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Android

+ - Steve Jobs: Android is a Stolen Product-> 1

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "The Associated Press has published some excerpts ( http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_TEC_STEVE_JOBS_BOOK ) from "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson, a new biography to be published Monday, which says that Jobs felt that Android is a stolen product and he is willing to wage a war on it. Isaacson wrote that Jobs was livid in January 2010 when HTC introduced an Android phone that boasted many of the popular features of the iPhone. Apple sued, and Jobs told Isaacson in an expletive-laced rant that Google's actions amounted to "grand theft."

The AP quotes Jobs saying, "I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong," Jobs said. "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this." and that, Jobs used an expletive to describe Android and Google Docs, Google's Internet-based word processing program. In a subsequent meeting with Schmidt at a Palo Alto, Calif., cafe, Jobs told Schmidt that he wasn't interested in settling the lawsuit, the book says.

"I don't want your money. If you offer me $5 billion, I won't want it. I've got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that's all I want." The meeting, Isaacson wrote, resolved nothing.

AP: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_TEC_STEVE_JOBS_BOOK"

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+ - Mexican Senate Votes To Drop Out Of ACTA-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Mexican Senate has voted unanimously to drop out of ACTA negotiations, saying that the process has been way too secretive, left out many stakeholders and appears to deny access to knowledge and information. Of course, it's not clear if this "non-binding resolution," actually means much, as the negotiators are not under the Senate's control. At the very least, though, it appears the Mexican Senate is going to fight to keep the country from agreeing to ACTA."
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Games

+ - Best Buy Unapologetic About Charging for Firmware-> 2

Submitted by donniebaseball23
donniebaseball23 (1888144) writes "After discovering that electronics retailer Best Buy was charging ignorant customers $30 for the "service" of installing updated firmware on PS3s, IndustryGamers got word from the company on its policy. Best Buy sees no problem with charging for this convenience, even though it's something Sony provides to PS3 owners completely free. "While many gamers can handle firmware upgrades easily on their own, those customers who do want help can get it from Geek Squad, and we continue to evaluate this offering to ensure it meets their needs. The service goes beyond a firmware updates, and includes user account setup, parental control setup and other components," a rep told IndustryGamers."
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News

+ - Wonder carbon pioneers win Nobel Physics Prize->

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "Two Manchester University scientists won the 2010 Nobel Physics Prize Tuesday for their pioneering work on a form of carbon touted as the wonder material of the 21st century.

Russia-born Andre Geim, of the Netherlands, and Russian-British national Konstantin Novoselov were awarded for research on graphene, hailed by the Swedish Academy of Sciences as "the perfect atomic lattice" for its glittering potential in computers, home gadgets and transport.

The Academy lauded Geim, 51, and Novoselov, 36, for having "shown that carbon in such a flat form has exceptional properties that originate from the remarkable world of quantum physics."

The prize honours a breakthrough that paved the way to graphene, a form of carbon touted as the next-generation super-material. Just one atom thick, it is the world's thinnest and strongest nano-material, almost transparent and able to conduct electricity and heat. As a result, graphene is described as the candidate material to replace silicon semi-conductors.

Graphene transistors would in theory be able to run at faster speeds and cope with higher temperatures than today's classic computer chips.

AFP: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j1_foqK-zcRLrHxrA7X1IdZg0MTA?docId=CNG.29fa01d16fcde30cb5d406b0b6b63005.581"

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Ubuntu

+ - Canonical Begins Tracking Ubuntu Installations->

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "Canonical Begins Tracking Ubuntu Installations, On a Daily Basis

Just uploaded to the Ubuntu Lucid repository for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (and we imagine it will appear shortly in Maverick too for Ubuntu 10.10) is a new package called canonical-census, which marks its initial release. Curious about what this package provides, we did some digging and found it's for tracking Ubuntu installations by sending an "I am alive" ping to Canonical on a daily basis.

When the canonical-census package is installed, the program is to be added to the daily Cron jobs to be executed so that each day it will report to Canonical over HTTP the number of times this system previously sent to Canonical (this counter is stored locally and with it running on a daily basis it's thereby indicating how many days the Ubuntu installation has been active), the Ubuntu distributor channel, the product name as acquired by the system's DMI information, and which Ubuntu release is being used. That's all that canonical-census does, at least for now. Previously there haven't been such Ubuntu tracking measures attempted by Canonical.

Phoronix: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=ODQ5MA"

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Idle

+ - Outrageous AMD Viral Video Targets Nvidia's Fermi->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Steve at HardOCP just posted a link to a Hollywood-style AMD viral video that pokes fun at the inefficiencies of NV's Fermi GPU architecture. Says Steve: "I don’t want to say too much and ruin this video for you so I’ll just say that everyone (that means you) needs to watch this.""
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The Internet

+ - Just 2 Chinese ISPs Serve 20% of World Broadband U->

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "Just 2 Chinese ISPs Serve 20% of World Broadband Users

If you need a reminder of just how big China is—and just how important the Internet has become there—consider this stat: between them, two Chinese ISPs serve 20 percent of all broadband subscribers in the entire world and both companies continue to grow, even as growth slows significantly in more developed markets.

Every other ISP trails dramatically. Japan's NTT comes in third with 17 million subscribers, and all US providers are smaller still.

"The gap between the top two operators and the world’s remaining broadband service providers will continue to grow rapidly," said TeleGeography Research Director Tania Harvey. "Aside from the two Chinese companies, all of the top ten broadband ISPs operate in mature markets, with high levels of broadband penetration and rapidly slowing subscriber growth."

ARS Technica: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/07/just-two-chinese-isps-serve-20-of-world-broadband-users.ars"

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The Internet

+ - UK Digital Economy Bill Passes, End of File-Sharin->

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "In a late night session on Wednesday the Digital Economy Bill was forced through by the Government with the assistance of the Conservative opposition.

Complaints that the Bill is far too important to be passed through the “wash-up” period were ignored and after just two hours of debate in the Commons, it will now almost certainly become law.

The anti-piracy measures in this Bill have been essentially written by the music industry but despite opposition from just about everyone, it was approved by 189 MPs with just 47 against.

Former Cabinet Office minister Tom Watson, who was one of the few who voted against, was clearly upset as he wrote on Twitter: “First time I’ve ever broken the whip in the chamber. I feel physically sick.”

A total of 650 MPs could have been present but only 236 bothered to turn up and many of those that did were still in for criticism.

Torrent Freak : http://torrentfreak.com/digital-economy-bill-passes-file-sharing-end-soon-100608/"

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Firefox

+ - Mozilla warns of unknown root certificate authorit-> 1

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "Mozilla warns of unknown root certificate authority in Firefox

In a startling revelation, the open-source Mozilla project says that its flagship Firefox browser contains a root certificate authority that doesn’t seem to have a known owner.

Here’s the disclosure by Kathleen Wilson, who serves as a peer for the “CA certificates module” within the Mozilla project:

“I have not been able to find the current owner of this root. Both RSA and VeriSign have stated in email that they do not own this root. Therefore, to my knowledge this root has no current owner and no current audit, and should be removed from NSS.” A separate bug report identifies the root certificate authority as “RSA Security 1024 V3.”

Interestingly, that root certificate authority is shown as valid in Apple’s System Roots but not in Microsoft’s.

Mozilla’s own Gervase Markham is worried about the implications:follow Ryan Naraine on twitter

The lack of transparency in 2002 re: the source of added roots means we have no idea whether e.g. some malicious actor slipped an extra one into whatever list they were keeping internally to Netscape, and has been MITMing people ever since.

ZDNet : http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=6016"

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Handhelds

+ - Apple's War On Flash Continues with iPad ReadyList->

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "Apple's War On Flash Continues with its iPad Ready Website List

Worried that if you buy an iPad your favorite sites won't work because of the lack of Flash? Don't worry about it, please! Look, here are 12 sites that work! Seriously guys no Flash is no big deal! ( http://gizmodo.com/5504402/how-the-ipad-is-already-reshaping-the-internet-without-flash )

Apple iPad ready : http://www.apple.com/ipad/ready-for-ipad/

Gizmodo : http://gizmodo.com/5507361/apples-war-on-flash-continues-with-its-ipad-ready-website-list"

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Microsoft

+ - Free, Ad-supported Windows in Microsoft's future?-> 2

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "Back in 2005, Microsoft mentioned in a Thinkweek article the idea of an ad-driven Windows. Ina Fried summarized quite well ( http://news.zdnet.com/2100-3513_22-145611.html?tag=col1;post-2156 ) what was discussed in that article in a section titled "Plan Extends to Windows." Seemingly only an idea back then, new evidence shows that Microsoft has done more than simply *think* about placing ads in Windows.

While recently doing a bit of research, I ran across a Microsoft employee's mention (screen shot below) of an incubation project they were involved with sometime between 2005-2008. Code named "Madison", it appears an actual prototype has been created for advertising in Windows. Prior to writing this article, I mentioned my findings to Mary Jo Foley from ZDNet and she quickly made an observation I hadn't thought of — the code name "Madison" obviously stemming from "Madison Ave." in Manhattan. To quote Wikipedia, "Since the 1920s, the street's name has been synonymous with the American advertising industry."

On one hand, this could be a way for Microsoft to offer Windows on-the-cheap for many individuals — namely, those who either can't afford Windows or don't want to pay for Windows in the first place. In theory, you could use a "Windows Ads Edition" or something where you've basically opted for ads to stream to you in exchange for your usage of Windows.

Microsoft Kitchen: http://msftkitchen.com/2010/03/windows-as-an-advertising-platform.html"

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Google

+ - Microsoft: Google Chrome doesn't respect your priv-> 3

Submitted by fysdt
fysdt (1597143) writes "Microsoft is going on the offensive against Google, accusing the search giant of creating a browser that does not respect user privacy. The company posted a video, embedded below, on TechNet Edge with the following description: "Watch a demo on how Google Chrome collects every keystroke you make and how Internet Explorer 8 keeps your information private through two address bars and In Private browsing.""
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Government

+ - Is health-care reform constitutional?-> 1

Submitted by suraj.sun
suraj.sun (1348507) writes "With the House set to vote on health-care legislation, the congressional debate on the issue seems to be nearing its conclusion. But if the bill does become law, the battle over federal control of health care will inevitably shift to the courts. Virginia's attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli II, has said he will file a legal challenge to the bill, arguing in a column this month that reform legislation "violate[s] the plain text of both the Ninth and Tenth Amendments."

Can Congress really require that every person purchase health insurance from a private company or face a penalty? The answer lies in the commerce clause of the Constitution, which grants Congress the power "to regulate commerce . . . among the several states." Historically, insurance contracts were not considered commerce, which referred to trade and carriage of merchandise.

the individual mandate extends the commerce clause's power beyond economic activity, to economic inactivity. That is unprecedented. While Congress has used its taxing power to fund Social Security and Medicare, never before has it used its commerce power to mandate that an individual person engage in an economic transaction with a private company.

If you choose to drive a car, then maybe you can be made to buy insurance against the possibility of inflicting harm on others. But making you buy insurance merely because you are alive is a claim of power from which many Americans instinctively shrink.

Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/19/AR2010031901470.html"

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Mozilla

+ - Firefox flaws account for 44% of all browser bugs

Submitted by JagsLive
JagsLive (1106379) writes "Firefox flaws account fored 44% of all browser bugs, Apple's Safari takes second, with 35%, and IE came third with 15%, in the first six months of 2009 as per California-based Cenzic.

The Cenzic report can be downloaded from the company's site (in PDF : http://www.cenzic.com/downloads/Cenzic_AppSecTrends_Q1-Q2-2009.pdf ).

"It's not rocket science," said Lars Ewe, Cenzic's chief technology officer, referring to the browser bug counting. "We used several databases, including the CVE (common vulnerabilities and exposures) database to count the number of known vulnerabilities.

Cenzic did not separately count the number of "zero-day" bugs — those unpatched at the time exploit code went into circulation — said Ewe, who defended his company's tally at the same time he downplayed their significance.

"At the end of the day, the number of vulnerabilities is only one measurement of a browser's security," said Ewe. "We're not trying to point a finger at any one browser. I would certainly not abandon Firefox because of this."

Mozilla has been slammed for the number of flaws it fixes in Firefox before. Last spring, for instance, Jeff Jones, a director in Microsoft's security technology unit, and Mike Shaver, the vice president of engineering at Mozilla, traded barbs about browser security after Danish security vendor Secunia published a report that said Firefox had nearly four times as many flaws as IE during 2008.

Computerworld : http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9140582/Firefox_flaws_account_for_44_of_all_browser_bugs"

+ - John Chambers slams Cisco with $2.3 million in pri->

Submitted by
suraj.sun
suraj.sun writes "During the worst economy of John Chambers' lifetime, he had no guilt sticking Cisco with millions in extravagant traveling expense (see page 75 : http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/858877/000119312509196546/ddef14a.htm ).

Last February, I brought attention ( http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/39020 ) to the fact that Cisco's Board of Directors were "teeing up" the payment of millions of dollars to enable an exceptionally extravagant traveling lifestyle for Cisco CEO John Chambers so he could fly at Cisco's expense in his personally owned $50 million dollar private jet (Chambers bought the jet during the time frame, October 2008, when hundreds of billions of taxpayer money was spent to bailout Cisco's biggest customers).

According to my calculations, Chambers on average travels in his private jet 7 times per month, that works out to Cisco paying Chambers $27,380.00 per flight.

Interestingly, the most expensive "first class" flight I could find today from San Jose, California to New York City was only $1,948.00 roundtrip. That means Chambers is sticking Cisco for an extra $25,432.00 per flight.

It's my opinion, that the hypocrisy of John Chambers has now been absolutely and totally exposed in the following February 5, 2009, New York Times story: Travel Goes the Way of the Dodo at Cisco ( http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/05/travel-goes-the-way-of-the-dodo-at-cisco/ )

Exactly how far down did Chambers take his pay during the tough times of Fiscal 2009? Chambers' pay package climbs 16% while Cisco net income falls 23% ( http://www.networkworld.com/news/2009/092409-chambers-pay-package.html )

NetworkWorld : http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/45634?t51hb&hpg1=mp

Picture of CISCO CEO John Chamber's private jet : http://www.bradreese.com/images/john-chambers-private-jet-2.jpg"

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