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Businesses

Submission + - Sony Hints to Pull-Out Music, Games from iTunes

suraj.sun writes: SONY has signalled it may withdraw its artists from Apple's iTunes store and withhold its games from the iPhone in a sign the two companies are on the brink of all-out war.

Sony plans to open a competitor to iTunes, a music streaming service called Music Unlimited, in Australia soon.

Another service launching later this year will enable mobile phone users to pay and play first generation PlayStation games on their handsets.

Two weeks ago Apple blocked Sony's electronic book application from the iPhone because it would have bypassed Apple's system for buying content.

The Age: http://www.theage.com.au/digital-life/mp3s/war-looms-as-sony-hints-that-it-will-abandon-itunes-20110210-1aonn.html
Technology

Submission + - Look Out LCDs – AMOLEDs are Coming (singularityhub.com)

kkleiner writes: Look out LCD's because flexible, paper thin, AMOLED screens with super crisp resolution are about to become mainstream. Samsung recently unveiled a slew of new AMOLED products at CES 2011, and they did not disappoint. By layering thin sheets of an electroluminescent organic material, Samsung has managed to conceive of an entire line of products that take LED displays to an entirely new level – these videos you have to see to believe. From transparent displays to paper-thin deformable screens, Samsung has definitely set the AMOLED bar pretty high.
Android

Submission + - Google to Merge Honeycomb and Gingerbread (pcpro.co.uk)

eldavojohn writes: In Barcelona, Google's Eric Schmidt has been revealing future plans for Google saying that the next release will merge smartphone and tablet versions of it's mobile operating system Android. Aside from bragging about Android's growth, Schmidt tiptoed around a question of Google acquiring Twitter instead offering the very nebulous statement that Youtube doubled its revenues last year.
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - 160GB PS3 Slim, 320GB Move bundle coming to US and (trippletech.com)

hasanabbas1987 writes: The leaks weren’t wrong, they just weren’t the whole story. A 160GB PlayStation 3 Slim is indeed coming to the US — Europe, too — but additionally, there’s a heftier 320GB Sports Champions Move bundle. The former standalone console is available now stateside for $299, and according to the GamesCom press conference, Europeans will have to wait until October for 299 Euros. As for the biggie, which includes the game and one-player Move package, that’s due out September 19th in US (or September 15th across the pond) for $399 and 349 Euros, respectively — just in time for holiday shopping sprees.
Google

Submission + - 13 years of Google: 1997 - Present (fortystones.com) 1

An anonymous reader writes: 13 years since Google started and today it stands a winner and a global leader. As you surf the internet, you can feel the power and influence of Google Inc reverberate. There are many factors that makes Google such a force but the foremost reason of its development and popularity is it constant evolution. Google, ever since its inception has had a great appetite for change and development. Never static, the company has modeled itself-around the motto of constant change.
Microsoft

Recomputing the Sky 205

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft has unveiled the largest and clearest image of the night sky ever assembled. This so-called 'TeraPixel' sky map was generated with the help of some of Microsoft's latest HPC and parallel software assets. Quoting: 'Compared to the old sky image, the TeraPixel version is much more refined. With all the artifacts, seams and inconsistencies processed away, it looks like a true unified image of the sky above. It's like going from Super Mario Brothers on 1985-era Nintendo consoles to Halo 2 on Xbox 360s.'" You can view the image at Microsoft's WorldWide Telescope site — it requires the Silverlight plugin for Windows or Mac. No word at the site about Linux or whether Moonlight works there.
The Media

Murdoch's UK Paywall a Miserable Failure 428

David Gerard writes "As part of his war against free, Rupert Murdoch put the Times and Sunday Times of London behind a paywall. Michael Wolff of Newser asks how that's working out for him. You can guess: miserable failure: 'Not only is nobody subscribing to the website, but subscribers to the paper itself — who have free access to the site — are not going beyond the registration page. It's an empty world.' Not that this wasn't entirely predictable." Update: 07/17 01:41 GMT by T : Frequent contributor Peter Wayner writes skeptically that the Newsday numbers should be looked at with a grain of salt: "I believe they were charging $30/month for the electronic edition and $25/month for the dead tree edition which also offered free access to the electronic edition. In essence, you had to pay an extra $5 to avoid getting your lawn littered with paper. The dead tree edition gets much better ad rates and so it is worth pushing. It's a mistake to see the raw numbers and assume that the paywall failed."
Privacy

Federal Judge Limits DHS Laptop Border Searches 359

Declan McCullogh is reporting at CNET that a federal district court judge has rebuked the Department of Homeland Security, "which had claimed it can seize a traveler's laptop and search it six months later without warrant." As described in the article, DHS policies have been stacked against travelers entering the US, including citizens returning from abroad: "There's no requirement that they be returned to their owners after even six months or a year has passed, though supervisory approval is required if they're held for more than 15 days. The complete contents of a hard drive or memory card can be perused at length for evidence of lawbreaking of any kind, even if it's underpaying taxes or not paying parking tickets." This ruling does not address immediate searches at the border, but says that DHS cannot hold computers for indefinite searching, as in the case to hand, concerning a US citizen returning from a trip to Korea, whose laptop was seized and held for months before a search was even conducted on it.
The Courts

FTC Takes Out Porn- and Botnet-Spewing ISP 263

coondoggie writes "The Federal Trade Commission today got a judge to effectively kill off the Internet service provider 3FN, which the agency said specialized in spam, porn, botnets, phishing, and all manner of malicious web content. The ISP's computer servers and other assets have been seized and will be sold by a court and the operation has been ordered give back $1.08 million to the FTC."
NASA

Atlantis Blasts Off On Final Mission 143

shuz writes "Space shuttle Atlantis lifted off today on its STS-132 mission to the International Space Station — the final flight for the venerable vehicle. The mission involves three spacewalks over 12 days (PDF), during which the team will replace six batteries on the port truss which store energy from solar panels on that truss, bolt on a spare space-to-ground Ku-band antenna, and attach a new tool platform to Canada's Dextre robotic arm." NASA has video of the historic launch and reader janek78 adds this quote from the mission summary: "Atlantis lifted off on its maiden voyage on Oct. 3, 1985, on mission 51-J. Later missions included the launch of the Magellan probe to Venus on STS-30 in May 1989, Galileo interplanetary probe to Jupiter on STS-34 in October 1989, the first shuttle docking to the Mir Space Station on STS-71 in June1995, and the final Hubble servicing mission on STS-125 in May 2009."
Linux

New Linux Petabyte-Scale Distributed File System 132

An anonymous reader writes "A recent addition to Linux's impressive selection of file systems is Ceph, a distributed file system that incorporates replication and fault tolerance while maintaining POSIX compatibility. Explore the architecture of Ceph and learn how it provides fault tolerance and simplifies the management of massive amounts of data."

Submission + - The Company is Dead, But Its PayPal Billing Servic (xconomy.com)

hlovy writes: If a consumer-oriented Web-based services company goes out of business, shouldn’t its PayPal account expire too? Xconomy is just wondering if other online consumers have had a similar experience to Encinitas, CA, resident Judd Handler. He says he recently discovered that he had been charged $17.95 on his PayPal account for a junk-mail screening service provided through ProQuo, a San Diego-based startup that went belly up last October.
Businesses

Submission + - Computer Competency Test for Non-IT Hires?

wto605 writes: As computers are used for more and more vital business functions small business cannot afford to have office employees who fail to understand the dangers of and how to recognize and avoid malware, spam, and phishing. After having been stung by monthly virus cleanups at $75 an hour due to an otherwise competent office manager my parents have realized they need to be aware of their employee's computer skills beyond being able to type a letter in word (currently the closest thing they have to a test on computer ability). The problem is, as a small business, there is no IT expert who would be able to recognize a users competency in this area easily. I'm wondering if anyone has seen a good way to test these skills (such as a online test, a set of questions, etc.) that can easily and quickly give them a good idea of an interviewees computer competency during an interview. I have already pointed them to Sonic Wall's Spam and Phishing test (http://www.sonicwall.com/phishing/index.html), however this definitely doesn't cover all of the necessary issues facing computer users.

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