Friday, December 16, 2011

Technical News - 16 December 2011

  • U.S. Navy may station ships in Singapore, Philippines
    December 15, 2011
    WASHINGTON/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy said it would station several new coastal combat ships in Singapore and perhaps in the Philippines in coming years, moves likely to fuel China's fears of being encircled and pressured in the South China Sea dispute.

  • Beijing tightens controls over popular microblogs
    December 15, 2011
    BEIJING (Reuters) - The Beijing city government said on Friday it would tighten control over popular microblogs that have vexed authorities with their rapid dissemination of news, giving users three months to register with their real names or face legal consequences.

  • Polemical journalist and atheist Christopher Hitchens dead at 62
    December 15, 2011
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - British-born journalist and atheist intellectual Christopher Hitchens, who made the United States his home and backed the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, died on Thursday at the age of 62.

  • Apple Mini-iPad rumor cites Kindle Fire
    December 15, 2011
    Another iPad-mini rumor surfaces. This time citing the Kindle Fire as the culprit.
  • 'iPad mini' with 7.85-inch screen rumored for late 2012 (Digital Trends)
    December 15, 2011
    Digital Trends - Rumors have once again surfaced regarding a so-called ‘iPad mini.’ The folks over at DigiTimes said that according to “sources in the supply chain,” a 7.85-inch iPad is “likely to launch” at some point in the latter half of 2012 (“prior to the fourth quarter,” says DigiTimes), with the iPad 3 believed to be coming in the early part of next year, at the end of the first quarter.
  • U.S. drone hijacked by GPS hack?
    December 15, 2011
    Unnamed Iranian engineer tells Christian Science Monitor that the sophisticated drone was forced to land by spoofing GPS coordinates.
  • UMG claims "right to block or remove" YouTube videos it doesn't own
    December 15, 2011

    Universal Music Group has responded to Megaupload's request for a temporary restraining order barring the music giant from further interference with the distribution of its "Mega Song." UMG insists that it had a right to take down the video—not under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, as Megaupload had assumed, but under a private contractual arrangement between UMG and YouTube.
    UMG's filing raises more questions than it answers. Most obviously, the firm has not explained why it took down the video in the first place. But the filing also raises deeper questions about UMG's effort to essentially opt out of the DMCA takedown rules. UMG seems to believe it can take down videos even if it doesn't hold the copyright to them, and that when UMG takes a video down from YouTube, the owner of that video can't avail herself of even the weak protections against takedown abuse provided by the DMCA.
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  • Vint Cerf: SOPA means 'unprecedented censorship' of the Web
    December 15, 2011
    Vint Cerf, the legendary computer scientist known as one of the fathers of the Internet, warns Rep. Lamar Smith that his bill will be ineffective and dangerous.
  • SOPA copyright bill draws fire
    December 15, 2011
    roundup The Stop Online Piracy Act is intended to target "rogue" Web sites, but critics say it'll knock the stuffing out of legitimate sites as well.
  • Google Wallet Stores Card Data In Plain Text
    December 15, 2011


    nut writes "The much-hyped payment application from Google on Android has been examined by viaForensics and appears to store some cardholder data in plaintext. Google wallet is the first real payment system to use NFC on Android. Version 2 of the PCI DSS (the current standard) mandates the encryption of transmitted cardholder data encourages strong encryption for its storage. viaForensics suggest that the data stored in plain text might be sufficient to allow social engineering to obtain a credit card number."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Rivals pounce on Gingrich at last Iowa debate
    December 15, 2011
    SIOUX CITY, Iowa (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidates pounced on front-runner Newt Gingrich on Thursday to try to blunt his surge at the last debate before Iowa launches the 2012 U.S. election season.

  • Twitter Stalking Case Dismissed by Maryland Judge
    December 15, 2011
    A U.S. judge in Maryland dismissed on Thursday a criminal case against a person who was charged with stalking a religious leader on Twitter, upholding "a...

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  • SOPA attracts plenty of supporters during House debate
    December 15, 2011
    Controversial Hollywood-backed copyright bill is embraced by majority of a House of Representatives committee. A vote may happen tomorrow.
  • Siemens Digs Deeper into Distributed Power
    December 15, 2011
    Siemens, the German industrial giant, is partnering with Boston, MA-based Eastern Wind Power on a pilot project exploring several small to micro-scale power generation systems.
  • Full ban on driver calls could be tough to enforce (AP)
    December 15, 2011
    FILE - In a Tuesday, June 24, 2008 file photo, a sign warning drivers that hands-free technology will be required starting July 1, displays its message over a highway in San Francisco. While most states have banned texting among drivers and a number have also prohibited hand-held phones, the Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011 recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board is to outlaw all behind-the-wheel cell phone use, wireless or not.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)AP - A driver in the next lane is moving his lips. Is he on a hands-free cellphone? Talking to someone in the car? To himself? Singing along to the radio?


  • 90 pc of mobile cell sites to be connected with Ethernet
    December 15, 2011
    Infonetics Research's new study finds that a majority of mobile operators and transport providers will have over 90 per cent of their cell sites connected with IP/Ethernet, by 2013
  • Citi India brings 'Cash-To-Mobile'
    December 15, 2011
    New solution enables clients to receive funds and alerts through SMS instantly
  • Analysis: Apple struggles to take bigger bite out of China
    December 15, 2011
    HONG KONG (Reuters) - Apple Inc's share of China's booming smartphone market has risen sharply in the past two years, but for now the company that sells the iconic iPhone is being outpaced by nimble rivals.

  • Accused Army document leaker faces hearing
    December 15, 2011
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An Army intelligence analyst suspected in the biggest leak of classified U.S. documents in history makes his first court appearance on Friday accused of multiple charges including aiding the enemy, which could bring life imprisonment.

  • Exclusive: Made in Texas: Apple's A5 iPhone chip
    December 15, 2011
    SAN FRANCISCO - Apple Inc is famous for relying on low-cost Asian manufacturers to both source and assemble its popular gadgets, but the consumer device giant recently started receiving a critical component in its iPad and iPhones from closer to home - Texas.

  • Exclusive: Made in Texas: Apple's A5 iPhone chip
    December 15, 2011
    SAN FRANCISCO - Apple Inc is famous for relying on low-cost Asian manufacturers to both source and assemble its popular gadgets, but the consumer device giant recently started receiving a critical component in its iPad and iPhones from closer to home - Texas.

  • Small cell base station units to double in 2012
    December 15, 2011
    Operators plan to run 12 per cent of network capacity on small cells by 2012, finds Infonetics
  • Japan aims to bolster M&A disclosure after Olympus scandal
    December 15, 2011
    TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan has signaled plans to strengthen disclosure rules on mergers and acquisitions after a $1.7 billion accounting fraud at Olympus Corp, one of the nation's worst corporate scandals, which involved a series of shady deals.

  • Zynga prices IPO at top end of range
    December 15, 2011
    (Reuters) - Online games maker Zynga Inc is expected to make a strong debut on the Nasdaq stock exchange on Friday after it priced its initial public offering at the top end of a preliminary range but did not increase the size of the $1 billion deal.

  • Judge dismisses Twitter stalking case
    December 15, 2011
    Ruling says Constitution protects "uncomfortable" speech, including tweets that predict a person's violent death.
  • Angry Birds maker eyes 2013 Hong Kong IPO: report
    December 15, 2011
    HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finnish gaming firm Rovio, creator of "Angry Birds," the world's most popular computer game, is planning an initial public offering on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2013, Finnish weekly Tekniikka&Talous reported on Friday.

  • Czech Nationwide Census Shows Jump In Jedi Knights
    December 15, 2011


    First time accepted submitter il_genio writes "The Czech Statistical Office (SÚ) unveiled the first results of its regular 10-year census on Thursday. While almost half the population, 4.8 million, shied away from answering the voluntary religious question, a surprising strong showing was given by those Czechs who described themselves as Knights of the Jedi and believers in 'the Force' as depicted in the Star Wars films. Overall, 15,070 Czechs identified themselves as Knights of the Jedi with the biggest proportion of adherents in the capital, Prague, with 3,977 followers or 0.31 percent of the population"
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Dell says goodbye to Netbooks
    December 15, 2011
    Dell is leaving Netbooks to the dustbin of laptop history. But it's not terribly surprising, considering the rise of tablets and the emergence of ultrabooks.
  • Facebook COO to leave Starbucks board of directors
    December 15, 2011
    Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg will no longer be on the Starbucks board of directors next year. She joined it in March 2009 to offer business strategy and operational execution experience.
  • Suicide Prevention Comes to Facebook: A Life-Saving Option With A Dark Side
    December 15, 2011
    Facebook now offers a potentially life-saving way for people to report suicidal posts. Working with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline they've put a procedure in place to help friends help friends in trouble. While some will still tragically fall through the cracks, and surely there will be many unnecessary reports, I believe this will save lives. But the need for Facebook to present us with this option — and it is a big need, last year 36,000 Americans died at their own hand — is a sad, dark commentary on the alienation we now take for granted.
  • Green-Energy Finance Guru: 'We've cracked the code.'
    December 15, 2011
    Sean Neill wants to do for clean energy what Samuel Insull, the British-born businessman who brought cheap electricity to mainstream America, did for dirty energy.
  • Before You Invest In Zynga, Meet Its CTO
    December 15, 2011
    Cadir Lee explains why Mark Pincus proposed to him on the court.
  • Heavy Metal Christmas Lights Show Would Make Slayer Proud
    December 15, 2011
    Showcasing some incredibly detailed animation and syncing, this heavy metal fan's Christmas decorations probably put the rest of the neighborhood to shame.

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  • Funny top ten list about useless studies will give you a chuckle
    December 15, 2011
    It's the most wonderful time of the year. There are candy canes, mistletoe, and, of course, the fabulous year's end top ten lists.
  • In SOPA's shadow, Megaupload strikes back against Universal
    December 15, 2011
    The hosting site successfully fights a copyright claim by Universal Music Group over a YouTube video.
  • Tests show LightSquared still disrupts GPS
    December 15, 2011
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - LightSquared's prospects for getting its wireless network off the ground were dealt another blow this week as U.S. government tests found that the signal of the telecom startup would cause "harmful interference" to a majority of GPS devices.

  • Gmail Backup, a recipe for happiness
    December 15, 2011
    Gibbs wants to avoid a "Googlesplosion" ... Gmail Backup is the recipe for happiness.
  • Ask Slashdot: Good Metrics For a Small IT Team?
    December 15, 2011


    First time accepted submitter shibbyj writes "I'm a member of a small 3 person IT team for a medium sized business (approximately 300-350 employees) that has multiple locations internationally. I have been tasked with logging our performance using the statistics from our ticket management system. I've also been tasked with comparing these stats and determining if we are performing above or below what is considered optimal. I'm wondering what people opinions are on what good metrics should be in regards to mttr mtbf etc. I have had trouble finding information on this."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Zynga Stock Looking Like It's Worth $10.34 Pre-IPO
    December 15, 2011
    Zynga is the world’s largest social gaming company. Founded in 2007, the company has launched social games such as FarmVille, CityVille and Texas HoldEm Poker, as well as many others on social networks like Facebook and Myspace. It currently has close to 220 million monthly active users and around 54 million daily active users worldwide.
  • The Economy - An Excuse of Convenience
    December 15, 2011
    image thumbnail - see full story for attributions
    Image Credit: Dapawrprint The economy doesn't kill business growth - poor leadership does. If you're the short-sighted CEO who cuts back on hiring, development, marketing, branding, and advertising budgets in an attempt to reduce costs, you're headed in the wrong direction. Top CEOs recognize that economic slow-downs are not all doom-and-gloom.
  • How to erase a Kindle Fire (and regift it...if you want)
    December 15, 2011
    Done with your Kindle Fire? Well, don't throw it out just yet! Well, if you do, just make sure to erase it first.
  • Salesforce.com enters HR software business
    December 15, 2011
    BOSTON (Reuters) - Salesforce.com Inc is entering the business of selling human resources software in a move that raises the stakes in its battle to woo customers away from bigger rivals SAP AG and Oracle Corp..

  • The Most Dangerous Toys of 2011
    December 15, 2011


    theodp writes "If you've procrastinated on your Xmas shopping this year, fear not: Gawker's just published its tongue-in-cheek 2011 Top Picks for Gifts That Maim or Poison Children. Until President Nixon enacted the first national safety standard for playthings with the Toy Safety Act in 1969, the toy industry was pretty much anything-goes. As a result of the legislation, children may live longer, but they'll never know the joys of many beloved-but-dangerous classics, including Zulu Guns, Jarts, and Clackers."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • House Committee Appears Headed Toward Approving SOPA
    December 15, 2011
    The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee slowly moved toward approval of the controversial copyright enforcement bill Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)...

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  • Google Zeitgeist reveals top searches for 2011: I don't want to live on this planet anymore
    December 15, 2011
    The Google Zeitgeist 2011 report finds that searchers worldwide were more interested in reality television and celebrities than current events.

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