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'I can’t believe Jobs made the statement … Incredibly stupid'

Plus: No women in security? It's the crap hats

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QuotW This was the week when the ebook price-fixing trial got off the ground in the US - and the "incredibly stupid" comments of dead technology legend Steve Jobs weren't making Apple's case any easier.

The government kicked off its condemnation of the fruity firm with a string of email evidence from executives at Amazon, Apple and the five major publishers, including an exchange between Eliza Rivlin, then general counsel of publisher Simon & Schuster and Carolyn Reidy, chief exec at the same firm.

The executives were discussing Steve Jobs' recent meet-the-press event where he announced the iPad. When asked by reporters if he was bothered that Apple was pricing ebooks at $12.99 and $14.99 when Amazon's were going for $9.99, Jobs replied that he was very not bothered, saying:

That won’t be the case. The prices will be the same.

Rivlin didn't feel like the remark was the smartest one to make, perhaps because it could be inferred that Jobs knew something the public didn't (which the government would have you believe was that Apple was fixing prices with the publishers). She wrote:

I can’t believe Jobs made the statement … Incredibly stupid.

However, Apple attorney Orin Snyder accused the government of trying to make something out of nothing:

What the government wants to do is reverse engineer a conspiracy from a market effect.

Snyder suggested that Cupertino wouldn't have wanted a "most favoured nation" clause in its contract (guaranteeing that publishers couldn't give better prices to other retailers) if the publishers were in bed with Apple to begin with:

If the fix was in with the publishers, why would Apple need an MFN?

Apple's legal pain wasn't confined to the ebook case, the fruity firm also had some iPhones and iPads banned by the US International Trade Commission for infringing on a standards-essential 3G patent of Samsung's. The ritual burning of iDevices won't actually begin until the President gives his okay to the ruling, but that hasn't stopped Samsung from a bit of gloating:

We believe the ITC’s Final Determination has confirmed Apple’s history of free-riding on Samsung’s technological innovations. Our decades of research and development in mobile technologies will continue, and we will continue to offer innovative products to consumers in the United States.

Meanwhile, Google has swiftly pulled the Tits&Glass app off its wearable tech specs and banned smut in general while it was at it. Makers MiKandi were understandably upset that their adult app had been dumped and said it had complied with the Chocolate Factory's policy:

MiKandi became aware today that Google changed its policy over the weekend to ban adult content on all Glassware.

When we received our Glass and started developing our app 2 weeks ago, we went through the policy very carefully to make sure we were developing the app within the terms. We double checked again last week when making the site live on the Internet and available for install for testing during last week’s announcement. We were not notified of any changes and still haven’t been notified by Google. We also double checked our emails to see if any notifications of policy changes were announced, but we haven’t found any such emails.

It's a hard life.

Also this week, we learned that the future of tech of will be tattoos and tiny pills if Google-owned Motorola has its way. The firm showed off an electronic authentication tattoo and an FDA-approved pill that uses the body to transmit passwords at the AllThingsD Digital Conference, although interviewer Walt Mossberg wasn't keen to try the latter even with the FDA approval.

Offering a sly dig at Apple's rumoured iWatch wearable tech, Regina Dugan - formerly head of US military mad-scientist asylum DARPA - said a tech tattoo would be pretty cool:

It may be true that 10-20 year-olds don't want to wear a watch on their wrist, but you can be sure they'll be far more interested in wearing an electronics tattoo - if only to piss off their parents.

She also reckoned that having a switch that uses stomach acids as electrolytes inside you would be awesome:

It's really true ... that becomes my first superpower. I really want this superpower. It means my arms are like wires, my hands are like alligator clips, and when I touch my phone, my computer, my door, my car, I'm authenticated in.

Former Facebook president Sean Parker's fairytale wedding in the Big Sur woodlands ended up costing him a bit more than the already whopping $9m he bargained for when he was fined $2.5m for wrecking the local environment with his gaudy trappings.

Parker apparently had the following spread built on the site, not content with the natural beauty of ancient redwoods:

A gateway and arch, an artificial pond, a stone bridge, multiple event platforms with elevated floors, rock walls, artificially created ruins of cottages and castle walls, multiple locations with rock stairways, a dance floor, installation of numerous potted trees, potted plants and flowers, event tents, port-a-potties, generators, lighting, and wedding facilities.

Parker said:

We always dreamed of getting married in Big Sur, one of the most magical places on earth. In continuing my foundation's mission, we are excited to support these important conservation-related projects for and with the local community.

And finally, Reg commentards have been having a rather heated debate on the lack of women in IT security, as a survey showed just 6.2 per cent of the folks who took cyber security training at one firm in 2012 were female.

According to one of our readers, the reason there are fewer women in the field than might be hoped is all to do with hats and cheese:

What about, it's a boring subject* and a field filled with immature overly-inflated egos?

It starts with the hats. What self-respecting woman would want to restrict herself to only white and black cowboy hats? How unstylish!

*It could be quite interesting and people-y. Instead it's all about swiss cheese and easycheez. If you're that desperate, going for the real thing, as in dairy farming, would be more satisfying.

As one might imagine, things go downhill pretty rapidly from there. ®

Trivia: Craphat - all one word - is the term used by members of the British airborne forces to refer to unfortunates who aren't airborne trained. In the old days this would mean they couldn't wear the maroon beret, and would have to wear a crap hat of some kind. - Ed

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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