Friday, September 2, 2011

Technical News - 02 September 2011

  • Job growth grinds to halt
    September 2, 2011
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. employment growth ground to a halt in August as sagging confidence discouraged already skittish businesses from hiring, piling pressure on the Federal Reserve to provide more stimulus to aid the economy.

  • Analysis: Damages ruling may be pivotal in BP case
    September 2, 2011
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - A key court ruling in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill litigation could change the landscape in the massive case -- encouraging more plaintiffs to sue, or spurring the parties to make a deal to resolve what could be a long string of trials over damages.

  • Milestone Moments: Remembering 9/11
    September 2, 2011
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Current weather forecasts for New York are for a possible rainy start to the 9/11 weekend.

  • DIY LED Ambilight Reduces Eye Strain, Looks Awesome
    September 2, 2011
    Put that eye-strain away for the night; get some ambient lights behind that TV. Oh, they look cool, too.

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  • Mr. President, There Is No (US) Engineer Shortage
    September 2, 2011
    McGruber writes "Vivek Wadhwa has written an article in the Washington Post titled, 'Mr. President, there is no engineer shortage,' which addresses the perceived national shortage of engineers. Wadhwa slams China for its practice of applying the 'engineer' label to auto mechanics and technicians, yet fails to slam the US for its practice of applying the 'engineer' label to sanitation workers, building janitors, boiler operators, FaceSpace coders, MSCEs and DeVry graduates. He also says, 'Some of [the U.S.'s] best engineers are not doing engineering, and some of its best potential engineers are not even studying engineering, leaving us short-changed in solving the important problems of the day.'"
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Spinoff of Hactivist Group Anonymous Targets Celebrities
    September 2, 2011
    A spinoff of the hacktivist collective Anonymous appears to be branching off and getting into the celebrity snooping business.

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    Presented By:
      Do you know what a zettabyte is? Does the cloud confuse you? Why will your company need a CIO? Make sure you’re in the know with Cisco and be prepared for what’s in store. Read, learn, share and discuss the future of the Internet.
    socialmedia.cisco.com

  • Man Becomes Artist When He Sleeps
    September 2, 2011
    During the day 37-year-old Lee Hadwin is a nurse with no particular love or talent for art, but when he sleeps it's a different story. Lee has been sleep-drawing since he was 4 and is now quite good. Some of his pieces have sold for six figures. Despite numerous tests, doctors can't explain how he's able to draw and paint while he's not conscious, or even what stage of sleep he's in while he works. From the article: "Still, the North Wales native doesn't want to make art his career. He never studied art, and is lousy at drawing when awake. 'Art has never interested me at all,' says Hadwin, as quoted by the BBC. But just in case, he now prepares by leaving a sketchpad, brushes, and other art supplies in his bedroom."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Wall St slides after zero jobs growth
    September 2, 2011
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street stocks dropped on Friday, with major indexes falling as much as 2 percent as Labor Department data showed jobs growth flatlined in August, intensifying worries the economy is staggering.

  • Is the HP TouchPad Poised for a Coca-Cola Classic Moment?
    September 2, 2011
    Now that HP has clarified the spin-off plans for its orphaned PC business, can it do anything but eventually resurrect the TouchPad?
  • Sunlight to dash Apple's hopes for London store?
    September 2, 2011
    A "rights to light" law could scuttle Apple's chances of opening a new store in London.
  • Making Copyright Work Better Online: A Progress Report
    September 2, 2011


    In December, we announced
    four initiatives to tackle the problem of copyright infringement
    online. We’ve made considerable progress on each front, and we will
    continue to evolve our efforts in all four areas in the months to come.


    • Acting on reliable copyright takedown requests within 24 hours.
      We promised to build tools to make it easier for rightsholders to
      submit DMCA takedown requests for Google products (starting with Blogger
      and Web Search), and to reduce our average response time to 24 hours or
      less for submissions using these new tools. We built the tools earlier
      this year, and they are now being successfully used by more than a dozen
      content industry partners who together account for more than 75% of all
      URLs submitted in DMCA takedowns for Web Search. Our response time for
      these partners is now well below the 24 hour target. In the coming
      months, we will be making these tools available more broadly to those
      who have established a track record of submitting valid takedown
      requests.
    • Preventing terms that are closely associated with piracy from appearing in Autocomplete.
      Beginning in January, we started filtering terms closely associated
      with infringement from Google Autocomplete, our feature that predicts
      search queries based on popular searches from other users.
    • Improving our AdSense anti-piracy review.
      We have always prohibited the use of our AdSense program on web pages
      that provide infringing materials, and we routinely terminate publishers
      who violate our policies. In recent months
      ,
      we have worked hard to improve our internal enforcement procedures. In
      April, we were among the first companies to certify compliance in the
      Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB’s) Quality Assurance Certification program,
      through which participating advertising companies will take steps to
      enhance buyer control over the placement and context of advertising and
      build brand safety. In addition, we have invited rightsholder
      associations to identify their top priority sites for immediate review,
      and have acted on those tips when we have received them.
    • Improving visibility of authorized preview content in search results. We have launched Music Rich Snippets,
      which allow legitimate music sites to highlight content in the snippets
      that appear in Google’s Web Search results. Rhapsody and MySpace are
      among the first to implement this feature, which has been developed
      using open web markup standards, and we are looking forward to more
      sites and search engines marking up their pages. We hope that authorized
      music sites will take advantage of Music Rich Snippets to make their
      preview content stand out in search results.
    These
    four initiatives have been an important part of our work combating
    piracy these last several months, but we’ve been pursuing other avenues
    as well.  We continue to believe that making high-value content
    available in authorized forms is a crucial part of the battle against
    online infringement. We have expanded our
    movie rental services on YouTube and launched the Google eBookstore,
    featuring a wide array of books from authors and publishers. We also
    continue to improve YouTube’s Content ID system to help more copyright
    owners (including
    song-writers and music publishers) to monetize their works and are working with WIPO on a rights registry that will help African musicians license their works. 
    There is plenty more to be done, and we look forward to further refining and improving our processes in ways that help both rightsholders and users.



  • LinkedIn finds common threads for entrepreneurs
    September 2, 2011
    Analyzing the public profiles of founders of startup companies, the social network has compiled a list of schools, industries, and other items that many of them share.
  • IBM's Continent Building in Africa
    September 2, 2011
    Make no mistake: IBM wants to make a buck ? heck, many many bucks ? in Africa. How IBM makes that money, from infrastructure spending to software developer relations, may affect the continent and its people more than any outside government, or any charity?s funds.
  • The Tuff-Luv In-Genius smartphone case: A back-to-school essential
    September 2, 2011
    I love saddleback leather. Wrap it around an iPhone with storage for the essentials from your wallet and you have a great accessory for the hyperconnected student. And what student isn't...
  • Microsoft to win from Google Motorola buy: Acer
    September 2, 2011
    BERLIN (Reuters) - Microsoft will be the winner in Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility as the deal makes Google a direct rival to its phone-making clients, a senior executive from Acer Inc said on Friday.

  • Feds put AT&T's T-Mobile buy on hold (week in review)
    September 2, 2011
    Wireless megamerger attracts antitrust scrutiny, while Apple has a hard time holding on to its property. Also: WikiLeaks cracked.
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 shows off its competitive side in new video (Yahoo! News)
    September 2, 2011
    Yahoo! News - Call of Duty fans have been waiting for this day for a long time. The highly-anticipated Modern Warfare 3is just a couple of short months away, and today we get our first look at what is sure to be one of …
  • Baidu sees possible acquisitions in mobile, cloud (Reuters)
    September 2, 2011
    Reuters - China's top search engine Baidu Inc is on the lookout for potential acquisitions and investment opportunities in the mobile and cloud computing spaces, its chief financial officer said on Friday.
  • How desktop virtualization survived the recession
    September 2, 2011
    Desktop virtualization has maintained a position in enterprises and small businesses through the recession.
  • Mobile phones target relief aid
    September 2, 2011
    Mobile phone data from people fleeing natural disasters enables aid agencies to target relief, according to a study
  • Starz Ditches Netflix and Everybody Loses -- Especially Consumers
    September 2, 2011
    Changes in content and pricing change the streaming scene, leaving consumers with fewer options and cable companies with more power.

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  • The Single Best Idea for Reforming K-12 Education
    September 2, 2011
    The Single Best Idea for Reforming K-12 Education: Change the goal from making a system of teaching more efficient to making the system more effective by inspiring lifelong learning in students, so that they are able to have full and productive lives in a rapidly shifting economy.
  • Netflix falls on Starz contract loss
    September 2, 2011
    (Reuters) - Netflix Inc shares lost 11 percent of their value on Friday after content distribution talks with pay-TV operator Starz Entertainment collapsed, underscoring investor concerns that the company may lose its edge in the online rental market.

  • Netflix falls on Starz contract loss (Reuters)
    September 2, 2011
    Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in San Francisco, June 7, 2010. REUTERS/Robert GalbraithReuters - Netflix Inc shares lost 11 percent of their value on Friday after content distribution talks with pay-TV operator Starz Entertainment collapsed, underscoring investor concerns that the company may lose its edge in the online rental market.


  • WikiLeaks Publishes Cable Archive In Full
    September 2, 2011
    We recently discussed news that WikiLeaks had complained of a password leak which threatened the encryption of unredacted documents contained in the Cablegate archive. Now, reader solanum writes with this update: "According to the Guardian, 'WikiLeaks has published its full archive of 251,000 secret US diplomatic cables, without redactions, potentially exposing thousands of individuals named in the documents to detention, harm or putting their lives in danger. The move has been strongly condemned by the five previous media partners – the Guardian, New York Times, El Pais, Der Spiegel and Le Monde – who have worked with WikiLeaks publishing carefully selected and redacted documents.' In the same article The Guardian gives further explanation of the controversy reported earlier, suggesting that Assange went against standard protocol in providing the master password to the newspaper."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Google Highlights Advances in Copyright Protection
    September 2, 2011
    Google, which has faced intense criticism for years over copyright issues, said on Friday it has made progress on four copyright-protection initiatives it...

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  • Regulator to sue major banks over mortgages
    September 2, 2011
    WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. regulator will soon file lawsuits against major banks accusing them of bundling subprime home loans into bonds that never should have been sold to investors and causing mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to lose billions, according to a source familiar with the matter.

  • White iPod Touch in the Works, Reports Say
    September 2, 2011
    More evidence that Apple plans to release a white iPod touch has emerged after a Japanese website discovers a white headphone jack for the device.

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    Presented By:
      Do you know what a zettabyte is? Does the cloud confuse you? Why will your company need a CIO? Make sure you’re in the know with Cisco and be prepared for what’s in store. Read, learn, share and discuss the future of the Internet.
    socialmedia.cisco.com

  • Genetic Modification: Proof that GM is Good for the Environment
    September 2, 2011
    This isn't the way that this story is being spun but it is a way that you can look at it. That GM, or genetic modification, is a good way to protect the environment.
  • Oprah Winfrey to do live interview at Facebook next week
    September 2, 2011
    Oprah Winfrey will be doing a live interview at Facebook's headquarters on September 8, 2011.
  • Google Bought Motorola for More Than Patents, CEO Says
    September 2, 2011
    Google's chairman Eric Schmidt said his company wants Motorola for more than its patents, hinting the search giant may compete against other Android manufacturers in the hardware business.
  • Parallels Desktop 7 adds Lion virtualization, more
    September 2, 2011
    Parallels has announced the release of Parallels Desktop 7.0, its popular virtualization solution for OS X. The new version introduces a number of features designed to make the product run better under Lion.
  • AT&T Tries to Save Merger With Settlement
    September 2, 2011
    AT&T is planning a settlement offer for the Department of Justice, as the carrier looks to save its $39 billion merger with T-Mobile.
  • Microsoft Build Windows 8 confab: What's the latest?
    September 2, 2011
    Microsoft's Build event for Windows developers is just 10 days away. Here are a few tidbits about agenda changes, an unofficial preconference and more for those following the twists and turns.
  • Best Buy cuts price of RIM PlayBook for weekend
    September 2, 2011
    TORONTO (Reuters) - Big box retailer Best Buy has slashed up to $150 off the U.S. price tag for Research In Motion's PlayBook tablet computer for the Labor Day weekend.

  • Former WikiLeaks partners condemn document release
    September 2, 2011
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Five prominent news organizations which collaborated with WikiLeaks have condemned the website and its founder Julian Assange for making public uncensored copies of more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables.

  • Apple prepping for surge in iPad demand?
    September 2, 2011
    Apple reportedly will have received 20 million iPads shipped from Foxconn just in the third quarter, an increase of 60 percent from the prior quarter.
  • Steve Jobs is NOT a Visionary; Get Off the Bandwagon Cultists
    September 2, 2011
    Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) used to be a terrible company. I remember when I was in grade school and the only places that had Mac computers were schools. Not even high schools, just elementary and middle schools. Then all of a sudden, in 2001, the iPod was released and all hell broke loose.
  • Pakistani Recreates Newton's Telescope
    September 2, 2011
    Via astronomer Salman Hameed at Irtiqa, this encouraging item from the Express Tribune about a young student in Okara, Pakistan, who built his own Newtonian telescope from scratch.
  • AT&T prepares two-track plan to save T-Mobile deal
    September 2, 2011
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - AT&T Inc is expected to soon present a proposed solution to U.S. antitrust regulators to salvage its planned $39 billion acquisition of smaller rival T-Mobile USA, according to people close to the matter.

  • Top HP TouchPad apps caught on video
    September 2, 2011
    The most used apps on my HP TouchPad are demonstrated in this ten minute video showing them in action.
  • Storm Center: New Tools for the Postmortem
    September 2, 2011
    Another storm has come and gone, and as the cleanup gets started another series of cities sends armies of people with clipboards out to survey, assess, reach out. [More]

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  • Space probe robot tested on Mars landscape - in Stevenage
    September 2, 2011
    A robot designed to be a real life version of the Disney cartoon character Wall-E is being put through its paces in preparation for a mission to search for life on Mars.
  • High-profile tech blogger launches VC fund
    September 2, 2011
    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Michael Arrington, one of the highest-profile U.S. technology bloggers, has created a venture capital fund to invest in promising start-ups.

  • Google's Schmidt talks Apple, patents, jobs
    September 2, 2011
    At Dreamforce 2011, the Web titan's executive chairman weighs in leaders including Steve Jobs, Steve Ballmer, and Mark Zuckerberg.

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