Monday, August 8, 2011

Technical News - 08 August 2011

  • Humble Indie Bundle - DRM-free, pay what you want, and help good causes!
    August 8, 2011
    Grab five games, pay for them what you want (be generous!), help good causes and have fun!
  • Apple launches $999 iMac for schools; But there's a catch
    August 8, 2011
    Apple is offering a discounted iMac at $999 for school purchases. But there are a few catches you should be aware of.
  • Software patents: Lots of whining, but reform unlikely
    August 8, 2011
    Software patents are being acquired like they are tactical nukes as companies look to build their arsenals.
  • Apple hit with lawsuit over OS X fast booting
    August 8, 2011
    Yes, it seems that the idea of having a 'fast booting' system is patented.
  • Is Obama vulnerable to a 2012 reelection threat from his own party?
    August 8, 2011
    We continue ZDNet Government's in-depth political coverage of the upcoming 2012 election cycle with this historical retrospective and forward-looking analysis.
  • ElasticStack wants to power your organization's cloud
    August 8, 2011
    A number of suppliers, including OpenStack, VMware, Microsoft, Eucalyptus and now ElasticStack, are offering tools allowing companies to build their own cloud computing environments. Can...
  • The personal nature of mobile tech: Why I will not recommend any gadget
    August 8, 2011
    I get at least a dozen requests a day to recommend one gadget or another to someone. My response is always the same -- I do not make gadget recommendations.
  • As iPlayer goes global, BBC launches new TV-friendly version
    August 8, 2011
    London based broadcaster, the BBC, is not only opening up British TV to worldwide users, but also bringing out its next-generation on-demand service.
  • Gartner's Social CRM(ish) Magic Quadrant: So....
    August 8, 2011
    There's good and bad in everything. Sometimes the good outweighs the bad, the bad conversely can outweigh the good.  Rarely, but occasionally, we have perfect balance.  But sometimes, the thing...
  • Weekend with the HP TouchPad: webOS has lots of room for improvement
    August 8, 2011
    I can't believe that manufacturers still can't match Apple's touch experience and a weekend with the webOS TouchPad convinces me the iPad is still the one to beat.
  • Hands-on review: Microsoft Touch Mouse
    August 8, 2011
    Watch out, Magic Mouse. Microsoft has a new mouse rolling onto desks this week.
  • Comcast rolls out $10 web access for low income households
    August 8, 2011
    Comcast is rolling out broadband to low-income families, with kids who receive free school meals, as a result of regulator requirements.
  • Developing Countries Get In Satellite Game
    August 8, 2011
    Developing countries don’t have the same access to satellite information as do first-world nations. A given country might want to monitor dust storms, measure rice yields or track population migrations. But satellites were typically built one-at-a-time and were very pricey items. [More]

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  • Lightning strike zaps EC2 Ireland
    August 8, 2011
    A lightning strike last night knocked out servers at Amazon's only European data center and the provider has warned some of those affected face delays of up to two days before they get back online.
  • ECB backs Italy, Spain in bid to halt euro crisis
    August 8, 2011
    LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) - The European Central Bank intervened dramatically in bond markets on Monday, backing up a verbal pledge to support Spain and Italy with action in an attempt to avert a financial meltdown in the euro zone.

  • Are Google's Best Days Behind It?
    August 8, 2011
    Slowing product development, legal woes, and rising bureaucracy may signal trying times ahead for Silicon Valley's favorite company.

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  • Syrian tanks pound city as Saudi king condemns violence
    August 8, 2011
    AMMAN (Reuters) - President Bashar al-Assad extended a tank onslaught in Syria's Sunni Muslim tribal heartland on Monday, residents said, in a crackdown on dissent that prompted an extraordinary warning from Saudi Arabia that he should stop the violence or risk defeat.

  • S&P falls 3 percent
    August 8, 2011
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks tumbled on Monday, with the S&P dropping 3 percent after rating agency Standard & Poor's cut the top-tier AAA credit rating of the United States, rattling already-jittery investors.

  • Are Google's Best Days Behind It?
    August 8, 2011
    snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Neil McAllister questions whether slowing product development, legal woes, and rising bureaucracy will signal trying times ahead for Google. 'With Google's rapid growth have come new challenges. It faces intense competition in all of its major markets, even as it enters new ones. Its newer initiatives have often struggled to reach profitability. It must answer multiple ongoing legal challenges, to say nothing of antitrust probes in the United States and Europe. Privacy
  • Rebels in captured town plan push towards Tripoli
    August 8, 2011
    BIR AL-GHANAM, Libya, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Libyan rebels who seized this town 80 km (50 miles) south of Tripoli said on Monday they would now push on toward Muammar Gaddafi's stronghold in the capital but expected a tough fight.

  • UN Strengthens Freedom Of Expression Safeguards
    August 8, 2011


    (Cross-posted from the Google European Public Policy Blog)

    At Google, we believe that it is important for the international community to step up in defense of freedom of expression. Many governments around the world are attempting to exert more control over the net. Fortunately, the United Nations is going in the other direction.

    In Geneva, the UN’s Human Rights Committee recently emphasized
  • Blame technology
    August 8, 2011
    How much of a role did social networking and instant messaging play in the London riots?
  • Churchill Club: Inside Google's Search Office
    August 8, 2011
    Google search teammates Matt Cutts, Ben Gomes, and Amit Singhal have worked together for over a decade in what was described as the "cool kids’ office."
  • BroadSoft Spikes On Big Q2
    August 8, 2011
    Voice over IP services provider BroadSoft is one of the few big winners Monday morning, after the company reported better-than-expected results for the second quarter, and guidance for Q3 and 2011 that topped Street estimates.
  • AIG sues BofA for $10 billion alleging "massive fraud"
    August 8, 2011
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - The insurer AIG is suing Bank of America Corp to recover more than $10 billion of losses from a "massive fraud" on mortgage debt, deepening the morass of litigation faced by the largest U.S. bank.

  • Flingo: Ashwin Navin Talks Smart TV And Why Google, Apple Missed So Far
    August 8, 2011
    This weekend was not a fun one for Google TV. While Google+ was throwing parties for its epic growth, and the doodle folks were loving Lucy, Google TV was licking its wounds from Logitech's earnings report, including this bit:
    "Sales of Logitech Revue   were slightly negative during the quarter, as returns of the product were higher than the very modest sales."
    Apple TV is not doing much better, at least when it comes to its rental concept, according to TechCrunch.
    Unlike music

  • Facebook Can Make Teens Sick, Study Says
    August 8, 2011
    Findings presented at psychology conference say narcissism, anxiety, and stomach aches can result from too much social networking.

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  • Expert: Rural US websites easy target for hackers (AP)
    August 8, 2011
    AP - The digital trove of credit card numbers and emails stolen by the group known as Anonymous came from towns across rural America — places like Gassville, Ark. and Tishomingo County, Miss., where officers don't usually have to worry about international hackers.
  • Verizon shares slump as 45,000 workers strike
    August 8, 2011
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shares of Verizon Communications were down 2.1 percent in early trading on Monday, a day after nearly half of its wireline business employees went on strike.

  • Verizon shares slump as 45,000 workers strike
    August 8, 2011
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shares of Verizon Communications were down 2.1 percent in early trading on Monday, a day after nearly half of its wireline business employees went on strike.

  • S&P's View On U.S. Debt Downgrade's Impact On Tech
    August 8, 2011
    OK, so this is one of the odder things I've seen this morning. The equity analysts at Standard & Poor's have issued a comment on how technology stocks might be affected by the downgrade of the U.S. government debt ratings by...of course, Standard & Poor's.
  • Kids and hackers, oh my! DefCon adds kids track (AP)
    August 8, 2011
    AP - Fewer things seem out of place at the rough-hewn DefCon hacker convention than a swarm of kids.
  • Hackers Use Frequent Flyer Miles as Currency
    August 8, 2011
    The phenomenon is noted by the Kaspersky Lab, which also says the notorious banking Trojan ZeuS is being introduced into the smartphone market.

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  • Facebook's Privacy Issues Are Even Deeper Than We Knew
    August 8, 2011
    Questions about what social networks mean for personal privacy and security have been brought to a head by research at Carnegie Mellon University that shows that Facebook has essentially become a worldwide photo identification database.  Paired with related research, we're looking at the prospect where good, bad and ugly actors will be able identify a face in a crowd and know sensitive personal information about that person.
  • Intel Details New Ultrabook Reference Designs
    August 8, 2011
    MojoKid writes "Earlier this year, Intel unveiled its plan to redefine the concept of a PC around an ultra thin-and-light chassis reminiscent of the Macbook Air and with a standard CPU TDP of just 15W. Intel has unveiled the reference specs for ultra-notebook products they're calling "Ultrabooks." The cheaper ultra-notebook model will be 21mm thick with a BOM (bill of materials) between $475-650. A second, thinner model (18mm thick) will have a BOM between $493-710. Unlike netbooks, Ultrabooks will
  • PreCursor Turns your Monitor into a Touch Screen
    August 8, 2011
    Pranav Misty, inventor of the Sixth Sense device, is working on a new project called PreCursor that can turn any regular computer monitor into a touch screen.
    Here’s a short teaser video of PreCursor in action:

    PreCursor uses two camera that add a virtual layer in front of your computer screen and any interactions that you perform in this layer are transmitted to the computer.
    The virtual touchscreen created by PreCursor is in a way more versatile than the existing touchscreen of your mobile phone or tablet. That’s because in addition to the regular tap /click gesture, PreCursor has also recognize the hover action, something which require a mouse and is possible to do with existing touch screens.
    The technology is still in the labs but definitely has some great potential.
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    Digital Inspiration @labnolThis story, PreCursor Turns your Monitor into a Touch Screen, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on August 8, 2011 under Touch Screen, Offbeat.



  • Kim Jong-Il's Latest Cash Source is MMO Gold Farming
    August 8, 2011
    We're at the point where any story coming out of North Korea isn't too ridiculous to be true, so when it's being reported that a cash strapped Kim Jong-Il is turning to MMO gold farming to raise funds? I'll believe it.
  • Apple launches sub-$1,000 iMac
    August 8, 2011
    Apple's offering costs $999, and comes with a 3.1GHz dual-core processor and 250GB hard drive.
  • Goldman Now Wary On Tech Supply Chain; Downgrades Arrow
    August 8, 2011
    Goldman Sachs analyst Craig Hettenbach this morning turned cautious on the IT supply chain sector, in the process reducing his rating on Arrow Electronics to Neutral from Buy, citing "cyclical risk."
  • Apple Opens iCloud to Developers
    August 8, 2011
    People enrolled in Apple’s Developer Program can now transfer their MobileMe accounts to iCloud using Apple’s new portal: me.com/move.

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  • Tesla: Is Elon The Next Steve? Merrill Launches With Buy
    August 8, 2011
    Here's a bold idea: Is Tesla Motors founder and CEO Elon Musk (who happens also to be the founder of the rocket company SpaceX) , the most promising tech CEO since Steve Jobs?
  • Comcast Offers $10 a Month Internet Option For Low-Income Families
    August 8, 2011
    The new plan--dubbed Internet Essentials--will be available in September in the 39 states Comcast operates in.

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  • The 2011 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition
    August 8, 2011
    The 2011 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition.
  • Venuetastic Creates a Market For Happy Hour Venues
    August 8, 2011
    If you've ever tried to find a place for workers to enjoy happy hour, you know what a pain it is. You could go onto Yelp, do a search, get a list of the top 40 candidates, call them, not get calls returned from half, play phone tag, and then find out with two weeks to go that you can't book space at your top choice location.

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