Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Technical News - 13 December 2011


  • U.S. lawmakers freeze $700 million to Pakistan as distrust grows
    December 12, 2011
    ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A crisis in relations looked set to deepen after a House-Senate negotiating panel agreed to freeze $700 million in aid to Pakistan until it gives assurances it is helping fight the spread of improvised explosive devices in the region.

  • WaMu settles dispute, eyes bankruptcy exit
    December 12, 2011
    (Reuters) - Washington Mutual Inc, the biggest bank to fail in U.S. history, said it reached a settlement in a dispute between shareholders and certain creditors that had prevented the bank from emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

  • New version of SOPA copyright bill, old complaints
    December 12, 2011
    Rep. Lamar Smith releases SOPA v2.0 before a planned committee vote on Thursday. Still included is a controversial section allowing for the blocking of suspected pirate Web sites and deep packet inspection.
  • SMS flaw reportedly found in Windows Phone 7.5
    December 12, 2011
    A malicious SMS sent to a Windows Phone 7.5 device will force it to reboot and lock down the messaging hub, WinRumors reports.
  • As the Telecom World Turns Chapter 2: Harbinger, Falcone, Sprint and Clearwire
    December 12, 2011
    Only hours after I wrote about the doings at AT&T and T Mobile, there is far juicier fare in the news now. If you have been following the Sprint/Clearwire saga over the last several months, you know that the Sprint folks had become quite enamored with LightSquared as an important source of future funding and a possible source of some badly needed additional spectrum.
  • Steve Jobs' Last Big Failure: iAds
    December 12, 2011
    In recent years, it seemed that Steve Jobs could do no wrong. Whether it was the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad--you name it--the late Apple cofounder and chairman had the golden touch.
  • Cisco sees revival in Ethernet switches
    December 12, 2011
    Cisco grew their overall Ethernet switch revenue 18 per cent, and captured 68 per cent of the global market, finds Infonetics
  • Crowdsourcing Innovation In New York City: Cornell v Stanford
    December 12, 2011
    I know Mayor Bloomberg did not use the 21st century word “crowdsourcing” this past July in his innovation initiative speech.  He talked instead in old-speak, about providing “infrastructure upgrades” and enabling a “critical mass” of talent to allow New York City to reclaim “our title as the world capital of technological innovation.”
  • Wireless LAN equipment sales hit new high in 3Q11
    December 12, 2011
    Cisco's WLAN equipment revenue share (excluding WiFi phones) held steady at 48 per cent share in 3Q11, finds Infonetics
  • YouTube creates a school-friendly version with access to thousands of educational videos (Digital Trends)
    December 12, 2011
    Digital Trends - Kids today need their visual stimuli, and Google just made it easier for teachers to play videos in the classroom. YouTube has launched a network setting that slims down the streaming video service and still gives school administrators access to a community of educational videos free of distractions.
  • How low can ultrabooks go? Toshiba drops to $699
    December 12, 2011
    Toshiba is setting a torrid pace for ultrabook pricing, now down to a head-turning $699.
  • Fed likely to stay on sidelines at policy meeting
    December 12, 2011
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve is likely to hold off offering the U.S. economy fresh stimulus at a meeting on Tuesday as it weighs encouraging signs on the recovery against risks coming from Europe.

  • Edimax launches 150Mpbs ADSL router in India
    December 12, 2011
    The router, AR-7284WnA, features MIMO (multiple-input and multiple-output) technology
  • Internet Explorer Users Have Low Risk Intelligence
    December 12, 2011


    First time accepted submitter benne2011 writes "A hoax report earlier this year claimed that people who used Internet Explorer had a lower IQ than those using other browsers. Inspired by this bit of fun, Projection Point decided to carry out a real study comparing the risk intelligence (RQ) of people using different browsers. We found that Internet Explorer users performed worse than everyone else; they had lower RQ scores and were grossly overconfident."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Facebook more popular than many Google apps on Android phones (Digital Trends)
    December 12, 2011
    Digital Trends - According to a recent study conducted by Nielsen and published on the official company blog, Facebook is the most popular application on Android-powered smartphones besides the Android Market. The social networking app beat out Google applications such as Gmail, Google Search, YouTube and Google Maps. The Facebook application is most popular with people between the ages of 25 to 34 and over 75 percent of people between the ages of 35 to 44 use the social networking application. While the previously mentioned Google apps are also popular among all age groups, Google’s YouTube app is most popular among the younger segment of respondents between the ages of 18 to 24. 
  • Russian president uses Facebook to answer protesters
    December 12, 2011
    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev yesterday answered protesters via his Facebook Page. His announcement to investigate the alleged election fraud was answered with an outpouring of criticism.
  • Apple reportedly eases iAd terms to boost interest
    December 12, 2011
    Mobile advertising platform is struggling to win advertisers, leading Apple to make concessions to drum up business, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
  • Lawmakers reach tentative deal to fund government
    December 12, 2011
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lawmakers moved closer to a deal on Monday to fund the government through next year, potentially avoiding a shutdown that would have further damaged Congress' tattered reputation ahead of the 2012 election.

  • Kenya army, Somali militia swap Twitter insults (AP)
    December 12, 2011
    AP - Kenyan soldiers and members of an extremist Islamist militant group have been fighting each other in Somalia since Kenya invaded two months ago. Now, their spokesmen are taking the battle onto Twitter, with taunts, accusations and insults being directly traded in a rare engagement on the Internet.
  • Quantum Dots Will Make Flexible Displays
    December 12, 2011


    judgecorp writes "Quantum dots are small semiconductors, whose properties are defined by their size and shape. British nanotechnology firm Nanoco has found they are ideal for displays, allowing the possibility of screens that can be rolled up — and which also use far less of the hazardous chemicals found in normal screens." In addition to being Cadmium free (a problem in the EU where the exemption for Cadmium in displays expires in 2014), they directly emit light using less power than traditional filtered color LCDs.
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Balancing Automation And Hands-On Review In E-Discovery
    December 12, 2011
    Guest post written by Jon Resnick
  • HTC sues Citi in Taiwan after share price fall
    December 12, 2011
    TAIPEI (Reuters) - HTC Corp, the world's No.4 smartphone maker, has filed a criminal complaint against Citigroup Inc's Taiwan unit, alleging the bank published false information that led to a fall in HTC's share price, a Taiwan prosecutor said on Tuesday.

  • VIDEO: Tech war: New York vs San Francisco
    December 12, 2011
    Tech entrepreneurs face choice between east and west US
  • Euro zone fiscal pact fails to restore confidence
    December 12, 2011
    LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) - A European summit deal to strengthen budget discipline in the euro zone failed to restore financial market confidence on Monday, forcing the European Central Bank to step in again gingerly.

  • Will 4G Interfere with GPS? Wireless Firm LightSquared Denies the Charge
    December 12, 2011
    The U.S. has been widely criticized in recent years for falling behind other developed countries in its deployment of high-speed wireless networks. The current dustup involving LightSquared , Bloomberg News and several government agencies provides some clues as to the complexity of the problem.
    LightSquared is proposing to build a high-speed nationwide 4G LTE (long-term evolution) network and lease capacity on that network to different wireless carriers, including Sprint Nextel Corp. LightSquared and Sprint subsequently signed a 15-year deal in July through which LightSquared will invest billions of dollars to build and operate Sprint’s wireless network . The 4G LTE network will operate on the L-Band spectrum that LightSquared has licensed from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
    [More]

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  • Facebook status update alerts police of murder-suicide
    December 12, 2011
    A murder-suicide in Indiana was discovered after the killer posted on Facebook shortly before shooting himself. Police were directed to the scene by a Washington woman over 1,000 miles away.
  • In Favor of Homegrown IT Solutions
    December 12, 2011


    snydeq writes "Today's IT organizations turn too readily to vendors, eschewing homegrown solutions to their detriment, writes Deep End's Paul Venezia. 'Back when IT was "simple," several good programmers and support staff could run the whole show. Nowadays, [companies] buy hefty support contracts and shift the burden of maintaining and troubleshooting large parts of their IT infrastructure on to the vendors who may know their own product well, but have a hard time dealing with issues that may crop up during integration with other vendors' gear. ... Relying solely on support contracts and generic solutions is a good way to self-limit the agility and performance of any business. In short, more gurus equals less hand-wringing and stress all around.'"
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Amazon KDP Select Controversy: Golden Opportunity or Trap?
    December 12, 2011
    Amazon's KDP Select now lets indies enroll Kindle books as free on Prime: Some see opportunity, others say monopoly.
  • iTunes updated with minor fixes
    December 12, 2011
    Apple's updated iTunes today to 10.5.2, adding fixes for the iTunes Match service and audio distortion issues experienced with some CDs.
  • Microsoft's exec shuffle may signal Windows code unification
    December 12, 2011
    Former Windows Phone boss Andy Lees moves to a new, vaguely defined post that could presage an effort to bring the Windows and Windows Phone code bases closer together.
  • Japan auditors to approve restated Olympus accounts: media
    December 12, 2011
    TOKYO (Reuters) - External auditors of Japan's disgraced Olympus Corp are set to sign off on its restated accounts this week, the Asahi newspaper said on Tuesday, clearing one key hurdle in the firm's struggle to survive a $1.7 billion accounting fraud.

  • Another good year for gamers who help scientists
    December 12, 2011
    Roughly 17,000 registered players of the DNA sequencing game Phylo have helped solve more than 350,000 problems since November 2010.
  • Jive Software prices IPO above range: underwriter
    December 12, 2011
    (Reuters) - Jive Software Inc priced its initial public offering at $12 per share, above its expected price range of between $8 and $10 per share, according to an underwriter.

  • Dad to Google: "Thanks for making my daughter cry"
    December 12, 2011
    A frustrated father took to Google+ to take the search giant for task for locking down his underage daughter's Google account without warning or recourse.
  • Enough Star Trek, Star Wars squabbling. Let's fight... vampires!
    December 12, 2011
    George Takei asks the "Star Trek" and "Star Wars" franchises to sign a galactic treaty in order to face their common enemy: "Twilight."
  • Rafe Recommends: Waze, the commuter's friend
    December 12, 2011
    Here's an imperfect navigation app that is, nonetheless, a really good product for commuters.
  • Man wins $57 million, casino says 'software glitch'
    December 12, 2011
    A man in Austria plays a casino slot machine that tells him he has won almost $58 million. When he asks for his payout, the casino offers him $100 and a free meal.
  • Google Doodle Celebrates the Co-Creator of the Microchip
    December 12, 2011
    Tech pioneer Robert Noyce, co-creator of the microchip, is honored in today's Doodle.

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  • Facebook Releases JIT PHP Compiler
    December 12, 2011


    angry tapir writes, quoting a Techworld article: "In its continuing endeavor to serve its 800 million users as quickly as possible, Facebook is once again revamping the way it handles its PHP-based Web pages. Facebook has posted ... its HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM), which the company's engineers call a just-in-time PHP compiler. According to Facebook, this PHP execution engine is 60 percent faster than its current PHP interpreter and uses 90 percent less memory." Facebook has a weblog post with a more technical description.
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • House Panel to Move Forward on Stop Online Piracy Act
    December 12, 2011
    A U.S. House of Representatives committee has scheduled a debate and vote on controversial copyright legislation, the Stop Online Piracy Act, with the bill's...

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  • AT&T mulling whether, how to revise T-Mobile deal
    December 12, 2011
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - AT&T Inc has another month to decide whether it wants to continue to pursue its $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA after a U.S. Judge agreed to delay the court battle over the deal until January 18.

  • Jive upsizes IPO and prices above range
    December 12, 2011
    Dec 12 (IFR) - Social networking. Cloud computing. Software as a service.

  • Cognitive Computing: When Computers Become Brains
    December 12, 2011
    The gnomes at IBM’s research labs were not content to make merely a genius computer that could beat any human at the game of jeopardy, they had to go and create a new kind of machine intelligence that mimics the actual human brain.
  • House panel to move forward on Stop Online Piracy Act
    December 12, 2011
    A U.S. House of Representatives committee has scheduled a debate and vote on controversial copyright legislation, the Stop Online Piracy Act, with the bill's main sponsor offering an amendment meant to address some concerns with the bill.
  • Jive Software Prices IPO At $12 Per Share
    December 12, 2011
    Enterprise social networking company Jive Software has priced its IPO at $12 per share, which is above its previously expected range, according to the WSJ.

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