Friday, September 9, 2011

Technical News - 9 September 2011

  • Supercomputer predicts revolution
    September 9, 2011
    Feeding a supercomputer with news stories could help predict major world events, according to US researchers.
  • Stocks, euro fall on Europe's woes
    September 9, 2011
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - World stocks and the euro tumbled on Friday on worries over Europe's festering debt problems, as the stakes intensified for the world's top finance officials to find ways to prevent the crisis from worsening.

  • U.S. demands action from Europe's strongest at G7
    September 9, 2011
    MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) - The United States pressed Europe's strongest economies on Friday to give "unequivocal" financial support to weaker euro zone states to overcome a debt crisis that threatens the world economy.

  • App Enables Surfing Over SMS/MMS Through T-Mobile
    September 9, 2011
    MrSeb writes "An ingenious browsing hack has emerged: if you have an Android smartphone and a T-Mobile (US) unlimited messaging plan, you can now use an app called Smozzy to surf the web... for free. Smozzy is just a wrapper around the standard Android browser, but instead of requiring a data connection, everything is funneled through SMS and MMS. Whenever you click a link, instead of firing off a packet to a remote web server, a web request is instead sent to Smozzy's intermediate server via SMS. Smozzy forwards the request, downloads the web page you're trying to visit, and then sends it along to your phone as MMS messages — and both SMS and MMS are completely free with T-Mobile's unlimited messaging plan."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Web Paths Are Personal Data Says Consumer Group
    September 9, 2011
    A leading international consumer group has called on the United States Federal Trade Commission and the European Union’s main body for data protection, the...

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  • U.S. sees credible September 11 threat
    September 9, 2011
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Thursday ordered a redoubling of U.S. counter-terrorism efforts in the face of a "credible but unconfirmed" threat ahead of the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

  • Why Environmental Policies Don't Kill Jobs
    September 9, 2011
    President Obama unveiled his jobs proposal last night and among many strong points, he rebuffed the naysayers who disparage the key role that clean technology jobs have in America’s revival.
    “If we provide the right incentives and support,” he said, “we can be the ones to build everything from fuel-efficient cars to advanced biofuels to semiconductors that are sold all over the world.”
    And he really came out swinging on the need for environmental policies.
    “I reject the argument that says for the economy to grow we have to roll back  . We shouldn’t be in a race to the bottom, where we try to offer the cheapest labor and the worst pollution standards.”
    Obama is right on both fronts. Clean policies not only offer necessary protections, they stimulate jobs.
  • Exclusive: Stark to leave ECB over bond-buying
    September 9, 2011
    FRANKFURT (Reuters) - European Central Bank Executive Board member Juergen Stark will step down from his post, because of a conflict over the ECB's controversial bond-buying program, sources told Reuters on Friday.

  • Obama begins tough slog to sell pivotal jobs plan
    September 9, 2011
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama, seeking to rescue a faltering economy and his own re-election prospects, began an uphill battle on Friday to win Republican support for a $447 billion jobs plan.

  • French Publishers Drop Lawsuits Against Google Book Scanning
    September 9, 2011
    Three French publishers have dropped lawsuits against Google alleging that the company infringed their copyright.

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  • Alibaba launching English mobile OS this month, report says
    September 9, 2011
    The company is currently offering a mobile operating system in Chinese, but is looking to expand globally with its English option, Reuters is reporting.
  • StarCraft II Pro Gamer Steven "Destiny" Bonnell Explains How TwitchTV Is Changing the Game
    September 9, 2011
    Video games were generating so much interest on JustinTV that the streaming service decided to create a dedicated video game broadcasting community with TwitchTV in April. Since launching in private beta six months ago, the site has doubled in size and is attracting more than 8 million viewers per month. Gamers have viewed over 1 billion minutes of content per month over the past six months.
  • German court bans Galaxy Tab 10.1: looks too much like iPad
    September 9, 2011
    Apple has won a more stringent ban on Samsung's Galaxy 10.1 tablet in Germany. On Friday, a Düsseldorf court upheld its previous ban on the device, with Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hofmann ruling that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 looked too much like the iPad Community Design that Apple has registered with the European Union. Samsung has vowed to appeal the decision.
    Apple first went after Samsung in April for "blatantly copying" the hardware and UI designs used in the iPhone and iPad for its Android devices. Samsung eventually fired back with lawsuits in Asia, Europe, and the US, but in August, Apple won an EU-wide ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 via the German lawsuit. The ban ended up being lifted for most of Europe due to jurisdiction concerns, but the Galaxy Tab 10.1 remained temporarily barred from being sold in Germany.
    That brings us to today. In issuing her decision to uphold the ban on Samsung's iPad competitor, Judge Brueckner-Hofmann said that copying Apple isn't necessary in order to create a functional tablet, and that even the "informed customer" might get the impression that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 looks just like Apple's iPad. "The court is of the opinion that Apple’s minimalistic design isn’t the only technical solution to make a tablet computer, other designs are possible,” Brueckner-Hofmann said, according to Bloomberg.
    The German decision doesn't bar the Galaxy Tab 10.1 from being sold in other parts of Europe, so why is this decision a big deal? Apple could potentially use the Germany case to bolster its arguments against Samsung in other European courts, or even in the US. A hearing for the US case is coming up in mid-October, and Apple will want to gather as much evidence as it can to bolster its position.
    Samsung, for its part, is understandably disappointed with the German ruling. In a statement issued Friday, the company said the decision "restricts design innovation and progress in the industry" and that it "severely limits consumer choice in Germany."
    Read the comments on this post



  • Court rules Samsung can't sell tablet in Germany (AP)
    September 9, 2011
    FILE - In this Aug. 25, 2011 file photo a lawyer holds an Apple iPad and a Samsung Tablet-PC at a court in Duesseldorf, Germany. A Duesseldorf state court said Friday, Sept. 9, 2011, it would not allow Samsung, based in Seoul, South Korea, to market its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany because it too closely resembles the iPad2. Previously in August the court had ruled in favor of Apple, based in Cupertino, California, forcing Samsung to withdraw its tablet from the market. (AP Photo/dapd, Sascha Schuermann, file)AP - Samsung Electronics cannot sell its new Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer in Germany after a court ruled Friday that its design "too closely" resembles Apple's iPad2.


  • Housing sector seen limping along: Reuters poll
    September 9, 2011
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - The struggling U.S. housing market is expected to fall a little further as it searches for a bottom, but home prices are seen ticking up modestly in 2012, according to a Reuters poll released on Friday.

  • RIM's new BlackBerry sell-through 'lackluster' as QNX phone rushed, says analyst
    September 9, 2011
    Is RIM is rushing its QNX-based handsets to market so they can launch at CES in January and the Mobile World Congress in February?
  • Microsoft Build: Developer topics to watch
    September 9, 2011
    We know a bit about Windows 8 as we head into Microsoft's Build conference next week. But we still know surprisingly little about the development tools and technologies which will be stars of the...
  • Why the f*@# should we care what Zach Golden wants for dinner?
    September 9, 2011
    image thumbnail - see full story for attributions
    I met Zach Golden, creator of What the F*@# Should I Make for Dinner? (WTFSIMFD), at the Nonick Conference in Bilbao, Spain earlier this summer. WTFSIMFD hit the interwebs hard in 2010; being picked up by the likes of The Huffington Post and Boing Boing, getting nominated for a Webby
  • What the Fu*K Should I Make for Dinner?
    September 9, 2011

  • Electronic Discovery: The Imperative of Private Clouds
    September 9, 2011
    In the past several months, I have written several articles about cloud computing, including one that outlines the manner in which electronic discovery continues to migrate to the cloud. My enthusiasm for the cloud has not diminished, as I feel that the cloud is a business imperative, not just a technological one. However, I am constantly reminded of the security risks and the legal issues stemming therefrom, especially as they pertain to the important difference between public and private clouds.
  • Would you let Al Gore borrow your Facebook and Twitter accounts?
    September 9, 2011
    Would you allow a third party access to your Facebook and/or Twitter account?
  • FPS Benchmarks No More? New Methods Reveal Deeper GPU Issues
    September 9, 2011
    crookedvulture writes "Graphics hardware reviews have long used frames per second to measure performance. The thing is, an awful lot of frames are generated in a single second. Calculating the FPS can mask brief moments of perceptible stuttering that only a closer inspection of individual frame times can quantify. This article explores the subject in much greater detail. Along the way, it also effectively illustrates the 'micro-stuttering' attributed to multi-GPU solutions like SLI and CrossFire. AMD and Nvidia both concede that stuttering is a real problem for modern graphics hardware, and benchmarking methods may need to change to properly take it into account."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Wire up your sense of smell: How the Internet is changing the world of perfumery
    September 9, 2011
    Photo by Jessica Wright. <a href=http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=wire-up-your-sense-of-smell-how-the-internet-is-changing-the-world-of-perfumery>[More]</a><br clear=
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  • Readers Respond to "The Growing Menace from Superweeds" and Other Articles
    September 9, 2011
    CAUGHT TOO EARLY In discussing the search for better detection of breast cancer in “ Beyond Mammograms ,” Nancy Shute misses one key problem: when tests become too “perfect.” As we have learned from our experience in detecting prostate cancer by testing for high levels of the prostate-specific antigen protein, finding cancers at extraordinarily early stages raises new issues. Are we now left to treat cancers that have no clinical relevance? We already often diagnose breast cancers at one to three millimeters in size. Do women with such cancers need radiation and hormone therapy for five years after a lumpectomy? Is performing a mastectomy too radical in such cases? I believe the future of cancer therapy is getting a much better grasp of the malignant potential of these tiny tumors so that we can begin separating out those individuals who can be spared the toxicity of needless treatment rather than seeking new ways to find that first malignant cell. [More]

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  • Google Music Comes to iOS as Web App
    September 9, 2011
    Still in beta, Google's Music Web challenges cloud services from Apple and Amazon.

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  • Nintendo 3DS' price drop ups sales by 260% in US
    September 9, 2011
    Nintendo's price cut for the 3DS seems to be working, with the glasses-free handheld console topping sales charts in the U.S. and Japan, but will it last?
  • Zyrtec turns YouTube into a gaming platform
    September 9, 2011
    Facebook may be the default home for many gamification experiences, but we just ran into one built directly into YouTube. It's called Zyrtec: Parks Unleashed, and it's a...
  • Apple iPads, iPhones get Flash video at last
    September 9, 2011
    Adobe's Flash Media Server 4.5 introduces support for iOS devices, which lets broadcasters stream Flash-based video content in an Apple-derived format, HTTP Live Streaming.
  • French Operators Launch Mobile Payment System Buyster
    September 9, 2011
    Operator-backed Buyster will launch its payment service, which aims to make online transactions more secure using mobile phones, on Sept. 13, the company said on...

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  • Conan mocks Apple over 'lost iPhone 5'
    September 9, 2011
    According to a new faux Apple ad courtesy of Conan on TBS, Apple wants its unreleased iPhone back really, really, bad.
  • Price cut helps 3DS sales soar 260 percent in August
    September 9, 2011
    Nintendo's strong sales are the result of a recent price cut, dropping the price of the 3DS from $250 to $169.99.
  • Lenovo to Dell: By the end of the year we'll be #2
    September 9, 2011
    Following a period of strong growth compared tot he competition, Lenovo expects to be the second-largest PC OEM by the end of the year.
  • Samsung: We're not buying MeeGo
    September 9, 2011
    The Korean consumer electronics giant says MeeGo is an open-source project that cannot be a target of acquisition.
  • Windows 8 To Feature 'Fast Startup Mode'
    September 9, 2011
    New story submitter CSHARP123 writes "Microsoft has posted details about a Windows 8 feature that is a hybrid between cold booting and waking up from a hibernated state. This feature is called fast startup mode. Gabe Aul, director of program management in Windows, explains: '[A]s in Windows 7, we close the user sessions, but instead of closing the kernel session, we hibernate it. Compared to a full hibernate, which includes a lot of memory pages in use by apps, session 0 hibernation data is much smaller, which takes substantially less time to write to disk. If you’re not familiar with hibernation, we’re effectively saving the system state and memory contents to a file on disk (hiberfil.sys) and then reading that back in on resume and restoring contents back to memory. Using this technique with boot gives us a significant advantage for boot times, since reading the hiberfile in and reinitializing drivers is much faster on most systems (30-70% faster on most systems we’ve tested).' The post contains a video as well, which shows Windows starting up in less than 10 seconds."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Microsoft's online services hit by outage
    September 9, 2011
    The company's Office 365, Hotmail, SkyDrive, and other online services were down last night but have reportedly all been restored.
  • German court reduces EU-wide Galaxy Tab ban; Concern for worldwide precedent
    September 9, 2011
    While the Galaxy Tab 10.1 ban across Europe is lifted, Germany is still banning the tablet, with it threatening to set precedent in other countries.
  • BranchOut making SEO push with vanity URLs
    September 9, 2011
    The professional network on Facebook moves into the open Internet with "about" pages for users.
  • Apple wins German court ruling on Samsung tablets
    September 9, 2011
    DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) - Apple Inc scored a symbolic legal victory in efforts to keep its lead spot in the tablet computer market when a German court upheld a ban barring Samsung's local unit from selling its Galaxy 10.1 tablets in Europe's biggest economy.

  • Google Details and Defends Its Use of Electricity
    September 9, 2011
    theodp writes "On Thursday, Google finally provided information on its energy usage, revealing that it continuously uses enough electricity to power 200,000 homes. Still, the search giant contends that by using more power than Salt Lake City, Google actually makes the world a greener place. Google says people should consider things like the amount of gasoline saved when someone conducts a Google search rather than, say, driving to the library. As Police Chief Martin Brody might say, 'Google's going to need a bigger windmill!'"
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.



  • Sony hopes the next TV you buy you'll wear around your head
    September 9, 2011
    The next step in personal viewing is coming, and it's a lot more immersive than staring down at a portable DVD player or your tablet. Sony is bringing its HMZ-T1 "Personal 3D Viewer" to the...
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 banned from sale in Germany
    September 9, 2011
    A German court says Samsung violated Apple's patents by making its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet too similar in appearance to the Apple iPad.
  • Microsoft services hit by failure
    September 9, 2011
    Hundreds of millions of Microsoft users were left unable to access some online services overnight because of a major service failure.
  • Apple is not enterprise class
    September 9, 2011
    Lack of adequate support for Apple computers combined with known but unresolved problems means Apple fails the enterprise taste test
  • Yes We Scan: Have New Airport Screening Technologies Inspired by 9/11 Made Us Safer? [Slide Show]
    September 9, 2011
    The 9/11 attacks , the deadliest terrorist acts on U.S. soil, were the first to use airliners as weapons. More attempts followed, including Richard Reid's attempt in December 2001 to ignite explosives in his shoes on a flight from Paris to Miami, and at  least 10 airliners were targets in a plot involving liquid explosives in 2006, forcing new policies regarding shoes at screening and liquids on airplanes.  Then, on Christmas Day in 2009, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to detonate explosives in his underwear on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.
    Each of these failed attempts to bring down airliners helped spur the adoption of new passenger screening techniques and technologies , especially in the U.S. In response to Abdulmutallab, for example, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) introduced about 500 advanced imaging technology units in December 2010, all of which scan ned bodies without physical contact. These include millimeter-wave technology, which uses millimeter-wavelength radio waves to generate three-dimensional images as well as backscatter scanners, which employ low-level x-rays. A host of complaints over how such technologies can invade privacy have led to plans to revamp these scanners , replacing images of passengers with generic outlines.
    [More]

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  • Intel promises Ultrabooks will become Tablet PCs
    September 9, 2011
    Intel sees the new Ultrabook evolving into a convertible notebook. It seems the company has forgotten the Tablet PC has been around for a decade.

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