iPods are Smokin', AOL's Awoken, and Hearts are Broken

The news has been hot — quite literally, for some — and we don't want to waste a minute in getting it to you. With no further delay, here's the hottest reports off the wire.

First up, Apple's iPod is really heating up these days, but not always in the way we expect. Two reports have surfaced recently of iPod Nano units sparking and spontaneously bursting into flames. A similar model gave new meaning to the phrase "hot pants" last October, after a unit ignited in a Georgia man's pants pocket. Though no injuries or serious damage has been done by the fires — which experts believe are caused by the same type of lithium ion batteries that have plagued everything from laptops to RC toys — it's certainly enough to make one a bit leery about becoming the next victim of the Tunes of Doom.

Something else that's hot — and this time in the good way — is GNOME, and it just got a bit hotter with the official release of GNOME 2.22. What, you ask, is so hot about the release? How about DVD playback in Movie Player, along with digital TV and the premier of native open Flash support? Maybe you're more interested in the improved Remote Desktop, complete with a built-in viewer and improved server controls. Perhaps it's the advances in the file system, window compositing, or even just multi-player chess. Whatever it is, we're betting you'll find something to love.

Speaking of something to love, it's beginning to look like AOL has some love for Yahoo, after Time Warner's chief announced that the company "can't rule out" making a rescue mission in Yahoo's battle against Microsoft assimilation. Interestingly enough, he made the announcement at the same conference where Rupert Murdoch admitted to being too scared of Microsoft to make any moves towards Yahoo. Adding fuel to the fire is AOL's decision yesterday to spring clean their ad division, firing Platform A's chief just a month after the top global ad strategy exec and Platform A's marketing VP were given the shove. It certainly looks to us like their cleaning out some space for a new tenant, and gee, who could that possibly be?

Things have been back and forth at the Googleplex this week, with the search giant rankling press groups by refusing to participate in a new system to more tightly control how news content and photos are indexed. The press groups have been fighting a long battle over copyright infringement — including at least one lawsuit against Google — and they believe the new technology called Acap is the solution. Though Google is involved with the development of Acap, they have refused to utilize the technology, insisting that the existing robots.txt method for controlling site indexing is sufficient. What isn't sufficient, however, is developer's current access to YouTube, a deficiency Google cured yesterday by throwing open the gates and offering full access to YouTube: videos, audience, software, and all. The move, described by some as allowing developers to "build their own YouTube" is a vast improvement on the current access, and will no doubt result in myriad new YouTube-based offerings in the coming weeks and months.

Finally, something a bit odd to end on, and a bit frightening if you have a heart condition. Apparently, some implanted defibrillators include wireless technology that reduces doctor visits through information beamed from chest-to-receiver, and then on to the doc. However, security researchers have just discovered that the devices are vulnerable to wireless hacking and reprogramming. What we want to know is, how is it that they're just now figuring this out? Anybody else think "Make sure device can't be hacked for remote control assassination" should have been towards the top of the to-do list?

We leave you now with important food for thought: Is a tinfoil hat enough?

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