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Breakfast Briefing: More Surface Pro tablets on the way, how to boost a Kindle Fire HD, $220,000 for 24 songs

Breakfast briefing

By Stewart Mitchell

Posted on 13 Feb 2013 at 09:25

Today's top tech stories features fresh supplies of 128GB Surface Pro tablets, how to turbo charge a Kindle Fire HD, the $10,000 music tracks cleared by the White House and how Anonymous failed to block Obama.

Microsoft's 128GB tablets set to re-Surface

Following the shopping anguish of people trying to track down 128GB versions of Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet, the company says more devices will be made available in the US this weekend. According to ZDNet, fresh supplies of the 64GB version have already been sent out, with the 128GB version due to hit shops on Saturday. Still no word on UK availability.

More concerning for Microsoft could be the rumours that Staples may have chosen not to order many of the 128GB devices due to slow sales of Microsoft's Surface RT that went on sale last year.

Turning a Kindle Fire into an iPad rival

IT World reveals how to tweak and alter Amazon's Kindle Fire HD to turn it into a far more powerful rival to higher end machines such as the iPad. The preloaded Android that ships with the device is so tailored to Amazon's own needs that it can get bogged down, but the piece details how to load Flash and get iTunes songs to play on the tablet as well as how to improve battery life and root the system. It's probably not the sort of behaviour Amazon - which practically gives the devices away – would encourage for people it wants to lock into its content ecosystem.

White House defends $220,000 penalty for 24 P2P songs

Ars Technica details the ongoing case of young mother Jammie Thomas-Rasset, who is facing penalty payments of $220,000 for downloading 24 tracks in breach of copyright. At issue is the kind of damages that are being applied, with the White House stepping in to prevent the case being taken further up the legal chain.

As Ars Technica points out "the 24 songs at issue in the case can be downloaded from iTunes for $24, yet she is being ordered to pay almost 10,000 times as much for sharing them with others".

Anonymous fails in bid to block Obama

Despite the plans by hacking group Anonymous to disrupt the US President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, as outlined by SFGate, the group failed to stop the address going out on websites such as YouTube.

Amid efforts to protest against what Anonymous called "outright tyrannical" issues such as warrantless wire-tapping, drones and the detention of WikiLeaks informer Bradley Manning, the speech went out on the the White House website and YouTube. We were expecting them, but they never showed up, as Computer World notes.

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User comments

Microsoft Surface and Staples

Does your reference to Staples not choosing to stock Surface 'due to slow sales of the RT version' apply only to the US, or to the UK too?

I tried just before Christmas to track down a Surface RT in two UK branches of Staples - and in neither of them had the computer dept staff even *heard* of Surface, let alone seen one themselves!

(I didn't want to buy online - I wanted to see, feel and try it first).

It's likely that Surface is going the way of Zune if MS don't get their distributing act together.

I've still not seen a showroom example of Surface, although I hear that some John Lewis branches have them.

By grannybuttons on 13 Feb 2013

Microsoft Surface and John Lewis

John Lewis in Sloane Square has one on demo - expect that it's not working - or wasn't yesterday. A shame because it looked quite good.

By jmiii on 13 Feb 2013

only rt

john lewis only has the RT - don't think the pro is on sale in the uk yet...

By sihaz2 on 13 Feb 2013

24 tracks

I was under the impression she bought the CDs and then shared them with an unknown number of people, which as we all know, is a crime far more deplorable than murder.

By revsorg on 13 Feb 2013

Only RT

Yes, I guess you're right - sorry. It was a bit difficult to tell given the lack of information. But the main point is that I agree that Microsoft need to get their marketing sorted out.

By jmiii on 13 Feb 2013

Downloading or Uploading

"facing penalty payments of $220,000 for downloading 24 tracks"

I presume the bulk of the penalty is for uploading them, not downloading them. Anyone know how much it costs per upload, and do they take into account that she'll likely have given only a partial copy of the track with each upload (assuming multiple peers involved)?

By Mark_Thompson on 13 Feb 2013


She should pay them in uncounted chickens, since they have presumed to know how 220,000 would hatch from 24 eggs.
Since anyone who was also downloading peer2peer at the same time had ALREADY DECIDED not to buy the songs, there IS no case that ANY revenue was lost.
It's like arguing that the guy in the art class next to you drawing the Mona Lisa was depriving the Louvre of admission revenue because you were drawing it too (from a photo off the internet).

By cheysuli on 14 Feb 2013

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