Techno-News Blog

March 24, 2012

Sony unveils ‘floating interface’ touchless display

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by the BBC

A smartphone that allows users to browse the web by hovering a finger above links they would normally touch has been unveiled by the Japanese electronics giant Sony. The firm describes the technology as a “floating touch” user-interface. The Xperia Sola handset is due to go on sale in the second half of 2012. But some mobile phone analysts question whether the feature will be practical or popular. A number of firms around the world have been exploring gesture control possibilities for quite some time. Giants such as Apple, Microsoft and US mobile phone chip maker Qualcomm, as well as several small start-ups, are currently developing camera-based touchless technology. Sony’s new “floating interface” is different.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17367993

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Anonymous operating system prompts security warnings

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by the BBC

More than 26,000 people have downloaded an operating system which members of the Anonymous hacker group claim to have created. The software is based on a version of the open-source operating system Linux and comes outfitted with lots of website sniffing and security tools. The “official” Anonymous group has distanced itself from the software. In a widely circulated tweet, AnonOps claimed the operating system was riddled with viruses.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17381214

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Apple and Samsung bury differences over iPad launch

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by the BBC

A global legal clash between Apple and Samsung has not stopped the pair working together on the new iPad. The two firms face each other in courtrooms round the world over patents and designs for their respective smartphones and tablets. However, a breakdown of the iPad 3 shows that Samsung makes several parts crucial to its success. Around the world dedicated Apple fans queued overnight to ensure they got an iPad on the day it went on sale.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17397908

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March 23, 2012

New iPad Reviews: What Critics Are Saying

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by eWeek

Although not everyone might agree with what one person who has used the device for the past week might say, they give some indication into what the experience might be like to use such a product. What’s good? What’s bad? What could be improved? Those are the kinds of questions reviews answer to help consumers determine if they should buy the device or hold off and wait for something else. Knowing that it’s somewhat of a pain to sift through all the reviews that have cropped up around the new iPad, eWEEK thought it might be worth it to help you get the finer points in one place. So, here are some of the themes that have been coming up in all the new iPad reviews that have landed.

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Mobile-and-Wireless/New-iPad-Reviews-What-Citics-Are-Saying-777785/

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A Quarter-Century of Losing Stuff

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by David Zax, Technology Review

A new study from Kroll Ontrack about data recovery services points to the ways data–and our tendency to lose it–has transformed our lives. Kroll Ontrack crunched the numbers on the data recovery services it had performed over the years (it’s been in the business for a quarter-century). The most startling statistic? Today, Kroll Ontrack recovers 35 million GB of data a year (35 PB)–a suitably huge number. But in 1987, Kroll Ontrack only recovered a measly 1.2 GB of data, total–the merest fraction of what your laptop’s hard drive is capable of holding. As our creation and use of data has skyrocketed over the years, it’s no surprise to learn that data recovery had become a bigger and bigger deal.

http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/helloworld/27655/?p1=blogs

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The New iPad Could Clog 4G Networks

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By Tom Simonite, Technology Review

Those who are lucky enough to acquire a new iPad this Friday, when the latest version of the tablet goes on sale, may find their download speeds slowing over the coming months. They may also run up against the data limits in their wireless contracts. The new tablet connects to 4G networks that are today only lightly used. If it sells in large numbers, the device will place significant new demands on those networks, experts say, requiring bandwidth to be spread more thinly. The new iPad’s “retina” display, capable of playing full 1080p HD video, will likely encourage heavy data usage that will exacerbate that effect. Many users may also get their first taste of what it is like to bump up against the data limits that are now a standard part of wireless contracts.

http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/39896/?p1=A1

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March 22, 2012

New iPad Hands-On at Grand Central Store Reveals Stunning Screen, Speed

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By Nicholas Kolakowski, eWeek

Apple launched its new iPad in the United States March 16. As expected, Apple Stores (including the giant one in New York City’s Grand Central Station that eWEEK visited) saw long lines of people anxious to be among the first to get their hands on the tablet. Despite some new, upgraded hardware—including a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera and a high-resolution Retina Display (2048 by 1536 pixels)—Apple hasn’t radically altered the fundamental iPad experience. Many apps seem to run faster, thanks to the proprietary A5X processor (an upgrade from Apple’s previous A4), and the screen sets a new bar for display clarity. Even when you lean close, you can barely see the pixels. While the new iPad is a bit thicker than the iPad 2 (at 0.37 inches, versus 0.34 inches for the previous version) and a little heavier (at 1.4 pounds, versus 1.3 pounds) the difference feels negligible when the two devices are actually compared in the real world. Those in the United States will have the option of purchasing the new iPad with 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) connectivity on either Verizon or AT&T.

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Mobile-and-Wireless/New-iPad-HandsOn-at-Grand-Central-Store-Reveals-Stunning-Screen-Speed-329283/?kc=rss

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Enterprise Mobility: New iPad Retina Display Makes Productivity Apps Shine

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By Nathan Eddy, eWeek

The most impressive upgrade to Apple’s new iPad tablet is the new Retina Display, which features four times more pixels than the iPad 2, allowing for razor-sharp text, richer colors and a vastly more brilliant display for everything from high-definition videos, photos and interactive applications. The Retina Display on the new iPad features a 2048 by 1536 resolution, 44 percent greater color saturation, and an astounding 3.1 million pixels—in the same 9.7-inch space. The pixels are so close together, your eyes can’t discern individual ones at a normal viewing distance. The dazzling display also makes business and enterprise productivity apps like spreadsheets and travel managers even better and easier to use, offering more detailed images, richer graphics and more precise control

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Mobile-and-Wireless/New-iPad-Retina-Display-Makes-Productivity-Apps-Shine-298778/?kc=rss

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What March Madness Can Teach Network Administrators

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By: Chris Preimesberger, eWeek

Madness is in full swing, and it could impact your company’s network, whether you know it, like it or neither. For example, last season Turner Broadcasting System and CBS Sports experienced a 47 percent increase in online streaming. A whopping 10.3 million hours alone were streamed in the first seven days of the three-week-long tournament. According to a recent MSN survey, employees watching the tournament online will dedicate at least one hour of work time to follow the event this year, whether it be at lunchtime or during work hours. Making matters worse (for network managers, at least) is that this year’s streaming service will be optimized to support more mobile platforms, including Android devices.

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Enterprise-Networking/What-March-Madness-Can-Teach-Network-Administrators-790297/?kc=rss

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March 21, 2012

Get Notified When Hackers Get Your Data

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by Tom Simonite, Technology Review

Stories like the spectacular data breach that befell Sony last year mean that most of us now understand that cyber criminals actively access and trade our personal data. A less well-known consequence is that increasing volumes of it – credit card details, social security numbers and online accounts – are also passing through the hands of investigators from organizations like the FBI. They’ve traditionally used it only as evidence to help catch crooks. AllClear ID has now set up an agreement that allow the FBI and other organizations affiliated with the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA) to inform people when their data is found in the wrong hands. “Being able to notify people their data has been found is the piece that’s been missing,” AllClear ID’s founder Bo Holland told me yesterday. “Let’s say a researcher working for PayPal to combat a botnet,” he said, “when he finds your credit card information you’ll know about it.”

http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/editors/27644/?p1=blogs

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Prototype software called Lifebrowser

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By Tom Simonite, Technology Review

Mining personal data to discover what people care about has become big business for companies such as Facebook and Google. Now a project from Microsoft Research is trying to bring that kind of data mining back home to help people explore their own piles of personal digital data. Software called Lifebrowser processes photos, e-mails, Web browsing history, calendar events, and other documents stored on a person’s computer and identifies landmark events. Its timeline interface can explore, search, and discover those landmarks as a kind of memory aid.

http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/39917/?p1=A1

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Aereo Has Landed

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David Zax, Technology Review

Aereo came to New York on Wednesday, and as Technology Review’s man in the Big Apple, I took the service for an initial quick spin. First of all, what is Aereo? It’s a service that streams over-the-air local TV to a device of your choosing (provided, for now, that the device of your choosing is an iOS device or a PC or Mac running Safari). It’s a technological feat Aereo has pulled off by engineering tiny TV antennas and locating them, en masse, in data centers; these data centers can then stream the TV to you instantly over your Internet connection. Aereo is also in a bit of legal hot water, since Aereo is doing all this without paying TV stations a licensing fee that they claim they’re entitled to. TR’s Brian Bergstein has given a good overview of what he calls “a legal show worth watching,” one that has yet to reach its finale.

http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/helloworld/27649/?p1=blogs

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March 20, 2012

First Digital Message Sent Using Neutrinos

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by KFC, Technology Review

Physicists commandeer a beam of neutrinos to send a message through solid rock but at a painfully slow data rate. A couple of years ago, we looked at the possibility of using neutrinos to communicate with submarines. The problem with underwater comms is that only the lowest frequency electromagnetic waves penetrate water to any depth and these are only capable of data rates of around 50 bits per second. Neutrinos on the other hand pass more or less unhindered through anything. That makes them ideal for submarine communication, except for one thing. Neutrinos are somewhat reluctant to interact with matter and this makes them hard to measure. So any neutrino communications beam would have to be hugely powerful and any neutrino detector extremely big. Nevertheless, neutrinos raise the possibility of communication at data rates some three orders of magnitude higher than is currently possible with submarines.

http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/27648/?p1=blogs

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Internet Explorer 10: touch-friendly, and securely sandboxed

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By Peter Bright, ars Technica

Microsoft is continuing to show off new features coming in its Internet Explorer 10 Web browser, with a couple of posts describing its touch-friendly Metro interface and its enhanced security. The current trend in browser design, led by Google Chrome, is to scale back the browser’s interface so that it takes less and less of the screen, devoting more room to the Web content itself. Windows 8’s Metro design similarly removes window chrome to put the focus on content. Metro Internet Explorer 10 is the logical conclusion of this trend: most of the time it has no visible interface at all, leaving only the Web page visible. Its app bar, displayed by swiping from the top or bottom of the screen or right clicking the mouse, contains tabs, the address bar, and so on.

http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2012/03/internet-explorer-10-touch-friendly-and-securely-sandboxed.ars

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New iPad: a Million More Pixels Than HDTV

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By WALTER S. MOSSBERG, Wall Street Journal

Apple’s iPad could be described as a personal display through which you see and manipulate text, graphics, photos and videos often delivered via the Internet. So, how has the company chosen to improve its wildly popular tablet? By making that display dramatically better and making the delivery of content dramatically faster. Apple’s latest iPad could be described as like getting a new eyeglasses prescription, WSJ’s Walt Mossberg says. Its dramatically better display and faster content delivery make you suddenly realize what you’ve been missing. There are other changes in the new, third-generation iPad—called simply “iPad,” with no number, which goes on sale on Friday at the same base price as its predecessor, $499. But the key upgrades are to those core features—the 9.7-inch screen and the data speed over cellular networks. These upgrades are massive. Using the new display is like getting a new eyeglasses prescription—you suddenly realize what you thought looked sharp before wasn’t nearly as sharp as it could be.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304459804577281472610072322.html

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March 19, 2012

Cyber-attack on BBC leads to suspicion of Iran’s involvement

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:30 am

by the BBC

The BBC is not providing detail of the timing or nature of the cyber-attack. A “sophisticated cyber-attack” on the BBC has been linked to Iran’s efforts to disrupt the BBC Persian Service. In a speech Director General Mark Thompson plans to say that the internet attack coincided with efforts to jam two of the service’s satellite feeds into Iran. He will say: “We regard the coincidence of these different attacks as self-evidently suspicious.” Last month Mr Thompson accused Iran of intimidating Persian service workers. Reporters Without Borders has also complained about Iran’s “cyber-army”.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17365416

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3D-nanoprinting speed record set by Vienna University

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by the BBC

A new world speed record for the fastest 3D-printed nano-objects has been claimed by researchers in Austria. The team is able to create sculptures as small as a grain of sand in a fraction of the time than had previously been required. To demonstrate the process the group created a model of a Formula 1 racing car 0.285mm (0.011in) in length in just over four minutes. The scientists said the technique could be used to make small biomedical parts. To produce the car about 100 layers, each consisting of 200 single printed lines, were created by Vienna University of Technology’s equipment.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17357374

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Swimming robots break world distance record in Pacific

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by the BBC

The robots are composed of two parts, and propel themselves forward without any fuel. Four robots have set a new distance world record, swimming more than 3,200 nautical miles (5,926km) across the Pacific Ocean. The drones are taking part in a project to gather data about the composition and quality of sea water. Built by US-firm Liquid Robotics, the PacX Wave Gliders are expected to cover 9,000 nautical miles (16,668km) by their journey’s end. The first leg of their voyage from San Francisco to Hawaii took four months. The robots are designed to reach previously inaccessible areas of the ocean and gather data on how acidic the water has become and the shrinking size of fish stocks.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17367984

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March 18, 2012

Nokia Windows 8 Tablet Is Reportedly in the Works

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By: Nicholas Kolakowski, eWeek

Nokia is planning to release a Windows 8 tablet in late 2012, complete with 10-inch screen and dual-core chipset, according to a new report. Nokia plans on launching a Windows 8 tablet sometime in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to unnamed sources speaking to DigiTimes. The March 12 article suggested that Nokia would outsource the actual tablet production to Compal Electronics, and that the first shipment would total 200,000 units. Sources among “upstream component suppliers” predicted that “Nokia’s venture into the tablet PC market will also further intensify competition among non-iPad tablet PC vendors.” The tablet itself will reportedly feature a 10-inch screen and a Qualcomm dual-core chipset.

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Mobile-and-Wireless/Nokia-Windows-8-Tablet-is-Reportedly-in-the-Works-708300/?kc=rss

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Symantec: Finders Will Try to Access Lost Smartphones

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by Jeffry Burt, eWeek

A study by Symantec found that almost everyone who finds a lost smartphone will try to access the personal and corporate data inside, and only half will contact the owner. According to a recent study by the security software vendors, people who lose their smartphones or other mobile devices in public have a 50 percent chance of ever getting them back. And even if the device is returned, the person who found the phone most likely rooted around in it for a while, checking out whatever personal and business data they could find. The lesson, according to Symantec, is to make sure that whatever data is on the phone is as secure as it can be. “[I]n many cases, regaining possession of a lost device may be a losing battle,” the Symantec researchers said in the report from the Symantec Smartphone Honey Stick Project. “But protecting the information on it does not have to be if the right precautions are taken. While devices can be replaced, loss of control over the information kept on these devices can result in far greater consequences.”

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Security/Symantec-Finders-Will-Try-to-Access-Lost-Smartphones-350586/?kc=rss

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Startup Aims to Cut the Cost of Solar Cells in Half

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By Kevin Bullis, Technology Review

Twin Creeks Technologies—a startup that has been operating in secret until today—has developed a way to make thin wafers of crystalline silicon that it says could cut the cost of making silicon solar cells in half. It has demonstrated the technology in a small, 25-megawatt-per-year solar-cell factory it built in Senatobia, Mississippi. Siva Sivaram, the CEO of Twin Creeks, says the company’s technology both reduces the amount of silicon needed and the cost of the manufacturing equipment. He claims the company can produce solar cells for about 40 cents per watt, which compares to roughly 80 cents for the cheapest solar cells now. Twin Creeks has raised $93 million in venture capital, plus loans from the state of Mississippi and other sources that it used to build its solar factory.

http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/39887/?p1=A1

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