Breakfast Briefing: Amazon snubs Google Maps, iPhone 4S rebates, Google’s Ubuntu

In this morning’s Breakfast Briefing we have details of Amazon’s new Kindle Fire devices, news on how much you can get for an old(!) iPhone 4S, and details of the specially adapted version of Ubuntu used within Google.

Breakfast Briefing: Amazon snubs Google Maps, iPhone 4S rebates, Google's Ubuntu

Oh, and we’re going to ruin your working day. Sorry about that.

Amazon rips up Google Maps

Amazon will drop Google Maps for Nokia’s Navteq maps in its forthcoming Kindle Fire device, sources close to Amazon have told Reuters. Amazon is due to announce a new Kindle Fire line-up next week, and will become the second high-profile device maker to drop Google Maps, after Apple removed the search giant’s maps from iOS 6.

And talking of Amazon’s new device…

Is this the next Amazon Kindle Fire?

The Verge has leaked photos of what it claims will be the new Kindle Fire, but don’t get too excited, as the site admits it’s “still just a plain, simple, black box”. More intriguing is a rumour that Amazon may announce a new 7in model as well as a 10in version, but we’ll have to wait until 6 September to find out.

Apple starts recycling iPhone 4S

Apple has started to accept the iPhone 4S in its recycling takeback programme, suggesting the firm will indeed launch a new iPhone at its 12 September event, notes Ars Technica. Using the UK version of the buy-back scheme, a 64GB iPhone 4S is worth as much as £300 – not a bad down payment on a new handset, but likely less than half the price of a new one.

Google’s special version of Ubuntu

ZDNet has an interesting insight into Goobuntu – a specially adapted version of Ubuntu used internally by Google. Goobuntu is apparently a “light skin” over Ubuntu 12.04, the long-term release version of the Linux OS that was released earlier this year.

Google sticks to the LTS versions of the OS, which are released every two years, as it minimises upheaval – “a single reboot can cost us a million dollars per instance,” according to Google tech lead Thomas Bushnell – and because it dovetails with the company’s two-year hardware refresh cycle.

Google gives its employees a choice over the UI they deploy for Goobuntu, with Bushell claiming that Mac users generally opt for the controversial, cuddly Unity interface “because it reminds them of the Mac”. Bless.

The man who makes privacy scandals into “firestorms”

Faked boarding cards, outing the scale of surveillance at telecoms firms, and taking on Google, Facebook and Dropbox over their security policies – it’s all part of Dr Chris Soghoian’s extensive CV. The Economist has a detailed profile of the intriguing academic, calling him a “knight in digital armour”, but Dr Soghoian’s methods – and tendency to court the media – have led to trouble with US officials. “Every privacy scandal essentially has to take the form of a firestorm,” he says. “I try to focus on things that are really important that haven’t gotten enough attention.”

Say goodbye to your Friday

Forget any plans to work today: Atari has put some of its classic games online. It’s apparently a partnership with Microsoft to show off the power of HTML5, but no one really cares about that. What we care about is Asteroids. And Missile Command. And Battle Zone. And Crystal Castles. And… we’ll leave you to it.

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