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Showing posts from April, 2010

Opera Acquires Fastmail.fm

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Opera Software just bought email service provider Fastmail.fm. Here's hoping that Opera uses a light touch and keeps the email service as unchanged as possible. From the article: 'FastMail has included a FAQ, in which it says that users who wish to not transfer their accounts over to Opera have to go into settings and indicate just that. Not acting upon the email the company sent out to its users or actively accepting the transfer will result in Opera assuming control over the mailbox and the account registration details. As to the reason for selling, FastMail says the market was getting increasingly competitive and that Opera's expertise in web browsers and especially the mobile market would help the company grow and take on the next big challenges in running and building an email service.

Ubuntu Linux 10.04 Review (Lucid Lynx) finally launched..

The open source world has been eagerly anticipating the final release of Ubuntu Linux 10.04, and now it's finally here. Canonical has been working extremely hard and it shows in the quality of this releas

Steve Jobs Publishes Some 'Thoughts On Flash'

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Steve Jobs just posted an open letter of sorts explaining Apple's position on Flash, going back to his company's long history with Adobe and expounding upon six main points of why he thinks Flash is wrong for mobile devices. HTML5 naturally comes up, along with a few reasons you might not expect. He concludes in saying that 'Flash was created during the PC era — for PCs and mice.'" Tacky that his first point is that Flash is proprietary, when Apple restricts the apps that can be installed on the phone. Pot, meet kettle.

Symantec To Acquire PGP and GuardianEdge

Symantec has bought PGP and Guardian Edge for $370 million. They plan to standardize their encryption stuff on PGP keys

Sony Sued Over PS3 "Other OS" Removal

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A Californian Playstation 3 user has filed the first class action lawsuit against Sony over removal of the 'Install Other OS' function from the Playstation 3. The action seeks to redress Sony's 'intentional disablement of the valuable functionalities originally advertised as available with the Sony Playstation 3 video game console.' The suit claims that the disablement breaches the sales contract between Sony and its customers and constitutes 'an unfair and deceptive business practice perpetrated on millions of unsuspecting customers.

Reset BIOS or LOGIN password solutions for your Windows PC

Part One: Reset BIOS password


Method One: Using a Standard BIOS Backdoor Passwords


Some BIOS manufacturers have provided backdoor passwords for their own technicians to use so they can access the BIOS when the hardware is being serviced. Here are some of the ones that have been reported, these passwords are case sensitive, so you may wish to try a variety of combinations.
WARNING: Some BIOS configurations will lock you out of the system completely if you type in an incorrect password more than 3 times. Read your manufacturers documentation for the BIOS setting before you begin typing in passwords.


Award BIOS backdoor passwords:
ALFAROME, ALLY, ALLy, aLLy, aPAf, award


AMI Backdoor BIOS Passwords:
AMI, AMI?SW, AMI_SW, BIOS, CONDO, HEWITT RAND, LKWPETER, PASSWORD


Phoenix BIOS Backdoor Passwords:
phoenix, PHOENIX, CMOS, BIOS


Other BIOS Passwords by Manufacturer: (manufacturer name -- password)
Biostar -- Biostar
Compaq -- Compaq
Dell -- Dell
Enox -- xo11nE
Epox -- central


Method Two: Using Hardwa…

April 28, 2003: Apple Opens iTunes Store

2003: Apple opens the iTunes Music Store and starts to revolutionize the music-recording industry, one song at a time.

Apple Just Says Yes To iPhone Smoking Game

"Apple on Monday approved Puff Puff Pass, a $2 game whose objective is to pass a cigarette or pipe around and puff it as many times as you can within a set duration. So much for taking the high road, Apple. The game allows you to choose between smoking a cigarette, a cigar and a pipe. Then, you select the number of people you'd like to light up with (up to five), the amount of time, and a place to smoke (outdoors or indoors). And you're ready to get right on puffing.

Apple Bans Online Sales In Japan

Large retail stores in Japan were ordered a week ago to stop selling Apple products online (Google translation; Japanese original). The comments in the Japanese business newspapers suggest that Apple believes online shopping confers an aura of 'cheapness' on their products; but surely killing the Apple store's competition must have entered into the calculation. As of today, most of the largest retailers have notices on their Apple catalog pages asking you kindly to visit the shop if you want to acquire a piece of magic. It seems that for the moment the campaign is aimed at the big fish, as smaller shops still seem to be selling Apple products.

Firefox Arrives On Android

Mozilla has launched a 'pre-alpha' version of Firefox for Android smartphones. The mobile version of Firefox, codenamed Fennec, has until now been restricted to Maemo Linux handsets. But following a surge in developer effort, Mozilla has unveiled a build for handsets running Android 2.0 or above. Mozilla is making no guarantees about the browser's stability. 'It will likely not eat your phone, but bugs might cause your phone to stop responding, requiring a reboot,' writes Mozilla developer Vladimir Vukicevic on his blog. 'Memory usage of this build isn't great — in many ways it's a debug build, and we haven't really done a lot of optimization yet. This could cause some problems with large pages, especially on low memory devices like the Droid.

SCO Asks Judge To Give Them the Unix Copyright

n March, the jury in the Novell/SCO case found that Novell owns the copyright to Unix. Now, SCO's lawyers have asked judge Ted Stewart to order Novell to turn over the Unix copyright to them. 'SCO contends the jury did not answer the specific issue before Stewart that involves a legal principle called "specific performance," under which a party can ask a court to order another party to fulfill an aspect of an agreement.'" Over at Groklaw, PJ is deep into a community project to annotate SCO's filing. It's for the benefit of future historians, but it makes amusing reading now.

Facebook Is Transcoding Video For iPad

"Another heavy user of Adobe's video streaming software Flash is now pandering to the all-powerful iPad. Everybody's favourite waste of time, social notworking monster Facebook, is now streaming user videos to Apple's second coming of the portable computer with no sign of Flash in sight.

April 27, 1791: Samuel F.B. Morse, ‘American Leonardo,’ Born

1791: Samuel Finley Breese Morse, inventor of the practical electromagnetic telegraph, is born in Charlestown, Massachusetts. He’ll also make waves in the art world and in politics.

What Happens When IPv4 Address Space Is Gone

We all know that IPv4 address space is almost all gone — but how will we know when the exact date is? And what will happen that day? In a new report, ARIN's CIO explains exactly what will happen on that last day of IPv4 address availability: '"We will run out of IPv4 address space and the real difficult part is that there is no flag date. It's a real moving date based on demand and the amount of address space we can reclaim from organizations," Jimmerson told InternetNews.com. "If things continue they way they have, ARIN will for the very first time, sometime between the middle and end of next year, receive a request for IPv4 address space that is justified and meets the policy. However, ARIN won't have the address space. So we'll have to say no for the very first time.

IEEE Introduces Mario Level-Generation Competition

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"Last year, the IEEE conference on Computational Intelligence and Games hosted a competition to determine who could write the best AI for playing Mario levels (YouTube video). This year, the conference has expanded the competition to include a track on level generation as well, where the goal is to generate new levels online procedurally. Submitting an entry is as easy as implementing a Java interface that performs procedural content generation. The implications of this competition are techniques for greatly increasing the replayability of games, since each gameplay session could present new levels to the player

The End of the 3.5 Inch Floppy Continues

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In a brief press release buried within Sony Japan's website, the company announced that they would be ending sales of the classic 3.5 inch floppy disk in the country in March of 2011. Sony introduced the size to the world in 1981, which saw its heyday in the 1990s. Sony has been one of the last major manufacturers to continue shipments of the disk type they helped develop, but had ended most worldwide sales in March of this year. The company's production of the 3.5 inch floppy ceased in 2009. Sony noted the demand, or a lack thereof, as the reason. The company's withdrawal is one of the final marks in the slow death of the floppy era.

Russian Hacker Selling 1.5M Facebook Accounts

A hacker who calls himself Kirllos has obtained and is now offering to sell 1.5 million Facebook IDs at astonishingly low prices — $25 per 1,000 IDs for users with fewer than 10 friends and $45 per 1,000 IDs for users with more than 10 friends. Looking at the numbers, Kirllos has stolen the IDs of one out of every 300 Facebook users. Quoting: 'VeriSign director of cyber intelligence Rick Howard told the New York Times that it appeared close to 700,000 had already been sold. Kirllos would have earned at least $25,000 from the scam. Howard told the newspaper that it was not apparent whether the accounts and passwords were legitimate, however a Russian underground hacking magazine reported it had tested some of Kirllos' previous samples and managed to get into people's accounts.

Hubble’s telescope 20th Anniversary With Best Space Image Ever

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Today Facebook, Tomorrow the World

With a few deft maneuvers, Facebook is aiming to make itself the center of the internet, the central repository and publisher of what users like and do online. Facebook’s new tendrils will likely give what is already the world’s largest social network enough data to compete with Google for billions from advertisers who are hungry to spend their ad dollars on ads they can target specifically.
Facebook’s main lever to get all this data funneled to them is a simple “I Like” button, which websites can embed on their pages with very little effort. When a user clicks on that button, they signal to Facebook to add their vote on their user stream that they are a fan of this NFL player, this romantic comedy or that blog. Websites that embed some smart metadata (geared mostly for Facebook) into their pages let Facebook know what kind of thing a user likes, so Facebook can automatically add it to the relevant section of that person’s profile — with a link back to the original site.

Michael Yon a super hero

To military bloggers and conservative hawks, Michael Yon was a super hero — a fearless Green-Beret-turned-citizen-journalist who spent years on the frontlines of Iraq and Afghanistan when most big media outlets kept their reporters at home. But now, those same military bloggers are turning their sights on Yon, after he began savaging America’s top general in Afghanistan and warning that the American war effort is all but doomed.

April 22, 1993: Mosaic Browser Lights Up Web With Color, Creativity

1993: NCSA Mosaic 1.0, the first web browser to achieve popularity among the general public, is released. With it, the web as we know it begins to flourish.

Next Gen Intel CPUs Move To Yet Another Socket

According to a leaked roadmap, next year we'll be saying hello to LGA1155. The socket is 1-pin different from the current LGA1156 socket Core i3, i5, and some i7s use. Sandy Bridge CPUs will be based on the current 32nm, second-generation High-k metal gate manufacturing process. All LGA1155 CPUs will have integrated graphics built into the core instead of a separate chip. This is an upgrade from the current IGP, PCI Express controller and memory controller in Clarkdale CPUs. which is manufactured on the older 45nm process in a separate die (but still slapped together the same package). This should improve performance, as all the controllers will be in one die, like existing LGA1366 CPUs.

Steve Jobs Recommends Android For Fans of Porn

'After being asked about the App Store's recent ban on "sexy apps," Steve Jobs responded, "We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy an Android phone. You know, there's a porn store for Android, you can download nothing but porn. You can download porn, your kids can download porn. That's a place we don't want to go, so we're not going to go there." Apps such as Playboy's and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition are still available on the App Store, however, as they come from "more reputable companies.

Network Solutions Sites Hacked Again

A week after Web hosting company Network Solutions dealt with a large-scale infection of WordPress-driven blogs, the company acknowledged that other sites it hosts have been compromised. 'We have received reports that Network Solutions customers are seeing malicious code added to their websites and we are really sorry for this experience,' said spokesman Shashi Bellamkonda in a blog post. 'At this time, since anything we say in public may help the perpetrators, we are unable to provide details.' Securi Security Labs said on Sunday that at least 50 sites hosted by Networks Solutions had been hacked, and that malicious JavaScript injected into those sites was redirecting unsuspecting users to a Ukrainian attack server. The same server was involved in the earlier attacks against Network Solutions-hosted blogs. According to the StopMalvertising blog, the attacks planted a rogue IFRAME on the hacked sites to shunt users to the attack server. That server then l…

Source Code To Google Authentication System Stolen

More details are coming out about the extent of the break-in at Google a few months ago. The NY Times is reporting that one of the things stolen was the source code to Google's single sign-on authentication system, called Gaia. Though Google is making changes to the system, the theft raises the possibility that attackers could analyze the code to find new exploits to take advantage of in the future. No wonder that Eric Schmidt recently said they've become paranoid about security.

Quantum Cryptography Now Fast Enough For Video

Researchers at the Cambridge Lab of Toshiba Research Europe have solved the problem of transferring highly sensitive data at high speed across a long distance network. The team were able to demonstrate the continuous operation of quantum key distribution (QKD) — a system that allows the communicating users to detect if a third party is trying to eavesdrop on the data communication — at a speed greater than one megabit/sec over a 50 km fibre optic network, thanks to the use of a light detector for high bit rates and a feedback system which maintains the high bit rates during data transfer. ... The faster one megabit/sec data handling will allow the one-time pad to be used for the encryption of video — a vast step forward over the current ability to only encrypt voice data.

Gizmodo Blows Whistle On 4G iPhone Loser

Not content with its iPhone scoop, Gizmodo has probably ruined the career of a young engineer. The tech blog last night exposed the name of the hapless Apple employee who had one German beer too many and left a prototype iPhone G4 in a California bar some 20 miles from Apple's Infinite Loop campus. Was that really necessary?" It also came out that they paid $5K for the leaked prototype and that Apple wants it back

Hidden Cores On Phenom CPUs Can Be Unlocked

One of the major ways a semiconductor manufacturer manages to make the most of its chips is through binning. Chips able to cope with high clock speeds with all cores running end up as premium product lines, while others will end up as models rated at lower speed grades, or with fewer cores. In the case of AMD's Phenom CPUs dual and triple core models are quad cores with some disabled, while some newer quad core CPUs are actually six core models with two disabled. To this end both ASUS and MSI have announced that they have modified versions of AMD 890FX and 890GX based motherboards to unlock these hidden cores. Much like overclocking, there is no guarantee that you will gain anything by unlocking the hidden cores — everything depends on just why your CPU ended up in a certain product line.

Palm's Software Chief Quits

Michael Abbott, the head of Palm's software and services team, will leave the company at the end of next week, according to a regulatory filing Palm made on Friday to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. He submitted his resignation on Monday and will leave the company on April 23, Palm said. The resignation came as reports surface that the struggling handset maker is seeking a buyer. Last month Palm reported disappointing results for the quarter that ended Feb. 26. Its Pre and Pixi smartphone lines, which run the WebOS operating system, are up against a growing number of smartphones using Google's Android platform as well as Apple's popular iPhone.

At Last, Flying Cars?

OK, we've all whined about the fact that we are now firmly entrenched in the 21st Century and no flying cars. So it is gratifying to see that our good friends at DARPA are finally going to do something about it." The project is called Transformer TX. "The Government's envisioned concept consists of a robust ground vehicle that is capable of configuring into a VTOL air vehicle with a maximum payload capability of approximately 1,000 lbs. ... Technologies of interest may include: hybrid electric drive, advanced batteries, adaptive wing structures, ducted fan propulsion systems, advanced lightweight heavy fuel engines, lightweight materials, advanced sensors, and flight controls for stable transition from vertical to horizontal flight. ... Like all DARPA projects Transformer TX is unlikely to succeed at all. Even if US Marine rifle companies one day do ride to war in handy four-man sky jeeps rather than cumbersome choppers or Humvees, that doesn't neces…

SIP Attacks From Amazon EC2 Going Unaddressed

Over the past week a number of IP-PBX systems have been suffering SIP attacks from hosts in the Amazon EC2 cloud. At least a dozen known attacks have been reported to Amazon, which has been surprisingly quiet about the matter. The issue has been well documented by one of the attack victims on his blog. The matter was also discussed on the April 16th issue of the VoIP Users Conference (podcast available at the link; EC2 segment begins around 3:30). Amazon appears to have gone silent on the matter even as the attacks are ongoing. This is completely irresponsible behavior from a such a hosting company, which should be acting to take down the attacker in their midst.

Microsoft Quickly Revises "Sexting" Ad For Kin Phone

Microsoft's Kin mobile phone project came under fire as Consumer Reports and others pointed out that a promotional video looked like an inappropriate endorsement of 'sexting,' prompting a quick edit and an apologetic tweet. 'The video,' observed Consumer Reports, 'includes a downright creepy sequence [beginning around 0:33] in which a young man is shown putting a Kin under his shirt and apparently snapping a picture of one of his naked breasts. The breast is then shown on the phone's screen, just before the guy apparently sends it to someone. Next we see the face of a young woman, seemingly the recipient, with an amused expression.

EU Conducts Test Flights To Assess Impact of Volcanic Ash On Aircraft

As we discussed on Friday, the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland has led to flights being canceled across the EU. With travel chaos ensuing and the airlines losing an estimated $200 million per day, EU authorities are coming under increasing pressure to re-open the airways. Test flights conducted on Saturday were apparently successful, with no problems encountered during flight. Following the test flights, Peter Hartman, CEO of KLM, said, 'We hope to receive permission as soon as possible after that to start up our operation and to transport our passengers to their destinations.' Evidence possibly opposing this move comes from the Finnish Defense Forces, which released photos and a statement after F-18 Hornets flew through the ash cloud, saying, 'Based on the pictures, it was discovered that even short flights in ash dust may cause significant damage to an airplane's engine.' Is it safe to resume flights so soon, or should planes remain grounded …

Ubisoft DRM Problems Remain Unsolved

More than three weeks after the release of The Settlers 7, with the controversial 'always on-line' DRM, a lot of people still can't connect to Ubisoft's DRM servers. The forum threads where people can post if they are unable to connect keep growing daily. One reason for the lack of fixes or responses from support seems to be that the people responsible were on vacation during the Easter holiday, despite the promise of 24/7 monitoring of the servers. The moral of this story seems to be that it is a bad idea to buy a game just before a major holiday." Or perhaps that it's wise to avoid games with such DRM altogether. So far, Ubisoft hasn't shown any sign that they're reconsidering the requirement of a constant connection. They've recently said it's "vital" to the success of their games and promised that their DRM would "evolve and improve" over time

Google Says Spam Volumes On the Rise

Despite security researchers' efforts to cut spam down to size, it just keeps growing back. The volume of unsolicited email in the first quarter was around 6 percent higher than a year earlier, according to Google's e-mail filtering division Postini. Security researchers have won a few significant battles against the spammers in the last year, first against those hosting the spammers' control systems, and later against the control systems themselves, but they will have to change tactics again if they want to win the war. In the first half of last year, security researchers concentrated their efforts on identifying the ISPs or hosting companies that allowed command-and-control servers to operate, and shutting these botnet purveyors down. The success of that tactic was short-lived, however.

Israel Blocks iPad Imports, Citing Wi-Fi Transmission Regulations

Apple's iPad is proving to be popular everywhere — except Israel. The country's Communication Ministry is refusing to let people bring the multimedia tablet into the country because it hasn't tested and approved the Wi-Fi technology used in the device, according to Haaretz. Ministry officials commented, 'The iPad device sold exclusively today in the United States operates at broadcast power levels [over its Wi-Fi modem] compatible with American standards. As the Israeli regulations in the area of Wi-Fi are similar to European standards, which are different from American standards, which permit broadcasting at lower power, therefore the broadcast levels of the device prevent approving its use in Israel.' The government seems serious about its iPad import ban. Customs officials have already confiscated ten iPads and told their owners to ship them overseas.

Microsoft Refuses To Patch Rootkit-Compromised XP Machines

"Microsoft has revealed that its latest round of patches won't install on XP machines if they're infected with a rootkit. In February, a security patch left some XP users complaining of endless reboots and Blue Screens of Death. An investigation followed and Microsoft discovered the problems occurred on machines infected with the Alureon rootkit, which interacted badly with patch KB977165 for the Windows kernel. Now Microsoft is blocking PCs with the rootkit from receiving its new patches. 'This security update includes package-detection logic that prevents the installation of the security update if certain abnormal conditions exist on 32-bit systems,' Microsoft cautions in the patch notes.

Sun Pushes Emergency Java Patch

"In a sudden about-face, Sun has rushed out a Java update to fix a drive-by download vulnerability that exposed Windows users to in-the-wild malware attacks.The patch comes less than a week after Sun told a Google researcher it did not consider the issue serious enough to warrant an out-of-cycle patch and less than a day after researchers spotted live exploits on a booby-trapped Web site. The flaw, which was also discovered independently by Ruben Santamarta, occurs because the Java-Plugin Browser is running 'javaws.exe' without validating command-line parameters. Despite the absence of documentation, a researcher was about to figure out that Sun removed the code to run javaws.exe from the Java plugin. The about-face by Sun is another sign that some big vendors still struggle to understand the importance of working closely with white hat researchers to understand the implications of certain vulnerabilities. In this case, Google's Tavis Ormandy was forced …

Meteor Spotted Yesterday Over Midwestern United States

The National Weather Service is reporting that a fireball that many people witnessed last night is a meteor that entered the atmosphere last night around 10:10 pm Central Time. This meteor was spotted by many in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois.

Sony Refuses To Sanction PS3 "Other OS" Refunds

Sony says that it has no intention of reimbursing retailers if they offer users partial refunds for fat PS3s. Last week, the first PS3 user successfully secured a partial refund from Amazon UK as compensation for the removal of the ability to run Linux on the console. The user quoted European law in order to persuade the online retailer that the goods he had bought in good faith were no longer fit for his purposes because of the enforcement of firmware update 3.21, which meant that users who chose to keep the Other OS functionality would lose the ability to play the latest games or connect to the PlayStation Network.

Virus Kenzero blackmails Victims Over "Copyright Violation"

A new type of malware infects PCs using file-share sites and publishes the user's net history on a public website before demanding a fee for its removal. The Japanese trojan virus installs itself on computers using a popular file-share service called Winni, used by up to 200m people. It targets those downloading illegal copies of games in the Hentai genre, an explicit form of anime. Website Yomiuri claims that 5,500 people have so far admitted to being infected. The virus, known as Kenzero, is being monitored by web security firm Trend Micro in Japan. Masquerading as a game installation screen, it requests the PC owner's personal details. It then takes screengrabs of the user's web history and publishes it online in their name, before sending an e-mail or pop-up screen demanding a credit card payment of 1,500 yen (£10) to 'settle your violation of copyright law' and remove the webpage.

Microsoft about to launch "Pink" Phones As Kin One & Two

Microsoft has recently launched two new phones known as the Kin One and Kin Two; previously codenamed 'Pink.' The phones are designed to appeal to social-networking focused teens, which is probably why the marketing team has tried to spice up the packaging of the phones. According to a Microsoft official the phones are named Kin because they 'knit together... kindred spirits.' The phones have a keyboard. The Kin One has a 5-Megapixel camera, while the Kin Two's 8-Megapixel camera can shoot 720p HD video. Both cameras include an LED flash. The One has a mono speaker, the Two's is stereo. One includes 4GB of on-board memory and the Two has 8GB. Both Kin phones have touch screens. According to the hands-on, the Kin phones are based on the same Windows CE core as Windows Phone 7, and they have an IE-based browser. These phones have no downloadable apps, no games, not even a calendar. They're not meant to be expandable smart phones; instead very goo…

NSA Develops USB Storage Device Detector USBDetect 3.0

Bob Brewin writes on NextGov that the National Security Agency has developed a software tool that detects thumb drives or other flash media connected to a network. The NSA says the tool, called the USBDetect 3.0 Computer Network Defense Tool, provides 'network administrators and system security officials with an automated capability to detect the introduction of USB storage devices into their networks. This tool closes potential security vulnerabilities; a definite success story in the pursuit of the [Defense Department] and NSA protect information technology system strategic goals.' The tool gathers data from the registry on Microsoft Windows machines (PDF) and reports whether storage devices, such as portable music or video players, external hard drives, flash drives, jump drives, or thumb drives have been connected to the USB port. 'I have a hunch that a bunch of other agencies use the detection software

Twitter Grows Up, Adds "Promoted Tweets"

Twitter is finally taking off the training wheels and moving into the world where real businesses tread with the launch on Tuesday of its first advertising model, dubbed 'Promoted Tweets.' The microblogging phenom has long avoided coming up with a business plan or even talking about one. But the time has come for Twitter to figure out how to make money over the long haul. Analyst Dan Old isn't so sure that Twitter users will welcome the change. 'There will be a vocal minority of users who will hate any advertising at all,' Olds said. '[Many] users understand that it's necessary and will accept it as long as it doesn't interfere with their usage. But if the ads look like regular tweets, that could cause some serious outrage from users who feel that Twitter is attempting to deceive them

Flash Comes To the iPad Via RipCode

Texas-based company RipCode has announced a new 'clientless Flash video codec' that will allow Flash content to be streamed on Apple's iPad. This would include sites like Hulu and YouTube, assuming the respective companies don't find a way to block it. According to RipCode's press release, the TransAct Transcoder V6 captures the iPad's request for Flash content and converts it into a special format that the device accepts and plays. This is all done without a local client or user intervention. 'RipCode's Transactional Transcoding platform enables an alternate and immediate solution to this issue, opening up video content to users without requiring the content hoster to move to HTML5 or pre-transcode entire video libraries from Flash to an iPad-accepted container format. By transcoding the content "in the cloud," it is essentially analogous to a network-based Flash to MP4 or MPEG-TS video adaption layer.

Is OS/2 Coming Back?

Is IBM considering relaunching OS/2? One source close to IBM says Big Blue plans to repurpose OS/2 services atop a Linux core. IT managers ask, why now?" Hey, back in simpler times OS/2 was super badass. Both of the guys who ran it were hard core.

Canadian Judge Orders Disclosure of Anonymous Posters

The Globe and Mail is reporting that Google and a newspaper called The Coast must disclose all information they have about the identity of individuals who posted anonymous comments online about top firefighters in Halifax. The story in question is titled 'Black firefighters file human rights complaint,' and there are some heated opinions in the comments.

Thailand Cracks Down On Twitter, Facebook, Etc

The ongoing poitical turmoil in Thailand has inspired the country's Ministry of Information, Computers, and Telecommunications to issue a stern warning that all users of the Internet in Thailand must 'use the internet in the right way or with appropriate purpose and avoid disseminating information that could create misunderstanding or instigate violent actions among the public', that 'all popular websites and social networks such as facebook, twitter, hi5 and my space [sic] will be under thorough watch,' and that 'Violators will be prosecuted by law with no compromise.' Thailand has draconian anti-lèse majesté laws which are routinely abused in order to settle political scores and silence dissent, and recently implemented a so-called 'Computer Crimes Act' which appears to be almost solely focused on thoughtcrimes and censorship, rather than dealing with, you know, actual crime. Several Web forums have recently been shut down, their oper…

The iPad vs. Microsoft's "Jupiter" Devices

A dozen years ago, Microsoft convinced major manufacturers to put Windows CE inside devices that looked like undersized touchscreen personal computers. The platform was code-named 'Jupiter' and shipped as Handheld PC Pro, and it flopped — it turned out that people wanted full-strength notebooks. But in retrospect, it was a clear antecedent of what Apple is doing — much more successfully — with the iPad.

NASA To Send a Humanoid Robot On Shuttle's Final Mission

Perhaps taking a page from a Star Wars script, NASA said today it will send its newest humanoid robot, known as Robonaut2, on board the space shuttle's final mission. R2 is capable of using the same tools as humans, letting it work closely with people in space.

Heavy US Demand Delays iPad's Worldwide Release

The international launch of the iPad has been delayed until late May, a one month setback from the original launch window of late April. Citing Apple's press release: 'Although we have delivered more than 500,000 iPads during its first week, demand is far higher than we predicted and will likely continue to exceed our supply over the next several weeks as more people see and touch an iPad. We have also taken a large number of pre-orders for iPad 3G models for delivery by the end of April.' International pricing will be announced on May 10, at which time international pre-orders are expected to begin.

BlackBerry Maker To Buy QNX For RTOS & Dev. Suite

Research In Motion, maker of BlackBerry smartphones, said on Friday it will buy QNX Software Systems, makers of Real-Time Operating Systems, for an undisclosed amount as it moves to boost integration of its devices with in-vehicle audio systems. QNX Neutrino is a Unix-like RTOS, and their Momentics development suite is for embedded applications for a wide variety of industries. While RIM has offered somewhat limited support of open source projects on its BlackBerry platform, the future of QNX's Foundry27 development project, which uses the Apache 2.0 license, has not yet been mentioned.

WebKit2 API Layer Brings Split-Process Model

Anders Carlsson and Sam Weinig over at Apple just announced WebKit2, a rework of the WebKit engine that powers Chrome and Safari. This new version of WebKit incorporates the same style of split-process model that provides stability in Chrome, but built directly into the framework so all browsers based upon WebKit will be able to gain the same level of sandboxing and stability. AppleInsider has a writeup, and the team has provided 'high level documentation' as well. Both Palm and the Epiphany team are going to be happy about this.

Explaining Oracle's Sun Takeover — "For the Hardware"

Brian Aker, former Sun MySQL guy, and current proponent of the Drizzle MySQL fork, gave O'Reilly Radar an update on where MySQL is at the moment. During the interview, he was asked to speculate on Oracle's original motives for acquiring Sun. 'IBM has been moving their pSeries systems into datacenter after datacenter, replacing Sun-based hardware. I believe that Oracle saw this and asked themselves, "What is the next thing that IBM is going to do?" That's easy. IBM is going to start pushing DB2 and the rest of their software stack into those environments. Now whether or not they'll be successful, I don't know. I suspect once Oracle reflected on their own need for hardware to scale up on, they saw a need to dive into the hardware business. I'm betting that they looked at Apple's margins on hardware, and saw potential in doing the same with Sun's hardware business. I'm sure everything else Sun owned looked nice and scrumptiou…

Microsoft Promises To Fully Support OOXML ... Later

OOXML is the Word document format that Microsoft rammed through the ISO last year. Last week, we discussed a blog post by Alex Brown, who was instrumental in getting OOXML approved by the ISO. Brown criticized Microsoft for reneging on its promise to support OOXML in the upcoming release of Office 2010, and for its lackadaisical approach to fixing the many bugs which still remain in the specification. Now, Doug Mahugh has responded to Brown's post, promising that Microsoft will support OOXML 'no later than the initial release of Office 15.

Firefox Lorentz Keeps Plugin Crashes Under Control

A beta of the Firefox Lorentz project is now available for download and public testing. Eming reports Firefox 'Lorentz' provides uninterrupted browsing for Windows and Linux users when there is a crash in plugins. Plugins run in a separate process from the browser. If a plugin crashes it will not crash the browser, and unresponsive plugins are automatically restarted. The process-isolation feature has been in Google's Chrome from the beginning. Chrome sandboxes individual tabs, crashes of one tab does not affect the running of the rest of Chrome browser. Firefox currently isolate only Adobe Flash, Apple Quicktime and Microsoft Silverlight, but will eventually isolate all plugins running on a page. Mozilla encourages users to test Firefox 'Lorentz' on their favorite websites. Users who install Firefox 'Lorentz' will eventually be automatically updated to a future version of Firefox 3.6 in which this feature is included.

Geohot Brings Other OS Support To PS3 With Custom Firmware

suraj.sun tips news that hacker Geohot is following through on his promise to fight Sony's removal of the "Install Other OS" feature on the PS3. He posted a video of the work he's done so far that shows a PS3 console booting into Linux. Quoting Engadget: "While it's not available to the public just yet, Geohot's 3.21OO custom firmware will apparently be simple to install and, as you can see in the video after the break, it works just as you'd expect and simply restores the 'other OS' option to its previous place. Geohot even says that the custom firmware might actually enable the other OS feature on the PS3 Slim, but he hasn't yet had a chance to try it out.

IE9 Throws Down the Hardware Acceleration Gauntlet

Over on Microsoft's IE blog they have an interesting comparison of browsers with regard to hardware accelerated page rendering. They write, 'One of our objectives with Internet Explorer 9 is taking full advantage of modern PC hardware to make the browser faster. We're excited about hardware acceleration because it fundamentally improves the performance of websites. The websites that you use every day become faster and more responsive, and developers can create new classes of web applications through standards based markup that were previously not possible. In this post, we take a closer look at how hardware acceleration improves the performance of the Flying Images sample on the IE9 test drive site. When you run Flying Images across different browsers you'll see that Internet Explorer 9 can handle hundreds of images at full speed while other browsers, including Internet Explorer 8, quickly come to a crawl.' Absent from the comparison is a nightly buil…

Firefox Search In Ubuntu 10.04 Changed To Google

Sometime back Canonical decided to change the default search in Firefox that comes Ubuntu 10.04 to Yahoo! from Google. In a surprising turn-around, Canonical have decided to a ditch Yahoo! for Google. Rick Spencer from Canonical announced that Google will now be the default Firefox search in Ubuntu 10.04, not Yahoo! as was previously decided.

Six Atoms of Element 117 Produced

A team of Russian and American scientists has produced six atoms of a new element, number 117, that has long stood as a missing link among the heaviest bits of atomic matter ever produced. The element, still nameless, appears to point the way toward a brew of still more massive elements with chemical properties no one can predict. The researchers say that the discovery bolsters the idea of an 'island of stability' among still heavier elements.

C Programming Language Back At Number 1

After more than 4 years C is back at position number 1 in the TIOBE index. The scores for C have been pretty constant through the years, varying between the 15% and 20% market share for almost 10 years. So the main reason for C's number 1 position is not C's uprise, but the decline of its competitor Java. Java has a long-term downward trend. It is losing ground to other languages running on the JVM. An example of such a language is JavaFX, which is now approaching the top 20.

Sony Update Bricks Playstations

A controversial update which was seeded by Sony in order to remove the ability to run Linux on the Playstation 3 games console has caused a storm of complaints. The 3.21 firmware upgrade, which removes the security hole provided by the 'Install Other OS' widget used by lots of educational institutions and hackers alike, also removes the console's ability to play games... turning it into a very expensive doorstop.

IBM Patents Optimization

IBM appears to want to patent optimizing programs by trial and error, which in the history of programming has, of course, never been done. Certainly, all my optimizations have been the result of good planning. Well done IBM for coming up with this clever idea. What is claimed is: 'A method for developing a computer program product, the method comprising: evaluating one or more refactoring actions to determine a performance attribute; associating the performance attribute with a refactoring action used in computer code; and undoing the refactoring action of the computer code based on the performance attribute. The method of claim 1 wherein the undoing refactoring is performed when the performance attribute indicates a negative performance effect of the computer code.

The Apple Two

Over at Slate, Tim Wu argues that the iPad is Steve Jobs' final victory over Steve Wozniak. Apple's origins were pure Woz, but the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad are the products of the company's other Steve. Jobs' ideas have always been in tension with Woz's brand of idealism and openness. Crazy as it seems, Apple Inc. — the creator of the personal computer — is leading the effort to exterminate it. And somewhere, deep inside, Woz must realize what the release of the iPad signifies: The company he once built now, officially, no longer exists.

Solar-Powered Plane Makes First Successful Flight

The Solar Impulse, a solar-powered plane covered in 12,000 solar cells, took its maiden flight today in Switzerland. The plane stayed aloft for 87 minutes, performing test maneuvers as well as completing a successful takeoff and landing. With the first test flight behind them, the developers can focus on gearing up for their around-the-world solar powered flight set for 2012.

Researcher Releases Hardened OS "Qubes"; Xen Hits 4.0

Joanna Rutkowska, a security researcher known for her work on virtualization security and low-level rootkits, has released a new open-source operating system meant to provide isolation of the OS's components for better security. The OS, called Qubes, is based on Xen, X and Linux, and is in a basic, alpha stage right now. Qubes relies on virtualization to separate applications running on the OS and also places many of the system-level components in sandboxes to prevent them from affecting each other. 'Qubes lets the user define many security domains implemented as lightweight virtual machines (VMs), or 'AppVMs.' E.g. users can have 'personal,' 'work,' 'shopping,' 'bank,' and 'random' AppVMs and can use the applications from within those VMs just like if they were executing on the local machine, but at the same time they are well isolated from each other. Qubes supports secure copy-and-paste and file sharing between t…

Son Sues Mother Over Facebook Posts

Most kids hate having their parents join in on a discussion on Facebook, but one 16-year-old in Arkansas hates it so much he has filed suit against his mother charging her with harassment. From the article: "An Arkadelphia mother is charged with harassment for making entries on her son's Facebook page. Denise New's 16-year-old son filed charges against her last month and requested a no-contact order after he claims she posted slanderous entries about him on the social networking site. New says she was just trying to monitor what he was posting." Seems like he could just unfriend her.

An Animal That Lives Without Oxygen

Scientists have found the first multicellular animals that apparently live entirely without oxygen. The creatures reside deep in one of the harshest environments on earth: the Mediterranean Ocean's L'Atalante basin, which contains salt brine so dense that it doesn't mix with the oxygen-containing waters above.

Photographers Want Their Cut From Google's E-books

The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) and several other visual artist groups are suing Google over its digitization of of millions of books, claiming copyright infringement related to images within the books. The photographers initially wanted to be included in the authors' and publishers' class action suit, but filed their own suit after that request was denied. Google and others assert that images are only included in the digital copies when permission has been obtained from the copyright holder.

Ubuntu Claims 12 Million Users — Before Lucid

It's always a challenge to try and figure out how many users a particular Linux distro has — but Canonical is now providing a new figure for Ubuntu that is 50 percent more than what they were claiming just 18 months ago. 'We have no phone home or registration process, so it's always a guesstimate. But based on the same methodology that we came up with for the 2008 number, our present belief is that it's somewhere north of 12 million users at the moment," Chris Kenyon, vice president for OEM at Canonical, told InternetNews.com.' Just in case you were wondering, Fedora still claims more — actually almost double, at 24 million.

iPad Jailbroken

A well-known hacker of the iPhone, who previously defeated Apple's restrictions on developers, has claimed in a video to have hacked the iPad. Just a day after release, the hacker, who goes by 'MuscleNerd' online, said that he has gained root access to the iPad...

Toshiba To Test Sub-25-nm NAND Flash

Toshiba plans to spend about $159.8 million this year to build a test production line for NAND flash memory chips of less than 25 nanometers. The company hopes to kick off mass production of the chip as early as 2012. The fabrication facility for this key NAND flash memory will be located at Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture.

Microsoft Sues UK's Datel Over Controllers

Microsoft has sued a British manufacturer over the infringement of four of its patents for Xbox game controllers. The suit was filed in Seattle, Washington, and Datel has yet to respond. Datel is a United Kingdom company with a US unit and has produced two specific controllers — the TurboFire and WildFire — that Microsoft wants stopped." The infringing patents are over "portions of a gaming controller" and "portion of a gaming input device having an illuminated region.