Archive for April, 2011

Reprogrammable Chips Could Enable Instant Gadget Upgrades

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

By Tom Simonite, Technology Review

Obsolescence is the curse of electronics: no sooner have you bought a gadget than its hardware is outdated. A new, low cost type of microchip that can rearrange its design on the fly could change that. The logic gates on the chip can be reconfigured to implement an improved design as soon as it becomes available—the hardware equivalent of the software upgrades often pushed out to gadgets like phones. The new chips—made by a startup called Tabula—are a cheaper, more powerful competitor to an existing type of reprogrammable chip known as a field programmable gate array (FPGA).

http://technologyreview.com/computing/37406/?p1=MstRcnt

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Dialing with Your Thoughts

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

By Duncan Graham-Rowe, Technology Reviews

Researchers in California have created a way to place a call on a cell phone using just your thoughts. Their new brain-computer interface is almost 100 percent accurate for most people after only a brief training period. The system was developed by Tzyy-Ping Jung, a researcher at the Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego, and colleagues.

http://www.technologyreview.com/communications/37357/?p1=A4&a=f

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Can an Algorithm Spot the Next Google?

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

By Jim Giles, Technology Review

By definition, “disruptive” technologies are those that take the world by surprise. Now a startup called Quid claims that its software can make good guesses about what the next big thing will be. It does this by analyzing a store of data on existing companies, ideas, and research. Over the past 18 months, Quid has developed a system that charts the relationships between existing technologies, and identifies areas ripe for influential new ideas.

http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/37387/?p1=A1&a=f

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Cyber Threats To Smartphones Rising Fast Says Symantec

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

By Marie Jones, Smarthouse

With the onset of new cyber threats rising to more than 286 million last year, the landscape for cyber attacks is changing with smartphones and social networks firmly in the attackers’ sights. Symantec has published new findings in its report, Internet Security Threat Report Volume 16, which point to a dramatic increase in both the frequency and sophistication of targeted attacks on businesses and individuals. And it seems attackers are adopting new infection tactics, increasingly targeting weaknesses in Java to break into traditional computer First criminals hit publicly traded, multinational corporations and government agencies, but they also targeted a surprising number of smaller companies, with many preying on individuals for personal informaiton.

http://smarthouse.com.au/Content_And_Downloads/Applications/P8T4E7N9

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In space, everyone hears you tweet as Nasa gets social

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

By Dave Lee, BBC

There is a current fad among the technologically literate for ‘checking in’ on location-based social networks such as Facebook and Foursquare. Friends can see where you are and where you have been in the company of your mobile phone. The practice has given rise to a whole new variety of geographical one-upmanship. But while tagging yourself at the Ritz or the Empire State Building may impress some, few can match Doug Wheelock. The American astronaut checked in while aboard the International Space Station in October last year.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/click_online/9458264.stm

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What Happens To Your Email Address If It Is Stolen?

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

by Matt, the Next Web

Over the past few months, many high-profile companies have had their customer details compromised by attackers, targeting the third-party marketing firms that hold email addresses and many other personal details. Perhaps the most notable attack was that on Epsilon, the world’s largest permission-based email marketer. Playing host to customer details of hundreds of companies including Kroger, TiVo, US Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Capital One, Citi, Home Shopping Network, Ameriprise Financial, LL Bean Visa Card and many more, people present on the marketing lists for these companies suddenly found themselves receiving warning emails informing them that their details might have been compromised. In a large percentage of attacks, which are specifically aimed at gathering passwords and other sensitive information, only email addresses and other personally identifiable information was stolen. This could potentially lead to an increase in e-mail spam and phishing attacks, but because the attackers know the person by their name and also perhaps knowing where they live, these attacks can be a lot more relatable and persuasive.

http://thenextweb.com/industry/2011/04/16/what-happens-to-your-email-address-if-it-is-stolen/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheNextWeb+%28The+Next+Web+All+Stories%29

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Oracle Fully Open Sources OpenOffice.org

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

By: Fahmida Y. Rashid, eWeek

Oracle is relinquishing its tight control over OpenOffice.org, the popular office software suite, and will no longer offer a commercial version. OpenOffice.org will be moving to a purely community-based open-source project, Oracle said April 15. While Oracle will stop selling a commercial version of OpenOffice, the company intends to continue working with the community on development. The details about when the move will occur, and why Oracle is making this unexpected change, were not available.

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Linux-and-Open-Source/Oracle-Fully-Open-Sources-OpenOfficeorg-121007/?kc=rss

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Apple TV Service Could Rival Google TV in Cloud

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

By: Clint Boulton, eWeek

New life was breathed into the old rumor that Apple could release an Web-fueled TV set by an analyst who believes such as launch could produce a halo effect for the iPad and iPhone and add billions of dollars to Apple’s 2012 revenues. Jefferies and Co. analyst Peter Misek said channel checks with content providers and developers suggest Apple is about to launch a subscription-based video service, possibly in the form of a full TV set or set-top box.

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Cloud-Computing/Apple-TV-Service-Could-Rival-Google-TV-in-Cloud-232690/?kc=rss

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Apple Poaches Microsoft Cloud Exec: Report

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

By: Nicholas Kolakowski, eWeek

Apple has poached a cloud executive from Microsoft, according to reports. The Green (Low Carbon) Data Center Blog reported April 13 that Apple has hired Kevin Timmons, general manager of Microsoft’s Datacenter Services unit. Microsoft confirmed that the executive is moving on, although Apple has not yet returned eWEEK’s request for comment. “Kevin Timmons, general manager of Datacenter Services, has decided to pursue other career opportunities and is no longer working at Microsoft,” a Microsoft spokesperson wrote in an April 15 email to eWEEK. “We appreciate the contributions he made to Microsoft during his time here.”

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Cloud-Computing/Apple-Poaches-Microsoft-Cloud-Exec-Report-269512/?kc=rss

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Want to Create an App? There’s a Degree For That.

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

by Ina Fried, All Things Digital

In another sign of just how hot the market is for mobile apps, one college is now offering students the option of getting their degree in the topic. Rasmussen College, a for-profit college that operates in five states, has launched both two-year and four-year degree programs for aspiring app creators. Hap Aziz, director of Rasmussen’s school of technology and design, said that an estimated 300,000 new software development jobs are going to be created in the next few years, with many of those calling for a specialty in mobile apps.

http://mobilized.allthingsd.com/20110413/want-to-create-an-app-theres-a-degree-for-that/?mod=ATD_skybox

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U.S. Lagging in Using Technology, Study Shows

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

By JOHN MARKOFF, NY Times

The United States was uneven on many measures that affect economic competitiveness. For example, it ranked 76th in the rate of mobile phone subscriptions, 48th in low-cost access to business phone lines and 24th in percentage of households with a personal computer — behind Bahrain, Singapore and Brunei, among others. Professor Dutta said the United States ranked 52nd in math and science education. The World Economic Forum has created an ambitious Web site, weforum.org/tgt, to display the findings, including a visualization tool useful for exploring the data.

http://www.govtech.com/education/Public-Libraries-Developing-Technology-Benchmarking-Standards-.html

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Public Libraries Developing Technology Benchmarking

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

By Sarah Rich, Government Tech

The Urban Libraries Council is leading a nationwide coalition to develop benchmarks for access to technology in public libraries. The council joined forces with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and more than 10 other organizations earlier this year to begin the first phase of the benchmark development initiative. Through a $2.8 million grant funded through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the ICMA will support the benchmark design and lead the pilot in local communities.

http://www.govtech.com/education/Public-Libraries-Developing-Technology-Benchmarking-Standards-.html

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Nordic and Asian nations connected for growth, says WEF

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

by the BBC

Sweden and Singapore are the most competitive countries in the digital economy, according to a study by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Nordic and Asian economies are best at using information and communications technologies (ICT) to boost their growth, the WEF said. Finland is in third place, Switzerland fourth and the United States fifth. The WEF said ICT was “a key enabler of a more economically, environmentally and socially sustainable world”.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13053999

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Fujitsu offers UK fast rural broadband network

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

by the BBC

Fujitsu is to create a superfast broadband network for rural parts of the UK, rivalling BT’s service. Virgin Media and TalkTalk have already said they will use it to provide internet services. It will also be open to local authorities. Much of the system will be built on BT infrastructure, such as underground ducting and phone poles, which it has been forced to open up to competitors. Fujitsu wants £500m of government money to help fund the project.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-13060548

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Sony considers two-week shutdown due to power shortages

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

by the BBC

Sony Corporation is considering shutting down some of its company premises in Japan because of the continuing power shortages. In order to save energy, the company said it was planning to give its staff two weeks off during the summer months. Japan has been suffering power shortages due to the damage caused to its nuclear and thermal power stations. Last week the government set energy-saving targets and asked manufacturers to reduce their energy consumption.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/13075977

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FBI closes in on zombie PC gang

Monday, April 18th, 2011

by the BBC

US crime-fighters are closing in on a gang behind a huge botnet after taking control of the criminals’ servers. It is the first time FBI investigators have used such a method. The US Justice Department had to seek court permission from a judge to carry out the sting. It enabled the authorities to issue its own commands, effectively ordering the malware to shut down. It also logged the IP addresses of compromised machines. It means the authorities will be able to notify ISPs about which machines have been infected and ISPs in turn can let victims know that their machines had been taken over.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-13078297

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Japan quake: Technology lifeline for businesses

Monday, April 18th, 2011

By Michael Fitzpatrick, BBC News, Tokyo

Japan has escaped the worst, so far, of one type of meltdown. But the disruption, the economic pandemonium caused by disasters, panic and threats of rolling powercuts, has hit business hard, threatening another type of crisis. The multiplicity of calamities couldn’t have come at a worst time for business in Japan, when most firms were preparing for the new financial year. A total of 1,135 listed companies were forced to suspend their operations or suffered other setbacks following the disaster on March 11, according to the Tokyo Shoko Research Co.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13068947

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How can social networks make money?

Monday, April 18th, 2011

By LJ Rich, BBC Click

With social networks now big business, what can the companies do to turn free services into hard cash? Over the past month, US Facebook users have been enjoying a selection of Warner Bros blockbusters streamed through the site in exchange for about $4 (£2.45) in Facebook credits. Facebook takes a 30% cut of each credit spent, much like Apple and its app store. There are over 400 apps and games where the site’s 500 million users can go on a social spending spree.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/click_online/9457946.stm

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Cisco Move to Shutter Flip Good for Enterprise Business: Analysts

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

By: Jeffrey Burt, eWeek

Cisco Systems is hoping the shuttering of its consumer business—including its popular Flip video camera—will help it refocus on its enterprise units and end a streak of disappointing quarterly financial results. Analysts are debating the wisdom of the move. Several noted that Cisco is not a consumer-device vendor, and that trying to be one was distracting it from its core networking businesses. However, one said that, given the relatively low impact the consumer business had on Cisco’s overall profit-and-revenue picture, and in light of the trend of the consumerization of IT, ditching the consumer business might be a mistake.

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Enterprise-Networking/Cisco-Move-to-Shutter-Flip-Good-for-Enterprise-Business-Analysts-748064/?kc=rss

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Intel, Micron Get Even Smaller with 20nm NAND Flash

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

By: Chris Preimesberger, eWeek

NAND flash chip development has taken its latest step forward. Only four months after it started shipping its ClearNAND 25-nanometer Flash processor, partners Intel and Micron Technology’s joint venture, IM Flash Technologies, on April 14 introduced a 20-nm process for manufacturing even smaller solid-state memory. The new process produces an 8GB, multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash device, which measures only 118mm2 yet provides a high-capacity small-form factor storage option.

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Data-Storage/Intel-Micron-Get-Even-Smaller-with-20nm-NAND-Flash-201972/?kc=rss

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Toshiba Unveils Self-Encrypting HDD for Automatic Data Security

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

By: Fahmida Y. Rashid, eWeek

Toshiba unveiled a new family of hard disk drives with a security twist: They are self-encrypting. There have been several incidents where a laptop was lost or stolen, and sensitive information was exposed because the data was not encrypted. With these Toshiba drives, IT departments know all the data stored on those systems are automatically secured.

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Security/Toshiba-Unveils-SelfEncrypting-HDD-for-Automatic-Data-Security-192012/?kc=rss

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