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Breakfast Briefing: DNS hole still to be plugged, 500px back on iOS, tracking Twitter users

Breakfast briefing

Posted on 30 Jan 2013 at 09:40

This morning's tech highlights include a developer's eye view of Microsoft's Office Store, the DNS vulnerability that no-one wants to put to bed and how the privacy case against Google is gathering pace, one Apple user at a time.

DNS still vulnerable

Five years ago, a DNS vulnerability called the Kaminsky bug was making waves, offering hackers the chance to launch cache poisoning attacks that redirect traffic from legitimate websites to rogue ones. Although short-term fixes were rolled out, the bug was expected to see a more secure DNSSEC become the norm in preventing such man-in-the-middle attacks.

Five years on, and Network World covers how barely a handful of big businesses have employed DNSSEC, with neither banks nor web giants such as Apple, Cisco, Google, IBM and Symantec deploying the system.

500px returns to iOS

Photo app 500px has returned to the App Store, after it was removed by Apple last week for reportedly displaying pornographic images. The tweaked app now includes a button to report unsuitable images, The Verge notes.

The return follows another porn uproar earlier this week, with Twitter’s new video service Vine plagued with adult content after it launched.

UK's non-existent Twitter surveillance

Amid all the bluster over Twitter trolls last year, the British police rarely request data on Twitter users, The Telegraph reports.

Amid concerns and arrests over a range of offensive posts, the British Police only made 25 requests for data on Twitter users in the second half of 2012 - partly because getting information from it can cost as much as £10,000, and a lot of legal legwork. However, Twitter only handed over the relevant data once, adding that it "refused requests that did not relate to a specific account or were 'overly broad', according to the report.

“We probably get fewer requests for user data than some of the other services, only because the nature of Twitter is that most of what happens there is already public anyway," Twitter told politicians recently. "Law enforcement oftentimes simply has to go to the web on its own and can obtain the relevant Tweets that they were looking for."
70 sign up for privacy action against Google

The Guardian reveals that more than 70 people have joined the group suing Google over allegations the company bypassed security controls in in Apple's Safari browser to snoop on surfers for targeted advertising.

This is a rare class-action style case brought by a group of concerned users, but given the coverage the story's received, only 70 signatories suggest most Apple users themselves see the case of a typhoon in their Typhoo.

Inside the Office Store

If you believed the noises from the web, you'd think every app developer had nothing to do but moan about platforms, APIs and vetting processes, but not everyone's grinding axes. A ReadWrite blog covers one developer's story of life in Microsoft's revamped Office Store that arrived alongside yesterday's Office 2013 launch, and the team behind diagram app Gliffy are converts.

"I'm really excited to see what will happen when the marketing machine turns on," the company said. "I want to know the power of riding the wave." The biggest surprise to the company however was how Microsoft sought the developer's participation, even though it competed with Microsoft's own Visio software.

Elton plays in two venues at once

A writer from The Verge enjoyed a live Elton John concert – even though the Rocket Man was on the other side of Los Angeles. They didn’t crank the volume up to 11 for Candle in the Wind. Instead, Elton was playing via a remote link to a Yamaha Disklavia piano, which mirrors the key and pedal presses made on stage by the veteran performer.

The performance didn’t go entirely smoothly. Connection dropouts resulted in long periods of silence during Elton’s songs. "If you listened closely every time the connection dropped, you could almost feel a Yamaha server engineer getting fired," The Verge’s correspondent writes.

Yet, when the connection worked, the performance left The Verge writer somewhat dumbstruck. "These were not simple binary keystrokes — they were the fluid expressions of actual dazzling human celebrity fingertips." Visit the site for a video of Elton’s piano solo, without Elton.

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