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January 25, 2013

Technology News Briefs — Jan. 25, 2013

Samsung Planning $149-$199 Tablet: News Reports

Samsung is planning the launch of three tablets this year — seven-, eight- and 10.1-inch models — as well as a series of ultrabooks, according to news reports.

The big news, however, is the seven-inch device will sell for as low as $149 to $199 and the eight-inch model is expected to retail for  $249 to $299. Both tablets will, no doubt, appeal to the price-conscious and give Apple’s $329 iPad Mini a run for its money.

According to the Digitimes, the seven-inch and 10.1-inch tablets will both hit the market in the first half of this year to avoid directly competing against Apple’s offerings that are expected to come out in the second half.

Twitter Launches Video Service

Twitter is debuting Vine, a new service that allows users to effortlessly post and share short videos.

“Today, we’re introducing Vine: a mobile service that lets you capture and share short looping videos,” reads a Twitter blog post. “Like Tweets, the brevity of videos on Vine (6 seconds or less) inspires creativity. Now that you can easily capture motion and sound, we look forward to seeing what you create.”

Vine was acquired by Twitter before its official launch for an undisclosed sum.

“Our companies share similar values and goals; like Twitter, we want to make it easier for people to come together to share and discover what’s happening in the world,” reads a blog post by Vine co-founder and general manager Dom Hofmann. “We also believe constraint inspires creativity, whether it’s through a 140-character Tweet or a six-second video.”

Hofmann says posts on Vine are all about brevity.

Vine, which is available for free on iPhone and iPod touch, can be downloaded at the App Store. Twitter says it is working to bring the service to other platforms.

Vine is also available for use by those without Twitter accounts.

Anonymous Hackers Get Jail Time for DDoS Attacks

The two British men found guilty of carrying out cyber attacks on PayPal, Mastercard and Visa for Anonymous, a group of hackers, were jailed Jan. 24.

Christopher Weatherhead, 22, was jailed for 18 months while 28-year-old Ashley Rhodes received a seven-month sentence.

Weatherhead and Rhodes carried out distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on PayPal effectively immobilizing its computer systems by inundating it with online requests. The attack cost PayPal $5.53 million. Mastercard and Visa were also targeted.

Co-defendant Peter Gibson was handed a six-month sentence that was suspended for two years while yet another defendant, 18-year-old Jake Birchall, will be sentenced Feb. 1. Both were believed to have had only a small role in the attacks, according to the BBC.

Court heard the websites victimized by the attacks were hand-picked by Anonymous, as part of ‘Operation Payback,’ BBC reported. The operation was a way for the hackers to take action against companies whose views they did not agree with.