Breakfast Briefing: iPhone photo glare, Feds shut down tech support scammers and Nokia’s mapping mission

This morning’s top stories include Apple’s advice to unhappy iPhone snappers, IBM’s detailed look at future materials and, finally, some payback for the cold call scammers.

Breakfast Briefing: iPhone photo glare, Feds shut down tech support scammers and Nokia's mapping mission

Apple: Don’t take pictures of bright things

As ever after an iPhone launch, there’s been plenty of noise on the web about its various glitches – pass the A-Z – and there have been complaints from some corners of a purple glare affecting images around bright lights. The issue has previously been dismissed by Apple, but according to Gizmodo, the company now says the flaw is a known issue, and that people shouldn’t take pictures of bright subjects.

“Our engineering team just gave me this information and we recommend that you angle the camera away from the bright light source when taking pictures,” said an Apple Support email sent to a reader. “The purple flare in the image provided is considered normal behaviour for iPhone 5’s camera.”

Officials close down six tech support scam companies

The tech support scams that target victims by phoning up and reporting problems with PCs and promising remote fixes have been plaguing the English-speaking world for several years, but officials in the US, Canada and Australia have closed down six operations. According to the US Federal Trade Commission, which was part of the investigation, a judge has ordered six companies to cease trading and frozen their assets, which will come as some consolation to the thousands hit by the scam.

“The FTC has been aggressive – and successful – in its pursuit of tech support scams,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a statement. “And the tech support scam artists we are talking about today have taken scareware to a whole other level of virtual mayhem.” Whether the action will make a significant difference remains to be seen, however, as the scams require little capital to set up.

Email declining as social sharing soars

When we ran a feature highlighting the decline of email, the comments disagreed, but data from the Buzzfeed network highlights just how quickly it’s fallen as a medium for sharing information. Referral emails across its network dropped from 13m to 5m in the first eight months of the year, with link sharing increasingly taking place on social networks.

Nokia talks up maps, not iPhones

Embattled phone manufacturer Nokia might have picked up some bonus points in the fallout of Apple’s Mapgate, but the company says it’s taking nothing for granted and is placing location services at the forefront of its plans. According to an interview with Stephen Elop in the Wall Street Journal, while flattered to be a recommended iPhone mapping partner, he wanted to make sure his company’s phones still offered a different experience to an iPhone.

“Seeing ourselves on as a recommended source of mapping capability on the iPhone — I’m glad to see that,” Elop said. “At the same time we are going to use it heavily to differentiate our devices as well.” Given the success of the iPhone, he might not want to differentiate too much.

IBM research goes into tiny detail

IBM’s research into nano materials has seen the company focus on electronics and molecular level science, and the company has shown off a microscope with resolution 100th the size of an atom.

According to Singularity Hub, the scale is staggering – think one pence in £10 billion – and the microscope will be used to measure structural details in a single molecule to improve research into nano engineering.

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