MediaFile

Tech wrap: Apple, Fox News hacked

How do hackers spend the Independence Day holiday weekend?  Why, hacking, of course. Well, some of them do anyway. Anonymous, the group behind several high-profile hacking incidents this year, posted a document online Sunday allegedly containing a small number of usernames and passwords for access to one of Apple’s servers. The hacker collective announced the breach via its Twitter feed as part of its Anti Security, or “AntiSec”, campaign, warning that the gadget maker could be targeted in further attacks. ZDNet wonders whether Apple is a sort of “Holy Grail” for malicious hackers given the massive amounts of customer data stored on the company’s iTunes and iCloud servers.

In a separate incident, hackers temporarily hijacked a Twitter feed operated by Fox News and posted several false messages early on Monday morning claiming that President Barack Obama had been shot and killed in Iowa. The ScriptKiddies, a group that may be loosely connected to Anonymous, claimed responsibility for the prank. FoxNews.com later regained control of the feed and removed the tweets.  The president is actually at the White House enjoying the July 4 Independence Day festivities with his family. A Secret Service investigation is underway.

Coming soon: English-language search on Baidu. Thanks to a new pact Microsoft has signed with China’s most popular search engine, Baidu will no longer be just for Chinese users. Under the alliance, English searches on Baidu will be powered using Microsoft’s Bing search, which will then deliver results back to Baidu’s Web pages. The new alliance should prove to be a win-win for both companies by helping Microsoft increase its puny presence in China and Baidu extend further beyond China’s borders.

One of the most-talked about features of Google’s new social network Google+ is its video conferencing capabilities, something that Facebook has yet to offer. That could change this week, though. According to a report on TechCrunch, Facebook will use a much-hyped press event this week to launch a new in-browser video chat service powered by Skype.

Sony will finally restore the remainder of its Sony PlayStation Network in Japan this week, months after a massive security breach by hackers forced them to shut the videogame service down globally. Restoration of the service in Japan, which accounts for less than 10 percent of the network’s users, will mark the full resumption of the network globally.

Talking heads block Al-Jazeera TV in U.S.-Zucker

Millions of Americans have turned to Al-Jazeera for coverage of the crisis in Egypt, but for the vast majority, that has meant turning to the Internet rather than their televisions.

Why? Former NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker has a theory — U.S. cable operators are afraid of the talk show backlash that would result if they carried the channel, viewed by some as having an anti-American bias. Jeff Zucker

Jeff Zucker

“Some people would attack some of the distributors like Comcast and others who would carry it for being un-American for carrying Al-Jazeera,” said Zucker, who stepped down as CEO of NBC at the end of January when General Electric Co closed on its sale of a majority stake in the media operation to Comcast Corp. “That’s part of what the problem is, which is incredibly unfortunate.”

Join MySpace, be a journalist

When News Corp appointed a senior executive last week to oversee a project to share news among its various properties, we didn’t realize that it was including MySpace. Well, maybe “including” is a bit too expansive a word, but check out this announcement that came from the online social network on Monday:

MySpace, the world’s leading online social portal, together with Fox News, today announced an exclusive partnership for the launch of the official MySpace uReport community at http://www.myspace.com/ureport. The partnership, the first between MySpace and Fox News, gives the global MySpace community the ability to share their citizen journalist-produced content with the MySpace community, as well as have the chance to be featured on Fox News.

Members of the MySpace uReport community can become “uReporters” by uploading video and photos tagged by specific news categories including USA, World, Entertainment and Politics. This content could be featured in relevant programming on Fox News Channel and foxnews.com, with Fox News maintaining editorial control of the MySpace page. The community will also feature profiles of Fox News anchors and hosts, allowing members to link to their favorite network personalities.