Sunday, December 4, 2011

Technical News - 04 Dec 2011


  • Have Walled Gardens Killed the Personal Computer?
    December 4, 2011


    theodp writes "Harvard Law School Prof Jonathan Zittrain explains in The Personal Computer is Dead why you should be afraid — very afraid — of the snowballing replicability of the App Store Model. 'If we allow ourselves to be lulled into satisfaction with walled gardens,' warns Zittrain, 'we'll miss out on innovations to which the gardeners object, and we'll set ourselves up for censorship of code and content that was previously impossible. We need some angry nerds.' Searchblog's John Battelle, who's also solidly in the tear-down-this-walled-garden camp, adds: 'I'm not a nerd, quite, but I'm sure angry.'"
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • 'Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception' First Impressions (PS3)
    December 4, 2011
    The superbly written cinematic adventure game 'Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception' is game of the year material.
  • Reid set to offer compromise to extend tax cut
    December 4, 2011
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will offer a compromise on Monday to extend a popular payroll tax cut, a fellow Democrat said on Sunday.

  • Apple fails to block Samsung tablet and smartphone sales in the U.S. (Digital Trends)
    December 4, 2011
    Digital Trends - Apple and Samsung have been locked in a patent war for most of this year. It’s a complicated situation, and you should check out Digital Trends‘ full breakdown of the legal dispute if you really want to understand it, but the long and short of it is: Apple alleges that several of Samsung’s Android-based smartphones and tablets infringe on its own iPhone and iPad. The iThing-maker has been working to block sales of targeted Samsung devices since the dispute started, and it’s a bid that has now been officially derailed.
  • Iran military shoots down U.S. drone: state TV
    December 4, 2011
    TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's military said on Sunday it had shot down a U.S. reconnaissance drone aircraft in eastern Iran, a military source told state television.

  • Decision time for EU, with euro's future at stake
    December 4, 2011
    PARIS (Reuters) - The euro faces a decisive week as European Union leaders, urged on anxiously by the United States, seek agreement on the definitive rescue plan that has eluded them for two years.

  • Toxic Montana Lake's Extremophiles Might Be a Medical Treasure Trove
    December 4, 2011


    EagleHasLanded writes "The Berkeley Pit, an abandoned open pit copper mine in Butte, Montana — part of the largest Superfund site in the U.S. — is filled with 40 billion gallons of acidic, metal-contaminated water. For years the water was believed to be too toxic to support life, until Andrea and Donald Stierle, a pair of organic chemists at the University of Montana, discovered that the Pit is a rich source of unusual extremophiles, 'many of which have shown great promise as producers of potential anti-cancer agents and anti-inflammatories.' In the course of their ongoing investigation, the two self-described 'bioprospectors' have also discovered an uncommon yeast, which might play a significant role in cleaning up the site. In the meantime, the Pit has become a tourist attraction in Butte, which charges $2 for the opportunity to take in the view from the Viewing Stand."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Social Media Solves the Demand Generation Riddle
    December 4, 2011
     
  • Indian Country welcomes renewable energy
    December 4, 2011
    A proposed federal rule change could help American Indian tribes to develop wind, solar, and geothermal power on their reservations.
  • Computer Recyler Tackles Digital Divide
    December 4, 2011
    PC recycling charity Computer Aid International has launched its Christmas Appeal, seeking donations of cash and computers for developing countries.

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  • Spending on Security Companies Booming, PwC Finds
    December 4, 2011
    With the exception of the recessionary year of 2009, the last three years has seen an M&A mini-boom with spending on security companies rising every year to reach record heights in 2011, which has already recorded $10.1 billion of deals.

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  • There Are No Dead Languages
    December 4, 2011
    Adam Gopnik's article in this week's New Yorker, examining the appeal of fantasy literature as established by J.R.R. Tolkien's work, includes some amusing reminiscences of Tolkien (who taught Anglo-Saxon literature and language), by students who went on to become famous writers.
    “Incoherent and often inaudible” was Kingsley Amis’s verdict on his teacher. Tolkien, he reported, would write long lists of words on the blackboard, obscuring them with his body as he droned on, then would absent-mindedly erase them without turning around. “I can just about stand learning the filthy lingo it’s written in,” Philip Larkin, another Tolkien student, complained about the old man’s lectures on “Beowulf.” “What gets me down is being expected to admire the bloody stuff."
    For my father's generation, much the same attitude could be found among students forced to study classical Latin and Greek. (It was no longer required by the time I attended a Jesuit high school, but I took Latin all four years.)
  • Google Employees Said To Be Testing Android 4.O on Samsung Nexus S
    December 4, 2011
    It could still take weeks or months before the update, dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich, is released, but, considering all the hype, that is likely to happen sooner rather than later.

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  • Syria Bans iPhone, Protest App
    December 4, 2011


    Hugh Pickens writes "BBC reports that with 4,000 people killed in Syria since March, the government has banned the iPhone and threatened confiscation and prosecution for anyone found with an iPhone as the government tries to control information getting out of the country. Most international media have been banned from Syria since the uprising began, so footage of the violent crackdown has primarily come from activists filming material themselves and posting it on the internet. A mobile app for the iPhone called Souria Wa Bas (which roughly translates as 'Syria and That's All') covers the actions of opposition groups, including the Local Coordination Committees which claim to have members across the country and includes links for news, videos, and a map of opposition hot spots. The app's creators say they produced Souria Wa Bas to counter regime accounts of the opposition's activities. 'Under the fast-moving events in Syria and the deliberate attempts to distort the facts by some. We have compiled the most important Syrian news sources available,' say creators of the app at the Apple store."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • How to Purge Carrier IQ from your iPhone
    December 4, 2011
    iPhone users can turn off the Carrier IQ software that's raised a ruckus among consumers, bloggers and privacy advocates with just four taps.

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  • Italy PM meets unions ahead of crisis plan approval
    December 4, 2011
    ROME (Reuters) - Prime Minister Mario Monti met unions on Sunday to build support before the cabinet approves a 20-billion-euro package of austerity measures aimed at shoring up Italy's strained finances and stemming a crisis that threatens to overwhelm the euro zone.

  • Manage Your Holiday Gift-giving From Your iOS Device
    December 4, 2011
    Your iOS device can double as a holiday season assistant if you equip it with the right software.

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  • Iran says oil would go over $250 if exports banned
    December 4, 2011
    TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran warned the West on Sunday any move to block its oil exports would more than double crude prices with devastating consequences on a fragile global economy.

  • Become A Social Business
    December 4, 2011
    image thumbnail - see full story for attributions
    Written by Scott Goodson Scott Goodson is the founder of StrawberryFrog, the world’s first cultural movement agency. His first book, Uprising will be published by McGraw Hill soon. Image via Wikipedia With newspaper circulations down, television commercials easily skipped and social media the number one activity on the web, brands are naturally following the crowd
  • Secret police defect in restive Syrian province: activists
    December 4, 2011
    AMMAN (Reuters) - At least a dozen Syrian secret police have defected from an intelligence compound in a restive province near Turkey, the first major defection reported within the security apparatus leading the crackdown on protesters, activists said on Sunday.

  • Panel to release report on Olympus scandal Tuesday: report
    December 4, 2011
    TOKYO (Reuters) - An expert panel appointed by Japan's Olympus Corp to look into an accounting scandal at the disgraced firm will release its findings on Tuesday, Kyodo news agency said in a weekend report, opening the way for possible criminal complaints against former company executives.

  • Postbox 3.0.2
    December 4, 2011
    Postbox lets you spend less time managing messages and more time getting things done. But what makes Postbox really useful is the way it lets you find and reuse all kinds of content hidden deep within your email. After all, it’s your email... make the most of it!


  • SeaMonkey 2.6 Beta 2
    December 4, 2011
    SeaMonkey is a web-browser, advanced e-mail and newsgroup client, IRC chat client, and HTML editing made simple -- all your Internet needs in one application.


  • uTorrent 3.1 RC5
    December 4, 2011
    µTorrent is a small and incredibly popular BitTorrent client.


  • Xfire 1.140 Build 44773
    December 3, 2011
    Xfire is a free tool that automatically keeps track of when and where gamers are playing PC games online and lets their friends join them easily. It works regardless of game type, server browser, or gaming service that a player is using.


  • How Carriers Could Thwart Mobile Phone Thieves, But Don't
    December 3, 2011
    Prepare to get angry.
  • Big IT vendors missing the boat with cloud developers
    December 3, 2011
    As cloud adoption continues at an alarming rate, big IT vendors aren't sending the right messages to developers.
  • Wayne Gretzky closes daughter's Twitter feed twice?
    December 3, 2011
    Paulina Gretzky, daughter of The Great One, seems to want to be famous--and famous on Twitter. Twice this week, her feed has been shut down, reportedly after her father objected to its racy content.
  • Apple's internal employee social media policies leaked
    December 3, 2011
    Only days after an Apple employee lost his appeal over company rants on a social media platform, the guidelines were subsequently leaked to the media.
  • Manage your holiday gift-giving from your iOS device
    December 3, 2011
    Holiday shopping has swung into full gear. But while others elbowed their way to Black Friday deals and clicked on Cyber Monday savings, you sat on the sidelines. Maybe you always put off holiday shopping until the last minute. Maybe you’re daunted by the thought of coming up with a list, let alone checking it twice. Maybe you think the entire process is a bit of a drag.
  • Apple, Amazon, Asus: Three awesome tablet choices
    December 3, 2011
    Apple finally has real competition in the Amazon Kindle Fire--though it's a radically different concept than the iPad. And now Asus is trying to make its Transformer concept popular.
  • Sony creates own holodeck with PlayStation tech
    December 3, 2011
    Three-part video spots combine projection mapping, props, live actors, sea monsters, and more to hint at potential of immersive augmented reality.
  • Who is the real Mark Zuckerberg?
    December 3, 2011
    We've seen the movie, but who is the real Mark Zuckerberg?
  • SAP offers $3.4 billion for SuccessFactors
    December 3, 2011
    Dec 3 - Germany's SAP announced a $3.4 billion cash deal to buy U.S. web-based software company SuccessFactors, joining the scramble among technology firms to offer cloud-computing services to businesses.

  • SAP To Buy SuccessFactors For $40/Shr In $3.4B Deal
    December 3, 2011
    SAP on Saturday morning announced a deal to acquire the cloud-based HR software company SuccessFactors for $40 a share, or $3.4 billion in cash.
  • Report: Apple offered Samsung a license on key iOS patent
    December 3, 2011
    Despite Apple's apparent intellectual-property war on iPhone and iPad lookalikes, it appears the company has licensed at least one key iOS software patent to Nokia and IBM--and that it offered a license to current court rival Samsung as well.
  • SAP acquires SuccessFactors: a first take
    December 3, 2011
    SAP's acquisition of SuccessFactors raises plenty of questions for the future. Overall though, this should be net good news for customers.
  • Ultrabooks may receive a price cut thanks to Intel marketing subsidy
    December 3, 2011
    The future appears bright for Ultrabooks, but that's once Intel's new laptop platform emerges from a few birth pangs, primarily related to pricing. The chip giant hopes to smooth things out a...
  • Cablegate: One year on, is 'open government' obtainable?
    December 3, 2011
    A year after Cablegate, are we seeing the foundations being laid for shifts in foreign policy or disclosure legislation?
  • How Ordinary People are Taking Control of Their Health Data
    December 3, 2011
    Citizen Science, Quantified Self, and DIY biology are three emerging movements that are intersecting to produce research, data, and clinical studies outside the walls of traditional research. According to the report Citizen Science by Amy Dockser Marcus in today's Wall Street Journal:
    Ordinary people are taking control of their health data, making their DNA public and running their own experiments. Their big question: Why should science be limited to professionals?"
    Dockser reviews the pros and cons of community-run experiments, and an accompanying video, The Measured Life: Hacking Your Health, shows how individual patients are using gadgets and apps to track their own health and possibly heal themselves.    
  • SAP acquires SuccessFactors for $3.4 billion: Cloud consolidation accelerates
    December 3, 2011
    SAP's purchase of SuccessFactors will likely trigger a run on cloud-related companies. SuccessFactors CEO Lars Dalgaard will run SAP's cloud business.
  • Leaders Of Science-Driven Businesses Should Understand...Science
    December 3, 2011

  • SAP to buy cloud-software firm for $3.5 billion
    December 3, 2011
    Germany's SAP said today that it will shell out $3.5 billion to acquire SuccessFactors, a maker of cloud-based software for human-resources management.
  • Is Firefox Doomed?
    Just a few years ago, Mozilla's Firefox browser was rising fast as the chief challenger to Microsoft's stubbornly dominant Internet Explorer. Things change pretty fast in the world of Internet technology, however, and today Firefox's once bright future seems much less certain. In 2008, Mozilla entered into a three-year partnership with Google. In exchange for remaining the default search engine on Firefox, Google hands over about 84% of Firefox's total revenue. Well, it's 2011 now and, as ZDNet's Ed Bott points out, the status of that partnership is unclear....


  • Update: SAP pays $3.4B for cloud vendor SuccessFactors
    December 3, 2011
    SAP America said Saturday that it is paying US$3.4 billion in cash to acquire SuccessFactors, a provider of cloud-based human capital management tools.

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