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December 6, 2012

Technology News Briefs — Dec. 6, 2012

Bill Allows FTC to Crack Down on Online Fraud

President Barack Obama signed a bill this week that reauthorizes the Federal Trade Commission’s ability to crack down on foreign Internet fraud and online scammers.

The U.S. Safe Web Act increases the FTC’s authority so it can share information about international online fraud with foreign law officials.

The bill, passed by Congress in 2006, was set to expire next year. Obama’s signature means the bill is now good through September 2020.

According to The Washington Post, a top FTC official said the bill has outfitted the agency with tools that has allowed it to zero in on fraud cases that had the potential to cost Americans millions of dollars. Since the bill was first enacted, the FTC has carried out more than 100 investigations into foreign fraud and scams.

Do You Have Droid Rage? Microsoft Wants to Know

Microsoft wants to know if you have DroidRage.

The software giant has taken to Twitter to encourage people to tell horror stories about Google’s Android operating system.

“Do you have an Android malware horror story?” the tweet reads. “Reply with #DroidRage with your best/worst story and we may have a get-well present for you.”

Microsoft will award those with the best horror stories a free Windows phone. The company did not indicate how many phones it would give away.

The campaign is an obvious bid to emphasize the Android app market contains malware risks the Windows Phone app ecosystem doesn’t.

This is the second year Microsoft has run the DroidRage campaign.

YouTube Launches App for iPad, iPhone5

YouTube has finally launched versions of its app for Apple’s iPad and iPhone 5.

The app has been slow in coming. YouTube launched apps for the iPhone and iPod in September.

“Just in time for the holidays, now you can download or update the YouTube app with a look designed for the iPad and iPhone 5, enhanced AirPlay support, videos that start faster and play more smoothly, and improved accessibility with VoiceOver,” writes YouTube software engineer Horia Ciurdar in a blog post.

“Enjoy Tastemade on iPad in full screen glory, or hours of flipping through Ryan Higa videos on your iPhone 5 or iPod touch.”

These optimizations and updates have also been made on the iPhone and iPod touch apps.

Apple Shares Dip as Nokia Forges Deal in China

Apple shares dipped Dec. 5 due to concerns Nokia Oyj products will soon have the advantage in China’s market.

According to Bloomberg, Apple slid 4.3 percent to $553.33 as of 11:46 a.m. in New York, after dropping 5.3 percent, the most since Oct. 19, 2011.

Nokia announced Dec. 5 it has reached an agreement with China Mobile Ltd., China’s largest wireless carrier. The company will carry the Lumia 920T, powered by Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 software.

Apple has agreements with China Telecom Corp. and China Unicom in Hong Kong to sell its iPhones, but is has yet to forge a deal with China Mobile.