Owen Lei's KING-5 life technology blog. Suggest a better name. Please.


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The guy who live-blogged the death of Osama Bin Laden… and didn’t realize it!

Sohaib Altar was complaining about helicopters circling overhead via Twitter and unwittingly became an eyewitness account of the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound.  I love that it appears now he’s getting followers by the thousands. Here’s some snippets: 

ReallyVirtual Sohaib Athar  Uh oh, now I’m the guy who liveblogged the Osama raid without knowing it.2 hours ago Favorite  Undo Retweet Reply

ReallyVirtual Sohaib Athar  Here’s the location of the Abbottabad crash according to some people »> http://on.fb.me/khjf34

9 hours ago  Favorite Retweet  Reply

ReallyVirtual Sohaib Athar  The abbottabad helicopter/UFO was shot down near the Bilal Town area, and there’s report of a flash. People saying it could be a drone.
10 hours ago Favorite  Retweet Reply

 Sohaib Athar 

@m0hcin all silent after the blast, but a friend heard it 6 km away too… the helicopter is gone too. 
10 hours ago  Favorite Retweet  Reply

 Sohaib Athar 
 Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).
11 hours ago Favorite  Retweet Reply

Here’s TechCrunch’s take.

Hulu subscription now on Xbox LIVE

Xbox LIVE is now offering Hulu Plus free for 7 days to all Xbox users (and then only to Xbox Live gold members after that).

That means XBox 360’s can stream your favorite TV shows and some movies for $7.99 per month.

Adds Microsoft, because it can: ”With Kinect for Xbox 360, easily control your Hulu Plus entertainment content from your couch using your voice as the remote control. Play, pause, fast forward and rewind any show you are watching using gesture or voice commands, as well as select movies and TV shows recommended for you by Hulu Plus through the Kinect Hub.”

VZW 4G back up and running, mostly.

KING-5 reporters use Verizon aircards out in the field, and we recently upgraded to the new 4G aircards, which at once make our laptops look 30 percent more cyborg, and make the download/upload speeds much much faster.

At least, when they work.

We’ve already had some problems with the connections switching between 3G and 4G in a way that, shall we say, is less than seamless. 

Some firmware upgrades to the hardware seem to have helped a little, but the cards have definitely been more finicky than their predecessors.  For the most part, I’vea been chalking that up to new technology (it takes a while to get the cell towers upgraded) that stuff up and running.

Then, yesterday happened.  VZW’s 4G network went down nationwide, and with it, my ability to access my newsroom remotely. Not fun.

And the outage lasted 24 hours… Around 8am this morning, the Verizon Wireless Twitter account posted:

"4G LTE up and running. Thank you for your patience." 

Although, while it seems smartphones can now connect to 4G without a problem, the Wall Street Journal says customers with a laptop USB modem (like yours truly, who just experienced this while driving into Tacoma) will still have to reconnect to the network when switching between 3G and 4G connections.

VZW has not said what caused the 4G LTE network, which is rolled out in 45 meropolitan areas so far, to fail.

Youtube viral video of the week.  Fast forward about 45 seconds if you’re impatient.

Amazon announces Library Books to be available for Kindle

Amazon says it will start allowing Kindle users to borrow books from more than 11,000 libraries across the country later this year.

I’ve spoken with avid e-readers over the years who say they specifically went with Barnes and Noble’s Nook or Sony’s Reader specifically because they could download books from libraries.

And librarians have expressed frustration at the Kindle, believing that Amazon’s decision not to support their widely used EPUB format was solely so they could sell their own books online.

But today Amazon said it’s working with OverDrive, a digital distributor that already hosts 500,000+ titles, according to its website, to create Kindle Library Lending, a new feature that will be available for all versions of the Kindle, including the reading apps, like those for smartphones.

The answer may surprise you… AOL?

(Thanks Techcrunch)

On April 20th and 23rd, the laser artists over at Seattle’s Pacific Science Center are turning their Laser Dome into…The Bieber Dome!

Yes, Justin is joining the likes of The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson and Bob Marley as Featured Laser Dome Artists.

What that says about the Pac Sci’s ability to target an audience is commendable.  What that says about the future of music is… well, no comment. My niece would kill me if I said anything bad about Bieber.

Of course, all I can think of is… this:

Add Best Buy reward zone to growing list of millions of emails stolen

A growing number of comapnies are warning customers that hackers may have accessed lists of email addresses through a security breach at Epsilon, a Dallas company that manages email communications.

Among the affected companies: Capital One, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase & Co., TiVo, Walgreen’s and Kroger Co. (Banks, grocery stores, credit-card issuers warn of email breach: http://www.king5.com/news/business/119173384.html)

I got this email this morning signed by Best Buy Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer Barry Judge:

Dear Valued Best Buy Customer:

On March 31, we were informed by Epsilon, a company we use to send emails to our customers, that files containing the email addresses of some Best Buy customers were accessed without authorization We have been assured by Epsilon that the only information that may have been obtained was your email address and that the accessed files did not include any other information. A rigorous assessment by Epsilon determined that no other information is at risk.

The email warns customers to look out for unusual emails, not to click on any suspicious links or give out your personal info. You know, the usual ID theft protection stuff.

Though only email addresses and names were among the hacked, the big concern is that whoever has access to that information can send you a realistic email looking like it comes from a place where you shop (also known as “phishing”).

By the way, the AP says email addresses may also have been stolen from The College Board, which runs the SATs, and Walt Disney Co.’s travel subsidiary Disney Destinations.

Google’s starts the month off by offering an intuitive new way to use Gmail.

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