Thursday, June 23, 2011

Technical News -23 June 2011

  • HP launches webOS Pivot, courts developers
    June 23, 2011
    HP rolled out webOS Pivot, a venue to highlight apps and showcase developers. The company also added a discount system to reward loyalty and app volume.
  • Xen leaders leave Citrix to launch Bromium
    June 23, 2011
    The founders of Xen.org and the former XenSource- Ian Pratt and Simon Crosby -- will leave Citrix to launch a new company called Bromium that will address the "intersection of security and...
  • Lobbyists 'held closed-door meetings' with UK government to censor Web
    June 23, 2011
    Meetings between government ministers and copyright lobbyists show plans are being drawn up to censor the British web, to prevent illegal file sharing.
  • Plants vs Zombies maker PopCap rumored to be acquired by EA
    June 23, 2011
    Rumors suggest that EA is trying to acquire PopCap Games in a deal valued at $1 billion. What's in it for the video game giant?
  • Over a million iPhones in use on the T-Mobile network
    June 23, 2011
    How popular is the iPhone? Popular enough that over a million T-Mobile customers are actively using them on a network that doesn't officially support them.
  • Call it a comeback: Plasma HDTV sales continue to increase after near extinction
    June 23, 2011
    Despite most critics favoring their picture quality, plasmas were at death's doorsteps a couple of years ago, with Pioneer and Vizio abandoning the technology as LCD sales surged. But after...
  • Microsoft: 'We can hand over Office 365 data without your permission'
    June 23, 2011
    Microsoft, in a bold and brave move, admits to what many other cloud service providers don't -- that data may be handed over to authorities without consent.
  • Google Voice: a step-by-step primer on ditching your land line while keeping your number
    June 23, 2011
    Google doesn't normally allow you to port a land line phone number to Google Voice. This step-by-step primer shows you how you can do it.
  • This is Nokia's first Windows Phone handset
    June 23, 2011
    Images of an upcoming Windows Phone powered Nokia handset have leaked onto the web.
  • Don't leave it to the scientists
    June 23, 2011
    A nurse puts discussion board miscreants on notice about their lousy attitude toward non-scientists discussing science.
  • Sanbolic Melio 3 storage virtualization for private clouds and virtualized systems
    June 23, 2011
    Storage virtualization designed to reduce unintended consequences of using virtual clients or virtual servers
  • Cloud computing infrastructures will routinely fail, panel says
    June 23, 2011
    Most of us can agree that we're still in the nascent stages of cloud computing, and that there are a lot of pitfalls to overcome still. But many Silicon Valley players argue that we need to accept...
  • Oracle's fourth quarter: What to expect
    June 23, 2011
    Oracle's fourth quarter is expected to be strong and analysts expect the company to continue to fuel growth via its warpath on hardware rivals and SAP.
  • Court clears Lehman unit settlement with JPMorgan
    June 23, 2011
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Federal bankruptcy court approved on Thursday a settlement between the Lehman Brothers brokerage and JPMorgan Chase & Co in which the bank will return more than $800 million of cash and securities to resolve claims brought by the Lehman trustee.

  • Biden-led debt talks reach impasse over taxes
    June 23, 2011
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Efforts led by Vice President Joe Biden to reach a deal that would allow the United States to avoid a debt default reached an impasse on Thursday as Republican Representative Eric Cantor said he was pulling out of the discussions.

  • Pentagon Prepares for Cyber-War
    June 23, 2011
    The Pentagon is finishing up new guidelines on its cyber-war strategy, illustrating how serious the U.S. government considers hacking and the complexities in responding to it.
  • CNBC Crowns Steve Jobs the 'King of Silicon Valley' (The Atlantic Wire)
    June 23, 2011
    The Atlantic Wire - Related: These Are the Apps Apple Just Zapped
  • Jobless claims point to weak labor market
    June 23, 2011
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week, suggesting little improvement in the labor market this month after employment stumbled in May.

  • Airbus wins record $18 billion order from AirAsia
    June 23, 2011
    LE BOURGET, France (Reuters) - Airbus has won a record-breaking order for 200 of its A320neo jets from AirAsia, capping a week where it has trounced rival Boeing in the fierce competition for plane contracts.

  • Accused Boston crime boss "Whitey" Bulger arrested
    June 23, 2011
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - On the run for 17 years, the accused Boston crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger and his longtime girlfriend were finally caught in California by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday.

  • Clinton says U.S. in preliminary outreach to Taliban
    June 23, 2011
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A political solution is possible in Afghanistan, and the United States is in preliminary outreach to the Taliban there, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday.

  • Oil dives to lowest since February as IEA taps stocks
    June 23, 2011
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices crashed more than $8 to a four-month low on Thursday after the world's consumer nations said they would band together to aid the global economy by releasing emergency oil reserves for the third time ever.

  • USPTO Rejects Many of Oracle's Android Claims
    June 23, 2011
    sfcrazy writes "In yet another setback for Oracle, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has rejected 17 of 21 claims associated with one of the patents in Java that Oracle asserted Google had violated with Android. Groklaw reports, 'In the reexamination of U.S. Patent 6192476 the USPTO has issued an office action in which it rejects 17 of the patent's 21 claims.'"
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • IMF says identified files copied in cyber attack
    June 23, 2011
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The IMF said on Thursday it had identified computer files that were copied during a recent cyber attack and has no evidence that information in emails or the fund's financial systems was compromised.

  • Sony: PSN difficulties a 'bump in the road'
    June 23, 2011
    Sony Computer Entertainment America senior vice president Phil Rosenberg told IndustryGamers in an interview published yesterday that 90 percent of PlayStation Network users are back.
  • Supreme Court strikes down state drug data mining law
    June 23, 2011
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court struck down on Thursday a state law that prohibits the use of prescription drug records for marketing, in a case pitting free-speech rights against medical privacy concerns.

  • GE challenge seeds consumer clean-tech start-ups
    June 23, 2011
    In its green business plan contest, General Electric and venture capitalists put $68 million in home energy start-ups to bring their products to market.
  • Mr Popularity: What Really Makes Apple, Steve Jobs an Online Powerhouse
    June 23, 2011
    Going back into the depths of iPhone time (October 2008) HTC launched the first Android smartphone. During the next three months, and even during the days immediately after the launch of the G1, Apple and its iPhone out ran HTC by a factor of 12:1 in online references. A colleague and I studied the HTC launch and the iPhone effect shortly afterwards. We noted that Apple had no significant iPhone announcements, there was no spoiling going on, no cute leaking of new features; for Apple is was a lull
  • Can An Aristotelian Grease Monkey Fix Today's Workplace?
    June 23, 2011
    Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work (Penguin, 2009) by Matthew Crawford is a book with original and interesting things to say about what makes work satisfying or unsatisfying, productive or unproductive.
  • Belarusia Phish Fry? Feds Break Online Tax-Refund Scam
    June 23, 2011
    According to federal prosecutors, from 2006 through 2007, websites falsely claimed to be authorized by the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") to offer lower-income taxpayers free online tax return preparation and electronic tax return filing (e-filing).  Apparently, yet another variation on the growing Phishing scams that trap increasing numbers of naive Internet users.
  • EA May Acquire PopCap for $1 Billion
    June 23, 2011
    The past few days there has been speculation that someone was about to purchase casual gaming giant PopCap for $1B, but no one knew specifically who that was. Presumably only a few companies could afford such a price tag, and so it's really no surprise when the mystery suitor was finally allegedly revealed.
  • Winklevoss Twins Give Up Facebook Fight
    June 23, 2011
    Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss and a classmate said in a filing that 'after careful consideration' they would not appeal to the Supreme Court.

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  • Apple, Android Owners Diverge on Wi-Fi Usage -- But Why?
    June 23, 2011
    A new point of differentiation between iOS and Android users. People who own iOS devices tend to use WiFi a hell of a lot more than Android users do.
    This news comes from comScore’s new “Device Essentials” service, which looks at mobile usage worldwide. Comscore says that iPhone and iPads spent far more time connected to WiFi networks than their Android-based rivals. In the United States, 47.5 percent of iPhone data traffic occurred over WiFi networks. For Android phones it was less than half that — 21.7 percent.

    In other words, iPhone users consume almost half of their content via WiFi and Android users consume more than three quarters of theirs over cellular networks. In tablets, the difference is even more pronounced: 91.9 percent of iPad data traffic occurred over WiFi networks compared to 65.2 percent for Android tablets.

    Why the huge difference in network usage patterns? For tablets, the explanation is simple. The iPad is by far the dominant tablet worldwide, generating about 89 percent of tablet traffic in the thirteen countries comScore surveyed (97.1 percent in the US!). And tablet usage tends to be an in-home activity.

    And for smartphones? It could be that iPhones are more proactive than Android devices in acquiring WiFi signals and pushing their users onto WiFi connections when they are available. It could be that iPhone users Apple TV and Airplay encourage a heavier reliance on WiFi. I imagine the prevalence of iPhone’s on AT&T and that carrier’s tiered data plans likely has something to do with it as well. Beyond that, I’m not sure. And, to be honest, these are just theories. If you’ve got ideas of your own, sound off in the comments.

  • Whamcloud Wants to Make Lustre Easier to Use
    June 23, 2011
    Whamcloud has started developing a new GUI (graphical user interface) that will make it easier to manage the open source file system Lustre, the company said...

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  • Vint Cerf Says Fix the Net With More Pipe
    June 23, 2011
    CWmike writes "While ISPs may fret about Netflix, Hulu and other streaming media services saturating their bandwidth, Internet forefather Vint Cerf has a simple answer for this potential problem: Increase bandwidth exponentially. With sufficient bandwidth, streaming video services of prerecorded content wouldn't be necessary, said the now-technology evangelist at Google. With sufficient throughput, the entire file of a movie or television show could be downloaded in a fraction of the time that it
  • Road Trip Pic of the Day, 6/23: What is this?
    June 23, 2011
    If you know what today's picture is, you could be eligible to win a prize in the CNET Road Trip Picture of the Day contest.
  • Ukraine Disrupts $72M Conficker Hacking Ring
    June 23, 2011
    Ukraine's security service said on Thursday it had disrupted a cybercrime ring that cost the banking industry more than US$72 million using Conficker, a...

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  • India Has Issued 9.5 Million Digital Identity Numbers
    June 23, 2011
    India has issued digital identities to about 9.5 million people so far, and plans to step up enrollment to 1 million a day from October, the head of the agency...

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  • First Impressions: 8" Vizio tablet coming in late July, $350
    June 22, 2011
    Vizio, the budget-friendly television maker just proved it's possible to create an Android tablet with few compromises for $350. But will you be buying?
  • Taiwan Semi: Merrill Downgrades, Citing Margin, Cycle Risks
    June 23, 2011
    Taiwan Semiconductor shares are trading lower this morning after Bank of America/Merrill Lynch analyst Daniel Heyler cut his rating on the contract chip maker's stock to Underperform from Neutral.
  • Does Electronic Arts Have Eyes for PopCap?
    June 23, 2011
    EA is rumored to be in the process of acquiring the mobile gaming company for the neat sum of $1 billion.

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  • Harry Potter ebooks are on the way, but no sequel
    June 23, 2011
    LONDON (Reuters) - The seven Harry Potter novels will be available as ebooks in October, author J.K. Rowling said on Thursday at the launch of a new interactive online website that will allow readers to navigate through the wizard stories.

  • Coming soon, UID numbers from mobile retailers
    June 23, 2011
    'Provisional UID numbers would be issued based on the verification done by the mobile retail outlets'
  • Cavium Networks: UBS Upgrades Rating To Buy From Neutral
    June 23, 2011
    Cavium Networks shares are getting a boost this morning from UBS analyst Steven Eliscu, who raised his rating on the communications chip supplier to Buy from Neutral. His price target on the stock is $47.50; the shares closed yesterday at $39.26.
  • RIM trims PlayBook sales target, says DigiTimes
    June 23, 2011
    The BlackBerry maker has cut its internal second-quarter sales target for the PlayBook tablet to 800,000 to 900,000 units from 2.4 million originally, according to sources cited by DigiTimes.

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