Here are some tidbits of technology news from The Associated Press:
• SAN FRANCISCO — U.S. iPhone users have joked that Apple’s gadget can do everything but make phone calls. That’s partly because of congestion on AT&T’s wireless network. Now, AT&T is selling a $150 mini cell tower for the home. It routes calls over a high-speed Internet connection to give iPhone owners — and anyone else with an AT&T “3G” phone — perfect reception at home. The problem is, unless you agree to pay an extra $20 each month, you’ll still be using minutes from your cell phone plan to make calls that aren’t really taxing AT&T’s network. That just doesn’t seem fair.
— Technology Writer Rachel Metz
• NEW YORK — In 1998, a hacker told Congress that he could bring down the Internet in 30 minutes by exploiting a certain flaw that sometimes caused online outages by misdirecting data. In 2003, the Bush administration concluded that fixing that flaw was in the nation’s “vital interest.” Fast forward to 2010, and very little has happened to improve the situation. The flaw still causes outages every year. The problem still could be exploited by a hacker to spy on data traffic or take down Web sites. And our reliance on the Internet has only increased. The next outage, accidental or malicious, could disrupt businesses, the government or anyone who needs the Internet to run normally.
— Technology Writer Peter Svensson
• SAN FRANCISCO — Internet calling service Skype plans a public “beta” test of a group video chat function that lets up to five people participate in a video call simultaneously.
• MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Google Inc. plans to feed its appetite for tantalizing new technologies by investing in more startups while it devours others by buying them outright.
• NEW YORK — Nintendo Co. is trying to expand U.S. sales of the Wii by throwing in an extra game and its MotionPlus accessory for making the console’s signature
motion-sensing wand more precise.
“3D Dot Game Heroes,” a $40 game for the PlayStation 3, is a blatant imitation of the classic “Zelda.” It takes place in a land called Dotnia, where an evil genius is on the loose. The hero has to fight monsters, explore temples, and unearth artifacts that will help restore peace.
— Lou Kesten