The week in gadgets

17 Oct 2011

A look at the gadget happenings, as Sesame Street’s YouTube channel gets hacked, Google Buzz will shut down and RIM will offer free premium BlackBerry apps to users affected by the outages.

Sesame Street YouTube channel hacked, porn uploaded

Sesame Street’s YouTube channel was hacked over the weekend and all of its videos were replaced by pornography.

The Next Web reports that all of Sesame Street’s original videos were deleted during the hack. Pornographic videos were uploaded onto the channel and the channel’s design was modified.

Google took the channel down 22 minutes after the hack.

At the time of writing, many of its original videos appear to have returned online, though its profile page is still unavailable.

Google Buzz to close down

Google will shut down its previous social network Google Buzz, along with the Buzz API, in order to focus on developing Google+.

Buzz was originally launched to take on Facebook and Twitter, however, controversy surrounded the service when Google automatically signed its Gmail users onto the service without permission, exposing their email contact detail

A class action lawsuit was filed against Google, which resulted in Google creating a US$8.5m fund to pay lawyer expenses and to fund organisations on privacy education.

“What did we learn from Buzz? Plenty. We learned privacy is not a feature… it is foundational to the product,” said Bradley Horowitz, VP of products at Google.

“And this awareness gave us the resolve to design privacy in from the very beginning, which led to Circles for sharing the right information with the right people, as well as transparency around which parts of your profile can be seen by whom,” he said.

While users will be unable to create new Google Buzz posts when it closes in a few weeks, they will be able to view content from it from their Google profile.

RIM to give free premium apps to users after BlackBerry outage

RIM will offer free premium apps worth over US$100 to subscribers as an apology for the BlackBerry outages which affect millions across the globe.

According to RIM, premium apps will include Photo Editor Ultimate, Shazam Encore, The Sims 3, Bejeweled and Bubble Bash 2.

The apps will be available on the BlackBerry App World over a period of four weeks beginning 19 October.