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Place to enhance your knowledge and learn any of future gadgets and new technology nowadays.

:okay:

Apple has apparently just won the American patent (number 7,479,949) for touch-screen control technology, a fact which will have the firm's competitors very worried indeed. Awarded to "Jobs et al" (Ed- who's Al?), Patent 7,479,949 gives Apple credit for "detecting one or more finger contacts with the touch screen display". Basically, stabbing more than one of your pudgy, nail-bitten digits at a tiny screen to make things happen. As if that wasn't enough, the incredibly long-winded patent also goes on to claim the Iphone and Ipod touch command system, including finger or thumb swiping or twisting and spreading to enlarge pictures or rotate them. The patent was apparently issued on January 20th, just a day before the firm gloated over its seemingly recession-proof growing quarterly profits. Apple can now legally stamp on any rival which tries to use its precious intellectual property without prior consent and lots of money changing hands. Not that Apple would want to crush its competition, oh no. Or at least, that's what the firm's chief operating officer, Tim Cook, told journos in a conference call. ( www.theinquirer.net )


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:ahaha:

Passengers on British Airways flights will no longer be disconnected from the world while in the air, because the airline has announced plans to allow mobile phone use during flights. Starting in Q4 this year, business class passengers travelling from London City airport to JFK in New York will be able to use their phones, but without the ability to voice call. This means that text, email and web-browsing will all be possible on the flight, and the rest of the plane's passengers will be able to watch the film without having to have George from the accounts division shouting his instructions to Debbie in their ear. "There are no plans for voice calls at the moment, but we will listen to feedback from passengers," a BA spokesperson told The Telegraph. "The customer is in charge." However, there's no word on when, or even if, the service will be rolled out to other passengers and flights, despite a few competitors trialling similar services on a wider range of flights. The public is divided over the use of mobile phones on planes, with many wishing the skies to remain a peaceful haven of travel. But others, especially business people who spend a large proportion of time travelling, want to make use of the spare time to catch up on work. Banning voice calls appears to be a good compromise, but only time will tell whether the public will change their mind and let loose the full might of the mobile. ( www.techradar.com )


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:ahaha:Tom's Hardware store in Taiwan managed to grab some early Phenom II X4 910 benchmark numbers and performed some synthetic tests showing DDR3 performance levels. The X4 910 (quad-core 2.6GHz 2MB L2, 6MB L3) is the first Phenom II to be spotted with an integrated DDR3-1333 controller – current Phenom II X4 sport the DDR2-1066 mem controller – and it appears that performance seems to scale well with the added memory bandwidth. The THG Taiwan preview shows some very interesting scores in PC Mark that smash the Phenom II X4 940 and 920 memory Marks to bits, something that's to be expected from DDR3 vs DDR2, of course. The team also managed to show off the processor's overclocking ability taking it all the way to 3.5GHz (that's a 900MHz overclock), at the same time overclocking memory to DDR3-1600 speeds. The performance jump was almost linear. The Phenom II X4 910 is expected to be the 'slowest' Phenom II X4 in AMD's portfolio, which of course is good publicity for AMD, but bad for business, as this processor is exceeding the current high-end 940's performance. Knowing DDR3 offers such a jump in system scores, users may shy away from their current 940 and 920 editions. On the other hand, buying a current 940 will still offer good performance without having to upgrade your platform. Despite plans to lower production, Deneb-based Phenom II X4 processors with AM3 packaging are on schedule to hit shop shelves this coming month. ( www.theinquirer.net )

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:inis:

Offline Gmail is being rolled out, allowing you to access your webmail even when you aren't connected. Available in the "next couple of days" to all those who use Gmail in US or UK English, Offline Gmail uses Google's Gears to download a cache of mail for when you can't get online. When there's no connection, Gmail switches to offline mode, which uses local data rather than looking online. For those on flaky connections (on the train, for instance), there's also a hybrid solution.

( www.techradar.com )


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:ahaha:The latest record breaker from California-based WD is what it reckons to be the industry's first ever 2TB hard drive. The 2TB WD Caviar Green sits in a 3.5in casing and contains four platters each holding up to 500GB of data. The drives feature a number of proprietory technologies, including Stabletrac which cuts down spindle vibration, Intellipower which controls the spin speed to save energy where possible, and Intelliseek which cuts down power consumption, noise and vibration. There's also something called Notouch which makes sure the recording head never actually comes into contact with the platter which means less wear and tear, and less chance that the reader arm will gouge a chunk out of the disk's data surface if you drop the thing whilst lugging it about. The drives, which also come in a 1.5TB flavour, should be available from the usual channels right now with the bigger brother weighing in at $US299. ( www.atomicmpc.com.au )

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:ayokona:

The company said that hackers had taken confidential information from its database, including phone numbers, email addresses, user names and passwords for the website, as well as some "basic demographic data". The security breach is thought to have affected users all over the world, including some of the 4.5 million registered Monster.co.uk users. Monster has advised users to change their password when next logging on to the site. "As is the case with many companies that maintain large databases of information, Monster is the target of illegal attempts to access and extract information from its database," said Patrick Manzo, the company's sentior vice-president, in a statement. He warned that hackers could use the email address information they had stolen to "phish" for further personal information through fraudulent email messages. Monster refused to say how many people had been affected by the data breach, but said the appropriate authorities had been informed and that an investigation was under way. The company said that no national insurance numbers, personal financial data or CVs had been stolen. Security experts warned that because many computer users use the same login and password for multiple online service, banking details and other sensitive information could be at risk. ( www.telegraph.co.uk )


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:bringiton:Colmek announced a tactical mission computer featuring an Intel Atom and 128GB of SSD (solid state disk) storage. The "Stinger" runs Linux, sports a wealth of interfaces, operates at high altitude, and meets military standards for resisting shock, vibration, and EMI (eletromagnetic interference), says the company. The Stinger measures 5 x 5 x 3 inches, and comes in an aluminum alloy chassis that is said to be corrosion- and splash-resistant. According to Colmek, the device meets MIL-STD-810F and MIL-STD-461E environmental standards, MIL-STD-704E power supply standards, and the MIL-STD-461E standard for resistance to EMI (electromagnetic interference). As a result, the Stinger shrugs off dust and liquids, can operate on input power from 9VDC to 32VDC, and works without problems even aboard jets and helicopters, Colmek says. Features and specifications listed by Colmek for the Stinger include:
  • Processor -- Intel Atom clocked at "1.4GHz"
  • Memory -- 2GB of soldered-on DDR2 RAM
  • Storage -- 128GB SSD
  • Networking -- Gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O (all via Glenair 801 connectors):
    • 4 x SATA
    • 8 x USB 2.0
    • 4 x GPIO
    • 7 x RS232/422
    • 1 x LVDS
    • 1 x SDVO
  • Expansion (also via connectors):
    • PCI Express
    • LPC bus
  • Operating temperature -- -40 to 70 deg. C (-40 to 158 deg. F)
  • Power -- 9VDC to 32VDC (28 VDC nominal)
  • Dimensions -- 5 x 5 x 3 inches, including permanently attached mounting rails
  • Weight -- n/s
According to Colmek, the Stinger runs Linux, Windows XP Embedded, Windows CE, or VxWorks.
( www.linuxdevices.com )

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:ayokona:

The group entitled 'Global collection to hire a sharpshooter to liquidate Evo Morales' was created in August and had recruited 8,069 members before it was shut down. "We need to get the money to inspire someone to do it," added 20-year-old Bolivian creator, Hony Pierola. Mr Pierola claimed he started the group "to laugh a little and wouldn't be so stupid as to do it with serious intentions." However, many of the group's 497 postings expressed extremist views, violating Facebook's terms of use, which ban threatening violence or expressing hatred. One posting, dated Aug. 10, suggested Morales be "tortured and made to suffer, like he's doing indirectly to many Bolivian people." Socialist president Morales has caused division in Bolivia over policies to empower the country's Indian majority. Bolivian presidential spokesman Ivan Canelas said the government was not aware of the Facebook group but said officials would look into it. A Facebook spokeswoman, Jaime Schopflin, said Pierola's group clearly violated the company's terms of use, and that the site was removed within 90 minutes of receiving the first complaint. Schopflin acknowledged the challenge of enforcing user terms amid skyrocketing growth. Facebook's users have more than doubled over the past year to 150 million, most outside the United States. ( www.telegraph.co.uk )


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:ahaha:Having displayed an aptitude for non-profit, AMD today unveiled Let the Games Begin: A Toolkit 4 Making Social Issue Games, to help not-for-profit organisations develop social awareness games on topics like the environment, energy consumption, poverty and health. Teaming up with Games for Change (G4C), the AMD foundation and the firm's Changing the Game initiative will help push forward bleeding heart, social content laden games meant to "inspire youth to learn critical education and life skills". The programme, which focuses on 13 to 18 year-olds, marries AMD's microprocessor and GPU know-how with digital game development and was launched as part of AMD's sponsorship and participation at the Fifth Annual Games for Change Festival in New York. The chip firm hopes its initiative will reach out and touch disadvantaged young ‘uns, by flooding them with games teaching Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and life skills. President of the AMD Foundation, Allyson Peerman, noted "The Let The Games Begin toolkit is an important resource to inform and educate organizations that are interested in using games as a medium for communicating about important social issues." The foundation has previously worked with a number of other nonprofit groups across the US including Girlstart, Global Kids, Institute for Urban Game Design and Science Buddies.
( www.atomicmpc.com.au )

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:ahaha:The launch of Palm's latest mobile offering - the Palm Pre - appears to have been ignored by many key industry players. But not Brazil's very own mobile software specialist, Handcase, it seems. This company already has some 177 mobile applications which appear to run on any flavour of Palm you'd care to name. Its total catalogue appears to be 320 applications. The snag, as Handcase admits, is migrating the products from Portuguese into English. Nevertheless, there are already over 70 Handcase Palm apps available in English and by Q1 2010 there should be at least 100 in English in total. Handcase takes the Palm product range very seriously, indeed. It targets six particular segments - personal; medical: entertainment; professional; corporate; and utilities. Handcase was, however, quite coy about what's really going on in the coming months. It says that initially it will launch three apps for all six segments. Each month it will add others to reach the fabelled figure of 100. Luckily, for Handcase there is a way out of all this confusion. The company says that it will shortly create a website exclusively for the Palm Pre to showcase its products. The central theme of Handcase's software appears to be sharing data with those around you. As Ricardo Garay, Handcase's CEO says, "Imagine our applications enabling doctors to share information with their patients, or colleagues in hospitals. Or, in cases where there is research being one - with research centres, too." ( www.theinquirer.net )

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:okay:

Japanese robot maker Tmsuk this week unveiled a metal man that will either land it in a lot of lawsuits or will put thousands of security guards on the job market. That security comes in the form of video-camera eyes that effectively make the T-34 a mobile CCTV system and the ability to shoot a net over anyone it fancies detaining. If the idea of an operator at a distant monitoring station watching the robot's feedback on a mobile phone screen, then pressing a button to throw a net over someone suspicious seems ludicrous, that's probably because it is. Tmsuk says it will begin selling the 12kg T-34 this time next year for ¥500,000 (£4,100), although we can't see it doing a great deal of business unless it ditches the net idea. The T-34 isn't a new kind of Terminator, but is instead a droid that can be controlled remotely by mobile phone as it patrols buildings at 10km/h. Tmsuk (it's pronounced "Tim Suck", by the way) plans to sell it as an extra layer of security within buildings that currently rely on human guards. ( www.techradar.com )


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:ahaha:Verizon Wireless announced a VoIP touchscreen phone that incorporates a digital picture frame (DPF) capability and can send navigation instructions to Verizon mobile phones. According to one report, the Verizon Hub (pictured) is based on OpenPeak's OpenFrame phone, which is said to run Linux. The Verizon Hub works over any broadband connection, says Verizon Wireless, including Verizon FiOS, Verizon DSL services, "or any other high-speed service provider." The phone is designed as both a phone and a kitchen computer that offers contacts and calendars, as well as access to the web.

Verizon Hub features are said to include:

  • VoIP phone service
  • Widget/icon interface
  • Calendar alerts sent by text message
  • Text, picture, and video messaging with wireless phones
  • Ability to deliver VZ Navigator audible turn-by-turn directions to Verizon Wireless phones
  • Local traffic, weather, and directory information
  • V CAST video content, including movie trailers and ticket purchasing
  • Remote access to Verizon Hub via a companion website, including adding calendar entries and inputting contacts
  • Chaperone application for tracking children's cellphones
  • DPF photo mode when not in use
( www.linuxdevices.com )

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:sobrakana:A gang of techie bandits plotted to steal £229 million from company accounts by hacking into the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation computers in London, a court has heard. In a trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court a jury was told how a security supervisor smuggled a gang of Belgian computer hackers into the bank, to install spy software and use stolen passwords to transfer money to accomplices in Spain, Singapore, Dubai and Hong Kong. Simon Farrell [any relation? Ed.], QC for the prosecution said the software, "had the effect of recording activities carried out by users in the course of their everyday business at the bank, including log-on names and passwords." Farrell said that the security supervisor had tried to hide the multiple visits of the hackers by tampering with the closed circuit television systems. The plot came unstuck when one of the hackers failed to fill in one of the passwords needed for the system to make money transfers. The bank insider and the hackers have admitted their roles in the scam, but a man accused of arranging the money laundering and two alleged accomplices have denied being part of the plot. ( www.theinquirer.net )

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:ahaha:

Fuel cell prototypes are so thick on the ground these days and real products so lacking that we barely pay any attention to each new claim to be the best this, that or the other. However, we're happy to buck the trend and bring news of a tiny hydrogen cell that looks very promising indeed. Illinois University's micro fuel cell is a square that measures just 3mm on each side and has a depth of 1mm. It creates hydrogen from an internal reaction between water and a metal hydride. One if its big draws is the fact that it needs no power-hungry pump to move the water from the storage chamber to the gas-production area. ( www.techradar.com )


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:ahaha:A Japanese security outfit has invented a robot which can catch intruders in a Spiderman-style net. The remote-controlled security robot T-34 is a small wheeled vehicle packed with sensors that detect anything untoward in an office building. It was developed by robo boffins Tmsuk and security company Alacom. It can move at 10kmh and is controlled by a human security guard using his mobile phone. It means that a human does not have to waste time checking out false alarms, but if the alarm turns out to be correct, the robot can act. ( www.theinquirer.net )

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:ayokona:

USB memory sticks are helping to spread the Windows worm that has infected around 10 million computers worldwide, say security experts. The virus – known variously as Downadup, Conficker, and Kido – is spreading at a rate of one million machines per day, according to anti-virus experts at F-Secure. The worm, which targets the Windows operating system, is able to bury its way deep into a computer’s software, and makes it hard for users to restore their machine to a safe point before the virus struck. Once installed on a computer, it communicates remotely with hackers’ websites, automatically downloading more malicious software that could further compromise the integrity of the PC.

Although security firms have been tracking the worm for months, and Microsoft issued a security patch to combat the virus in October, many users have failed to patch their machines, leaving them vulnerable to attack, especially from new variants of the worm. Security experts say that the virus is being unwittingly spread by computer users who are using USB memory sticks. The virus is easily transferred from an infected machine to a clean machine if the same USB stick is plugged into each. F-Secure said that the worm takes advantage of the Windows operating system’s “Autoplay” function, which searches for programs stored on removable drives, such as memory sticks. The worm wriggles its way into this process, creating a fake folder on removable drives that users believe they can legitimately open. Once that folder is clicked on, the worm is activated and installed on the computer’s operating system, burrowing its way deep into the machine’s software.

“The replication methods are quite good,” warned Eddy Willems, a security analyst with anti-virus firm Kaspersky Labs. “It’s using multiple mechanisms, including USB sticks, so if someone got an infection from one company and then takes his USB stick to another firm, it could infect that network too. It also downloads lots of content and creating new variants though this mechanism.” Some security experts fear that the rapid spread of the worm is helping to create a giant “botnet” – a series of compromised computers running malicious software that could allow hackers to remotely take control of machines, enabling them to steal login information, security details and other sensitive data. ( www.telegraph.co.uk )


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:okay:Specialists at Google offered their help to New York City in developing an Internet Age service that allows everyone to get involved into a virtual tour through the Big Apple.New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the launch of NYCgo.com website. He also stated that the technologically-advanced information center, located on Seventh Avenue, was officially opened. In one of the posts on Google's website, the mayor of NYC wrote that the dynamic website uses Google Maps to help people plan the time they want to spend in the city.

"So whether you are a visitor or a resident, we invite you to explore New York City from your home computer, your mobile phone - and of course, in person," he said.

Users can visit the website to learn about different events and attractions in New York City then map the route using Google software and transmit the data to cell phones for reference while on the go. The technology-packed information center includes computerized table equipped with touch-screen surfaces where people can mark favorite destinations in the city. Computers installed in the official New York data center allow people to take a virtual tour through 3D NYC neighborhoods or street views of the places they want to visit. ( www.infoniac.com )


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:ahaha:

The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic was originally announced last October as part of Nokia’s flat-fee music download service, Comes with Music. It has 8GB of expandable memory for storing up to 6,000 songs, an FM radio, and a 3.2 megapixel camera capable of taking still photos and recording video. There’s also a “media bar”, activated by tapping the 3.2in touch-screen, that provides a drop-down menu for direct access to a user’s music library and photos, as well as one-touch access to the internet. A “contacts bar” on the phone’s home screen allows users to choose four of their favourite contacts and get one-touch access to all of the text messages, emails, and phone calls made by that person. “The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic turns a ‘user interface’ into a ‘human interface’ by truly putting people first,” said Jo Harlow, vice president of Nokia. “With this device, we’ve set out to connect people through the one thing we all feel a universal connection to – music.” More than 100 people queued overnight at Nokia’s flaship store in Regent Street, London to be the among the first to get their hands on the device. The device will go on sale nationwide on Jan 30. Nokia said the phone was aimed at technology-savvy music lovers aged between 16 and 30, as it allows them to download songs straight to their phone. The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic will be available on both a contract and pay-as-you-go basis, costing around £249 SIM-free, or available for free through most major network operators. Although touch-screen handsets have been available for years, this is Nokia’s first touch-screen phone. ( www.telegraph.co.uk )


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:ahaha:AMD has big plans for the film, home entertainment and gaming industries with its Fusion Render Cloud supercomputer, which it unveiled at CES. In an exclusive interview, AMD's Director of Digital Media and Entertainment, Charlie Boswell, spoke to us about the project and how it is at the forefront of combating what he calls 'global nerding'. Back at CES, AMD's CEO Dirk Meyer and OTOY Chief Exec, Jules Urbach, said the project - which pulls in partners including Dell, HP, Electronic Arts, Lucasfilm and more - would revolutionise the deployment, development and delivery of HD content through the 'AMD Fusion Render Cloud', a massively-parallel supercomputer. The supercomputer is designed to break the one petaFLOPS barrier and process a million compute threads across over 1,000 graphics processors, making it one of, if not THE, fastest graphics supercomputers in the world.

"We really are a platform company now", Boswell told us, referring to AMD's acquisition of ATI, and adding, "We have the ability to harness multiple CPUs and GPUs to provide some very cutting edge platforms". The Fusion Render Cloud (FRC) system will purportedly let content providers deliver video games, HD films, and a host of graphically-intensive computer apps through the Internet 'cloud' to virtually any type of connected mobile device, seamlessly and without sapping battery life. The way it works is by storing rich content in a compute cloud, compressing it and then streaming it, real-time, over a wireless or broadband connection to a smorgasbord of devices. FRC will also impressively allow for remote real-time rendering of film and visual effects graphics.

"Imagine watching a movie half-way through on your cell phone while on the bus ride home, then, upon entering your home or apartment, switch over to your HD TV and continue watching the same movie from exactly where you left off, seamlessly, and at full screen resolution," said Boswell. "Imagine playing the most visually intensive first person shooter game at the highest image quality settings on your cell phone without ever having to download and install the software, or use up valuable storage space or battery life with compute-intensive tasks," he continued. Boswell went on to say he believed the technology would also usher in a new genre of movie, "the interactive movie" and push the limits from high definition to "eye definition", making it incredibly difficult to tell the difference between real and rendered images.
( www.atomicmpc.com.au )

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:astig:

LG - Lucky Group, Life's Good, whatever you want it to stand for - is clearly proud of its initials after it sold the third largest amount of mobile phones worldwide last year. During 2008, it managed to sell 100 million phones overall, narrowly slipping past Motorola who sold around 100,000 handsets less than that figure (helped largely by maintaining a strong US presence). Sony Ericsson is lagging somewhat behind, selling just under 4 million handsets less than LG worldwide... Hopefully, 2009 will be a better year for the Swedo-Japanese alliance (although the two might end up splitting, depending on which rumours you trust.) But the market leaders, as we all know, are still way out in front. Nokia sold a frankly baffling 470 million handsets (it knows how to work those emerging markets, clearly) and Samsung threw another 200 million into the pot. That means in the last year alone, nearly 1 billion handsets were sold. According to the Boy Genius Report, LG alone plans to release 100 more (which averages around two new mobile phones a week). ( www.techradar.com )


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:ahaha:Korean manufacturer Yukyung unveiled a large mobile Internet device (MID) equipped with an Intel Atom Silverthorne Z520 running Linux at 1.33GHz. The Viliv X70 Communications MID is equipped with a 7-inch, 1024x600 touchscreen, GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi, WiMAX, HDSPA, and even a hard drive. Specifications listed for the Viliv X70 include:
  • Processor -- Intel Atom Silverthorne Z520 at 1.33GHz with SCH US15W chipset
  • Memory -- 1GB RAM
  • Flash -- 8GB or 16GB SSD; SD/SDHC memory card slot
  • Storage -- 30GB or 60GB HDD
  • Display -- 7-inch WSVGA (1024 x 600)
  • Wireless broadband -- 802.11b/g WiFi, HSDPA, WiMAX
  • Bluetooth -- Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR
  • GPS -- SiRF StarIII
  • USB -- 1 x USB port
  • Audio -- audio output; mic; stereo speakers
  • Other I/O -- 1 x multi-I/O for cradle
  • Battery life -- 200 hours standby time; 6 hours continuous movie playback
  • Dimensions -- 8.3 x 4.6 x 0.9 inches (210 x 117 x 22.5mm)
  • Weight -- 1.5 lbs (660g)
  • Operating system -- Linux; Windows XP
( www.linuxdevices.com )

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:ayokona:

Ericsson, the communications equipment manufacturer, has been forced to cut 5,000 jobs in the continuing financial crisis. Six per cent of its workforce will be laid off in the coming months. Despite posting strong financial results in many sectors, the company's net profit has dipped by 3.9 billion kroner (£338m). The company also reported a "dramatic drop" in the money received from Sony Ericsson, which 'helped' things out with a loss of £174 million in the fourth quarter of last year. The job cuts were justified by the need to increase cost savings throughout the company, due in part to the global financial crisis and increasing competition in the technical development sector. However, Ericsson, like so many others at the moment, has predicted that it will save around £900m annually by the middle of next year, so things may not be as gloomy as they currently seem. "Sales grew by 11 per cent with good demand for our entire portfolio and across the world. Changes in currency rates had very small effect on full year growth. Professional services have continued to show strong growth," said Carl-Henric Svanberg, President and CEO of Ericsson. "Operating margins, excluding Sony Ericsson, have steadily improved, and our financial position is strong with net cash of 35 billion kroner. Sony Ericsson is affected by the economic downturn and the declining demand in the consumer market and has taken necessary actions." ( www.techradar.com )


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:astig:CherryPal announced an Atom-based "Bing" netbook that runs Linux or Windows XP, and offers a claimed five hours of battery life. The company also announced an upgraded version of its Linux-based nettop, the CherryPal C114, and launched a "Green Maraschino" open-source Linux distribution supporting the Bing. The the Bing appears to be a fairly standard issue netbook, offering an Intel Atom N270 clocked at 1.6GHz, plus 1GB DDRII RAM. For storage, CherryPal offers a 160GB hard disk drive (HDD), plus an SD/MMC/MS card socket, and the netbook's 10.2-inch TFT display boasts 1024 x 600 resolution. For connectivity, the Bing provides 802.11b/g WiFi and three USB 2.0 ports, but no Ethernet port. There is also a microphone, earphone connection, dual speakers, and a 1.3Mpixel camera, says CherryPal. Weighing just three pounds, the netbook is claimed to yield five hours of battery life. Applications on the Green Maraschino Linux version of the Bing include the Firefox Browser, OpenOffice, and video and music players. There is also a Skype VoIP client, and an Instant Messenger app that supports Yahoo, AOL, Google, and MSN, says the company.
( www.linuxdevices.com )

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BOOM! Headshot!

by Firzy | 7:32 AM in , | comments (0)



:okay:There’s nothing that divides online shooter fans quite like the issue of sniping. Play Counter Strike for even a few minutes, and you’ll hear someone abusing a bunny-hopping-AWP-whore – usually right after a brutal headshot ragdolls them halfway across de_dust2. But, in real life, we can all agree that sniping is pretty cool. Well, it used to be, now... we’re not so sure.
Yeah, that’s an iPhone in the picture. It’s attached to the US Army’s new sniper rifle of choice, the M110. The new rifle is set to slowly start replacing the mainstay M24 (a bolt action model), and firearms accessory manufacturer Knights Armaments would like to see its iPhone mounting system – with installed ballistic trajectory software – follow the rifle into service. Because, apparently, there’s now officially no field of human endeavour that can’t be made better/worse by adding an iPhone. Oh, and the software – called Bullet Flight – can be downloaded for your own sniping pleasure from the App Store for a mere $US11.99. ( www.atomicmpc.com.au )

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:blush:Technology blog site TechCrunch has prototyped a WiFi-enabled tablet PC device that runs Linux. The "Crunchpad" is equipped with a Via Nano processor, 1GB RAM, 4GB flash, and a 12-inch, 1024x768 touchscreen, and appears to be aimed at Web-curious couch potatoes. The CrunchPad is the brainchild of TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington, who last summer announced plans to launch an open-source project to build a prototype. Arrington's goal was to find a "dead simple" touchscreen web browsing device that was light enough to sit on one's lap while watching TV. At the time, TechCrunch was targeting a $200 device, but now "$299 is more realistic," writes Arrington in his most recent post. Prototype B of the CrunchPad uses Via Technologies's 64-bit, 65nm Nano processor, which Arrington says performs on par with an Intel Atom in their tests. Nano-based netbooks, such as Dr. Mobile's recently announced, Linux ready Freestyle 1300n, have the potential to outperform those based on Intel's ubiquitous Atom N270 -- though with a potential sacrifice in battery life. Third-party comparisons of the Atom and the Nano, using desktop versions of the CPUs, have shown the Nano outperforming the Atom by up to 30 percent. But, while both CPUs have similar power consumption at idle, the Nano drinks significantly more juice under load, reports say. TechCrunch did not report which version of the processor was used, but it is likely the mobile-oriented, 1.3GHz Nano U2350. ( www.linuxdevices.com )

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:ayokona:

The streaming footage cut out after Mr Obama had finished his speech at 5.40pm, and was down for 30 minutes. Visitors trying to access the live video on the website missed out on seeing Mr Obama and his predecessor George W Bush embrace, before the latter then boarded the helicopter taking him out of the Capitol. The website displayed a message reading “Please come back later”, as visitors to the site also found themselves unable to watch the start of the lunch in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall. A BBC spokesman said: “It was unfortunate the feed went down for a short time.There was no interruption to the live streaming during the speech however. “It was simply down to the sheer volume of people trying to watch the inauguration – although numbers are not yet available, we expect it to be a record in terms of people simultaneously accessing the stream around the world.” Almost two million people crammed onto the National Mall and along Pennsylvania Avenue to witness the swearing in of Mr Obama, America’s first black president. Over a billion watched on television and the internet around the globe. As the inauguration started, Facebook said there were millions of users logged in online. By the time Mr Obama took his oath, CNN had served more than 13.9 million live video streams of the event through its website. ( www.telegraph.co.uk )


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Bye-Bye Red Ant

by Firzy | 7:19 AM in | comments (0)

:waaah:Sad news for the local games industry – local gaming distributor, Red Ant Enterprises, has gone into receivership as of the 16th of this month. In the cold hard words of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, the company is "under external administration and/or a controller has been appointed". A number of employees have already left the company, and it’s unknown how long those remaining have in their roles. Red Ant’s most recent success story was the hit action RPG Fallout 3. The company had a lot of big name games on its release list for 2009, including Bionic Commando, Resident Evil 5 and Street Fighter 4. Oh, yeah, and the highly anticipated Hotel for Dogs movie tie in. ( www.atomicmpc.com.au )

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:please:

Despite concerns that the mobile phone network in Washington DC would collapse under the sheer volume of people sending text and picture messages or calling friends, it appears the system held up well. At one point, it was rumoured that mobile phone communications around the inauguration route had been blocked, but the claim was later debunked by Channel 4. Popular microblogging service Twitter, which held up unbelievably well under the groaning weight of user numbers, provided some of the best and most immediate commentary on events. The invocation prayer by Rick Warren, a controversial evangelical minister from California, was met with raised eyebrows by many in the Twitterverse.

“Why was there a prayer before the inauguration of a president whose duties involve upholding a separation between church and state?” asked duzupis. “Welcome to America. Separation of Church and State is just a fantasy,” tweeted sean808080. Others took umbrage with his calls for tolerance and understanding, particularly given the pastor’s position on gay rights. “I don’t want this homophobic asshole talking about equality during the inauguration. Christ,” twittered an exasperated pvponline. The appearance of Aretha Franklin on stage to sing My Country Tis of Thee caused a gleeful spike in Twitter traffic, with many enthralled by her gravity-defying hat, and others saying that her rendition of one of the great, patriotic American anthems had reduced them to tears.

“ReRe appears to be wearing a gift-wrapped package on her head”, wrote ampalm. “I must be getting old, tears in my eyes watching/listening to the inauguration,” tweeted jeffsonstein. “I just think it’s a shame that Clinton isn’t gonna turn up and play his Saxaphone again,” lamented pvponline. While Obama’s faltering oath of office drew sympathetic noises from the Twitterverse, his speech was met with approval from Twitter users. “Inauguration was great. Obama’s speech was powerful and moving. A great day for this country,” tweeted vcresta. “Great speech. Obama certainly does shine and give the world hope,” said chronomega.

All across the internet, web users were sharing their stories of the day. On Flickr, almost 3,000 photos had been uploaded to the special Inauguration 2009 group, with countless thousands more scattered across the rest of the site. And on Facebook, members were sharing their thoughts about the event. As the inauguration started, Facebook said there were millions of users logged in online, with more than 200,000 status updates made through the Facebook tool built into CNN. More than 3,000 people were leaving comments on the Facebook CNN feed every minute at the ceremony’s peak, Facebook said. By the time Obama took his oath, CNN had served more than 13.9 million live video streams of the event through its website.

On the CNN website, there was no immediate sign of the 3D image of users’ photos the broadcaster was hoping to stitch together using Photosynth, but on Microsoft’s picture-editing site itself, dozens of photos were popping up showing key moments from the ceremony. But perhaps the most interesting cyber happening was on the official White House website itself, where, at the stroke of noon in Washington DC, the website switched to reflect that there was a new man in the Oval office. There are links to Obama’s agenda, and to a “Briefing Room”, which will play host to all of the new President’s web video addresses, as well as photo slide shows.

( www.telegraph.co.uk )


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:sobrakana:A popular internet financial blogger, accused of spreading false information online, is being held in custody after a South Korean court backed his arrest. Seoul Central District Court ruled that the the 31-year-old man, who is known as Minerva online, should remain in custody. The man identified only as Park was arrested last week on charges of spreading groundless news that the country's currency, the Won, was in deep doo doo. Park, who predicted the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers, has lot of followers but he miffed the authorities when he applied his skills to the Won's sharp depreciation and the local stock market crash.
( www.theinquirer.net )

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:bringiton:

The streaming service also means iPhone users will be able to chat live with other viewers using instant-messaging while watching the President-Elect Obama swear his oath of office. Although the application is currently only available to those who request a login directly from Ustream, the company hopes to add the software to the official iTunes Application Store in the next few days. Users will be able to watch any of the broadcasts streamed across Ustream, said its founder, regardless of location. “Ustream has developed an application for the 3G iPhone that allows you to watch Ustream anywhere, with everyone,” wrote John Ham, Ustream’s founder, on the company blog. “Regardless of where you are at and what you are doing, you can choose to be in the moment with others in a shared live experience around a live event. “If you are out-on-the-town and know that a guest speaker at a major conference is ‘going live’ and want to watch live and be-in-the-crowd, then you can with this application.” Michael Arrington, editor of influential technology site TechCrunch, hailed the application. “The timing of the application is near perfect with the Obama inauguration coming up. If you have the application installed you’ll be able to watch it live from anywhere, even if you aren’t in front of your TV or computer. The world is changing before our eyes.” The inauguration of Barack Obama on January 20 is expected to be watched by millions of people around the world. Thousands are organising celebratory viewing parties to welcome America’s first black president to power and to bid farewell to George W Bush. ( www.telegraph.co.uk )


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:ahaha:Swedish operator TeliaSonera is heading up the race to become the first to launch a 4G service becoming the first in the world to launch next generation mobile broadband. TeliaSonera has chosen Ericsson for the initial rollout of a 4G city network in Stockholm and Huawei for the one set for Oslo. These networks are set for commercial launch in 2010. The new 4G service will offer customers a whole new broadband experience, with mobile, media and interactive services running at a much faster pace. Lars Klasson, Senior Vice President and CTO, Mobility Services, TeliaSonera said that since the choices have been made in terms of Stockholm and Oslo, "Now, TeliaSonera continues the evaluation of suppliers to deliver 4G networks in the Nordic and Baltic countries."
( www.theinquirer.net )

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:ahaha:Information technology will never substitute a real human. Nevertheless the US government looks forward to provide a virtual parent, which it hopes will offer emotional support for the children of those who are away on active duty. The US Department of Defense searches for offers for a computer software that would help young children by enabling them to interrelate with a virtual type of their parent. Government hopes the program will make children feel more comfortable when their parents are away and when phone and Internet connection is not possible, informs New Scientist. Department of Defense considers that the stresses children face while their parents are away on active duty could be somewhat softened if kids could carry out simple conversations with their parents "in immediate times of stress or prolonged absence". It is worth mentioning that over 155,000 children have at least one parent on mission in Iraq or Afghanistan. ( www.infoniac.com )

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:ayokona:

Ministers from the Home Office and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) have met industry leaders to discuss whether the controversial technology is being used in a "lawful, appropriate and transparent fashion". Advanced computer techniques allow email providers to discover subjects which interest their customers by automatically scanning email messages for key words and phrases. Words typed into search engines may also be monitored. The process allows internet companies to tailor advertising to the interests of each individual user, but it has led to allegations of breach of privacy and even a police investigation. A BERR spokeswoman said: "The possible use of targeted advertising has raised some concerns and the UK authorities are working to ensure that any technology introduced to the market is lawful, appropriate and transparent. "Future developments involving targeted advertising will be closely scrutinised and monitored by the enforcement authorities." Officials aim to ensure that future use of the technology is with customers' consent, that users cannot be traced and that they have the ability to opt out at any time. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is already looking into claims that BT broke privacy laws by using such software made by Phorm, a London-based advertising technology company, without seeking its customers' permission in 2006 and 2007. Alex Hanff, a privacy campaigner, has submitted information on the project to the City of London Police and the CPS. BT has denied the trials breached privacy laws and said it had "sought expert legal advice in advance" of the tests. The Government has itself been accused of breaching the privacy of internet users in a row over the Home Office's multi-billion pound intercept modernisation programme, which aims to build new databases capable of storing vast amounts of computer data as part of the fight against terrorism.

( www.telegraph.co.uk )


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:siga:Facebook has decided to pull the plug on the Whopper Sacrifice application. The applet was a promotion from Burger King which enabled people to delete their fake friends in return for vouchers from the fast food outfit. The software was popular. In fact, as far as Facebook was concerned, too popular. Over the brief time that the Whopper Sacrifice campaign was live, 233,906 friends were sacrificed by Facebook users in the pursuit of a free cow sandwich.
( www.theinquirer.net )

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:okay:

Marko Calasan, from Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, has become the world's youngest certified computer system administrator. "I'd like to be a computer scientist when I grow up and create a new operational system," he said. Marko, whose favourite subject at school is mathematics, learnt to read and write at the age of two, which was when his interest in computers began. The news of his achievement has turned him into a celebrity in Macedonia. His mother Radica, 37, said that her son displayed "exceptional learning abilities at a very early age" and that she and her husband, who run a computer school, call on Marko to help solve technical problems when they crop up."He is obviously extraordinary gifted, but children above the age of six could learn much more about computers than generally assumed," she said. Marko is also fascinated by physics and astronomy and struggled to sleep the night before the launch of the Big Bang experiment at the underground facility of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research in Switzerland. Marko said: "The media said it could cause the end of the world, but there was never any danger of that." ( www.telegraph.co.uk )


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:okay:Skyhook Wireless has ported its SDK (software development kit) for "hybrid" geo-positioning to the Google-sponsored, Linux-based Android mobile-device stack. The company claims its "XPS" kit can provide "iPhone-quality" fixes within a second or two -- much faster than Android's firmware running on the TMobile/HTC G1. Skyhook pioneered the concept of fixing the user's position relative to a database of WiFi access points, launching its WPS service in 2005. WPS was ported to linux in October 2007, and Skyhook claims that Apple added the technology to its iPhone via a firmware revision last year. The system is said to work indoors or out, and can fix location to within 10-20 meters in under a second, the company claims. Skyhook's "hybrid" XPS SDK builds on WPS, while also leveraging newly bolstered GPS receiver support, and cellular tower triangulation technology claimed to calculate "reliable" location results to users in "all" environments. The new XPS SDK for Android and other platforms supports all three geo-location technologies, it says. (www.linuxdevices.com )

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