Technology archive for 2012-02-18
Apparently, an MIT research is testing how to use agricultural waste such as grass clippings or dead leaves as the conductor material for small solar cells but the method is highly inefficient.
New submitter fish waffle writes "The universities of Western Ontario and Toronto have signed a deal with Access Copyright that allows for surveillance of faculty correspondence, defines e-mailing hyperlinks as equivalent to photocopying a document, and imposes an annual $27.50 fee for every full-time equivalent student to pay for it all. Access Copyright is a licensing agency historically used by most universities in Canada to give them blanket permission to reproduce copyrighted works, largely to address photocopying concerns that may extend beyond basic fair-use. Since the expiration of this agreement, and with recognition that many academic uses do not require copyright permissions or payments or are already covered under vendor-specific agreements, Canadian academic institutions have been united in opposing continuation of the agreement with the agency. Access Copyright has countered with a proposal for increased fees, and expansion of the definition of copyright to include linking and the need for online surveillance. In a strange breaking of ranks, the University of Western Ontario and the University of Toronto have capitulated and signed agreements that basically accede to the licensing agency's demands. The Canadian Association of University Teachers bulletin provides detailed background on the issue (PDF)."[..]
Not all mobile news is destined for the front page, but if you're like us and really want to know what's going on, then you've come to the right place. This week, we bring you announcements of LTE expansion from AT&T, US Cellular and Verizon, along with news of three Samsung smartphones that received WiFi certification -- each are thought to be high-end devices and bound for US carriers. These stories and more await after the break. So buy the ticket and take the ride. Let's explore the "best of the rest" for this week of February 13th, 2012.Continue reading Mobile Miscellany: week of February 13th, 2012Mobile Miscellany: week of February 13th, 2012 originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 18 Feb 2012 17:30:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
A federal judge has struck down a Louisiana law meant to keep registered sex offenders from Facebooking with minors because it encompasses too many types of websites.
PolygamousRanchKid writes with this quote from CNN:"A Kenyan chief in a town far from the bustling capital foiled a predawn robbery recently using Twitter, highlighting the far-reaching effects of social media in areas that don't have access to the Internet. Chief Francis Kariuki said he got a call in the dead of the night that thieves had broken into a neighbor's house. Local residents, who subscribe to his tweets through a free text messaging service, jumped into action. They surrounded the house, sending the thugs fleeing into the night. In the town 100 miles from Nairobi, a majority of residents don't have access to computers, the Internet or smart phones. The sporadic cyber cafes strewn across the landscape charge for Internet access. However, almost every household has a cell phone and text messages are a major form of communication in the nation." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
HBO has been quietly working on its PunchForce tech since about 2010, when it tried to convince British star Amir Khan and Argentine boxer Marcos Maidana to wear the sensors for their light welterweight title bout. Neither seemed particularly eager. Now though, over a year later, the latest in fist-tracking technology seems to be nearing its big debut. Tiny wireless monitors, worn under the wrist of the gloves feed velocity and impact data back to a laptop with a special receiver -- all of which now have Uncle Sam's approval. The real fun though, is what happens next. The information gathered isn't meant to be locked away in lab, it'll be broadcast to viewers throughout the fight and, eventually, fed to accompanying apps, presumably alongside its PunchZone stats. Check out the gallery below for a behind the scenes glimpse of PunchForce and hit up the source link to peruse the full user manual.Gallery: HBO PunchForce at the FCCHBO's PunchForce hits the FCC, turns fists into data... violent, violent data originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 18 Feb 2012 16:11:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink WirelessGoodness | FCC | Email this | Comments
Josh Lowensohn / CNET:Settlement reached in iPhone 4 antennagate suit — A settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit targeting the antenna in Apple's iPhone 4. Original buyers are entitled to $15 or a new bumper case from Apple. — An iPhone 4 being tested inside one of Apple's anechoic chambers …
HP's CEO Meg Whitman has expressed her concerns about Android going "closed source" post Google's acquisition of Motorola. But is this legitimate concern or simply FUD?
Retailers are opening Facebook storefronts only to be forced to shut them down soon after. Is this Facebook's fault or are the companies not taking the right approach?
Apple has asked the European Commission to intervene in its patent battle with Motorola Mobility, according to a filing with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) made by Motorola Mobility late Friday.
Diamonddavej writes "The BBC reports that software development student Glenn Mangham, a 26-year-old from the UK, was jailed 17 February 2012 for eight months for computer misuse, after he discovered serious Facebook security vulnerabilities. Hacking from his bedroom, Mangham gained access to three of Facebook's servers and was able to download to an external hardrive the social network's 'invaluable' intellectual intellectual property (source code). Mangham's defense lawyer, Mr. Ventham, pointed out that Mangham is an 'ethical hacker' and runs a tax registered security company. The court heard Mangham previously breached Yahoo's security, compiled a vulnerability report and passed on to Yahoo. He was paid '$7000 for this achievement,' and claims he was merely trying to repeat the same routine with Facebook. But in passing sentence, Judge Alistair McCreath said despite the fact he did not intend to pass on the information gathered, his actions were not harmless and had 'real consequences and very serious potential consequences' for Facebook. The case's prosecutor, Mr. Patel, said Facebook spent '$200,000 (£126,400) dealing with Mangham's crime.'" Read more of this story at Slashdot.
VLC 2.0 Released: What's New, And An Interview With VideoLAN Developers (Federico Viticci/MacStories)(2 years ago)
Federico Viticci / MacStories:VLC 2.0 Released: What's New, And An Interview With VideoLAN Developers — Back in February 2010, I wrote a post for MacStories about Lunettes, a codename of a new interface for VideoLAN's popular media player VLC. Back then, I used to spend a good portion of my days fiddling with media players …
An anonymous reader sends this excerpt from the NY Times:"A new federal law, signed by the president on Tuesday, compels the Federal Aviation Administration to allow drones to be used for all sorts of commercial endeavors — from selling real estate and dusting crops, to monitoring oil spills and wildlife, even shooting Hollywood films. Local police and emergency services will also be freer to send up their own drones. But while businesses, and drone manufacturers especially, are celebrating the opening of the skies to these unmanned aerial vehicles, the law raises new worries about how much detail the drones will capture about lives down below — and what will be done with that information. Safety concerns like midair collisions and property damage on the ground are also an issue." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Despise those daily injections of essential medication? Well folks, relief could be on the way. Over a decade ago, two MIT professors, Robert Langer and Michael Cima, first considered developing a drug-delivery microchip that could be wirelessly controlled. This past week, researchers in Cambridge -- alongside scientists from MicroCHIPS, Inc. -- announced that they have successfully used the aforementioned chip to give osteoporosis patients their daily allotment of teriparatide. "You can do remote control delivery, you can do pulsatile drug delivery, and you can deliver multiple drugs," Langer noted. Chips used in this particular study housed 20 doses each and results indicated that the delivery showed less variation than administered injections. In theory, microchips like these could be used alongside sensors that monitor glucose levels -- creating tech that could adapt to changes in a patient's condition. More info on the trial awaits in the source link below.[Thanks, Lydia]MIT duo successfully tests wireless drug-delivery microchips, more consistent than injections originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 18 Feb 2012 14:06:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | MITnews | Email this | Comments
After hacking into Facebook, Glenn Steven Mangham has been jailed for eight months. The attack cost the company $200,000, and resulted in an investigation by the FBI and British law enforcement.
Ashley Lutz / Bloomberg:Retailers Shut Facebook Storefonts Amid Apathy — Last April, Gamestop Corp. (GME) opened a store on Facebook to generate sales among the 3.5 million-plus customers who'd declared themselves “fans” of the video game retailer. Six months later, the store was quietly shuttered. — Gamestop has company.
Barence writes "In 2006, AMD could seemingly do no wrong. Its processors were the fastest in the PC market, annual revenue was up a record 91%, expansion into the graphics game had begun with the high-profile acquisition of ATI, and it was making exciting plans for a future where it looked like it could 'smash Intel's chip monopoly' for good. Now the company is fighting for its very survival. How did AMD end up surrendering such a advantageous position – and was it given an unfair shove on the way down? This article has plotted AMD's decline, including the botched processor launches, the anti-competitive attacks from Intel and years of boardroom unrest." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
ABC's "Nightline" news show on Feb. 21 will air exclusive footage from inside Apple's controversial Chinese factories that crank out iPhones and other products.
An anonymous reader writes "In 1955, John Nash sent an amazing letter (PDF) to the NSA in order to support an encryption design that he suggested. In it, he anticipates computational complexity theory as well as modern cryptography. He also proposes that the security of encryption can be based on computational hardness and makes the distinction between polynomial time and exponential time: 'So a logical way to classify enciphering processes is by the way in which the computation length for the computation of the key increases with increasing length of the key. This is at best exponential and at worst probably at most a relatively small power of r, ar^2 or ar^3, as in substitution ciphers.'" Read more of this story at Slashdot.
As recovering amateur musicians, some of us still fancy well-made mobile recording gear from time to time. The ability to simultaneously record guitar and vocals using an iPhone 4S is what made the GuitarJack Model 2, in particular, catch our eye. We've taken iPad recording accessories for a spin in the past, but the compact stature of this kit, along with its ability to transform a smartphone into a 4-track recorder seemed quite compelling indeed. At $149, this generation of the GuitarJack costs a full Grant more than Apogee Jam -- excluding the added expense of well-suited apps, of course. So is that hefty investment worth it? Read on to find out. Gallery: Guitar Jack Model 2 reviewContinue reading GuitarJack Model 2 reviewGuitarJack Model 2 review originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 18 Feb 2012 12:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
New Charges Against Megaupload - A Virginia grand jury filed ... (Geoffrey A. Fowler/Wall Street Journal)(2 years ago)
Geoffrey A. Fowler / Wall Street Journal:New Charges Against Megaupload — A Virginia grand jury filed additional criminal charges on Thursday against Megaupload, the online file sharing site that U.S. authorities shut down in January and charged with copyright theft. — The new indictment, filed in the Eastern District of Virginia …
Susan Decker / Bloomberg:Apple Files Competition Claim Against Motorola Mobility — Feb. 17 (Bloomberg) — Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. said Apple Inc. filed a complaint with the European Union's competition authority accusing the company of violating a pledge to license industry-standard patents on fair terms.
An anonymous reader writes "A preliminary settlement has been reached in the class-action lawsuit brought against Apple in June 2010 over the 'Antennagate' fiasco. Ira Rothken, co-lead counsel for the case, says there are 21 million people entitled to either $15 or a free bumper. 'The settlement comes from 18 separate lawsuits that were consolidated into one. All share the claim that Apple was "misrepresenting and concealing material information in the marketing, advertising, sale, and servicing of its iPhone 4 — particularly as it relates to the quality of the mobile phone antenna and reception and related software." The settlement has its own Web site, www.iPhone4Settlement.com, which will be up in the coming weeks (the site doesn't go anywhere right now). There, customers will be able to get information about the settlement and how to make a claim. As part of the arrangement, e-mails will also be sent alerting original buyers to the settlement before April 30, 2012. The claims period is then open for 120 days.'" Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Windows 8 is intended to be Microsoft's platform that does everything for everyone. The problem is it doesn't solve anyone's problems, so who will need it?
Apple already asked the European Telecommunications Standards Institute for more transparency on FRAND licensing, and now it's seeking a full-blown intervention. Motorola Mobility claims it received a letter on Friday from the European Commission advising there has been a complaint against it from Apple. The letter also stated that Cupertino wants the Commission to enforce the firm's standards-essential patents that breach agreed FRAND commitments. This latest development comes just one day after a German court awarded Apple an injunction against Motorola's implementation of slide-to-unlock on smartphones, as well as an ongoing saga of similar disputes with the firm. It's also just days after the European Commission approved Google's acquisition of the handset maker, based on beliefs that it "does not itself raise competition issues."Apple asks EU regulators to step in on Motorola patent dispute originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 18 Feb 2012 10:45:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink Reuters | SEC | Email this | Comments
Facebook, YouTube and even texting will be the salvation of many of the world's endangered languages, scientists believe.
New submitter i-reek writes "Australian police, along with government agencies, are accessing phone and internet account information, outward and inward call details, phone and internet access location data, and details of IP addresses visited of Australian citizens, all without judicial warrants . In the last two years, some states have shown an increase of more than 50 per cent in these surveillance authorizations, which can be granted by senior police officers and officials instead of a magistrate or judge." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Stephen Shankland / CNET:Faster Chromebooks to leapfrog today's slowpokes — Even for those who buy into cloud computing, the first-generation Chromebook can be painfully pokey. But next-gen models should appeal to more people. — Sundar Pichai, SVP of Chrome — Because I've got cloud-computing religion …
So, have you been following the iPad dispute in China? Wondering exactly who or what this Proview company is and what they're doing with a trademark on the iPad name? Well, wonder no more friends. The company actually stylized the name as iPAD, and it stood for Internet Personal Access Device. They hit the market way back in 1998 and weren't tablets, but all-in-one PCs that looked an awful lot like another machine that debuted that year -- the iMac. Over the course of a decade Proview produced between 10,000 and 20,000 of he 15-inch CRT desktops, before collapsing in 2010 and abandoning its Shenzhen plant, thanks in part to the economic crisis engulfing the globe. Most of its assets, including the iPAD trademark are now the property of eight different banks and it's debts exceed $1 billion, which probably explains why the company is demanding so much money from Apple. For more details about the original iPAD and a photo tour of the deserted factory hit up the source links.Introducing the original iPAD, Proview's late '90s iMac-like desktop originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 18 Feb 2012 09:37:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink MIC Gadget 1, 2 | NetEase (Translated), WSJ, Sina (translated) | Email this | Comments
suraj.sun sends this quote from an article at Techdirt:"The federal government has been paying lip service to the idea that it wants to encourage new businesses and startups in the U.S. And this is truly important to the economy, as studies have shown that almost all of the net job growth in this country is coming from internet startups. ... With the JotForm situation unfolding, where the U.S. government shut down an entire website with no notice or explanation, people are beginning to recognize that the U.S is not safe for internet startups. Lots of folks have been passing around [a] rather reasonable list of activities for U.S.-based websites." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
'OEM LCD screen display for Apple iPad 3,' that is will be 'tested before shipment,' and it is 'high quality.'
New submitter Dave_Minsky writes "The U.S. Secret Service responded to a FOIA request on Monday that reveals the names of the printer companies that cooperate with the government to identify and track potential counterfeiters. The Electronic Frontier Foundation revealed in 2005 that the U.S. Secret Service was in cahoots with selected laser printer companies to identify and track printer paper using tiny microscopic dots encoded into the paper. The tiny, yellow dots — less than a millimeter each — are printed in a pattern over each page and are only viewable with a blue light, a magnifying glass or a microscope. The pattern of dots is encodes identifiable information including printer model, and time and location where the document was printed." Easy enough to avoid government dots; just don't buy printers from Canon, Brother, Casio, HP, Konica, Minolta, Mita, Ricoh, Sharp, or Xerox. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat:Coming March 22: Angry Birds Space — It seems that planet Earth isn't big enough for Angry Birds anymore. The cute cartoon characters are headed into the void with the upcoming Angry Birds Space game from Rovio. — Angry Birds has been the major success story of mobile games …
FTC describes current privacy disclosures are 'Dis-app-ointing.'
(Reuters) - Apple Inc did not infringe patented technology owned by Android phonemaker HTC Corp, the U.S. International Trade Commission said on Friday, the latest ruling in the wide-ranging smartphone patent wars.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Have a "white girl problem" and don't know where to turn? Babe Walker, Twitter's snarky, self-obsessed socialite has produced the definitive guide on how to deal with life's trivial issues in a new novel out this month.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Apple has asked EU anti-trust regulators to step in and settle a technology patent dispute between the company and Motorola Mobility, according to Motorola Mobility.
Last month Adam owners got a taste of Ice Cream Sandwich after Notion Ink released an Alpha build, but if the limited functionality didn't do it for you, how about an improved Beta version? The developers hope that HDMI video, functional GPS, better WiFi and a working compass will keep you happy while they iron out the remaining niggles, like non-functioning camera and microphone. If this sounds a bit more like it, you should be able to get your hands on it over the weekend. Hit the source link below for the deets.Notion Ink's ICS build for Adam goes beta, adds 3G, GPS originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 18 Feb 2012 06:46:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink Notion Ink Blog | Tablet Roms | Email this | Comments
Get $15 or a free case
TechCrunch:Pinterest Is Not “Playing Dumb” About Making Money — It seems like everyone's discovered Pinterest this week! Alongside the countless posts dissecting its userbase over, sideways, and under have been a series of stories about how it's “secretly” “monetizing” — a fact unearthed …
Felix Salmon:Aleynikov goes free — Count me in, with Choire Sicha, as being very happy that Sergey Aleynikov is once again a free man. To cut a long story short, Aleynikov used to work in high-frequency trading for Goldman Sachs, earning $400,000 a year. He then got offered a job in Chicago, earning three times that amount.
einhverfr writes "Eugene Volokh has posted an interesting discussion of a bill that has been introduced in Arizona, which would tie public school educator conduct to the FCC standards for decency for radio and television. The bill is essentially a three strikes system, firing teachers if they violate FCC standards three times. While the goal of the bill may seem reasonable, the details strike me as silly." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:Groupon On A Buying Spree: Buys Mobile Payment Specialist Kima Labs — Another acquisition for Groupon, and a sign of how the e-commerce company is getting more focused on mobile as a route to future growth: it has picked up Kima Labs, which makes mobile barcode reading app Barcode Hero and mobile payment app TapBuy.
iPhone 4 antennagate class-action lawsuit settled, owners to receive $15 or a free case (Richard Lawler/Engadget)(2 years ago)
Richard Lawler / Engadget:iPhone 4 antennagate class-action lawsuit settled, owners to receive $15 or a free case — According to CNET, a class-action lawsuit over the iPhone 4's troublesome antenna, aka Antennagate, has been settled. The planned resolution will net US residents who bought one and presumably either $15 in cash or (another?) free bumper case.
Not a Spotify fan? Then perhaps a Google Music client will suit your tastes a little better. Gooroovster has just shed its beta cocoon to reveal its new Windows Phone wings. Available on trial, the full app will set you back $3.99 and offers streaming access to your whole library, the usual collection of music player controls and the ability to refresh the 500 most recent additions to your library. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be any caching options -- so it's largely a Windows Phone-skinned copy of the web-based player, although it doesn't look all that official and you'll also need a Windows Phone device running the Mango upgrade. The typical Google Music provisos apply: check your data allowances and if you're out of US, you're (still) out of luck. That is, unless you know how to beat the system.Windows Phone gets Gooroovster: streams Google Music whether it's official or not originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 18 Feb 2012 04:51:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Windows Phone Marketplace | Email this | Comments
Richard.Tao writes "The Fair Labor Association found that Apple's plant where iPhones and iPads are far better than those at garment factories or other facilities elsewhere in the country. A quote: 'The lead investigator stated "The facilities are first-class; the physical conditions are way, way above average of the norm."' Which leaves the question, what is the acceptable norm?" Read more of this story at Slashdot.
It's six months since Ford partnered with Bug Labs to build OpenXC and now the system is ready for third-party developers to get involved. Rather than following Renault and others down the Android route, OpenXC is a dedicated platform designed to bring together third-party apps and hardware. It comes with an Arduino-based interface module that hooks up to the car's own systems, allowing the software to work with sensors, audio interfaces, safety devices and whatever other add-ons an owner might want to rig up. One app, developed by India's HCL Technologies, is already complete: it sends location updates to selected contacts to warn them if a driver is running late for a meeting. (Finally, Arduino gets to do something useful.)Ford sends out OpenXC beta, vehicle-aware apps should be just around the corner originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 18 Feb 2012 02:41:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink Electronista | | Email this | Comments
Bryan Bishop / The Verge:Current flash memory technologies won't scale beyond 2024, researchers say — NAND flash memory has become increasingly popular in recent years, giving new zip to computers through solid-state drives and providing storage in almost all modern mobile devices.
iPhone 4 owners in the U.S. can get a US$15 check or a "bumper" phone case from Apple in a class-action settlement that won preliminary approval from a judge on Friday.