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March 19, 2013

Technology News Briefs — March 19, 2013

AT&T Hacker Jailed for 41 Months

A federal judge threw the book at Andrew Auernheimer, known as the AT&T hacker, March 18, sentencing him to 41 months in prison.

Auernheimer illegally accessed e-mail addresses and other data belonging to more than 120,000 iPad subscribers from AT&T’s networks.

The security researcher’s lawyers’ plea for leniency — because Auernheimer caused no direct harm to AT&T’s systems and did not use the data for fraudulent purposes — did not sway U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton who handed down the maximum sentence sought by prosecutors.

It is thought Auernheimer received the maximum because he showed no remorse for his actions.

Wigenton also sentenced the 26-year-old to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay AT&T more than $73,000 in damages.

Auernheimer and his colleague Daniel Spitler extracted e-mail addresses and SIM card ID numbers from some politicians and celebrities — New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, ABC’s Diane Sawyer, movie producer Harvey Weinstein and former White House chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel to name a few — during the breach.

Spitler has pleaded guilty to similar charges and awaits sentencing.

T-Mobile Planning Special Event March 26

T-Mobile has scheduled a special event March 26 at which the fourth-largest U.S. wireless carrier is expected to announce its 4G LTE network launch as well as a handful of new services.

“We’re still a wireless company. We’re just not going to act like it anymore,” reads the invitations sent out to the media.

Set for 11 a.m. in New York, the event could also have something to do with the FCC recently approving the carrier’s merger with metroPCS which, in turn, means an expansion of services although what those may be is anyone’s guess.

It is also thought T-Mobile will announce a move away from subsidized pricing plans.

Android Gmail Update Includes One-Tap Reply, Archive Functions

The new Gmail for Android update allows its users to save time on the actions used most often: reply, archive, and search.

“If you’re using Gmail on an Android 4.1+ device, the updated app lets you reply and archive messages right from notifications with one quick tap,” reads a blog post from software engineer Andy Huang.

Users can blend the new features with existing notification features such as customizing which messages they receive notifications for. They can also set up different sounds for individual labels.

“So if you filter and label all the messages from your mom, you could set a ringtone to let you know you received a new mail from her and then quickly reply (because we know what can happen when you ignore your mother!),” Huang said.

The new app features faster search and better search suggestions so users can find messages quickly both online and offline.

The update requires Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) and can be downloaded at Google Play.

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