Monday, July 5, 2010

Technical News - 05 July 2010

  • LG Will Release an Android Tablet in Q4

    July 5, 2010

    Filed under: News : Tablets

    Already has a Windows 7 tablet in the works, is working on Android tablet. Read more

  • Lenovo Says Apple Losing Out in China

    July 5, 2010

    Filed under: News : General

    Apple is missing out on an opportunity to further expand in China, says Lenovos Chairman Liu Chuanzhi. Read more

  • YouTube Also Hacked, Google Claims Its Fixed

    July 5, 2010

    Filed under: News : Websites

    Hackers plugged in off-colour pop-ups with adult related redirects. Read more

  • Samsung Announces the Q-Series Notebooks

    July 5, 2010

    Filed under: News : Laptops

    All models in the Q Series range offer outstanding computing power through state of the art Intel Core i3 or Intel Core i5 processors. Read more

  • Symbian Mega-Blogger Symbian-Gurum is Shutting Shop

    July 5, 2010

    Filed under: News : Websites

    Says hes switching over to Android. Read more

  • A Look Back At Bombing the Van Allen Belts

    July 5, 2010

    An anonymous reader points out a recent story at NPR describing one of the greatest lightshows in history — a US hydrogen bomb test 250 miles above the Pacific Ocean in 1962. The mission came about after James Van Allen confirmed the existence of radiation belts around the earth that now bear his name. As it turns out, the same day Van Allen announced his findings at a press conference, he "agreed with the military to get involved with a project to set off atomic bombs in the magnetosphere

  • What The Apple CEO REALLY Thinks Of Microsoft's Founder

    July 5, 2010

    Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, two titans of tech, have been friends, competitors, and colleagues. They've even gone on double-dates.

  • Hackers target XP support system

    July 5, 2010

    Windows XP users are urged to take care as hi-tech criminals target the operating system's help and support system.

  • Man fined over fake eBay auctions

    July 5, 2010

    A man has been fined and ordered to do community service after being found guilty of fixing an auction on eBay.

  • Biometric ATM yields cash via 'finger vein' scan

    July 5, 2010

    Poland's cooperative BPS bank claims to be the first in Europe to have installed a biometric ATM -- allowing customers to withdraw cash via "finger vein" technology.

  • Summer reading: Fiction for your cell phone

    July 5, 2010

    It's summertime. Like many people, you may not have enough time for an extended vacation in which to devour a juicy full-length novel.

  • Etc: Accounts of widespread App Store account hacking made their way around the Web over the weekend, though it appears the problem was grossly over-exaggerated.

    July 5, 2010

    Accounts of widespread App Store account hacking made their way around the Web over the weekend, though it appears the problem was grossly over-exaggerated.

    Read More: MacRumors

    Read the comments on this post

  • Iran says Germany, UK and UAE deny fuel to its planes

    July 5, 2010

    TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian officials accused Germany, Britain and the United Arab Emirates on Monday of refusing to refuel Iranian passenger planes due to unilateral U.S. sanctions imposed over its nuclear program.

  • Komorowski wins Polish election, but reforms await

    July 5, 2010

    WARSAW (Reuters) - Prime Minister Donald Tusk's candidate won Poland's presidential poll but the narrowness of the victory cast doubt on the government's ability to carry out unpopular reforms ahead of a 2011 parliamentary election.

  • First Full-Sky Image From Planck Mission

    July 5, 2010

    krou writes "Six months of work has produced a remarkable full-sky map from Planck. 'It shows what is visible beyond the Earth to instruments that are sensitive to light at very long wavelengths — much longer than what we can sense with our eyes. Researchers say it is a remarkable dataset that will help them understand better how the Universe came to look the way it does now. ... Of particular note are the huge streamers of cold dust that reach thousands of light-years above and below the

  • Samsung Galaxy i899 Set to Rock the CDMA Network in India

    July 5, 2010

    Filed under: News : Smart

    Reliance is planning for the Samsung Galaxy i899 to be the first Android phone to go CDMA. Read more

  • The Facebook of mobile gaming?

    July 5, 2010

    Gamers looking to quickly hop online and score permanent bragging rights typically turn to set-top multiplayer services like Xbox Live and PlayStation Network.

  • dot.Rory

    July 5, 2010

    Why the outlook for UK dotcoms just got a little brighter

  • Supercharge Your PC with SSDs

    July 5, 2010

    SSDs can offer big speed improvements over hard drives, assuming you know what to do with them. Here's how to get the most bang for your storage buck.

  • Turkey wants Israel apology, but Israel rejects demand

    July 5, 2010

    ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey will cut ties with Israel unless it receives an apology over a deadly Israeli raid on a Turkish aid ship bound for Gaza, the Turkish foreign minister said, but Israel on Monday said it had no intention of doing so.

  • The quest for the supersonic skydive (photos)

    July 5, 2010

    Felix Baumgartner plans to ride a balloon to an altitude of 120,000 feet and then jump. In freefall on the way down, the veteran skydiver aims to hit Mach 1.

  • A Cold War tale reheated for Facebook

    July 5, 2010

    Should a spy have a Facebook profile? Well, if he or she wants to fit in with everybody else, the answer is yes.

  • 100 Years Ago: Elegant Flight

    July 5, 2010

    JULY 1960 INFANT MORTALITY -- “The death rate of U.S. infants, after a long and precipitous decline, has leveled off in the last few years, according to a study by Iwao M. Moriyama of the National Office of Vital Statistics. In some states it has even risen slightly, after reaching an all-time low of 26 per 1,000 live births in 1956. Most of the reduction in mortality of children under one year of age is attributable to control of infectious diseases, primarily influenza and pneumonia

  • Justin Bieber's 'North Korea tour'

    July 5, 2010

    Justin Bieber's tour page is the target of internet pranksters, voting for the Canadian singer to play North Korea.

  • The 3 MiFi: 5 lights, 3 buttons, 0 clue? – A review

    July 5, 2010

    The 3 MiFi: 5 lights, 3 buttons, 0 clue? contacted me before my talk at WebDirections @media to see if I wanted to try out the Three MiFi unit and blog about my experiences (don't confuse this with the MiFi that's sold outside the UK, which is known as the Novatel Wireless Hotspot and is notoriously difficult to find here.) Having just lost the T-Mobile USB dongle that had served me well for the last two years or so, I decided to take them up on the offer.

    If you haven't had the chance to see or play with a MiFi, it's a portable WiFi hotspot that takes a SIM card and shares your mobile connection with up to 5 devices. It comes in a little brushed-aluminium-and-white-plastic case that looks a little like slightly metallic Eva from Wall-E. The user interface consists of three little buttons on the side and a screen with five colored icons. You may be wondering why a device that has simply one purpose needs three buttons and five icons to perform its duties. And you'd be right. The UI is the worst part of the package and leads to a rather frustrating user experience. I can only assume that the unit was designed either by committee or by graphic designers, not product or experience designers.

    One button to rule them all

    The three buttons you have to press to turn the MiFi on.

    As I previously mentioned, the MiFi unit has just one function: connect to your mobile account with Three and share that connection, via WiFi, with up to five devices. To achieve this, however, the MiFi asks you to press and hold three different buttons: one to turn the unit on (power), one to make a mobile connection, and one to turn on the WiFi network.

    This is a perfect example of needlessly exposing the inner complexity of the device to the user.

    It's also a perfect example of what happens when engineers and designers think about their problems, not the user's problems ("inside-out design" vs. "outside-in design").

    Basically, if Google was a MiFi, it would give you a map of its servers and ask you how you'd like to load balance the search you're about to perform. The MiFi is a one-trick pony that needs nothing more than a single "on" button that turns it on, sets up the WiFi network, and connects to the mobile network. In other words, it should "just work". Don't make me think!

    Colour me unimpressed

    The MiFi's screen and the four colored lights/icons.

    Once you've mastered the black magic of which order to press the three buttons in to turn the device on, you're tasked with making sense of the five icons on the screen. In another design faux-pas, the icons both create expectations that they don't meet and use colour as their sole semantic differentiator.

    There is a static signal strength indicator which looks like a signal strength indicator but, being static, actually does not use the bars to indicate signal strength. Instead, it uses colour. (I'm not making this up.) If the signal strength indicator is red, you have low signal, if it's orange, you have a medium-level of signal, and if it's green, you have good signal. Of course, this is exactly what the bars in a signal strength indicator are for.

    Similarly, the battery indicator, connection speed, and WiFi indicators display their status based on colour alone. There's also an "R" icon that apparently comes on when you're roaming (and blinks alongside all the other lights when you first turn it on).


    I'm your new MiFi, and these are my guts: the MiFi, batter, and back cover.

    Another gripe I have with the unit is the location of the SIM card. Following the Nokia convention, the SIM card is located under the battery on the underside of the unit. This requires the user to take the unit apart, remove the battery, and insert the sim card as the first thing they do when they the device. This is akin to going on a first date with someone and showing them the granny knickers you happen to be wearing. Why ruin the magic at "hello?" I don't want to see what the inside of my MiFi looks like. I want to insert my SIM card and be wowed by the magic of a data connection that I can share with up to four of my friends.

    As far as actual operational functionality goes, I don't have any gripes with the MiFi or 3's network. I was able to get a good signal in most places and when I couldn't, I couldn't. C'est la vie when it comes to mobile Internet these days with any network. The user interface issues, however, ruined the experience for me.

    That said, the MiFi is a great idea and even with its faults it's a great alternative to purchasing different data plans for your laptop, iPad, and the plethora of other mobile gadgets in your geeky arsenal. With a single data plan and a single device, you can connect up to 5 devices or share your Internet connection with up for four friends. That, in and of itself, makes the MiFi a no-brainer.

    If 3 addresses the usability issues, the MiFi also has the potential to become a lovely experience. And it appears that they have begun to do just that with the recently-released MiFi 2.

    MiFi: the sequel

    I just read a review of the MiFi 2 by Ian Better that states that the MiFi 2 addresses some of the issues I outlined above. According to Ian, the new MiFi features a single "on" button. That's great news. Also, you can apparently now configure your MiFi via a web interface (this should make those of us on Macs and Linux PCs happy). Finally, the screen apparently now displays proper signal strength and battery information.

    However, based on the photo of the MiFi 2 posted on Technovia and Ian's article, I still think there's room for improvement in the design. It looks over-engineered and the interface has way too much noise.

    So, in my next post, I am going to design my version of the MiFi. Stay tuned for my MiFi 3 Prototype…

  • Crowdsourcing

    July 5, 2010

    Can a million people join forces to solve a problem?

  • Burglars Thwarted by Tech, from 1700 miles away by Homeowner

    July 5, 2010

    A man in Nova Scotia contacted the Lee County Sheriff's Office because two men were burglarizing his home in Lehigh Acres FL, reports said. The victim, who had a surveillance system in his Lehigh Acres home, emailed deputies photos of the suspects.

  • Nonvisual interface may allow blind people to drive cars

    July 5, 2010

    A newly developed driving interface may let blind people independently drive cars on the open road. Designed by engineers at Virginia Tech, the system incorporates various nonvisual cues into the driver's seat of a dune buggy that could help the blind navigate roads without assistance.

    The project began in 2007, when a group of Virginia Tech researchers placed in a DARPA competition to develop a vehicle that could drive itself. Later, the same group received a grant from the National

  • Restive Iraq provinces defy U.S. withdrawal timeline

    July 5, 2010

    JALAWLA, Iraq (Reuters) - It was a tip-off about a weapons cache that drew the U.S. soldiers of Charlie Troop away from their Stryker armored vehicles in the densely populated Iraqi town of Jalawla one Friday morning last month.

  • Google acts to fix YouTube flaw

    July 5, 2010

    YouTube is targeted by hackers who used the site to bombard people with fake pop-up messages and redirect them to adult sites.

  • Interpol asks Web surfers to help catch fugitives (AFP)

    July 5, 2010

    Picture taken at Interpol headquarters in Lyon, eastern France, shows policemen receiving information in the command and coordination room of the International police agency. Interpol on Monday urged Internet users to help track down hundreds of fugitives wanted for murder, rape, child sexual abuse and other serious crimes.(AFP/File/Jean-Philippe Ksiazek)AFP - International police agency Interpol on Monday urged Internet users to help track down hundreds of fugitives wanted for murder, rape, child sexual abuse and other serious crimes.

  • eBay fraud

    July 5, 2010

    How do you catch online auction cheats?

  • Lady Gaga sets Facebook record

    July 5, 2010

    The chart-topping pop star has become the first living person to get 10 million fans on social networking site Facebook.

  • Secret messages

    July 5, 2010

    Russian spy ring puts ancient code in the limelight

  • U.S. warns Georgia not to give Russia excuse to act

    July 5, 2010

    TBILISI (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Georgia on Monday not to give Moscow any excuse to take aggressive action against the south Caucasus nation, still reeling from its August 2008 war with Russia.

  • HTC HD2 Gets Android, Ubuntu Options

    July 5, 2010

    Unofficially of course..

  • Personal touch

    July 5, 2010

    Touchscreens could soon allow you to feel virtual objects

  • Windows 7 Codecs 2.5.6

    July 5, 2010

    All the codecs you need for Windows 7 to play AVIs, DVDs and more!

  • Vista Codec Package 5.7.8

    July 5, 2010

    All the codecs you need for Vista to play AVIs, DVDs and more!

  • Cyberwar : War in the Fifth Domain

    July 5, 2010

    Are the mouse and keyboard the new weapons of conflict?

  • HTC Droid Incredible Gets 720p HD Video Recording

    July 5, 2010

    As well as a brand new boot up screen

  • How even the dumbest Russian spies can outwit the NSA

    July 5, 2010

    The recently-busted Russian spy ring appears to consist entirely of complete incompetents. But as amateur as they were, they had a trick for passing messages over the Internet that the NSA's expensive Internet snooping and data-mining programs could never detect: steganography.

  • Planck telescope reveals universe image

    July 5, 2010

    The image was captured using Europe's Planck telescope.

  • New QWERTY Keypad Laden HTC Vision Leaked

    July 5, 2010

    Expect this one before the last quarter of 2010

  • Oscar Launches Range of Phones in India

    July 5, 2010

    Six out of ten phones launched already

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