Friday, February 17, 2012

Technical News - 17 February 2012


  • Greece closes in on bailout, lenders seek more oversight
    February 17, 2012
    ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece appears to be closing in on a new international rescue package despite unresolved doubts among euro zone partners about how fast it will manage to bring its debt down.

  • Friday Poll: Is AT&T data throttling reasonable?
    February 17, 2012
    AT&T stirs the smartphone service pot as data throttling kicks in for heavy mobile broadband users. What's your take on the practice? [Read more]
  • Netflix: We love DVDs, no we don't, yes we do
    February 17, 2012
    Netflix is bringing back the DVD-only subscription plan after CEO tells investors a month ago he expects DVD revenue to decline forever. [Read more]
  • Ex-Goldman programmer's conviction overturned
    February 17, 2012
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal appeals court has thrown out the conviction of Sergey Aleynikov, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc computer programmer who had been convicted of stealing part of the Wall Street bank's high-frequency trading code.

  • Apple threatened with $2 billion U.S. lawsuit in iPad dispute
    February 17, 2012
    Apple is facing a possible U.S. lawsuit from Chinese company Proview, which continues to claim the trademark on the iPad name. [Read more]
  • Nevada Approves Rules For Self-Driving Cars
    February 17, 2012


    Griller_GT writes with news that Nevada has become the first U.S. state to approve regulations for allowing self-driving cars on its roads. "Autonomous test vehicles will display a red license plate, Nevada officials said. If and when the technology is approved for public use, the cars will carry a green license plate. ... Nevada said it worked with Google, automobile manufacturers, testing professionals, insurance companies, universities and law enforcement to develop the regulations. Other states also have similar bills that will be voted upon to determine if they, too, can follow suit."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Chinese envoy heads to Syria after UN vote against
    February 17, 2012
    AMMAN/BEIRUT (Reuters) - A senior Chinese official was due to visit Damascus on Friday in a show of support for Bashar-al Assad after the U.N. General Assembly told the Syrian president to halt a violent crackdown and surrender power.

  • New York Times reporter Anthony Shadid dies in Syria
    February 17, 2012
    (Reuters) - Pulitzer-prize winning New York Times foreign correspondent Anthony Shadid died on Thursday in Syria of an apparent asthma attack, the newspaper reported.

  • Anonymous hacks U.S. government websites with anti-ACTA messages
    February 17, 2012
    Anonymous has defaced a number of U.S. trade-related websites, including the FTC, seemingly in protest over the country's signing to the controversial ACTA agreement.
  • Nevada gives green light to self-driving cars
    February 17, 2012
    In the name of economic development and roadway safety, the state establishes requirements that companies must follow to legally operate autonomous vehicles. [Read more]
  • Google's Dart language arrives in Chrome test version
    February 17, 2012
    A technology preview version of Google's browser lets programmers try Dart, an attempt by Google to improve on JavaScript's shortcomings that irritates browser rivals. [Read more]
  • Fresh Android Apps for Feb. 17: Helicon Remote, One Epic Game, Ninja Chicken (Appolicious)
    February 17, 2012
    Appolicious - Congratulations, you made it to Friday again! I bet you had the help of your Android device and a few fresh apps. Here’s a few more: Use Helicon Remote to pair your Android and your DSLR camera and, in games, play One Epic Game for over-the-top adventure and Ninja Chicken for the heartwarming tale of a farm animal assassin.
  • German president resigns in setback for Merkel
    February 17, 2012
    BERLIN (Reuters) - Angela Merkel's hand-picked choice for the ceremonial post of president resigned on Friday in a scandal over political favors, dealing a blow to the German chancellor in the midst of the euro zone debt crisis.

  • Android now paying the price for blatantly copying iOS
    February 17, 2012
    Jobs wanted to destroy Android, and it seems that things haven't changed under Tim Cook's leadership.
  • Consumer prices rise 0.2 percent in January
    February 17, 2012
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Consumer prices rose the most in four months in January as the price of gasoline jumped, highlighting a growing concern that higher energy costs could slow the economic recovery.

  • Murdoch flies in to meet with angry British staff
    February 17, 2012
    LONDON (Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch will address hostile journalists at his British newspaper arm Friday, many of them fearful after the recent arrests of senior staff at the mass-selling Sun tabloid over allegations of widespread criminality.

  • Mountain Lion's Messages beta hints at Mac Retina Display?
    February 17, 2012
    Apple blog Macrumors says it has found the smoking gun it has been looking for to prove Apple is bringing ultra-high-resolution displays to its Mac line. [Read more]
  • Obama Pushes For Cheaper Pennies
    February 17, 2012


    Hugh Pickens writes "Time Magazine reports that hidden deep inside in the White House's $3.8 trillion, 2,000-page budget that was sent to Congress this week is a proposal to make pennies and nickels cheaper to produce. Why? Because it currently costs the federal government 2.4 cents to make a penny and 11.2 cents for every nickel. If passed, the budget would allow the Treasury Department to 'change the composition of coins to more cost-effective materials' resulting in changes that could save more than $100 million a year. Since 1982, our copper-looking pennies have been merely coppery. In the 1970s, the price of copper soared, so President Nixon proposed changing the penny's composition to a cheaper aluminum. Today, only 2.5% of a penny is copper (which makes up the coin's coating) while 97.5% is zinc. The mint did make steel pennies for one year — in 1943 — when copper was needed for the war effort and steel might be a cheaper alternative this time. What about the bill introduced in 2006 that the US abandon pennies altogether.? At the time, fifty-five percent of respondents considered the penny useful compared to 43 percent who agreed it should be eliminated. More telling, 76 percent of respondents said they would pick up a penny if they saw it on the ground."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Citrix, VMware duel over cloud visions
    February 17, 2012
    Sameer Dholakia, group vice president and general manager of cloud platforms at Citrix, said VMware is gunning to be a cloud infrastructure monopoly.
  • FTC to Apple, Google: Prioritize privacy for children
    February 17, 2012
    The FTC has issued a warning to Google, Apple and their vendors that more must be done to protect children's privacy.
  • Intel sneaks out quad-core Core i7-3820 Sandy Bridge-E processor for under $300
    February 17, 2012
    If Intel's six-core Sandy Bridge-E CPUs were too rich for your blood (and wallet), the chip giant is now giving you a more affordable option. The Core i7-3820 sports only four cores, but it also...
  • Might Apple lose the iPad trademark? Welcome to the Twilight Zone
    February 17, 2012
    It seems improbable, but a struggling Chinese monitor maker is working the system to regain one of the world's best-known trademarks. [Read more]
  • Domain name in Devanagiri is possible soon
    February 17, 2012
    Apart from increasing Internet speed from 13Gbps to 100 Gbps by 2015, NIXI is beginning the process of international domain names registration in seven Indian languages, including Devanagari
  • Acer Iconia Tab line to get Ice Cream Sandwich
    February 17, 2012
    The entire Acer Iconia Tab line of tablets will be getting updated to Android 4.0, beginning with the A200 rolling out now.
  • Hands on with the new PS Vita
    February 17, 2012
    The new PS Vita gaming console is more than just another portable gaming device. Sony is trying to leverage the power of the PlayStation home console combined with social media features into one piece of equipment that offers more gaming experiences than other devices.

  • Optical network equipment up 8 pc in 4Q11
    February 17, 2012
    For the full year 2011, the overall optical network hardware market is up nine per cent, finds Infonetics
  • 3G access pricing madness: The iPad example
    February 17, 2012
    Check out the different pricing structures in operation for 3G. Implement BYOD. Now go figure a global rollout strategy. It is much harder than you think.
  • Saavn partners with Facebook to serve Indian music in your feed
    February 17, 2012
    Indian music streaming service Saavn.com has adopted Facebook's open graph to offer Rdio like Music integration in Facebook.
  • 50 years ago, John Glenn became America's biggest hero
    February 17, 2012
    Monday is the 50th anniversary of NASA astronaut John Glenn's mission to be the first American to orbit the Earth. On that day, Glenn became one of America's most important heroes. [Read more]
  • Dish looks to FCC for cues on its spectrum strategy
    February 17, 2012
    Dish is open to options including the sale of its spectrum or a potential partnership if it doesn't get a conditional waiver to use its spectrum, CNET has learned. [Read more]
  • Why 'big data' is a magnet for startups
    February 17, 2012
    So-called "big data" opens up new ways to mine the Web and social media for consumers and business. Data gurus say these apps require a rethink in how computing systems are built. [Read more]
  • IDAPT i4 universal charger: Lose the cables (review)
    February 17, 2012
    This universal charger handles four mobile devices without any cables or power adapters. It is a solid addition to the geek's mobile arsenal, even though it doesn't go anywhere.
  • iPad maker Foxconn lifts China workers pay again
    February 17, 2012
    TAIPEI (Reuters) - Foxconn Technology Group, the top maker of Apple Inc's iPhones and iPads whose factories are under scrutiny over labor practices, has raised wages of its Chinese workers by 16-25 percent from this month, the third rise since 2010.

  • Motorola Reveals Its ICS Update Plans
    February 17, 2012




  • Did Google trick Apple's Safari into tracking users?
    February 17, 2012
    The Wall Street Journal has caught Google with its hand in the cookie jar of Apple's Safari users, after privacy-circumventing code was discovered in Google's adverts.
  • VMware's Socialcast encourages employees to say 'Thanks'
    February 17, 2012
    Instead of simply acknowledging that you "like" something, Socialcast users can now say "Thanks" to their colleagues on the VMware-backed social network.
  • Consumers More Interested in Make-Believe Amazon Phone Than Fabled Facebook Phone
    February 17, 2012
    If Facebook or Amazon were to release a smartphone of their own, would anyone buy it?
    Impossible to say for certain when neither device exists — yet. But a new assessment of current consumer sentiment toward a smartphone from either company suggests that Amazon would have a far easier time selling one than Facebook.
    According to Baird Equity Research’s latest U.S. consumer smartphone survey, the debut of an Amazon or Facebook smartphone would likely be met with middling curiosity.
    Of the 875 consumers Baird queried, 42 percent said they are either “interested” or “very interested” in an Amazon smartphone, while 29 percent volunteered that they were either “not interested” or “probably not interested.” About 30 percent said they weren’t sure.
    So, lukewarm interest in the Amazon phone — at best.
    The rumored Facebook phone fared quite a bit worse. Only 12 percent of respondents said that they would be “interested” or “very interested” in a smartphone from the social networking company. The majority of them — 73 percent — said that they would likely either be “not interested or “probably not interested.”
    With hundreds of million users, both companies have vast potential markets for their own branded smartphone. Too bad those users don’t find the idea of a smartphone from either company all that compelling.


  • "Slide-to-Unlock" Belongs To Apple
    February 17, 2012




  • New Technique For Mass-Producing Microbots Inspired By Origami
    February 17, 2012


    Zothecula writes "Inspired by origami and children's pop-up books, Harvard engineers have pioneered a means of mass-producing bee-sized flying microrobots. The breakthrough mechanizes the already state-of-the art process of making Harvard's Mobee robots by hand, by mass producing flat assemblies by the sheet which can be folded and assembled in a single movement. The technique, which cunningly exploits existing machinery for making printed circuit boards, can theoretically be applied to a multitude of electromechanical machines."
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Pirated music sharing site banned in India
    February 17, 2012
    Calcutta High Court has directed ISPs in India to block access to Songs.pk
  • James Randi's Latest Debunking Operation
    February 17, 2012


    An anonymous reader writes "The pair of documentarians behind An Honest Man — The Story of the Amazing James Randi will not only talk to the likes of like Adam Savage, Bill Nye, Richard Dawkins, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Penn and Teller about the life of the famous magician/skeptic, but they'll also follow Randi's latest operation as he assembles 'an Ocean's Eleven-type team for a carefully orchestrated exposure of a fraudulent religious organization.'"
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Are UK Police Hacking File-Sharers' Computers?
    February 17, 2012


    superglaze writes "Following its takedown earlier this week of the music blog RnBXclusive, the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) has claimed that "a number of site users have deleted their download histories" in response. Given that the site didn't host copyright-infringing files itself, how do they know? We've asked, but SOCA refuses to discuss its methods. A security expert has pointed out that, if they were hacking using Trojans, the police would themselves have been breaking the law. Added fun fact: SOCA readily admits that the scare message it showed visitors to the taken-down site was written 'with input from industry.'"
    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Yahoo! India Launches Bengali Portal
    February 16, 2012




  • Apple Could Face U.S. Lawsuit Related to IPad Trademark Dispute in China
    February 16, 2012
    A trademark dispute in China over the iPad could spill over into U.S courts, after a little-known Chinese company threatened on Friday to sue Apple in the U.S...

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  • Apple's iPhone loses China market share
    February 16, 2012
    HONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) - Apple Inc's share of China's booming smartphone market slipped for a second straight quarter in October-December, as it lost ground to cheaper local brands and as some shoppers held off until after the iPhone 4S launch last month.

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