Sunday, January 8, 2012

Technical News - 08 January 2012


  • Giffords comes home to mark Tucson shooting anniversary
    January 8, 2012
    TUCSON, Ariz (Reuters) - Representative Gabrielle Giffords makes an emotional homecoming to Tucson on Sunday, reconnecting with the city rocked a year ago by a deadly shooting spree that left her gravely wounded.

  • Onkyo's new iPad/iPhone speaker sounds sweet
    January 8, 2012
    A speaker dock for iPads? Onkyo has one, and it's a winner.
  • SOPA Makes Strange Bedfellows
    January 8, 2012


    davide marney writes "What do 1-800-Contacts, Adidas, Americans for Tax Reform, Comcast, the Country Music Association, Estee Lauder, Ford, Nike and Xerox all have in common? According to OpenCongress.org, they all have specifically endorsed H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act. A total of 158 corporations have signed up in favor of the bill, and only 87 against. $21 Million has been donated to Congressmen who favor the bill, but only $5 Million to those against. Thanks to OpenCongress for these insights. This goes a long way towards explaining why this bill has so much traction, despite all its negative publicity."Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Republicans get another chance to pounce on Romney
    January 8, 2012
    CONCORD, New Hampshire (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidates stepped up their attacks on rival Mitt Romney in a televised debate on Sunday, just two days before voters in New Hampshire head to the polls, and the front-runner mostly weathered the attacks.

  • Strike Knight for iPhone and iPad
    January 8, 2012
    Strike Knight looks to liven up its basic gameplay with achievements that you can unlock with feats of bowling skill -- picking up the seven-ten split, for example, or bowling an entire game without any open frames.

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  • Extreme Networks Prepares to Ship 'World's Fastest Ethernet Switch'
    January 8, 2012
    The BlackDiamond X8 takes up one-third of a data centre rack and has a switching capacity of over 20Tbps, or 1.28Tbps per slot.

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  • Where Were the Robots In Fukushima Crisis?
    January 8, 2012


    mdsolar writes "When the huge Fukushima nuclear disaster first started, many on Slashdot were calling for robots to come to the rescue. This is the story of why our overlords were caught napping. Not to worry though, ¥1 billion has been allocated to correct the robot problem. They will be properly welcomed."Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Arab League meets on Syria as peace mission stumbles
    January 8, 2012
    CAIRO (Reuters) - Arab League monitors will say on Sunday that Syria is failing to honor a promise to end its crackdown on peaceful protests, Al Jazeera reported, as Arab states met to discuss how to strengthen the mission.

  • U.S. will have world's strongest military despite cuts: Panetta
    January 8, 2012
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta cautioned global rivals on Sunday not to misjudge U.S. plans to slash military spending over the next decade, saying America would still field the world's strongest military and nobody should "mess with that."

  • Get retro with these black-and-white iPhone games (Appolicious)
    January 8, 2012
    Appolicious - Sure, there are plenty of eye-popping games to choose from in the App Store that are filled with vibrant colors that take full advantage of the great resolution the iPhone offers. But then there are games were simplicity reigns; where a simple black and white color scheme is all you need to have a good time. Here are five interesting black-and-white app games worth checking out.
  • Insight: On uneasy ANC centenary, a call for cleansing
    January 8, 2012
    BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa (Reuters) - A black bull bellows and snorts in its death throes, sacrificed with a ceremonial spear in an age-old African cleansing ritual to ward off evil spirits and appease the souls of ancestors.

  • Chance To Snap Up Your Own Observatory
    January 8, 2012


    Hugh Pickens writes "Like to own your own five-story observatory equipped with a 12" Meade Schmidt Cassegrain catadioptric telescope and a 20-inch Shafer-Maksutov telescope — the second-largest of its kind in the world? Well, there's one for sale at Marina Towers in Swansea, at an observatory that could be Wales' largest telescope. The Swansea Astronomical Society moved out two years ago, blaming increased rent and other costs. So the city council has asked interested parties to submit their proposals and financial offers by the end of March. Brian Spinks, the chair of the society, says the extra rent and running costs meant the society's members would have had to find around £40,000 over the next 10 years. 'The members can no longer be expected to finance such a public presence from their annual subscription. If we had to find £40,000 over the next 10 years it would kill the society.' The observatory was built in 1988 and includes a domed roof, an access tower that houses a spiral staircase, a stained-glass roof by artist David Pearl and panels of carved poetry by Nigel Jenkins. 'We'd like to see a mixed-use development that incorporates features of the existing observatory building,' says Coun Gareth Sullivan, Swansea council's cabinet member for regeneration. 'Bringing the observatory back into use would add even more vitality to the promenade.'"Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Liveblogging the NBC News/Facebook debate on ‘Meet the Press’ (The Ticket)
    January 8, 2012
    The Ticket - Can it be? It's the last debate before the New Hampshire primary -- and a sleepy press corps has assembled in a filing center in Concord, N.H., to chronicle the event. There will be sleepy candidates, too: Yahoo News saw Rick Santorum arrive at his hotel lobby after 1 a.m. ET last night. During the [...]
  • China loan growth quickens
    January 8, 2012
    BEIJING (Reuters) - China's banks ratcheted up lending in the last month of 2011 on the back of stronger money supply, reinforcing perceptions that the central bank is gently easing policy to cushion the impact of the global economic slowdown.

  • CES not always the greatest guide for commercial success
    January 8, 2012
    Excitement? Attention? You bet. But a look at recent hot items or trends heavily featured in past shows has found that after the buzz from Las Vegas fades, commercial success can be hard to achieve. So what does that mean for ultrabooks and smart TVs?
  • Leaked Memo Says Apple Provides Backdoor To Governments
    January 8, 2012


    Voline writes "In a tweet early this morning, cybersecurity researcher Christopher Soghoian pointed to an internal memo of India's Military Intelligence that has been liberated by hackers and posted on the Net. The memo suggests that, "in exchange for the Indian market presence" mobile device manufacturers, including RIM, Nokia, and Apple (collectively defined in the document as "RINOA") have agreed to provide backdoor access on their devices. The Indian government then "utilized backdoors provided by RINOA" to intercept internal emails of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a U.S. government body with a mandate to monitor, investigate and report to Congress on 'the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship' between the U.S. and China. Manan Kakkar, an Indian blogger for ZDNet, has also picked up the story and writes that it may be the fruits of an earlier hack of Symantec. If Apple is providing governments with a backdoor to iOS, can we assume that they have also done so with Mac OS X?"Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Partner Communications chairman to step down
    January 8, 2012
    JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Ilan Ben-Dov plans to step down as chairman of Partner Communications , Israel's second largest mobile phone operator, the company said on Sunday.

  • CES 2012 kicking off with OnStar press conference (Sunday, 7pm PT)
    January 8, 2012
    Join us here at 7pm PST for our live blog of OnStar's CES press conference.
  • CDBurnerXP 4.4.0.2905
    January 8, 2012
    CDBurnerXP is a free application to burn CDs and DVDs, including Blu-Ray and HD-DVDs. It also includes the feature to burn and create ISOs, as well as a multilanguage interface. Everyone, even companies, can use it for free. It does not include adware or similar malicious components.


  • North Korean Nuclear Facilities, From 30,000 Feet
    January 8, 2012


    Harperdog writes "Niko Milonopoulos, Siegfried S. Hecker, and Robert Carlin analyze terrific overhead photos of North Korea's nuclear facilities, discussing the rate of building and what the photos show. Also points to options for dealing with North Korea and their energy needs."Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Cobra JoyRide transforms Android phones into driving machines
    January 7, 2012
    Plugging an Android phone into this car charger automatically triggers a car mode interface.
  • Microsoft Scraps 'Where's My Phone Update?' Site
    January 7, 2012


    An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft disappointed some Windows Phone users on Friday by saying it would stop providing specifics about who will get software updates and when, and announcing vaguely that a new update is 'available to all carriers that request it.' The update fixes a few issues, including one that caused the on-screen keyboard to disappear and another that caused problems with synching Gmail. Eric Hautala, general manager of customer experience engineering for Windows Phone, said Microsoft will no longer say when people will get updates based on their country, phone model and carrier."Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Olympus eyes $1.2 billion suit, president may resign
    January 7, 2012
    TOKYO (Reuters) - Scandal-tainted Olympus Corp is considering suing current and former executives for compensation totaling about 90 billion yen ($1.2 billion), while its new president is considering resigning, a source familiar with the matter said.

  • Microsoft Server and Tools marketing chief to leave the company
    January 7, 2012
    Microsoft veteran Robert Wahbe is leaving his post as head of Server and Tools Marketing next month.
  • Skype exec flies the coop to join Urban Airship
    Urban Airship has robbed Skype of some serious executive talent. Christopher Dean, formerly Skype's chief strategy officer and the company's global business development head, will now be Urban A...


  • CES 2012: What we know so far
    January 7, 2012
    The 2012 Consumer Electronics Show doesn't officially open until Tuesday, but that hasn't stopped a flood of product announcements and leaks. Here are the best ones so far.
  • Gigabit WiFi On The Horizon? TRENDnet’s Latest Networking Products Go To "Eleven"
    January 7, 2012
    TRENDnet is already announcing its next-gen networking products, even though you won’t get to play with them until late this year (unless you’re at CES in a few days). The company’s 1300 Mbps Dual Band Wireless AC Router (TEW-811D), and 1300 Mbps Dual Band Wireless AC Media Bridge (TEW-800MB) utilize the new 802.11ac standard,...


  • Nokia's CES signage remains coy, for now
    January 7, 2012
    We all know what's coming, but Nokia's banners outside the CES convention center veil a secret that no longer exists.
  • Samsung Galaxy Note megaphone a sure thing for CES 2012
    January 7, 2012
    Signage on at the Las Vegas Convention Center locks in a U.S. version of the Samsung Galaxy Note at this year's CES. The question is, which carrier will start selling the Android phone with the monster 5.3-inch screen.
  • Facebook bans browser plugin FGS, and its developer
    January 7, 2012
    Facebook has sent a cease and desist letter to Arkadiusz Rzadkowolski, the developer of the browser plugin Friendly Gaming Simplifier (FGS). A petition to save the plugin has been launched.
  • LTE-ready Nokia Lumia 900 'Ace' details spill ahead of CES
    January 7, 2012
    We all know that an LTE-capable Windows Phone from Nokia is imminent at CES. New information sheds a little more light on this U.S.-bound version of the Lumia 800.
  • Bluetooth 4.0-powered Cobra Tag G5 needs only biannual recharges
    January 7, 2012
    Cobra's smartphone and key ring locator get updated with Bluetooth 4.0 technology.
  • The smartest flat-screen thief ever
    January 7, 2012
    Thinner flat-screens will surely be in at CES. In this ad, for LG, a thief shows precisely how to steal one from your local electronics store.
  • Microsoft: It's business as usual with Windows Phone updates
    January 7, 2012
    'Nothing has changed in regard to how we work with carriers to deliver Windows Phone updates to our customers,' maintained a Microsoft official following a change in Microsoft's update disclosure...
  • Google Chrome Finally Gets Malware Download Protection
    The new version of Chrome will at last include filtering against inadvertently downloading malware executables.


  • Facebook will be at CES 2012
    January 7, 2012
    Facebook may not have any physical products to showcase at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), but it will be at this year's event nonetheless. Here's what you need to know.
  • Motorola prepping wireless power tech for smartphones?
    January 7, 2012
    A teaser video by Motorola hints at a possible wireless power solution for its smartphones and other mobile gadgets.
  • AOC's USB Monitor Won't Need A Video Card
    January 7, 2012
    In-built DisplayLink chip takes over the duties of a GPU.



  • CES 2012 preview and Nokia Lumia 710 experiences (MobileTechRoundup show #257)
    January 7, 2012
    The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) kicks off in a couple of days and Kevin and I will be there on the show floor to offer some thoughts and experiences. We also have the Nokia Lumia 710 to test out.
  • Israel vows to hit back after credit cards hacked
    January 7, 2012
    JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel said on Saturday the online publication of thousands of its citizens' credit card details by a hacker who says he is based in Saudi Arabia was comparable to terrorism, and promised to hit back.

  • Join us for Acer's CES 2012 press conference (Sunday, 1:30pm PT)
    January 7, 2012
    Head back here Sunday afternoon to catch live news and photos from Acer's press conference at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
  • World's largest passenger plane may be unsafe, some say
    January 7, 2012
    Some aircraft engineers in Australia are concerned about small cracks that have appeared on the wing ribs of some Airbus A380 airplanes, a report says. They're calling for the whole fleet to be grounded, but Airbus says the cracks are harmless.
  • Threadsy's gone, but I'm still searching for a universal in-box
    January 7, 2012
    Melding multiple e-mail and social network accounts into one interface makes a lot of sense. Why can't anyone make a business out of it?
  • 2012 will be a make-or-brake year for electric vehicles
    January 7, 2012
    Approximately 8 percent fewer consumers are 'extremely' or 'very' interested in buying a plug-in car, and high price tags are the main culprit.
  • The joy of Microsoft's 'avoid ghetto' GPS patent
    January 7, 2012
    Microsoft is granted a patent for a GPS that will help pedestrians avoid high-crime areas and high-heat areas. Some say this will discriminate against poor neighborhoods.