The Weekly Hash - September 7, 2012

A review of some of the top tech stories for the past week, with tongue planted firmly somewhere near cheek.

090612_golden_ticket_small.jpgITworld/Phil Johnson

It may have been a short week, but, boy, between the Democratic National Convention, smartphone-unveiling-palooza, the NFL season kickoff, and the Kindle-a-thon, it was a busy one! While we get ready for Friday Happy Hour and next week’s big Apple announcement(s) (do you have a Golden Ticket?), let’s review this week’s big tech news:

Twitter released the new, more restrictive version of its API on Wednesday. Here’s how restrictive it is: every single API call will now have to be made via telephone.

Facebook’s purchase of Instagram became official on Thursday. The Instagram staff will soon move to Facebook headquarters, where they’ll work in washed-out, sepia-colored office space with a white border.

On Wednesday Nokia unveiled new versions of their Lumia Windows 8 phones, while later that day Motorola announced new versions of their Droid Razr smartphones. Nobody was more excited about these announcements than smartphone junkies - except possibly Apple’s IP lawyers.

Microsoft will allow users of Windows 8 Pro to downgrade their new PCs to Windows 7 or Vista, if they choose. Users choosing to downgrade will be responsible for getting the installation media and, for those choosing Vista, paying to have their heads examined.

This Wednesday marked the 35th anniversary of the launch of the Voyager 1 spacecraft. Voyager 1 is fitted out in classic 1970’s style including a computer with only 68kB of memory, an 8-track tape recorder and shag rugs.

Gottfrid Svartholm, co-founder of Swedish file-sharing web site Pirate Bay, was arrested in Cambodia late last week. After being arrested he demanded to see his lawyer and to make a quick visit to Ecuador’s embassy.

A new survey of 1,000 Americans found that more than half believed that stormy weather can cause cloud computing problems. They also found that 100% of those people are planning to make iPhone pie this Thanksgiving.

Earlier this week Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer predicted that 400 million Windows 8 phone and tablet devices would be sold. In response, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell ordered Ballmer to undergo a concussion evaluation.

A hacker group released the IDs of 1 million Apple devices this week after they were hacked from an FBI laptop. The FBI denied having such a list, which is hard to believe since the list contains IDs for Apple devices belonging to Jimmy Hoffa.

Amazon on Thursday announced new HD versions of it’s Kindle Fire tablet, including one with an 8.9-inch screen. They were originally going to go with a 10-inch screen, but apparently the marketers thought 8.9-inch sounded "sexier".

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