Saturday, September 24, 2011

Technical News - 24 September 2011

  • Libyans fight for control of Gaddafi stronghold Sirte
    September 24, 2011
    SIRTE (Reuters) - Libyan provisional government forces backed by NATO warplanes swarmed into the city of Sirte on Saturday but weathered heavy sniper fire as they tried to win control of one of deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi's last bastions of support.

  • U.S., China pressure Europe on debt
    September 24, 2011
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and China piled pressure on Europe on Saturday to get to grips with its debt crisis before it risks causing bank runs and pushing the global economy into ruinous recession.

  • Putin to return as Russia's president
    September 24, 2011
    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Vladimir Putin declared on Saturday he planned to reclaim the Russian presidency at March elections that could open the way for the former KGB spy to rule until 2024.

  • UBS CEO quits, board wants faster restructuring
    September 24, 2011
    ZURICH (Reuters) - Oswald Gruebel resigned on Saturday as chief executive of troubled Swiss bank UBS, saying he took the blame for the $2.3 billion loss run up in alleged rogue trading in its investment banking division.

  • U.N. will take weeks on Palestinian bid: Abbas
    September 24, 2011
    AMMAN (Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday he expected the Security Council to finish debating his nation's application for full United Nations membership within weeks, not months.

  • MySmark, in a click an emotional tag giving brands a real time feedback
    September 24, 2011
    The closest point of contact between a brand and a user online is... just a click, says Nicola Farronato, Italian entrepreneur in Ireland with B-Smark.
  • Merkel party MP wants permanent euro mechanism sooner
    September 24, 2011
    BERLIN (Reuters) - A senior lawmaker from German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives said on Saturday the euro zone's permanent rescue mechanism should be introduced sooner than mid-2013 to beef up private creditors' response to the Greek debt crisis.

  • TOSAmend Automates Counteroffer Terms For Service Agreements
    September 24, 2011
    First time accepted submitter BigSlowTarget writes "Are we simply subject to whatever a software provider demands of us in their clickthrough TOS agreement or are they real contracts where we can counteroffer our preferred terms and expect a refund if they are rejected? One blogger has come up with an applet to change TOS agreements and automatically submit the changes for approval (or rejection). Even he is not sure of the legal standing for the offer, but with these contracts so common they have been featured on South Park the issue certainly could be coming to the courts soon."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Week in IT: supercomputing in the cloud edition
    September 24, 2011

    $1,279-per-hour, 30,000-core cluster built on Amazon EC2 cloud: The power of Amazon's cloud for high-performance computing was demonstrated with a 30,000-core cluster. Expect bigger and better cloud clusters in the future.
    Windows 8 secure boot could complicate Linux installs: On new hardware, the Windows 8 secure boot feature will prevent the booting of operating systems that aren't signed by a trusted Certificate Authority. And that could pose some problems for Linux.
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  • Prosecutor targets forensic experts in Knox trial
    September 24, 2011
    PERUGIA, Italy (Reuters) - An Italian prosecutor attacked on Saturday the "embarrassing" work of forensic experts who discredited evidence used to convict American student Amanda Knox for the murder of her British housemate.

  • Let HP hear your voice! Vote to bring back the webOS line
    September 24, 2011
    Those lamenting HP's cancelation of the TouchPad and webOS phones now have the opportunity to get your voice heard. Cast your vote to let HP know you want webOS.
  • Swedish Daycare Tracks Kids With GPS Devices
    September 24, 2011
    An anonymous reader writes "A daycare center in Sweden is testing a new system for that will prevent missing children by placing GPS tracking devices on kids while they are outside of the confines of the nursery walls. The transmitters will report to a synced mobile phone, alarming teachers if a child moves out of a certain distance. The tracking devices clip easily to reflective vests that the children of the Malmoe daycare wear when outside of the school."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Internet Domain Seizure Program Rankles Free Speech Advocates
    September 24, 2011
    Civil liberties groups have criticized the program because, they say, it is being undertaken without meaningful court oversight, with no chance for the targets to defend themselves before their websites are taken down and a highly cumbersome process for challenge afterward.

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  • webOS' Future Murky Under New HP CEO Whitman
    September 24, 2011
    image thumbnail - see full story for attributions
    Hewlett-Packard’s Thursday ouster of Chief Executive Leo Apotheker and replacement with former eBay CEO Meg Whitman could bring changes to the PC giant’s webOS strategy – but no one, including HP staffers, seems to know for sure. It’s a topic of significance to the mobile, wireless and telecom industries. HP assumed control
  • Work Underway To Finally Build Babbage's Analytical Engine
    September 24, 2011
    mikejuk writes "Last year John Graham-Cumming launched a project to create a fully-functional implementation of Babbage's original design for a computer — the Analytical Engine. Now it looks as if the project is going ahead. The first phase is to digitize all of Babbage's papers and designs. These will be available to the general public in 2012. The machine to be built is no simple calculator: it is a full computer with a store for between 100 and 1000 values, each of 40 digits, and it was programmed using punched cards in a modern 'operator/address' format. There was even a plan to send the output to a printer. When this device is built it will make it clear that the computer age nearly began in the 18th century."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Is ARM Ever Coming To the Desktop?
    September 24, 2011
    First time accepted submitter bingbangboom writes "Where are the ARM powered desktops? I finally see some desktop models however they are relegated to "developer" models with USD200+ price tags (trimslice, etc). Raspberry Pi seems to be the only thing that will be priced correctly, have the right amount of features, and may actually be released. Is the software side holding ARM desktops back? Everyone seems to be foaming at the mouth about anything with a touch interface, even on the Linux side. Or are manufacturers not wanting to bring the 'netbook effect' to their desktop sales? Are ARM powered desktops destined to join the mythical smartbook?"
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • NASA Satellite Falls Back To Earth; Landfall in Canada
    September 24, 2011
    CNET, among many other sources, reports that the declining orbit of the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite has declined all the way; the satellite reentered and broke up in Earth's atmosphere last night, though the exact time, and thus location, of the reentry was unknown at the time. CNET quotes NASA's release, which says the satellite "fell back to Earth between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 23, and 1:09 a.m. EDT Sept. 24." The Christian Science Monitor has a newer story, which reports that at least some debris from the satellite hit land in Okotoks, Canada, with no injuries. NASA's Science Office page on the satellite (not yet updated to account for the deorbit) says the satellite was launched in 1991, with a planned operational life of three years.
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Google Doodle Honors Muppets Creator Jim Henson
    September 24, 2011
    The doodle on the Internet search leader’s homepage features six original characters that together resemble the Google logo.

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  • Opening eyes with a green home (photos)
    September 24, 2011
    A couple builds the first LEED Platinum-level green home in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, to show that green, healthy, and high-tech are compatible and affordable.
  • A smart green home takes root in inner city
    September 24, 2011
    A Boston couple turns a tech-friendly green-home building project into an educational undertaking for themselves, neighbors, and contractors.
  • Facebook's Timeline Will Help Hackers
    September 24, 2011
    Facebook's new Timeline will likely make it easier for crooks to mine the social network for personal information.

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  • Derelict NASA satellite falls back to Earth
    September 24, 2011
    A 6.3-ton satellite re-enters the atmosphere, presumably showering debris across a 500-mile-long impact zone, though details are still sketchy.
  • Can Organizations Be Profitable AND Responsible? Management Reset
    September 24, 2011
    In the first session of Jossey-Bass’s online conference series on September 22, Julian Birkinshaw, author of the book, Reinventing Management, showed conclusively that traditional management has failed. The problems of management are not the result any single decision, or manager or industry. Rather the problems are systemic and go way back in time. The result of the failure is that managers are not respected; employees are unhappy; and there are no positive role models.
  • Top-rated reviews of the week (photos)
    September 24, 2011
    Here are a few of CNET Reviews' favorite items from the past week, including the Samsung SyncMaster T27A950 monitor, Sony Tablet S, and the Samsung SH100 point-and-shoot camera.
  • Is the new iPhone wait nearly over? (Apple Talk Weekly)
    September 24, 2011
    All eyes are on Apple to announce the next iPhone, and a new report says that's happening on October 4. More on that, and the rest of this week's Apple news in this week's edition.
  • Elgan: Fighting Facebook feature fatigue
    September 24, 2011
    Facebook launched a flood of new features this week and many users are unhappy with the changes, finding them complex, confusing and even a form of censorship. Columnist Mike Elgan suggests what to do.
  • Look out, there are monsters about
    September 24, 2011
    The UK web sensation that is enchanting children
  • Nasa searches for scraps of crashed satellite in Pacific Ocean and Canada
    September 24, 2011
    Bus-sized satellite is biggest space junk to fall from orbit in 30 years.
  • Nasa searches for scraps of crashed satellite in Canada and Indian Ocean
    September 24, 2011
    Bus-sized satellite is biggest space junk to fall from orbit in 30 years.
  • Debut Video Capture 1.63 Beta
    September 24, 2011
    Capture video files directly on a PC from webcam, external devices or record your


  • jQuery Basics: Making your own awesome tooltips in jQuery!
    September 24, 2011
    Hey! Hover over me! I have a tooltip! Tooltips are a way to give the user more information. You’ll see them all over the web, most notably on facebook. They provide extra and meta information for users.


    If you think PHP is THE language for Web, we want to talk to you. We're Hiring
  • #SciAmBlogs Friday
    September 23, 2011
  • Groupon slashes reported revenue by half, COO exits after 5 months
    September 23, 2011
    Chicago-based company is slashing its reported revenues by half--from $713.4 million in 2010 down to $312.9 million--in accordance with accounting revisions prompted by the SEC.
  • Apple logos in backdrop for Samsung in-store display
    September 23, 2011
    Samsung is looking more like a stalker as it tries to fight claims from Apple that it has a copycat streak.
  • Alleged 'Commander X' Anonymous hacker pleads not guilty
    September 23, 2011
    Attorney says homeless client was arrested in Mountain View, Calif., coffeehouse and remains in police custody for now.
  • What the Solyndra Bankruptcy Means for Cleantech Investors
    September 23, 2011
    As executives of defunct solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra keep mum in Washington, Silicon Valley and Wall Street are discussing what the bankruptcy – and the federal investigation – could mean for investors.
  • Google's Jim Henson doodle lets you be the puppeteer
    September 23, 2011
    September 24 would have been Jim Henson's 75th birthday, so Google commemorates the day with another entertaining doodle. In this one, you can try digital puppetry by making six Muppets move and talk to your bidding.
  • This Day in Tech: Reactions to Facebook changes; Yahoo for sale?
    September 23, 2011
    Too busy to keep up with today's tech news? Here are some of the more interesting stories from CNET News for Friday, September 23.
  • Blockbuster offers streaming for Dish customers
    September 23, 2011
    (Reuters) - Blockbuster unveiled a video streaming service limited to Dish Network satellite subscribers, a move to better compete with movie rental giant Netflix and rival cable and satellite TV providers.

  • California governor signs Amazon sales tax bill
    September 23, 2011
    A new law in California, signed into law today by Gov. Jerry Brown, could set a nationwide precedent for how Amazon deals with state taxes on purchases.
  • Intuit: Preventing Disruption From Below
    September 23, 2011
    CEO Brad Smith on how he learns about competitors he's never heard of before.
  • Errant character to blame for Twitter 'hack'
    September 23, 2011
    In the sometimes slippery world of the Web, it can pay to cross your "t"s and dot your "i"s.
  • Missouri House lets teachers be Facebook friends with students
    September 23, 2011
    The Missouri House of Representatives has changed a new law in order to allow teachers and students to be friends on Facebook.
  • DOE Rescinds Solar Loan Guarantees In Wake Of Solyndra Bankruptcy
    September 23, 2011
    The collateral damage from the Solyndra bankruptcy is growing.
  • Yahoo received inquiries from many parties: memo
    September 23, 2011
    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc has received inquiries from multiple parties about "potential options," but the struggling Web company expects to take months to decide its future, the company's co-founders and chairman said in a letter to employees on Friday.

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