Technology News Headlines for May 30 2012 ( Wednesday )

Zagat Lands Star Role In New Google+ Local
Long silent since Google bought it in September last year, ratings champ Zagat has resurfaced as part of Google's newest limb, Google+ Local, a product that melds together the social spirit of ratings and check in apps. An icon to Google+ Local now appears at the bottom left hand corner of your Google+ page. It displays ratings for local restaurants and lets you check into and rate places using your Google+ account. Sensibly, Google+ Local fits right into other Google products--Zagat ratings and reviewer comments will show up on Google searches and Google Maps. As we predicted, Zagat has also landed a plum role in Google's mobile plans--Google+ Local is now available as an app for Android.

Mitt Romney's iPhone App Is For All Amercia [Sic]
Mitt Romney's campaign team just released a new "With Mitt" iPhone app to promote his run for President of America. Or--perhaps he intends to run for a different country: Amercia. Because that's what it says in large letters across the app's clever photo-stamping system: "A Better Amercia." Is this a scary hint at CIA moon bases in the nation's future? Or a subtle reference to closer ties with Britain--specifically the core of old Saxon England, named for an Old English word meaning "border people"? Or is it simply another embarassing design crime by team Romney? You decide. And take your time. The Romney campaign has submitted a correction to apple but as of Wednesday morning, it was still waiting for approval. In other news, Romney has secured enough support to stand as GOP's Presidential candidate.

Security Companies, Government Groups Unite Against Botnets
2012 is looking like a rocky year for cybercrime, and private and government groups and companies are unifying to face one emerging threat--botnets, a malaise in which a group of computers are compromised and used to access or transmit information. McAfee estimates they affected 5 million systems between January and March 2012. The Industry Botnet Group(IBG), which was formed in January this year, today released a set of voluntary guidelines to unite private companies and government organizations in their fight against this breed of Web-spread threat. In the new Principles for Voluntary Efforts to Reduce the Impact of Botnets in Cyberspace, the IBG suggested cross-border collaboration, educating users, coordinating across sectors, among others, to share information about botnet attacks and incidents.

The announcement was made at a White House event led by exiting Obama Administration Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt. Michael DeCesare, the co-president of security giant McAfee, one of the event's industry speakers, stressed the collaborive spirit of the new guidelines in his address. "As an industry we must adapt, we must unify, simply and strengthen the way we provide security," DeCesare said, adding that real time feedback system tracking botnets and other threats, and built-in hardware assisted security would be critical to gaining better control on the issue. Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, also addressed the gathering and, like DeCesare, repeated the need for working together across sectors. "We have to move faster than they do if we are going to control the problem to a greater degree than we have today. This is not a problem that one person can solve alone... we all need to work together," Smith said.

What Tim Cook Said (And Didn't) In His D10 Interview

Tim Cook hasn't appeared in many interviews, and last night's appearance at the AllThingsD D10 event ranks as perhaps the most important in his short time as Apple CEO. It was also revealing, not only of Apple's plans but of Tim Cook himself, as he artfully played politics when asked tough questions.

The word cloud below shows us a quick visual summary of Cook's interview and right away "people" stands out as one of Cook's most-used word--with 40 uses. "We" in all its variants isn't shown in the image, but in total Cook said it 135 times, underlining his sense of Apple as a team and its ability to do "many" (18 uses) "great" (24) "things" (26). He's a man who likes to "think" (25 uses) about what he and customers "want" (23). Cook also paid many meaningful compliments to "Steve" (9 times).

But Cook did dodge some questions, such as ones about hot-topic matters like the rumored Apple television--sometimes straightforwardly saying he wouldn't answer, sometimes ducking and even complimenting the dogged nature of his interviewers, Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. And several times the Apple chief redirected his answers back to matters he felt important enough to underline. This is a calm, measured intelligent personality in action...and he again showed he's a different kind of man to Steve Jobs (who was "laser-focussed," "a pain in the ass" but had "a gift" for turning a change of mind into "an art"). Most interestingly he revealed his view of Apple product secrecy may even be tougher than Jobs' was--he promised he was "serious" Apple was "doubling down" on it.

As for the rest: He promised more transparency on China and the environment, in the hope other companies would follow Apple's wake. The Apple television rumor was ducked, but TV is an area of "intense interest" and he doesn't feel Apple has to own content. Siri is another key tech that will be seriously improved in the "coming months" and he's got "cool ideas about what Siri can do"--partly because she's got some AI built in that changes how people relate to the phone (perhaps Cook's read our plea for a smarter smartphone?). And as for more Facebook integration, Cook said "stay tuned."
Tags: , ,

About author

Make it happen !!


Leave a Reply