Breakfast Briefing: Twitter faces fine, GoDaddy "not hacked", iPhones running on fuel cells

Twitter under pressure over protester details, while Go Daddy blames router data table corruption

12 Sep 2012

This morning's tech treats include a dilemma for Twitter, an explanation of why laptops were slow to take off, the potential for fuel cell-powered iPhones and the scariest robot since Metal Mickey.

Twitter faces fine over user data demand

Twitter has until 14 September to hand over user details of an Occupy Wall Street protester or to divulge its recent earnings, so a New York judge can issue a fine, Bloomberg reports. New York State Supreme Court Judge Matthew A Sciarrino Jr said Twitter was in contempt of court for not handing over the data: "I can't put Twitter or the little blue bird in jail, so the only way to punish is monetarily."

Go Daddy: we weren't hacked

Hosting firm Go Daddy has denied it was hacked, saying its recent outage was "not caused by external influences" - such as the rumoured Anonymous DDoS attack - but "a series of internal network events that corrupted router data tables". The company and its users' websites are now back online, and Go Daddy's CEO Scott Wagner stressed in a blog post that customer data was never at risk.

Patents point to iPhone future

An analyst at Reuters has taken an in-depth look at the 416 patents Apple has filed for since the launch of the first iPhone, in the hope of predicting what future versions of the phone might include - and what future patent litigation its rivals might face, according to a report in 9to5Mac. Forget the 4G rumours and display speculation ahead of today's expected iPhone 5 launch, this report predicts a fuel cell that powers the handset for days or weeks. It also looks at the disputed patents between Samsung and Apple, and where the next litigation is likely to come from - because if there's any prediction that seems likely, it’s that more court battles are looming.

Sexist execs hampered 1980s laptop launch

Whisper it quietly, but the first laptops weren't an overnight success because busy (male) executives didn't want to sully their hands with the menial secretarial duties that were associated with a keyboard-based device. In the wake of pioneer designer Bill Moggridge's death, The Atlantic details how the 1982 launch of the GriD Compass was a slow burner because of entrenched attitudes about roles in the office – and male executives' tacit admission that they weren't any good at typing.

China labour groups targeted

Chinese labour campaigners working in and around the tech industry for better worker rights have been targeted by thugs that appear to be disrupting their attempts to improve working conditions. According to a report from Radio Free Asia, there are mounting concerns that hired heavies are being employed to "persuade" rights groups to move away from areas in Shenzhen, where many high tech gadgets are produced. The concerns come in the wake of criticism of Apple and Samsung over conditions in factories producing their wares.

An absolutely terrifying robot

We’ve seen DARPA's Big Dog in action before, but this new update takes terrifying donkeybots to the next level. The video below starts innocently enough, with the "pack mule" shuffling up a hill and trotting over stones, but then it comes out of a bush and you can see it's got a body and a neck and shoulders and a head. And a face. A face. And it looks at you. It looks at you with its wobbly hat and its alien antennae AND ITS EYES. We surrender.

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