Sunday, March 13, 2011

Technical News - 13 March 2011

  • Danish 'text-a-stamp' postal service to launch
    March 13, 2011
    Denmark and Sweden are both working towards a text message replacement of stamps for the postal system. Will it rejuvinate the Generation Y to use snail mail?
  • New Windows 8 screenshots: Traceable builds to plug leaks?
    March 13, 2011
    New Windows 8 screenshots have emerged. Though it shows no changes, it does reinforce 'cloud ported user accounts'. Plus, a theory of how leaks are found and plugged.
  • Japan tries to avert nuclear meltdown
    March 13, 2011
    FUKUSHIMA, Japan, (Reuters) - Japan fought Sunday to avert a meltdown at three earthquake-crippled nuclear reactors, describing the massive quake and tsunami, which may have killed more than 10,000 people, as the nation's biggest crisis since World War Two.


  • Worried Japanese expats trawl web for news after quake
    March 13, 2011
    SHANGHAI (Reuters) - It took a massive earthquake back in her homeland to persuade Yuki Kosuge to look beyond traditional news sources and log in to Twitter for the first time.


  • Worried Japanese expats trawl web for news after quake
    March 13, 2011
    SHANGHAI (Reuters) - It took a massive earthquake back in her homeland to persuade Yuki Kosuge to look beyond traditional news sources and log in to Twitter for the first time.

  • Special Report: Advanced economies cope better with disasters
    March 13, 2011
    BEIJING (Reuters) - The earthquake that devastated northeast Japan displaced the country's main island by 2.4 meters and even tilted the axis of the Earth by nearly 10 centimeters. The shock sounds awesome but it was imperceptible. History suggests the same will be true of the economic impact.


  • Aid offers to Japan pour in as nuclear concerns mount
    March 13, 2011
    GENEVA (Reuters) - As foreign rescue workers combed debris to locate victims of Japan's quake and tsunami, countries offered further aid from field hospitals to atomic physicists to address an unfolding nuclear crisis.


  • Millions face worsening crisis in quake-hit Japan
    March 13, 2011
    SENDAI, Japan (Reuters) - Japan faces a growing humanitarian crisis on a scale not seen since World War Two after its devastating earthquake and tsunami left millions of people without water, electricity, homes or heat.


  • Insured losses from Japan quake could hit $35 billion
    March 13, 2011
    NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - This week's earthquake in Japan could lead to insured losses of nearly $35 billion, risk modeling company AIR Worldwide said, making it one of the most expensive catastrophes in history.


  • Gaddafi's troops capture oil town of Brega
    March 13, 2011
    RAS LANUF, Libya (Reuters) - Muammar Gaddafi's troops forced outgunned Libyan rebels to retreat eastwards on Sunday and laid siege to pockets of resistance, unimpeded by diplomatic efforts to impose a no-fly zone.


  • Japan Battles Partial Nuclear Meltdown
    March 13, 2011
    Hugh Pickens writes "Japanese nuclear experts are working to contain a partial meltdown at an earthquake-stricken nuclear power plant north of Tokyo, as fears grow that the death toll from Friday's massive quake and tsunami could reach the tens of thousands. A partial meltdown, experts said, would likely mean that some portion of the reactors' uranium fuel rods had cracked or warped from overheating, releasing radioactive particles into the reactors' containment vessels. Some of those particles
  • Israel to build settler homes after Palestinian attack
    March 13, 2011
    JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel said on Sunday it would build several hundred homes for settlers in the occupied West Bank, a day after a Palestinian attack killed an Israeli couple and three of their children in a settlement.


  • Star Wars Uncut creators wow SXSW with crowdsourcing tales
    March 13, 2011
    At the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, the team behind the wildly popular effort to re-imagine George Lucas' all-time classic with hundreds of 15-second community-created scenes delighted their audience with examples of how the crowd helped them win an Emmy.
  • Hackers caught cheating in virtual stock market game
    March 13, 2011
    Members of the Hacker Dojo community ran an illegitimate script to help colleagues win the Startup Bus Stock Market game. When they were found out, the ill-gotten gains were taken away.
  • Man Arrested For Linking To Online Videos
    March 13, 2011
    SonicSpike writes "In a case against a New York website owner, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is claiming that merely linking to copyrighted material is a crime. DHS, along with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), seized Brian McCarthy's domain, channelsurfing.net, in late January. The site has now been replaced with a government warning: 'This domain has been seized by ICE — Homeland Security Investigations, Special Agent in Charge, New York Office.' The advocacy group Demand
  • At SXSW, Apple schools the marketing experts
    March 13, 2011
    Thousands are in town to demonstrate their social marketing chops, or to try to repeat the past explosive growth of Twitter in 2007 and Foursquare in 2009. But no one should be surprised that when it comes to showing everyone how marketing is done, no one can top Jobs & Co.
  • Surviving Disaster: Japan's Internet
    March 12, 2011
    In the last few months, we've seen examples of how trivial it is for the Internet to be broken in Egypt and Libya. In Japan, though, despite earthquakes, tsunami, and potential nuclear reactor...
  • Why We Should Buy Music In FLAC
    March 13, 2011
    soodoo writes "We have plenty of HDD space and broadband internet. Why don't we demand full CD quality audio in an accessible format from online music stores? The advantage of lossless compression is not only the small audio quality improvement, but better future-proofing and converting capabilities. FLAC is a good, free and open format, well suited for this job."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Screenshots: Twitter for BlackBerry 1.1: New user interface, push notifications
    March 12, 2011
    Screenshots: The latest beta for Twitter for BlackBerry 1.1 has been released, sporting a desktop-styled feature set and a new, refined user interface.
  • Dutch Court Lifts PlayStation 3 Seizure Order
    March 12, 2011
    An anonymous reader writes "The recent European import ban against the PlayStation 3 has been lifted. Reportedly, LG had already succeeded in seizing about 300,000 PlayStations, but a court in the Dutch city of The Hague overturned the prejudgment seizure order and told LG to return all PS3s to Sony. Sony uses the Netherlands as its main entry point for all European PlayStation sales, and can now return to normal. While the temporary ban has been lifted, LG can still assert its Blu-ray patents against
  • Japanese quake not the curse of the super moon
    March 12, 2011
    March 19 sees the moon come very close to the Earth, a phenomenon sometimes referred to as a supermoon. Some are suggesting supermoons often coincide with natural disasters.
  • SUPER v2011 build 47
    March 12, 2011
    SUPER is an easy-to-use Multimedia Encoder and Player, requiring only one simple click.

  • iPad 2 may still be available at Best Buy and other stores
    March 12, 2011
    Don't give up--the iPad 2 may still be available at your favorite retailer
  • Flickr Censors Egypt Police Photos
    March 12, 2011
    An anonymous reader writes "Yesterday Flickr removed a photoset of Egyptian Secret Police photos which had been posted to an Egyptian journalist's Flickrstream. The photos were obtained when the journalist acquired them from what he called 'one of Mubarak's largest torture facilities.' Flickr cited the fact that the photos 'were not the user's own work' as justification for the censorship, even though Flickr staffers themselves frequently upload work that is not 'their own' to their personal photostreams
  • Japan quake and tsunami puts Apple iPad in perspective
    March 12, 2011
    The ensuing destruction wreaked by the tsunami that hit coastal areas of Japan on Friday caused by a 9.1 magnitude earthquake puts life in perspective, particularly for those of us obsessed with...
  • Is Intel pricing itself out of the tablet PC market with new Atom Z670 processor?
    March 12, 2011
    As with Microsoft, Intel's prowess in the conventional PC world of desktops and laptops has not provided much help when it comes to smaller mobile devices. Intel's been a non-player in...
  • Two essential Bluetooth accessories for the iPod nano 6G
    March 12, 2011
    If you listen to an iPod nano 6G while playing sports or during other outdoor activities, I've got two essential Bluetooth accessories for you: the i10s adapter and HBH-IS800 earbuds.
  • MobileTechRoundup show #234; iPad 2, Xoom, tablet pricing
    March 12, 2011
    The iPad 2 launched yesterday and in MoTR #234 Kevin and I talked about purchase plans. I think we will see Kevin keeping his review unit, don't you?
  • Nuclear Experts Explain Worst-Case Scenario at Fukushima Power Plant
    March 12, 2011
    First came the earthquake , centered just off the east coast of Japan, near Honshu. The horror of the tsunami quickly followed. Now the world waits as emergency crews attempt to stop a core meltdown from occurring at the Fukushima Daichi nuclear reactor, already the site of an explosion of the reactor's housing structure.
    At 1:30pm EST on March 12, American nuclear experts gathered for a call-in media briefing. While various participants discussed the policy ramifications of the crisis, physicist

  • Open Source Licensing and the App Store Model
    March 12, 2011
    snydeq writes "Savio Rodrigues sheds light on the limitations open source software faces in app stores, a problem that will only increase as the app store model proliferates. 'In effect, in the context of a GPLv2 license, an Apple App Store item that abides by Apple's terms of service is deemed to be restricting usage and imposing further limitation on usage rights than were envisioned by the original licensor of the open source code,' Rodrigues writes. 'Far from being an abstract example, this
  • Scientist: We've found Atlantis (maybe)
    March 12, 2011
    University of Hartford scientist says he and his research team may have found the lost city of Atlantis beneath Spain. They'll present their findings on the National Geographic Channel tomorrow.
  • iPad 2 ship times reach 3 to 4 weeks
    March 12, 2011
    Shipping times for the iPad 2 continue to be extended, with Apple's most recent estimates pushing up to a month for new buyers.
  • Post-earthquake imagery of Japan
    March 12, 2011
    (Cross-posted from the LatLong Blog)

    In response to the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan, we’ve worked with our satellite imagery providers to get the latest available data of the areas affected most.

    To view this high-resolution imagery, courtesy of our partners at GeoEye, download this KML file and explore it in Google Earth. You can also explore the imagery with Google Maps, or have a look at this Picasa album of before-and-after shots. Here’s a
  • Inside the iPad 2: chip brings 50% browsing boost
    March 12, 2011
    The iPad 2 has changed probably more inside than outside compared with its predecessor, the original iPad. A new dual-core processor and enhanced graphics chip offer some pretty big performance spikes.
  • The Full Story Behind the Canonical vs. GNOME Drama
    March 12, 2011
    supersloshy writes this followup to our Thursday discussion of friction between Canonical and GNOME: "I've seen a lot of GNOME bashing for various reasons here on Slashdot as well as several other websites. The problem with all of this is that you never hear GNOME's side of the situation, making a lot of disrespectful comments about GNOME (or the others involved) rather baseless and illogical. Dave Neary has an extremely thorough blog post which details problems on all sides that make the issue
  • Report: AT&T already shipping iPad 2
    March 12, 2011
    Does AT&T have better shipping times than Apple for the iPad 2? According to one report, that might be the case.
  • Windows Phone Marketplace fastest to hit 10,000 app milestone
    March 12, 2011
    The Windows Phone 7 Marketplace just passed 10,000 apps and is continuing on an accelerated pace. They beat iOS, RIM, and Android to this level too.
  • Despite quake, Japan's Net connections strong
    March 12, 2011
    Internet research Renesys says it's surprised by how little the quakes have affected the undersea Internet cables that keep Japan connected to the rest of the world.
  • SXSW is Bigger Than Texas This Week
    March 12, 2011
    It’s my first day of the conference, and it seems clear that SXSW Interactive has arrived as a major meeting place for the tech world.

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  • Engadget top editors exit AOL's giant tech site
    March 12, 2011
    Engadget Editor-In-Chief Josh Topolsky and Managing Editor Nilay Patel are leaving the AOL-owned property, which is one of the largest tech news sites on the Web. Also departing is , said sources.
  • My hunt for the elusive iPad 2 delivers some big game
    March 12, 2011
    The Apple iPad 2 launched in stores yesterday and reports indicate it may be close to being sold out already. Apple performed well with their marketing plan and people are buying.
  • Failure of imagination can be deadly: Fukushima is a warning
    March 12, 2011
    The extent of the damage at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear facility is still unknown, but comparisons to Chernobyl were inevitable as soon as fuel rods became exposed and an explosion rocked the site . But is the analogy accurate?
    Chernobyl, the worst nuclear disaster thus far in the history of the industry, was the result of a drill that went catastrophically wrong on April 26, 1986. The drill, ironically, was intended to test a known time gap between a potential power failure and the performance

  • How Japan can mitigate cell congestion amid state emergency
    March 12, 2011
    During this time of national emergency in Japan, citizens should alleviate the congestion on the cell networks by 'balancing out' to using text messaging and social networking where possible.
  • SCVNGR at SXSW--high-flying, or head in the clouds?
    March 12, 2011
    First keynote speaker at SXSW festival, Seth Priebatsch of Google-backed SCVNGR, talks of changing the world by making everything more like a game. Could he use a dose of skepticism?
  • As death toll mounts, nuclear scare widens evacuation
    March 12, 2011
    As many as 1,700 people are so far confirmed dead, with another 10,000 missing; meanwhile, fears of nuclear disaster spike when explosion destroys exterior walls of reactor.

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