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Technology

Most Anticipated Tech Products of 2011 155

adeelarshad82 writes "2011 is just around the corner, and with the new year comes expectations. Based on hype and recent announcements, PCMag put together a list of twelve most anticipated tech products of 2011. Some are new, like the technology to bridge Wi-Fi, PowerLine, and Ethernet or the 3D camcorders, which will let you create content for your 3D TV. Others will just carry over from what we anticipated in 2010 but never materialized like iPhone on the Verizon network or Phones with dual core processors."
Iphone

Skype For iPhone Now Makes Video Calls 102

tekgoblin writes "Today Skype has released an update that allows iPhone users to make video calls from their device. There had been rumors that this update was in the works and now they have been made fact. So, was the Skype outage the other day part of this internal update? Possibly. But Skype has proven to be one of the most important communication tools in the world and now has gotten even better."
Hardware

The 10 Worst Tech Products of 2010 203

Barence writes "PC Pro has a count down of the ten worst tech gadgets of the year. Included in its hall of shame are: iPad Made Simple, 'a book containing 704 pages of advice on how to use a device that's universally acknowledged as being ridiculously easy to use'; the Dell Inspiron Duo, 'a tablet that leaves you longing to return to a keyboard and a touchpad'; and the £99 Next Tablet, the highlight of which was the 'eight-page Quick Start Guide.'"
Communications

Lessons Learned From Skype’s Outage 278

aabelro writes "On December 22th, 1600 GMT, the Skype services started to become unavailable, in the beginning for a small part of the users, then for more and more, until the network was down for about 24 hours. A week later, Lars Rabbe, CIO at Skype, explained what happened in a post-mortem analysis of the outage."
Security

The Significant Decline of Spam 263

Orome1 writes "In October Commtouch reported an 18% drop in global spam levels (comparing September and October). This was largely attributed to the closure of Spamit around the end of September. Spamit is the organization allegedly behind a fair percentage of the world's pharmacy spam. Analysis of the spam trends to date reveals a further drop in the amounts of spam sent during Q4 2010. December's daily average was around 30% less than September's. The average spam level for the quarter was 83% down from 88% in Q3 2010. The beginning of December saw a low of nearly 74%."
IBM

IBM Makes a Super Memory Breakthrough 164

adeelarshad82 writes "IBM says they have made a significant leap forward in the viability of 'Racetrack memory,' a new technology design which has the potential to exponentially increase computing power. This new tech could give devices the ability to store as much as 100 times more information than they do now, which would be accessed at far greater speeds while utilizing 'much less' energy than today's designs. In the future, a single portable device might be able to hold as much memory as today's business-class servers and run on a single battery charge for weeks at a time. Racetrack memory works by storing data as magnetic regions (also called domains), which would be transported along nanowire 'racetracks.' Instead of forcing a computer to seek out the data it needs, as traditional computing systems do, the information would automatically slide along the racetrack to where it could be used."
Education

Cheaters Exposed Analyzing Statistical Anomalies 437

Hugh Pickens writes "Proctors and teachers can't watch everyone while they take tests — not when some students can text with their phones in their pockets, so with tests increasingly important in education — used to determine graduation, graduate school admission, and — the latest — merit pay and tenure for teachers, Trip Gabriel writes that schools are turning to 'data forensics' to catch cheaters, searching for data anomalies where the chances of random agreement are astronomical. In addition to looking for copying, statisticians hunt for illogical patterns, like test-takers who did better on harder questions than easy ones, a sign of advance knowledge of part of a test or look for unusually large score gains from a previous test by a student or class. Since Caveon Test Security, whose clients have included the College Board, the Law School Admission Council, and more than a dozen states and big city school districts, began working for the state of Mississippi in 2006, cheating has declined about 70 percent, says James Mason, director of the State Department of Education's Office of Student Assessment. 'People know that if you cheat there is an extremely high chance you're going to get caught,' says Mason."
Patents

Paul Allen Amends Lawsuit Against Facebook, Apple 129

itwbennett writes "A Federal judge dismissed Paul Allen's initial patent infringement lawsuit against Apple, Facebook, Google and others earlier this month because it was too vague and gave Allen until Dec. 28 to file an amendment providing more details of his claims. His lawyers responded with a 35-page document filed late Tuesday. The amendment details features of the defendants' websites that are alleged to infringe on the patents and also includes a last-minute amendment that targets Google's Android mobile operating system in a move that could spell trouble for phone manufacturers and app developers."
The Media

Why WikiLeaks Is Unlike the Pentagon Papers 696

daveschroeder writes "The recent release of classified State Department cables has often been compared to the Pentagon Papers. Daniel Ellsberg, the US military analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers, has said he supports WikiLeaks, and sees the issues as similar. Floyd Abrams is the prominent First Amendment attorney and Constitutional law expert who represented the New York Times in the landmark New York Times Co. v. United States (403 U.S. 713 (1971)) Supreme Court case, which allowed the media to publish the Pentagon Papers without fear of government censure. Today, Abrams explains why WikiLeaks is unlike the Pentagon Papers, and how WikiLeaks is negatively impacting journalism protections: 'Mr. Ellsberg himself has recently denounced the "myth" of the "good" Pentagon Papers as opposed to the "bad" WikiLeaks. But the real myth is that the two disclosures are the same.'"
Movies

The Empire Strikes Back Added To National Film Registry 129

aztec1430 writes "Airplane!, The Empire Strikes Back, The Exorcist, and All the President's Men, were among the 25 films named by the Library of Congress to the National Film Registry on Tuesday for their cultural, historical or aesthetic significance. Now, which version was added? And will each new Lucas-a-fied version need to be resubmitted every year? ;)"
Education

Can Movies Inspire Kids To Be Future Scientists? 298

Hugh Pickens writes "MSNBC reports on a recent panel that discussed studies showing that people, especially children, often model their behavior on what they see on the big (or small) screen and science shows up in many Hollywood films. In fact, 22 of the 60 top-grossing movies of all time are science-fiction or superhero flicks, including history's No. 1 box office hit, Avatar. The movie science doesn't even have to be entirely accurate, some of the panelists added when asked to consider the role and impact of science in cinema. As long as it plants a seed of curiosity in viewers, it may spur them to investigate scientific issues on their own — and perhaps consider a career in science down the road. 'It's not an educational medium, it's an emotional medium,' says Seth Shostak, an astronomer with the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif. 'Kids get turned on by the emotion.' Interestingly enough although movies work hard to get the science right, many make errors ranging from the understandable to the egregious, but that's ok, say the panelists. 'Even if a film or media product is not very accurate, that becomes a teaching moment,' says Arvind Singhal. 'So there's room for everything.'"
The Media

Is Wired Hiding Key Evidence On Bradley Manning? 381

Hugh Pickens writes "Glenn Greenwald writes in Salon that for more than six months, Wired's Senior Editor Kevin Poulsen has possessed but refuses to publish the key evidence in the arrest of US Army PFC Bradley Manning for allegedly acting as WikiLeaks' source. 'In late May, Adrian Lamo — at the same time he was working with the FBI as a government informant against Manning — gave Poulsen what he purported to be the full chat logs between Manning and Lamo in which the Army Private allegedly confessed to having been the source for the various cables, documents and video which WikiLeaks released throughout this year,' writes Greenwald. Wired has only published about 25% of the logs writes Greenwald and Poulsen's concealment of the chat logs is actively blinding journalists who have been attempting to learn what Manning did and did not do. 'Whether by design or effect, Kevin Poulsen and Wired have played a critical role in concealing the truth from the public about the Manning arrest,' concludes Greenwald. 'This has long ago left the realm of mere journalistic failure and stands as one of the most egregious examples of active truth-hiding by a "journalist" I've ever seen.'"
Microsoft

France Planning Non-Windows Tablet Tax? 227

An anonymous reader writes "Lots of countries around the world have private copying 'levies,' which are effectively taxes on products that store data, which is put into a pool to be handed out to copyright holders, as a sort of payment for the 'copying' that individuals do. This was quite popular with blank CDRs, for example, but has been expanded in certain countries to cover hard drives, iPods and other such devices. Over in France, they're looking to expand the levy to tablet computers, but apparently if that tablet computer is running Microsoft Windows, it will be exempted from the tax. iPads and Android-powered tablets will have the tax. Why? Well, the argument is that if a tablet is running Windows, it's really a 'computer.' But if it's running one of those 'mobile' operating systems, suddenly it's a brand new category. Not surprisingly, makers of Android tablets — including the French company Archos — are not at all happy about this."
Handhelds

Dell Reveals Specs For the Looking Glass Tablet 174

adeelarshad82 writes "Dell hasn't officially unveiled its Looking Glass tablet, but it's on record at the FCC. The spec sheets reveal a device with a 7-inch screen, 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, and an SD card slot. The Looking Glass will likely be announced at next week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which is sure to have no shortage of new tablets. Dell filed the documents for device approval by the FCC on December 17. The Looking Glass is expected to be one of the first devices to pack an Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, a powerful chip for mobile devices that can support both typical functions (like e-mail and Web browsing) as well as advanced graphics — all while preserving battery life."

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