1. LinkedIn Sued by Users Who Say It Hacked Email Accounts, Stole Contact Lists
LinkedIn users claim that LinkedIn accessed their email so the company could mine out a list of contacts and then send spam-like emails. The suit claims that “Linkedln is able to download these addresses without requesting the password for the external email accounts or obtaining users’ consent.” The complaint argues accessing “the users’ email accounts and downloading of all email addresses associated with that users’ account is done without clearly notifying the user or obtaining his or her consent” and is essentially hacking.
The suit doesn’t make clear how LinkedIn is hacking these email accounts – there are no specifics, except for the accusation that LinkedIn is hacking the email accounts. LinkedIn is denying the accusations, and put out a statement, saying that. “LinkedIn is committed to putting out members first, which includes being transparent about how we protect and utilize our members’ data… We believe that the legal claims in this lawsuit are without merit, and we intend to fight it vigorously.”
2. BlackBerry Returns to Corporate Roots to Save It From Oblivion
BlackBerry is cutting its workforce and product line in order to refocus on the demographic that first brought them success: corporate customers. BlackBerry announced last week that they were cutting 4,500 jobs and taking a writedown of up to $960 million for unsold phones. BlackBerry’s Z10 phone, which was supposed to make BlackBerry relevant and a smartphone leader again, was released to mediocre reviews. BlackBerry’s attempts to find an acquirer have been fruitless so far.
BlackBerry’s shares have fallen 17% to $8.73 since September 20th. The stock has fallen 94% since its 2008 high. BlackBerry, which was credited with inventing the first smartphone more than a decade ago, has not managed to keep pace with Apple and Samsung. The company continues to produce news models and products of smartphones, however, none have managed to become a hit with the consumer audience so far.
3. New Surface expected from Microsoft at NYC event
Microsoft is expected to announce new Surface tablet computers in New York on Monday. One version of the Surface tablet is expected to have a smaller screen to compete with Apple’s iPad Mini. The new Surface tablets are expected to be lighter and thinner, thanks to a new processing chip that uses less energy and doesn’t require a fan.
Microsoft released Surface tablets last October but sales have generally been slow. During the April-June period, they accounted a $900 million charge in expected losses for the Surface RT after they slashes prices. Microsoft is trying hard to join the personal tablet trend, although they are still not the leaders of the industry.
4. German group claims to have hacked Apple iPhone fingerprint scanner
A group of German hackers have claimed to have hacked the iPhone fingerprint scanner, just two days after Apple launched the new technology. Two prominent iPhone security experts validated the claim made by the German hacker group, the Chaos Computing Club. Apple representatives did not comment.
The Chaos Computing Club, one of the larger and more respected hacker groups, posted a video on their website showing somebody accessing an iPhone 5S with a fake fingerprint. The website then continued to describe hoe members of their biometric teams had been able to crack the fingerprint scanner. “Fingerprints should not be used to secure anything. You leave them everywhere, and it is far too easy to make fake fingers out of lifted prints,” Starburg, another hacker, said on CCC’s site.
5. Tests: New iPhones Less Durable Than iPhone 5
SquareTrade, which provides protection plan for gadgets, tested Apple’s iPhones to see if they could withstand drops, dunks, and other common smartphone injuries. It found that the latest models of iPhones were not as durable as last year’s iPhone 5. However, the biggest disappointment was Samsung’s Galaxy S4, says SquareTrade, which stopped working after being submerged in water and being dropped a height of five feet. The phone that withstood these challenges the best was Googles Moto X.
“We were expecting that at least one of the new iPhone models would up its game, but surprisingly, it was the Moto X that proved most forgiving of accidents,” said chief marketing officer of SquareTrade, Ty Shay. Generally, with every iPhone the upgrade, the phone becomes more durable and stronger; it seems as though this time, it is not the case.
SquareTrade reviewed each device based on eight factors, including the material, the phone’s size, it’s weight, the phone’s ability to withstand drops of five feet, and the phone’s ability to stand being dunked in water for 10 seconds.
Officials from Samsung, Google, and Apple have not responded.
6. Nokia racks up the retweets by poking fun at Apple’s iPhone 5C
A tweet posted to Nokia’s Twitter account said “thanks, Apple” and was juxtaposed with images of the rainbow-hued Nokia Lumia product line, along with the text “imitation is the best form of flattery.” The photo has received over 38,000 retweets and is one of the most successful branded tweets ever. Business Insider reports that Twitter has confirmed that this tweet is in the “top echelon” of marketing tweets throughout all the site’s history.
Although Nokia didn’t invent multi-colored electronics, and Apple’s been pushing colored iPods for year, the Lumia did bring back color to the cell market in a noticeable way. And besides, it’s a war between brands on Twitter – generally, anything goes in these situations.
7. Sprint confirms ‘One Up’ early phone upgrade program
On Friday, Sprint confirmed their early-upgrade program, “One Up,” that will let customers pay in monthly installments and change their phones annually. Spring is the last of the four major carriers to offer such a program. Under the plan, subscribers could get an unlimited talk, text, and data plan for as low as $65 a month. New or existing customers who have owned their phone for at least a year are eligible. Customers who are eligible don’t have to trade in their phone during the sign up process if they don’t want to.