Daily Cuppa: exploding phones, privacy bungles and lawsuits

What happened while you were sleeping? Don't microwave your Samsung Galaxy S III, Google demanded $4 million in compensation from Oracle and AusCERT lost a DVD containing subscriber information.
Written by Michael Lee, Contributor

In this Monday issue of Technolatte, we get you up to speed with what happened here and abroad while you were sleeping.

FixYa has highlighted some of the problems associated with popular mobile phones, such as the battery problems plaguing the iPhone 4S. It also identified malfunctioning microphone issues with the Samsung Galaxy S III.

FixYa's findings didn't pick up on reports of the latter phone spontaneously "bursting into flames", but that might be because it's been revealed that an independent analysis of the Galaxy S III has found that it's more than likely that the poor device in question was actually stuck in a microwave. The customer who initially reported the incident has since removed their claim from the message board where they originally published it. How curious.

Further in the mobile-devices area, those wanting a Kindle Fire might be excited (or frustrated) to hear that Amazon may be looking at a 7- or 10-inch successor to the device that hasn't even made it down under yet. The 7-inch form factor seems to have been sparked by Google making waves and changing the minds of at least one ZDNet reporter with the Galaxy Tab 7.

Google appears to be banking on its winning streak (or pushing its luck, depending on how you look at it), now seeking to charge Oracle for legal fees during the two-year Android/Java copyright-infringement battle. Google is asking for over US$4 million in compensation — an odd turn of events, considering that many expected Oracle to reap billions from Google when the case first opened.

Google may not be completely in the clear when it comes to reputation, however. A freedom of information (FOI) request has found that the UK investigations into the Street View privacy bungle may have a significant conflict of interest that wasn't previously disclosed. As it turns out, Google's own UK privacy policy manager, who dealt with the UK's data-protection watchdog, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), was actually a former ICO employee.

When it comes to privacy and data protection in Australia, our very own AusCERT has not been practising what it preaches. It was contracted to manage the Australian Government's Stay Smart Online alerts service, but, as its contract came up for expiry, it placed subscriber information on a DVD and lost it via Australia Post. Oops.

David Thodey seems to be getting the idea that privacy can ruin reputations, and has put his foot down, stating to employees that it must not happen again. The Telstra CEO emailed his staff, saying that "it will take months of hard work to win back that trust", as it gave the impression that "Telstra does not care enough about the privacy of our customers".

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