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Submission + - Comcast launches broadband meter (

nlawalker writes: Beginning on Tuesday, January 12, Comcast high-speed internet users in Washington state will have access to an online tool that displays their bandwidth usage for the most recent three calendar (not billing) months of usage, including the current month. Washington is the second market to receive access to the tool. "For the fraction of less than 1 percent of our customers who are concerned about exceeding our excessive use threshold, we believe this meter will help them monitor and calibrate their usage," said spokesman Steve Kipp. Perhaps those who aren't using 250GB a month should take it as a challenge.

Submission + - Avast antivirus is ruining my reputation

An anonymous reader writes: My name is CatThief. I develop themes and extensions for Firefox, Thunderbird, and SeaMonkey. It recently came to my attention that users are posting warnings on various newsgroups, including a comment at where I have a link to my site from an older version of a Thunderbird theme, that the alltabs.png image inside my Mostly Crystal themes contains the "Nutcracker Family" virus. This comes exclusively from users of Avast antivirus, where Avast is flagging this file with a false positive. Naturally most Avast users are unaware that this is a false positive, so as a result I am being accused of circulating malicious files.

This false positive is a long-standing, known issue with Avast. Just Google this and read what users have to say.

I changed the image in the theme for Firefox 3.6, and removed it from the theme for Thunderbird 3.0 and SeaMonkey 2.0 in an effort to prevent Avast from flagging this file. Hopefully this will solve future issues, but again, just for the record, THERE IS NO VIRUS IN MY THEMES.

What makes this even worse is how I am a strong advocate for privacy and security and assure any visitors to my site that nothing malicious is present. If someone believes this virus crap, it negates all my work toward that. What really ticks me off, though, is how Avast has known about this issue for a long time and has done nothing to fix it.

So thank you, Avast, for causing users of your product to not only fear a download from my site, but to damage my reputation as a responsible coder and an outspoken opponent of malware and anything considered even the slightest bit insecure.

Submission + - AT&T Moves Closer To Usage-Based Fees For Data (

CWmike writes: AT&T has moved closer to charging special usage fees to heavy data users, including those with iPhones and other smartphones. Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets, came close on Wednesday to warning about some kind of use-based pricing while speaking at a UBS conference. "The first thing we need to do is educate customers about what represents a megabyte of data and...we're improving systems to give them real-time information about their data usage," he said. "Longer term, there's got to be some sort of pricing scheme that addresses the [heavy] users." AT&T has found that only 3% of its smartphone users — primarily iPhone owners — are responsible for 40% of total data usage, largely for video and audio, de la Vega said. Educating that group about how much they are using could change that, as AT&T has found by informing wired Internet customers of such patterns. De la Vega's comments on data use were previewed in a keynote he gave in October at the CTIA, but he went beyond those comments on Wednesday: "We are going to make sure incentives are in place to reduce or modify [data]uses so they don't crowd out others in the same cell sites." Focus groups have been formed at AT&T to figure out how to proceed.

Submission + - 802.11ac Standard at Gigabit speeds to WiFi (

Xerfas writes: 802.11ac Standard Will Bring Gigabit Speeds to WiFi

Although the wireless 802.11n standard has just recently been made official, IEEE has begun work on the next iteration of WiFi. The coming upgrade may deliver speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second by improving on the effeciency of existing technology, according to Electronista.

802.11ac will be using either 40Mhz or 80Mhz-wide (and possibly 160Mhz) channels to deliver data.

Lets see how many years it will take for IEEE to finish this standard.


Submission + - Is it time to regulate Google?

pcause writes: The Official Google Blog announces that Google will now offer "personalized" search results based on your last 180 days of queries EVEN IF YOU AREN"T LOGGED IN . This is just confirmation that Google is tracking you, even when you aren't logged in, and that it keeps at LEAST 6 months of history. We know from the event where AOL released data to search researchers that 6 months of data is enough to identify an individual despite the supposedly anonymous cookie.

Yes you can opt out of the personalization, but does that mean Google isn't still collecting data about you? I doubt it. Google has always invaded your privacy by tracking you, but they are now admitting it. There'd be huge flames here on /. if the government was doing this. Google is no more trustworthy than the government as they do all this to make money and are totally unaccountable.

Is it time to regulate Google?

Submission + - Yahoo tool lets users control targeted ads (

angry tapir writes: "Yahoo has rolled out a new tool to allow users of its advertising networks to control what targeted ads they receive, in response to growing demand from consumers. The beta launch of Yahoo's Ad Interest Manager comes as US lawmakers and privacy groups have increased pressure on online advertising networks to limit the personal data they collect and allow consumers more control over behavioral advertising."

Submission + - VMware developing dual OS smartphone virtualisatio (

Sharky2009 writes: VMware is developing virtualisation for smartphones which can run any two OSes — Windows Mobile, Android or Lunux — at once. The idea is to have your work applications and home applications all running insider their own VMs and running at the same time so you can access any app any time.

VMware says: “We don’t think dual booting will be good enough — we’ll allow you to run both profiles at the same time and be able to switch between them by clicking a button,” he said. “You’ll be able to get and make calls in either profile – work or home – as they will both be live at any given point in time.”


Submission + - leave your PC on to extend it's life - Fail ( 2

wallydallas writes: A lot of ignorance seems to be flowing from industry experts in response to the story about a school district with 5,000 computers using the SETI at home software. PC Mag and a Carnegie Mellon CS professor are spreading the myth that you protect your computer if you don't power off. "Most advice given on computers nowadays is don't power them down," I'm a teacher in a large district with far too many computers left on overnight because the IT staff have a near dictatorship. How does a powerless teacher fight an oppressive IT staff who will not cooperate with teachers who want computers shut down after a decent time without any user activity. These tools exist and have been vetoed with the myth that they do damage to the workstation hardware.

Comment Re:there's more important stuff to do (Score 1) 4

I actually agree with you, but not in the context of the article.

Someone at Google suggesting they shouldn't hire someone because it's good for the tech ecosystem, whatever that is, deserves to be roundly mocked. It is pretentious and silly to suggest that.

Google exists to make money. They have the "do no evil" motto and all that, but fundamentally they are a business and everything else takes a back seat to that goal.

Horowitz repeating that story tells me that they are simply running a PR campaign to clean up their image and make people forget about the fact that they're amassing frightening amounts of data about people and then selling it. How altruistic.

If they really believe in helping the proletariat, then they should all be in the peace corps instead. Horowitz (and his engineer) must really feel that the public is incapable of thought, since they assumed no one would figure out just what that statement implies about those not working at Google.



Submission + - So Much For XP Loyalty: Windows 7 Share's Big Grab ( 1

CWmike writes: Microsoft's Windows ran to stay in place last month as Window 7's market share gains made up for the largest-ever declines in Windows XP and Vista, data released today by Web metrics firm Net Applications showed. By Net Applications' numbers, Windows 7's gains were primarily at the expense of Windows XP. For each copy of Vista replaced by Windows 7 during November, more than six copies of XP were swapped for the new OS. Meanwhile, Apple's Mac OS X lost share during November ... betcha Ballmer is having an extra giddy time with that news too. Hold on, however, Steve. Linux came up a winner last month, returning to the 1% share mark for the first time since July. Linux's all-time high in Net Applications' rankings was May 2009, when it nearly reached 1.2%.

Comment Helplessness on both sides (Score 1) 3

It was humorous to hear about the "foxfire thing" from IBM, considering it was a linux job.

However I'm having a hard time believing this contractor "jumped through all the hoops" and then was totally and helplessly stopped because he didn't have IE. That's ridiculous.

Apparently this guru never heard of VMware or Virtualbox. He didn't even need a Windows license, he could have skated by on a 30 day unregistered install. He could have went to Kinkos and paid 10 bucks to rent a computer. He could have even paid for a copy with his "lucrative" contract.

Call a spade a spade, this guru was no better than the program manager who had never heard of "foxfire." A total lack of critical thinking on both sides.

This just doesn't add up.


Submission + - Firefox 3.6 locks out rogue add-ons (

CWmike writes: Mozilla will add a new lockdown feature to Firefox 3.6 that will prevent developers from sneaking add-ons into the program, the company said. Dubbed "component directory lockdown," the feature will bar access to Firefox's "components" directory, where most of the browser's own code is stored. Mozilla has billed the move as a way to boost the stability of its browser. "We're doing this for stability and user control [reasons]," said Johnathan Nightingale, manager of the Firefox front-end development team. "Dropping raw components in this way was never an officially supported way of doing things, which means it lacks things like a way to specify compatibility. When a new version of Firefox comes out that these components aren't compatible with, the result can be a real pain for our shared users ... Now that those components will be packaged like regular add-ons, they will specify the versions they are compatible with, and Firefox can disable any that it knows are likely to cause problems."

Submission + - Scientology a 'criminal organisation' (

An anonymous reader writes: Australian senator describes Scientology as a criminal organisation in a speech to parliament, saying they should be investigated by the police.

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