Thursday, November 24, 2011

Technical News - 24 November 2011

  • German bond sale scare shakes euro, stocks
    November 23, 2011
    SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Japanese stocks hit a two-and-a-half-year low and the euro struggled on Thursday after a disappointing German bond sale raised alarm that Europe's ever-worsening sovereign debt crisis is starting to affect even the continent's economic powerhouse.

  • New NASA rover to scout for life's habitats on Mars
    November 23, 2011
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - A nuclear-powered rover as big as a compact car is set to begin a nine-month journey to Mars this weekend to learn if the planet is or ever was suitable for life.

  • China Overtakes U.S. in Smartphone Shipments, Says Research Firm
    November 23, 2011
    China has passed the U.S. in the third quarter to become the world's largest smartphone market by shipments, but may find it tough to hold the position in the...

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  • Thanksgiving kicks off fight for holiday sales
    November 23, 2011
    (Reuters) - The holiday shopping season starts in earnest on Thursday, with retailers anxious to see if U.S. consumers are willing to spend despite an endless stream of scary headlines about the fragile economy and their own precarious finances.

  • Yemen's Saleh signs deal to give up power
    November 23, 2011
    RIYADH (Reuters) - Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh signed a deal on Wednesday under which he will step down after 33 years in power and 10 months of protests against his rule that brought the country to the brink of civil war.

  • The Greatest Hoax in History: Eliot Spitzer, Climategate and the Art of the Email Con
    November 23, 2011
    Eliot Spitzer tricked the public into thinking he was a no-nonsense prosecutor the same way the criminals behind the so-called Climategate charade are trying to trick the public into believing climate scientists are scoundrels.
  • "Disastrous" bond sale shakes confidence in Germany
    November 23, 2011
    BERLIN (Reuters) - A "disastrous" German bond sale on Wednesday sparked fears that Europe's debt crisis was starting to threaten even Berlin, with the leaders of the euro zone's two biggest economies still at odds over a longer-term structural solution.

  • Disney, Pixar and DreamWorks movies now available for rent on YouTube (Digital Trends)
    November 23, 2011
    Digital Trends - Netflix may need to start keeping an eye on YouTube’s rental service. Thanks to a new partnership, Disney movies will be available for rent through the popular Google-owned streaming service. The first batch of many Disney movies are available beginning today, some starting at $1.99.
  • Ex-Olympus CEO meets Tokyo prosecutors on scandal
    November 23, 2011
    TOKYO (Reuters) - Former Olympus CEO Michael Woodford met on Thursday with Tokyo prosecutors, who are investigating an accounting scandal at the once venerable camera maker, a day before attending a board meeting for a showdown with the directors who fired him.

  • Ex-Olympus CEO meets Tokyo prosecutors on scandal
    November 23, 2011
    TOKYO (Reuters) - Former Olympus CEO Michael Woodford met on Thursday with Tokyo prosecutors, who are investigating an accounting scandal at the once venerable camera maker, a day before attending a board meeting for a showdown with the directors who fired him.

  • Pay-TV strategies must reflect market landscape
    November 23, 2011
    Ovum notes that new technologies and players offering alternative ways to view video are undermining the established order of pay-TV operations
  • Firms 'not ready for IT failure'
    November 23, 2011
    Almost three-quarters of firms across nine European countries may not fully recover their computer systems or data after an IT failure, a survey suggests.
  • Brazil suspends Chevron's drilling rights
    November 23, 2011
    BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's government suspended Chevron Corp's drilling rights until Chevron clarifies the causes of an offshore oil spill, the latest twist in a political firestorm threatening the U.S. company's role in Brazil's oil bonanza.

  • Nature Publishes a "Post-Gutenberg" Electronic Text
    November 23, 2011


    lpress writes "Most of today's electronic textbooks are re-purposed versions of print books. Nature has published an e-text that departs from the traditional book format and business model. Their Introduction to Biology e-text was created from the ground up and consists of 196 modules rather than a sequential book and the student gets a lifetime subscription for $49. Nature will continuously update the e-text as the science and pedagogy evolve."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • The Cloud, Day 12: A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words
    November 23, 2011
    Most of the things in my house, and most of the data contained in my PC is just "stuff", but pictures are irreplaceable moments in time that need extra protection no matter how or where they're stored.

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  • Hungarian Hacks Marriott's Systems to Blackmail for Job
    November 23, 2011
    A Hungarian citizen has pleaded guilty to stealing confidential information from the computers of Marriott International, and threatening to reveal the...

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  • IPOs stoke San Francisco housing market
    November 23, 2011
    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Adam Holm has been looking to sell his three-bedroom Victorian house in San Francisco's Potrero Hill neighborhood all year, but he needs one thing to happen first: gaming-company Zynga's initial public offering.

  • Why Support Energy Efficiency in 10 Slides
    November 23, 2011
    Ten charts that will convince people to support energy efficiency
  • Harvard Study Calls for Radical Increase in U.S. Energy Innovation Spending
    November 23, 2011
    image thumbnail - see full story for attributions
    The U.S. government could save the economy hundreds of billions of dollars annually by 2050 by expanding support for energy innovation, according to the results of a three-year research project at the Harvard Kennedy School. The report, “Transforming U.S. Energy Innovation,” begins: “The United States and the world need a revolution
  • London Baker Makes 102,000 Cupcakes for Grouponers
    November 23, 2011
    Yet another Groupon horror story: one baker was forced to make over 100,000 cupcakes for clients after offering an insane Groupon deal.

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  • Bromancing Baboons
    November 23, 2011
    Video of the Week #18, November 23rd, 2011

    [More]

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  • Stand By For Big Bounce In IBM
    November 23, 2011

  • System Recognizes Emotions In People's Voices
    November 23, 2011


    cylonlover writes "Automated telephone services may get slightly less annoying thanks to research being carried out at Spain's Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and Universidad de Granada. A team of scientists from those institutions has created a computer system that is able to recognize the emotional state of a person speaking to it, so that it can alter its behavior to make things less stressful."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Occupy Wall Street: The "Technology" Platform
    November 23, 2011
    Alexis Madrigal has a really clever article where he reimagines all the resusable assets of the Occupy Wall Street movement through the doorway of an "API" -- an interface that enables other groups to easily build on what OWS already has.  What's nice about the API metaphor (the term comes from technology) -- is that it acknowledges what a growing number of people in the movement-making world are beginning to understand:  if you want something to grow, you need to find ways to enable others to do the work and make it their own.  Another thing that's nice about the API as metaphor:  it's a reminder that the world of data and the world of human systems follow similar principles.
  • HTC cuts Q4 revenue growth forecast; shares tumble
    November 23, 2011
    TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan's HTC Corp cut its revenue forecast for the fourth quarter to no growth over the same period a year earlier from around 20 percent to 30 percent year on year growth previously, surprising the market and sending its shares tumbling 7 percent.

  • 5 Reasons Why Facebook's Phone Will Fail
    November 23, 2011
    Smartphones are a game Facebook can't win and should avoid, but egos rush in... Little to gain and a whole lot to lose.
  • James Murdoch Exits Newspaper Boards
    November 23, 2011
    James Murdoch has left the boards of operating companies overseeing News Corp.’s U.K. newspapers the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times, according to British regulatory filings, which registered the changes in September.
    Read the rest of this post on the original site »

  • Apple yanks 'first' subscription-based game app
    November 23, 2011
    The iPad app that made waves yesterday after claiming to be the first to utilize a subscription-based service has been pulled by Apple.
  • Apple's Black Friday prices leaked; slightly better than last year
    November 23, 2011
    Apple's Black Friday discounts are modest as usual but slightly better than last year on higher capacity iPads and iPods.
  • Holiday Gift Guide: Tablets, e-Readers, and Gaming
    November 23, 2011
    World Tech Update this week features a special holiday gift guide that take a looks at tablets, e-readers, gaming and more.

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  • Please, Mr. Sorkin--Leave Steve Jobs Alone
    November 23, 2011
    After rumors last month that Sony Pictures plans to do movie on Steve Jobs based on Walter Isaacson's new biography of the late Apple co-founder, now we hear that celebrated screenwriter Aaron Sorkin is considering whether to write the screenplay.
  • Google Pulls Plug on CSP Solar Campaign
    November 23, 2011
    Google is gutting its RE
  • Rafe Recommends: Apps for dumb gadget shoppers
    November 23, 2011
    Get Amazon's Flow and the new Decide.com app to save yourself from spending too much.
  • How 3D TV is going to change the look of 2D shows
    November 23, 2011
    As 3D sets proliferate, TV producers have to tailor the way they film shows -- which may mean subtle but significant changes to 2D versions.
  • Police procedures leaked for getting into Facebook, other accounts
    November 23, 2011
    Leaked confidential documents telling police under what circumstances they can gain access to Facebook, Microsoft, Blizzard, and AOL accounts appeared online this week.
  • A high-res Earth from 512 miles (photos)
    November 23, 2011
    The Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite will monitor the planet's environment, exposing long-term patterns helpful in assessing the impact of climate change.
  • Does stress lead to sleep texting?
    November 23, 2011
    According to medical practitioners, some people are now so stressed that they have begun sending incoherent texts in the middle of the night. Didn't we used to call that "being drunk?"
  • Kindle Fire: Non-techie perspective
    November 23, 2011
    My wife is beginning to get more familiar with her new Kindle Fire, and her initial observations are worth noting as she is the target market for the new tablet.
  • Facebook's law enforcement 'guidebook' leaked
    November 23, 2011
    Facebook's "guidebook" on acting and reacting to law enforcement and governments has been leaked, and shows a first-hand view of how the world's largest social network dishes out users' data when...
  • PriceGrabber exec: Do homework before gift-buying (podcast)
    November 23, 2011
    PriceGrabber President Steve Krenzer advises consumers to do their research before pulling the trigger on holiday gifts.
  • Black Friday alerts: Online scams abound, malls track you via cell
    November 23, 2011
    Ah, Black Friday--when your ID and your privacy can be in as much danger as your credit-card balance.
  • Wirefly tries to get free phones in more hands with the Free-for-All sale
    November 23, 2011
    There are plenty of deals this week for those of you looking for new phones for your family and Wirefly is launching a sale to try to lower the price for more eligible customers.
  • Video game taps into Occupy Wall Street
    November 23, 2011
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - When gamers take the wraps off the new "BioShock" video game next year, they should not be surprised if parts of the game remind them of the Occupy Wall Street protests.

  • Weekly Highlights #13 - MIT science writing program
    November 23, 2011
    MIT Grad Program in Science Writing ( Twitter , Facebook ) is one of the strongest programs in the country, whose alumni include some of the most exciting new science writers on the scene. You can follow the ongoing work of the current students on their magazine/blog SCOPE , but here are some examples of the recent work by their graduates.
    MacGregor Campbell ( 09) does wonderful animated explainers for the New Scientist . Here s one on the power of the mind to heal: The healing power of the mind . Watch for the FSM. The most recent one is Why there is no such thing as empty space .
    [More]

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  • Merck said to hijack German rival's Facebook page
    November 23, 2011
    (Reuters) - German drugmaker Merck KGaA accused U.S. rival Merck & Co of hijacking its Facebook page and said it plans to sue to get it back.

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