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Businesses

A Year After Thailand Flooding, Hard Drive Prices Remain High 214

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-the-market-will-bear dept.
crookedvulture writes "Last October, Thailand was hit by massive flooding that put much of the world's hard drive industry under water. Production slowed to a crawl as drive makers and their suppliers mopped up the damage, and prices predictably skyrocketed. One year later, production has rebounded, with the industry expected to ship more drives in 2012 than it did in 2011. For the most part, though, hard drive prices haven't returned to pre-flood levels. Although 2.5" notebook drives are a little cheaper now than before the flood, the average price of 3.5" desktop drives is up 35% from a year ago. Prices have certainly fallen dramatically from their post-flood peaks, but the rate of decline has slowed substantially in recent months, suggesting that higher prices are the new norm for desktop drives."
Australia

Huawei Offers 'Complete and Unrestricted' Source Code Access 255

Posted by Soulskill
from the as-open-as-a-pr-campaign dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The BBC reports that 'Huawei has offered to give Australia unrestricted access to its software source code and equipment, as it looks to ease fears that it is a security threat. Questions have been raised about the Chinese telecom firm's ties to the military, something it has denied. Australia has previously blocked Huawei's plans to bid for work on its national broadband network. Huawei said it needed to dispel myths and misinformation.' But is this sufficient? Will they be able to obscure any backdoors written into their equipment?"
Iphone

Carriers Blame the iPhone For Data Caps and Increased Upgrade Fees 272

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-our-fault dept.
zacharye writes "Bruised mobile carriers such as AT&T and Verizon are 'fighting back' against Apple's iPhone, despite the fact that the device has helped them eke out consistently higher average revenue per wireless subscribers since its launch. To hear the carriers tell it, the iPhone is a major inhibitor to their profits as last year they were 'only' generating wireless service profit margins in the 38% to 42% range. But ever since these beleaguered companies started 'fighting back' by implementing data caps, increasing fees for device upgrades and implementing longer waiting periods before users can switch devices, they’ve seen their wireless service profit margins surge. AT&T reported a 45% margin in Q2 2012 and Verizon reported a record-high 49% margin."
Piracy

IFPI Won't Share Pirate Bay Damages With Musicians 177

Posted by Soulskill
from the delivering-on-expectations dept.
An anonymous reader tips this news from TorrentFreak: Earlier this year the sentences against the Pirate Bay defendants were made final. Aside from prison sentences, they will have to pay damages to the entertainment industries, including €550,000 to several major music labels. The court awarded the damages to compensate artists and rightsholders for their losses. However, it now turns out that artists won’t see a penny of the money, as the labels have allocated it to IFPI to fund new anti-piracy campaigns. ...While it may come as no surprise that the music industry has a hard time getting money from The Pirate Bay defendants, what comes next may raise a few eyebrows. 'There is an agreement that any recovered funds will be paid to IFPI Sweden and IFPI London for use in future anti-piracy activities,' IFPI writes. In other words, the money that the Court awarded to compensate artists and rightsholders for their losses is not going to the artists at all."
Android

John Romero's Doomy View On Android and Ouya 375

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-that's-not-hypey-enough dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Romero is willing to give Ouya the benefit of the doubt, but he sees it filling a niche for neither gamers nor developers. 'I think it's cool that they're making a platform, but it's not really the answer that's coming from Apple about the next generation of consoles. Developers really want to invoke the spirit of the Apple II, Android isn't the operating system with which to do it,' Romero said. 'There are two platforms: [iOS] makes money [and] is still very programmable, like the Apple II, and then the other is Android, which is a piracy platform, and you're not doing anything new with it.'"
Government

US Gov't Says They Can Still Freeze Megaupload Assets If the Case Is Dismissed 530

Posted by Soulskill
from the taking-your-toys-and-going-home dept.
The Megaupload case continues, and on Friday attorneys for the U.S. government made some interesting claims. They were in court to argue against a request to dismiss the indictment against Megaupload that was raised on the grounds that Megaupload has no U.S. address. After a debate about jurisdiction and precedent, this happened: "The government also argued that it could keep Megaupload in legal limbo indefinitely. 'None of the cases impose a time limit on service,' the government's attorney told the judge. Therefore, the government believes it can leave the indictment hanging over the company's head, and keep its assets frozen, indefinitely. Not only that, but the government believes it can continue to freeze Megaupload's assets and paralyze its operations even if the judge grants the motion to dismiss. That's because in the government's view, the assets are the proceeds of criminal activity and the prosecution against founder Kim Dotcom will still be pending. The fact that the assets are in the name of Megaupload rather than its founder is of no consequence, the government claimed."
Medicine

Implant Gives Grayscale Vision To the Blind Using Lasers 165

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the not-safe-for-mcdonald's dept.
MrSeb writes with a bit from Extreme Tech: "After a lot of theorizing, posturing, and non-human trials, it looks like bionic eye implants are finally hitting the market — first in Europe, and hopefully soon in the U.S. These implants can restore sight to completely blind patients — though only if the blindness is caused by a faulty retina, as in macular degeneration (which millions of old people suffer from), diabetic retinopathy, or other degenerative eye diseases. ... The Bio-Retina, developed by Nano Retina, is a whole lot more exciting. The Bio-Retina costs ... around the $60,000 [and] the 576-pixel vision-restoring sensor is actually placed inside the eye, on top of the retina. The operation only takes 30 minutes and can be performed under local anesthetic. Once installed, 576 electrodes on the back of the sensor implant themselves into your optic nerve. The best bit, though, is how the the sensor is powered: The Bio-Retina system comes with a standard pair of corrective lenses that are modified so that they can fire a near-infrared laser beam through your iris to the sensor at the back of your eye. On the sensor there is a photovoltaic cell that produces up to three milliwatts — not a lot, but more than enough."
Advertising

Skype To Feature Giant Ads 178

Posted by Soulskill
from the when-advertising-departments-attack dept.
benfrog writes "Skype will be introducing a new 'feature' into calls for users don't have subscriptions or credit. Giant ads. They are actually calling them 'Conversation ads' because they hope the ads (as large as the picture of the person to whom you are speaking) will 'spark additional topics of conversation that are relevant to Skype users and highlight unique and local brand experiences.' The ads, of course, are tailored to each individual user, though there is an opt-out for that."
Medicine

Ask Slashdot: Why Are Hearing Aids So Expensive? 629

Posted by Soulskill
from the what-the-market-will-bear dept.
solune writes "You can get a tablet these days for a few hundred dollars, and laptops for a few hundred more. Gaming consoles, TVs, and smartphones are all available for under a thousand bucks. Yet, a decent hearing aid for my mom will go upwards of $3000! With ever-shrinking electronic components, better capabilities, and technological advancements, not to mention the rapidly increasing potential user base, I would think quality hearing aids should be coming in a lot cheaper than what we can find. Adding fuel to my fire is that a hearing aid will greatly improve my mom's life — not to mention the lives of millions of others out there. Currently, she suffers from frustration and isolation with having to ask people to 'speak up', and nodding her head to things her kids and grandkids say. We've tried the cheapies, and they're fraught with problems. So, can someone tell me why a hearing aid should be so expensive?"
Mandriva

Mandriva SA Cedes Control To Mandriva Community 88

Posted by Soulskill
from the and-we-didn't-get-anything-for-you dept.
jfruh writes "Mandriva SA, one of the oldest pure Linux companies still out there, was on the verge of shutting down earlier this year, but escaped by the skin of its teeth. Now, however, the company is punting control of its flagship Linux distribution to its developer community, leaving Mandriva SA's future prospects up in the air. From the blog post: 'This means that the future of the distribution will not be arbitrary[sic] decided by the Mandriva company anymore, but we intend to let the distribution evolve in and under the caring responsibility of the community.'"

Comment: Dear Advertisers, (Score 1) 1

by meisenst (#39855465) Attached to: An Open Letter To Developers of Ad Blocking Software

I'll cut straight to the chase. What have we done to you to deserve your incessant bullshit?

Nowhere else, in any other form of media, are advertisements so "tailored" to individuals based on information that the advertiser couldn't possibly have. Things like friends lists, web site visit history, software you have installed, online purchases, other cookies... how do you guys seem to always know what you think we want to see? I, for one, didn't give you permission to peer into my life, and yet, there you are, snooping on me to try to deliver your "content".

As a result of your slimy business practices, I block your ads. All of them. Don't like it? Blame yourselves.

Cloud

No PDFs, No Co-editing On Underwhelming Apple iCloud 189

Posted by timothy
from the praise-so-faint-it's-hard-to-make-out dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Apple's iCloud service has been a little overlooked in the bunfight for the iPhone 4S. When it was first announced some predicted it would wipe out companies like Box.net, DropBox and so on. As the NYTimes put it, "Maybe Apple will kill them all.' Box.net's CEO disagreed and it looks like he was right. You can't store PDFs and images on iCloud except with PhotoStream, there's no co-editing, and the document management interface is a shambles."
Transportation

+ - Robot Batcopter to improve drone flight->

Submitted by
garymortimer
garymortimer writes "The objective of my week in the Texan back-country was to perform some experiments on trajectory planning in bats, alongside some other bat researchers from Boston University.

These Brazilian Free-tailed bats (also called Tadarida) come together in the millions in caves all over Texas, leaving every night in swarms so big they can be detected by doppler radar. Somehow, they manage to fly through this dense self-clutter without major collisions, and so our goal is to better understand this behavior. The goal is to fly a UAV through the dense clutter, and record the bats’ response with three ground-based high-speed FLIR cameras, and an airborne 3D HD GoPro camera. The hope is to extract fundamental control laws of flying behavior in order to achieve better autonomous UAV flight."

Link to Original Source
Piracy

+ - Luxury lifestyle of "hard-up" file-sharing lawyer->

Submitted by
nk497
nk497 writes "A lawyer who targeted file-sharers dodged a £200,000 fine for a data breach after convincing watchdogs he was on "limited means" — despite living in a £700,000 home and driving a Bentley Arnage.

Andrew Crossley's ACS Law sent letters demanding payments of £500 from accused file sharers, leading online activists to target his website and leak an email database. The Information Commissioner initially intended to fine ACS £200,000, but instead levied a fine of £800 against Crossley after he shut the firm down and signed an affidavit swearing his limited financial means."

Link to Original Source

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