Friday, October 28, 2011

Technical News - 28 October 2011

  • Hague court says talks on Gaddafi son surrender
    October 28, 2011
    THE HAGUE (Reuters) - International war crimes prosecutors are in touch with Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, urging him to give himself up and warning him Friday he risks a mid-air interception if he tries to flee by plane to an African safe haven.

  • The RMS Tour Rider
    October 28, 2011


    larry bagina writes "It's no secret that rock stars have riders — provisions on their contractual appearances that require a bowl of brown-free M&Ms or specify the exact brand of bottled water, cocaine purity, etc. Well, Richard Stallman has his own quirky list of provisions." Some of the best stuff is at the end, including: "I do not eat breakfast. Please do not ask me any questions about what I will do [for] breakfast. Please just do not bring it up," and "One situation where I do not need help, let alone supervision, is in crossing streets. I grew up in the middle of the world's biggest city, full of cars, and I have crossed streets without assistance even in the chaotic traffic of Bangalore and Delhi. Please just leave me alone when I cross streets."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Wall St pares losses; all indexes positive
    October 28, 2011
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks pared losses by midmorning on Friday, with all three major indexes turning positive.

  • Unthink to Facebook, Google+: "It's FU time"
    October 28, 2011
    Unthink is the new social network on the block. The company has already made it pretty clear it wants to take on Facebook and Google+.
  • MF Global trades as usual on exchanges: SGX, LME
    October 28, 2011
    SINGAPORE/LONDON (Reuters) - Exchanges in London and Singapore said it was business as usual on their bourses for futures broker MF Global Holdings Ltd on Friday, after two rating agencies downgraded its debt to junk status.

  • Google takes another shot at the TV market
    October 28, 2011
    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc is making another push to bring its Web savvy to television sets, hoping to tap into a vast new market despite consumers' lukewarm reaction to its initial offering.

  • Google takes another shot at the TV market (Reuters)
    October 28, 2011
    Reuters - Google Inc is making another push to bring its Web savvy to television sets, hoping to tap into a vast new market despite consumers' lukewarm reaction to its initial offering.
  • 'Invisible Glass' Solves Screen Reflection Problems
    October 28, 2011


    An anonymous reader writes "The days of dealing with very reflective glass panels may soon be behind us. Nippon Electric Glass has used the FPD International 2011 conference in Japan this week to show off its new 'invisible glass' panel. What NEG has done is added anti-reflection films to both the front and back of the glass that are only nanometers thick. Look at a typical sheet of glass and you will see about 8% of the light reflected off of it. With NEG's anti-reflection film in place, that is reduced to just 0.5%."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Video finds horror in Facebook privacy fears
    October 28, 2011
    A sweaty, wild-eyed man in a stained undershirt hunches over his computer in a shadowy basement. He's broken into your Facebook account and is reading your posts as his dirty, cracked fingernails paw at the keyboard.

  • PlayStation Vita First Edition Bundle offers early access... for a price (Digital Trends)
    October 28, 2011
    Digital Trends - For those who think an extra $50 is a small price to pay for the right to own a PlayStation Vita a week ahead of the common people, Sony has a deal for you.
  • Google Street View heads indoors
    October 28, 2011
    Google is starting a pilot roll-out of its new interiors Street View service in London and other cities across the world.
  • Can Collective Intelligence Provide Answers to Climate Change Questions?
    October 28, 2011
    Few science policy issues today are as complex or divisive as climate change. For that very reason a team of researchers is using the topic as part of a project that seeks to better understand and solve challenging society-level problems by leveraging the collective intelligence of Internet users worldwide.
    The Climate CoLab project, developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (M.I.T.) Collective Intelligence Lab , uses an online forum to encourage institutional and citizen scientists alike to develop proposals for addressing climate change and then improve those proposals based on Web community feedback. The proposals--broken down into “global” and “local” categories--are then judged as part of a multi-phase global competition where the winners are invited to present their ideas to public officials.
    [More]

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  • Samsung surges past Apple in smartphones, upbeat on Q4
    October 28, 2011
    SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co overtook Apple Inc as the world's top smartphone maker in the July-September period with a 44 percent jump in shipments, and forecast strong sales in the current quarter in a clear warning to its rivals.

  • Eye-Tracking Study Finds iPhone, iPad Draw More Attention Than Android Devices
    October 28, 2011
    There is plenty of financial evidence of the iPhone and iPad's popularity in Apple's earnings and those of its carrier partners. Now there is biometric proof of the Apple devices' allure, as well.
  • Top 10 Tablets
    October 28, 2011
    Ten of the most noteworthy tablets currently on the market.
  • Total, Chevron profits lifted by firm oil price
    October 28, 2011
    (Reuters) - Chevron Corp and Total posted higher quarterly profits on Friday, the latest two major oil companies to reap the benefit of firm oil prices and rosier refinery conditions.

  • Microsoft/Nokia partnership: Nothing much so far
    October 28, 2011
    When Microsoft and Nokia announced their major alliance behind Windows Phone, it brought the promise of special products to kick-start the platform. So far, all it's brought are a couple of phones...
  • Germany and Romania in Hot Water Over Data Retention
    October 28, 2011
    Germany and Romania are caught between a rock and a hard place over data retention.

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  • Take Back the City: Gary Hustwit's Urbanized
    October 28, 2011
    Gary Hustwit takes pride in the fact that he was kicked out of college...twice. “That’s how I learned everything I know about business, by just doing it,” he says. Hustwit is in the business of making films—his latest, Urbanized, the third in a series of documentaries about design, opens on October 28 in New York. But when he was supposed to be studying for college exams in the mid-'80s, he was touring with rock bands that embodied the DIY punk ethos of the era. “It wasn’t about the music,” he says. “It was about independence and learning the process yourself.” This approach led him to self-publishing books and albums, which in turn led him to graphic design and, finally, to making films about how design functions, from fonts (Helvetica) to consumer products (Objectified). Urbanized doesn’t just pick up where the first two films leave off. It fast-forwards at warp speed to confront an impending crisis—how to retrofit urban centers to support a population explosion as sociopolitical pressures become more intense and resources become scarcer.
  • Etc: RIM is taking the infomercial approach to its PlayBook tablets: for a limited time only, business customers can buy two and get one free.
    October 28, 2011
    RIM is taking the infomercial approach to its PlayBook tablets: for a limited time only, business customers can buy two and get one free. Read More: TechCrunch, RIM BlackBerry site
    Read the comments on this post



  • HP ditches costly PC unit spin-off
    October 28, 2011
    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Hewlett-Packard Co ditched a plan to spin off its personal computers unit, a month after the ouster of CEO Leo Apotheker whose idea would have cost billions of dollars in expenses and lost business.

  • Lexmark To Start Paying Dividends; Shares Rally
    October 28, 2011
    Lexmark shares are trading higher Friday after the printer company announced that it will start paying a regular quarterly dividend of 25 cents a share, which obviously translates to a buck a year, and a yield of about 3.2% based on Thursday's closing price.
  • Euro fund head: no quick China deal; Italy costs up
    October 28, 2011
    BEIJING (Reuters) - The head of Europe's bailout fund sought financial support from China on Friday to help resolve the bloc's debt crisis, saying that while no quick deal was in sight he was still confident Beijing would keep buying bonds issued by his fund.

  • Freeze On Weather Porn: TWC's iPad App Trumps Hype With Hyperlocal
    October 28, 2011
    In late August, an argument broke out among twitterati about the weather. A headline from Poynter Online director Julie Moos' article framed it well, "Public service or weather porn, how much coverage of Hurricane Irene has been valuable, how much hype?"
  • Office 2007 SP3, another Mango phone event and more Microsoft news of the week
    October 28, 2011
    Microsoft rolled out its latest Office 2007 service pack and System Center 2012 test builds; invited press to a Windows Phone event on November 7 and trotted out its latest "technology in the...
  • Apple Patents New Multitouch, 3-D Gestures
    October 28, 2011
    The innovation could support a gesture-based video editing toolbar for the iPad, previously the stuff of science fiction.

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  • Northern Ireland's broadband criticized: One in four get expected speeds
    October 28, 2011
    Northern Ireland, though has the capability to provide high-speed broadband, only one in four get the speeds they signed up for, according to regulator Ofcom.
  • The touchless control patent race
    October 28, 2011
    Apple and Microsoft are trying to secure the rights to new touchless gesture controls for potential future devices.
  • Reed Hastings On His Vision For Netflix
    October 28, 2011
    Netflix CEO Reed Hastings made an unexpected appearance just now at the Dublin F.ounders conference. F.ounders is the new hot ticket in the tech conference scene. 90% of attendees have started their own companies so it's entrepreneur to entrepreneur. I'm blogging the highlights as we go through the day and weekend.
  • Next-gen Wireless Firm LightSquared Butts Heads with GPS Advocacy Group
    October 28, 2011
    The Coalition to Save Our GPS challenged LightSquared's forecasts that the FCC will be able to resolve the controversy over the company's planned cellular.

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  • UK iPhone Scammer Jailed for Eight Months
    October 28, 2011
    A man has been jailed for eight months for his part in a scam where iPhones were fraudulently obtained from Orange stores around the UK.

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  • Why Siri Is a Google Killer
    October 28, 2011
    It's now been a couple of weeks since Siri debuted as part of Apple's (AAPL) 4S.  The response from most people has been very positive.
  • Highly Efficient Oxygen Catalyst Found
    October 28, 2011


    eldavojohn writes "As detailed in the journal Science (abstract), a new compound composed of cobalt, iron and oxygen with other metals presents us with the most efficient way (found so far) of splitting oxygen atoms from water. These ten known compounds provide a reactivity rate that is at least an order of magnitude higher than what is currently known as the gold standard in such reactions. During their research, the team discovered that the reactivity is dependent on the configuration of the outermost electron of transition metal ions, which they exploited to develop this efficient catalyst. For rechargeable batteries and hydrogen fuel, this is exciting work from MIT's Jin Suntivich, Kevin J. May, Hubert A. Gasteiger, and Yang Shao-Horn, and the University of Texas's John B. Goodenough."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • RIM aiding India with wiretaps, report says
    October 28, 2011
    The BlackBerry provider is said to be providing decoded customer messages to the Indian government--as long as it believes there is "legal authorization" to do so.
  • EA's Battlefield 3 Launch Marred by Server and Service Issues
    October 28, 2011
    For the third day in a row last night, I sat down to play Battlefield 3 on my Xbox. I’m a Call of Duty man, and have been for years, but this new game, from what I’d played, was quickly making me a convert. The vehicles, the teamwork, the physics, it was all fantastic, and I couldn’t wait to get sta….THE CONNECTION WITH EA ONLINE WAS LOST.
  • Netflix's nightmare on Wall Street (week in review)
    October 28, 2011
    Video rental service sheds subscribers and market cap, while HP opts to stay in the PC game. Also: Apple TV on the horizon?
  • 150 Years Ago: Ghost Photo
    October 28, 2011
    NOVEMBER 1961
    Teaching Machines [More]

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  • HP Keeps Making PCs: Now What?
    October 28, 2011
    Whitman and her executive team welcome back PCs and WebOS, and promise ultrabooks, new tablets and smartphones, and consumer access to the cloud.

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  • BlackBerry PlayBook - Buy 2, get 1 free
    October 28, 2011
    Not sure if it's a good deal or utter desperation on RIM's part.
  • Smartphone wars: Samsung top dog...for now
    October 28, 2011
    Samsung should celebrate being the king of smartphones today, but the fourth quarter competition is going to be far more challenging.
  • If HP/ARM rumors are true, AMD might be the big loser
    October 28, 2011
    AMD is getting pressed from all sides of their business model, and it looks like it's going to get worse.
  • Sorry, Dropbox, I still don't trust you
    October 28, 2011
    Last summer, I deleted my Dropbox account after the company admitted to a horrifying security breach. This week, I reluctantly opened a new Dropbox account. Within minutes, I received a message...
  • Clouds, open source, and new network models: Part 3
    October 28, 2011
    Given the emergence of cloud network models like OpenStack's Quantum service, what role does software defined networking play--including new products based on OpenFlow?
  • Sterling's Mosaid deal includes Nokia-Microsoft patents
    October 28, 2011
    (Reuters) - An agreement by a private equity firm to buy Mosaid Technologies for C$590 million ($594 million) includes core wireless patents controlled by the Ottawa-based target company as part of a recent deal with Nokia and Microsoft.

  • #scio11 - Web 2.0, Public and Private Spaces in the Scientific Community, and Generational Divides in the Practice of Science
    October 28, 2011
    Web 2.0, Public and Private Spaces in the Scientific Community, and Generational Divides in the Practice of Science from NASW on Vimeo .