Breakfast Briefing: Windows 7 Service Packs, Jobs on the iPad mini, and hacking Google
Morning all. Today’s top tech stories – while we wait for the big Windows 8 launch – include a Service Pack freeze for its predecessor, how to land a job at Google, and calls for a break on data centre taxes
No more service packs for Windows 7
Today’s focus might all be on Windows 8 – we mentioned it’s launching today, right? – but there’s also a notable mention for Windows 7, which the company has said won’t be getting a second service pack.
According to sources from Microsoft’s sustained engineering team, cited in a report in The Register, the company will break with its conventional update cycle by not releasing a Service Pack 2. SP2 had been expected back in August. Instead, the company plans monthly updates until it ends support for the last version of the operating system.
How to get a job at Google: hack it
Wired has an intriguing tale of how a mathematician received a head-hunting email from Google and noticed a flaw in its cryptography, allowing him to spoof an email from anyone in the company. Zach Harris assumed the flaw was a sneaky recruitment test; despite not wanting the job, he wanted to show he’d noticed the flaw, so he sent an email impersonating Sergey Brin to co-founder Larry Page, promoting his own work.
As it turns out, it was a real flaw. While Google quickly fixed the flaw, it turns out to be widespread – and not all firms have bothered to fix it, so Harris has now gone public.
How Jobs relented on iPad mini
Steve Jobs famously derided the idea of a 7in tablet, fearing it would be trapped in a hinterland between smartphones and full-sized tablets. Naturally, his public comments about the “tweeners” have been reheated thoroughly this week, after the launch of the 7.9in iPad mini.
CNet, however, reveals Jobs was in fact receptive of the idea when Apple exec Eddie Cue bravely raised the idea of a mini-tablet to his then boss.
“I believe there will be a 7in market and we should do one,” Cue wrote in an email that cropped up during the trial with Samsung, whose tiny Galaxy Tab he so admired. “I expressed this to Steve several times since Thanksgiving and he seemed very receptive the last time.”
Confusion over Irish Pirate Bay action
Irish ISP UPC has blamed a European network test for The Pirate Bay being blocked in the country despite the Irish courts not blocking the P2P site. UPC surfers visiting the filesharing site earlier this week saw a notice explaining the site had been blocked due to a court order from the Irish Recorded Music Association. The ISP, however, claims the site is not blocked and it won’t be unless a court orders the company to do so.
“UPC Ireland’s position has not changed. UPC is not required by any court or authority to block The Pirate Bay and does not intend to voluntarily block The Pirate Bay,” it told the BBC. “Periodically testing is carried out across our European network, which may have been observed by Irish customers.” Seems to raise more questions than it answers, that.
Data centres’ taxing questions
Data centres and austerity measures might not be obvious bedfellows, but TechWeek Europe reports how environment tax proposals could add costs to server farms and make major companies think twice about locating in the UK. The site argues that with 5% of the global market for data centres, the UK should be embracing the industry, which attracts digital economy heavyweights, not forcing it overseas via environmental taxes.