Thursday, December 15, 2011

Technical News - 15 December 2011


  • U.S. military marks end to nearly nine bloody years in Iraq
    December 15, 2011
    BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. forces formally ended their nine-year war in Iraq on Thursday with a low key flag ceremony in Baghdad, while to the north flickering violence highlighted ethnic and sectarian strains threatening the country in years ahead.

  • Jobless claims at 3.5 year low, factories mixed
    December 15, 2011
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits dropped to a 3-1/2-year low last week, suggesting a weak U.S. economy is gradually improving even though factory data proved more mixed.

  • Bill Gates on coming back to Microsoft: Not a chance
    December 15, 2011
    The Microsoft co-founder says that although he talks to Microsoft executives periodically, his charitable work is a full-time gig.
  • China villagers defy government in standoff over death
    December 15, 2011
    BEIJING (Reuters) - Villagers in southern China on Thursday defied authorities and continued protests over a death in custody and land dispute in the latest outburst of simmering rural discontent that is eroding the ruling Communist Party's grip at the grassroots.

  • Olympus ex-CEO attacks Japan investors as comeback bid struggles
    December 15, 2011
    TOKYO (Reuters) - The whistleblower in Japan's Olympus Corp scandal, ex-CEO Michael Woodford, blasted Japanese shareholders on Thursday for failing to stand up for him, amid signs that domestic and foreign investors are split over his campaign to be reinstated.

  • Olympus ex-CEO attacks Japan investors as comeback bid struggles
    December 15, 2011
    TOKYO (Reuters) - The whistleblower in Japan's Olympus Corp scandal, ex-CEO Michael Woodford, blasted Japanese shareholders on Thursday for failing to stand up for him, amid signs that domestic and foreign investors are split over his campaign to be reinstated.

  • Republicans move to muscle spending bill through House
    December 15, 2011
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans introduced a $915 billion spending bill in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday in an attempt to force Democrats to finalize legislation that would keep the U.S. government operating beyond the weekend.

  • Square Enix servers hacked, 1.8 million users affected (Digital Trends)
    December 15, 2011
    Digital Trends - This is shaping up to the year of high-profile hacker attacks in the gaming world, as game developer Square Enix announced this week that 1.8 million user accounts were compromised as a result of a recent online security breach.
  • Putin rules out new election in marathon show
    December 15, 2011
    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Vladimir Putin dismissed calls to rerun a parliamentary election in a marathon phone call-in on Russian television on Thursday and ignored most of the demands of protesters complaining of electoral fraud and demanding an end to his 12-year rule.

  • Sergey Brin, Jack Dorsey, Chad Hurley, et al. to U.S. Government: DO NOT Emulate These Oppressive Nations
    December 15, 2011
    Leading U.S. Internet entrepreneurs wrote an Open Letter to U.S. lawmakers opposing the proposed Protect IP Act (PIPA) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The entrepreneurs urged the government not to emulate Internet censorship currently being imposed by the governments in China, Malaysia and Iran. As mentioned in the Letter, both Acts threaten to "give the US Government the power to censor the web using techniques similar to those used by China, Malaysia and Iran."
  • Google Engineer Builds Ultimate LAN Party House
    December 15, 2011


    Zothecula writes "Anyone who has a attended a LAN party — where people connect their computers on one network in one location to play multiplayer games together — can tell you that they can be both very fun but also kind of a hassle. Playing games with your friends all in the same room: fun. Having to organize all your friends to each haul their usually-oversized gaming rigs to one person's house, ensuring they all have the same software, and inevitably dealing with one or more people having trouble connecting: not fun. With that in mind, it makes sense that one Google employee decided to bypass all that inconvenience and just build a house specifically for LAN parties, complete with multiple networked computers and TVs connected to game consoles."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • IBM To Buy Emptoris
    December 15, 2011
    IBM this morning announced a deal to acquire Emptoris, a Burlington, Mass.-based provider of cloud and on-premise analytics software for procurement and supply chain applications. Terms were not disclosed.
  • Mystery Solved: SGI's Barrenechea To Run Open Text
    December 15, 2011
    Open Text this morning said it has named current SGI chief Mark Barrenechea as president and CEO effective January 2.
  • Windows 8 activity sinking among early adopters, claims study
    December 15, 2011
    The level of activity in Windows 8 among people running the Developer Preview is lower than it was three months ago, according to new data from ad network Chitika.
  • How To Make Money Without A Job
    December 15, 2011
    Whether you want to start something on the side or say goodbye to corporate life forever, here are some tips for starting your own business.
  • At Universal's Request, YouTube Yanks News Podcast Over Music Snippet
    December 15, 2011


    Snaller writes "Tech News Today does what the name says — it's a podcast reporting on Tech news, Monday to Friday. They, like Slashdot, reported on the Megaupload vs. Universal copyright dispute. But during their coverage, they played a snippet of the music video and immediately Universal Music Group had the news podcast yanked from YouTube. Tech News Today has outlets other than YouTube, but should a music company have the right to have a news podcast removed on copyright grounds, when it's not even clear that said company has had any copyrights violated?"
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • IDC: Tablet Sales Underwhelm in Q3, but Strong Holiday Season Expected
    December 15, 2011
    Tablet sales at 18.1 million units during the third quarter were somewhat lower than expected, but stronger-than-expected demand during the rest of the year will...

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  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus hits US Verizon stores today (Appolicious)
    December 15, 2011
    Appolicious - After weeks of anticipation, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus finally arrives in US stores. The much awaited smartphone is the first to show off Google’s updated Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, an OS update that promises to bridge the smartphone and tablet experience. Starting today, the Galaxy Nexus will sell for $299.99 with a new two-year contract in an exclusive deal with Verizon, though StarkInsider reports the handset will be available at Costco stores as well. ...
  • Facebook and Greenpeace make peace on data centers
    December 15, 2011
    The collaboration will encourage cleaner energy on the grid and data center efficiency through the Facebook-founded Open Compute initiative.
  • Microsoft opens instant-messaging for all comers
    December 15, 2011
    Any programmer now can build software to tap into Windows Live Messenger's network. Perhaps in time IM will become less fragmented and more useful.
  • Deadline for rural broadband plan
    December 15, 2011
    English councils have until the end of February to apply for government cash to help them roll out "superfast" broadband services.
  • Think Your Cell Phone is Virus Free? Think Again
    December 15, 2011
    Many people think that only PC’s can be infected with a virus or worm but this is simply not true. Cell phones and PDAs are becoming more and more susceptible as features like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are being added to these devices. In Stat, a prominent market research company, projects that Bluetooth device shipments will exceed 2 billion by 2013 and Wi-Fi chipsets will exceed 1 billion by 2012.
  • Zoho upgrades CRM, touts 25,000 customers
    December 15, 2011
    The Zoho CRM upgrade includes a new interface, third party integration and deal tracking.
  • Investor pushes for leadership change at RIM
    December 15, 2011
    (Reuters) - An investor at Research In Motion has asked two directors at the struggling Canadian smartphone maker to push for a change in the company's governance.

  • RIM activist renews call for leadership change
    December 15, 2011
    TORONTO (Reuters) - Research In Motion faced renewed calls for a change in its leadership on Thursday, hours ahead of the quarterly results that could fuel criticism over the BlackBerry maker's poor performance and sagging share price.

  • Are there really 509,147 datacenters worldwide?
    December 15, 2011
    With over a half-million datacenters in operation worldwide, perhaps the emphasis on saving just a small amount of energy in each facility will eventually show significant economic results.
  • Samsung Uses Apple Lawsuit to Hype Galaxy Tablet
    December 15, 2011
    An ad in the Sydney Morning Herald proclaims that the Galaxy Tab is "the tablet Apple tried to stop."

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  • Facebook Timeline goes live--out with old, in with new
    December 15, 2011
    The social network is letting people tinker with the information shared in the Timeline before it gets pushed live. After seven days, however, it's automatically made public.
  • First Solar: Is The Company Now Takeover Bait?
    December 15, 2011
    First Solar shares fell more than 21% yesterday after the company yesterday reduced its Q4 guidance, issued a shockingly weak 2012 profit forecast and announced that it was shifting its business to focus specifically on utility scale projects.
  • Three quick iMessage tips
    December 15, 2011
    iOS 5 introduced iMessage, a new capability within your iOS device's Messages app that can send text, picture, and video messages to other iPhones without counting against your carrier's messaging plan. What's more, iMessages actually works with any device running iOS 5, meaning iPad and iPod touch owners can get in on the messaging fun, too.
  • 20 Best U.S. Airports for Tech Travelers
    December 15, 2011
    Walking past laptop-toting digital nomads who huddle around the outlets lining the concourse, you arrive at your gate with 30 minutes to spare. You have a 6-hour flight in front of you, and a laptop and a smartphone that need a full charge to keep you working and listening to music throughout the flight. You stalk the gate area. The two available outlets on the payphone are taken. No outlets on the walls. The remaining minutes before departure click down. A baby is crying. (Please, please, please, you think, don't seat me next to the baby...). "Final call for boarding." Your laptop has an hour of life left, and so does your phone. When both are dead, your noise-canceling headphones will be useless. You board and approach your seat. You're in 16B. The baby, in 16C, is already crying...
  • In Search of the Tech-Savvy Airport
    December 15, 2011
    Editor's Letter
  • AT&T: Macquarie Turns Bearish; Sees Spectrum Edge For VZ
    December 15, 2011
    Macquarie USA analyst Kevin Smithen this morning cut his rating on AT&T shares to Underperform from Neutral, asserting that the apparent collapse of the company's deal to acquire T-Mobile will leave the company in a weak spectrum position relative to chief rival Verizon Wireless.
  • Taking a Look At Kindle Format 8
    December 15, 2011


    Nate the greatest writes "Got a Kindle Fire? Here's your chance to try the new Kindle Format 8. The new format is in beta testing right now with a limited number of publishers, and a few days ago one of those publishers leaked the tools and the guidelines to me. It turns out KF8 isn't all that new. I've looked at the code, and I'd call it an attempt to graft a number of Epub features onto the existing Kindle format. It simply adds a lot of new formatting and is only slightly more capable than Epub. There's a number of screenshots at the link as well as a demo file. You can probably also find more KF8 ebooks in the Kindle Store; look for the Kindle Fire exclusive magazines and graphic novels."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Chrome 15 Beats Out IE8 As World's Most Popular Browser
    December 15, 2011
    Google Chrome 15 is the most popular web browser in the world overtaking Internet Explorer 8, according to web analytics firm StatCounter.

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  • Presented By:
    December 15, 2011

  • GlobalSign Says Website Breach Didn't Affect Its CA Infrastructure
    December 15, 2011
    Certificate Authority (CA) GlobalSign concluded that a security breach that affected its website earlier this year did not result in rogue digital certificates...

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  • Microsoft to push latest version of IE to users starting in 2012
    December 15, 2011
    Microsoft is going to start automatically upgradingWindows PC users to the latest version of the IE browser available for their PCs, as of January next year.
  • Skyworks Jumps As Deutsche Bank Upgrades To Buy
    December 15, 2011
    Skyworks Solutions shares are trading sharply higher Thursday morning after Deutsche Bank analyst Jonathan Goldberg raised his rating on the mobile phone chip company's stock to Buy from Hold, with a new target price of $23, up from $22.
  • For Samsung Vibrant, no 911 means no Android mod
    December 15, 2011
    The CyanogenMod crew says it can no longer support Samsung's Vibrant phone since its customized build prevents the phone from making a 911 emergency call.
  • iPhone 4S Launch Stores Revealed
    December 15, 2011
    Vodacom has revealed which of its stores will be participating in the iPhone 4S launch this Friday


  • IBM acquires spend management company Emptoris
    December 15, 2011
    Emptoris' verticals---consumer products, financial services, healthcare, telecom, utilities and manufacturing---match up with IBM's.
  • Tiny solar cell dots printed for powerful array
    December 15, 2011
    Start-up Semprius blasts 1,000 suns worth of light onto dot-size solar cells assembled by machines to bring down the cost of concentrating photovoltaics.
  • Kohls plugs in electric vehicle charging stations
    December 15, 2011
    Retailer will pilot technologies from Coulomb and ECOtality in 33 different locations nationwide.
  • PlayStation 3 continues its climb, despite Xbox 360 pressure
    December 15, 2011
    Sony says it will sell 15 million PlayStation 3 units this fiscal year, up from the 14.3 million it sold in the prior 12 months.

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