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Weekly Tech Round Up: Apple Issues, New Tablets and More!

Apple had a bad week to say the least. We wrote about security holes in their latest iOS version in our last weekly roundup. Last week, developer Charlie Miller found another security hole that rendered Apple’s app sandbox useless letting an app run unsigned code. Apple issued an update that fixed the security loop hole, in addition to the poor battery life; unfortunately, the update did not fix the battery issue and gave birth to new problems. PCWorld has compiled a list of complaints that includes Wi-Fi connectivity, microphone and network reception issues.

The week went from bad to worse when Apple issued a warning on their 1st generation iPod Nanos. Apple has now started a free exchange program asking users to turn in their 1st generation Nanos. According to Apple, the battery issue affects only the 1st generation iPod Nano. A website has been set up for users to find out whether their iPod is affected.

Barnes & Noble announces the Nook Tablet

Competing with Amazon, Barnes & Noble unveiled their answer to the Amazon Fire. Called the Nook Tablet, the B&N tablet is priced at $249. During the keynote, B&N announced free Wi-Fi at B&N stores with the usual Hulu, Pandora, Netflix apps in addition to Nook Comics and Books. B&N has now reduced the price of the Nook Color to $99.

Geek.com has an excellent comparison of the Amazon Fire and the Nook Tablet.

With their tablet announced and running Android, B&N took part in the on-going patent dispute between the tech heavyweights. Barnes & Noble is not happy with Microsoft signing deals with Android OEMs to license Microsoft’s intellectual property and wants the US regulators to look into Microsoft’s tactics.

Amazon going after iPad with content

The new era of tablets has a huge focus on content consumption, it has been key to the iPad’s success with media and magazines. In the last week Amazon made their intentions clear on how they plan to go after Apple by providing a wide variety of content to their users. Amazon’s lending library is now joined by magazines that will be available on the Kindle Fire’s Newsstand. John Cook at GeekWire says around 400 colored titles will be available, these include, GQ, Wired, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Vanity Fair to name a few. The bait for new users is a free three-month trial of some Conde Nast titles.

With magazines and books covered and Amazon’s media streaming service under Amazon Prime, Amazon announced Pandora, Netflix, Hulu Plus (via Paid Content) Raphsody as content providers. In addition, Amazon says they will have games from EA, Zynga (of Farmville fame) and Rovio (of Angry Birds fame).

Content aside, Amazon has now bought a speech recognition startup–Yap. The tech news world is dubbing this as Amazon’s move against Apple’s Siri.

PS: According an iSuppli report, the $79 Kindle costs $84 to manufacture.

Microsoft takes over New York City to launch their 2011 Windows Phone range

The critics love Windows Phone, for Microsoft however, critical acclaim is a battle hardly won. To compete with Android and iOS, Microsoft needs to sell a lot of phones. A lot. To do this they need to get word out about how their phones are better. The 2011 holiday season has Microsoft and partners launching new phones on Windows Phone 7 Mango. Last week Microsoft setup a 6 story Windows Phone with huge screens depicting the phone’s live tiles. The launch event had artists performing, free pizza, free phones and a lot of fun (and if I didn’t have assignments, I would’ve been there!).

Microsoft shared a time lapse video of the 6-story Windows Phone:

Logitech gives up on Google TV, LG expected to launch a Google TV

The living room battle between Google and Apple continues with no positive results, while Microsoft continues to sell more of their Xbox consoles each quarter. Logitech’s CEO last week said that the company ran into huge losses by betting on Google TV. A number pegged on the losses is $100 million. Not surprisingly Logitech plans to halt their Google TV development. Where Google lost a partner, LG is expected to release their Google TV television set at next year’s CES.

Flash for mobile is dead

One of the biggest news last week was Flash for mobile being abandoned by Adobe. Apple and Steve Jobs’s decision to not support Flash was seen as iPhone’s downfall, as it turns out Apple was right. Realizing their inability to come up with a competent Flash offering for phones and the growing HTML5 adoption, Adobe’s decision wasn’t that difficult.

Mike Chambers who worked at Adobe has an interesting read on the reasons behind Adobe’s decision.

Additional reading for the week:

Hello Roboto (The new Android typography)
THE TWEAKER — The real genius of Steve Jobs.
Massive DNS poisoning attacks in Brazil
Google+ is dead
Corporate Japan Rocked by Scandal at Olympus
Report: Facebook to Settle FTC Case by Making Privacy Changes Opt-In
Steam user database compromised
Nvidia Unveils Tegra 3, World’s First Quad-Core Mobile Processor
The voice behind Siri breaks his silence

What tech stories did you pay the most attention to this week? Leave your thoughts in the comments. Contact Manan via email at manan_kakkar@hotmail.com or on Twitter @Manan.