truthsearch writes: "An analyst reports that not only will CEO Steve Jobs return to Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference stage he missed last year for medical reasons, but that he will be joined there by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdrey said that Microsoft has been given seven minutes during Jobs' keynote to talk about Visual Studio 2010. Chowdrey said that a new version of the development tools software will support native applications for the iPhone, iPad and Mac OS."
truthsearch writes: "Japan's Nikkei is reporting that Pioneer, facing a consolidated loss of 100 billion yen ($1.08 billion U.S.), will end TV development and production entirely. With the loss of the industry leader in plasma technology, it's an open question of who will fill the void. They could sell their latest Kuro technology, giving a competitor new leverage, or spin off a new company. Or is this the end of plasma entirely?"
truthsearch writes: "Defendants can't deny police an encryption key because of fears the data it unlocks will incriminate them, a British appeals court has ruled. The case marked an interesting challenge to the UK's Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), which in part compels someone served under the act to divulge an encryption key used to scramble data on a PC's hard drive. The appeals court heard a case in which two suspects refused to give up encryption keys, arguing that disclosure was incompatible with the privilege against self incrimination. In its ruling, the appeals court said an encryption key is no different than a physical key and exists separately from a person's will."
truthsearch writes: "Google CEO Eric Schmidt spoke Wednesday night of his company's vision for the U.S. to significantly lower it's reliance on fossil fuels. Wind power should grow to 29 percent of U.S. electricity production, geothermal should grow to 15 percent, and solar should increase to 12 percent. Natural gas, hydroelectric power and nuclear energy would account for the rest. Increasing sales of electric and hybrid cars to 22 million by 2030 is also key to the plan. If the transformation takes place, and electricity consumption remains flat, fossil fuel use would be cut by 88 percent and carbon emissions would be reduced by 95 percent by 2030, Google projects. The cost for the plan would be $4.4 trillion today, minus a savings of $1 trillion as renewables become cheaper."
truthsearch writes: "After much fanfare and criticism, Microsoft is canceling their new commercials featuring Jerry Seinfeld. The general consensus is the ads were ineffectual, getting people to talk about how strange they were instead of improving Microsoft's image or promoting any product. This misstep may be yet another black eye for ad firm Crispin, Porter & Bogusky. New commercials will feature celebrities such as actress Eva Longoria and rapper Pharrell Williams."
truthsearch writes: "After getting an Emmy nomination for its Star Wars parody, Adult Swim has announced that Robot Chicken will be making a sequel scheduled to premiere Nov 16. Voice actors for Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II will include Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Conan O'Brien, and Andy Richter. As Wired asks, how long until Family Guy announces their own sequel to Blue Harvest?"
truthsearch writes: "Northrop Grumman says it has achieved the "first major building block" necessary for manufacture of a 100 kilowatt solid-state laser — that is, a viable battlefield raygun. This was the trial of a "laser chain" with 15 kilowatt power. Northrop intends to combine eight such units to produce a single laser beam of more than 100 kilowatts — which is generally considered the level at which energy beams would become useful combat weapons. Electrically powered solid state lasers are not currently able to develop combat-worthy power levels, and the main US raygun programmes which might see service soon — the ICBM-nobbling Airborne Laser (ABL) and the shorter-range, less powerful Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) — use chemical beam-generation technology instead and require large amounts of dangerous chemical fuel and result in toxic exhaust products."
truthsearch writes: "The Mozilla Foundation's recently released 2006 financial statement (PDF) indicates 85% of their revenue comes from Google. In 2006, Mozilla pulled in revenues of $66,840,850. That's up 26 per cent from 2005. Some fear Google's substantial financial interest may one day be used as leverage to influence policy. Google's contract with Mozilla runs out in November next year."
truthsearch writes: "With authorities promising tighter borders, some farmers who rely on immigrant labor are eying an emerging generation of fruit-picking robots and high-tech tractors to do everything from pluck premium wine grapes to clean and core lettuce. The new pickers rely on advances in computing power and hydraulics that can make robotic limbs and digits operate with near-human sensitivity. Modern imaging technology also enables the machines to recognize and sort fruits and vegetables of varying qualities."
truthsearch writes: "In a move that might make some people scratch their heads, a loosely formed coalition of left-leaning bloggers are trying to band together to form a labor union they hope will help them receive health insurance, conduct collective bargaining or even set professional standards. The effort is an extension of the blogosphere's growing power and presence, especially within the political realm, and for many, evokes memories of the early labor organization of freelance writers in the early 1980s. There's decidedly less support for a union movement among conservative bloggers."
truthsearch writes: "For many years companies have been analyzing and debating the total cost of ownership for various operating systems. Once an investment is made it can be very expensive to switch. With Vista potentially raising the cost of Windows TCO, CIO magazine lists eight financial reasons why businesses should consider Mac OS. Among the reasons: overall value proposition, cheaper licensing fees, less help desk calls, less manual patching, and increased worker productivity."
truthsearch writes: "An internal FBI audit has found that the bureau potentially violated the law or agency rules more than 1,000 times while collecting data about domestic phone calls, e-mails and financial transactions in recent years, far more than was documented in a Justice Department report in March. The new audit covers just 10 percent of the bureau's national security investigations since 2002. The vast majority of the new violations were instances in which telephone companies and Internet providers gave agents phone and e-mail records the agents did not request and were not authorized to collect. But two dozen of the newly-discovered violations involved agents' requests for information that U.S. law did not allow them to have."
SeenOnSlash writes: "Microsoft is working on a project they call "immortal computing" which would let people store digital information in durable physical artifacts and other forms to be preserved and revealed to future generations, and maybe even to future civilizations. The artifacts would be designed to make the process of accessing the information clear with instructions in multiple languages or hieroglyphics. In one possible use, messages for descendants or interactive holograms might be stored on tombstones. The project was revealed when their patent application recently became public."
SeenOnSlash writes: "In one of several recently reported cases in Italy, a bunch of teenagers brutally attacked a disabled person. They made a video of their performance and placed it on YouTube. This incident has become a new pretext for censorship and repression as people blame the Internet for the violence. There's now talk of increasing liability of internet providers for content. Some want to make them automatically accountable for the actions of whoever uses their services. Politicians are demanding or suggesting new laws and regulations, apparently including an obligation to obtain written approval by parents for minors to use the internet. Criminal proceedings have been opened against the Italian representatives of Google Inc., including a police raid of their office in Milan."
SeenOnSlash writes: "Apple sold 1.6 million Macs in the fourth quarter, a 30% increase over last year. The company said that more than 50% of people who bought Macs in Apple stores were first-time customers. This is further evidence that the success of the iPod is helping it to win converts in the personal computer market. With Mac sales growing far faster than the rest of the PC market, it's a great year for Apple."