Your Friday Tech News Round Up

by Sophie Russell · October 28, 2011

Facebook has decided to move on to Santa's territory, literally; Apple will make Siri a TV star; Virgin Galactic space tours are in their test phase - still! Facebook finds a place for you to hide your spare key and Google just keeps beating it's own records as there's no more competition. New apps, the possibility of gesture controls for future iPads and so much more in today's Tech Round Up!

1) Facebook has decided to set up shop in Lapland. The temperatures make it the best location for the company's first non-US data center which will use outside air to cool servers for 10 months of the year. The move is due to the fact that the social network needs to increase computer power in order to satisfy it's 800 million plus members; the new site will be roughly 30,000 square meters in size. [BBC]

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2) Apple TV sets will use Siri voice control making the remote control redundant. Apple has looked at various ways to develop their TV project and have been looking at various replacements for the remote control, and Siri came out on top. Users will hopefully be able to address their TV with commands such as "Put on the latest episode of Gossip Girl." The Apple TV is however, in very early stages of development and won't be appearing on shelves in the near future. [NY Times]

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3) Virgin Galactic hopes to launch in 2013 as test flights are currently underway. Approximately 500 people have bought tickets. Commerical director, Stephen Attenborough, revealed that chief pilot, David Mackay, has now been joined by a second pilot, Keith Colmer. The flights will last 2.5 hours and will offer five minutes of weightlessness, all for the price of $200,000. The plans to originally launch in 2007 keep getting pushed back due to safety concerns. [BBC]

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4) Facebook finds a way for your 'friends' to look after your 'spare key'. Facebook is testing a tool that allows a user to select between 3 and 5 trusted friends to look after a security 'key' in case they get locked out of their Facebook account. [CNN]

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5) Apple has unveiled a new patent suggesting 3D gestures will be able to control an iPad. Future generations of the iPad may well be able to be controlled across rooms using a swirl or swipe of the hand. [CNN]

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6) Google sets a new record for deal-making with 57 details so far in 2011, and has already surpassed it's 2010 record of 48 acquisitions. Google has announced that it spent $1.4 billion this year on deals, some of the biggest being the $151 million purchase of Zagat and the $676 million purchase of ITA Software, a travel software company. Other deals have been much smaller, 54 details have amounted to a total of $502 million. [NY Times]

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7) Research In Motion delays a software update for the BlackBerry PlayBook. Software updates for the PlayBook now won't be available until February 2012 and is predicted to greatly affect sales of the device during the holiday season. The biggest error the update is required to fix is the ability for the PlayBook to send or receive emails without being linked to a BlackBerry phone. Being part of such a competitive market, there are worries that the PlayBook could render itself irrelevant. [NY Times]

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8) Netflix still manages to take up 32.7% of internet bandwidth despite recent trouble. Reports have shown that real-time entertainment apps take up 60% of download traffic and Netflix has more than half of that share. [CNN]

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9) A huge cyber-attack that caused a vulnerability in RSA's SecurID tags earlier this year affected approximately 760 organizations. Security analyst, Brian Krebs, published the list on his blog. The list contained around one fifth of the Fortune 100, and was the same one that was presented to Congress about the attack. This is the first insight into how widespread the attack was considering no companies have offered any information to suggest they had been affected.  [CNN]

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10) An app has been created that lets users rent out their facilities i.e. toilets, for others to use to 'pit stop' on the move, say hello to Cloo. The company behind the app says Cloo will be released early next year, and it follows in the footsteps of various home-sharing apps. 'Airbnb' started with rent-your-home, 'Getaround' launched peer-to-peer car sharing and 'TaskRabbit' allowed people to rent out their spare time to run errands for others. Cloo is the next obvious step in a trend of 'what's mine, is yours'. [CNN]

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