Monday, September 26, 2011

Technical News - 26 September 2011

  • New home sales fall 2.3 percent in August
    September 26, 2011
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New single-family home sales in the United States fell in August to a 6-month low but the supply of homes available on the market dropped to a record low.

  • iPhone 5 MIA as 10 Million Samsung Galaxy S IIs Ship
    September 26, 2011
    Samsung's Galaxy S II enters the U.S. market in October, while Apple remains mute about an iPhone refresh.

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  • Berkshire Hathaway to buy back shares
    September 26, 2011
    (Reuters) - Warren Buffett's conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway said it will launch a share buyback program, an extremely rare move from Buffett that comes after months of investor complaints that the stock was undervalued.

  • Oracle, Google Set Third Settlement Conference
    September 26, 2011
    Oracle and Google will engage in another attempt to settle their lawsuit over alleged Java patent and copyright violations in the Android mobile OS.

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  • Netflix signs pay TV deal for Dreamworks animation
    September 26, 2011
    (Reuters) - Online video rental company Netflix Inc said it won pay TV rights to Dreamworks Animation movies starting in 2013, the first time a major Hollywood studio has chosen an Internet streaming player over a traditional cable channel.

  • Netflix signs pay TV deal for Dreamworks animation (Reuters)
    September 26, 2011
    Reuters - Online video rental company Netflix Inc said it won pay TV rights to Dreamworks Animation movies starting in 2013, the first time a major Hollywood studio has chosen an Internet streaming player over a traditional cable channel.
  • Greeks feel drip-drip torture of austerity
    September 26, 2011
    ATHENS (Reuters) - Greeks expressed their misery on Monday at the erosion of their daily lives by austerity measures demanded by international lenders in exchange for bailout funds, ahead of a key parliamentary vote on extra property tax.

  • Facebook and OnStar privacy policies: Invasive and deceptive
    September 26, 2011
    Facebook and OnStar have both developed techniques for tracking unwary users. Read this post for your own protection.
  • Facebook to give small businesses $10 million
    September 26, 2011
    While it's still not official, rumblings about Facebook launching a small business program are getting louder and louder.
  • Three Senators condemn OnStar for tracking former customers
    September 26, 2011

    Three Senators have raised concerns about an announcement by GM's OnStar's subsidiary that it would continue collecting data from customers' cars even after they cancelled their OnStar service. In a Wednesday letter to the company, Al Franken (D-MN) and Chris Coons (D-DE) warned that "OnStar's actions appear to violate basic principles of privacy and fairness."
    On Sunday, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) raised objections of his own. He released a letter he has written to the Federal Trade Commission seeking an investigation of OnStar's privacy practices. Schumer described OnStar's new policy as "one of the most brazen invasions of privacy in recent memory."
    OnStar is apparently hoping to create a new revenue stream by collecting data about the movements of OnStar-equipped cars. Obviously, this data set will be more comprehensive—and, therefore, more lucrative—if it includes data from former OnStar subscribers as well as current ones. In an announcement e-mailed to subscribers earlier this month, the company said that, starting December 1, it would continue collecting data from subscribers even after they cancel their service. OnStar also said it reserved the right to sell aggregated and anonymized data to third parties.
    In an interview with the New York Times last week, an OnStar spokesman defended the policy, noting that former customers can opt out of data collection. But Franken and Coons say this isn't good enough. For example, they point out that OnStar forces customers to opt out by phone; there's no online option.
    They also express skepticism about OnStar's anonymization promise. They point to the "broad body of research showing that it is extraordinarily difficult to successfully anonymize highly personal data like location."
    Franken and Coons call for Congress to "enact privacy laws that protect private, sensitive information like location." Franken has sponsored legislation that would do just that.
    Read the comments on this post



  • Amanda Knox a promiscuous "she-devil": appeal court told
    September 26, 2011
    PERUGIA, Italy (Reuters) - Amanda Knox could play the role of a saint but was a "she-devil" at heart, the lawyer for a man falsely accused by the American student of killing her roommate told an Italian court on Monday.

  • Tumblr raises $85 million as growth continues
    September 26, 2011
    The company's total investment is now over $125 million, and many major venture-capital firms, including Sequoia Capital have an interest in the company.
  • Oracle, Google will hold third settlement conference
    September 26, 2011
    Oracle and Google will engage in another attempt to settle their lawsuit over alleged Java patent and copyright violations in the Android mobile OS.
  • Tumblr Lands $85 Million In Fresh Funding (The Atlantic Wire)
    September 26, 2011
    The Atlantic Wire - This year alone, we’ve grown from 2 to 13 billion pageviews a month, with tremendous international adoption. Mobile pageviews have increased 17 times during that period. And the 30 million blogs on Tumblr now generate more than 40 million posts per day, passing 10 billion total posts just two weeks ago.
  • Abbas says no talks without Israeli settlement freeze
    September 26, 2011
    RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas repeated on Sunday his refusal to talk with Israel without a settlement freeze after international mediators, responding to his United Nations bid for statehood, urged negotiations within a month.

  • Amazon Kindle Tablet: Android Tablet or eReader on Steroids?
    September 26, 2011
    Amazon will soon reveal its Kindle Tablet which seems to all but erase the line between the traditional Kindle ereader device, and full tablets like the Apple iPad.

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  • Apple dips on report of iPad supply slowdown
    September 26, 2011
    (Reuters) - Apple Inc shares dipped 1 percent in early trading after an analyst said the iPhone maker is cutting orders from suppliers of parts for its iPad tablet.

  • Apple claims Samsung seeking excessive price for patents
    September 26, 2011
    Apple reportedly revealed that Samsung is seeking to charge 2.4 percent of the price of its chip for every patent.
  • Windows 8 certification will make it 'difficult or impossible' to install Linux on PCs
    September 26, 2011
    Microsoft is removing control from the end user and 'places it in the hands of Microsoft and the hardware vendors'.
  • Microsoft addresses Windows 8 secure boot issue
    September 26, 2011
    In a new blog post, the company explains in detail how the new secure boot process will work, attempting to respond to people wondering if they'll still be able to dual boot an OS like Linux.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic, Coming (Late) in December
    September 26, 2011
    Electronic Arts and BioWare announce online roleplaying game set in Star Wars universe will launch just days before Christmas.

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  • Apple slashes fourth-quarter iPad orders, report says
    September 26, 2011
    The company is said to be cutting iPad shipments for the quarter by 25 percent, which would be the first time supply partners have seen such a move for the tablet.
  • Designing the Underdog: Instances of Technology and Art as Human Equalizers
    September 26, 2011
    While perusing the overwhelmingly crowded yet interesting exhibit “Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects“ at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art on a recent Friday evening, the merging of technology and art inspired some internal reflection on what was being said about their respective functions in society. [More]

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  • Focus on regional languages grows as W3C India gets its own office
    September 26, 2011
    India's growing focus on Internet services being provided in regional languages got a major push with W3C India getting its own space, the government releasing a Text to Speech and OCR software,...
  • Speck Products: Designing for the iPhone 5
    September 26, 2011
    Speck Products creates stunning smartphone and laptop cases. They're currently readying designs for a heavily guarded secret - the iPhone 5.
  • Groupon COO Quits After Five Months to Return to Google
    September 26, 2011
    Groupon's COO has quit after just five months and decided to return to her former employer, Google, Groupon said on Friday.

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  • Challenge to Amazon: show the world America values workers
    September 26, 2011
    Step up to the plate, Mr. Bezos. Show the world that America can knock one out of the park on behalf of its workers. Show the world that America still has game.
  • Kindle Tablet is coming, what it means to consumers
    September 26, 2011
    It appears Amazon is getting ready to unleash the Kindle Tablet on the world this week. Here's what it means to consumers like you.
  • Facebook to offer free ads to small businesses, report says
    September 26, 2011
    The world's largest social network will offer up $10 million in advertising credits to get small businesses to promote their brands on the site.
  • Hynix advisors approaching potential bidders: source
    September 26, 2011
    SEOUL (Reuters) - Advisors in the sale of a controlling stake in Hynix Semiconductor are tapping potential bidders as shareholders are now open to new bids for the world's No.2 memory chipmaker after STX pulled out, an official with one of the shareholders said.

  • Groupon uncertain about IPO timing: report
    September 26, 2011
    (Reuters) - Daily deal website Groupon Inc is committed to launching an initial public offering but the exact timing remains uncertain, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday in its electronic edition.

  • Amazon's Kindle Tablet: Aimed at iPad or Nook Color?
    September 26, 2011
    Amazon's Kindle Tablet is about defense as much as it is targeting Apple's iPad. The reality is that Barnes & Noble's Nook is one popular Android tablet.
  • Donovan Data, MediaBank to form new company: report
    September 26, 2011
    (Reuters) - U.S. advertising-technology companies Donovan Data Systems Inc and MediaBank LLC plan to merge and create a new company called MediaOcean, The Wall Street Journal reported.

  • Oracle to debut Sparc server with new T4 chips
    September 26, 2011
    CEO Larry Ellison today will tout a SuperCluster system based on the Sparc T4 processors, which take a step back toward traditional chip designs.
  • Samsung Omnia W Launches Low-cost Windows Mango Phone
    September 26, 2011
    Samsung has launched the Omnia W, its first smartphone based on Windows Phone 7.5, also known as Mango. The phone is aggressively priced at about €310 before...

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  • CPU-Z 1.58.2 Beta
    September 26, 2011
    CPU-Z is a freeware utility that gathers information on some of the main devices of your system. CPU-Z does not need to be installed, just unzip the files in a directory and run the .exe. In order to remove the program, just delete the files. The program does not copy any file in any Windows directory, nor write to the registry.


  • Open Laboratory 2011 - submissions so far
    September 26, 2011
    For the background on what Open Lab is, see this post. [More]

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  • An open letter from LightSquared CEO
    September 26, 2011
    LightSquared CEO Sanjiv Ahuja in an open letter reaffirms the company's commitment to make wireless broadband accessible and affordable across America through its 4G-LTE network integrated with satellite coverage
  • Netflix under pressure to land streaming content deals
    September 26, 2011
    When it comes to content deals, Netflix may have to resort to that tech tradition of preannouncing products.
  • Archimedes sent a fax to XXI century
    September 26, 2011
  • GigaSpaces Cloudify for Microsoft's Azure - Java in the clouds
    September 26, 2011
    Java is a broadly used execution environment for applications in nearly every industry. What's new here is that GigaSpaces thought Java users would like deploy their applications on Microsoft's...
  • EU opens antitrust probe into e-payment market
    September 26, 2011
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators are investigating whether a group of banks, including Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Spain's BBVA, is blocking new players from entering the European online payments market.

  • The ultimate utility bike competition (photos)
    September 26, 2011
    The Oregon Manifest competition challenged handcrafted bike builders to come up with the best bike for urban living. In addition to 34 builders in the main competition, three bike builders teamed with three global design consultancies to rethink urban cycling.
  • For Zite CEO, no meeting is truly random (Day on the Job)
    September 26, 2011
    Having just sold his startup to CNN, Zite CEO Mark Johnson plows through a day packed with meetings that all add up, one way or another. CNET is there to witness a day in the work life of a tech exec.
  • Security becoming a must on smartphones (Inside Apps)
    September 26, 2011
    Malicious software is an increasing threat to smartphones. CNET's Roger Cheng offers advice on how to protect yourself.

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