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Submission + - After Paris: Liberté demands unlimited encryption (

GMGruman writes: The intelligence hawks are trying to scare us into providing back doors into all encryption so they can spy on anyone at any time. Liberty doesn't come from Big Brother, and the Paris terrorist attacks should not lead to the death of privacy and liberty as well. This article explains why the hawks are very wrong.

Submission + - Apple fail: Lessons from the Music mess (

GMGruman writes: The new Music app is a hot mess: difficult to navigate, an emphasis on Apple's new services at the expense of user experience, forced DRM on users' own music, and troubling bugs and feature retrenchments. For a company that sells a superior product and superior user experience, something is very much not right. Especially since Music isn't the first such fail in recent years.

Submission + - Why China is about to give Silicon Valley serious competition (

GMGruman writes: Americans assume that China will be hard-pressed to move up the food chain from commodity manufacturing into the high-tech creative domains of Silicon Valley. But Arnold Wasserman, the design guru who co-founded The Idea Factory, disagrees: "They will eat our lunch." Bill Snyder reports why China won't crash and burn as Japan after its 1980s technology heyday.

Submission + - Mobile's gift to developing countries: real transformation (

GMGruman writes: A recent survey of mobile Internet usage shows that people in poor countries use their often inferior mobile infrastructure for significant personal betterment, moreso than convenience-driven users in rich nations. Something to reflect on this holiday season.

Submission + - On iPad and Mac, does Office 365 walk the talk? (

GMGruman writes: Microsoft's been making a lot of noise recently on making its Office software run as equal citizens outside of Windows. New CEO Satya Nadella has made that a cornerstone pitch, in fact. But is Microsoft delivering on its promises? Yes and no, based on my hands-on review of Office 365 on iPad and Macintosh. Yes for iPad, mostly. But not so much for OS X. And fuggedaboutit for iPhone or Android.

Submission + - Wozniak Gets Personal On Innovation

snydeq writes: Companies are doggedly pursuing the next big thing in technology, but nothing seems to be pointing to the right way these days, claims the legendary Steve Wozniak. The reason? 'You tend to deal with the past,' replicating what you know in a new form. Consider the notion of computing eyeware like Google Glass: 'People have been marrying eyewear with TV inputs for 20 years,' Wozniak says. True innovation, Wozniak claims, becomes more human, more personal. People use technology more the less it feels like technology. 'The software gets more accepted when it works in human ways — meaning in noncomputer ways.' Here, Wozniak says, is the key to technology's role in the education system.

Submission + - HP denies access to Service Packs and Firmware for out-of-warranty customers.

joshitnc writes: In a move that is sure to put a wedge between HP and their customers, today, HP has issued an email informing all existing HP customers that they would no longer be able to access or download service packs, firmware patches and bug-fixes for their server hardware without a valid support agreement in place, stating:

"You are receiving this communication because you have been identified as a customer using HP ProLiant Servers and HP Services.

HP has made significant investments in its intellectual capital to provide the best value and experience for our customers. We continue to offer a differentiated customer experience with our comprehensive support portfolio. HP, as an industry leader, is well positioned to provide reliable support services across the globe with proprietary tools, HP trained engineers, and genuine certified HP parts. Only HP customers and authorized channel partners may download and use support materials. In line with this commitment, starting in February 2014, Hewlett-Packard Company will change the way firmware updates and Service Pack for ProLiant (SPP) on HP ProLiant server products are accessed. Select server firmware and SPP on these products will only be accessed through the HP Support Center to customers with an active support agreement, HP CarePack, or warranty linked to their HP Support Center User ID and for the specific products being updated. We encourage you to review your current support coverage to ensure you have the appropriate coverage to maintain uninterrupted access to firmware updates and SPP for these products."

If a manufacturer ships hardware with exploitable defects and takes more than 3 years to identify them, should the consumer have to pay for the vendor to fix the these defects?

Submission + - Woz on innovation: It's got to be personal (

An anonymous reader writes: Apple co-founder Steve "Woz" Wozniak knows something about innovation. At a time when many pundits are saying innovation in tech has reached a lull, Woz gives his take in an InfoWorld interview on what it takes for innovation to succeed — getting it to feel human and personal is key — and he explains why tech alone won't fix America's education system.

Submission + - Verizon's diabolical plan to turn Internet into pay-per-view (

GMGruman writes: Verizon is lobbying the Feds to allow it to choose what websites it lets us's access over "its" network, claiming of all things that being forced to carry all websites violates its freedom of expression, Bill Snyder reports. The FCC has opened the path to this argument by repeatedly failing to classify network operators as common carriers that would make them subject to Net neutrality principles. If Verizon wins, it's the end of the Internet as we know it, and we can expect only big websites willing to pay to be available from our browsers.

Submission + - Cisco Can't Shield Customers From Patent Suits, Court Rules (

netbuzz writes: A federal appeals court in California has upheld a lower court ruling that Cisco lacks the necessary standing to seek dismissal of patent infringement lawsuits against some of its biggest customers – wireless network providers and enterprises – being brought by TR Labs, a Canadian research consortium. The appeals court agreed with TR Labs’ that its patent infringement claims are rightfully against the users of telecommunications equipment – be it made by Cisco, Juniper, Ciena or others – and not the manufacturers. “In fact, all of the claims and all of the patents are directed at a communications network, not the particular switching nodes that are manufactured by Cisco and the other companies that are subject of our claims,” an attorney for TR Labs told the court. The court made no judgment relative to the patents themselves or the infringement claims.

Submission + - It's Official: Voyager 1 is an Interstellar Probe (

astroengine writes: After a 35-year, 11-billion mile journey, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft left the solar system to become the first human-made object to reach interstellar space, new evidence from a team of scientists shows. “It’s kind of like landing on the moon. It’s a milestone in history. Like all science, it’s exploration. It’s new knowledge,” long-time Voyager scientist Donald Gurnett, with the University of Iowa, told Discovery News. The first signs that the spacecraft had left the solar system's heliopause was a sudden drop in solar particles and a corresponding increase in cosmic rays in 2012, but this evidence alone wasn't conclusive. Through indirect means, scientist analyzing oscillations along the probe's 10-meter (33-foot) antennas were able to deduce that Voyager was traveling through a less dense medium — i.e. interstellar space.

Submission + - How to make a $125 iPhone (

GMGruman writes: There's been a lot of talk about a forthcoming cheap "iPhone 5C" with a plastic case. But a plastic case couldn't possibly save Apple enough money to make the price that low. So, I did the number-crunching to figure out how Apple could make an iPhone that cheap that would still be usable. Surprise: It's possible.

Submission + - The Savvy Tech Strategy Behind Obamacare

snydeq writes: The U.S. health care industry is undergoing several massive transformations, not the least of which is the shift to interoperable EHR (electronic health records) systems. The ONC's Doug Fridsma discusses the various issues that many health care IT and medical providers have raised regarding use of these systems, which are mandated for 2014 under the HITECH Act of 2004, and are all the more important in light of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act , aka Obamacare. Key to the transition, says Fridsma, is transforming health IT for EHRs into something more akin to the Internet, and less like traditional ERP and IT systems. 'I think what we're trying to do is the equivalent of what you've got in the Internet, which is horizontal integration rather than vertical integration,' Fridsma says. 'We've done a lot of work looking at what other countries have done, and we've tried to learn from those experiences. Rather than trying to build this top down and create restrictions, we're really trying to ask, "What's the path of least regret in what we need to do?"'

Submission + - Confessions Of A Cyber Warrior

snydeq writes: InfoWorld's Roger Grimes interviews a longtime friend and cyber warrior under contract with the U.S. government, offering a fascinating glimpse of the front lines in the ever-escalating and completely clandestine cyber war. From the interview: 'They didn't seem to care that I had hacked our own government years ago or that I smoked pot. I wasn't sure I was going to take the job, but then they showed me the work environment and introduced me to a few future coworkers. I was impressed. ... We have tens of thousands of ready-to-use bugs in single applications, single operating systems. ... It's all zero-days. Literally, if you can name the software or the controller, we have ways to exploit it. There is no software that isn't easily crackable. In the last few years, every publicly known and patched bug makes almost no impact on us. They aren't scratching the surface.'

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