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Breakfast Briefing: Intel's motherboard exit, 500px app banned over porn fears, inside the no-hire pacts

breakfast briefing

Posted on 23 Jan 2013 at 09:28

This morning's top stories include Intel's motherboard decision, a look inside the no-hire deals between tech giants, how Apple cut 500px from the app store, cyber attack rankings, and Foursquare maps the world.

Intel to wind down motherboard business

Intel is to wind down its motherboard division over the next three years. AnandTech reports Intel's announcement that after next year the company will no longer produce or sell its desktop mITX/mATX/ATX and that the Haswell motherboards will be the last developed for commercial release by Intel.

"It's not too tough to understand why Intel would want to wind down its desktop motherboard business. Intel has two options to keep Wall Street happy: ship tons of product with huge margins and/or generate additional profit (at forgivably lower margins) that's not directly tied to the PC industry," AnandTech argues. "The overwhelming majority of Intel's business is in the former group. The desktop motherboards division doesn't exactly fit within that category."

Apple pulls 500px apps over porn worries

Apple has pulled two apps from photo-sharing company 500px from its App Store, claiming people might use them to search for nude images. The sometimes-puritan iPhone vendor said updates to the apps – 500px and ISO500 - had failed to pass the company's guidelines, despite the fact that more than a million people had already downloaded the photo tools.

According to a report from TechCrunch, the software reviewer who turned down the app told 500px that it allowed users to search for nude photos via the app, ignoring the company's claims that a "safe search" function was turned on by default.

Given that other photo tools such as Instagram and Tumblr also allow nude searches – not to mention, you know, actual web access – it's easy to understand why the company feels unfairly targeted, although the high brow assertion that 500px content is "not about pornography, it’s about fine art," might be a stretch with some images.

Paper trail casts light on tech firms' no-hire pacts

Competition for top staff in tech companies is intense, with poaching and head-hunting rife. So grievous were the actions of aggressive hiring executives during the mid 2000s that they led Silicon Valley chiefs into a series of hiring pacts and threats, with documents seen by The Verge revealing how Apple's Steve Jobs threatened to take patent action against Palm unless the company stopped hiring Apple staffers.

The email revelations come as civil cases investigate the companies over whether the deals caused loss of earnings for employees, with one email supposedly from Google's Eric Schmidt saying he would rather discuss deals verbally as "I don't want to create a paper trail over which we can be sued later".

China and US lead cyber attack tables

The US has been quick to point the finger at China, Russia and other nations for their role in hacking and cyber defence activities, but it does so from the glassiest of bunkers. According to an investigation of cyber attack traffic by Akamai, the US is the second most active state on the web when it comes to attacks, behind only China.

Hacker soldiers and activists from China accounted for 33% of all attacks, Bloomberg reports, while the US was the second most active attack country, accounting for 13% of the traffic included in the study.

Foursquare maps the world

Foursquare might not be everyone’s cup of tea - letting everyone know your every movement seems a bit freaky to us - but it does produce some fascinating data. To demonstrate, Foursquare has published a map of the last 500 million check-ins around the world, and the result looks amazingly like a night-time photo from space.

San Francisco, Moscow, our own London - they’re all lit up like street lights, giving a clear view of the sprawling city layouts. We could browse this for hours. (We had trouble viewing this in Chrome, but it works fine in other browsers.)

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User comments

500px

The question is, do Instagram and Tumblr have a "safe search" mode and does it block nude images?

Probably, if 500px didn't have a "faulty" safe search mode, there wouldn't be a problem. If the safe search isn't working, then, for a change, Apple would actually be legitimately blocking the app.

By big_D on 23 Jan 2013

Eric Schmidt ...

... leaving a paper trail saying he did not want to leave a paper trail! Brilliant!

By JohnAHind on 23 Jan 2013

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