Monday, February 20, 2012

Technical News - 20 February 2012

  • YouTube enlists big-name help to redefine channels (AP)
    February 20, 2012
    In this Dec. 16, 2011 photo, crew member Arthur Hong holds a clapboard while filming holiday movie trailers at the Maker Studios in Culver City, Calif. The $100 million investment by YouTube in 96 new channels starting in October has sparked a flurry of activity in Hollywood's independent producer community. At companies like Maker Studios, which received money for three new channels, the funds have turbo-charged an already teeming operation. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)AP - YouTube is enlisting Hollywood's help to reach a generation of viewers more familiar with smartphones than TV remotes.


  • Ask Slashdot: How Do You Deal With Priorities Inflation In IT Projects?
    February 20, 2012


    NetDanzr writes "I work for an IT company that has a steady stream of projects, new features to our existing products and technical support issues. As it is customary, though, our development resources are not sufficient to cover the amount of projects. As a result, our delivery dates are slipping, and as a result the average priority of projects is rising. Where the goal was to have only 10% of projects rated high, within a year nearly 50% of projects are rated as such. Our solution is to completely wipe out the project list once per year and start a new, properly prioritized list. How does your company deal with this inflation of priorities?"Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Decision day for second Greek bailout despite financing gaps
    February 20, 2012
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone finance ministers are expected to approve a second bailout for Greece on Monday to try to draw a line under months of uncertainty that has shaken the currency bloc, although work remains to be done to make the numbers add up.

  • Sony makes mobile gaming push with handheld Vita (AP)
    February 20, 2012
    This Feb. 15, 2012 photo, shows  Playstation PSVita, foreground, and its predecessor. In the age of “Angry Birds” and “Words With Friends” dominating people’s on-the-go playtime, Sony is making a push into the world of handheld gaming with a gadget aimed at loyal gamers and fans of the PlayStation. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)AP - Sony is intensifying its push in handheld gaming with a gadget aimed at hardcore players looking for something with a bit more punch than "Angry Birds," "Words With Friends" and other smartphone pastimes.


  • Top UN inspectors in Iran for crunch nuclear talks
    February 20, 2012
    TEHRAN (Reuters) - Senior U.N. inspectors arrived in Iran on Monday to push for transparency about its disputed nuclear program and several European states halted purchases of Iranian oil as part of Western moves to pile pressure on a defiant Tehran.

  • Congress demands FTC investigation into Google's Safari tracking
    February 20, 2012
    Three members of the House of Representatives have called on the FTC to investigate Google for its method of tracking Safari users by circumventing the browser's security.
  • Etc: ABC's Nightline will air a report on Foxconn's Shenzhen, China factory on Tuesday, February 21 based on exclusive access to the facility granted by Apple and Foxconn.
    February 20, 2012
    ABC's Nightline will air a report on Foxconn's Shenzhen, China factory on Tuesday, February 21 based on exclusive access to the facility granted by Apple and Foxconn.
    Read More: PCMag, previous Ars coverage
    Read the comments on this post



  • Iranian ships reach Syria, China warns of civil war
    February 20, 2012
    AMMAN/BEIRUT (Reuters) - China accused Western countries of stirring civil war in Syria and two Iranian warships docked at a Syrian naval base, underscoring rising international tensions over the near year-long crisis.

  • Microsoft Extends Operator Billing Platform for Windows Phones Apps
    February 20, 2012
    Microsoft has struck a deal which will make it easier for more Windows Phone users to pay for Marketplace apps via their phone bill. Payments on Microsoft...

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  • Japan's Softbank to Launch 76Gbps Mobile Data Service This Week
    February 20, 2012
    Japan's third-largest mobile carrier said Monday it will launch a new high-speed service this week, with a portable Wi-Fi router that will support download...

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  • Clean-tech startup GreatPoint scales up in China
    February 20, 2012
    In a $1.25 billion deal, GreatPoint Energy's coal-to-natural gas technology will be built in China, the first large-scale plant for that technology in the world. [Read more]
  • Should The FTC Investigate Google's Safari Gaffe?
    February 20, 2012
    Complaints mount about the difference between policy and practice in Google's efforts to respect privacy but serve up targeted ads.

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  • Chinese Court Orders Ban On Apple's iPad
    February 20, 2012


    zacharye writes "A lawyer representing Proview International on Monday announced that the Intermediate People's Court in Huizhou, a city in southern China, ruled that distributors should stop selling iPads in China. From the article:'The ruling, which was also reported widely in China's state media, may not have a far-reaching effect. In its battle with Apple, Proview is utilizing lawsuits in several places and also requesting commercial authorities in 40 cities to block iPad sales. Apple Inc. said in a statement Monday that its case is still pending in mainland China. The company has appealed to Guangdong's High Court against an earlier ruling in Proview's favor.'"Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Google Latitude launches Leaderboards, your friendly global check-in competition (Digital Trends)
    February 20, 2012
    Digital Trends - Remember Google Latitude? The little Google feature that comes alongside its Maps application which allows you to see the location of your friends and how to get to them by public transportation, walking or bicycling? The app was quickly forgotten under the radar of iOS 5′s Find My Friends, and even though it added a check-in function much to the likes of Facebook Places and Foursquare, it never became quite as popular to do so. So was Google’s solution to quietly add a Leaderboard function over the weekend to give users points for checking into places?
  • Microsoft quietly extends consumer support for Windows 7, Vista
    February 20, 2012
    This month, with almost no fanfare, Microsoft has revised its support policy for consumer versions of Windows. The two most recent releases, Vista and Windows 7, now qualify for a full 10 years of...
  • Wal-Mart to take majority stake in China e-commerce firm
    February 20, 2012
    SHANGHAI/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc said on Monday it is taking a controlling stake in Chinese e-commerce firm Yihaodian, as the world's largest retailer seeks new revenue sources to fend off rising competition in the world's fastest-growing major economy.

  • Clear tops iOS Apps of the Week (Appolicious)
    February 20, 2012
    Appolicious - This week’s top iOS apps are all about finding new things. There are apps to help you learn new words, apps to help you find new music, apps to help you find new hot spots and apps to help you find presidential landmarks. If that’s not enough, there’s an app to help you organize your life. So keep reading and enjoy the best this week has to offer.
  • ABC peeks into Apple factory's working conditions
    February 20, 2012
    Nightline is touting an exclusive look inside Foxconn's facilities amid public pressure on Apple to improve the working conditions in its supply chain. [Read more]
  • Google Latitude Adds Leaderboards, Game-like Check-ins
    February 20, 2012
    A quiet update brings a whole new element to the service: for every check-in at different locations you earn points that are tallied in a leaderboard against those of your friends.

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  • LightSquared defaults on Inmarsat payment
    February 20, 2012
    (Reuters) - Satellite firm Inmarsat said its partner LightSquared, a venture struggling to build a U.S. mobile broadband service with Inmarsat's spectrum, had failed to pay a $56.25 million instalment to the British company.

  • UK Government To Demand Data On Every Call, Email, and Tweet
    February 20, 2012


    judgecorp writes "The UK government is proposing a law that would require phone and Internet companies to store information on all communications, and hand it to the security services when required. The Communications Capabilities Development Programme (CCDP) abandoned by the last government is back on the table, proposed as a means to increase security, and likely to be pushed through before the Olympics in London, according to reports."Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Mozilla Gives CAs a Chance to Come Clean About Certificate Policy Violations
    February 20, 2012
    Mozilla has asked all certificate authorities (CAs) to revoke subordinate CA certificates currently used for corporate SSL traffic management, offering an...

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  • Chip designer CSR boosts shares with $50 million buyback
    February 20, 2012
    LONDON (Reuters) - British chipmaker CSR Plc underscored its financial strength on Monday with a share buyback of up to $50 million, helping send its shares up more than 20 percent to their highest in six months.

  • 911 broadband network: brought to you by TV spectrum selloff
    February 20, 2012
    The latest budget deal out of Congress attempts a telecommunications twofer: paying for a national public safety broadband network via "incentive auctions" of the television bands to the wireless industry. But the question remains whether TV broadcast license owners will sell their spectrum.


  • PS Vita set for European launch
    February 20, 2012
    The latest handheld console from Sony - the Playstation Vita - will be launched in Europe on Tuesday.
  • Nielsen: Smartphone ownership rates clash over age, income
    February 20, 2012
    Your age and your income have probably determined whether or not you own a smartphone, according to a new report.
  • LG Announces Optimus Vu
    February 20, 2012



  • How the UK plans anti-terror phone, email monitoring
    February 20, 2012
    The UK -- according to reports -- is to follow suit with its American cousins in H.R. 1981, by aiming to force ISPs and phone companies to retain communications data for one year.
  • Why Apple didn't include Siri in OS X Mountain Lion
    February 20, 2012
    Apple's latest OS X update, Mountain Lion, adds a slate of new features, nearly all derived from iOS 5. There's one big omission, however: Siri, Apple's voice-controlled virtual assistant, does not make the migration from mobile to desktop.


  • Photo of (quite possibly fake) iPad 3 mainboard makes an appearance
    February 20, 2012
    A5X 'system-on-a-chip' revealed.
  • 'Hot for Teacher' lands student in hot water
    February 20, 2012
    A 'sexually suggestive' journal entry led to a student's suspension and barring from campus grounds - and yet he is allowed to continue studies online.
  • FHU enters Apple 'Distinguished program'
    February 20, 2012
    A university that offers all freshmen and staff iPads has been entered into Apple's Distinguished program.
  • Why Siri isn't included in OS X Mountain Lion
    February 20, 2012
    Apple's latest OS X update, Mountain Lion, adds a slate of new features, nearly all derived from iOS 5. There's one big omission, however: Siri, Apple's voice-controlled virtual assistant, does not make the migration from mobile to desktop.

  • Top 10 apps for the iPad including a sneak peek at a brand new one
    February 20, 2012
    These apps are my favorites and the most heavily used on my iPad. The list includes productivity apps and even one to help you decide what options are best in any situation.
  • How the Simpsons will spark EA's freemium push
    February 20, 2012
    Electronic Arts plans to launch a freemium Simpsons game for iOS in the coming weeks, in what it expects to be one of its biggest mobile titles of the year. [Read more]
  • Fifty years on, Glenn's flight remains a giant leap
    February 20, 2012
    John Glenn, the enduring face of America's early space program, blasted off and into history 50 years ago today, kicking off NASA's bid to catch up with the Russians in the Cold War space race. [Read more]
  • Chrome kingpin Pichai promises Android upgrades
    February 20, 2012
    In a Q&A, Chrome leader Sundar Pichai promises the Android version will improve "by leaps and bounds" and says the browser will make Google money directly. [Read more]
  • A conversation with John Glenn
    February 20, 2012
    With razor-sharp clarity, John Glenn recalls his pioneering 1962 flight to become the first American in orbit. Now 90, he discusses the mission, a subsequent shuttle flight, and the current state of NASA. [Read more]
  • John Glenn: The Man Behind the Hero
    February 20, 2012

    On March 1, 1962, thousands of people lined New York City s Broadway. Some climbed into an unfinished building to use it as a makeshift grandstand. They all wanted a glimpse of a real life hero. In the back of a car driving slowly down the street sat John Herschel Glenn Jr., smiling and giving onlookers a thumbs up. He looked just like an astronaut should. Nearly five foot ten inches of trained muscle, his receding red hair cut close to his head accented his ruddy face that was freckled from months of running on the beach in Florida. His wife Annie, whom he met when both were toddlers, sat next to him beaming.
    [More]

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  • Internet again disrupted in Iran ahead of election
    February 20, 2012
    TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranians faced a second and more extensive disruption of Internet access Monday, just a week after email and social networking sites were blocked, raising concerns about state censorship ahead of parliamentary elections.

  • ITC rules in Apple's favour in HTC patent dispute
    February 20, 2012
    HTC has lost another battle with the U.S. ITC after it lost a patent dispute case with Apple. It comes only months after Apple won a patent case against HTC for infringing its patents.
  • Samsung approves LCD spin-off; focus shifts to OLED
    February 20, 2012
    Samsung plans to spin-off its loss-making LCD business into a separate entity later this year, as it shifts its focus to OLED televisions.
  • Alibaba to secure loan, eyes HK unit buyout
    February 20, 2012
    HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba Group is set to sign on Monday a $3 billion loan it plans to use to take private its Hong Kong-listed unit, Alibaba.com, Thomson Reuters publication Basis Point reported.

  • Factbox: John Glenn's spaceflight
    February 20, 2012
    On Feb 20, 1962, John Glenn, a 40-year-old Marine Corps colonel, became the first American to launch into orbit, finally evening up the score in a heated space race with the Soviet Union. Here's a look at Glenn's flight.
  • John Glenn's fury over death of Nasa space programme
    February 20, 2012
    John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth, has launched an attack on the adiminstration of George W Bush after Nasa was forced to retire the space shuttles last year.