Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Technical News - 6 Dec 2011


  • No wires needed to charge Nissan EVs
    December 6, 2011
    Nissan demonstration video shows hands-free charging for the Leaf where drivers park over over a mat that uses induction charging, a technology automakers hope will make EVs easier to charge.
  • Did NASA Find A Habitable Planet? Maybe.
    December 6, 2011
    NASA has announced that its Kepler mission has found a planet whose temperatures can theoretically support Earth-like life.
  • LinkedIn Gains; Shrs Get Love From Underwriters' Analysts
    December 6, 2011
    LinkedIn shares are trading sharply higher Tuesday morning after a trio of bullish research notes from three firms which have an investment banking relationship with the social networking company.
  • Asking Who Owns Social Media? You're Missing the Point
    December 6, 2011
    When asked by her employer how she prefers to enjoy cheese, Cathy Strange, the global cheese buyer for Whole Foods Market, responded simply, “With friends!”
  • Open Cloud Visionaries: John Engates, CTO of Rackspace
    December 6, 2011

  • Pay any price for seven indie PC games
    December 6, 2011
    The Indie Gala bundle has a combined value of around $65. And you can opt to share some or all of your payment with two worthy charities. Sold!
  • Does Outsourcing Programming Really Save Money?
    December 6, 2011


    itwbennett writes "In a blog post titled 'Why I Will Never Feel Threatened by Cheap Overseas Programming', John Larson tells the story of a startup that shipped its initial programming to India, paying $14 per hour, with predictably disastrous results. Larson concludes: 'I have yet to see a project done overseas at that sort of hourly rate that has actually gone well.' But in this not-uncommon tale of outsourcing woe, is the problem really with the programming or with unrealistic expectations?" The comments on Larson's blog post (originally titled "Why I Will Never Feel Threatened by Programmers in India") seem to me more valuable than the post itself.
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • India to Web giants: Stop the flaming
    December 6, 2011
    Top executives from the Indian offices of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Yahoo will be meeting with India's acting telecommunications minister, who wants user comments prescreened.
  • Planet found orbiting habitable zone of sun-like star
    December 6, 2011
    MOFFET FIELD, California (Reuters) - The most Earth-like planet ever discovered is circling a star 600 light years away, a key finding in an ongoing quest to learn if life exists beyond Earth, scientists said on Monday.

  • .xxx porn domain names go on sale
    December 6, 2011
    From 6 December, adult content sites can buy their own .xxx domain but the launch is not without controversy.
  • Huge Vale ore carrier disabled at Brazil port
    December 6, 2011
    RIO DE JANEIRO/SEOUL (Reuters) - The world's largest iron-ore vessel is disabled and could sink in a port where Brazil's Vale, the world top producer, loads about 10 percent of global supplies of the commodity, shipping agents and the ship's operator said.

  • S&P downgrade threat a clarion call for euro reform
    December 6, 2011
    PARIS/BERLIN (Reuters) - A threat by Standard & Poors to slash credit ratings across the euro zone has sounded a clarion call, which could help Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel force through a change to the European Union treaty at a summit this week.

  • Legal action urged in damning Olympus report
    December 6, 2011
    TOKYO (Reuters) - An independent panel issued a damning report on a $1.7 billion accounting scandal at Japan's disgraced Olympus Corp on Tuesday, urging legal action against the executives responsible for the cover-up and the replacement of other board members who knew.

  • Microsoft Grabs The Remote From Apple With Xbox Upgrade
    December 6, 2011

  • Osteoporosis Drug Makes Lengthy Space Trips More Tolerable
    December 6, 2011


    An anonymous reader writes "Japanese researchers have discovered that by taking drugs normally targeted at osteoporosis sufferers they can mitigate the long term effects of weightlessness. This makes it more possible that humans could reasonably fly to Mars land there and be fully functional even after the lengthy journey." JAXA provides much more detail, including interviews with both lead investigator Toshio Matsumoto and Koichi Wakata, the first subject of the experiment.
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • SAP Target SuccessFactors To Buy Jobs2web For $110M
    December 6, 2011
    Today, the target becomes the buyer.
  • Vinod Khosla Explains His Venture Into Second Screen TV And Miso
    December 6, 2011
    For those wondering what elaborate calculations and investigations spur millions of dollars in venture capital, consider Khosla Ventures' recent leadership on a $4 million round of funding for the social TV company Miso. Sometimes it all starts in the living room.
  • Home prices fall in Oct for 3rd month: CoreLogic (Reuters)
    December 6, 2011
    Reuters - Home prices fell in October for the third month in a row with growth in the beleaguered sector expected to remain flat for years to come, data analysis firm CoreLogic Inc said on Tuesday.
  • IBM STG Analyst Forum Day 1
    December 6, 2011
    Summary of sessions from IBM STG's Analyst Forum Day 1. Systems, storage, virtualization and cloud computing were key elements.
  • Gotta tweet mid-play or ballet? Take a 'tweet seat'
    December 6, 2011
    Trying to appeal to younger audiences devoting increasing amounts of time to social networking, more performance groups are creating sections reserved for those who just can't do without their Twitter feeds.
  • One in four Starbucks transactions involves a mobile device (Appolicious)
    December 6, 2011
    Appolicious - It hasn’t even been a year since coffee giant Starbucks rolled out its various mobile apps, notably on Apple’s iOS platform as well as Google’s Android and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry, and it seems customers who love coffee love the apps as well.
  • IBM's memory chip 'breakthrough'
    December 6, 2011
    Researchers create a prototype memory chip that they claim promises faster data access and will last longer than current technologies.
  • HP Buys Hiflex Software
    December 6, 2011
    Hewlett-Packard this morning said it has acquired Hiflex Software, a 20-year-old Aachen, Germany-based software company that focuses on web-to-print and management information systems for print services. Terms were not disclosed.
  • Verizon's LTE network hits its first birthday: Disappointment of an early adopter
    December 6, 2011
    The first year for Verizon's LTE network was a bit of a buzzkill for me, but year two should be more promising.
  • Apple TV to come in 3 sizes, top out at 55 inches, report says
    December 6, 2011
    The smallest size Apple will offer is a 32-inch model, according to a new report.
  • Insight: Conflicting visions at core of euro zone crisis
    December 6, 2011
    Since the inception of the euro, France and Germany have pursued divergent visions of European economic and monetary union. In two decades, the French have become a little more German, the Germans a little more French. But the gulf remains.

  • EU in antitrust probe of Apple, e-book publishers (AP)
    December 6, 2011
    FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011 file photo and Apple logo is seen during an announcement at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.. The European Union's antitrust watchdog announced Tuesday Dec. 6, 2011, is probing whether Apple and five major publishing houses have colluded to restrict competition in the market for e-books. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)AP - The European Union's antitrust watchdog is probing whether Apple helped five major publishing houses illegally raise prices for e-books when it launched its iPad tablet and iBookstore in 2010.


  • Indian Minister Seeks To Censor User-Generated Content Online
    December 6, 2011


    First time accepted submitter punit_r writes "Indian minister for Communications & Information Technology Kapil Sibal met officials from Facebook, Google, YouTube and Yahoo on Monday, 5 December 2011, and told them to screen what goes on the sites. He basically asked the websites to actively screen content. How do you screen such massive amount of data? Well, the IT minister has the perfect recipe: 'We'll use humans to screen content and not technology,' said the IT minister. Meanwhile, he got it back from the social media."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Mobile Intel Ivy Bridge CPU details leak, including new Extreme Edition, Ultrabook processors
    December 6, 2011
    Yesterday, we reported that product names and specs have leaked about Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge desktop processors. Now information about their mobile counterparts has been revealed as well,...
  • How to download YouTube videos, and other curious things
    December 6, 2011
    If you've ever wondered how to download YouTube videos (and other curious things) to your computer, this post is for you!
  • Microsoft's Fix for Outlook's 'General Failure' Error for E-Mail Links
    December 6, 2011
    For the past couple months I've been working to track down a solution to a problem that's been bugging Outlook users for at least a year: When you click a Web link embedded in an e-mail, Outlook returns this error:
  • Online uproar as India seeks social media screening
    December 6, 2011
    NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India has urged social network companies including Facebook, Twitter and Google to remove offensive material, unleashing a storm of criticism from Internet users in the world's largest democracy complaining of censorship.

  • Google+ iPhone app updated with search, better photo uploads
    December 6, 2011
    Newly updated, the Google+ app for iOS devices now includes a search capability, support for full resolution photo uploads, and the ability to +1 photos.
  • SuccessFactors acquiring Jobs2web days after SAP deal
    December 6, 2011
    Cloud-based human resources software vendor SuccessFactors said Tuesday it is acquiring Jobs2web for US$110 million, just days after SAP announced it would buy SuccessFactors in a $3.4 billion deal.
  • Sub-$100 Android 4.0 Tablet Coming Soon
    December 6, 2011


    jfruhlinger writes "One of the reasons the iPad has stayed at the top of the tablet heap for so long is that — in contrast with the story of the Mac and PC 25 years ago — the iPad has remained competitive with its rivals on price. That may be starting to change, with cheaper tablets like the Amazon Fire coming to market. And now, the sub-$100 Novo7 is on sale in China, sporting Android 4.0. It promises to arrive in the U.S. for a similar price point soon." The official press release from MIPS has a bit more detail. Of interest is the use of a MIPS SoC designed by Ingenic.
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Kindle Fire Will Vaporize Android Tablet Rivals
    December 6, 2011
    Bad news for Android tablet hopefuls. Amazon is going to capture a huge portion of the Android tablet market next year.
    Half, actually.
    This according to Evercore Partners analyst Robert Cihra, who says the Kindle Fire’s loss-leading $199 price could effectively ruin the market for other Android tablet makers.
    “Amazon’s Kindle Fire has come out of the gates strong,” Cihra writes. “[And its] success may just vaporize other ‘for profit’ Android tablet OEM roadmaps.”
    Not to mention non-Android tablet vendors like Research In Motion, who were evidently “blindsided” by the Fire’s low price point.
    And that’s good news for Amazon and Apple. Especially for Apple, actually, because it creates a market in which the iPad dominates the high end, the Kindle Fire the low, and leaves little room for a serious rival in between.
    “We see Apple maintaining its competitive lead, if anything accentuated by what now looks like the only tablet to so far mount any credible iPad challenge apparently needing to do so by selling at cost,” Cihra said, referring to the Fire. “Meanwhile Apple goes on as the only vendor able to cream off the most profitable segment of [the] market.”

  • Dear Congressman Posey, SOPA is both dangerous and un-American
    December 6, 2011
    Take action. Otherwise we're selling the Internet down the river to a couple of lobbying organizations who couldn't care less about the future of America.
  • Verizon blocks Google Wallet on Galaxy Nexus: report
    December 6, 2011
    (Reuters) - Wireless service provider Verizon Wireless will not include Google Inc's payments app Google Wallet on its latest smartphone Galaxy Nexus this month, the Wall Street Journal said.

  • Verizon Galaxy Nexus cannot use Google Wallet, Sprint only
    December 6, 2011
    News that the Galaxy Nexus will not work with Google Wallet on the Verizon network is causing an uproar. Fact is, Google's deal with Sprint is exclusive, and Verizon can't use the service.
  • EU Commission in e-books antitrust probe of 5 publishers, Apple
    December 6, 2011
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission is investigating whether e-book publishers owned by Lagardere, Pearson Plc, News Corp. and two other firms may have colluded with Apple to block rivals via their pricing deals.

  • BlazeMeter raises funds for cloud-based load testing
    December 6, 2011
    Load testing your Web site may just have gotten a bit easier thanks to BlazeMeter, a new startup
  • College trims energy consumption with nComputing thin clients
    December 6, 2011
    The computer science department at Santa Ana college used thin clients as the basis of a lab that is uses to test other green technologies and energy-saving best practices.
  • Are Windows 8 tablets already irrelevant?
    December 6, 2011
    Why do people what Windows on a tablet unless it's to be able to run existing Windows applications and connect existing hardware to their tablet?
  • Small law firm turns to IBM analytics when paper-based claims process can't keep up
    December 6, 2011
    The solution enables LaVan & Neidenberg handle a significant increased number of disability claims for veterans, while speeding the filing time by 66 percent.
  • Europe begins antitrust case against Apple, e-book publishers
    December 6, 2011
    European antitrust authorities are to investigate the 'cartel' practices of e-book publishers, and Apple, in the region.

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