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Submission + - Google and Microsoft Agree to Stand Down in Patent Wars (reuters.com)

_0x783czar writes: Today Google and Microsoft have announced an end to litigious hostilities between themselves; signaling another step on the road to peace as the "global smartphone wars" wind down.

This moves settles 18 lawsuits in the US and Germany, including those involving Motorola Mobility's patents, which Google retained after selling Motorola Mobility to Lenovo. Both companies hope this move will help settle the smartphone wars and refocus their efforts on consumers:

"Google and Microsoft have agreed to collaborate on certain patent matters and anticipate working together in other areas in the future to benefit our customers"

This move follows suit with previous moves to settle the smartphone wars, such as when Apple and Samsung agreed to drop their international lawsuits against each other in 2014

Submission + - Google Sells Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $2.91 Billion (blogspot.com)

_0x783czar writes: Google today announced that they will be selling Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for the sum of 2.91 Billion USD. Google says that the move should allow the company to receive the attention and focus it deserves to thrive.

From the article: '...the smartphone market is super competitive, and to thrive it helps to be all-in when it comes to making mobile devices. It’s why we believe that Motorola will be better served by Lenovo—which has a rapidly growing smartphone business and is the largest (and fastest-growing) PC manufacturer in the world. This move will enable Google to devote our energy to driving innovation across the Android ecosystem, for the benefit of smartphone users everywhere.'

Google however was quick to add that this does not signal a move away from their other hardware projects.

Additionally "Google will retain the vast majority of Motorola’s patents" which they hope to continue using to stabilize the android ecosystem.
The deal has yet to be approved by either the U.S. or China.

Submission + - South Korean Court Rules That Phone Bloatware Must Be Deletable (zdnet.com) 1

_0x783czar writes: Starting this april, South Korea will require all phone vendors to allow pre-installed bloatware to be uninstalled. That's right, they will be able to get rid of all that pesky software without having to root their phones.

According to press release by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning: "The move aims to rectify an abnormal practice that causes inconvenience to smartphone users and causes unfair competition among industry players." They hope this will also increase the users' data storage and battery life.

From the article: "Under the new guidelines, telcos are required to make most of their pre-installed apps deletable except for four necessary items related to Wi-Fi connectivity, near-field communication (NFC), the customer service center and the app store."

It'd be nice if similar legislation where passed in the US and elsewhere.


Submission + - CloudFlare's Edge Routers go down taking 785,000 sites with them (techcrunch.com)

_0x783czar writes: "At close to 10:00 UTC today, CloudFlare ("a content delivery network and distributed domain name server service marketed as improving website performance and speed and providing security.") pushed an update which caused the edge routers in their network to crash. This outage in turn brought down all 785,000 websites which use CloudFlare's service, for nearly an hour. Sites including Wikileaks, 4Chan, and Imgur were among those directly affected.
Co-founder and CEO: Matthew Prince, hinted to TechCruch that the issue was caused by a flaw in the routers—which had to be compensated for by manually rebooting each one across the world. None of the servers were directly affected in any way, but each was rendered unreachable by the network outage. “This is a completely unacceptable event to us,” Prince said. “In our four years of life, this is our third significant outage.”
"CloudFlare generates so many pageviews that it would be the tenth website in the world." And as such this outage affected a significant portion of the internet, calling into question what if any significant backlash the company may face from its customers and the internet in general. Do the benefits of using such a service out weigh the risks, or do many sites even have a viable alternative?"

PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - Sony Announces Playstation 4 (bbc.co.uk)

_0x783czar writes: "Sony has today announced their next generation console, the Playstation 4. It is slated to have an x86 based AMD chipset, which is why Sony is describing the new console as a "Super Charged PC". They also hope that the x86 architecture will make it easier for developers to create games, since they will be able to write the code for the same architecture as a PC. No pictures have yet been released to show what this new console will look like, aside from the the controller: which will have a touch-pad and & camera tracked light. This new console will also focus heavily on social interaction and aims to provide an easy way to pause and share video of your last few minutes of gameplay. In addition to this, it is reported to also have the ability to let your friends remotely control your character in game so as to help you get through a difficult spot; or even just to watch as spectators. Sony hopes to have this new console compete with the Wii U and the upcoming XBox 720 (name pending), but many people are still skeptical since no actual pictures of the console have been released. "Pics or it didn't happen.""

Submission + - High Definition video of Curiosity's landing on Mars (wired.com) 2

_0x783czar writes: "NASA has released an Hi-Def video of Curiosity's landing. This video was captured in low res, and then extrapolated and re-rendered by Bard Canning, to produce the most stunning imagery ever captured on an alien world. It took Canning over a month to complete the process. He used motion tracking to add sound effects which in turn give you the sensation of the ride of your life."

Submission + - IBM's Sequoia Supercomputer dethrones Fujitsu's "K" as Fastest Computer (bbc.com)

_0x783czar writes: "IBM's newly installed supercomputer "Sequoia" has led the US to regain the top spot in advanced computing. Reportedly clocking in at 273,930 times faster than the first supercomputer to make the list (Thinking Machines' CM-5/1024) back in 1993; the Sequoia can calculate in one hour, what it would take the entire population of the earth (working non-stop with hand calculators) 320 years to compute. Which is what we might expect from a machine with over 1.5 million processors.
The title had been held by the Fujitsu Company's "K" machine until now, as the Sequoia is apparently 55% faster. However, while the US has taken the lead, it also has fewer computers in the top 10 than it did only a few months ago.
Currently the Sequoia will be tasked with maintaining the US nuclear arsenal & extending the life of aging warheads. Which leaves me with the irresistible urge to quote xkcd: "we tell the robot to kill... but secretly we're afraid to tell it to love""


Submission + - Forbes Names Microsoft's Steve Ballmer names worst CEO

_0x783czar writes: Microsoft haters gleefully have latched on to the latest scoop that a Forbes columnist has named Steve Ballmer the worst CEO. It seems that the article has leveled some strong accusations of irresponsible and ineffective business practices; claiming that Microsoft has not progressed over the last 12 years of Ballmer's leadership.


(full disclosure: I'm not a Microsoft fan myself and tend to agree with this piece.)

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