Daily Cuppa: Germans mull piracy tax, pwn powerboards ahoy

Welcome to the new week, after a weekend of pwning, storage and philanthropy.
Written by Suzanne Tindal, Contributor

Happy Monday. The stories had a strong security flavour over the weekend.

Emil Protalinski drew our attention to the PowerPwn — a penetration testing platform that looks like a powerboard, and therefore, in Protalinski's opinion, would be the perfect tool for hackers.

Meanwhile, EuSecWest conference organisers are offering US$200,000 to security researchers who can demonstrate zero-day attacks against popular smartphones, forming part of Mobile Pwn2Own 2012.

Apple has taken the next step in its hacking saga, after a Russian developer showed that it was possible to hack it's in-app purchase program and bypass paying for in-app purchases, with Apple saying that it will produce a permanent solution to the problem in iOS 6. Until then, it has provided an interim solution.

Another Russian, who was allegedly behind the distributed denial-of-service attacks that crippled Amazon's website, has been arrested in Cyprus and faces extradition to the US.

Hardware was also a key focus over the weekend, with a German group saying that there should be a levy on empty storage devices to account for the pirated content those devices were likely to hold. Not surprisingly, another group has decried the suggestion, saying that very little space on storage media was used for pirated content.

Whatever we're using our storage for, it seems that we're cheapskates when it comes to choosing the storage medium for our new laptops. Despite the fact that floods in Thailand last year caused higher prices for hard disk drives, we're still not paying extra for solid state drives. IHS iSuppli has said that notebooks with solid state drives only took out a sliver of the market.

Lenovo's chief executive Yang Yuanqing, however, isn't afraid to splash his cash. He's reportedly pledged his US$3 million bonus to lower-paid workers in the company.

Vodafone, unfortunately, doesn't look like it'll have that much cash to throw around. The operator has seen a sharp drop in European revenue. Given its issues in Australia, it seems Vodafone has some work to do around the globe.

Lastly, Google has announced the purchase of a third-party email client for Mac OSX and iOS, likely to fix the lack of a great app for Gmail on iOS, since Google's own attempt at a Gmail app left something to be desired.

Google will also reportedly have to change its mobile services if it wants to please the European Commissioner and avoid antitrust attention in the EU. Google says it's working with the European Commissioner on the matter. So watch this space.

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