iFive: FBI Raid Cripples Sites, Hulu On Sale, Amazon’s Tablet PCs Due Fall, Hackers Zap Aussie Websites, Apple Vs. Samsung

On this day in history, Galileo was forced to recant his Sun-centric theory, Pluto’s moon Charon was discovered, and Virgin Atlantic flew its first transatlantic flight. What’s today’s news? Read on:

China rain map


This is an image of the rains that have plagued China in recent days, resulting in floods causing widespread destruction, the evacuation of half a million people, and billions of dollars of damage. The image is produced from numerous satellite observations by NASA, and the darkest blue area shows a rainfall of over 18 inches over a 6-day period.

1. A raid on a Virginia data center late last night by the FBI has taken down or crippled a long list of websites because three whole racks of servers were apparently seized. It seems to be a manhunt for a single person, and the FBI is known to be hunting hacktivist groups LulzSec and Anonymous. But the heavy-handedness is already attracting controversy, with popular sites like Curbed and Pinboard suffering material damage to their business.

2. Much intrigue is swirling that successful Net TV streaming system Hulu has put itself on sale, because it may already have garnered an unsolicited offer from Yahoo. Hulu had considered an IPO late in 2010, but abandoned these plans over uncertainty about how its future business will unfold without the rights to the content it streams. The rumor has ignited much debate, and at least one source “close” to Yahoo is reportedly denying any such moves.

3. According to component manufacturers in Taiwan, Amazon is poised to launch a range of tablet PCs in the Fall–at least in time for Thanksgiving and destined to maximize sales potential over the holiday period. The devices will be powered by TI chips and Amazon will supply streaming movie services to them–suggesting these really are the full-blown tablets we’ve heard rumored, rather than advanced e-reader devices. About 800,000 are to be shipped each month.

4. Unknown hackers have tackled Australian web hosting company Distribute.IT, and managed to penetrate security deep enough to actually force the destruction of data, possibly including file backups. Nearly 5,000 sites are now reported as being “unrecoverable” due to technical limitations, and since there’s no way back the firm is assisting these clients to move to other providers. It’s an unusual attack in the current climate of cyber theft and DDoS.

5. Apple has won a partial battle in its conflict over Samsung’s device-cloning IP violations, as a judge has ruled Samsung cannot gain access to the unreleased versions of the iPhone 5 and iPad 3. However, the ruling also constrains some of Apple’s options in pushing for an import ban on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab smartphones and tablets, which will be a relief to Samsung’s users. How this battle plays out could influence the entire sector.


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