Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Technical News - 27 July 2010

  • A Diagram That Depicts Smartphone Application Usage

    July 27, 2010

    Filed under: News : Smart

    Pretty funky yet truthful diagram of our smartphone application needs. Read more

  • Next Batch of Droid Xs Will Only Be Available on August 4

    July 27, 2010

    Filed under: News : Smart

    Verizon wireless stores say that the Droid X is checked out till Aug 4. Read more

  • Apple refreshes Mac desktops

    July 27, 2010

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc updated its line of desktop computers on Tuesday with the latest-generation chips, as the company continues to gain share in the PC market.

  • UBS outshines Deutsche Bank as wealth turnaround nears

    July 27, 2010

    ZURICH/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - UBS flagged a return to client inflows this year as strong equities and forex trading gains helped it outdo Deutsche Bank and other rivals, which were hit hard by Europe's sovereign debt crisis.

  • Facebook helps Philippine cops nab murder suspect (AP)

    July 27, 2010

    AP - Philippine police tracked down a suspect in a series of grisly robberies and killings with the help of his Facebook account, officials said Tuesday.

  • Apple on Jailbreak Ruling: Go Ahead and Brick Your iPhone. See If We Care.

    July 27, 2010

    Sure, jailbreaking your iPhone no longer violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), but that doesn’t mean Apple (AAPL) supports it. So if you want to modify your iPhone to run unauthorized software you’re welcome to do so, but not without risk or consequence. As Apple reminds us today, jailbreaking voids the iPhone’s warranty which could prove problematic if your tinkering bricks it.

    “Apple’s goal has always been to insure that our customers have a great experience with their iPhone and we know that jailbreaking can severely degrade the experience,” the company said in a statement given to Cult of Mac. “As we’ve said before, the vast majority of customers do not jailbreak their iPhones as this can violate the warranty and can cause the iPhone to become unstable and not work reliably.”

    So you’re not going to go to jail for jailbreaking your iPhone, but you may well end up at the Apple Store dealing with an unsympathetic tech. As Apple vice president of iPods and iPhone products and marketing Greg Joswiak argued during a rulemaking hearing last year, “when you hack the OS and remove all protection, anything can happen. … The OS runs everything. And this allows any app, regardless of its functionality, its reliability, or even its safety, to run.”

  • Israeli, Jordan leaders discuss Palestinian talks

    July 27, 2010

    AMMAN (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordan's King Abdullah discussed on Tuesday ways of launching direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians, a Jordanian palace official said.

  • Twitter Encounters More Digital Certificate Problems

    July 27, 2010

    Twitter is having trouble with a digital certificate that secures communications to its Web site, which has been causing trouble for third-party applications.

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    Twitter - Public key certificate - Online Communities - Social Networking - Security

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    July 27, 2010

  • Murder: Fast datacenter code deploys using BitTorrent

    July 27, 2010

    Twitter has thousands of servers. What makes having boatloads of servers particularly annoying though is that we need to quickly get multiple iterations of code and binaries onto all of them on a regular basis. We used to have a git-based deploy system where we’d just instruct our front-ends to download the latest code from our main git ...........

  • X Prize group eyes oil spill cleanup

    July 27, 2010

    It's challenged entrepreneurs to fly into space. Now the X Prize Foundation says it will award millions of dollars in a new Oil Cleanup X Challenge.

  • Terminator for GNOME lets users split terminal windows

    July 27, 2010

    Although a command line isn't a necessity anymore in modern desktop Linux distributions, there are many situations where it's still the most efficient way to perform and automate tasks. I often spawn terminal windows in clusters on my desktop while I'm working so that I can monitor and switch between a number of simultaneous operations. A large number of terminal windows can be frustrating to manage, however, and can look cluttered on a desktop.

    The standard GNOME terminal application

  • GENIVI Chooses Meego For In-Vehicle Infotainment Platform

    July 27, 2010

    Filed under: News : Smart

    Intel and Nokias new Meego platform will be used as the In-Vehicle Infotainment Platform for GENIVI alliance vehicles. Read more

  • Google Introduces Google Apps for Government

    July 27, 2010

    At a press event at its headquarters this morning, Google announced Google Apps for Government – a variant of Google Apps Premier edition, and includes the same core apps

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    Google - Google Apps - Searching - Search Engines - Google Apps for Government

  • IBM declares quarterly dividend of 65 cents (AP)

    July 27, 2010

    AP - IBM Corp. said Tuesday it will pay its quarterly dividend of 65 cents per share on Sept. 10 to stockholders on record as of Aug. 10.

  • Create an Image Sitemap for your WordPress Blog

    July 27, 2010

    google imagesUnlike video content, Google crawlers can easily discover most images that are embedded in your web pages.

    However, if a page on your site has multiple images, Google may have a problem identifying which among them is the most relevant image for the content of that page.

    It is therefore suggested that web publishers include an image sitemap (see example) on their sites. This will not only give Google strong hints about your various images that should be included in image search results but will also help them identify the most important and relevant images on a particular page.

    How to Generate Image Sitemaps

    If you have a WordPress site, you can use the XML Sitemaps plugin to automatically generate an image sitemap with a click.

    Once the sitemap is generated, you can either add it to your Webmaster Tools dashboard to inform Google about the new sitemap or you can use your robots.txt file to let them pick it on their own.

    Images hosted elsewhere?

    If your site images are hosted on Amazon S3 or any other domain /sub-domain that’s different from your blog’s domain, you may have to "prove" ownership of the host(s) for which URLs are being submitted in a Sitemap. This can be done by adding an entry in the robots.txt of the image hosting directory that points to your main XML sitemap.

    Also, the XML Sitemap for images follows the Sitemaps.org protocol but it is currently not supported by Bing, Yahoo! and other search engines.

    Related: How to get your images in Google

    Create an Image Sitemap for your WordPress Blog

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    Originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal.

  • New Magical Apple products

    July 27, 2010

    The Library of Congress says you can jailbreak your iPhone, Google releases secure apps for the U.S. government, and Apple releases new iMacs, Mac Pros, LED Cinema Displays and a surprise Magic Trackpad.

  • Pic of the Day, 7/27: What is this?

    July 27, 2010

    If you know what this is and where it's located, you could win a prize in the CNET Road Trip Picture of the Day challenge.

  • BP launches image overhaul and ditches Tony Hayward

    July 27, 2010

    LONDON (Reuters) - BP Plc launched a plan to repair its battered image in the United States on Tuesday, ditching its gaffe-prone chief executive and promising to slim down by trebling an asset sale target to $30 billion.

  • Android location search gets a boost with new Places app

    July 27, 2010

    Google really changed the game for mobile mapping in Android by offering impressive features like turn-by-turn navigation at no cost. Excellent location-aware software is obviously a prerequisite for lucrative location-sensitive advertising, so it's unsurprising that Google has continued to invest a lot of technical resources in its effort to aggressively improve Android's map software.

    The latest improvement to Google Maps for Android is a new Places application that makes it easy

  • Leaked archive fuels doubts on Afghan war

    July 27, 2010

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration scrambled on Monday to manage the explosive leak of secret military records that paint a grim picture of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan and raise new doubts about key ally Pakistan.

  • Yahoo Japan Confirms Google Switch from Yahoo

    July 27, 2010

    As BoomTown reported earlier today, Yahoo Japan confirmed it would switch its search technology and paid search provider to Google from Yahoo. The move is a definite blow to Yahoo's new search and advertising alliance with Microsoft, although Yahoo sought to minimize the damage in a statement.

  • Motorola Planning 10 Inch Android 3Tablet

    July 27, 2010

    Filed under: News : Tablets

    Adding to the devices that want to compete with the iPad. Read more

  • Beyond Flip-Of-A-Coin Breast Cancer Diagnosis

    July 27, 2010

    Emerging technologies promise better, earlier detection of breast cancer.

  • How Will the Smart Grid Handle Heat Waves?

    July 27, 2010

    The heat wave in which much of the nation remains mired comes as a handful of communities across the country take their first steps toward implementing smart grid technology. The new meters, electricity distribution management systems, network management software and other technologies are designed to add intelligence to the way power is generated, distributed and used. [More]

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    Technology - Smart grid - Electricity - Energy - Network management

  • Apple unveils 27-inch LED display, nixes 30-inch model

    July 27, 2010

    The new 27-inch Cinema Display, priced at $999, replaces the currently available 24-inch and 30-inch models.

  • What the iPhone jailbreaking ruling means

    July 27, 2010

    To help answer some questions about this week's Copyright Office announcement regarding the legality of so-called cell phone jailbreaking, or the modification of the software that comes with iPhones and other handsets that is designed not to be changed, we've compiled the following list of Frequently Asked Questions:

  • SAP reports revenue up 12%, earnings up 15%

    July 27, 2010

    SAP reported a 15% year-on-year rise in earnings for the second quarter, on revenue up 12%. It forecast that underlying revenue growth in its core business of software and software-related services will accelerate following completion of its acquisition of Sybase.

  • Lexmark profit rises sharply

    July 27, 2010

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Lexmark International Inc posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday on strong sales of printers and supplies, and as improved demand for services helped beef up margins.

  • Apple intros Mac Pro with 12 processing cores

    July 27, 2010

    The new Mac Pro, due in August, uses quad-core and 6-core Intel Xeon processors with speeds up to 3.33GHz.

  • HTC makes first foray into China

    July 27, 2010

    One of the world's top designers of smartphones, Taiwan's HTC, has announced it is moving into the Chinese market for the first time.

  • Browser Blowout 2010

    July 27, 2010

    Of all the software on your PC, the Web browser may be the most important tool you use each day--but you may not give it much thought. The difference between a merely good browser and a great one, however, can be vast. The best browsers are those that stay out of your way: When you're in the right browser, you feel as though you're alone with your favorite site. The browser loads pages quickly, without crashing, and it can deftly handle any Web page you visit without prompting you to do anything

  • Obama's choice for warrior-in-chief, Gen. James Mattis, calls Iraq invasion "the dumbest thing we ever did"

    July 27, 2010

    James N. Mattis is the four-star Marine general whom Barack Obama just nominated to head the U.S. Central Command, with oversight of the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. If confirmed by the Senate (a hearing is set for today), Mattis will replace David Petraeus, who took over command of troops in Afghanistan from Stanley McChrystal after he and his staff spoke too bluntly to a Rolling Stone reporter.

    The irony is that Mattis is a tough talker too, who got in trouble in 2005 for saying that &

  • Empowering users to control their privacy

    July 27, 2010

    How do you come up with solutions for online privacy when technology is constantly evolving? It’s a challenge that engineers face every day when figuring out how to make it intuitive, simple, and useful for Internet users to take control of their privacy and security. It’s also the topic that Dr. Alma Whitten, Google’s lead privacy engineer, will be addressing alongside representatives from Apple, AT&T, and Facebook later today at a Senate Commerce

  • Apple's Magic Trackpad Is Here

    July 27, 2010

    Apple desktops have touchpads now too. The new Magic Trackpad gives Mac Pro and iMac owners multitouch powers, gestures, and bluetooth connectivity.

  • Apple updates iMac line, intros Magic Trackpad

    July 27, 2010

    Besides bringing Intel's Core i3, i5 and i7 processors to its iMacs, Apple also releases the Magic Trackpad, bringing the power of gestures to the Mac.

  • Yahoo building new software infrastructure for media products

    July 27, 2010

    Yahoo is building a centralized software infrastructure across all its media products, to make development and global updates more efficient, an executive said on Saturday.

  • Amimon Demos Wireless 3D HD Video System

    July 27, 2010

    A demonstration transmitted 1080p 3D video at a frame rate of 24FPS, and the company plans to market a system that uses two boxes to send such signals between 3D HDTVs and a 3D Blu-ray player. The only cables required are power cables and HDMI cables that connect the Blu-ray player to the transmitter box and the TV to the receiver box.

  • Xtreme Power raises cash for renewable-energy storage

    July 27, 2010

    Start-up pulls in nearly $30 million to go after the utility market with large-scale systems that make wind and solar power more reliable suppliers of electricity to the grid.

  • The iPad goes to college this fall

    July 27, 2010

    The iPad is about to have its academic chops put to the test this fall in a number of programs around the country.

  • Microsoft Hohm connects to home electricity monitor (photos)

    July 27, 2010

    Microsoft's Hohm Web application can now get data from the PowerCost Monitor whole-house electricity monitor by using a home broadband connection.

  • Smart earplugs know when it's too loud

    July 27, 2010

    Now in use by the military, intelligent earplugs that automatically filter out the clamor when it reaches dangerous levels are being adapted for offshore drilling and other noisy jobs.

  • Microsoft Hohm connects to home power monitor

    July 27, 2010

    Microsoft inks a deal with home energy monitor maker to let people get detailed information on home electricity use without the need for a smart meter.

  • The Legal Issues Around Cloud Computing

    July 27, 2010

    Cloud Computing can help your business reduce costs as you don’t have to invest in hardware and other physical infrastructure, your data is stored on a secure location and you only pay for what you use – there are no licensing fees associated with cloud computing.

    Legal Issues associated with Cloud Computing

    cloudsThat said, there are some important legal issues that must be taken care of before you sign-up with any of the cloud vendors for your business.

    These issues, discussed below, are more relevant for business owners who are planning to shift to the cloud and may not really matter if you are a consumer who merely uses the cloud for storing emails or office documents.

    1. The Physical Location of your Data

    1a. Where is your data stored physically?
    Your data could be stored in any country and you may not even know where the data centre is situated. The ‘physical location’ raises the question of legal governance over the data. The customer must be clear so as to the provisions of the prevailing law in that particular nation.

    1b. If a dispute arises, what will be the place of jurisdiction?
    In case a conflict arises between the cloud vendor and the customer (you), which country’s court system will settle the dispute?

    Say you are a business owner in China and your cloud service provider is based in the US. The vendor will definitely prefer settling the case in in an American court but as a customer, do you have the financial means and resources to get the dispute settled in the jurisdiction of another nation?

    2. Responsibility of your Data

    2a. What if the data centre is hit by a disaster?
    It might happen that the vendor’s premises is severely affected due to a disaster. Even the 10-Q filings of Google Inc. with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission mentions such a risk:

    Our systems are vulnerable to damage or interruption from earthquakes, terrorist attacks, floods, fires, power loss, telecommunications failures, computer viruses, computer denial of service attacks, or other attempts to harm our systems.

    The question is whether you are indemnified by the insurance company for loss of your business or not?

    2b. Is there any liability coverage for breach of privacy?
    If a privacy breach occurs due to a fault of cloud vendor, is there any liability coverage policy taken up by the vendor? The scope of breach of privacy has widened considerably over the years in the field of cyber insurance. Some insurance carriers offer coverage even for breach of minor information and the customer is compensated on on behalf of the cloud vendor.

    2c. What can be done if the data center gets hacked?
    Though all cloud vendors try their best to fend off hackers, no security setting is assumed to be foolproof. If the data center gets hacked, can you move against the vendor for claiming lost profits?

    3. Intellectual Property Rights

    3a. Is your data protected under intellectual property rights?
    If it happens that the data is your own creation (like photographs, literature, etc), then is it protected under the intellectual property rights of that country? What means do you have if they get infringed?

    3b. How secure are trade secrets?
    Your data stored in the ‘cloud’ may have trade secrets or privileged information which must be protected under attorney-client relationship. How secure will such information be in hands of the cloud vendor?

    Or consider a reverse situation. If you leak out a trade secret of another business entity, how far will your cloud storage provider go to protect your data when they have been summoned to the court with all your stored data, access logs, etc.

    3c. Third party access?
    The vendor may grant some privileged third parties access to your stored data. The identity of such parties, if any, must be disclosed to the customer. Here, the third party could be a legal authority or even an internal employee. The customer should always be informed before the vendor allows third parties to access the stored data.

    To protect the interest of your business, it may therefore be extremely essential that your read the terms and conditions meticulously before signing up for a cloud based services.

    If the vendor provides a standard form of contract (which is a general practice), then you must be must be fully aware of all the terms and conditions. It will save you from nasty surprises and you will be financially, mentally and legally prepared to save your business from unfavorable consequences of cloud computing.

    The author Nikita Anand is the editor-in-chief of Mighty Laws where she seeks to explain complex legal jargon in simple English. Nikita is currently pursuing a degree in Law from NLIU.

    The Legal Issues Around Cloud Computing

    Facebook Twitter Digital Inspiration @labnol

    Originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal.

  • How to Setup Google DFP on your Site – A Tutorial

    July 27, 2010

    You rely on an ad network like Google AdSense for serving ads but do you also accept direct advertising on your website? Or have you signed up with multiple ad-networks but, due to limited ad space on your site, will only like to run ads from the network that pays you the most money (read maximum CPM)?

    google dfpIf you just said yes, Google DFP (DoubleClick for Publishers) could be an ideal solution for you. It is a free ad server from Google that lets you sell ad space on your website.

    You may choose to run banner ads, text ads or even rich-media (like video and flash ads) through DFP. The tool, which was formerly known as Google Ad Manager, requires no downloads or installation and any website publisher can sign-up for the DFP program as long as they have an active Google AdSense account.

    Sell Your Advertising Space with Google DFP

    Say you have a news website (or a blog) where you cover topics such as technology, sports, entertainment and so on. An advertiser wants to serve banner ad campaigns on all your tech related pages. He will pay $20 CPM for all US based impressions (see order) and you can fill your remnant inventory through Google AdSense ads.

    Let’s see how we can easily setup such an ad campaign through Google DFP.

    Step 1: Create Ad Units

    We need to tell DFP about the advertising space on our web pages. For instance, in our above example, we’ll have to create three ad slots for the 300x250 rectangle, the 160x600 skyscraper and the 468x60 banner. These are standard IAB units though you are free to define custom ad sizes as well.

    Go to DFP –> Inventory –> Ad Units –> New Ad Unit. Give your ad unit a descriptive name so that you can easily determine where exactly that ad unit will be displayed and it’s size. Also check the option “Maximize revenue of unsold and remnant inventory with AdSense.”


    Step 2: Define Placements

    You have multiple ad units on the same page and there’s a possibility that an advertiser may want to place ads on more than one unit. Therefore, we need to create a placement which is like a group of one or more ad units where an advertiser’s ad can be displayed.

    Go to Inventory tab –> Placements –> New Placement and define the placement. To keep things simple, we will associate only one ad unit (the 300x250 one) with our ad placement. Check the option that says “Offer this placement to advertisers” through AdWords and DoubleClick Ad planner to attract more advertisers.


    Step 3. Create an Order

    Now that we have defined our ad inventory, it’s time to feed in the client’s order. The advertiser will specify where he wants to place the ad, what kind of demographics he wants to target, what’s the price he is willing to pay and how long will the campaign run on our site.

    Go to DFP –> Orders –> New Order. Create a company for the advertiser and then fill in the order details under “new line item.” Set the Type to “Price Priority” if you want the highest paying ads to be served on your site. Set Value CPM equal to the price that the client will pay and then add the targeting criteria.


    Step 4. Upload the Ad Creative

    It’s time for your to upload the “actual ad” that will display on your web pages. You can either upload images, Flash videos or even snippets of HTML and JavaScript in case you’re going with text ads.

    Go to DFP –> Line Items and select the “Line Item” that you’ve created in the previous step. Click Add Creatives –> New Creative and upload the image / SWF Flash file. You can even upload multiple creative ads per line item and they’ll display evenly across that site – this helps you determine an appropriate ad copy that performs best with your visitors.


    Step 5. Get the Ad Tags for your Site

    We are almost done. All we need to do is get the JavaScript code from Google Ad Manager DFP and copy-paste it into our blog’s template.

    Click the Inventory tab in your DFP dashboard and choose “Generate Ad Tags” – select the appropriate ad unit (the one that we created in Step #1) and choose “Generate Tags.” Add this code to your website and within 10-15 minutes, the DFP tool should start serving ads on your pages.

    Here’s a narration-less screencast that captures all the above steps in a quick video.

    If you ever have trouble serving ads through DFP , just open any page of your website, add ?google_debug to the URL and reload. This will generate a tracing log that should help you debug the problem, if any.

    How to Setup Google DFP on your Site – A Tutorial

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