Saturday, December 3, 2011

Technical News - 03 Dec 2011


  • Apple, Android Devices Swamp NYC Schools' ActiveSync Server
    December 3, 2011


    longacre writes "Just a few months after the New York City Dept. of Education shelled out over $1 million on iPads for teachers, the agency has stopped accepting new users on its Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync server as it is 'operating near its resource limits' due to an influx of iOS and Android devices. A memo from the deputy CTO warned, 'Our Exchange system is currently operating near its resource limits and in order to prevent Exchange from exceeding these limits, we need to take action to prevent any more of these devices from being configured to receive email. As of Thursday, November 10th no additional users will be allowed to receive email via NYCDOE's Exchange ActiveSync.' Existing setups will continue to operate, and students will not be affected."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Nook Tablet and Amazon Kindle Fire App Stores Compared (ContributorNetwork)
    December 3, 2011
    ContributorNetwork - "This isn't anything like a formal study," technology expert Marco Arment wrote in his "Informal e-reader library comparison," "so take this with a grain of salt." But in his opinion, the Kindle and Nook have roughly comparable book stores, with Amazon.com's advantage not nearly as great as expected on the titles he searched for.
  • Become A Social Business
    December 3, 2011

  • Egypt Islamists tell rivals to accept vote result
    December 3, 2011
    CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood called on its rivals to accept the will of the people on Saturday after a first-round vote set its party on course to take the most seats in the country's first freely elected parliament in six decades.

  • No number yet on boost to IMF from eurozone central banks
    December 3, 2011
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Talks on the size of loans from euro zone national central banks to the International Monetary Fund are starting at a technical level after euro zone finance ministers gave the green light to explore the idea last Tuesday, officials said on Saturday.

  • MasterImage 3D's small step forward for glasses-free 3D
    December 3, 2011
    New technology aims to let phones and other pocketable devices display remarkably crisp, bright high-definition 3D images.
  • Amazon Kindle Fire Said to be Moving into Second Place in Tablet War
    December 3, 2011
    Business information services company IHS says Amazon will ship 3.9 million Kindle Fire tablets during the last three months of 2011, giving the company a 13.8 percent share of tablet shipments in the fourth quarter, beating out the 4.8 percent held by Samsung.

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  • NUTS: Apple, Amazon Battle for Tablet Supremacy, AT&T Suffers Setback on T-Mobile Merger
    December 3, 2011
    Amazon's Kindle Fire battled Apple's iPad for tablet dominance on Black Friday, while AT&T withdrew its approval application for its merger with T-Mobile.
  • Two dead as shelling of Yemeni city continues
    December 3, 2011
    SANAA (Reuters) - Two Yemenis were killed during a third straight day of shelling in the protest hotbed of Taiz, residents said, raising the death toll from clashes between troops loyal to outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh and opposition fighters to at least 17.

  • After 6 Years, Aptera Motors Is No More
    December 3, 2011


    After years of beautiful concept cars, envy-inspiring demos, and missed production targets starting in 2008, high-efficiency car startup Aptera is liquidating its assets. A pointed excerpt from Wired's account: "The truth is, Aptera always faced long odds and has been in trouble for at least two years. The audience for a sperm-shaped, three-wheeled, electric two-seater was never anything but small. It didn’t help that production of the 2e — at one point promised for October 2009 — was continually delayed as Wilbur ordered redesigns to make it more appealing to the mainstream. Aptera had a small window in which to be a first mover in the affordable EV space, and that window closed the moment the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt hit the market. At that point, Aptera teetered on the brink of irrelevance." As an compulsive driver, I had been hoping to one day drive one of these to save gas money.
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Who Are the Top 10 Influencers in Social Media?
    December 3, 2011
    As the social web evolves rapidly we need metrics around social media influence. Some influencers are as powerful in their pulling power as media outlets. Who are they and how can we measure their influence?
  • The Goldilocks tablet: Why Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Fire is 'just right' (Digital Trends)
    December 3, 2011
    Digital Trends - The Kindle Fire is reported to be the top tablet at Best Buy this year, and Amazon is expected to sell 5 million in the fourth quarter against an estimated 13 million for the iPad. While Apple’s iPad remains the clear winner, if these projections hold up, the Kindle Fire will be the first tablet to come this close to challenging it.
  • Web an increasing tool to link campaigns, voters (AP)
    December 3, 2011
    Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, center, visits with former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara at their Houston home, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)AP - As potential voters in New Hampshire and Iowa scan the Internet, they probably are seeing ads for Republican Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama alongside deals for shoes and holiday gifts.


  • This week in Crave: The brights lights, big bacteria edition
    December 3, 2011
    This week, we basked in the glow of microbes, used pee streams as game controllers, and tried hard not to drop a glass keyboard and mouse.
  • Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus (first impressions)
    December 3, 2011
    The first device running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) is now available as the Galaxy Nexus from Samsung. You can buy import versions with the Verizon one likely to arrive before the end of the...
  • Is Carrier IQ's Data-Logging Phone Software Helpful or a Hacker's Goldmine?
    December 3, 2011
    U.S. mobile phone customers do not like spending a lot of money for their wireless gadgets. As a result many agree to restrictive contracts with AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and other wireless carriers in order to get a good deal. Until the recent uproar over the discovery of Carrier IQ’s analytics software running on a variety of mobile devices, including Apple iPhones and Google Android phones, however, most consumers failed to recognize that they also have little control over the software installed on the highly subsidized handsets they buy. Nor was it clear just how much of a security and privacy risk Carrier IQ’s software creates by gathering and storing data about how and where a person’s mobile phone is used.
    Carrier IQ has positioned its software, installed on more than 141 million handsets worldwide , as a mobile agent that helps carriers improve service for wireless customers by providing data on customer usage patterns. These improvements include reducing dropped calls and extending device battery life, Carrier IQ CEO Larry Lenhart said in a video recently posted to YouTube .
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  • Fifteen dead after Syrian army clashes with rebels
    December 3, 2011
    BEIRUT (Reuters) - At least 15 people died in fierce fighting between security forces and army rebels in northern Syria early on Saturday, activists said, as violence intensified in the eighth month of unrest against President Bashar al-Assad.

  • Yeti Crab Cultivates Bacteria On Claw, Then Eats Them
    December 3, 2011


    Pierre Bezukhov writes with some interesting news from the deep as reported in Nature: "In the deep ocean off the coast of Costa Rica, scientists have found a species of crab that cultivates gardens of bacteria on its claws, then eats them. ... The bristles that cover the crab's claws and body are coated in gardens of symbiotic bacteria, which derive energy from the inorganic gases of the seeps. The crab eats the bacteria, using comb-like mouthparts to harvest them from its bristles. ... [Scientists believe] the crab waves its claws to actively farm its bacterial gardens: movements stir up the water around the bacteria, ensuring that fresh supplies of oxygen and sulphide wash over them and helping them to grow."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Android bloatware results in serious security flaws
    December 3, 2011
    Bloatware installed by the handset manufacturers is making Android insecure.
  • U.S. judge rejects Apple bid to halt Galaxy sales
    December 3, 2011
    (Reuters) - Apple failed to convince a U.S. judge to block Samsung Electronics from selling Galaxy smartphones and tablets in the U.S. market, depriving the iPhone and iPad maker of crucial leverage in a global patent battle between the two companies.

  • U.S. judge rejects Apple bid to halt Galaxy sales
    December 3, 2011
    (Reuters) - Apple failed to convince a U.S. judge to block Samsung Electronics from selling Galaxy smartphones and tablets in the U.S. market, depriving the iPhone and iPad maker of crucial leverage in a global patent battle between the two companies.

  • Europe Accuses Google of Monopoly Abuse
    December 3, 2011


    bonch writes "European antitrust regulators are set to issue a 400-page statement of objections accusing Google of 'abuse of dominance' next month, the result of an investigation launched last year after complaints from rivals that Google manipulated ad pricing and barred advertisers from running ads on rival sites. If found guilty, Google could be fined up to 10% of its annual turnover, which is about $3 billion. Microsoft avoided a similar fine when it settled its European antitrust case and included a 'browser ballot' in Windows."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Great Debate postmortem: Kindle Fire vs. iPad
    December 3, 2011
    ZDNet Great Debate put Amazon Kindle Fire vs. Apple iPad: Violet Blue picks Fire for the top holiday tablet.
  • How To Lose Friends And Alienate Coworkers With Bad Mobile Behavior
    December 3, 2011
    Nearly 80% of HR managers believe mobile devices are being abused at work. Etiquette expert Anna Post explains what you're doing wrong in every social context.
  • ESA Ends Attempts To Pick Up Phobos-Grunt Signals
    December 2, 2011


    Spaceflight Now reports that hope has faded in the attempts to hear from the troubled Phobos-Grunt probe, and the listening project has been shuttered. After the craft's launch, says the article, "ESA continued trying to establish communications this week with tracking stations in Australia and the Canary Islands, but the 29,000-pound Phobos-Grunt spacecraft never responded. ... The agency's communications site in Perth, Australia, contacted Phobos-Grunt at least twice Nov. 22 and Nov. 23, but the probe has remained mysteriously silent since then." (Similar coverage also at the BBC.) See RussianSpaceWeb.com for a more detailed timeline.
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Olympus won't get extension on reporting deadline: sources
    December 2, 2011
    TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese regulators will not extend a deadline for Olympus to report its financial results, sources with knowledge of the matter said, leaving the scandal-hit company with less than two weeks to correct two decades of accounting and avoid delisting.

  • Swiss Gov't: Downloading Movies and Music Will Stay Legal
    December 2, 2011


    wasimkadak writes "One in three people in Switzerland download unauthorized music, movies and games from the Internet, and — since last year — the government has been wondering what to do about it. This week their response was published, and it was crystal clear. Not only will downloading for personal use stay completely legal, but the copyright holders won't suffer because of it, since people eventually spend the money saved on entertainment products."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • #SciAmBlogs Friday - time capsule, hot peppers, exoplanets, scientific bartending, pink microscopes, and more.
    December 2, 2011
    NOTE: I will be officially on vacation next week. How much I will be capable of keeping myself away from the online world, including the blog network, remains to be seen.
    I will have a number of posts scheduled in advance (on the Guest Blog, SA Incubator, Network Central and A Blog Around The Clock) and will set up the Image of the Week and Video of the Week in advance, but am unlikely to do these evening link-fests next week, or post all the links to all the posts on Twitter, Facebook and G+. If there is anything to report or ask, just contact any of the bloggers and ask them to forward to the relevant person on staff. Have a great weekend…and a great week and another weekend!
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  • VIDEO: X-rays reveal Rembrandt painting
    December 2, 2011
    A new Rembrandt painting has been discovered after scientists used X-rays to confirm the identity of the artist as being that of the Dutch master.
  • Carrier IQ verbatim: Answers from company exec, researchers
    December 2, 2011
    CNET talks to a Carrier IQ executive about what its software, which contrary to preliminary reports does not actually appear to be a "rootkit keylogger," actually does.
  • 'Counter-Strike: Global Offensive' Heading to Consoles in 2012
    December 2, 2011
    The popular first person shooter is headed to consoles in new-and-improved form in 2012.
  • Total Commander 8.00 beta 11
    December 2, 2011
    Total Commander is a file manager for Windows similar to well-known DOS file manager.


  • Foobar2000 1.1.10
    December 2, 2011
    foobar2000 is an advanced freeware audio player for the Windows platform. Some of the basic features include full unicode support, ReplayGain support and native support for several popular audio formats.


  • CDBurnerXP 4.4.0.2838
    December 2, 2011
    CDBurnerXP is a free application to burn CDs and DVDs, including Blu-Ray and HD-DVDs. It also includes the feature to burn and create ISOs, as well as a multilanguage interface. Everyone, even companies, can use it for free. It does not include adware or similar malicious components.


  • FCC to review SF subway cell service shutdown rules
    December 2, 2011
    FCC chairman says agency will review whether new rules adhere to Communications Act, First Amendment and other laws and policies.
  • Facebook acquires location-based social network Gowalla (rumor)
    December 2, 2011
    Facebook has acquired location-based social network Gowalla, according to a new rumor. Neither company has confirmed nor denied the news.
  • Bufferbloat: Dark Buffers In the Internet
    December 2, 2011


    Expanding on earlier work from Jim Gettys of Bell Labs with a new article in the ACM Queue, CowboyRobot writes that Gettys "makes the case that the Internet is in danger of collapse due to 'bufferbloat,' 'the existence of excessively large and frequently full buffers inside the network.' Part of the blame is due to overbuffering; in an effort to protect ourselves we make things worse. But the problem runs deeper than that. Gettys' solution is AQM (active queue management) which is not deployed as widely as it should be. 'We are flying on an Internet airplane in which we are constantly swapping the wings, the engines, and the fuselage, with most of the cockpit instruments removed but only a few new instruments reinstalled. It crashed before; will it crash again?'"
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Facebook reportedly acquires Gowalla
    December 2, 2011
    Facebook has acquired Gowalla, which makes a location-based social-networking app for mobile devices, according to CNN.
  • Comcast to phase out Clearwire service
    December 2, 2011
    At least one of the cable operators that struck a wireless spectrum deal with Verizon on Friday now plans to stop reselling WiMax mobile service from Clearwire.
  • Asus Transformer Prime review: The best Android tablet yet?
    December 2, 2011
    Is the Asus Transformer Prime the best Android tablet yet? Possibly, but you won't know for sure until you read our review.
  • Report: Facebook Acquires Location App Gowalla
    December 2, 2011
    Facebook has acquired location based services app Gowalla, according to a report by CNNMoney citing an anonymous source close to Gowalla.
  • 2D snowboarding games for iOS
    December 2, 2011
    With snow sports season on the way, I thought I would gather up some iOS games with a snowboarding theme. Though they're not the same as shushing down the mountainside, they make for great time-wasters until you can.
  • 30 best iPad games
    December 2, 2011
    Trying to figure out which iPad games to buy with your hard-earned dough? Here's a look at our current top-30 favorites.
  • Lawmaker asks FTC to investigate Carrier IQ
    December 2, 2011
    The outcry over Carrier IQ's mobile-phone tracking software continued Friday, with a U.S. congressman asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the company.
  • Western Digital restarts hard disk production
    December 2, 2011
    Western Digital has restarted hard disk production at a flood-damaged site in Thailand, resuming operations ahead of schedule.

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