31 August 2013

Privacy, Personal Data, Facebook, Big Brother's Little Brother

Facebook now Big Brother's Little Brother? --

Facebook has to pony up $20 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over how user information is incorporated in ads like the much-maligned—but hugely profitable—Sponsored Stories. (source infra)
Under legal pressure, Facebook clarifies how it uses your data
Facebook wants to be clear: It can use the names, profile pictures and other data of its members to deliver ads on the site. On Thursday, the site announced a wide range of proposed updates to its Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, ...

Google Glass Assists Surgeons and Medical Students at Ohio State University
ABC News
Google Glass has been used to film road trips, fashion shows, and boardwalk arrests. Now, a group of surgeons at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center can add that it can film surgical procedures too. Christopher Kaeding, an orthopaedic ...

Microsoft CEO Hunt a Tough Bet as Web Gamblers Favor Elop
Elop's all-or-nothing remake of Nokia, using Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system, hasn't yet created a significant challenger to Apple and Samsung Electronics Co., the dominant leaders in the smartphone market. Still, Elop can claim at least one ...

Microsoft sets $100 Surface Pro discounts in stone
"The customer response to recent Surface pricing and keyboard-cover promotions has been exciting to see, and we are proud to begin rollout of Surface Pro, Touch Cover and Surface RT bundles at even more affordable prices starting August 29," a ...

Apple Seeks Trademark in Malaysia
Wall Street Journal (blog)
Apple is seeking to trademark the term “startup,” under various categories covering retail stores services for computers, software, peripherals, mobile phones and consumer electronic devices ; repair and maintenance of devices; conducting seminars, ...

Google executive Hugo Barra poached by China's Xiaomi
BBC News
One of Google's top executives is leaving the company to join up-and-coming Chinese firm Xiaomi. Hugo Barra was vice president of product management for Google's mobile platform Android, and had been at the company since 2008. Google confirmed his ...

Google co-founder Sergey Brin embroiled in office affair?
CBS News
(CBS News) Silicon Valley is being rocked by a reported love affair. The marriage of Google co-founder Sergey Brin is said to be on the rocks, following an office romance, according to the influential Web site All Things D, which covers the high-tech ...

Microsoft, AmEx Said to Compete for Foursquare Stake
Foursquare has helped Microsoft by making an application for its Windows 8 operating system, which has had trouble attracting developers because of the popularity ofGoogle's Android and Apple's iOS software for smartphones and tablets. To contact the ...

Microsoft who? Sinofsky adds another scene to his second act, signs up with Box
However, Box wasn't one of the rivals that Microsoft listed on the retirement agreement it struck with Sinofsky, which bars him from accepting direct or indirect employment withAmazon, Apple, EMC, Facebook, Google, Oracle, or VMWare. Microsoft said it ...

Google, Twitter and others share transparency reports
The following is a breakdown of the so-called transparency reports published by Google, Twitter, Microsoft, and, most recently, Facebook for all law-enforcement-requested data.Google. Google's data requests are on a steep incline. Within the two-year ...

Apple is 'dead money' says porn-loving bond king
The last time we wrote about the controversial founder of DoubleLine Capital he was telling a group of investment bankers that he had lost faith in the Apple's (AAPL) ability to wow customers and was shorting the stock. "I just wonder how many people ...

Here's Why Microsoft Coming To Foursquare's Salvation Might Make ...
By Alex Wilhelm
By buying into Facebook as its only corporate investor, Microsoft has locked up a long-term deal to provide mapping and search capabilities for the social giant. ... Bing competes with Google and Apple to provide local data, and mapping.

At Google, a Love Triangle and a Departing Executive - NYTimes.com
But this year, it is Google's secrets, not Apple's, that have people abuzz. On Wednesday, reports from Google emerged about a love triangle involving Google's co-founder, Sergey Brin, and Hugo Barra, an Android executive who announced ...
NYT Bits

Amanda Rosenberg of Google - Business Insider
By Jay Yarow
That same Googler who was dating Barra is now in a relationship with 40-year-old Sergey Brin, Google's co-founder who recently split with his wife of six years, Anne Wojcicki. The Googler at the heart of all of this is Amanda Rosenberg, ...
Business Insider

TV Shows seeing outage for some on Apple TV, iTunes Store ...
By Mark Gurman
We're receiving multiple reports from readers indicating that the TV Shows feature onApple TV and on iTunes on Mac in the United States is seeing an outage. So, it's not just you. Apple is yet to comment on the downtime on its official status ...

Sorry Apple, larger phones are a growing portion of Indian ... - GigaOM
By Kevin C. Tofel
Apple may have a tougher time cracking the huge Indian market of 1.2 billion people, simply because it doesn't offer what 30 percent of buyers bought last quarter: Phones with displays of 5-inches or larger.

Huge canyon discovered under Greenland ice
BBC News
One of the biggest canyons in the world has been found beneath the ice sheet that smothers most of Greenland. The canyon - which is 800km long and up to 800m deep - was carved out by a great river more than four million years ago, before the ice arrived.

Mac Users Report SimCity Installation Issues
PC Magazine
Electronic Arts is suffering from a bad case of déjà vu: Almost six months after SimCity's PC debut was marred by server problems, Mac players are now finding themselves locked out of this week's launch. A number of users reportedly have been unable to ...

AT&T to go nationwide with prepaid Aio Wireless service
CNET (blog)
The phone giant takes on T-Mobile in the no-contract market, announcing it will push its prepaid network throughout the U.S. in mid-September. by Desiree Everts DeNunzio. August 29, 2013 10:32 PM PDT. (Credit: Aio Wireless). AT&T is pushing more ...

Nokia's Here brings the cloud to the car
Nokia is making a strong push for more control over your activity in the car. The company on Friday announced a new "Connected Driving" experience under its automotive Here brand that aims at connecting in-car activity with the cloud.

Microsoft slashes Surface Pro prices in Europe by €100 – for good
ZDNet (blog)
Summary: Will a €100 permanent price cut on Surface Pro be enough to convince Europeans to buy Microsoft's tablet? Microsoft made its August price cuts to the Surface ...

Pressy Kickstarter projects automates Android functions with the press of a button
Mobile Burn
Kickstarter is home to many doomed projects, but there are some that provide such an obvious "Why hasn't anyone already thought of this?" solution that the product almost instantly succeeds. Pressy, a button that plugs into a phone's headphone jack and ...

Milky Way's giant black hole spotted rejecting food
The Space Reporter
In order to descend over the event horizon, material trapped by a black hole has to lose heat and momentum. Milky Way's giant black hole spotted rejecting food ...

China's Xiaomi poaches Google executive Hugo Barra
Lei Jun, the Xiaomi founder, said on his Weibo feed that Mr Barra, who led product development for Google's industry-leading Android mobile software, will join in October as head of international business development. "Barra will be responsible for Xiaomi's ...

more technology news below

30 August 2013

Key Google Android exec leaves for China's Xiaomi

Look forward to the Xiaomi Android smartphones coming to the US -- Xiaomi phones have physical resemblances to iPhones but run on a customized version of Android. Google's Android software is used on more than 90 percent of smartphones in China.

Chinese Smartphone Maker Hires Google Executive - NYTimes.com: "In a sign of the rising export ambitions of the Chinese mobile phone industry, a smartphone maker called Xiaomi said Thursday that it had hired a top executive away from Google to lead its international expansion plans. The executive, Hugo Barra, is one of the highest-profile Westerners to join a Chinese technology company, analysts said. At Google, he has served as vice president for Google’s Android mobile operating system, which is used by the vast majority of smartphones in China."

Android VP Hugo Barra leaves Google, joins Chinese phone maker ...
By Mat Smith
Barely a month after he was showing off Google's new Nexus 7 tablet Hugo Barra is departing to join Xiaomi, according to AllThingsD. Part of Google since March 2008, as the Vice President of product management for Android he's been a ...
Engadget RSS Feed

According to All Things D, Barra's resignation is rumored to have occurred before he ended a relationship with a Google employee who is reportedly now dating the company's co-founder, Sergey Brin. While Xiaomi did not respond to a request for comment ...

Is Firefox OS The Platform HTML5 Deserves? | Dr Dobb's: "Firefox OS (sometimes abbreviated FxOS) is a new mobile operating system using a Linux kernel and booting into a Gecko-based runtime engine for applications developed entirely using HTML, JavaScript, and open web application APIs. Mozilla's sales patter for this new OS is "Firefox OS for developers: the platform HTML5 deserves". The firm is currently tag-teaming with friends like Dan Appelquist, who is an open web advocate from Telefónica Digital / W3C, and Mozilla's own principal developer evangelist Christian Heilmann — the two are trying to explain and clarify how developers can extend the functionality of HTML5 apps without having to access the phone hardware on behalf of the user."

Sales of BlackBerry's Q10 Keyboard Phone Fall Flat - WSJ.com: "Chris Jourdan, who owns and operates 16 Wireless Zone stores in the Midwestern U.S. that sell Verizon Wireless products, said customers didn't show up for the Q10 as expected. His stores only ordered a few of the devices per location and "the handful that sold were returned." "We saw virtually no demand for the Q10 and eventually returned most to our equipment vendor," he said."

Biz Break: Silicon Valley controls the digital advertising market - SiliconValley.com: "Google's dominant position in Internet advertising will actually grow stronger in 2013, according to an analysis from eMarketer, but Facebook is growing its mobile-advertising business as Silicon Valley dominates the lucrative field. According to Wednesday's report, Google, Facebook and Yahoo commanded the top three spots for total digital advertising in 2012, and will again in 2013, when Google is expected to grow its market share from 31.5 percent to 32.8 percent. No other company is expected to pull in even close to a double-digit percentage share of the market, with Facebook projected to grow from 4.1 percent to 5.4 percent and Yahoo (YHOO) forecast for a drop from 3.4 percent to 3 percent."

Huge funding round for Pure Storage could be industry record - SiliconValley.com: "Unlike some of its competitors, Pure sells commodity storage hardware that CEO Scott Dietzen said differs little from that offered by bigger rivals such as EMC and NetApp. But 4-year-old Pure claims its data compression algorithms make it possible to store data on flash memory at a price comparable to that of hard disk. Dietzen, former chief technology officer of BEA Systems, called flash "radically smaller and faster than mechanical disk. The big barrier's been that it's too expensive.""

Google co-founder Sergey Brin reportedly splits from wife Anne Wojcicki
Los Angeles Times
He, Google and Google Ventures have all invested in 23andMe, which sells DNA test kits. The couple also are involved with the Breakthrough Prize Foundation with another Silicon Valley power couple, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. They also buy and ...

Bookmaker handicaps Microsoft CEO race
Computerworld - Adding insult to injury after Wall Street boosted Microsoft's stock price when CEO Steve Ballmer announced he would retire, now a U.K. bookmaker is taking bets on Ballmer's replacement. ... a 127-year-old bookmaking conglomerate that ...

Google's Nexus 4 Smartphone Gets $100 Cheaper Amid Low-Cost iPhone ...
Google's Nexus 4 made a splash last fall simply because it was well-built and inexpensive, and yet it didn't require a two-year contract with a wireless carrier. Now, it's even cheaper. The Nexus 4 now costs $200 for the 8 GB model and $250 for the 16 ...

Amazon Asks Supreme Court to Decide Sales Tax Fight
Wall Street Journal (blog)
The online retailer on Friday filed documents to appeal the issue to the nation's highest court, arguing that Amazon customers shouldn't be subject to sales tax in New York because the Seattle company's operations there aren't substantial enough to ...

Amazon Infiltrates the Android Game Market to Sell You Stuff While You Play
As Android Rises, App Makers Tumble Into Google's 'Matrix of Pain' .... Under Amazon's new Mobile App Associates API, developers publishing on any Android store (not just Amazon's) can sell items from the Amazon marketplace from within their software ...

Review: Google, Apple decent contenders to Office
If you're looking for syncing features in a word processing and spreadsheet package,Microsoft's Office is the industry leader and a good option when you're working with others. (AP Photo/Microsoft, File). By ANICK JESDANUN / AP Technology Writer ...

Apple Working On Intelligent Brightness Control And Automated FaceTime ...
Two newly published patent applications (spotted by AppleInsider) from Apple describe systems that could help do just that for future iPhones and iPads, via selective screen brightness control and auto camera switching during FaceTime video calls. The ...

Apple gobbles Swedish startup AlgoTrim
SAN FRANCISCO -- Apple has acquired a Swedish software startup's technology for use in mobile devices. Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet confirmed the acquisition. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. "Apple buys smaller technology companies from ...

Amazon Launches Mexico Kindle Store with Over 70000 eBooks in Spanish and ...
Wall Street Journal
(NASDAQ: AMZN)--Amazon today launched the Mexico Kindle Store (www.amazon.com.mx), offering Mexican customers the largest selection of the most popular eBooks, the most Spanish-language best sellers, over 1,500 free books in Spanish and a broad ...

Unbelievable Google Street View Captures a Space Shuttle Flyover
By Mario Aguilar
When Google's army of Street View vehicles takes to the streets, there's no telling what those wandering eyes will see. Still it's hard to believe that a Google Street View camera captured a space shuttle flying over the New Jersey Turnpike ...

Why the Nintendo 2DS Makes Sense: It's Not For Gamers
PC Magazine
The Nintendo 2DS looks like a weird little gaming handheld, and has been met with mockery from the gaming community. Its smaller, seemingly uncomfortable design evokes a slice of cake or an axe head, and Nintendo's strategy seems to be more than a ...

Mixamo's Facial Expression Capturing Technology Helps Indie ...
By Kim-Mai Cutler
Mixamo, a startup that helps game developers animate 3D characters in their games and apps, is launching something pretty neat today. Face Plus is a service that lets developers animate characters simply by recording their facial ...

Facebook wants to use your profile pic to find you in other photos
Los Angeles Times
SAN FRANCISCO -- Don't look now but Facebook is proposing a bunch of changes to its privacy policy and its user rights policy. The company says it's just making things clearer for its more than 1 billion users – and it's adding language to comply with the ...

Foursquare will begin pushing recommendations to Android notification drawer
Mobile Burn
Foursquare started as a place to check-in at bars and restaurants, morphed into an app to discover bars and restaurants, and is now an app that will tell you which venues to attend and what to order once you get there. A new version of Foursquare will begin ...

Skype turns 10, confirms it's working on 3D video calls
Microsoft-owned video calling service Skype has just turned 10 years old. Naturally, the company is already looking ahead to what's next, and that might 3D video calling. In fact, Microsoft corporate VP for Skype Mark Gillett confirmed in a BBC interview that ...

T-Mobile 'Blackout' Rumor Tips Sept. 20 iPhone 5S Release
PC Magazine
The iPhone launch event is likely to take place on Sept. 10, but when might we actually get our hands on the new smartphone? According to TmoNews, Apple will probably release the iPhone 5S (and low-cost iPhone 5C?) on Sept. 20. The blog cited ...

Scientists grow "mini human brains" from stem cells
Scientists have grown the first mini human brains in a laboratory and say their success could lead to new levels of understanding about the ...

How the Syrian Electronic Army and other hacker groups are attacking news ...
Washington Post
The hack of the New York Times' Web operations this week has drawn renewed attention to a cyberattack that takes aim at a core function of the Internet: the Web address. The attack, for which a group called the Syrian Electronic Army asserted responsibility, ...

Twitter Update Makes It Easier to Follow Conversations
Twitter released an update Wednesday that makes it easier to keep up with conversations on the social network. Now, Twitter.com and Twitter's mobile apps show conversations in chronological order. Tweets in a conversation are connected using a vertical ...

more technology news below

29 August 2013

Syrian Hackers, New York Times, Melbourne IT, how it happened

We are seeing more and more attacks against Registrars (e.g., Network Solutions fended off an attack last month) -- that's what happened  to the New York Times and its registrar, Melbourne IT --

How Syrian Hackers Found the New York Times's Australian Weak Spot
A hacking attack launched by the Syrian Electronic Army may have targeted the New York Times and other U.S. media companies, but the weak link was Melbourne IT, a domain registrar that directs Internet traffic to the companies' servers. How can ...

Details Behind Today's Internet Hacks | CloudFlare Blog: "The New York Times has confirmed publicly that their registrar was hacked, allegedly by the Syrian Electronic Army. While we've been in contact with MelbourneIT, we don't yet have details on how the attack was accomplished. We do know that the attacker was able to update the name servers for NYTimes.com without authorization, effectively hijacking the site."

One looks at the headline below and the obvious meaning -- Windows 8.1 is DOA -- "dead on arrival" (more of the Ballmer "legacy"):
Windows 8.1 is officially finished, but everyone has to wait until October 18th | The Verge: "Microsoft is confirming today, after recent reports, that the company has completed Windows 8.1 and is releasing it to manufacturing (RTM). The finalization of the Windows 8 update means that hardware partners can now ready systems running Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 for release on October 18th. For existing Windows 8 users, the update will be made available broadly on October 18th — with most regions getting access to a digital upgrade copy on October 17th via the Windows Store."

Jack Dorsey’s Plan to Save America’s Struggling Cities - Businessweek: . . . Square’s always been about providing tools to sellers of all types and sizes. We’re always building up a sense of community around these sellers, no matter how big or small they are. One of the things I think has diminished in this country over the past 15 years is that sense of community, that fabric between sellers, between merchants. Let’s Talk is a venue to start having these conversations again. . . .

BlackBerry Is A Failed State: "BlackBerry, as BlackBerry users know it, is finished. The company that was almost single-handedly responsible for the creation of always-on mobile culture but stopped short of winning the smartphone race is facing some grim options. The company, now, is a shadow of its former self; soon, it will be lucky if it’s still recognizable as a company at all."

Nintendo releasing new handheld game device, cheaper Wii U for holidays
By Malathi Nayak. SAN FRANCISCO | Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:49pm IST. SAN FRANCISCO Aug 28 (Reuters) - Japanese game maker Nintendo Co will launch a new and inexpensive handheld gaming device and offer a $50 price cut for its 32GB Wii U console ...

Nintendo Cuts Price of Wii U Game Console by $50
ABC News
Nintendo Co. announced Wednesday that it is cutting the price of its Wii U video-game system as it braces for the fall release of competing consoles from Sony and Microsoft. Nintendo will reduce the price of the Wii U deluxe set from $349.99 to $299.99, ...

Google Slashes Price On Nexus 4 Smartphone
Google made its Nexus 7 tablet available in the United Kingdom Wednesday. It can be purchased directly from the U.K. Google Play Store website. It costs £199 for the 16-GB model and £239 for the 32-GB model. In the U.S., the Nexus 7 runs $229 and $259 ...

Fixing the company car
FORTUNE -- Clément Gires believes the company car model is broken, and he's hoping that former Microsoft Windows boss Steven Sinofsky can help him fix it. Gires is co-founder of Local Motion, a Silicon Valley startup that was originally formed to develop ...

The Governments That Want Facebook and Twitter to Hand Over Data
Facebook, for the first time, has detailed how many user data requests it receives from each country. And since Twitter does the same thing, we can compare the two rivals by a curious but revealing metric: how much governments want their data. Overall, data ...

Material, a sexy Flipboard competitor, comes to the iPhone
While there are quite a few news-reading apps out there and Flipboard holds the dominant position, Material sets itself apart with design and intelligent curation. As I wrote previously when Material debuted at CES 2013 in January, the app recommends news ...

Parallels Access brings Mac and Windows programs to Apple's iPad with full ...
Apple Insider
Parallels, the company known for its virtualization software, rolled out a new iPad app and subscription service on Tuesday called Parallels Access that promises to run both Mac and PC programs on Apple's tablet with near-native performance. Parallels ...

Mind meld? Scientist uses his brain to control another guy's finger
University of Washington researcher Rajesh Rao, left, plays a computer game with his mind. Across campus, researcher Andrea Stocco, right, wears a magnetic stimulation coil over the left motor cortex region of his brain. Stocco's right index finger moved ...

Bookmaker handicaps Microsoft CEO race
Computerworld - Adding insult to injury after Wall Street boosted Microsoft's stock price when CEO Steve Ballmer announced he would retire, now a U.K. bookmaker is taking bets on Ballmer's replacement. ... a 127-year-old bookmaking conglomerate that ...

Apple Eases Restrictions On Selling Products Headed to Iran
Wall Street Journal (blog)
“We've been told by the U.S. government that most Apple products are covered by regulatory changes announced by the Treasury Department,” she said, referring to a decision to ease restrictions on selling a broad array of communications equipment such ...

Google Slashes Price On Nexus 4 Smartphone
Google made its Nexus 7 tablet available in the United Kingdom Wednesday. It can be purchased directly from the U.K. Google Play Store website. It costs £199 for the 16-GB model and £239 for the 32-GB model. In the U.S., the Nexus 7 runs $229 and $259 ...

Apple says tempered e-book penalties still go too far
Apple says tempered e-book penalties still go too far. After the Justice Department revised proposals to reform Apple following its e-books conspiracy conviction, the company calls the latest remedies a "broadside" favoring rival Amazon. Joan E. Solsman.

Microsoft: The insiders who could be CEO
Chicago Tribune
SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp has a stable of senior executives who could be contenders to succeed Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, even though outsiders have sparked the most discussion so far. After Ballmer's surprise announcement on Friday that ...

Google Palestine gets hacked by Palestinian protesters with a somewhat ...
New York Daily News
Google's Palestine domain (google.ps) was hacked Monday morning by anti-Israel protesters but the message they left, more than anything else, proved that GoogleTranslate could use some work when it comes to Palestinian-to-English translations.

Nokia, Microsoft Plan New Windows RT Tablets
Undeterred by the failure of Microsoft's Surface tablets, Nokia is reportedly planning to announce a Windows RT tablet in less than a month. Microsoft is also evidently looking to debut new hardware, and indications suggest the company is preparing to ...

Apple Said to Plan First Tokyo Retail Store Since 2005
Apple Inc. (AAPL) plans to open a store in Tokyo's upscale Omotesando shopping district as early as March, adding its first outlet in the city in years as Japan's economy recovers, according to a person familiar with the plan. Construction is scheduled ...

Apple buys Swedish compression firm AlgoTrim
While confirming to Rapidus he now works for Apple, Holstberg declined to comment on the acquisition to the publication. According to AlgoTrim's website, its imaging codecs are used in Google's Gallery app while other compression technology are used to ...

Developers flay Microsoft for withholding Windows 8.1 RTM
Today, however, Microsoft confirmed that although Windows 8.1 has reached the RTM milestone and been passed to computer- and tablet-making OEMs, subscribers to MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) will not get the final code until the public does on Oct ...

Apple Acquires Swedish Firm AlgoTrim, A Company That Does ...
By Darrell Etherington
Apple has acquired AlgoTrim, a Swedish startup that builds codecs and designs solutions that maximize performance of data, mobile imaging, video and computer graphics while minimizing memory requirements, according to a new report by ...
TechCrunch » Europe

Latest Apple TV Update Breaks PlexConnect Client - Mac Rumors
By Jordan Golson
Keep the walls up, Apple. Because of Apple's shortsightedness, Google will own the living room market in a couple of years, just like it took over the smart phone market. I will just go back to using my HTPC for now, but really hope that within a few months that $35 Chrome dongle I bought "just ... Apple today responded (via GigaOM) to the Department of Justice's revised proposal accusing Apple of implementing in-app purchase rules to spite Amazon, stating that the DOJ is simply.
MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors...

Google Chops Price of Nexus 4 by a Third, to $199 - AllThingsD
By Ina Fried
Google announced the move in a tweet late Tuesday, saying it had cut the price by 25 percent or more in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Germany, Spain, Korea and the U.K.. The move comes as both Samsung and Apple are gearing up for fall ...

New Nexus 7 Lands In Europe and Japan on Google Play
By Kaylene Hong
Google's new Nexus 7 is now available for direct purchase from Google Play in the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Japan, Phandroid reports.
The Next Web

Ford S-Max Concept previews new look, technology for Euro seven ...
By Damon Lowney
Ford's S-Max Concept is sharply styled and loaded with technology, such as seats with a heart-rate monitor.

more technology news below

28 August 2013

Fixing Microsoft Culture, a Tough Job Ahead

"So ingrained is Microsoft's culture of protecting entrenched interests that swinging for the fences is sometimes punished, and so people stopped trying, say current and former employees and outsiders. They say that an outsider CEO may be the best choice to welcome back technologists who think outside the box." (source wsj.com infra)

One of the first things Marissa Mayer had to change at Yahoo was its "culture" -- not an easy task --

Next CEO's Job: Fixing Microsoft's Culture - WSJ.com: "Microsoft, however, hasn't always kept pace with change. It still frowns on higher-level executives using iPhones or other rival gadgets. Employees talk about the "Redmond Bubble," or tendency to lose sight of tech reality outside of Microsoft headquarters. Some workers, fearing for their jobs, say they are wary of working on a new technology that might not pan out. An executive who recently left Microsoft said such fear has made people stop trying to take risks . . . Today, he says, "so much energy is expended on repressing good things to play defense and protect the castle.""

Here’s what Steve Ballmer didn’t get about the tablet revolution: "...(Steve) Jobs thought tablets and smartphones represented a fundamentally new kind of computing platform, and he had his engineers design a new user interface from scratch optimized for small, cheap touchscreen devices. Ballmer saw the tablet as just another kind of PC, and so he built a single OS designed to work both on tablets and on desktop PCs. Today, the results speak for themselves. Apple sold 14 million iPads in its most recent quarter. In contrast, estimates suggest that only about 2 million Windows-based tablets were sold last quarter..."

Google Glass to gain local apps, but not cellular connection
Google Glass will eventually gain the ability to run local apps from the device ... Google has a “few thousand” of Glass devices available in the wild, through its ...
San Francisco Chronicle
Ruth Asawa fans can rest easy - the artist's beloved bronze fountain near Union Square is staying pretty much right where it is. Apple has presented city officials ...

San Francisco Chronicle

Microsoft will craft XP patches after April '14, but not for you
Computerworld - Just because Microsoft doesn't plan on giving Windows XP patches to the public after April 8, 2014, doesn't mean it's going to stop making ...
The Australian Financial Review
A new study has pegged Google's Australian revenue at almost $1.74 billion, with mobile search advertising on smartphones and tablets tipped to become the ...
The feds want Judge Cote to issue an injunction requiring Apple to allow retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble to sell e-books through their iOS apps ...
CIO Today
As of Thursday's announcement, a flurry of comments from Google users poured in, ... Interestingly, international Google users voiced disappointment that the ...

CIO Today

Apple patent turns the iPhone into an intelligent universal media ...
Apple Insider
An Apple patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday describes a method in which a portable device, like the iPhone, can save, ...

Apple Insider

Google's self-certified hypocrisy
Summary: Google's policies for accepting SSL certificates from web sites in ... Apple, Microsoftand BlackBerry all use real code signing for their app stores.
CIO Today
We asked Rob Enderle, principal analyst at The Enderle Group, for his take on the Amazon (and Microsoft and Google) outage. He told us he's concerned about ...

CIO Today

Big break in dolphin die-off: It's an 'outbreak' of measles-like virus
A virus that is similar to measles has caused the deaths of some of the hundreds of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins that have died since early July this year. Genetic tests have confirmed that an outbreak of a measles-like virus known as morbillivirus is playing a ...

Now all Windows developers have been thrown under the bus
Summary: Microsoft's latest boneheaded move is to prevent developers having early access to Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 RT...

Facebook: US demands data on 38K users
Government agents in 74 countries demanded information on about 38,000 Facebook users in the first half of this year, with about half the orders coming from authorities ...

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 rumored to have 4K video capture
The forthcoming phablet could be the first mobile device to offer Ultra High Definition video recording in 4K resolution, but we think that's a long shot. Scott Webster. by Scott Webster. August 27, 2013 10:54 AM PDT. Follow @swebster77. The next-generation ...

Apple said to be prepping new trade-in program on eve of iPhone 5S launch
Christian Science Monitor
September is likely to see the unveiling of a pair of new Apple smart phones: An iPhone 5S flagship device and a cheaper model iPhone 5C for budget-minded customers. It now seems like Apple is also planning to unveil a new trade-in program for older ...

BBM spin-off pondered by BlackBerry
The troubled Ontario-based smartphone maker is considering options for its future, including a break-up or sale, but has already confirmed that the popular BlackBerry Messenger service will launch on rival platforms such as Apple's iOS and Google Android ...

Amazon Enables In-App Purchases of Physical Goods
PC Magazine
Amazon on Tuesday launched a new mobile API that will let mobile users make one-click Amazon purchases from within apps. Developers who tap into the Amazon Mobile Associates API can add easy purchase links to Amazon within their apps...

Hunter-Gatherers in Europe Owned Domesticated Pigs as Early as 4600 BC
Science World Report
European hunter-gatherers may have started farming practices far sooner than anyone expected. Archaeologists have uncovered the interaction between hunter-gatherer and farming communities, revealing that less-stationary groups of people may have ...

more technology news below

27 August 2013

Microsoft, Ballmer Exit, What Now?

New York Times says Microsoft needs a "catch-up artist" (see article at link below). Sorry, catch-up doesn't work in tech, Microsoft is going to need someone to rebuild and reinvent Microsoft -- quickly develop and issue a successor to Windows 7 for non-touch screen PCs, kill Windows Surface RT, abandon Windows phone,  focus on IE as a cross-platform browser on all devices including Android and iOS, continue to develop services on the cloud -- outlook.com, Skype, Sky Drive, Office 360, etc., and even consider buying Canonical or another Linux platform provider and issue a "Microsoft Linux" for servers, PCs and smartphones (that will run Android apps) -- Bottom line: Bill Gates isn't coming back, and Microsoft needs to move forward and unshackle itself from past errors, out-of-date business models, and false notions of what is achievable in Redmond.

Needed at Microsoft - A Catch-Up Artist - NYTimes.com" . . . . In his memo to Microsoft employees on Friday, Mr. Ballmer pointed to the challenge ahead for the company. At 57, he has decided to make way for a successor who can guide “our transformation to a devices and services company.” No mention of software as such. But a big part of the job for Mr. Ballmer’s successor will be re-engineering Windows and Office for delivery over the Internet onto all kinds of devices including smartphones and tablets, according to Mr. Yoffie of the Harvard Business School. Even if that is successful, the profit margins of the PC days will probably never return, especially when competing against free and low-cost alternatives, like Google’s Android operating system and Google Docs. “But unless Microsoft makes that transition with its core products,” Mr. Yoffie says, “the company is in danger of heading into the kind of crisis it is trying to avoid.”"

Ballmer Departure From Microsoft Was More Sudden Than Portrayed - Kara Swisher - News - AllThingsD: "As AllThingsD’s John Paczkowski wrote on Friday: “Here’s one metric by which Ballmer will be judged harshly. On the last day of 1999, the day before he took over as CEO, Microsoft’s market capitalization was $600 billion. On the day before he announced his intention to retire, it was less than $270 billion.”"

Ballmer forced out after $900M Surface RT debacle - Computerworld: "Steve Ballmer was forced out of his CEO chair by Microsoft's board of directors, who hit the roof when the company took a $900 million write-off to account for an oversupply of the firm's struggling Surface RT tablet, an analyst argued today. "He was definitely pushed out by the board," said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, in an interview Friday. "They either drove him out, or put him in a situation where he felt he had to leave to save face.". . . "

Ballmer Exit Brings Microsoft a Chance for Reinvention - NYTimes.com
While Microsoft in Mr. Ballmer's reign as chief executive has yielded the spotlight to more glamorous companies like Apple, Google and Facebook, it still makes ...

Microsoft's Next Era | TechCrunch
Moments like this happen only once a generation in the technology industry. The announcement of Steve Ballmer's retirement from his post as CEO of Mic..

Microsoft Board in Needle-in-Haystack Hunt for New CEO
The new CEO will also need to help Microsoft hone its strategy, comparable to Lou Gerstner's overhaul of International Business Machines Corp. (IBM:US) The challenge: making up for a lost decade when Microsoft fell behind Google and Apple Inc.

Microsoft's next CEO faces tougher times than Ballmer
But here's the reality: Microsoft's job isn't getting any easier. The tech giant is sprawling and it's unclear whether it can compete with Google, Apple and Amazon -- three companies with more focused businesses. The biggest challenge for Microsoft's ...

The perils of China for Google, Apple: "Several years ago, when Google was making a strong push to boost search traffic and ad sales in China, one of its competitors there reportedly had a cunning idea. The company was said to have compiled a list of alleged violations of China's censorship laws committed by Google, a list it then presented to that country's Internet police . . . . Soon after, visitors to the company's google.cn website were being redirected to the site of Baidu.com, according to my source, a veteran executive of technology and media companies who is now running a consumer Internet start-up he founded. . . ."

Stop Thinking That Tech Hacks Will Fix Our Surveillance Problems | Wired Opinion | Wired.com: "The task of defending privacy from surveillance should be taken up by all citizens, together. As Mark Hagerott and Daniel Sarewitz argued in Slate, “[O]ne of society’s most powerful narratives of democratic struggle — the myth of the individual who rebels against social and political conformity — has been rendered implausible by the development of pervasive security technology.” It’s time to change that narrative so that the notion of a “democratic” struggle in our time isn’t always equated with a solely technological one."

From Google, Uber Gets Money and Political Muscle
Even if Google and other companies are close to developing the technology to enable autonomous vehicles, there are legal issues to contend with. The most likely path towards self-driving cars will be incremental—first they'll park for us, then keep us ...

Apple looks to build market share with the cheaper iPhone 5C
The iPhone created the smartphone market and became Apple's flagship product, making $18 billion in revenue in the past quarter. Yet despite tens of millions of iPhones sold, Apple continues to lose market share to Google's Android. Many have ...

Round 2 in Microsoft, Motorola patent trial
Chicago Tribune
The argument between Microsoft and Motorola -- and by extension Google, which now owns it - is just one facet of a wide-ranging global patent war surrounding smartphone and Internet technology that has drawn in Apple Inc, Samsung Electronics Co, Nokia ...

Microsoft Exchanges Points For Real Money On Xbox Live Today
If you spent any Microsoft points on Xbox Live yesterday, they were your last. The company is doing away with its peculiar system and transitioning Xbox users over to their local currency. Any funny money left in your account will be converted ...

Amazon Web Services Outage Cuts Off Big Names
Wall Street Journal (blog)
Amazon.com's Web services unit had a glitch Sunday that appeared to take down some prominent websites and apps, including Airbnb, Facebook's Instagram and Twitter's Vine video service, according to notices the companies posted to Twitter. Getty.

As Amazon Stretches, Seattle's Downtown Is Reshaped
New York Times
When Amazon executives showed up last year for the first meetings about their proposal to build a new headquarters here — three towers that would draw thousands of workers downtown — city officials were taken aback. Not by the scope of the plan, but...

I Want an iWatch!
Daily Beast
I have an “iWatch” Google alert set to notify me whenever Apple finally announces its smart watch, wired to the smoke alarms inside my house, so any time some tech blog posts a new rumor, it's like Armageddon up in this piece. 130823-iwatch-ross-tease.

Wolverton: Google Glass needs lots of polishing
San Jose Mercury News
For those who have somehow avoided the hype, Glass is the new computer fromGoogle that's shaped like an eyeglass frame. I recently got my first chance to experience Glass. I didn't have enough time to thoroughly evaluate it, but was able to get a ...

Chatter surfaces about 'fast' Apple A7 chip for iPhone 5S - CNET News
A tweet from a Fox News reporter claims that new Apple silicon rumored to land in the iPhone 5S is "very fast," while an Apple-centric blog says it will be 64-bit -- echoing a previous rumor. ... Microsoft: Google's corrupting your kids at school.
CNET Australia

New features ahead: Google Maps and Waze apps better than ever
That's why the Waze and Google Maps teams are working together to harness the power of Google technology and the passion of the Waze community to make ...
Apple - Education - iPad - Apps, Books, and More
Apps that delight. Books that captivate. Videos that inspire. A world of learning possibilities awaits in every iPad. Who knew you could fit so much knowledge into ...

Justdelete.me Wants To Help You Pull The Plug On All Those Pesky Online Accounts | TechCrunch: " . . . A U.K.-based duo consisting of developer Robb Lewis and designer Ed Poole seem to understand that desire awfully well, and they teamed up to create what may be a truly indispensable resource. It’s called Justdelete.me, and as the name sort of implies, it’s a directory of links to pages where you can lay waste to your myriad online accounts. It’s a deceptively simple resource. . . . "

more technology news below

26 August 2013

Best Smartphone Under $100 runs on Android

Android is dominating the global smartphone OS market -- you can't beat an Android smartphone made by a quality manufacturer -- all for less than $100! --

Best Smartphone for Less Than $100 - India Real Time - WSJ: "An increasing number of manufacturers now sell phones in India for less than $100. As a result, smartphone sales and usage are increasing in the country. Mobile data usage in India increased by 92% between December 2011 to December 2012, according to a study by Nokia Siemens Networks. But which smartphone offers the best value for your $100? . . . Advantage: Samsung (on Android Jelly Bean)." (read more at link above)

The Rise and Fall of Windows Mobile, Under Ballmer - NYTimes.com: " Windows Phone software runs on a mere 3.7 percent of smartphones worldwide, far behind Android, with 79.3 percent of the market, and iOS, with 13.2 percent, according to IDC."

Take a Chromebook instead of an Apple to your teacher | ZDNet: "For the most Chromebook for the money, I like the Lenovo ThinkPad x131e, which was designed for students and cost just over $400, and the ARM-powered Samsung Chromebook. The latter has been Amazon's best selling laptop for months and sells for $250."

Android tablets just the medicine for Dubai's smart hospitals - The National: "Three thousand will be provided for patients and people in waiting areas, the authority said. Rashid Hospital, Dubai Hospital, Latifa Hospital and Hatta Hospital are among the facilities receiving the devices. The move is in line with the smart government initiative launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said Essa Al Maidoor, the director general of the authority."

Amazon Is Said to Have Tested a Wireless Network - Bloomberg: "The trial underlines how Amazon, the world’s largest e-commerce company, is moving beyond being a Web destination and hardware maker and digging deeper into the underlying technology for how people connect to the Internet. That would let Amazon create a more comprehensive user experience, encompassing how consumers get online, what device they use to connect to the Web and what they do on the Internet."

Needed at Microsoft: A Catch-Up Artist
New York Times (blog)
About an hour into the conversation, someone asked about Microsoft. The company seemed to be treading water, the mantle of high-tech leadership had passed to Appleand Google, and investors were impatient with Microsoft's stagnant stock price.

Microsoft, Motorola set for second round of trial over patents
Chicago Tribune
The argument between Microsoft and Motorola - and by extension Google, which now owns it - is just one facet of a wide-ranging global patent war surrounding smartphone and Internet technology that has drawn in Apple Inc, Samsung Electronics Co, Nokia ...

Apple Loop: Colorful iPhones, Icahn's Buyback Push, Filling In Maps, New ...
It was a busy week for Microsoft, what with CEO Steve Ballmer announcing he'll leave within the next 12 months and the stock soaring on the news. Microsoft gets criticized for not being as innovative or clever as its rivals, including Apple and Google.

Microsoft releases to manufacturing Windows 8.1: Sources
ZDNet (blog)
A third source close to the company confirmed Microsoft RTM'd Windows 8.1 on August 23, and announced internally that the quality metrics for Windows 8.1 were back in line with those of Windows 7. (The vast amount of changes in the Windows 8 code base ...

Is Google Killing Cable?
But as cable companies and TV broadcasters are battling to increase the amount of dollars each gets from anyone who purchases a cable service subscription, companies like Apple Apple and Google Google are quietly moving in to replace the old system.

Microsoft's Russian Bribery Problem Is That In Some Places Bribery Is Endemic
A U.S. investigation into Microsoft Corp.'s relationships with business partners that allegedly bribed foreign officials in return for contracts includes activity in Russia and Pakistan, a sign that the probe is wider reaching than previously known ...

Homegrown vendors beat Apple, Samsung sales in India, China
New Delhi: The rising demand for affordable smartphones in the major emerging markets of India and China has helped local mobile manufacturers surpass shipments by the established global brands like Samsung and Apple in April-June quarter this year, ...

Google buys virtual imaging patents from Foxconn
Hindu Business Line
Foxconn Technology, also known under the name Hon Hai Precision Industry, is the main supplier in Asia for Google's biggest rival Apple, particularly for the manufacture of iPhones. (This article was published on August 25, 2013). Keywords: google ...

Krugman: Apple might be in bigger trouble than Microsoft
CNET (blog)
For Krugman, there aren't so many differences between Apple and Samsung. He's disappointed with the iPad Mini too. He's tired of "fighting iOS in order to do simple things." He's tired, in fact, of fighting the controlling spirit of Steve Jobs. With ...

Apple, Samsung do not have to disclose profit details: court
Khaleej Times
Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd do not have to make public the financial details submitted to a US court during high-profile patent litigation, a federal appeals panel ruled on Friday. The Federal US Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington ...

Instagram buys camera app Luma to strengthen video offering
Instagram's first acquisition under parent company Facebook is Luma, the 18-month-old company behind the camera application by the same name. Terms of the deal were not disclosed although we are told the agreement is for the company's talent and ...

Windows 8 stains Ballmer's legacy
Computerworld - Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer survived the flop that was Windows Vista, but he wasn't able to do the same after the disappointment of Windows 8. "Last year, Ballmer said Windows 8 would be his defining moment," said Patrick Moorhead of ...

iPhone 5S release dates, specs keep pouring in
It's up to Apple now to top or debunk the flood of iPhone 5S rumors, but many of the rumors seem credible. It will be ...

Verizon Motorola Droid 5 leaks online, sporting QWERTY keyboard & on-screen ...
Mobile & Apps
A new Motorola Droid smartphone has leaked in some images online, suggesting that the company is not yet done with handsets packing slide-out QWERTY keyboards. Motorola just unveiled three new Droid smartphones for Verizon last month, but it now ...

 more technology news below

25 August 2013

Google, Chrome, Business

Enough already about Steve Ballmer and Microsoft -- now back to the present (and future) -- Chrome for Business --

Google Chrome for Business (Free) was first launched in 2010 to provide IT administrators a way to centrally deploy pre-configured Chrome browsers throughout an organization. Chrome for Business was updated in April 2013, and Google added a number of new policies to configure Chrome (there are now 100), implement legacy browser support, and use cloud-based IT admin tools for organizations using Google Apps. The update makes configuring and pushing out Chrome to clients in a Windows domain quite easy because it integrates with Group Policy (GP) . . . However, if you want and need Chrome deployed to a significant number of users on a network, there is no more efficient way to deploy and manage it than with Chrome for Business. You can download Google Chrome for Business from the Chrome for Business site. Google's documentation instructs you to download the Windows Installer package—the .MSI file for installing the Chrome browser and placing it in a network share, accessible to users. (source pcmag.com )

Apple Loop: Colorful iPhones, Icahn's Buyback Push, Filling In Maps, New ...
It was a busy week for Microsoft, what with CEO Steve Ballmer announcing he'll leave within the next 12 months and the stock soaring on the news. Microsoft gets criticized for not being as innovative or clever as its rivals, including Apple and Google.

On The Symmetry Between Microsoft And Apple - NYTimes.com: Paul Krugman - "I am not a tech industry maven, so I am busy coming up to speed on the implications of the Ballmer resignation. And what I’m about to say may be obvious to many. Still, I think it’s worth saying: there is, once you look past the surface, a remarkable symmetry between Microsoft’s strategy in its heyday and Apple’s strategy today...."

Microsoft needs innovator-in-chief
Its lumbering pace stands in sharp contrast to the speed with which companies such as Facebook and Google update their services. "The tech industry, more than any other, is one full of fast change and new trends. ... Many were quick to point out that ...

Is Google Killing Cable?
But as cable companies and TV broadcasters are battling to increase the amount of dollars each gets from anyone who purchases a cable service subscription, companies like Apple and Google are quietly moving to replace the old system. Apple took the ...

Google Glass Patent to Watch What You Watch, Read Your Emotions
PC Magazine
Google turned quite a few heads earlier this month when it filed a patent for a "gaze tracking system" that obliquely refers to their wearable Google Glass devices. The patent at least appears to set the stage for a bold new way to gather information ...

Krugman: Apple might be in bigger trouble than Microsoft
For Krugman, there aren't so many differences between Apple and Samsung. He's disappointed with the iPad Mini too. He's tired of "fighting iOS in order to do simple things." He's tired, in fact, of fighting the controlling spirit of Steve Jobs. With ...

Apple's grip on China tablet market loosens as Android tablet makers surge
Washington Post
SEOUL, South Korea — Apple's grip on China's tablet market has loosened as Asian tech companies increase sales with cheaper Android tablet computers, a market report showed Thursday. Dickie Chang, senior market analyst at research firm IDC, said ...

Microsoft releases to manufacturing Windows 8.1: Sources
A third source close to the company confirmed Microsoft RTM'd Windows 8.1 on August 23, and announced internally that the quality metrics for Windows 8.1 were back in line with those of Windows 7. (The vast amount of changes in the Windows 8 code base ...

Google To Build Its Own Driverless Cars
Google Inc., which has been working on software to help major automakers build self-driving cars, also is quietly going around them by designing and developing a full-fledged self-driving car, according to people familiar with the matter. In recent ...

As Google Ventures Invests $250 Million In Uber, What's Next? Driverless Cars ...
Google Google Ventures, Google's supposedly early-stage investment arm, just pumped more than $250 million into the on-demand car service Uber, according to AllThingsD's Kara Swisher. Along with other investors, principally private-equity firm TPG...

Facebook Wilts Flowers and Tosses Teddy Bears in 'Gifts'
PC Magazine
Facebook is officially dropping physical goods from its Facebook Gifts program. Which is to say, Facebook is still keeping Gifts, it's just switching over to gift cards and digital codes instead of flowers, stuffed animals, and cupcakes. The reason for the switch is ...

iPhone 5S release dates, specs keep pouring in
It's up to Apple now to top or debunk the flood of iPhone 5S rumors, but many of the rumors seem credible. Brooke Crothers. by Brooke Crothers. August 24, 2013 3:55 PM PDT. Follow @mbrookec. Rendering of a champagne-colored iPhone 5S: It will be ...

Needed at Microsoft: A Catch-Up Artist
New York Times
TWO months ago, Bill Gates met with members of the New York Times editorial board and a few editors and reporters. Public health was on his mind, and he spoke eloquently about the progress being made to combat diseases like tuberculosis and malaria, ...

Arctic Ocean Losing Sea Ice At An Alarming Rate: NASA
International Business Times
The size of the minimum ice extent of the Arctic has been diminishing at a rapid pace over the last few years, and the trend continues. Reuters. Although the ice cover at the North Pole has rebounded from last year's record-breaking low with this year's summer ...

MakerBot Digitizer Pioneers 3D Scanning [Video]
Guardian Express
The MakerBot Digitizer is a revolutionary new way to scan 3-dimensional objects into your computer. Could this newfangled technology pioneer 3D scanning? 3D printing is certainly starting to gain considerable momentum. However, 3D printers require code ...

Pair of Atomic Clocks Set New Record for Stability
Science World Report
A pair of atomic clocks based on ytterbium atoms has set a new record for stability. The clocks are like 21st-century pendulums that could swing back and forth with perfect timing for a period comparable to the age of the universe. NIST's ultra-stable ytterbium ...

Instagram's First Acquisition Is Video Sharing App Luma
Instagram has just made its first acquisition, buying both the team and technology of Y Combinator company Luma (formerly known as Midnox). Luma created a video-capture, stabilization and sharing app, which will be shut down soon. In fact, one source ...

Motorola Droid 5 photos leak out — but will anyone care about a new physical ...
Let's face it, the era of smartphones with physical keyboards is just about over. Software keyboards like SwiftKey offer great typing experiences, and even the hardline physical keyboard fans are being swayed away. So it's tough to get excited for these alleged ...

DOJ Suggests Lighter Penalty for Apple
Wall Street Journal
The Department of Justice on Friday suggested revisions to the proposed punishments against Apple in a court filing that also shed light on Apple's alleged retaliation against Amazon in the electronic book market. Federal prosecutors suggested that a ...

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