Top tech headlines: Sony in hot water over stolen data, iPhone location tracking 'a bug'

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The Independent Tech

Hot topics in the tech blogs for the week ending April 29 include Sony’s stolen customer details, Apple's iPhone location data 'bug,' Sony’s new S1 and S2 tablets, Android becomes most desired smartphone OS in the US and Facebook launches social deals.

Sony PlayStation Network and Qriocity hacked
Sony has been in hot water this week after revealing its PlayStation Network and Qriocity services were hacked. The company said hackers had made off with customers' names, birth dates, home addresses, email addresses, user names and passwords. Sony says much of the stolen data was encrypted, however, hackers are now claiming they have users' credit card details and reports suggest the hackers are planning to sell the up to 77 million identities to the highest bidder.

Apple Q&A on iPhone location data
After a week of speculation about Apple’s "location tracking" iPhones, the company came clean and revealed the iPhone was "maintaining a database of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers around your current location." "The reason the iPhone stores so much data is a bug we uncovered and plan to fix shortly," added Apple, noting that the iPhone shouldn't need to store more than seven days of this data.

Sony S1 and S2 tablets announced
Sony revealed its intentions to join the tablet wars with two very different devices. The S1 and S2 tablets will both run on Google's Android 3.0 platform and will be WiFi and 3G/4G compatible. The S1 is designed for media consumption with a 9.4-inch display, two cameras and a curved-top, "off-center design" while the S2 sports a book-like dual-screen design with two 5.5" displays that can be folded on top of each other for extra portability.

Android becomes most desired smartphone OS in the US
A study by market analyst Nielsen found that smartphones running Google's open source Android platform are now more desired than those running Apple's iOS with consumers in the US. The same study revealed that 50 percent of recent smartphone acquirers chose an Android device while only 25 percent purchased an iPhone. "Android is gaining share by leaps and bounds, and iPhone share is dead in the water," commented Business Insider.

Facebook Social Deals

Facebook announced it had started to test a local deals feature in selected regions in the US. Much like deal-a-day websites Groupon and LivingSocial, Facebook will offer discounts on local products and services. Facebook hopes to differentiate its deals by putting the focus on "interesting experiences around you to do with friends" rather than heavily discounted products for one person.