Monday, August 1, 2011

Technical News - 01 August 2011


  • Facebook launches security bug bounty program
    August 1, 2011
    Facebook has launched a security bug bounty program that rewards security researchers for privately and responsibly informing the company of website vulnerabilities.
  • Happy Birthday MS-DOS - 30 years old this week!
    August 1, 2011
    It might be dead and gone and forgotten, but this week sees Microsoft's DOS (Disk Operating System) turns 30 years old.
  • Windstream to acquire Paetec; expands national telecom footprint
    August 1, 2011
    Telecom firm Windstream will acquire network services company Paetec for $2.3 billion, growing its nationwide network to 100,000 miles of fiber.
  • Update: As the Microsoft patent world turns
    August 1, 2011
    At the very end of last week, there were a couple of Microsoft-related IP news nuggets worth noting, including the finalization of the Nortel patent sale; a damages award in the Alcatel-Lucent vs....
  • Nokia announces first 1 GHz smartphone, changes naming convention again
    August 1, 2011
    Nokia announced another Symbian smartphone and changed their naming convention that seems to cause more confusion than the current system.
  • Verizon, AmEx partner on digital payment platform for phones, tablets
    August 1, 2011
    Verizon Wireless and American Express will integrate the Serve digital payment and commerce platform on several smartphones and tablets.
  • Symantec names former Intuit CEO Bennett as chairman
    August 1, 2011
    Symantec names former Intuit CEO Steve Bennett as chairman, replacing John Thompson.
  • Kodak's waterproof EasyShare Sport and PlaySport are vacation-ready, in stores now
    August 1, 2011
    Need a water-, dust- and shock- proof camera and camcorder for your next extreme outdoor adventure? The Kodak PlaySport and EasyShare Sport could be slam dunks.
  • Hayden: 'Digital Blackwater' may be necessary for private sector to fight cyber threats
    August 1, 2011
    The private sector may need to take up its own arms against cyber threats and not rely solely on the federal government, Gen. Michael Hayden says.
  • HP TouchPad: Still better than Honeycomb
    August 1, 2011
    I have been using the HP TouchPad as my main tablet for a month now, and while it may say something more about Honeycomb than the TouchPad, HP's product is better than every Honeycomb tablet I...
  • Microsoft Build conference for Windows 8 sells out (in spite of a dearth of details)
    August 1, 2011
    Microsoft announced plans for its Windows 8 developer conference in mid-September, known as Build, back on June 1. As of August 1, the Build Web site now shows the conference to be sold out.
  • Facebook expands UK office; shuns government-backed 'Tech City'
    August 1, 2011
    London's government-backed 'Tech City' is being shunned by major technology companies, as Facebook is set to move to larger office space in West London.
  • Iceland crowdsources draft constitution from social media sites
    August 1, 2011
    Iceland's citizens had a novel way of re-writing their constitution after the 2008 banking crisis: crowdsourcing it to the web.
  • It's official -- Logitech drops price of Google TV-powered Revue set-top box to $99.99
    August 1, 2011
    Logitech dropped a bombshell last week when it said that its Google TV-powered Revue set-top box was not performing well, which is a bit of an understatement. Sales were so bad that the company's...
  • Report suggests connection between browser choice and IQ level
    August 1, 2011
    A recent survey suggests that Internet Explorer users tend to have lower IQs compared with Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Camino and Opera users.
  • EFF, Facebook argue over 'real name policies'
    August 1, 2011
    Facebook wants "anonymity to go away" and the EFF wants a case for pseudonyms. Can either be right, or is each proposal as flawed as the other?
  • IBM Systems and Technology Group Analyst Update
    August 1, 2011
    IBM's Sr. VP of the Systems and Technology Group reviews its progress during the first half of 2011
  • Where did all the Mac malware go?
    August 1, 2011
    Mac Defender made life miserable for Apple and its support technicians for the entire month of May, before fading away in mid-June. The Mac Defender gang is laying low, but I'm convinced they'll...
  • Appirio CEO talks Workday, SaaS momentum, IPO
    August 1, 2011
    We caught up with Appirio CEO Chris Barbin to talk shop, cloud computing and market trends.
  • Radiation from Cell Phones and Other Electronic Devices [Graphic]
    August 1, 2011

    Controversy has arisen again about whether holding a cell phone next to the head for too many minutes a day threatens the brain with electromagnetic radiation. The preponderance of evidence continues to indicate there is no threat. Many people do not realize, however, that we are increasingly surrounded by technologies that emit radiation in the same radiofrequency portion of the electromagnetic spectrum: WiFi routers, Bluetooth transmitters and more .
    [More]

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  • Special report: China's shortcut to Wall Street
    August 1, 2011
    NEW YORK - A spate of spectacular collapses of Chinese stocks listed on American exchanges has cost U.S. investors billions of dollars. The fiasco has sparked multiple investigations. Accusations are swirling in Washington and Beijing.

  • Tanks shell Syria's Hama for second day, 4 killed
    August 1, 2011
    AMMAN (Reuters)- Syrian tanks shelled the city of Hama, the scene of a 1982 massacre, for a second day on Monday, killing at least four civilians, residents said, in an assault to try to crush protests against President Bashar al-Assad.

  • Google Running 900,000 Servers
    August 1, 2011
    1sockchuck writes "How many servers is Google using? The company won't say, but a new report places the number at about 900,000. The estimate is based on data Google shared with researcher Jonathan Koomey, for a new report on data center power use. The data updates a 2007 report to Congress, and includes a surprise: data centers are using less energy that projected, largely due to the impact of the recession (buying fewer servers) and virtualization."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot

  • A Modest Proposal: A Pocket 3-D Printer
    August 1, 2011
    In the series “A Modest Proposal,” my colleagues and I will propose inventions and projects that I think are eminently doable and would love made real. [More]

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  • Google+ to delete private profiles starting July 31
    August 1, 2011
    Google+ users who still haven't made their profiles public are likely to find those profiles deleted starting Sunday.
  • HSBC sheds 30,000 jobs, posts surprise profit rise
    August 1, 2011
    LONDON (Reuters) - HSBC will shed 30,000 jobs as it retreats from countries where it is struggling to compete, Europe's biggest bank said on Monday after it reported a surprise rise in first-half profit.

  • Image of the Week #2, August 1, 2011
    August 1, 2011
    From: The Astonishing Stroboscope of Doc Edgerton, at Compound Eye, by Alex Wild. [More]

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  • Factory growth slows, casts shadow on economy
    August 1, 2011
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Manufacturing grew at its slowest pace in two years in July as new orders contracted, a troubling development for the faltering economy.

  • Yahoo! takes to airwaves with sports radio (AFP)
    August 1, 2011
    The Yahoo! homepage is seen on a computer screen. Yahoo! announced the launch of Yahoo! Sports Radio as the Internet company seeks to turn its popularity as an online destination for sports fans into success over the airwaves.(AFP/File/Nicholas Kamm)AFP - Yahoo! announced the launch Monday of Yahoo! Sports Radio as the Internet company seeks to turn its popularity as an online destination for sports fans into success over the airwaves.


  • UK teen cyber activist bailed without Internet access (Reuters)
    August 1, 2011
    Reuters - A British teenager charged with hacking offences and believed to be a leading member of the Anonymous and LulzSec online activist groups was released on bail in a London court on Monday on condition he did not use the Internet.
  • UK teen cyber activist bailed without Internet access
    August 1, 2011
    LONDON (Reuters) - A British teenager charged with hacking offences and believed to be a leading member of the Anonymous and LulzSec online activist groups was released on bail in a London court on Monday on condition he did not use the Internet.

  • Apple keeps Galaxy Tab 10.1 from sale in Australia—for now
    August 1, 2011

    Australians who want to buy Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 will have to wait a little longer thanks to Apple. The Cupertino company argued its patent case against Samsung in front of Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett on Monday, accusing Samsung of violating 10 patents and asking for an injunction to bar Galaxy Tab sales in the country. According to Bloomberg, the injunction was issued and Samsung has agreed to comply: the company will stop advertising the device in Australia and

  • Lawmakers to vote on last-minute debt deal
    August 1, 2011
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Congressional leaders rushed to line up Republican and Democratic votes on Monday for a White House-backed deal to raise the U.S. borrowing limit and avert an unprecedented debt default.

  • Google's Chrome overtakes Firefox in UK
    August 1, 2011
    LONDON (Reuters) - Google's Chrome overtook Mozilla Firefox in July to become Britain's second-most popular Web browser after Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Web analytics firm StatCounter said on Monday.

  • Apple Halts Samsung Galaxy Tab Launch Down Under
    August 1, 2011
    An interesting twist in Apple’s ongoing intellectual property battle with Samsung. Though hostilities continue apace, the two companies have reached something of an accord in Australia. There Samsung has agreed not to market or sell its Galaxy Tab 10.1 unless it wins court approval to do so. And in return Apple has promised to pay Samsung unspecified damages, should should it lose the patent infringement lawsuit it’s brought against it.
    The deal stops short the imminent launch of the Tab 10.1 in Australia and gives Apple a chance to review that version of the device which differs from the one sold in the United States. Evidently, Samsung believes it’s got a better chance of fending off Apple’s assault using the unreleased Australian version of tablet, than the one it brought to market in the States earlier this summer. But what does that mean for the company’s patent suit in the U.S.?
    “Apparently, Samsung didn’t want to take its chances trying to defend its U.S. product in the Australian court,” Florian Mueller observes over at FOSSpatents. “Instead, Samsung hopes to defend its Australian version. But this does appear pretty weak. If Samsung believed that the U.S. version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 doesn’t infringe any of Apple’s rights, it would have defended itself as a matter of principle.”

  • Logitech's Google TV box matches Apple TV at $99
    August 1, 2011
    The price had been $249. Whether this breathes new life into Google TV remains to be seen, but $99 seems to be the price point you have to hit with a streaming-media box.
  • Blizzard Reveals Diablo 3 (Real Money) Auction House
    August 1, 2011
    trawg writes "At a special event at Blizzard HQ in California, gaming press were treated to the first look at the Diablo 3 auction house — featuring real-world money transactions across different regions allowing you to buy and sell items with real money. There'll be a listing fee and a sales fee for auctions, and while they're not talking dollar numbers just yet, Blizzard assure gamers that they're not looking to pinch pennies."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Angry Birds maker slingshots into China
    August 1, 2011
    Rovio is operating corporate and marketing divisions in China now and, in September, will launch the "Moon Festival" episode for Angry Birds Seasons.
  • Open Laboratory 2011 - submissions so far
    August 1, 2011
    For the background on what Open Lab is, see this post. [More]

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  • Road Trip Pic of the Day, 8/1: What is this?
    August 1, 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.
  • Samsung halts tablet sales in Australia due to Apple fight, report says
    August 1, 2011
    The patent fight between the two consumer electronic giants escalates as Samsung agrees to pull the product in Australia until the lawsuit is resolved.
  • Black Hat Preview: Let the Electric-shock Craziness Begin
    August 1, 2011
    Ready to power on next week, the annual Black Hat Conference in Las Vegas promises to be the high-voltage event

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  • Chrome Extension Helps Find Noisy Tabs
    August 1, 2011
    mutetab writes "I recently wrote a Chrome extension called MuteTab that helps you narrow down which tab is making a sound by detecting which tabs contain plugins, HTML5 audio/video, and Java applets. It also gives you a right click menu that will mute tabs (via Javascript APIs when available, otherwise hiding them like FlashBlock does) and can automatically mute background tabs. Be sure to read the FAQ writeup to learn about some ways we can improve detecting which tab has sound and mute it." This
  • Apple's Safari Grows Faster Than Chrome in July
    August 1, 2011
    Apple's Safari last month posted its biggest increase ever in usage share, beating perennial champion Chrome in the gain game, Web metrics vendor Net...

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  • Detroit Maker Faire Was Kinda Awesome
    August 1, 2011
    I was excited to have a chance to go to the Detroit Maker Faire this year. I've always wanted to attend such a thing, but the stars never aligned. I saw an entire tent filled with DIY 3D Printers making strange objects including the coolest polyhedral dice ever. Utilikilts held in place with suspenders! Haberdashery! Quilting! Blacksmithing! Books! A Cupcake Car! Gomp! Beer! Remote control turtles! A giant hay bailer! Numerous strange pedal powered forms of locomotion, and an entire garrison of

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