Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Technical News - 1 November 2011

  • France, Germany demand Greek decision on euro
    November 2, 2011
    PARIS/ATHENS (Reuters) - Germany and France told Greece on Wednesday it should make up its mind by mid-December whether it wants to stay in the euro zone when Greeks vote on a 130-billion-euro ($178 billion) bailout.

  • Peter Thiel Goes Nonprofit: New Fund Will Back Breakthrough Science
    November 2, 2011
    In the six days since Peter Thiel announced the launch of Breakout Labs, Executive Director Lindy Fishburne has fielded legitimate inquiries from nearly 100 researchers and entrepreneurs. "We're getting proposals in by the hour," she says.
  • Will LED Light Bulbs Help You Fall Asleep?
    November 2, 2011
    If you fly to Asia on the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, you might find it a wee bit easier to fall asleep on the way.
  • LG DoublePlay dual-screen phone available on T-Mobile today (Digital Trends)
    November 2, 2011
    Digital Trends - Do your needs exceed that of a simple QWERTY keyboard and touchscreen? Do you find yourself frustrated that you don’t have another screen on which to store more icons? Well, you’re in luck, my friend. Today, the LG DoublePlay should be available in most T-Mobile stores, reports Phandroid. This slide-out QWERTY Android phone has a second touchscreen embedded in the keyboard, allowing it to do some light multitasking and provide some hot links. 
  • US Marshals Ordered To Seize Righthaven Property
    November 2, 2011


    An anonymous reader writes "Troubled times ahead for Righthaven as Ars Technica reports that the US Marshals have been instructed 'to use "reasonable force" to seize $63,720.80 in cash and/or assets from the Las Vegas copyright troll after Righthaven failed to pay a court judgment from August 15.'"
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Vonage Shares Tumble As Growth Outlook Disappoints
    November 2, 2011
    Shares of voice over IP service provider Vonage are trading sharply lower on a disappointing forecast for the rest of the year.
  • Previewing the Post-DVD World: Don't Expect the Free Ride to Last (ContributorNetwork)
    November 2, 2011
    ContributorNetwork - In the wake of Steve Jobs' death, mainstream media outlets spilled a lot of ink trying to quantify the late Apple executive's impact on the pop-culture universe, as in Entertainment Weekly's recent piece about the evolution of the iPod. The magazine noted that many of the music fans who had stopped paying for CDs when MP3 files made it easy to download music happily embraced paying 99 cents per song after the iTunes store launched. To the great relief of music executives, the combination of convenience and low prices turned iTunes into a money machine.
  • Analysis: Clearwire needs more customers and funding (Reuters)
    November 2, 2011
    Reuters - Clearwire Corp needs another big wholesale customer to make investors less nervous about buying stock in the wireless service provider, which is majority owned by its biggest customer Sprint Nextel .
  • Arabs await Syrian reply to plan to end unrest
    November 2, 2011
    CAIRO (Reuters) - Arab foreign ministers will review on Wednesday Syria's response to their initiative aimed at ending seven months of violence triggered by an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's rule.

  • Where Are Our Leaders? Blaming and Dividing
    November 2, 2011
    Growing up, I felt our nation was united by several core beliefs: Opposition to communism, pride in our space program and agreement in the greatness and goodness of America. Sadly, today we have a horribly divided country with little that binds us other than history, geography and language.
  • Cognizant: A look at its big bets
    November 2, 2011
    Cognizant looks poised to grab more of the IT budgets in 2012 as it reports a strong third quarter and increases its outlook for the fourth quarter.
  • The World's Most Powerful: Newcomers
    November 2, 2011

  • The World's Most Powerful: Newcomers
    November 2, 2011
    image thumbnail - see full story for attributions
    Out of the 7 billion people on this planet we ranked the 70 that matter most. This year 16 newcomers ascended the ranks to make our list.  
  • Researchers discover zero-day Windows exploit in Duqu virus
    November 2, 2011
    Hungarian researchers have discovered a  previously unknown Windows kernel vulnerability that is used by the installer for Duqu, the Stuxnet-like Trojan first detected in October. The researchers at the Laboratory of Cryptography and System Security at Budapest University of Technology and Economics (CrySyS), who were the first to discover the Duqu virus, have reported the vulnerability to Microsoft and other organizations, and a patch is in development.
    According to a Symantec analysis of the exploit, Duqu’s installer was delivered to target systems embedded in a seemingly legitimate Microsoft Word document. When the document is opened, the installer embedded in the document is activated, and executes Windows shell code to install the malware’s .DLL and driver file to the system by hijacking Windows’ services control manager.
    The shell code discovered in the Duqu worm by CrySyS was written to only allow installation of the virus during an eight-day period in August. Once the virus is installed, it can spread to other computers over networked file shares, and connect back to a command-and-control network over the Internet. Researchers found that when the virus infects systems not directly connected to the Internet, it uses a file-sharing protocol to connect with computers that have Internet access to form a relay back to the command and control network.
    So far, confirmed Duqu infections have been reported in France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the UK, Ukraine, Austria, Hungary, Iran, Sudan, Vietnam and Indonesia. The virus communicated with servers in Belgium, which have been shut down. But it’s unknown if the virus has since been modified and used for other attacks.
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  • BofA employees flood bank's rivals with resumes
    November 2, 2011
    CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp employees are flooding rival companies with resumes as a major cost-cutting program gets under way at the second-largest U.S. bank.

  • A Long Forgotten Father of the Scientific Revolution
    November 2, 2011
    Thony Christie of Renaissance Mathematicus recently turned a Blast from the Past toward a much neglected sixteenth century mathematician whose education reforms helped train the pioneers of the Scientific Revolution.
  • MF Global accounts shock leaves clients scrambling
    November 2, 2011
    CHICAGO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - MF Global Holdings Ltd failed to protect customer accounts by keeping them separate from its own funds, said a top U.S. exchange regulator, another shock for commodity markets scrambling to contain fallout from the brokerage's bankruptcy.

  • AOL beats expectations, shares rise
    November 2, 2011
    (Reuters) - AOL Inc's third-quarter revenue dropped 6 percent because of its dwindling dial-up Internet access business though it beat analysts expectations and its stock rose more than 11 percent.

  • Apple iPhone 4S battery grumbles
    November 2, 2011
    Some 2,000 people have reported poor battery life on their iPhone 4S and handsets upgraded with the iOS 5 operating system.
  • Duqu Installer Exploits Windows Kernel Zero Day
    November 2, 2011


    Trailrunner7 writes with an excerpt from Threatpost: "A newly discovered installer for the Duqu malware includes an exploit for a previously unknown vulnerability in the Windows kernel that allows remote code execution. Microsoft is working on a fix for the kernel vulnerability right now. The exact location and nature of the flaw isn't clear right now. The installer uses a Word document to exploit the vulnerability and then install the Duqu binaries."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Amazon, Newegg and Walmart unleash 'Black November' deals
    November 2, 2011
    Black Friday is now a month long event, thanks to retailers like Amazon, Newegg and Walmart.
  • Personal navigation devices services help Garmin back on track
    November 2, 2011
    (Reuters) - Garmin Ltd raised its forecast for the year as it starts to gain from its move to add high-margin services to its staple personal navigation devices (PNDs), which have seen a freefall in sales over the past few years.

  • Assange loses extradition appeal
    November 2, 2011
    Wikileaks founder Julian Assange loses his appeal to be extradited to Sweden over allegations of rape and sexual assault.
  • Android Market Trumps Apple's App Store With Auto-Update Feature
    November 2, 2011
    The latest Android Market update isn't a big one, but it includes one change that should make iPhone users jealous.

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  • Nokia Picks New Chip Vendor for Dual-core Windows Phones
    November 2, 2011
    Nokia will use ST-Ericsson's dual-core NovaThor chips in future Windows Phones, the companies said on Wednesday.

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  • House Passes Freeze on New Mobile Taxes
    November 2, 2011
    The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to approve a five-year moratorium on new taxes targeted toward mobile services, with supporters arguing that...

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  • Dutch Psychologist Faked Data In At Least 30 Scientific Papers
    November 2, 2011


    Attila Dimedici writes "A professor at Tilburg University has been caught using fake data in over 30 scientific papers. Diederik Stapel's latest paper claimed that eating meat made people anti-social and selfish. Other academics were skeptical of his findings and raised doubts about his research. Upon investigation it was discovered that he had invented the data he used in many of his papers and there is a question as to whether or not he used faked data in all of his published work."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • UK court rules WikiLeaks's Assange should be extradited
    November 2, 2011
    LONDON (Reuters) - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whose activities have angered the U.S. government, should be sent to Sweden from Britain to face questioning over alleged sex crimes, the High Court ruled on Wednesday, rejecting his appeal against extradition.

  • Mobile security: is your smartphone a target?
    November 2, 2011
    How much is your smartphone at risk of malicious attacks and exploits? NetQin Mobile's Chris Stier offers his reading of the industry's tea leaves.
  • Playing with SVG Design
    November 2, 2011
    After years of quarantine, the Scalable Vector Graphics is finally raising fame as a feature of HTML5 with full native browser support. Vlog.it, by Marco Rosella, is an experimental site launched last month to explore two aspects of SVG with interesting potential for the design of original interfaces: clipping paths and scalable 2D motion graphics. [...]
    Advertise here with BSA

  • Amid turmoil, Yahoo set to unveil upcoming products
    November 2, 2011
    The Web giant will debut several new product, reportedly including a Flipboard-competitor, at its Product Runway event this morning at its Sunnyvale headquarters.
  • AOL loses less than expected
    November 2, 2011
    Company's results were better than Wall Street estimates, but investments in Patch local-news effort continue to hurt the bottom line.
  • iPhone 4S battery drain - Is it the handset or iOS 5 that's at fault?
    November 2, 2011
    Three handsets in a head-to-head drain-off!
  • The Story Behind the Demise of the Microsoft Courier Tablet
    November 2, 2011


    UnknowingFool writes "When the Courier project was leaked out, it was a bold look at how MS would design new tablets. Microsoft was currently selling tablets but they didn't make a dent in the market. The problem was it was too bold. According to the story Ballmer had two competing executive visions for tablets: J. Allard and Steven Sinofsky. Allard's vision was very different from MS thinking while Sinofsky's was more in line with existing Windows but was years away. Ballmer called on Gates to help and Gates met with Allard. Gates was apparently troubled on how Courier would not mesh with Windows or Office. The project was cancelled shortly thereafter. An interesting detail was that Courier was more complete than most outsiders knew. While there was no one prototype than unified all the concepts of Courier, there were parallel efforts in the different aspects of it."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Angry Birds tops 500 million downloads
    November 2, 2011
    HELSINKI (Reuters) - Mobile gaming firm Rovio said on Wednesday its hit game Angry Birds had reached a record 500 million downloads in less than two years since its launch.

  • Apple's iPhone 4S Goes Regional, Benefits Could Be National
    November 2, 2011
    Apple's iPhone 4S now offered by a regional wireless carrier C Spire putting more pressure on all iPhone carriers to offer competitive service plans.

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  • Enterprise software under attack
    November 2, 2011
    Traditional enterprise has come under fire from both disillusioned users and unhappy managers.
  • Square introduces hands-free payments
    November 2, 2011
    Regulars rejoice! Leave your phone in your pocket when you pay with Square's latest version of Card Case. There's no finger tapping or device clicking necessary. A look a the Card Case carrier's face is all a business needs to transact.
  • Don’t miss my last iOS development workshop in the UK for 2011
    November 2, 2011
    Native iOS development workshop in Brighton, UK
    Here's your last chance to attend a native iOS workshop by me in the UK. Come to Brighton on November 23-25 to join me for three days of hands-on hacking as you learn the foundations of Objective-C, Cocoa Touch, and Xcode. We'll be covering iOS5 and Xcode 4.2 (the latest versions).
    Tickets are commemoratively priced at £666.66 + VAT. Places are limited.

    Do tell your friends :)
    For more information, see the Native iOS Development Dojo web site.

  • Duqu linked to Microsoft document
    November 2, 2011
    Security researchers believe the Duqu computer infection has been spread using a Microsoft Word document exploit.
  • Forget the gaming PC, buy a console
    November 2, 2011
    The PC offers the best gaming experience possible ... as long as your PC is powerful enough and the game actually runs.
  • Time Warner's home-video revenue plunges
    November 2, 2011
    Time Warner's revenue in home entertainment for theatrical fell 21 percent while the same category for TV shows fell 25 percent.
  • ST-Ericsson breaks Qualcomm Windows Phone monopoly
    November 2, 2011
    HELSINKI (Reuters) - ST-Ericsson won a deal to supply chipsets for future Nokia phones based on Windows software, breaking Qualcomm's monopoly over Microsoft's mobile platform.

  • What is peer-review for?
    November 2, 2011
    There is a lot of back and forth right now amongst the academic technorati about the “future of peer review”. The more I read about this, the more I’ve begun to step back and ask, in all seriousness:
    What is scientific peer-review for?
    [More]

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  • The Scientific Paper: past, present and probable future
    November 2, 2011
    I first published this post on December 5, 2007 . It was later edited and published in the Journal of Science Communication .
    Communication

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