Breakfast Briefing: Twitter's time machine, Apple's billion dollar secrets, Samsung Galaxy S III flaw

17 Dec 2012
Breakfast Briefing

Today's top tech stories feature Twitter, Apple, Mozilla, Google and a Samsung security threat

This morning we look at a Twitter feature for downloading every tweet you've posted, Apple's secret spending, a serious Samsung Galaxy flaw, Mozilla's Do Not Track success, and a pair of stories about two Google battles.

Download all your Tweets

Twitter has started to roll out an archive system, letting users download each and every witticism, argument and detailed description of their lunch they’ve ever posted, according to The Next Web.

It’s not clear if the system is available to all users yet, but it worked for us. Go to Settings and scroll to the bottom, where there’s now an Archive button. Click that, and in a few minutes Twitter will send a link to a zip file, which shows tweets sorted by date and is searchable. The most terrifying feature is a graphic showing the increasing frequency of tweets, and you can also click on the tweet in the archive to view it online.

(News editor Nicole Kobie thought you might like to know her first tweet, in June 2009, was the very clever: "Apparently, people sign up for this thing, post once, and then never again. I wonder if that's true." It took her six weeks to follow that up with a second post. In November, she tweeted 315 times, but that was a slow month.)

Apple spending billions on "secret projects"

Business Insider has another intriguing chart, this time about Apple’s spending on "property, plants and equipment". In June 2011, Apple spent less than a billion dollars in these areas; a year later, it was spending $4bn, and Asymco analyst Horace Dediu expects it to keep growing.

"The capital is being deployed almost silently and, though vast in scale, barely gets a mention from analysts," writes Dediu. "Not even a single question has been raised at any earnings call about this spending." So where is the money going? Dediu suggests Apple could be set to start making its own chips, while Business Insider suggested TVs. Either way, it appears CEO has Tim Cook has something up his sleeves, and is just as good as keeping a secret as Steve Jobs was.

Vulnerability leave Samsung Galaxy data at risk

The Next Web has details of a security flaw in Samsung handsets that could give hackers access to all data on certain models including the Galaxy S3. Although there's no sign of malware taking advantage of the vulnerability to date, the threat relates data related to several handsets that use an Exynos processor (4210 and 4412) and as well as Samsung's kernel sources.

Mozilla: 8% of users have opted in to Do Not Track

Mozilla has said 8% of Firefox users have opted to sign up to the Do Not Track system, which asks advertisers and other companies not to track them across the web. It’s even more popular on Android, with 19% of users signing up. Mozilla says the stats prove "to the world that there is a real user appetite for choice on issues of web privacy".

For more stats on Firefox, check out Mozilla's blogpost here.

Hollywood studios turn camera on Google

Last week Google released data on the number of de-listings it performs in the name of piracy prevention – as part of a long-running "discussion" with rights holders over people downloading copyright material after finding it via the search engine. Quicker than you can say Captain Jack Sparrow, the Motion Picture Association if America has called for more action over the 2.5 million copyright removal requests the company receives every day.

"Google’s reading of the data in the blog post accompanying the announcement is missing some critical perspective," MPAA said "If the process is cumbersome for Google, it is even more cumbersome for the creators and makers who must constantly be on the lookout to protect their work from theft."

"There is a staggering amount of copyright infringement taking place every day online and much of it is facilitated by Google, as their own data shows." Musically has the full details.

Google competition case a flashback to Microsoft

As US competition officials in the US and Europe ponder whether Google throws its significant weight around with too wobbly an abandon, The New York Times has an interesting piece comparing both the legal teams and case similarities with the antitrust case brought against Microsoft 14 years ago. Key lawyers in that case are back on board the gravy train and the case reflects the way government tinkering can change the landscape.

"Without the antitrust case and the restraints on its behaviour, Microsoft would have built search into the operating system and we might not have had Google," said Christine Varney, a lawyer who represented Netscape in its fight against Microsoft.

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