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Google

Gartner Predicts Android Most Popular Mobile OS By 2014 180

Posted by timothy
from the four-years-out dept.
mikesd81 writes "According to Gartner research firm, Google's Android smartphone operating system will in a single year have leapfrogged competitors like Apple's iPhone, Research in Motion's Blackberry and Microsoft Windows phones in global popularity, and will challenge Nokia to become the world's most popular mobile OS by 2014. Gartner says that the explosive growth of Android will give it 17.7% of world wide sales by the end of 2010. ... Analysts also say there are number of things that could derail Android's growth, including Oracle's lawsuit over Java patents."
Government

Microsoft Complaints Help Russian Gov't Pursue Political Opposition Groups 249

Posted by timothy
from the honestly-now dept.
asaz989 writes "The New York Times reports that Russia selectively pursues software piracy complaints from Microsoft in order to suppress the opposition — confiscating computers for evidence, searching offices, and the like. Microsoft lawyers usually back the authorities in such cases, even when cases such as that of the environmentalist group Baikal Waves, which went out of its way to buy licenses to prevent police harassment and nevertheless had its offices raided, and its computers confiscated. Microsoft participated in this legal process. Published alongside this story, under the same byline, is a related piece on the collusion of Microsoft lawyers with corrupt Russian police in extorting money from the targets of software piracy investigations. In a responding press release, the company states, 'Microsoft antipiracy efforts are designed to honor both [antipiracy concerns and human rights], but we are open to feedback on what we can do to improve in that regard.'"
Microsoft

Child Abuse Verdict Held Back By MS Word Glitch 191

Posted by samzenpus
from the messy-verdict dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Last week several defendants including one high-profile TV presenter were sentenced in Portugal in what has been known as the Casa Pia scandal. The judges delivered on September 3 a summary of the 2000-page verdict, which would be disclosed in full only three days later. The disclosure of the full verdict has been postponed from September 8 to a yet-to-be-announced date, allegedly because the full document was written in several MS Word files which, when merged together, retained 'computer related annotations which should not be present in any legal document.' (Google translated article.) Microsoft specialists were called in to help the judges sort out the 'text formatting glitch,' while the defendants and their lawyers eagerly wait to access the full text of the verdict."
Government

£32k a Day For Birmingham Council Website 150

Posted by samzenpus
from the you're-doing-it-wrong dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Birmingham Wired have uncovered that Birmingham City Council spend on average £32,000 a day maintaining a council website that has cost the tax-payer over £48 million to date, while councils nationwide prepare to say goodbye to 26,000 jobs due to budget deficits. Capita, a London based outsourcing company, states on their website: 'To date we've invested £48.4m in a combination of staff training, network upgrades, server replacements, hardware and software — and we continue to drive efficiency through innovation.'"
Crime

Hacker Teaches iPhone Forensics To Police 193

Posted by samzenpus
from the strange-bedfellows dept.
Ponca City, We love you writes "The Mercury News reports that former hacker Jonathan Zdziarski has been tapped by law-enforcement agencies nationwide to teach them just how much information is stored in iPhones — and how to get it. 'These devices are people's companions today,' says Zdziarski. 'They're not mobile phones anymore. They organize people's lives. And if you're doing something criminal, something about it is probably going to go through that phone.' For example, every time an iPhone user closes out of the built-in mapping application, the phone snaps a screenshot and stores it. Savvy law-enforcement agents armed with search warrants can use those snapshots to see if a suspect is lying about whereabouts during a crime."
Google

Google Caffeine Drops MapReduce, Adds "Colossus" 65

Posted by samzenpus
from the time-to-upgrade dept.
An anonymous reader writes "With its new Caffeine search indexing system, Google has moved away from its MapReduce distributed number crunching platform in favor of a setup that mirrors database programming. The index is stored in Google's BigTable distributed database, and Caffeine allows for incremental changes to the database itself. The system also uses an update to the Google File System codenamed 'Colossus.'"
The Military

US Military Eyes the Glow of Fireflies 98

Posted by samzenpus
from the get-some-glowing dept.
GarryFre writes "According to the AP: 'Someday, the secrets of fireflies or glowing sea plankton could save an American soldier in battle, a Navy SEAL on a dive, or a military pilot landing after a mission. That's the hope behind a growing field of military-sponsored research into bioluminescence, a phenomenon that's under the microscope in laboratories around the country. This phenomenon is noteworthy because this produces light without wasting energy because it does not generate any heat. A possible military use of bio-luminescence would be creating biodegradable landing zone markers that helicopters can spot even as wind from their rotors kicks up dirt.'"

+ - Beautifully Rendered Music Notation with HTML5->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "This is incredible. This guy has built a music notation engraver entirely in Javascript, allowing for real-time music editing right in the browser. Here's a demo: HTML5 Music Notation Demo. The library has no external dependencies, and all the glyphs, scores, beams, ties, etc. are positioned and rendered entirely in JavaScript."
Link to Original Source
Piracy

Estimating Game Piracy More Accurately 459

Posted by Soulskill
from the arrrrbitrary-numbers dept.
An anonymous reader tips a post up at the Wolfire blog that attempts to pin down a reasonable figure for the amount of sales a game company loses due to piracy. We've commonly heard claims of piracy rates as high as 80-90%, but that clearly doesn't translate directly into lost sales. The article explains a better metric: going on a per-pirate basis rather than a per-download basis. Quoting: "iPhone game developers have also found that around 80% of their users are running pirated copies of their game (using jailbroken phones). This immediately struck me as odd — I suspected that most iPhone users had never even heard of 'jailbreaking.' I did a bit more research and found that my intuition was correct — only 5% of iPhones in the US are jailbroken. World-wide, the jailbreak statistics are highest in poor countries — but, unsurprisingly, iPhones are also much less common there. The highest estimate I've seen is that 10% of worldwide iPhones are jailbroken. Given that there are so few jailbroken phones, how can we explain that 80% of game copies are pirated? The answer is simple — the average pirate downloads a lot more games than the average customer buys. This means that even though games see that 80% of their copies are pirated, only 10% of their potential customers are pirates, which means they are losing at most 10% of their sales."

+ - The ACTA negotiation documents officially released->

Submitted by Edisman
Edisman (726822) writes "The European Commission (EC) welcomes the release of the documents.

According to the EC:
"The negotiation draft shows that specific concerns, raised in particular by the civil society, are unfounded. No party in the ACTA negotiation is proposing that governments should introduce a compulsory '3 strikes' or 'gradual response' rule to fight copyright infringements and internet piracy. Similarly, ACTA will not hamper access to generic medicines.""

Link to Original Source
Privacy

+ - Facebook retroactively makes more user data public->

Submitted by
mjn
mjn writes "In yet another backtrack from their privacy policy, Facebook has decided to retroactively move more information into the public, indexable part of profiles. The new profile parts made public are: a list of things users have become "fans" of (now renamed to "likes"), their education and work histories, and what they list under "interests". Apparently there is neither any opt-out nor even notice to users, despite the fact that some of this information was entered by users at a time when Facebook's privacy policy explicitly promised that it wouldn't be part of the public profile."
Link to Original Source

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