Monday, August 16, 2010

Technical News - 16 August 2010

  • 1E adds iPhone app for waking up power-managed computers

    August 16, 2010

    1E is answering IT managers or computer users who might be concerned about the impact that powering down their notebooks or desktop computers might have on night-time patching and management...

  • Alzheimer's and open source medicine

    August 16, 2010

    Open source is not just for software any more.

  • Ubuntu Linux: I Like It, It Doesn't Like Me

    August 16, 2010

    Can a regular Windows user completely migrate to Ubuntu Linux as their desktop operating system?

  • BFG Tech winding down, "lifetime warranty" no longer being honored

    August 16, 2010

    BFG Tech, once a primary partner of NVIDIA, is now denying RMA requests on dead graphics cards that were previously under "lifetime warranty" as the business is being wound down.

  • IE9 fails to excite me

    August 16, 2010

    Despite the preview platform releases, and a beta that's supposed to land on September 15th, I just can't seem to muster up any excitement over Microsoft's upcoming Internet Explorer 9.

  • French community cuts streetlight energy usage by one-third with Echelon

    August 16, 2010

    I am privy to plenty of energy efficiency case studies in my role with ZDNet's GreenTech Pastures. Personally speaking, I feel that any company that focuses on cutting power consumption is worthy...

  • Ready for ARM-based server chips? Smooth-Stone hopes so

    August 16, 2010

    Smooth-Stonehas raised $48 million in an effort to bring ARM server chips to data centers. Can the company eliminate energy worries in the data center?

  • Hospice and end-of-life issues

    August 16, 2010

    It can really help to know that a loved one is being helped through a very difficult time by caring people.

  • The Inbox War: For Google, Microsoft, the battlegrounds are comfort zones and costs

    August 16, 2010

    As Google and Microsoft battle each other for big wins over e-mail hosting contracts, the companies are being schooled about what customers really want.

  • Murdoch Plans for Paid Digital Newspaper for Tablets and Phones

    August 16, 2010

    Filed under: News : Tablets

    It wont be a print-to-digital type of publication this time. Read more

  • Top Apps at the Ovi Store

    August 16, 2010

    Filed under: News : Smart

    Here are the top apps this week at the Ovi store. Read more

  • 10 high-tech gadgets I can live without

    August 16, 2010

    Think all IT pros go crazy over tech tools and toys? Not Alan Norton. In fact, he may be approaching geek heresy with his take on these popular devices!

  • HTC and Tata Docomo Unveil HTC Desire

    August 16, 2010

    Filed under: News : Smart

    HTC Desire is an Android powered, 1-Ghz processor and 3inch screen phone. Read more

  • Samsung Galaxy Tablet P1000 Firmware Leaked!

    August 16, 2010

    Filed under: News : Tablets

    It points to a 1GHz Hummingbird Core. Read more

  • Acer Aspire Comes With Built In Reliance Netconnect Broadband

    August 16, 2010

    Filed under: News : Netbooks

    No extra device plug-in will be required except for the LAN cable. Read more

  • Got a Million Dollars? Heres a Phone You Could Buy With It

    August 16, 2010

    Filed under: News : Mobile Phones

    Its aptly titled the Luxor Las Vegas Jackpot. Read more

  • Mauj Mobile Acquires Mobango, A Social Mobile Application Store

    August 16, 2010

    Filed under: News : Mobile Phones

    With the advent of 3G and availability of feature rich smart phones at low prices in India Mauj expects consumption of data-based services to increase. Read more

  • Filming the Invisible in 4D: New Microscopy Makes Movies of Nanoscale Objects in Action (preview)

    August 16, 2010

    The human eye is limited in its vision. We cannot see objects much thinner than a human hair (a fraction of a millimeter) or resolve motions quicker than a blink (a tenth of a second). Advances in optics and microscopy over the past millennium have, of course, let us peer far beyond the limits of the naked eye, to view exquisite images such as a micrograph of a virus or a stroboscopic photograph of a bullet at the millisecond it punched through a lightbulb. But if we were shown a movie depicting

  • Back to School Guide 2010: Digital media players

    August 15, 2010

    The digital media player market is virtually the same as last fall, with the exception of the Apple iPad that raised the bar for tablet devices. There are still a range of devices in a range of...

  • Intel to buy TI cable modem chip business (AP)

    August 16, 2010

    AP - Intel says it's buying a Texas Instruments unit that makes cable modem chips, which it intends to combine with its own processors for smarter modems and cable set-top boxes.

  • $99 iTV Could Pave Way for $2000 Apple Connected Television

    August 16, 2010

    “The problem with innovation in the TV industry is the go-to-market strategy. The TV industry has a subsidized model that gives everyone a set-top box for free. So no one wants to buy a box. Ask TiVo, ask Roku, ask us … or ask Google in a few months.”

    That was how Apple CEO Steve Jobs’s answered a question about Apple TV and the future of the television interface at D8. “The television industry fundamentally has a subsidized business model that gives everyone a set-top box, and that pretty much undermines innovation in the sector,” he said. “The only way this is going to change is if you start from scratch, tear up the box, redesign and get it to the consumer in a way that they want to buy it.”

    And who better to do this than Apple (AAPL)? The company has arguably already done it for the personal computer, the portable music player and the cell phone. Why not the TV as well?

    In a Monday note to clients, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster suggests the company will do just that in the next 2 to 4 years, but only after it launches a new cloud-centric version of Apple TV.

    “Apple has recently developed a data center in Maiden, NC that we believe could serve as the hub of a cloud-based service for iTunes video,” Munster wrote. “With Apple’s growing family of connected devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, and Macs) it only makes sense that Apple would deliver a cloud based media service to leverage its competitive advantage in the space: devices. As part of this, we expect Apple to update the Apple TV product in the coming months with limited storage, a lower price, an app store, and a focus on accessing content over the internet.”

    Munster believes this device, the rumored $99 iTV, will be a stepping stone toward an all-in-one connected television, something Apple could position as a replacement for the typical home entertainment system and for which it could charge a premium — $1,800 to $2,000.

    That might seem a daunting price at first, but keep in mind paying it would allow you to replace an entire entertainment system with a single TV. Add to that an App Store that would bring enhance it with games and other apps and an iTunes TV subscription offering and you’ve got a pretty compelling device. Says Munster, “we believe an all-in-one Apple Television solution would provide an ease-of-use that many consumers are looking for. Apple could also bring its software expertise to the television market and provide for themselves an immediate advantage against its competition (primarily hardware makers). As connected TVs gain traction, we believe software will be a critical selling point, and Apple could offer best-in-class software on an Apple Television.”

  • Dell to buy 3Par for $1.13 billion (AP)

    August 16, 2010

    AP - Dell Inc. said Monday it's buying 3Par Inc., a maker of enterprise data storage equipment, for about $1.13 billion cash.

  • Chinese iPod gadget aims to skin Apple - CNN

    August 16, 2010


    Chinese iPod gadget aims to skin Apple
    The "Apple Peel 520" -- a converted iPod Touch that makes calls -- is an example of China's growing "shanzhai" market. (CNN) -- Have you ever wished that your iPod Touch was an iPhone? Now it can be, thanks to a new device ...
    Gadget: Convert Your Apple iPod into an Apple iPhone; aka Apple Peel Wirl News Network
    Even More iPod Touch 4G Cases Surface Erictric
    The Apple Peel

  • China tops Japan as second biggest economy in Q2

    August 16, 2010

    TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's economic growth slowed to a crawl in the second quarter and analysts see more weakness ahead, adding to policymakers' headaches as they grapple with deflation and a rise in the yen that threatens an export-reliant recovery.

  • Sprint Epic 4G reviews go live and it's another 4G winner for Sprint

    August 15, 2010

    Sprint seems to be hitting it out of the park with their latest Android devices and the EVO 4G follow-up and cousin is the Samsung Epic 4G. All reviews ranked the device quite high so Sprint...

  • Chinese iPod gadget aims to skin Apple

    August 16, 2010

    Have you ever wished that your iPod Touch was an iPhone? Now it can be, thanks to a new device called the Apple Peel 520 and created by a Chinese company.

  • Sticker Set for Highlighting Poor Journalism

    August 16, 2010

    journalism stickers

    Tom Scott has created warning labels that you can print on your own and use them to highlight PR-driven and other poorly researched stories that are published in newspapers (and even online blogs).

    The sticker template is available as PDF in standard A4 and Letter sizes.

    This is both hilarious and a clever idea. If these stickers were real, they might just save some reading time.

    Thanks @mathewi and @jdlasica for the tip.

    Sticker Set for Highlighting Poor Journalism

    Facebook Twitter Digital Inspiration @labnol

    Originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal.

  • Space Station Crew Tries Emergency Fix - InformationWeek

    August 16, 2010

    Space Station Crew Tries Emergency Fix
    ISS astronauts have exited the station in their third attempt to repair a broken cooling system. By Paul McDougall A pair of crewmembers from the International Space Station are undertaking a tricky spacewalk in NASA's third effort to fix a system that ...
    Space Station Astronauts Tackle Third Spacewalk to Fix Cooling System FOXNews
    Astronauts begin third spacewalk for cooling system repairs

  • Dell paying $1.15 billion for storage company 3PAR

    August 16, 2010

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Dell Inc said on Monday it plans to buy data storage company 3PAR Inc for $18 per share in cash, or $1.15 billion, extending its storage product offering for cloud computing.

  • Samsung Galaxy Tab Android Tablet Coming Soon - PC World

    August 16, 2010

    Samsung Galaxy Tab Android Tablet Coming Soon
    PC World
    Earlier this year Samsung unveiled plans for an Android-based Galaxy tablet PC to launch by the end of the year. New details are emerging now, and it appears that Samsung may launch the device in a few weeks at the IFA 2010 ...
    Samsung Galaxy Tablet Firmware Details Leaked
    Samsung To Launch Galaxy Player iPod Touch Wannabe ITProPortal
    Samsung Galaxy Tab details surface

  • Useful command line tips for programmers and Mac managers

    August 15, 2010

    A community site offers a growing list of Mac OS X tips and tricks that require digging into the Terminal. Some very useful, others just for fun, the tips are ranked and commented.

  • HTC Incredible to Get Froyo on August 18 -

    August 16, 2010

    UberGizmo (blog)

    HTC Incredible to Get Froyo on August 18
    HTC's Incredible is all set to get a major OS bump in the form of Android 2.2 later this month, according to folks over at Mashable. Apparently, a little birdie has informed them about the impending update says Mashable in a blog post. ...
    HTC Droid Incredible Could Get Android OS 2.2 Upgrade this Week Brighthand
    Droid 1 scheduled to get another Froyo update, with Flash Everything

  • PayPal’s Upcoming iPhone App To Get More Charitable

    August 16, 2010

    With parent company eBay’s continued focus on mobile, PayPal has been adding a number of compelling innovations and features to its iPhone and Android apps. Most recently, the company added Bump technology to both of its free apps, which allows you to transfer money and initiate transactions by simply by tapping smartphones together.

  • High rise chemical spill snarls NY's Times Square

    August 16, 2010

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Several blocks of New York's Times Square were closed down on Sunday night, creating chaos in the packed tourist district after an accidental hazardous materials spill in a high rise building, authorities said.

  • Pakistanis block highways to protest slow flood aid

    August 16, 2010

    SUKKUR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistani flood victims, burning straw and waving sticks, blocked a highway on Monday to demand government help as aid agencies warned relief was too slow to arrive for millions without clean water, food and homes.

  • Dell to buy 3Par for $1.15 billion

    August 16, 2010

    3Par offers highly virtualized storage arrays designed to help businesses treat storage as a utility, meaning they use--and pay for--capacity only as they need it.

  • Hamas and secular groups oppose direct talks with Israel

    August 16, 2010

    DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Two secular Palestinian organizations joined Hamas on Sunday in calling on President Mahmoud Abbas not to bow to U.S. pressure to resume direct peace talks with Israel, which they described as dangerous.

  • Like Guitar Hero? You'll love Instant Jam

    August 16, 2010

    Streaming-games company InstantAction is launching its own game that puts that same experience within Facebook--you can even use a guitar controller.

  • Afghan couple stoned by Taliban for adultery

    August 16, 2010

    KUNDUZ, Afghanistan (Reuters) - A man and woman were publicly stoned to death by the Taliban in Afghanistan's once-peaceful north over an alleged love affair, a provincial government official said on Monday.

  • AT&T claims net neutrality is oppressive - Inquirer

    August 16, 2010

    AT&T claims net neutrality is oppressive
    US TELECOM AT&T has come out in support of Google's contention that wireless communications are different that wireline Internet services. Last week Google and Verizon agreed on a deal that left wireless communications free to be ...
    Monopoly neutrality FierceTelecom
    Google HQ target for net neutrality protesters TechRadar UK
    Google, Verizon Net Neutrality Pact Still Under Fire, Protest

  • Cult of less

    August 16, 2010

    Meet the minimalists living out of their hard drives

  • Tweet, tweet!

    August 16, 2010

    Twitter bird with hearts.

    Last Wednesday, I gave Twitter a break for a few days so I could examine its impact on my life. The experience has been rather enlightening.

    Here are a few things I discovered about myself, how I use Twitter, and how I want to use Twitter:

    Losing a sense

    In my article titled 10 Trends for 2010 in Netlash's Online Trends 2010 book, I wrote:

    Today we are all cyborgs.

    We have been cyborgs for quite some time now. Do you wear a wrist watch? You are a cyborg. The watch may not be implanted in your arm but it doesn't need to be either. Your watch "extends your physical abilities beyond normal human limitations" by letting you know exactly what time it is at any given moment.

    I only realized how much of a cyborg I had become when my iPhone 3G got stolen earlier this year. It was a week before the iPhone 3GS was to come out so I thought I could hold out a week for the new phone. I was wrong. It took me one day (yes, just one day) to buy another 3G. Why? Because I felt that I had lost vital senses that I had begun to rely on. Senses like Perfect Location (the ability to know exactly where I am and how to get anywhere via Google Maps and the built in GPS), Infinite Knowledge (the ability to query the world's knowledge-base on any subject at any time), and Omniscience (the ability to know what my friends are doing anywhere in the world at any given time via Twitter). These are senses that have become as important to me as Sight, Smell, Touch, and Hearing; they extend my consciousness and abilities beyond the limitations of my physical being.

    So, giving up Twitter for a few days robbed me of one my senses but that wasn't entirely the hardest bit. I could compensate for it by actually calling friends up or emailing them or (brace yourselves), actually talking to them face-to-face.

    What I missed most was the inability to share stuff I was learning. I also missed the ability to throw an idea out there and have it be debated by some very smart people.

    I tweet a lot of links to things that I find interesting and not being able to do that on a whim was somewhat frustrating. I realize that I've started to use Twitter like a lower-overhead Delicious (this has its disadvantages given Twitter's lack of focus on The Long Now and its limited ability to search through a single account's tweets. Remy's SnapBird is a good third-party solution that makes Twitter more useful for finding links you tweeted earlier and I do still use Delicious.)

    I did feel out of touch with what was going on at times but I found that if I needed to find something out (for example, where someone was) I could always look up a specific Twitter page without signing into my account. This made me think about ways of using Twitter on my terms instead of giving in to the demands of the stream.

    The heartbeat

    As part of my Twitter hiatus, I turned off all notifications and stopped using Foursquare and Gowalla also. Ah, the bliss.

    On the one hand, I love notifications. Normally, I have notifications on for Twitter replies, direct messages, Foursquare, and Gowalla. The Twitter notifications alone usually mean that my phone has a somewhat regular heartbeat of notification messages that flash every few minutes. I realize that I had started to rely on this heartbeat. If the heartbeat slowed, a part of me would wonder if something was wrong. The heartbeat can easily become a wonderfully addictive reinforcement – a validation of sorts – that everything is all right and the Internets still loves you.

    It's also terribly disorienting and it's too easy to simply lose yourself in the stream and let it take you where it wants to.

    So the only notifications I'm going to turn back on are going to be Twitter DMs. Everything else stays off and I'll poll Twitter, Foursquare, Gowalla, etc. when I want instead of having my schedule for the day dictated by the heartbeat.

    Cognitive effects

    Perhaps the scariest realization came the first time I realized that regardless of whether I was on Twitter, I was still tweeting in my head.

    My initial impulse, after seeing something interesting or having an experience was to compose a tweet in my head. I realized that I automatically summarize bits of my day in 140-character chunks.

    What does this mean? (IT'S A DOUBLE RAINBOW ALL THE WAY!)

    Is it beneficial? Could tweeting in my head be aiding my memory, for example, by making me analyze events in my life as they happen, thereby reinforcing those events in my mind much in the same way that dreams apparently do?

    Or am I stripping events of their definition by downsampling them into mere approximations; a string of sound-bite-esque simulacra?

    One thing is for sure: Twitter actually affects my behavior and the way I think about and, quite possibly, how I interact with the world.

    (Note: The automatic impulse to compose tweets in my head subsided after the first day and disappeared entirely towards the end of the week.)

    Other effects

    Removing Twitter from my life also had some immediate effects:

    • I started (macro) blogging more and realized that I actually like making longer posts and exploring an idea for more than 140 characters.
    • I spent more time on the phone, actually talking to friends.
    • Friends had to make a greater effort to reach me; and they did (and in the process discovered new things about me, like my phone number).
    • After the initial "tweeting in my head" behavior wore off, I began to enjoy an experience for what it was, without wondering if it held interest for a greater group and without necessarily having to summarize it for that audience.
    • I started writing in my journal more.
    • Oh, and I was also way more productive than I had been recently.

    Going forward

    All in all, giving Twitter a break has been an enlightening experience. It showed me that while I love Twitter, I'm not a slave to Twitter (and nor do I want to be). It made me realize that I love sharing stuff on Twitter and I love the positive conversations that people have (I've recently seen a large number of people use Twitter as a virtual support structure with very real – and positive - effects and that's really awesome).

    I'm not, on the other hand, a big fan of the Twitmobs that can form at the blink of an eye or the endless of string of controversies that can whip entire communities into a frenzy one moment, only to be forgotten when the next, newer, or juicier controversy erupts. They rarely achieve anything of any value and, before you know it, a morning or an afternoon is needlessly lost to the inaccessible ether of the past.

    So, going forward, I'm simply going to make an effort to use Twitter more like I want to. Which is something like this:

    1. I use Twitter to share ideas, links, and other things that I find interesting or funny. 140 characters is rarely long enough to contain a universal truth or a fully-baked idea and thus my tweets shouldn't be taken as such. If you want to contribute and help evolve the idea, please do.
    2. If I see a viewpoint that I don't agree with, I will strive to write a blog post on the subject and respond thusly. If it's not worth my time to write a blog post, it's either not worth responding to or I'm being lazy and Twitter simply isn't the place for long debates as it lends itself to absolutist statements which are usually the worst way to debate the nuances of a subject.
    3. Since my tweets are read by thousands of people, I want them to be a positive, informative, possibly entertaining, and ideally inspiring influence. At the same time, remember that you are following a human being not the Techcrunch RSS feed. I have my good and bad days, hopes, desires, dreams, successes, and failures (just like you). If you are not interested in the human behind the tweets, now is a great time to take a moment and unfollow me.

    (There you go, I guess that's my unofficial Twitter policy of sorts.)

    And finally…

    What are you waiting for? Follow me on Twitter already!

    The hearts in the illustration are by Dryicons and the Twitter bird is the work of freakyframes.

  • Nasa should 'focus energy on new £1bn telescope to find alien planets'

    August 16, 2010

    A billion pound space telescope that can see dark matter and can identify Earth-like planets should be Nasa's priority over the next decade, a panel of influential scientists said.

  • Republicans attack Obama over Muslim center comments

    August 16, 2010

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans attacked President Barack Obama on Sunday for his comments on a controversial plan to build a Muslim cultural center in New York, saying he was "disconnected" from the nation in an election year.

  • Google set to acquire

    August 15, 2010

    It sounds like Google is in the final stages of talks to acquire The technology being eyed up by Google is visual search -- the remnants of a company that used to search for people by...

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