Friday, April 22, 2011

Technical News - 22 April 2011


  • Microsoft: 350 million licenses of Windows 7 sold in 18 months
    April 22, 2011
    Microsoft officials said on April 22 that the company has sold 350 million Windows 7 licenses in the 18 months the product has been available.
  • Husqvarna Automower app promises to make lawn mowing 'easier'
    April 22, 2011
    The iPhone can do a lot of amazing things with the plethora of apps available for iOS. Now it can help mow the lawn...sort of.
  • Congressman asks Jobs to respond about consolidated.db
    April 22, 2011
    This has been a rough week for Apple. Despite announcing record Q2-2011 earnings (again), news broke about a potential privacy concern in Apple's iOS 4. Now the Fed wants answers.
  • BlackBerry PlayBook; a good reason to buy a BlackBerry smartphone
    April 22, 2011
    The BlackBerry PlayBook is a fun device with a slick user interface and powerful operating system. It is made better with a BB smartphone so I now want RIM to release their new 6.1 models.
  • Amazon slashes HTC Thunderbolt price to $130 on contract
    April 22, 2011
    Do you want a 4G LTE smartphone from Verizon Wireless but can't afford the Droid Charge? Amazon has an HTC Thunderbolt waiting for you.
  • Amazon's Web Services outage: End of cloud innocence?
    April 22, 2011
    Cloud computing is learning the harsh reality of resiliency as Amazon Web Services' outage has crossed its second day. Meanwhile, startups and a host of other AWS customers are in uncharted...
  • Nintendo DS Lite discontinued at GameStop
    April 22, 2011
    If you're still interested in picking up a Nintendo DS Lite, you better try to get one as soon as possible because these handheld gaming consoles are as good as gone.
  • Apple Q2'11: Record revenue, profit and iPhone sales
    April 22, 2011
    Apple announced another quarter of record results for Q2 2011, ending March 26, 2011 with revenue growth of 83 percent, profit growth of 95 percent and record iPhone sales.
  • T-Mobile dropping $100 off LG G-Slate until April 27
    April 22, 2011
    T-Mobile is running a special promotion for the launch of the LG G-Slate. But it's for a limited time, and there's only one possible way to take advantage of it.
  • The 3D scam: Reject and repeat
    April 22, 2011
    The entertainment industry keeps trying to push 3D on consumers. A lot of smart people have already caught on to the fact that it's scam, and it's time for more consumers to join the boycott.
  • Verizon expands LTE coverage; Droid Charge ships next week
    April 22, 2011
    Verizon Wireless is readying next week's launch of the Samsung Droid Charge, and now six additional markets will be able to support the 4G smartphone as well.
  • Now it's Samsung's turn to sue Apple
    April 22, 2011
    Days following a lawsuit fired by Apple at Samsung, Samsung now responds with a lawsuit of its own.
  • This week in Mobile News Manor #16: PlayBook and LTE
    April 22, 2011
    This is a peek into a technology writerââ¬â¢s home office, aka Mobile News Manor, discussing gadgets, apps, best practices using same, and ebooks. This week was PlayBook time.
  • Is it better to have youth or experience in IT? [Poll]
    April 22, 2011
    The TechRepublic forums have lit up recently over the issue of whether youth or experience is the more essential asset for a career in IT. Take a look at both sides of the story and vote in the poll.
  • Is the 'cloud' green or not? Greenpeace scrutinizes 10 giants
    April 22, 2011
    Just in time for Earth Day, the non-profit organization turns up the heat on some of the biggest cloud data center operators in the business, encouraging them to consider more renewable energy...
  • Novell Identity Manager 4 Standard Edition
    April 22, 2011
    Identity Management tool that targets the needs of medium size organizations.
  • Is the PlayBook just 'a blip' in the BlackBerry radar?
    April 22, 2011
    Has it really been a rough year for the BlackBerry manufacturer? Considering it's only May, it hasn't been too bad. But it's time to re-adjust the focus.
  • Nokia, RIM: Sidekicks walking through the valley of the shadow of death
    April 22, 2011
    Nokia and Research in Motion should collaborate on their respective corporate slogans. In fact, the companies could just share a slogan: "Just wait 'til 2012!"
  • Use It Better: How to Unload Your Old Gadgets
    April 22, 2011
    The beautiful thing about disposing of your old electronics is that doing the right thing gives you more than a rosy feeling; it can actually pay you. The trick is to hand off your own gear immediately, while it still has some value.
    For example, suppose you had a 32-gigabyte AT&T iPhone at the time the Verizon iPhone 4 came out. You could have sold it to online buy-back site Gazelle.com for $430, which would have easily covered the AT&T fee for terminating your contract early. Similarly

  • Gadgets Are Garbage—So Here's How to Keep Them Out of the Landfill
    April 22, 2011
    Every now and then the public rises up to make an industry clean up its environmental act. As a result, car companies now offer hybrids, electrics and alternative-fuel cars. Beverage companies are making their bottles with a lot less plastic. New laws have reduced the chemicals that cause acid rain by 76 percent since 1980. And so on.
    One industry in particular, however, continues to leave a disastrous eco-wake, because no such public pressure exists: consumer electronics.
    [More]

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  • U.S. court reinstates Blackwater Iraq shooting case
    April 22, 2011
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. federal judge erred in dismissing all charges against five Blackwater Worldwide security guards accused of killing 14 Iraqi civilians in 2007, an appeals court ruled on Friday.

  • Cloud computing market: $241 billion in 2020
    April 22, 2011
    The global cloud computing market will grow from a $40.7 billion in 2011 to $241 billion in 2020, according to Forrester Research.
  • Social media open up Singapore political debate (AFP)
    April 22, 2011
    A computer user looks at a website on management consultant Tin Pei Ling, 27, the youngest candidate of the ruling People's Action party (PAP) in the May 7 parliamentary elections in Singapore.(AFP/Roslan Rahman)AFP - When the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) introduced a fresh-faced 27-year-old woman as one of its candidates for next month's elections, it was hoping to generate buzz among young voters.


  • Kindle app updated for Android Honeycomb tablets
    April 22, 2011
    The latest version of the Kindle app for Android devices offers a virtual bookshelf to let people browse for books and a new layout for magazines and newspapers.
  • Tit for tat? Samsung sues Apple in Europe, Asia
    April 22, 2011
    Samsung has responded to Apple's patent lawsuit by filing its own lawsuits against the company on Friday in South Korea, Japan, and Germany. Samsung's lawsuits don't directly address Apple's suit filed earlier this week in the US, though they do accuse the iPhone maker of violating a number of Samsung's patents related to how devices communicate with cell towers.
    According to Samsung, Apple has infringed on patents on how to reduce transmission errors, reduce power during data transmission

  • Licensing Problem Silences Internet Radio Stations
    April 22, 2011
    SEWilco writes "Hundreds of Internet radio stations that use SWCast.net for services have been affected by a shutdown triggered by SoundExchange, who claim lack of payment of royalty fees. Apparently SoundExchange has a new president, and this might be a factor in acting on several years of missing payments. In the meantime, SWCast radio stations suffer after paying to legally broadcast."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Syrian protests
    April 22, 2011
    How organisers keep up movement's momentum online
  • Amazon Readies an Android Tablet
    April 22, 2011
    Analysis: A device could ship as soon as summer, reports suggest.

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  • Earth and environment science projects favored by entrants in Google Science Fair
    April 22, 2011
    The fuel of the future isn't gasoline, ethanol or even hydrogen--it's education. Specifically, the science and engineering education that will enable a fresh group of smart young people to tackle the world's ongoing energy crisis. Solve the energy crisis and you go a long way's toward solving a host of environmental problems: pollution, environmental health risks, climate change, to name just a few. [More]

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  • Death toll in Syria protests on Friday at least 25
    April 22, 2011
    AMMAN (Reuters) - Security forces shot dead at least 25 pro-democracy protesters in Syria on Friday, human rights campaigners said.

  • Playstation Network 'suspended'
    April 22, 2011
    Millions of gamers have been left unable to play online as the Playstation Network remains unavailable after more than 20 hours.
  • FTC: kids thwarted 87% of the time on M-rated game purchases
    April 22, 2011
    The Federal Trade Commission has released a report tracking compliance with established rating systems across multiple forms of media, and the results follow past trends: video games are the best-regulated form of media in terms of keeping adult content away from children. The easiest form of media for children to buy? Music CDs with the parental advisory label.
    Video games didn't just eke out a win, either—the difference in rating compliance between games and other

  • No Iraq request for keeping U.S. troops: Admiral Mullen
    April 22, 2011
    BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq has not requested an extension of an end-2011 deadline for the United States to withdraw its troops, the top U.S. military officer said on Friday, following talks with Iraq's prime minister.

  • Police use Apple iOS tracking data for investigations (Digital Trends)
    April 22, 2011
    Digital Trends - This week, security researchers revealed that Apple’s iOS 4 mobile operating system, which runs on the highly popular iPhone and iPad devices, constantly tracks and stores users’ approximate location information without their knowledge or consent. It has now been learned that law enforcement agencies have known about the secret iOS tracking for at least the last year, and have used the data to aid criminal investigations, according to CNet.
  • Q1 VC Funding: The Bubble Before The Bath?
    April 22, 2011
    To some investors, the mood is reminiscent of 1995, when the initial public offering of Netscape set off the dot-com craze, leading to a technology bubble. That bubble popped in 2000, littering the tech field with failed companies and red ink.
    — “In Silicon Valley, Investors Are Jockeying Like It’s 1999,” The Wall Street Journal, April 19, 2011
    Depending on your outlook, the latest venture capital numbers are either further evidence of a recovery or froth growing around an expanding bubble.
    Investment in U.S. venture-backed companies rose 35 percent in the first quarter, according to some new metrics from Dow Jones VentureSource. VCs doled out some $6.4 billion spread across 661 deals. That’s a 35 percent increase in investment year-over-year and a 5 percent increase in the number of deals done. Which is encouraging, particularly since the median sum of VC funding raised in the first quarter was $5 million, up from $4.4 million a year earlier and roughly on part with the 2009 median.

    One caveat: this first quarter spike in funding size was driven largely by a few big money deals. Digital music outfit Beyond Oblivion, for example, pulled in $77 million in early-stage funds.
    “Investment in consumer-focused Web companies is taking off but only for a select few,” says Dow Jones VentureWire’s Scott Austin. “A handful of large rounds are boosting the total amount of capital invested, but the median amount raised by consumer companies is a reasonable $4 million. That’s not far off from the first quarter of last year and is less than half of the median round sizes we saw in 2000 leading up to the implosion of the dot-com bubble.”

  • Learning from Amazon's cloud collapse
    April 22, 2011
    Call it Cloudgate, Cloudpocalyse or whatever you'd like, but the extended collapse of Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) is both a setback for cloud computing and an opportunity for us to figure out how to stop it from happening again.

  • Great deal: Amazon selling HTC ThunderBolt for $129.99 thru April 25 (Digital Trends)
    April 22, 2011
    Digital Trends - Thinking of switching to Verizon, but waiting for that 4G LTE network? AmazonWireless has a deal for you. The mobile division of Amazon is currently selling the HTC ThunderBolt 4G for $129.99 to all new customers who sign up for a plan on Verizon. Those looking to upgrade and renew their contract aren’t as fortunate. The renewal price is $199.99. Those who are interested will, unfortunately, have to act fast. It expires at midnight (PDT) on Monday, April 25.
  • New, more powerful Nintendo console for $400?
    April 22, 2011
    The combo of AMD's R700 GPU and a triple-core IBM PowerPC CPU could allow the Wii's successor to accommodate games that are visually superior to those for Xbox 360 and PS3, IGN reports.
  • Apple To Beat Google On Cloud Music
    April 22, 2011
    yogidog98 writes with this excerpt from a Reuters report: "Apple Inc has completed work on an online music storage service and is set to launch it ahead of Google Inc, whose own music efforts have stalled, according to several people familiar with both companies' plans. Apple's plans will allow iTunes customers to store their songs on a remote server, and then access them from wherever they have an Internet connection, said two of these people who asked not to be named as the talks are still confidential
  • Greenpeace Chides Apple for 'Dirty Data'
    April 22, 2011
    Apple's new $1 billion data center in North Carolina is a power hog, the environmental group charges.

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  • Google talks to Spotify to power music service
    April 22, 2011
    The Web titan is unhappy with the terms some record labels are asking to license music for a cloud service, so it's considering whether to partner with Europe's Spotify.
  • The Royal Viral Wedding
    April 22, 2011
    The Unfollowed Me virus spreads over Twitter, Google Offers is launched in Portland, and the royal wedding has gone so incredibly viral that we figured we should talk about it, too.
  • LibreOffice Development on Track After Oracle Move
    April 22, 2011
    The Document Foundation on Friday announced a second beta for LibreOffice 3.4, the offshoot of the OpenOffice.org codebase, one week after Oracle said it would...

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  • Final Hours of Portal 2 App Chronicles Game's Development
    April 22, 2011
    Portal fans have been patiently waiting for a sequel to their favorite puzzle adventure game for years, and it finally debuted this week on all major platforms...

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  • Amazon Denies Skynet's Involvement In AWS Outage
    April 22, 2011
    An anonymous reader writes "Amazon has officially denied that the recent outage of its EC2 and Elastic Block Storage cloud platforms was the result of an attack from Cyberdyne Systems' Skynet sentient computer system, declaring humanity safe after all. 'From the information I have and to answer your questions,' a spokesperson explained, 'Skynet did not have anything to do with the service event at this time.'"

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