Showing posts from January, 2011

Egyptians are reaching out to each other and the world with a mix of old-fashioned dial-up modems

When Egypt cut the Internet off for the vast majority of its citizens, the Egyptian government did a frighteningly good job of turning off the Internet. But, despite the government’s efforts, in the days that have followed Egyptians are reaching out to each other and the world with a mix of old-fashioned dial-upmodems and satellite Internet.
Make no mistake about it, the Egyptian government did what they intended to do: They’ve cut their people from using the modern broadband Internet. Using cobbled together technology, however, Egyptian Internet users has continued on.
Thanks to dial-up modems, some Egyptians are able to login to international modem pools outside the government’s control. Internet activist groups like Werebuild and Telecomix are publishing lists of international modem-dial up numbers.
Related articlesWithout broadband, the Internet in Egypt ("How you can help Egyptians connect to outside world" and related posts (

Kindle out selling paperback books

Cover via Amazon In a twist that will likely have paper-loving bibliophiles screaming in agony,'s Kindle ebooks have apparently started outselling paperbacks, having already surpassed hardcovers.
Amazon sold 115 Kindle books for every 100 paperbacks moved through its online storefront, the company reported Jan. 27. That apparently includes sales of books without an equivalent electronic edition, and excludes free Kindle ebooks.
"Last July we announced that Kindle books had passed hardcovers and predicted that Kindle would surpass paperbacks in the second quarter of this year," CEO Jeff Bezos wrote in a Jan. 27 statement, "so this milestone has come even sooner than we expected—and it's on top of continued growth in paperback sales."
However, Amazon remains reluctant to share any hard numbers related to the sales of Kindle e-readers, aside from the totally unsurprising note that "millions" of third-generation Kindle devices sol…

“Super WiFi” is one step closer toward becoming reality

A vision to turn the unused white space of wireless airwaves into a “Super WiFi” is one step closer toward becoming reality.
In a blog post today, Google said it is one of nine companies that the FCC this week named as administrators for a white spaces database. From the Google post:
Before inventors can start to introduce new products and services on these airwaves, the FCC must certify the white spaces databases, which will ensure that different wireless signals don’t interfere with each other. In the coming weeks, the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology will work with the designated database administrators, including real-world testing to ensure that databases provide accurate results.Last year, Google - which has pushed to be a key player in the discussions - submitted a proposal to build and operate a database. At the time, the company said it wants to be involved because “we continue to be big believers in the potential for this spectrum to revolutionize wireless broadband

new generation of WikiLeaks-style websites is sprouting

Image by Poster Boy NYC via Flickr All across Europe, from Brussels to the Balkans, a new generation of WikiLeaks-style websites is sprouting.
Like their forerunner, the fledgling whistle-blowing sites are a chaotic mixture of complex systems engineering, earnest campaigning, muckraking and self-promotion.
And though their goals are varied, the activists behind the sites told Reuters that they share one major concern: they all vow not to repeat mistakes they believe were made by Julian Assange, the controversial WikiLeaks creator.
The proliferation of websites to encourage, facilitate and shelter leakers is so anarchic that two aspiring anti-corporate leak sites are both claiming rights to the rubric "GreenLeaks" and muttering about legal consequences if the other side doesn't back down.
The most closely watched rollout in the leak-hosting world was the launch on Thursday of, a site whose principal creator, German transparency activist Daniel Domscheit-Berg,…

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Sepaton, which is making storage pooling an increasingly well-known feature of new-generation storage tech

Image via CrunchBase Sepaton, which is making storage pooling an increasingly well-known feature of new-generation storage tech, this week released its next-generation (version 6.0) storage software, which powers storage pools in its new S2100-ES2 Series 1910/2910 systems.
The new platform features gridlike scalability, multiprotocol support and fast deduplication, Sepaton's new vice president of marketing, Greg Mancusi-Ungaro, told eWEEK.
The Marlboro, Mass.-based company's S2100-ES2 1910 and 2910 high-end deduplicating virtual tape libraries can expand up to eight 2U head nodes in one cluster, Mancusi-Ungaro said. The v6.0 software has the scalability to easily handle large enterprise workloads through pooling, he said.
Pooling is an approach to storage virtualization that delineates specific areas of the storage system to be dedicated to specific data flows, in order to enable more efficient multitenant service deployments.
Related articlesSepaton whups Data Domain on perform…

Joslyn oil sands project approved

Image via Wikipedia Joslyn will add to a fast-growing oil sands industry that already produces 1.9 million barrels per day. According to data gathered by Strategy West Inc., Fort McMurray-area mines produce 1.1 million barrels today; mines with another 940,000 have also been approved, not including Joslyn.
In total, Alberta has given the thumbs-up to 2.2 million barrels in projects that have yet to pump oil. Companies have proposed a total of 8.2 billion barrels.
Suncor Energy Inc. (SU-T40.171.624.20%) is a part-owner in the Joslyn project, which Total purchased in 2005 when it paid $1.7-billion to buy junior Deer Creek Energy.
The approval increases the area in Alberta that can be mined by 7 per cent, and places 20 conditions on the company, and 16 on the provincial government and its energy regulator, the Energy Resources Conservation Board.
Those conditions mirror standing laws that require speedier reclamation of toxic mine waste and protection of species at risk and valued wildlife…

D-Link announced the release of a business-grade, cloud-managed WiFi platform built

Image via CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBase D-Link announced the release of a business-grade, cloud-managed WiFi platform built to meet the connectivity and security needs of small to midsize businesses. The new DAP-2555 AirPremier N Dual Band, POE (Power over Ethernet) Access Point powered by CloudCommand delivers a WiFi environment with core business-grade features, designed through a strategic agreement with PowerCloud Systems, a cloud-based software provider.
The DAP-2555 AirPremier N Dual Band, POE Access Point ($399) is available through VARs and includes a one-year CloudCommand subscription. The DAP-2555 Access Point is one of many solutions within the CloudCommand family of WiFi, business-class access points. Other products include the DAP-2565 802.11n Dual Band, POE, Plenum-rated AP (available in the second quarter of 2011), and the DAP-3525 802.11n Dual Band, POE, Outdoor AP, also available 2Q 2011.
“Our cloud-managed WiFi products are breakthrough solutions that will make affor…

“Net 60” is the increasingly common standard in big business

But nowadays small business is recovering more slowly than big business. While capital spending at small firms is up, according to a PNC Bank survey, 60 percent of small-business owners are delaying hiring. Why? I’ll defer to the economists on the complex explanations but one simple one has been overlooked: corporate deadbeats. In their B2B relations, big businesses are forcing small businesses to act as their banks by not paying their bills on time. “Net 60” is the increasingly common standard in big business -- 60 days before cutting a check to suppliers. You can imagine the havoc this wreaks on the cash flow of the small fry that depend on large companies to stay alive. It’s an outrageous and destructive trend in the business world. Fortunately, President Barack Obama has the power to stop much of it if he’s tough enough. Both the Small Business Administration and the National Federation of Independent Business have been slow to catalogue the extent of the problem. But Washington Mon…

Paid apps lagging in Android market

Image via CrunchBase It's rare to catch any actual Android developers other than the operating system creator Andy Rubin speaking in public. It's even more rare that you'll hear one of the team express any negativity about the platform's progress
Yet Eric Chu, group manager for Android platform at Google, apparently acknowledged that Google is "not happy" with the paucity of paid app purchases for the Android platform despite the fact that consumers are activating 300,000 Android handsets each day.
Forbes got the story from Chu, who spoke at the Inside Social Apps event in San Francisco Jan. 25. The revelation comes one day after Apple's App Store just passed the 10 billion mark for apps downloaded for the iPhone
Paid apps has lagged on Android for a number of reasons, including the fact that spammy apps roll through the Android Market like tumbleweeds. Inadequate billing options have been the main bugbear.
To wit, Chu also said Google wants to improve ca…

Google needs to establish an update process

Image via CrunchBase The whole “open” concept behind Android implies that Google should keep producing its code and keeping its hands off those who are building products with it. That is the ideal process, but it’s not working when so many customers are unhappy with support. They may be mad at Samsung for the lack of updates, or their telco, but ultimately it is the Android brand that bears the brunt of customer discontent.
If OEMs have such a difficult time producing updates for handsets, then something is wrong with the process. If OEMs are holding off releasing updates for business reasons, as many customers believe, then the process is flawed in allowing that to happen. If the telcos are dragging the process down with testing delays, then the process is not working. It is time for Google to step in and address all of the issues affecting timely updates to its customers, and make no mistake, Android customers are Google’s customers.
Google needs to establish an update process for pa…

Google acquires SayNow a signal company

Image via CrunchBase Google confirmed Jan. 25 that it has acquired SayNow, a signal that the company wants to bring social applications into its Google Voice phone management platform.
"SayNow will work closely with the Google Voice team, but we don't have any specific plans to announce at this time," a Google spokesperson told eWEEK.
"We are impressed by the services they have already built, and we look forward to working together to expand our voice-based technologies that better connect people."
The startup, which has more than 15 million users, provides voice messaging, one-on-one conversations and group calls to be integrated into applications for Facebook and Twitter, as well as Android and iPhone.
For example, ESPN in October added SayNow's Voice App to its Facebook page, leaving a message from former head coach and player Mike Ditka.
Other apps such as SayNow Broadcast enable brands and celebrities to "broadcast and receive voice messages as wel…

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Related articlesHigh risk eCheck processing for Pharmacy (

Google last year began incorporating Twitter tweets, along with Facebook

Image via CrunchBaseGoogle Co-founder Sergey Brin admitted that real-time and identity-based services related to social networking are important areas for Google as it seeks to stem the tide of traffic flowing to Facebook.
He also allowed that the search engine has only "touched one percent" of what social can lend to search. Brin's admission was a response to a question on the topic during the company's fourth quarter earnings call Jan. 20, where Google CEO Eric Schmidt said he was handing over the CEO mantle to co-founder Larry Page April 4.
Brin is currently trying to hash together what Schmidt has described this year as a layered approach to social networking. His comments on the call indicated that real-time integration and social tools are key for Google going forward.
Google last year began  incorporatingTwitter tweets, along with Facebook and MySpace status updates in Web pages. The companylaunchedGoogle Social Search a year ago this week.
The serv…

AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition was the most widely downloaded software in 2010 according to CNET.

Image via Wikipedia AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition was the most widely downloaded software in 2010 according to CNET. It was downloaded over 83 million times at last year. It is odd that free PC security software would be more popular than products from industry leaders like McAfee and Symantec. They are, at least in the eyes  of most PC protection experts, the state of the art products.
Any analysis that takes a complete look at the PC protection business knows that antivirus software, like most other software, may be affordable to consumers in developed nations. But the real growth in computer use in in places like China and other large nations in the developing and third world. It is hard to come by the money to pay for a Norton protection program. There is particularly true when one that is considered adequate is available at no cost.
The AVG download numbers show a trend that is one of the great enemies of companies which make effective and paid software. The better the free …

Juniper Networks is bulking up its marketing and channel prowess by raiding the executive ranks

Image via CrunchBaseJuniper Networks is bulking up its marketing and channel prowess by raiding the executive ranks of rivals Cisco Systems and Microsoft.
Juniper last week announced that two former Microsoft officials made the jump to help the networking company build up its enterprise marketing and global partnership capabilities. In between those announcements, Juniper officials said a Cisco executive is making the move to oversee Juniper's worldwide partner marketing.
The moves come as Juniper pushes its "Project Stratus" strategy to use silicon, virtualization and automation to collapse the data center networking infrastructure from three tiers into one. The appointments also represent the latest in a series of executive exits from Microsoft.
Juniper announced Jan. 19 that Brad Brooks, who was corporate vice president for Windows consumer marketing and product management, was named vice president of worldwide enterprise marketing and solutions at Juniper, reporting …

The founder of whistleblower site WikiLeaks attacked Switzerland on Sunday for arresting a Swiss banker

Image via Wikipedia The founder of whistleblower site WikiLeaks attacked Switzerland on Sunday for arresting a Swiss banker on suspicion of breaching banking secrecy instead of investigating the tax evasion he said he had uncovered.
In an interview published in the Swiss weekly Der Sonntag, Julian Assange, whose website has angered Washington by releasing confidential U.S. diplomatic cables, said Switzerland's actions were drawing renewed international attention to its controversial banking practices.
On Friday the Swiss prosecutor's office said former banker Rudolf Elmer would be detained over the weekend after police questioned him about breaking Swiss banking secrecy laws. A judge will decide on Monday whether to remand him for longer.
Police took Elmer into custody on January 19 after he handed computer discs to Assange for WikiLeaks at a news conference in London earlier in the week. Elmer indicated the CDs contained details of as many as 2,000 offshore bank accounts.

Toshiba launched a preview Website of its forthcoming Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet

Image via WikipediaToshiba launched a preview Website of its forthcoming Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet, a device geared to provide features Apple's iPad lacks such as dual cameras, a swappable battery, several data ports and Flash support.
EWEEK got a sneak peek of the tablet three weeks ago at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, but few specs were made available about the device, whose name Toshiba has yet to announce.
However, much more information about this device has come to light vis-à-vis this Toshiba teaser Website, which shows an attractive, portable computer with a slip-resistant, EasyGrip finish that will come in 5 colors.
Like the Motorola Xoom, launching from Verizon Wireless and Best Buy next month as the first Honeycomb tablet, the Toshiba tablet is powered by an Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor.
The device features 10.1-inch multitouch screen with a 1280-by-800 with 720p HD resolution and a 16:10 aspect ratio, "so neither your favorite movies nor your favorit…

Internet running out of IP addresses

Image via Wikipedia The world will run out of Internet addresses "within weeks", according to one of the founding fathers of the web, a report said Friday.
Vint Cerf, who helped create the web by connecting computers using Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, said it was his "fault" that the 4.3 billion addresses created were running out, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
"I thought it was an experiment and I thought that 4.3 billion would be enough to do an experiment," Cerf, who is Google's vice president and "Chief Internet Evangelist", was quoted as saying in an interview.
"Who the hell knew how much address space we needed?"
In 1977, Cerf created the web protocol IPv4, which connects computers globally, as part of an experiment while working with the US Department of Defense. He said he never expected his experiment "wouldn't end".
"It doesn't mean the network stops, it just means you can't build it ver…