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Breakfast Briefing: Outlook.com leaves preview, Ubuntu tablet rumours, Burger King Twitter hacked

Breakfast Briefing

By Stewart Mitchell

Posted on 19 Feb 2013 at 09:24

We start the day with Outlook.com going live, Canonical's Ubuntu tablet rumours, Burger King's hack and how Star Trek tech is coming your way.

Outlook.com open for business

Microsoft's webmail, Outlook.com, has exited its preview stage with 60m users. According to Engadget, a third of those users have skipped over from Gmail, although they may still be using Google's service as well.

The company said users of its existing Hotmail service would be switched across to the Outlook interface later this year, but Hotmail addresses will continue to work, and the Outlook service will be backed by a hefty marketing budget.

Canonical to announce an Ubuntu tablet?

Canonical is counting down to something, leading to suggestions an Ubuntu tablet could be on the cards for a launch today. All the Ubuntu.com message - noticed by a website called Parity News - actually says is "tick, tock, tablet time", so it could very well be news about its new touch-based platform, with a developer preview expected to land this week. Canonical has previously announced plans to release an OS that includes tablet support, and has been hinting at deals with manufacturers around smartphones, so tablet hardware isn’t out of the question.

Burger King Twitter feed hacked

Burger King’s Twitter feed has been hacked, with the attackers first making it look like rival cheap burger joint McDonald’s had bought the fast food outlet, and then simply posting a series of odd messages, the BBC reports.
It’s the kind of hack that makes you wonder just how much time people have on their hands.

At the time of writing, the account was still live, although all branding - and the key Verified Account status - was gone. As many have pointed out by now, while the incident is hardly good news for Burger King, it reflects much worse on Twitter, which has been trying to draw brands onto the platform.

Star date 2013: heterogeneous computing

The Register delves into the twilight between science fiction and futurology with a look at heterogeneous system architecture – a concept technology companies are working on to build a platform where 2CPUs, GPUs, and specialised accelerators can share and work with data residing in a shared memory architecture".

It's the sort of challenge that could spawn a Star Trek-like virtual reality holodeck, with companies like ARM and AMD involved in research to make hardware and software work together more smoothly.

"What we're really trying to do is have heterogeneous systems really become the foundation of our computing going forward," AMD's Lisa Su. "And that's the idea that you make every processor and every accelerator a peer processor. So in other words, you want to be able to use high-level programming languages like C, C++, and Java; get lots of programmers able to use all of the hardware that we can put on a chip; and ensure that we're able to transition between all of these computing elements."

How web companies put surfers in a bubble

Scientific American details how 99% of the web's population lives behind a one-way mirror, unaware of what's happening on the other side, where technology companies are manipulating the web depending on what they thing we want to see and how much we will pay for certain products. The idea of tailoring content based on our surfing habits, location and web history is nothing new, but the piece documents just how much difference those cookies can actually make.

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