Showing posts from August, 2010

Google puts iTunes in its sights | ZDNet

Google puts iTunes in its sights ZDNet: "Google is in talks with Hollywood executives to bring movie rentals to YouTube, according to the Financial Times (subscription needed). This move puts the search giant on a collision course with Apple.
The idea is simple. People are familiar with YouTube, and are happy to while away the hours watching a cat ride a Roomba or a panda sneezing. YouTube is also everywhere - desktops, notebooks, and critically, on mobile devices such as the iPhone. YouTube has enormous reach. Now Google wants to leverage this reach, hoping that people will pay for the privilege of being entertained."

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Apple’s Sept. 1 event in San Francisco will most likely involve a music-related

Image via CrunchBaseApple’s Sept. 1 event in San Francisco will most likely involve a music-related announcement of some sort. The proof? The front of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, where the shindig will be held, now features a giant image of an acoustic guitar with an Apple logo-shaped sound hole.

The blog Apple Insider has posted an image of the building’s new decoration.
The rumor-mill is churning in high gear over Apple’s possible announcements. Analysts and pundits seem to agree that Apple, in keeping with tradition from past years, will use the event to unveil new iPods. However, other scuttlebutt has focused on the prospect of a revamped Apple TV and new media-content deals.
A recent report from Bloomberg suggested that Apple is negotiating with content providers, including CBS and News Corp., to offer television shows for rental via iTunes. Rented episodes would cost 99 cents and last for 48 hours, according to unnamed sources close to those negotiations.

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More merchant account guidelines from eComTechnology

Image via CrunchBaseWhen processing through a regular , you'll need a gateway in order to accept payments online. You may have heard of Authorize.Net which is one of the more popular gateways. Getting setup with an internetcredit card merchant account isn't too difficult and should be considered vital to any internet or ecommerce project. This can be done usually about 1-2 weeks before going live which will give you plenty of time to get your account approved (usually 2-3 days at most) and another week or so of testing. You should be able to get this setup without many problems at all.
This is not a difficult process and ends up cheaper than using PayPal.

Apple iTunes fake reviews

Image via WikipediaApple iTunes users can rest a little easier, now that the Federal Trade Commission has settled with a public relations firm accused of posting fake customer reviews for mobile gaming apps.
The original FTC complaint accused California-based Reverb Communications of posting iTunes Store reviews that seemed to come from ordinary game players.
"Reverb and [owner Tracie] Snitker did not disclose that they were hired to promote the games and that they often received a percentage of the sales," reads the FTC's Aug. 26 statement paraphrasing its complaint. "These facts would have been relevant to consumers who were evaluating the endorsement and deciding whether to buy the gaming applications."
Under the terms of settlement between the FTC and Reverb, the latter will need to remove any previously posted endorsements of mobile games and refrain from making future endorsement or user claims without disclosing any "relevant connections."

Shah-e-Roon doesn't have the energy, money or support from Pakistan's government

Shah-e-Roon doesn't have the energy, money or support from Pakistan's government to help Madyan recover from floods that decimated the small town nearly a month ago.

He has been walking for two days with a 20-kg (44 lb) sack of wheat on his back. Food shortages caused by the disaster have sent prices soaring and the only market he can afford is many kilometers away.
"How can I think about rebuilding? I have no way of making money and I am just too tired," said the 50-year-old farmer.
Madyan, in the northwest Swat valley, looks more like an earthquake zone than a flood-stricken area.
Four-storey hotels that fueled the local economy vanished. Buildings have been flattened, with cars sandwiched between slabs of concrete. Roads were dragged down and all that's left behind are 30-meter (100-foot) dirt cliffs crumbling into a river.
Pakistan's government was heavily criticized after its sluggish response to the floods, which hit about one-third of the country, made…
Image via CrunchBase
Computer maker Dell Inc. (DELL-Q11.75----%) has matched a $1.69-billion (U.S.) offer from Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ-N38.22----%) to buy the data-storagecompany 3Par Inc., raising the stakes in the bidding contest for the little-known company.
The $27-per-share offer is worth three times the price of 3Par before Dell made its first bid last week, for $18 per share, or $1.13-billion. Dell and 3Par said Friday that 3Par's board has accepted the latest bid from Dell, which only has to match the terms of other offers under its initial agreement with 3Par.
In pre-market trading, 3Par shares surged nearly 10 per cent to $28.55 from Thursday's close of $26.03.
HP and Dell, two of the world's largest personal computer makers, are looking at 3Par as a way to build up their “cloud computingbusinesses, which involve delivering software, data storage and other services to customers over the Internet.

Related articles by Zemanta3Par Accepts New Bid From Dell Worth $…

Beware Friday’s hoax about the moon and Mars. Plus, are you sure you know why Mars is named “Mars?” | The Hot Word

Image via CrunchBaseWill Hollywood ever be satisfied?

It was only a few months ago that a district court judge credited the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for working “efficiently” as part of the ruling in the Viacom vs. YouTube case.

That ruling found that YouTube was complying with takedown notices from copyright holders when informed of copyright violations. That’s a key element of the DMCA because it keeps the burden of proof of copyright violations on the right party: the copyright holder.

After all, it’s a tall order to expect YouTube to determine which copyrighted works on the site are there in violation of copyrights and which ones are not. Many copyright holders put their copyrighted work on YouTube for the exposure.

Now, RIAA President Cary Sherman, while speaking at a conference in Colorado this week, said that the DMCA is no longer working for content creators and later suggested, in response to a question, that the matter be put before Congress, according to a CNET repo…

In a technology industry addicted to perpetual upgrade cycles

Image via WikipediaIn a technology industry addicted to perpetual upgrade cycles, as the PC market has been for two decades, infrastructure and equipment companies are looking to video as the next big killer app to drive demand for faster networks and services.
It's easy to see why. Regular standard definition television broadcasts consume more bandwidth capacity than other types of traffic, like audio or text. High-definition video eats up even more. And it would likely take at least two full high-definition channels to broadcast live just one sports game in 3D.
As a result, Internet traffic is expected to grow more than fourfold by 2014, and video will account for much of that growth, according to Cisco's annual Visual Networking Index Forecast. Cisco predicts that in the next four years, more than 90 percent of all content traversing the Net will be some form of video, whether it's peer-to-peer or streamed from servers.
But this enormous growth is not just coming from p…

Chevron fights potentially historic damages case $27B

Image via WikipediaChevron fights potentially historic damages case

Ecuadorean oil workers clean up a contaminated fuel pool in this file photo taken December 10, 2007. In Sucumbios provincial court, the stakes are $27 billion. That's what local farmers and indigenous tribes want from U.S. oil giant Chevron Corp to fund cleanup of areas they say were polluted with faulty drilling practices in the 1970s and '80s. Plaintiffs say Texaco wrecked wide areas of Ecuador's jungle by dumping drilling waste into unlined pits and leaving them to fester, an accusation that the company denies. Chevron inherited the case when it bought Texaco in 2001. Picture taken December 10, 2007.

LAGO AGRIO Ecuador - A run-down court building that also houses the local casino in this Amazon jungle town is the unlikely venue for the largest environmental damages lawsuit ever tried.

On the first floor, people play for pennies in The Mirage bingo and slot machine parlor. Three stories up, in Sucumbios…

A $20 billion compensation fund for economic victims of the BP Gulf oil spill opens for business on Monday

A $20 billion compensation fund for economic victims of the BP Gulf oil spill opens for business on Monday amid accusations that the rules established by its administrator are unfair.

Kenneth Feinberg who will run the fund said those who sustained financial loss because of the spill could claim for damages and he promised claimants more generous treatment than they would get if they sued the energy giant for damages.
"The goal here is to try and explain to eligible claimants: 'It is not in your interest to tie up yourself and the courts in years of uncertain protracted litigation when ... there is a more efficient quick alternative'" Feinberg told a news conference on Sunday.
"The goal will be to pay any individual claim within 48 hours of the claim being finalized and seven days for any business claim," he said.
BP set up the fund in June under pressure from the White House to come up with a remedy for the losses sustained in the fishing, tourism and other…

Royal Dutch Shell and German chemicals maker BASF plan to appeal a first instance Brazilian court ruling

Image via WikipediaRoyal Dutch Shell and German chemicals maker BASF plan to appeal a first instance Brazilian court ruling on health injuries related to pollution at a former pesticide plant.

German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) reported on Saturday that a court in Paulinia, 120 kilometers north of Sao Paolo, sentenced BASF and Shell to pay 1.1 billion Brazilian real ($626 million) for soil and groundwater pollution.

"We expect that the Brazilian courts at a higher level will eventually establish that we were not responsible for alleged health impacts and other claims," a Shell spokesman said on Sunday. BASF also plans to appeal, arguing former owner Shell was to blame, a BASF spokeswoman said.

Shell built the factory in the 1970s and sold it to chemicals manufacturer Cyanamid in 1995.

BASF bought the site in 2000 and produced pesticides there for only two years before shutting it down, the spokeswoman said.

Since 2008, the plant owner of the plant is Shell…

The Most Dangerous Threat to U.S. National Parks: Idiots Armed with the Latest Gadgets

Image via WikipediaThe Most Dangerous Threat to U.S. National Parks: Idiots Armed with the Latest Gadgets

July was an alarming, record-setting month for injuries at the Yellowstone National Park. It's not the park that's getting more dangerous, however—it's the technology that ignorant, inexperienced visitors are bringing in with them that's to blame:
But today, as an ever more wired and interconnected public visits the parks in rising numbers - July was a record month for visitors at Yellowstone - rangers say that technology often figures into such mishaps.People with cellphones call rangers from mountaintops to request refreshments or a guide; in Jackson Hole, Wyo., one lost hiker even asked for hot chocolate. - New York Times
Actually, let me back for a moment. It's new technology in the hands of stupid, selfish people that's to blame, and it's to blame in National Parks beyond just Yellowstone.
Beyond calls for cocoa, there are more serious cases, like …

Microsoft Bing is providing the mapping technology for the social network giant's location service on

Image via CrunchBaseLost in the gloss of Facebook's Places announcement and its impact on Foursquare and Gowalla is that Microsoft Bing is providing the mapping technology for the social network giant's location service on
Yet Bing still stands to lose valuable traffic from Facebook Places to search king Google because Google Maps provides the mapping technology for Places on the popular Facebook for iPhone application.
Launched Aug. 18 in the United States, Facebook Places lets users "check in" to a location via a smartphone to share their locations with Facebook friends.

Related articles by ZemantaGoogle: Hey, We've Got Places Too (, Google get split decision in Facebook Places mapping feature (

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Hovering 3,600 feet deep in the Gulf of Mexico, the plume is more than a mile wide, 650 feet thick and at least 35 kilometers (22 miles) long

An unprecedented survey of the waters around the site of the Deepwater Horizon disaster has found and mapped a massive, submerged plume of hydrocarbons. And it may not be the only one.

Hovering 3,600 feet deep in the Gulf of Mexico, the plume is more than a mile wide, 650 feet thick and at least 35 kilometers (22 miles) long, but probably longer, as the researchers had to break off because of Hurricane Alex. The plume is moving southwest with the water currents, down the continental slope.

Earlier this month, government officials claimed that just a quarter of the oil from the blown out Macondo well remained as "residual" in the gulf. But the new report on the plume, published today in Science Express, is the third finding issued this week that suggests government estimates were wildly off target.

Using both an autonomous robot to dive and zigzag through the plume and old-fashioned ship-based sampling of the waters, scientists mapped the plume to first see if such a plume ex…
Indonesian agri-business conglomerate Sinar Mas, which has been besieged by accusations of deforestation, is rapidly expanding in Canada, reopening a pulp mill in northern British Columbia and recently purchasing another near Vancouver.

The company’s strategy is to add to its supply of pulp to produce paper and other products for customers in Asia, as well as to use a separate corporate arm to try to distance itself from controversy.
Through a Netherlands-based company called Paper Excellence, Sinar Mas on Tuesday officially opened its pulp mill in Mackenzie, B.C., an industry town that at one point saw every mill shuttered during the severe forestry recession.
It bought the mill for $20-million in the spring and is spending as much as $40-million more to fully restart it, bringing 220 direct jobs back to Mackenzie.
Paper Excellence was created in 2007 as a separate entity from Sinar Mas, though the two are both owned by the family of Sinar Mas founder Eka Tjipta Widjaja, one of Indon…

Yahoo released a version of Yahoo Mail for Apple's popular iPad tablet computer

Yahoo August 17 released a version of Yahoo Mail for Apple's popular iPadtablet computer, which sold more than 4 million units in its first few months.

The release comes several months after Google fashioned a version of Gmail for the iPad's large touchscreen, and six weeks after Yahoo launched an HTML5 mobile Webmail app for Apple's iPhone.
Yahoo Mail Product Manager Lee Parry said in a blog post Yahoo Mail for the iPad will make it easy for users to find and organize messages using full search, personal folders and smart folders with messages from important contacts.

Related articles by ZemantaYahoo Mail Comes to the iPad, HTML5-Style ( optimizes Mail for Apple iPad (

RIM faces an Aug. 31 deadline to give Indian authorities the means to read e-mail and instant messages

Research In Motion (RIM-T51.46-1.56-2.94%) has assured Indian authorities of limited access to its Messenger services by Sept. 1 and will hold talks this week on giving access to enterprise mail, a government source said on Monday.

RIM faces an Aug. 31 deadline to give Indian authorities the means to read e-mail and instant messages sent over the BlackBerry.
“They have assured partial access to its messenger services by September 1 and agreed to provide full access by the end of the year,” a senior government source, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.
New Delhi says it will pull the plug if RIM does not comply, threatening its future in the world’s fastest-growing telecoms market.
“We hope they will address our security concerns,” an interior ministry official said.
India is the latest country to step up pressure on RIM, which has built the BlackBerry’s reputation around confidentiality.
Many business professionals and politicians prefer the device, but some governments, includi…
Image via WikipediaNuclear energy offers several advantages: It's clean, powerful and relatively cheap. But it also yields hazardous waste, a fact that terrifies a public haunted by memories of accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl nuclear reactors.
In America, about 60,000 tonnes of heavy nuclear energy byproducts sit in radioactive dumps, with no potential use and no expiration date in sight, while federal experts rack their brains for a better way to manage nuclear waste.
Several energy companies say they have a solution to the waste issue: Recycling, basically squeezing more energy from already-used nuclear fuel while leaving less waste behind.
But their efforts face a decades-old policy hurdle that offers them little incentive to pursue the process.
"When it comes to energy, America is strong on technology but weak on policy," said GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Chairman John Fuller. "And it's a critical handicap."
A Carter-era law keeps all used fue…

Bisphenol A, a widely used chemical that Canada is banning from baby bottles

Image via WikipediaBisphenol A, a widely used chemical that Canada is banning from baby bottles, is present in the bodies of 91 percent of Canadians, according to a report that shows just how prevalent the controversial chemical is in daily life.

Statistics Canada said Monday's report was the first time it has measured the extent that the industrial chemical, known as BPA, has been absorbed by people exposed to it.
"The real value in this is...for the very first time (we) have baseline information against which we can study trends and track what is happening with respect to bisphenol A exposure," said Tracey Bushnik, of Statscan's Health Analysis Division.
BPA is used in plastic bottles and as a coating for everything from shopping receipts to a lining for cans of foods, but it also has many other uses. [nN08153820].
Studies suggesting that low exposure levels early in life can affect neural development and behavior prompted Canada to announce plans to ban its use in…