Monday, December 12, 2011

Technical News - 12 Dec 2011


  • EU summit may not calm investors for long
    December 11, 2011
    Berlin (Reuters) - Last week's EU summit went a long way towards forging the closer economic ties needed to prevent future debt crises but markets are likely to judge it as too little and too late to solve the current one.

  • Sorry, Siri has selective hearing syndrome
    December 11, 2011
    As Apple fails to launch the full version of Siri in India, iPhone 4S buyers are disappointed as they hardly get help in location-based services
  • Next-gen iPad available in 3-4 months--report
    December 11, 2011
    The next-generation iPad should be available by April, according to the latest Asia-based report.
  • Leica announces new V-Lux 3 24x megazoom camera
    December 11, 2011
    Leica's new 24x megazoom is a rebrand of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 announced in August.
  • Large parts of Mars 'habitable'
    December 11, 2011
    Australian scientists who modelled conditions on Mars to examine how much of the red planet was habitable said Monday that "large regions" could sustain terrestrial life.
  • Olympus ex-CEO to meet Japan ruling party
    December 11, 2011
    TOKYO (Reuters) - Olympus Corp's ousted CEO, Michael Woodford, will on Thursday meet a panel of lawmakers from Japan's ruling Democratic Party looking at ways to tighten corporate governance in the wake of the accounting scandal at the endoscope maker, a source familiar with the plan told Reuters.

  • Olympus preparing to file earnings by Wednesday
    December 11, 2011
    TOKYO (Reuters) - Olympus said it was preparing to file its July-September earnings by Wednesday, a necessary step for the disgraced 92-year-old firm to remain listed.

  • Ex-Panama strongman Noriega returns home to prison
    December 11, 2011
    GAMBOA, Panama (Reuters) - Manuel Noriega, Panama's drug-running military dictator of the 1980s, was extradited back to the country on Sunday and taken straight to prison to serve a 20-year sentence for the murders of opponents during his rule.

  • Researchers Build A One Particle Steam Engine
    December 11, 2011
    Researchers have developed a steam engine that's only a few micrometers wide. It works - although it does sputter a bit. (Image Credit: Max Planck Society)
  • Pakistani government denies talks with Taliban
    December 11, 2011
    ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan's interior minister and prime minister have both denied the government is holding peace talks with its homegrown Taliban, according to media, saying it would do so only if the militants first disarmed and surrendered.

  • Is it Atherosclerosis for Ma Bell's Management, Arrogance or Both?
    December 11, 2011
    Recently the world of U.S. Telecom has become better than any TV Soap Opera.  As NBC and CBS search for new shows to replace the garbage they shovel at us in prime time, they ought to consider just having `This Week in Telecom” as a replacement for any show that can’t draw ratings by watching people humiliate themselves.  Fiction would never do justice to the recent saga of AT&T and its proposed merger with T Mobile.  And humiliating yourself in public might be part of this tale. 
  • Five great digital camera accessories for under $70 (Holiday Gift Guide)
    December 11, 2011
    If big-ticket electronics are out of your gift-giving budget, you can still impress your favorite digital photographer with an inexpensive camera accessory. Here's a list of great photo-related...
  • Researchers Teach Subliminally; Matrix Learning One Step Closer
    December 11, 2011


    An anonymous reader writes "For the first time ever, scientists from Boston University and ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan have managed to use functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or fMRI to decode the process of learning. As the research stands to date, it isn't capable of much. Rather than working with skills like juggling, the researchers relied on images so they could tie into the vision part of the brain, the part that they have managed to partially decode. Nevertheless, they demonstrated that information could be taught using neurofeedback techniques. And it was effective even when people didn't know they were learning."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • U.S.-listed firms told to reveal Syria, Iran links: FT
    December 11, 2011
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - At least a dozen U.S.-listed companies have been told by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to disclose business activity in and with Syria, Iran and others deemed "state sponsors" of terror by the state department, the Financial Times said on Sunday.

  • How to Fix Fact-Checking
    December 11, 2011
    The Weekly Standard deplores fact-checking - the journalistic efforts, by PolitiFact and others, to vet what politicians and others in the public eye say and call out lies and half-truths. So much that Standard editor Mark Hemingway is trying to knock down the whole fact-checking enterprise, arguing it's a liberal media scam.
  • Insight: The day Europe lost patience with Britain
    December 11, 2011
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - It was billed as a summit to save the euro. It may be remembered as the day Europe lost patience with Britain, as most of the continent threw its lot in with EU founding members France and Germany and committed to binding their economies ever more tightly.

  • Google Execs To NASA: We'll Fix Your Hangar, You House Our Jets
    December 11, 2011
    Google execs Eric Schmidt, Larry Page and Sergey Brin have offered to pay the full $33 million cost of renovating Hangar One, a giant structure at NASA's Moffett Field in Mountain View that once housed Navy blimps.
  • FAKE: AirBook is the best MacBook Air knock-off yet
    December 11, 2011
    The AirBook is an almost exact clone of Apple's MacBook Air, right down to the glowing Apple logo on the lid.
  • Bill Gates's Nuke Startup Flirting With More Than Just China
    December 11, 2011
    image thumbnail - see full story for attributions
    Bill Gates discussing the nuclear future at a TED talk last year. Image by jurvetson via Flickr Last week in China, Bill Gates revealed his nuclear power startup, Terrapower, is in talks with the Chinese government to build its next-generation reactors, which can run on waste uranium for centuries without refueling. "The
  • Gulf of Mexico True Believers on Pins and Needles as McMoRan completes Davy Jones
    December 11, 2011
    A lot is happening in the Shallow Water Ultra Deep drilling program that McMoran and its astute partners, Energy XXI and Tex Moncrief, have been pursuing for the last few years.  Now that the U.S. space shuttle program has come to an end, the scientific frontier in this country has moved to drilling miles into the earth’s crust instead of launching men to the moon.  Those over 50 are old enough to remember the tension everyone in America felt as the first U.S. spacemen disappeared around the back of the moon and were temporarily out of communication with the Mission Control Center in Houston. Nobody knew if they would continue past the moon and out into space or circle back around into view as planned. 
  • Amazon: Kindle Fire update coming
    December 11, 2011
    Plagued by performance complaints, the recently launched tablet will get an over-the-air update in the next two weeks, the Internet retailer tells The New York Times
  • Why Facebook is interested in your attention, emotions, memory
    December 11, 2011
    Why did Facebook commission a study to look at users' attention, emotional engagement, and memory retention while browsing websites? To convince advertisers the social network is the best.
  • Dutch architects apologize for 9/11 blast look-alike design
    December 11, 2011
    SEOUL (Reuters) - A Dutch architectural firm has apologized for its design of twin skyscrapers in central Seoul which resemble the exploding World Trade Center towers in New York and have infuriated families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks.

  • German Court Issues Injunction Against iPhone & iPad
    December 11, 2011


    angry tapir writes "A German court has ruled that Apple's iPhone and iPad devices infringe a Motorola patent and issued an injunction against sales of the products in Germany, in the latest move in a long series of legal battles between the companies. It's the latest stage in the international patent conflict that's been raging over mobile devices, which has included the recent Samsung victory over Apple in an Australian court and a defeat for Samsung in a Dutch court."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Is Apple using patents to hurt open standards?
    December 11, 2011

    Opera developer Haavard Moen has accused Apple of repeatedly using patents to undermine the development of Web standards and block their finalization.
    World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the industry group that governs and oversees the development of Web standards, requires that every specification it approves be implementable on a royalty-free basis, barring extraordinary circumstances that justify an exception to this rule. The specifications can contain patented technology, as long as royalty-free patent licenses are available.
    Read the rest of this article...
    Read the comments on this post



  • SOA paves way to 'postmodern' software regime: Gartner's Anne Thomas Manes
    December 11, 2011
    Lots of new clients, lots of new databases, lots of new APIs. All need to be service oriented.
  • Quad-Core Phones: What to Expect in 2012
    December 11, 2011
    Revolutionary a year ago, now dual-core mobile processors are standard; next, chipmakers say quad-core processors will support mobile multitasking comparable to the performance of a desktop computer.

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  • Nissan, Microsoft to brief on strategic partnership
    December 11, 2011
    TOKYO (Reuters) - Nissan Motor Co said on Monday that it will brief on a tie-up with Microsoft Corp in Tokyo at 4 p.m. (0700 GMT).

  • Inside Forbes: The Inspiring Data Behind Two Digital Reporting Strategies
    December 11, 2011
    What works best on the Web, short or long-form journalism? The monthly audience statistics for two accomplished FORBES reporters prove that online news consumers crave both. They devour brief and timely information and seek out the in-depth coverage that news stalwarts feared would disappear in the digital age.
  • HP TouchPad set to go on sale today for $99
    December 11, 2011
    Hewlett-Packard's discontinued TouchPad tablet is slated to go on sale on eBay Sunday evening PT. The last official offer from HP.
  • Get ready for 4TB internal hard drives for your desktop PC
    December 11, 2011
    Somehow hard drive manufacturers can keep squeezing out more and more capacity from those magnetic platters. While you can already purchase 4TB external hard drives, internal drives have been...
  • Medvedev orders Russia poll inquiry, gets insults
    December 11, 2011
    MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Dmitry Medvedev ordered an investigation on Sunday into allegations of fraud in Russia's parliamentary election, one day after tens of thousands of protesters demanded it be annulled and rerun.

  • Ortsbo: Return to Shinar
    December 11, 2011
    Take a look at Ortsbo's revolutionary language software. The world may never be the same as long as we keep to the mundane and resist the temptation to build a tower to heaven.
  • Ask Slashdot: Open Vs. Closed-Source For a Start-Up
    December 11, 2011


    atamagabakkaomae writes "Together with a friend, I am starting up a company in Japan that develops sensors used in motion capture. For these sensors we develop hardware and software. Part of the software development is an open-source toolkit called openMAT. We have some special purpose algorithms that we developed ourselves and that are better than our competitor's technology. I first wanted to publish everything open-source to spark interest in our company and to do development in collaboration with the community. My company partner disagreed and said that we will lose our technological advantage if we open-source it. So I eventually published only a part of the toolkit open-source and closed the most interesting code. How do you guys think that open-sourcing your code-base affects a company's business? Is it wrong for a small company to give away precious intellectual property like that or will it on the contrary help the development of the company?"
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Forrester identifies top SOA management vendors
    December 11, 2011
    Forrester looks at the role of standalone SOA management solutions, and the vendors with the most to offer in this space.
  • Starz Goes Big On Facebook To Promote Spartacus: Vengeance
    December 11, 2011
    The Starz Network is making a big push into Facebook marketing to promote the new season of its original show Spartacus: Vengeance. (Image Credit: Starz)
  • Online holiday spending shows continued strength
    December 11, 2011
    Consumer spending is up 15 percent this shopping season to date compared with 2010, according to ComScore data.
  • World's First Programmable Quantum Photonic Chip
    December 11, 2011


    MrSeb writes "A team of engineering geniuses from the University of Bristol, England has developed the world's first re-programmable, multi-purpose quantum photonic computer chip that relies on quantum entanglement to perform calculations. With multiple waveguide channels (made from standard silicon dioxide), and eight electrodes, the silicon chip is capable of repeatedly entangling photons. Depending on how the electrodes are programmed, different quantum states can be produced. The end result is two qubits that can be used to perform quantum computing. Most importantly, though, unlike existing quantum photonic setups which require apparatus the size of a 'large dining table,' this new chip is tiny: just 70mm (2.7 inches) by 3mm."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • US Immigration Services Blasted for Domain Seizures
    December 11, 2011
    Web activists, senators question the broad action of "In Our Sites" in confiscating a broad range of Internet sites in the name of security and copyright protection.

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  • Why Amazon's current cloud domination helps us all
    December 11, 2011
    Amazon's cloud dominance has been driven by user needs and a lack of dynamism from legacy vendors.
  • Skype monitoring, Gmail hacks, and fake iTunes updates: How governments can track you
    December 11, 2011
    Wikileaks' recent 'Spy Files' shows how the private intelligence sector can access your Gmail accounts, use ISPs to spy on you, and even inject in-progress downloads to track you.
  • Legislation would Allow Netflix to Reveal Your Viewing Habits on Facebook
    December 11, 2011
    Is the pending amendment to the Video Privacy Protection Act a blow to your privacy, or the first step to easily sharing video streaming?

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  • CERN set to report probable Higgs sighting this week
    Scientists predicted this weekend that sighting of the first strong signs of a particle vital to support Einstein's ideas on the working of the universe will be reported Tuesday by the CERN physics research center.


  • Online spending stays strong in early December
    December 11, 2011
    (Reuters) - Online spending remained strong in early December, a period that usually marks a lull in the U.S. holiday shopping frenzy, comScore said on Sunday.

  • Researchers Create a Statistical Guide To Gambling
    December 11, 2011


    New submitter yukiloo writes "An early Christmas treat for the ordinary Joe who is stuck with a Christmas list that he cannot afford and is running out of time comes from two mathematicians (Evangelos Georgiadis, MIT, and Doron Zeilberger, Rutgers) and a computer scientist (Shalosh B. Ekhad). In their paper 'How to gamble if you're in a hurry,' they present algorithmic strategies and reclaim the world of gambling, which they say has up till recently flourished on the continuous Kolmogorov paradigm by some sugary discrete code that could make us hopefully richer, if not wiser. It's interesting since their work applies an advanced version of what seems to be the Kelly criterion."

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