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Showing posts from March, 2010

Some Yahoo accounts in China compromised

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Yahoo email accounts of some journalists and activists whose work relates to China were compromised in an attack discovered this week, according to rights groups and foreign correspondents, days after Google said it would move its Chinese-language search services out of China because of censorship concerns.

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Comcast gave a preview here Wednesday of what its 3D broadcast

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Image via WikipediaComcast gave a preview here Wednesday of what its 3D broadcast of the Masters golf tournament will look like next week.

The cable giant will be delivering the live 3D broadcast of the tournament, produced by the Augusta National Golf Club, from April 7 through 11 to subscribers of Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, and Cablevision.
The feed, which is the first-ever linear broadcast of a live 3D event, will also be simulcast online. Highlights will be available on demand after the tournament ends.
On Wednesday, Comcast showed off test footage to reporters at the Sports New York studios. The company demonstrated the technology on three devices: a 3D-enabled laptop, an LG "passive" 3D TV, and a Sony "active" 3D TV. There are technical differences between the "passive" and "active" TVs, but for consumers, the difference between the two is that the passive technology requires glasses that cost about $1.50, while the ac…

Elan is suing Apple

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Apple has a new lawsuit lodged against it, this time by Elan Microelectronics, which says the iPad, among other Apple products, violates its multitouch patent. Elan requests that U.S. regulators bar Apple from importing and selling the iPad.

Apple is being sued by Taiwan-based Elan Microelectronics, which alleges that certain Apple products—including the iPhone, iPodTouch, MacBook, Magic Mouse and upcoming iPad—infringe on an Elan patent for multitouch technology.
"We have taken the step of filing the [U.S. International Trade Commission] complaint as a continuation of our efforts to enforce our patent rights against Apple's ongoing infringement,” the company said in a March 30 statement. “A proceeding in the ITC offers a quick and effective way for Elan to enforce its patent."
Elan is requesting that the ITC bar Apple from importing and selling the relevant products. Apple is headquartered in the United States, but its products are assembled in Asia.





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EBay Inc is rebranding its Kijiji classifieds

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Image via CrunchBaseEBay Inc is rebranding its Kijiji classifieds business in the United States as eBayClassifieds.com, as it strives to replace Craigslist.com as the dominant player in the world's largest classified advertising market.

"It's game-on between Craigslist and eBay," said BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis. "It's the difference between having a subsidiary trial brand versus leveraging the big brand."
EBay became the largest global player in online classified advertising by acquiring classified businesses around the world. But it has struggled to bump Craigslist from first place in the United States.
EBay does not break out results for each of its classifieds units, but revenue from its global classifieds business rose 20 percent year over year in its most recent fourth quarter.
EBay also said it had launched mobile applications for Apple Inc's iPhone for eBayClassifieds.com, and an updated version for its global marketplaces site that al…

Antitrust regulators approve Cisco and Tandberg

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Image via CrunchBaseAntitrust regulators on both sides of the Atlantic have granted approval to Cisco’s $3.4 billion deal for telepresence competitor Tandberg. At the same time, Cisco announced its biggest TelePresence deal, with Bank of America agreeing to buy 200 units.

Cisco Systems cleared the final major hurdles in its bid to acquire rival Tandberg when regulators both in the United States and Europe approved the deal March 29.
The concerns raised by the U.S. Department of Justice and the EuropeanCommission—the antitrust arm of the European Union—centered around issues of the impact the $3.4 billion deal would have on the competitive landscape and interoperability between Cisco video collaboration products and those of rivals.
Cisco officials expect the deal to close in the next few weeks.
Both Cisco and Tandberg, which has dual headquarters in the United States and Norway, are major players in the immersive video collaboration space known as telepresence. The high-definition vid…

Google services partially blocked now in China

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Image via WikipediaGoogle mobile services are now "partially blocked" in mainland China, according to a China service availability Web site set up by the search engine giant.
In the wake of Google's decision to redirect Google.cn traffic to the uncensored Google.com/hk site, Google also set up a Web site that produced daily updates on the status of its more popular services in China. Services are marked as having no issues, partially blocked, blocked, or information available.
Since the Web site started reporting status updates on March 21, mobile has had no issues, but an update for March 28 flagged mobile services as "partially blocked."



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Microsoft is issuing a security update for Internet Explorer tomorrow

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Image via WikipediaMicrosoft is issuing a security update for Internet Explorer tomorrow to address a zero-day vulnerability that has left users of IE 6 and IE 7 under attack.

Microsoft is planning to patch a zero-day bug in Internet Explorer (IE) tomorrow with an out-of-band emergency fix.
The patch plugs a security hole Microsoft first warned about March 9 after attackers began targeting the vulnerability in IE 6 and IE 7. Internet Explorer 8 is unaffected.
“We recommend that customers install the update as soon as it is available,” blogged Jerry Bryant, group manager of Microsoft Security Response Center communications.



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New iPad orders won't ship until April 12

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Image via CrunchBasePre-orders of Apple's iPad seem to be going very well. The company updated its Web site on Saturday indicating that any new iPad orders will ship by April 12, as pointed out by AppleInsider and other blogs.

Apple is due to ship the iPad Wi-Fimodel next Saturday--for those that have already placed their orders, the delivery date remains April 3. Pre-order customers had a choice of in-store pickup or delivery, an option that also appears to have been removed from the Apple Store.
The iPad Wi-Fi + 3G is still scheduled to ship in late April, according to Apple's Web site.



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PUBLIC COMMENTS ILLUSTRATE CHALLENGE of nuclear expansion

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Image by Pepeketua via FlickrPUBLIC COMMENTS ILLUSTRATE CHALLENGE of nuclear expansion


Sun, 03/28/2010 - 10:52 — ecomtechnology
Plans to boost nuclear power hinge on overcoming intense public fears about radioactive waste -- and mistrust that the government can safety store it -- federal commissioners tasked to deal with the issue said on Friday.
There's little point in hammering out technical details about how to site a permanent nuclear waste dump without also convincing the public that storing waste won't be a risk to health or the environment, argued Commissioner Albert Carnesale of the University of California at Los Angeles.
"We have to be careful not to focus solely on the technical questions," Carnesale said as a panel set up to develop an alternative to the now-scrapped nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain in Nevada worked out logistics for their monumental task.
"To come up with an optimal policy that cannot be implemented, ain't optimal," Ca…

Apple and Amazon book wars

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Image via CrunchBaseIn the ongoing war between online bookstores, price is key. And Apple's iBooks electronic bookstore is apparently wading into battle.
According to a "not-so-NDA-complying preview" obtained by AppAdvice, the price for the top five bestsellers on The New York Times' bestsellers list will be $9.99, the same price point that Amazon offers them, and the basis for Amazon's initial disdain for the Apple iPad tablet.
A second post noted that Apple will apparently allow users to quickly and easily download any book from the 30,000 public-domain works offered by the Project Gutneberg digital book repository, which includes The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, among others.
While most of the details surrounding the iPad are known, details surrounding the pricing of popular magazines and other apps are still being finalized in advance of the April 3 ship date. The Wall Street Journal, for example, has already set its WSJ …

Orion Network Performance Monitor

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OrionNetwork Performance Monitor helps administrators save time, while better understanding the performance and capabilities of the networks they manage.

Distributed enterprise networks are one of the most difficult mechanisms to manage in today’s IT environments. The combination of equipment, locations, software, personnel and policies can make it almost impossible for an IT administrator to comprehend what is happening on the network and how that affects businessoperations. SolarWinds? offers a solution to that dilemma in the form of Orion NPM (Network Performance Monitor), a software package that offers a visual representation of network performance and health.
The current version, v9.5.1, began shipping last month and starts at $2,475 for the monitoring of 100 elements. An unlimited-license version can be purchased for $20,975. Orion NPM is an excellent management tool that demystifies enterprise networks and helps administrators save time, while better understanding the performan…

Nortel benefits deal rejected by court

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Image via WikipediaNortel benefits deal rejected by court

A $57 million benefits deal between Nortel Networks Corp. and its pensioners and disabled employees has been thrown out by an Ontario judge.
The deal reached in February to provide health and long-term disability benefits to former and disabled employees until the end of 2010 is "flawed" and unfair to other Nortel creditors, said judge Geoffrey Morawetz of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in a decision released Friday.
The deal included a controversial clause that would allow former employees to take advantage of any future changes to federal bankruptcylaws to increase their benefits.



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China has new content regulations

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Image via CrunchBaseAccording to China Digital Times, China's State Information Council runs an Internet Affairs Bureau that Chinese journalists have dubbed the Ministry of Truth after the governing power in George Orwell's novel "1984." After Google announced its decision regarding its presence in China on Monday, the Internet Affairs Bureau distributed the list to Chinese media outlets, part of regular directives it issues about potentially sensitive topics.


Read: Special Report: Google-China showdown

"Please pay strict attention to the following content requirements during this period," the list instructed, according to a translation provided by China Digital Times, a project of the Berkeley China Internet Project. A sample of those requirements follows:

• "Only use Central Government main media (Web site) content; do not use content from other sources."

• "Do not produce relevant topic pages; do not set discussion sessions; do not cond…

The iPhone OS has Google’s Android at its heels

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Image via CrunchBaseThe iPhone OS has Google’s Android at its heels, but all that may change with the launch of the iPad, says a new report from AdMob, which tracked smartphone, feature phone and MID network traffic for a year.

The growth of smartphones running Apple's iPhone and Google's Android operating systems, coupled with users' heavy application adoption, is driving smartphone traffic over wireless networks, which increased by about 193 percent between February 2009 and February 2010.
The finding comes from a March 25 AdMob report that looked to separate the network traffic between smartphones, feature phones and MIDs (mobile Internet devices) over the past year. The firm, which measures ad requests and impressions, not sales, found smartphones to account for 48 percent of AdMob’s worldwide traffic in February 2010, up from 35 percent a year earlier.
Feature phone traffic declined from 58 percent to 35 percent over the year, as more users switched to smartphones.



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IBM Moffat may plead guilty to insider trading

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Robert Moffat, at one time a senior vice president and group executive for IBM’s hardware business, may plead guilty March 30 for his role in an insider trading scandal that netted more than $25 million in illegal gains. Moffat, who waived indictment, would be the 11th person to plead guilty in a case that also saw an Intel official arrested.

Robert Moffat, the former high-ranking IBM executive charged in a wide-ranging insider trading scheme, appears ready to plead guilty, possibly as soon as March 30.
According to reports and court documents, Moffat, who at one time was seen as a possible successor to current IBM CEO Sam Palmisano, has waived his right to an indictment, a move the usually precedes a guilty plea.
He reportedly is due in U.S. District Court in New York City March 30 for a hearing on the indictment waiver.
Moffat faces a host of charges that include securities fraud and insider trading. He was one of almost two dozen people arrested in the case, which was characterized…

Synology, a manufacturer of network attached storage servers

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Synology, a manufacturer of network attached storageservers, introduced the DS410 DiskStation?, a four-bay network attached storage server aimed at workgroups and small and midsize businesses. The DS410 is sold both diskless and preconfigured with hard drives. The diskless DS410 model will be priced around $499. Built on the company’s DiskStation? Manager firmware, DSM 2.3, the company said the DS410 is faster than the DS409, its predecessor, and offers more features such as encrypted file sharing, automatic backup to the cloud, desktop and network backup, multimedia streaming, surveillance, e-mail and Web hosting and others.

The DS410 DiskStation? holds up to 8TB of storage across four bays of hard drives. Also included is an energy-saving design including hard drive hibernation, a smart fan and scheduled power on/off. The DS410 supports a host of features including encrypted file sharing, backup, e-mail and Web hosting, surveillance, print server, FTP downloads and a multimedia serv…

"fingermouse"--a small, smooth pad

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LONDON--The same technology that exterminated the roller-ball computer mouse will claim another casualty soon: the four-way rocker switch that lets people point and click on countless mobile phones.

So asserts Jeff Raynor, principal technologist of ST Microelectronics' imaging division and a designer of the image sensors at the heart, or rather in the eyes, of optical mice. He spoke at the Image Sensors Europe conference here.
What will extinguish the rocker switch? What Raynor calls the "fingermouse"--a small, smooth pad you can sweep your finger over to direct a mouse pointer on a screen. Some newer BlackBerry phones sport the devices.



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V CAST Apps store on March 29th

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Does the world need another app store? Verizon Wireless certainly thinks so. They plan to launch their V CAST Apps store on March 29th, according to Leroy Williams, Verizon's developer community liaison.

Verizon's app store will complement the existing app store on the carrier's smartphones, starting with the BlackBerry Storm2 and then rolling out over additional devices in "the next few weeks and months," Williams said. The store will "leverage exclusives, bring quality premium apps" and charge users on their phone bill, without their having to enter a credit card. That will earn Verizon's store customers and loyalty, Williams said.

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Wikipedia experienced major service outages today

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Image via WikipediaWikipedia experienced major service outages today that took the popular free reference site down for roughly 2 hours, beginning at around 1:00 PM EST. According to a Facebookblog post, the outage has been attributed to overheating at the site's European data center.

The servers shut down, which ultimately led to more issues:
As this impacted all Wikipedia and other projects access from European users, we were forced to move all user traffic to our Florida cluster, for which we have a standard quick failover procedure in place, that changes our DNS entries. However, shortly after we did this failover switch, it turned out that this failover mechanism was now broken, causing the DNS resolution of Wikimedia sites to stop working globally.
Wikipedia resolved most of the problems by 3:00 PM EST, according to the site's official Twitter account. Due to continued overheating at the Amsterdam data center, however, users may still be experiencing service glitches.



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Hewlett-Packard is literally redefining the term "workstation."

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Image via WikipediaAdvancement is powered by ever-faster, cooler-running processors. In this case, the new six-core, 32nm Intel Xeon 5600 series chips are also the powers inside HP's higher-end Z800, Z600 and Z400 workstations, which deliver much-improved parallel-processing performance over previous products.

Hewlett-Packard is literally redefining the term "workstation." During a press event in Hollywood at Raleigh Studios on March 24, it introduced two new entry-level workstations, the Z200 and the Z200 SFF (small form factor), that are powered by Intel Xeon multicore processors and feature the hot new DreamColor display technology.
Better news for the world's economy, however, is that the pricing for these powerful new computers starts at about $720. Depending upon how they are outfitted, the product line can run all the way into the $3,000 range.
Of course, all this advancement is powered by ever-faster, cooler-running processors. In this case, the new six-core,…

Small business starting to recover 2011

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A report from research firm IDC predicts smallbusiness spending on IT will not return to 2008 levels until 2011. IDC predicts worldwide SMB spending on information technology (IT) will increase by 5.5 percent over the 2010-2014 period, significantly lower than previously forecast.

While the impact of the global recession was no surprise, the extent to which small and midsize businesses were adversely affected was greater than anticipated, according to a report by research firm IDC.
As a result, IDC forecasts worldwide SMB spending on information technology will increase by 5.5 percent over the 2010-2014 period, considerably lower than previously forecast. Key findings from IDC's SMB forecast include findings that worldwide SMB IT spending will grow to nearly $629.3 billion in 2014, and despite the $17.4 billion spending increase expected in 2010, SMB IT spending levels will not return to 2008 levels until 2011. While SMB spending declines affected all categories of hardware, soft…

Verizon Wireless on Monday announced the launch of a mobile payment service

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Image via WikipediaVerizon Wireless on Monday announced the launch of a mobile payment service that will allow customers to charge online purchases directly to their monthly cellular bill.

In partnership with e-commerce firm Danal, the BilltoMobile payment service will begin later this spring. Verizon Wireless customers will be able to pay for online content downloaded and consumed from Danal’s participating network of e-commerce merchant partners.
The mobile payment service will feature a $25-per-month spending limit for these purchases, along with content and parental controls for individual accounts.
Here’s how it works: Consumers click on a BilltoMobile? button during checkout at a participating online Web site. After inputting a mobile phone number and billing zip code, a text message is sent to the phone with a one-time passcode. Put the passcode into the online checkout window and the transaction is complete.
The companies say the entire process takes about 15 seconds.



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Skype coming to Blackberry and Android

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Image via CrunchBaseBack in February we read between the lines of a joint Skype and Verizon announcement to deduce that a much-coveted Skype app for BlackBerry was in the works. On Tuesday at CTIA 2010, the two companies took the podium again with a hard release date to share. Luckily, some Blackberry--and Android users--will only have to wait until Thursday to get the new Skype Mobile on their smartphones.

We say "some" phone owners and not "all" because at launch, Skype Mobile will only be available for nine handsets on Verizon's network--the BlackBerry Storm series, Curve series, and Tour; and the Motorola Droid, HTC Droid Eris, and Morotola Devour, (which also launches Thursday in Verizon stores.) Skype and Verizon anticipated expanding the app to other phone models and platforms in the future.



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Yahoo has lost another major executive

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Image via WikipediaYahoo has lost another major executive, the second in a week, with the departure of Chief Technologist Sam Pullara, who is off to Benchmark Capital to be an Entrepreneur in Residence.

His move, confirmed by Kara Swisher’s Boomtown blog, follows Monday’s announced departure of Joanne Bradford, senior VP of U.S. Revenue and Market Development and reportedly a key player in the search and online ad deal with Microsoft, according to a Boomtown post Bradford will be Chief Revenue Officer at Demand Media. And it was also confirmed earlier this week that Ash Patel, a longtime exec who joined the company in 1996, just before it went public, finally has left for good - a departure that has been rumored since he took a leave late last year.



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