Motorola Droid silently, insecurely sends personal data to mothership

Ben Lincoln discovered that his Motorola Droid X2 was silently sending an enormous amount of private, sensitive information to Motorola, without permission -- much of it without any encryption. He carefully documented the scope of the leaks, and gave the steps necessary to repeat his work. It's a terrible, and potentially criminal, design decision by Motorola, and demands full disclosure from the company and full investigation by independent researchers. (via /.) Cory 6

Off the Grid, Still In the Box: where's Cable TV headed?

The cable box can make channel serfs of us all. It's big, it's bulky, it has an interface an Excel spreadsheet might salute, and it sucks down too much electricity. It's one reason why cable TV bottom-feeds in customer-satisfaction surveys--only airlines and newspapers score lower in the University of Michigan's research.

But for a still-sizable majority of American viewers, the cable box is How They Get TV, and nobody can fix it except for their cable operators.

The industry's just-finished Cable Show in Boston featured exhibits by dozens of networks hoping to see new channels added to cable lineups, plus a few starry-eyed demos of technology we may not get for years. (Disclosure: A freelance client, Discovery Communications, owns quite a few channels.) But it also revealed modest hope for "clunky set-top boxes"--to quote an acknowledgment of subscriber gripes in National Cable & Telecommunications Association president Michael Powell's opening speech.

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Google to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5bn

"Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies." — Larry Page, quoted in Wired's story on the $12.5bn buy. Motorola spun off its cellphone business earlier this year.