High-tech hot topics: PSP2, Facebook security, iPhone with NFC

Hot topics in the tech blogs for the week ending January 28 include Facebook implementing encrypted connections and social authentication, Sony unveiling the PSP2 and announcing PlayStation Certified games to be available for Android, bloggers predicting the next iPhone will have NFC, Egypt shutting down international connections to the internet and cutting itself off from the rest of the world, and Google testing wireless printing on mobile devices.

Facebook ups its security
Facebook announced it would finally let users access Facebook over a secure encrypted connection (or "HTTPS"). Bloggers commented that HTTPS connections should be the norm and not an opt-in feature. The social network also revealed it would be trialing "social authentication" - if suspicious activity is detected on your account Facebook would ask you to name people in your photos.

Sony NGP and Sony Ericsson Xperia Play phone
During a press event in Japan on January 27, Sony announced that "PlayStation Certified" games would soon be available on Android-based portable devices such as tablets and mobile phones. The company also unveiled a new PlayStation portable with a higher resolution screen and dual touchpads, called the "Next Generation Portable" aka the "PSP2." Technology blog Engadget posted an exclusive 'hands-on' with the much-rumored Sony Ericsson Xperia Play (otherwise known as the PlayStation Phone).

Apple NFC
A Bloomberg article titled "Apple Plans Service That Lets IPhone Users Pay With Handsets" triggered a wave of posts about an Apple mobile payment service and an iPhone 5 (and iPad 2) with built-in NFC capabilities. TechCrunch said "If Apple can nail Near-Field Communication (NFC) and tie it directly into their already-established iTunes payment system. It could change everything. It could transform Apple from the biggest technology company in the world, to the biggest company in the world, period. By far."

Egypt imposes internet blackout
Early during the week technology blogs started reporting that Google, Twitter, Facebook and RIM's BlackBerry internet service had been intermittently blocked in Egypt. By January 27 the Egyptian government had "ordered service providers to shut down all international connections to the internet," essentially cutting Egypt off from the rest of the world. Bloggers said the move was "unprecedented in internet history" and criticized the Egyptian government for virtually wiping their country off the global map.

Google Cloud Print for mobiles
Google announced it is testing a mobile printing feature called Cloud Print that enables users to print documents stored on their HTML5-supporting mobile phones without plugging in any cables. Google has started to roll out Cloud Print, with the vision that users will be able to print "from any app on any device, OS or browser without the need to install drivers."

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