible mixture of webOS by HP — the new owner of operating system. Google is going for a “simpler and cleaner” interface and with its apps. Google apps — such as Gmail, Calendar, Maps and YouTube — will reportedly be less of a “tacked-on accessory” and become an extension of the OS and is rumored to be a much faster OS.

Steve Jobs says Google is being “disingenuous” when it tries to claim openness as an advantage for Android. He accused Google of sidestepping its own real problems with Android fragmentation. He says Windows is “open” because they support a consistent experience regardless of the device being used.

The Palm Pre 2 is on the way and will debut in the U.S. on Verizon in the “coming months,” according to HP. The Pre 2 looks like its predecessor but has a glass screen instead of a plastic screen. The phone will have a 1GHz processor, a 5 megapixel camera. However, it’s unknown if the camera will be able to capture video at HD resolutions. The Pre 2 will have 16GB of internal storage and act as a portable Wi-Fi hotspot for up five other devices and will ship with WebOS 2.0. Another new feature, dubbed “Just Type,” will let you start composing an e-mail, create a message, update your Twitter status and so on, by just typing, without opening an app first. People will also be able to automatically launch slideshows and communicate via Skype-to-Skype calls, and watch Flash video. No pricing or availability were announced.


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Microsoft officially released Microsoft Office to the “cloud” and will call it Microsoft Office 365. The intent is to allow companies to “rent” their software as an online service and help companies bypass the hassle of buying, installing and maintaining the software on their computers. If you’re interested go to Office 365 for small businesses or professionals can be set up in as few as 15 minutes and subscriptions cost six dollars per month per user. Software packages tailored to the needs of large businesses will be available for monthly per-user subscriptions ranging from two dollars to 27 dollars.

Intel says it will spend $6 – $8 billion on new chip manufacturing technology and build a new plant in Oregon. The new facility is scheduled to start up in 2013.

The number of Internet users will surpass two billion this year.

Clearwire is launching its 4G WiMax network in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles before the end of the year.


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