FutureFive NZ - The TechDay Weekender - Jun 18th 2011

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The TechDay Weekender - Jun 18th 2011

On the whole, a much quieter week than last, without big developer or gaming conferences to release big announcements through every half hour. Still, there was much to keep abreast of.

The dark, shady underbelly of the internet made quite the appearance this week. A hacker group calling themselves LulzSec took down several targets, including popular gaming sites, and released 62,000 usernames and passwords on to the net. Meanwhile, after attacks on targets as high profile as the IMF (which is not thought to have been perpetrated by LulzSec), security analysts gave the disheartening news that there is no 'magic bullet' to prevent cyber attacks, and instead we should rely on good old fashioned best practices.

Perhaps hand-in-hand with the news of the cyber attacks, came interest in BitCoin - a type of internet-only currency that offers a non-traceable alternative to government-backed money. But then just when it seemed safe to go back into the water, a BitCoin user allegedly had close to half a million dollars worth of BitCoins stolen. Maybe readers would be more comfortable sticking with regular banks - or maybe the new person-to-person currency exchange website, CurrencyFair, which extended its operations to New Zealand this week.

After the flurry of announcements at last week's Apple WWDC, it was pretty quiet on the Mac front. Apple was sued over an alleged trademark infringement, while a patent the company applied for which would give third parties the ability to remotely shut down camera capabilities on iPhones caused a bit of a stir.

Google, which acquired 'yield optimisation' agency Admeld this week, made updates to several of its search features on mobile and desktop platforms. It introduced Search by Image, for reverse image searching, as well as improvements to mobile search. The Samsung Galaxy SII was set loose in New Zealand and a Japanese firm developed a way to charge your cell phone battery with a saucepan.

The Kiwi makers of touchscreen software Fingertapps, Unlimited Reality, was the toast of the AMD Fusion APU release in Seattle this week. We spoke to the founder to see what made them such high flyers in the tech world. We also managed to hit up Symantec for info on its latest security survey which found 'well-meaning insiders' to be thought a security threat by employers.

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