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Sun, 31 Jan 10
The Point of Gadget Saturation
Kira Marchenese works in online communications, and so she arrived on a business trip to New York earlier this week equipped with all the gadgets you might expect: personal smartphone, work smartphone, laptop, iPod touch. Problem is, her hotel room didn't have enough outlets to keep the darned devices charged. "I unplugged the lamp and still couldn't do it," she noted ruefully. "At least half the things I'm carrying right now are just dead hunks of metal." So, though communications is her world, Marchenese has no plans to rush out and buy the iPad.

Thu, 28 Jan 10
China Gives Android a Pass, as Long as It Keeps Its Nose Clean
The Chinese government won't block the use of Google's Android operating system on mobile phones in the country as long as the operating system abides by Chinese laws, a key government official said on Wednesday. "As long as it complies with Chinese laws and regulations, and as long as it has good cooperation with operators ... their use of the system won't be limited," Ministry of Industry and Information Technology spokesperson Zhu Hongren said at a news briefing in Beijing, according to reports.

Thu, 28 Jan 10
iPad: The Price Is Right, and So Are the Functions
"It" is finally here. Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad tablet device at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco to a packed house amidst thunderous applause Wednesday. After months of speculation, which reached a fevered pitch over the last two weeks, it was absolutely imperative that Apple's iPad live up to the hype. And it does. Jobs characterized the iPad as a third device category between a notebook and a smartphone; and given the features and the form factor, that is a credible claim.

Thu, 28 Jan 10
The iPad Has Landed
Apple finally let the iPad out of the iBag Wednesday, with all the style and hyperbole the technology industry has come to periodically expect from Steve Jobs' company. Jobs and several other Apple executives demonstrated the company's idea of what a tablet computer should do before an invitation-only crowd of nearly 500 influential tech journalists, bloggers and analysts at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. What the audience saw: a 9.7-inch color multi-touch screen surrounded by a sleek black frame that's half an inch thick and weighs 1.5 pounds.

Thu, 28 Jan 10
Can WinMo 7 Give Microsoft New Mobile Moxie?
Microsoft is readying a push to revitalize its Windows mobile operating system. The company will Windows Mobile 7 at next month's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, according to Cnet. Windows Mobile 7 has been billed as a major revamp of Redmond's mobile OS. The source code, which is undergoing a complete rewrite, will reportedly be finalized over the summer in time for a rollout this fall. The company is also said to be working on a new consumer phone under the Sidekick product line.

Thu, 28 Jan 10
The 5 Best-Kept SharePoint Management Secrets
Microsoft SharePoint Server is an incredibly versatile tool for setting up portals and Web sites that facilitate communication and collaboration within a company, between companies, and with Internet users at large. This versatility and the ability of SharePoint to boost productivity has made it the fastest-growing product in the history of Microsoft. Many of the benefits associated with SharePoint are made possible by its tight integration with Microsoft Exchange, Internet Information Server, SQL Server and other complex Microsoft infrastructure products.

Thu, 28 Jan 10
Is Personalized Medicine Anti-Establishment?
The Personalized Medicine World Conference in Silicon Valley last week showcased huge opportunities for new advances in medicine and personalized health. What remained unclear was who will take the lead, what techniques or products will win, and whether the medical establishment will go along or stand in the way. Folks in Silicon Valley are used to the fast pace and uncertainty that come along with exponentially growing technologies like those in the field of genomics, and it was easy to spot the venture capitalists in the crowd.

Thu, 28 Jan 10
Screenlets: Eye Candy for Linux Users
Screenlets bring a collection of fun things and useful apps to add functional eye candy to the Linux desktop with little or no resource drain on the computer. Windows and Mac machines have their widgets. Linux has its Screenlets. So you can scratch one more reason from the list of why you shouldn't migrate to an open source operating system. When I held newbie status as a newcomer to the Linux OS, I had little interest in or use for Screenlets. However, back then I was struggling to master the basics of the open source world of computing.

Wed, 27 Jan 10
DoT Adds Another Law to Anti-Texting Crazy Quilt
It could be the next service announced by your car's GPS feature when you drive from state to state: letting you know what highway exit to take -- and warning you about whether texting/phoning while driving in that state is legal. Tuesday's move by the Department of Transportation to outlaw texting while driving for interstate commercial traffic makes it clear that the federal government is making distracted driving a priority in 2010. However, it also adds to the tangle of separate state and, in some cases, civic regulations.

Wed, 27 Jan 10
Google Voice Sneaks Back Onto iPhone
Google on Tuesday launched a new version of Google Voice for the iPhone, half a year after Apple kicked the application off the iTunes App Store. However, the latest version of Google Voice is a browser app leveraging HTML 5 and accessible through the iPhone's Safari browser, not an app that's downloadable from the App Store. It offers several new features, including the ability to send and receive text messages for free. The Google Voice mobile Web app works on iPhone OS 3.0 and higher, Google software engineer Michael van Ouwerkerk wrote in the Google Voice blog.

Wed, 27 Jan 10
Tuning In on Mobile Digital TV
TV viewers who can't bear to be without access to news and programs from their local television stations will this year have new ways to be connected wherever they go. New devices that will carry local TV broadcasts will hit the market later this year. Some of these new mobile digital television devices debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month, as local broadcasters sought a new way to combat the depredations of the Internet, a channel more users have begun to turn to in order to get their fix of streaming video and the latest news.

Wed, 27 Jan 10
Apple's Tablet Is Coming - Get Ready for Disappointment
I find it amazing and crazy that a company that hasn't even acknowledged that it has a tablet-like computing device in development is getting more news coverage and attention than products that are already here or have been actually announced. How many e-readers and tablet devices were publicly announced at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month? I'm already forgetting they exist as the famed Apple tablet continues to crowd everything else out of my brain.

Wed, 27 Jan 10
Report: Linux Gains Ground, Windows Stumbles
Linux inched ahead in the operating-system arena during the final month of 2009, even as Windows and Mac gave up some ground. That's according to research firm Net Applications, which recently released its Market Share report covering operating systems in December. Linux accounted for 1.02 percent of the market in December, up from an even 1 percent the month before, Net Applications reported. Windows fell from 92.52 percent in November to 92.21 percent in December, while Mac fell from 5.12 percent to 5.11 percent during the same time.

Mon, 25 Jan 10
Life in the Shadow of an Internet Blackout
They arrive at this gritty desert crossroads weary from a 13-hour train ride but determined. The promised land lies just across the railway station plaza: a large, white sign that says "Easy Connection Internet Cafe." The visitors are Internet refugees from China's western Xinjiang region, whose 20 million people have been without links to the outside world since the government blocked virtually all online access, text messages and international phone calls after ethnic riots in July.

Mon, 25 Jan 10
Google's App Not Fit for Full-Time Nav Duty
I have plenty of gadgets, so the thought of buying and carrying a separate GPS navigational device never appealed to me. Yet the thought of getting lost appealed to me even less. So I figured my problems were solved when Google came along with a phone application that offers the same spoken-aloud, turn-by-turn directions of navigational devices -- all for free. I quickly learned you get what you pay for. Although Google's app shines in a few important areas and works well for occasional travelers, frequent motorists will appreciate the extra features that come with a price.

Mon, 25 Jan 10
The Byzantine Art of Password Protection
Although news of data breaches and computer hacks make headlines almost daily, individual users and companies too often simply don't protect their passwords strongly enough. Most users tend to select simple or common passwords or leave the default passwords of hardware and software they purchase unchanged, security vendor Imperva found after analyzing 32 million user names and passwords exposed when a database at social networking advertising network firm Rockyou.com was breached in December.

Mon, 25 Jan 10
Google and the Freedom Business
We're now in week two of Google's high-profile battle with China, and the stakes have risen high enough to catch the attention of no less than the U.S. Secretary of State herself, Hillary Rodham Clinton. She cheered on Google's stance in a speech Thursday, saying, "Censorship should not be in any way accepted by any company from anywhere, and in America, American companies need to make a principled stand. This needs to be part of our national brand." Easy enough to say, but doing that can be painful to the bottom line, right?

Mon, 25 Jan 10
The Rise of Digital Maoism
One might guess that a computer scientist who is touted as a pioneer of virtual reality would be a fan of that whole social media thing. After all, Jaron Lanier works as a genius-in-residence of sorts at Microsoft, which is one of several big companies pushing cloud computing, the technological innovation that's brought a lot of Web 2.0 companies to life. So it can be a tad jarring to read Lanier writing about how "something started to go wrong with the digital revolution around the turn of the 21st century."

Mon, 25 Jan 10
FOSS Feats and Follies: Q&A With Red Hat Fedora Project Leader Paul Frields
Red Hat Linux and the Fedora Project developers will soon introduce core technological improvements to provide better desktop environments and video driver support in the upcoming release of both the commercial and the free open source operating systems later this year. The first weekend in December saw more than 200 Fedora developers, open source enthusiasts and contributors gather at the York campus of Senaca College in Toronto, Canada, for the Fedora Users and Developers Conference.

Mon, 25 Jan 10
Sir Tim Unveils Slick UK Government Services Site
Move over Data.gov. The United Kingdom has unveiled its own version of an open source database for its citizens, and the U.S. version pales in comparison. The site, data.gov.uk, which has been running in beta since last September, opened to the public this week to much fanfare. The brainchild of Web founder Tim Berners-Lee and Nigel Shadbolt, a professor of computer science at Southampton University, the site provides official data to the public for free.

Mon, 25 Jan 10
In Which We Observe Apple Tablet Hysteria
For months, I have watched in disbelief at the hysteria over Apple's rumored-to-be-upcoming tablet device without devoting a single article to it. It troubled me by how quickly unconfirmed reports could become concrete facts simply because they've been repeated enough. Even after all my fellow Betanews contributors added their opinions unto the noise, I didn't want to pollute the air with my grumblings. However, just after Christmas, Technologizer's Harry McCracken wrote what became my favorite story about the Apple tablet, and it isn't even about the tablet itself.

Fri, 22 Jan 10
Nokia Headbutts Android With Free Nav App
Harried by shrinking sales and the increasing popularity of Android smartphones, Nokia on Thursday announced that it is now offering a new version of its Ovi Maps mobile navigation app for free. The offering makes detailed maps available for more than 180 countries; it also has turn-by-turn voice navigation for 74 countries in 46 languages. Traffic information is available for more than 10 countries. With this announcement, Nokia is throwing down the gauntlet to Google, whose navigation app, Google Maps Navigation, is available for free on some smartphones running the Android mobile OS.

Fri, 22 Jan 10
Amazon Unlikely to Fire Up Devs With Kindle App Store
Amazon on Thursday announced it will launch a limited beta version of its Kindle software development kit so developers can create applications for its Kindle e-reader. The beta will be available next month, and the SDK will include sample code, documentation and a Kindle simulator that will run on PCs, Macs and Linux desktops. EA Mobile, Handmark and Sonic Boom are creating apps for the Kindle, Amazon said, and it plans to put created content in its app store later this year.

Fri, 22 Jan 10
Tiny Nanoburrs Stick to Damaged Arteries and Repair Tissue
Heart attacks are as American as hot dogs and easily more common than fast-food joints. While changes in the nation's diet are slowly under way to pre-empt the disease, scientists are scrambling to find ways to treat or cure it, in the hope of reducing the swelling numbers added daily to the body count. "Nanoburrs," developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School may contribute toward solving this huge problem.

Fri, 22 Jan 10
Creepy Ways Your Social Media Data Can Be Used
People who use social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace are not known for their reticence -- many put just about any personal information imaginable out there. The risks to such openness are clear -- from inviting tailored phishing attacks to appalling potential employers with one's late-night party habits -- but many users who are tech-savvy appear willing to brave them. The risks they don't know about though, however, are a different matter.

Fri, 22 Jan 10
No Country for Linux Newbies?
To know Linux is to love Linux, aficionados would surely agree, but does one *have* to know Linux just to be able to use it at all? That question has made quite a splash in the blogosphere. "Lately, I've been noticing stories about how to use Linux you need to know half-a-hundred Linux shell commands and the like, began Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, author of the original post. "Ah, what century are you from? Today, if you can see a window and handle a mouse, you're ready to use Linux," he asserted.

Fri, 22 Jan 10
'GTA: Chinatown Wars' - Lots of Power, Nice Lines, Lousy Handling
As gaming devices, the iPhone and the Nintendo Wii both face a similar problem. Game publishers often seem to believe that a game that's popular on the Xbox, PlayStation or PC should also be made to fit on the iPhone or Wii, even though you're really dealing with two very different kinds of platforms. Game makers can and have created games that fit small touchscreens and motion-controlled devices perfectly. But when they take a PS3 or Xbox game and try to shoehorn it into something with a totally different control design, the results can be a little off-putting.

Fri, 22 Jan 10
100M Cellphone Users in Grip of 'Tetris' Addiction
More than 25 years after its birth, "Tetris" is the best-selling mobile game of all time, having surpassed 100 million paid downloads on cellphones around the world. Adam Sussman, vice president of worldwide publishing at Electronic Arts' mobile unit, said the milestone marked "a huge moment not just for EA but for mobile gaming in general. It speaks to the evergreen appeal of 'Tetris.'" EA Mobile and the company it licenses the game from, Blue Planet Software, plan to formally announce the milestone on Thursday in Montreal.

Thu, 21 Jan 10
Why Is Internet Explorer 6 Still Hanging Around?
Microsoft has said it will release a patch on Thursday to fix the Internet Explorer 6 flaw that hackers used recently to attack Google and other large companies. The attacks have triggered a slugfest between Google and the Chinese government. While the flaw can also be exploited in Internet Explorer 7 and 8, most of the attacks so far have been against IE6 on Windows XP because this combination of browser and operating system seems to be the most vulnerable. The situation raises the question of why large corporations continue to use IE6, which is now eight years old.

Thu, 21 Jan 10
Are We Risking Our Digital Lives?
Consumers are growing increasingly comfortable storing sensitive information on their computers, USB flash drives, and external hard drives, as well as using Web-based solutions to automate regular tasks such as shopping for holiday gifts, paying bills and tracking financial portfolios. At the same time, cybercriminals are developing increasingly savvy techniques to access and exploit sensitive information -- such as usernames, passwords and credit card details -- for personal gain.

Thu, 21 Jan 10
Tech Volunteers Build New Tools to Aid Haiti Relief Efforts
Hundreds of tech volunteers spurred to action by Haiti's killer quake are adding a new dimension to disaster relief, developing new tools and services for first responders and the public in an unprecedented effort. "It really is amazing the change in the way crisis response can be done now," said Noel Dickover, a Washington, D.C.-based organizer of the CrisisCamp tech volunteer movement, which is central to the Haiti effort. "Developers, crisis mappers and even Internet-savvy folks can actually make a difference."

Thu, 21 Jan 10
Geany's Almost Magical Text-Editing Capabilities
If you are looking for a superior text editor, your search might just begin and end with a nifty program called "Geany." One of my biggest concerns when I switched from Microsoft Windows to Linux was finding an adequate replacement for my favorite text editor. I use the OpenOffice Writer for printed versions of my work, but the right text editor can provide a more convenient writing platform for personal notes and posting assignments with editors via the Internet. For years, I used a commercial program called "TextPad," but it was a Windows-only product.

Wed, 20 Jan 10
Android, Yahoo Take Hits in Google-China Slugfest
Google's latest salvo in its dispute with China came Tuesday, with reports that it's holding off unveiling two new Android phones in that country. However, this move may hurt Google more than it does China, which has a plethora of Android phones from different manufacturers. The hacker attacks on Google and Gmail accounts have led foreign journalists in China to switch to Yahoo mail, which may pose problems of its own, as Yahoo was reportedly one of the companies hacked, and its email system is vulnerable.

Wed, 20 Jan 10
E-Reading the Tea Leaves Before Apple's Next 'Event'
Maybe the technology press should hire Robert Langdon to take a look at the colorful invitation Apple sent out Monday regarding its Jan. 27th event. The symbologist hero of Dan Brown's bestselling novels might have found evidence that Steve Jobs is indeed preparing to launch an e-reader/tablet computing device that will let consumers download The DaVinci Code, either in book or movie form. Once again, the planets and the media are rearranging themselves in conjunction with an impending Apple product announcement.

Wed, 20 Jan 10
Improve Morale, Improve Security
Have you ever tried to work when you're really sick? I don't mean a little cough or sniffles. I'm talking about a genuine, drag-out, "can't get out of bed" illness -- the kind where it hurts to stand up, let alone go into the office. I hate to admit it, but I've gone to work in that condition -- you probably have too, although pretty much everyone agrees we shouldn't. Maybe it was that time that the critical project's deadline was looming, maybe we were shorthanded during a critical application rollout, or maybe it was when we had a critical meeting with the overseas investors.

Wed, 20 Jan 10
Rumored iMac Touch Prods the Imagination
Forget the mythical Apple tablet that's widely predicted to debut at Apple's Jan. 27 media event -- how about a new iMac "touch"? Apple may be planning on delivering a 22-inch iMac with a touchscreen display, according to DigiTimes, in turn citing Chinese newspaper Commercial Times. Apparently Quanta would do the manufacturing, with Taiwan-based Sintek Photronic said to supply the touchscreen panels. So what's the big deal? HP announced its first all-in-one touchscreen PC back 2007 -- the HP TouchSmart PC.

Wed, 20 Jan 10
MOSS Gives Medical Data-Sharing a Dose of Open Source
New software from Misys Open Source Solutions promises to provide what could be the world's first fully open source, standards-based platform for exchanging health information. The Misys Connect Exchange software was demonstrated and successfully tested last week in Chicago at IHE Connectathon, the healthcare industry's weeklong interoperability testing event. The result, MOSS said, will represent the first time all the software needed to exchange electronic files in a healthcare community will be made freely available in open source.

Tue, 19 Jan 10
Does Google Have an Enemy Within?
Google is reportedly looking into the possibility that one or more staff members at its office in China helped enable the attack on its infrastructure in mid-December. After the attack was discovered, some Google China employees were denied access to internal networks, while others were put on leave, and still others were sent off to offices elsewhere in the Internet search giant's Asia-Pacific operations, according to a Reuters report. Google did not return requests for comment by press time.

Tue, 19 Jan 10
Analysts: French and Germans Too Quick to Spurn IE
Following the news last week of a series of hack attacks on Google and other companies, the governments of France and Germany both issued warnings on Friday suggesting that Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser is too dangerous to use. Microsoft on Thursday acknowledged that a vulnerability in Internet Explorer was one of several attack mechanisms used in the attacks on Google and others, causing it to issue a security advisory on the topic that day.

Tue, 19 Jan 10
When It Comes to Server Migration, You Can Learn a Lot From a Twit
OK folks, Twitter may be a fad, but it is also a wealth of information into real people's problems, and I don't think it is going away anytime soon. In fact Google and Yahoo announced recently that they are going to begin crawling tweets, and they will appear in search queries. So yes, I am a fellow "twit," and proudly so, because I know how to use it to find the information that I am looking for and can then chat with fellow twitterers about issues. Here are the top five server migration mistakes that I've seen tweeted.

Tue, 19 Jan 10
Some of the Best CES Stories That Didn't Make the Headlines
Last week, I spoke about how CES was back, and I gave some of the highlights. However, there always are discussions and trends going on behind the scenes, almost-invisible products, and impressions that take a while to form that can be even more interesting. There was one keynote that came close to being the worst I've ever seen; Panasonic kicked a little Sony butt, and a couple of little companies looked like they may be on the verge of becoming really big.

Tue, 19 Jan 10
Dark Clouds - and a Silver Lining - on the Hiring Front
Talk to anyone about jobs during a recession, and it isn't likely to be a cheerful discussion. Talk to geeks about IT jobs, and you'll get a small taste of a recent conversation going on across the Linux blogs. A pretty picture it isn't, that's for sure -- at least not across the board. IT job satisfaction, for instance, is generally in the gutter. One implication? Many are likely to leave for other opportunities as soon as economic conditions improve.

Tue, 19 Jan 10
Samson's Q2U: A Combo Kit for the Intrepid Podcaster
Would-be podcasters sitting on the fence about what kind of microphone to buy when embarking on their audio adventures may find a procrastination cracker in a new product from Samson Audio. Its new Q2U kit offering includes a mic that will do double duty as both a USB and XLR stick. In the past, podcasters searching for a microphone often had to decide between one with a USB connection or one with an analog XLR plug. USB mics are more convenient. You can plug them into a computer and go. XLR mics, though, have more flexibility.

Mon, 18 Jan 10
The Accidental Hacker
A Georgia mother and her two daughters logged onto Facebook from mobile phones last weekend and wound up in a startling place: Strangers' accounts with full access to troves of private information. The glitch -- the result of a routing problem at the family's wireless carrier, AT&T -- revealed a little known security flaw with far-reaching implications for everyone on the Internet, not just Facebook users. In each case, the Internet lost track of who was who, putting the women into the wrong accounts.

Sun, 17 Jan 10
How Much Would China Miss Google?
At a time when they wanted to focus on the economy, Chinese leaders face a surprise political challenge: A possible Google pullout that could anger China's public and embolden other companies to vent grievances. Google's threat to shut down its China-based site Google.cn over censorship and email hacking alarmed a Internet-connected public that has tolerated a gap between rapid economic and technological progress and a closed, secretive political system.

Sat, 16 Jan 10
IE's Role in the Google-China War
Computer security companies are scurrying to cope with the fallout from the Internet Explorer flaw that led to cyberattacks on Google and its corporate and individual customers. The zero-day attack that exploited IE is part of a lethal cocktail of malware that is keeping researchers very busy. "We're discovering things on an up-to-the-minute basis, and we've seen about a dozen files dropped on infected PCs so far," Dmitri Alperovitch, vice president of research at McAfee Labs, told TechNewsWorld.

Sat, 16 Jan 10
Google to China: Tear Down This Wall
For lots of U.S. Internet companies, doing business in China is virtually a no-brainer -- the market opens up well over a billion new potential customers. The only downside is the Chinese government's pet peeve regarding public dissent. It sponsors what has to be the biggest censorship operation on the planet. If you're surfing the Web in China, you'll see no political dissent, no porn, no talk about government persecution, no mention of certain religious groups, no nothing about anything that might in any way subvert the status quo.

Sat, 16 Jan 10
The Bane of Technology Analysts Is ... Technology?
In 13 years of covering technology, I've evolved into the journalistic equivalent of Blanche DuBois; I've always depended on the kindness of analysts. Whether they were securities analysts working for the big Wall Street firms or technology analysts toiling for the major research companies targeting CIOs and IT-types, I've benefited from their tireless hours of research, their trendcasting, their ability to synthesize their analyses in a pithy quote or a 20-second soundbite.

Sat, 16 Jan 10
The Web's Next Layer of Innovation: Q&A With Creative Commons CEO Joi Ito
Web surfers, whether hardcore business professionals or amateur Web site creators, frequently find images online either through search engines or Web page browsing. However, in most cases, these images are not free to use. Maybe the photographer who created the image would be open to selling rights for a small fee; perhaps he or she only wants attribution but no pay. In any case, the Internet lacks a standardized method to ensure that intellectual property owners get the recognition and/or payment they are due.

Sat, 16 Jan 10
With a Tablet, Apple Treads Into Tricky Territory
Apple has a knack for spotting problems we didn't know we had. It can leave us wondering how we survived without vast libraries of music and TV shows in our pockets or the comfort of knowing "there's an app for that." Now, speculation is growing that in two weeks Apple will unveil a tablet-style touchscreen computer that is bigger than an iPhone but smaller than a standard laptop. If indeed that is Apple's next move -- the company won't comment -- it would have to show us why we ought to pay for yet another Internet-connected screen.

Fri, 15 Jan 10
Is China Sweating Over Google's Threat?
Following a hack attempt on Google originating in China, the Web search powerhouse stood up to the country's government and declared it would no longer cooperate with its censorship laws. In fact, it may stop doing business in China altogether. Doing that would cost Google hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue per year, as well as any future growth opportunities there. However, what effect would rejection from one of the largest Web companies in the world have on China?

Fri, 15 Jan 10
Sitting Kills, Finds TV-Habits Study
Every hour of TV viewing increases your chances of an early death, according to a new study by Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia. Every one-hour program you sit through raises your odds for dying from heart attack or stroke by 18 percent, from cancer by 9 percent, and from other health problems by 11 percent, the researchers found. Although excessive TV viewing has been previously linked to health issues, this study is the first to tie the popular past-time to actual death rates.

Fri, 15 Jan 10
Is Your Content Management Platform Socially Acceptable?
Social media is changing the expectations of consumers in the digital channel. Consumers now demand more transparency from companies. They want more than just the one-way conversation of traditional advertising. Consumers are no longer visitors to sites; they are active users of the Web. They expect to be driving the conversation. On social sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and on mobile devices through mobile Web sites and apps, consumers are determining what is being seen, what is being said, and how to say it.

Fri, 15 Jan 10
On Pi, Paper Penguins and FOSS' Regal Potential
It's been a relatively quiet few days on the Linux blogs, and it seems safe to assume that at least part of that lull is due to the mind-numbing cold affecting many of us here in the Northern Hemisphere. The jollidays are at least behind us once more, but now there's the prospect of day after day of this dark, unrelenting chill. Some tempers have heated up, to be sure, following news of the hapless netbook shopper who got kicked out of Best Buy. But that's not all -- like a seemingly empty tube of toothpaste, there's always more to be squeezed out of the Linux blogs!

Fri, 15 Jan 10
What a Difference a .1 Update Makes for iVideoCamera
What was it that convinced Apple not to include video recording in the original iPhone or iPhone 3G? Was it a battery issue? Did it not think the cameras in those models had enough megapixels to shoot a decent cellphone video? Or did it decide it needed to save video recording until the feature was needed to sufficiently spruce up a new iPhone model? The original iPhone didn't need video to become a phenomenon, and the 3G turned heads with a faster network and more memory, plus it happened to coincide with the arrival of third-party apps.

Thu, 14 Jan 10
Facebook Partners With McAfee to Chase Out the Rats It Let In
Facebook has partnered with McAfee to improve the social network's security measures. The arrangement will have McAfee remotely clean up Facebook subscribers' PCs if the social networking site detects that the computer is infected. These subscribers will also see an ad for a six-month free subscription to McAfee's Internet Security Suite software. Both companies will codevelop educational materials that will be posted on Facebook's site for its subscribers. McAfee created a custom scanning and repair tool for Facebook that will be made available to the social networking site's users.

Thu, 14 Jan 10
Free Storage Lures Consumers to Google's Big Desktop in the Sky
Google is continuing its march to put the desktop on the Web, with its offer to store files as large as 250 MB in Google Docs. Google is offering 1 GB of free storage for files that are not converted into one of the Google Docs formats -- such as Google documents, spreadsheets or presentation. If more storage space is needed, it can be purchased for $0.25 per GB per year. The increase means users can back up large graphics files, RAW photos and ZIP archives, as well as collaborate and organize on such content online.

Thu, 14 Jan 10
Top 8 Enterprise Server Predictions for 2010
Although the enterprise server market has been among the hardest hit by the suffering economy, there is reason to be hopeful as 2009 draws to a close. I'd like to take a moment to share eight predictions of what we can look forward to in 2010 -- trends that have the potential to dramatically change the enterprise in the years to come. First: The customer really is always right. As budgets tightened, C-level executives were forced to make hard decisions to survive, shifting their business models to meet what customers needed. They must remain open to this model.

Thu, 14 Jan 10
Jaspersoft Builds Up Its BI Brawn
Jaspersoft on Tuesday released its latest offering aimed at helping businesses make sense of the piles of data they accumulate on a regular basis. The new Jaspersoft Enterprise Edition provides organizations with a package of business analytics and reporting functionalities. It announced the availability of an upgrade of its flagship BI product to Jaspersoft 3.7. "The Enterprise Edition is a special packaging schema that includes some of the new features of Jaspersoft 3.7 and additional features not found anywhere else," Jaspersoft's Brian Gentile told LinuxInsider.

Thu, 14 Jan 10
Wii Completes Netflix's Video Game Trifecta
It's a triple crown for Netflix. Beginning in the spring, the Wii will become the last of the three current video game consoles to get instant viewing of Netflix movies and TV shows over the Internet. Wii owners who have a broadband connection and a Netflix subscription that costs at least $9 a month will be able to watch those programs with no extra charge. Nintendo and Netflix, which wouldn't give an exact launch date for the service, were set to announce the deal on Wednesday. To watch flicks through the gaming system, Wii users will need a special "instant-streaming" disc.

Wed, 13 Jan 10
Tiny Electric Cars Get a Jumbo Jolt of Hype at Detroit Auto Show
Rock down to "Electric Avenue" at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week, and you might think that sales of battery-powered cars were going to take the industry higher sooner rather than later. Twenty models from automakers large and small get their own 37,000 square-foot section at the annual show, and a few of the featured cars, like the Chevy Volt and the BMW B-Class F-Cell, actually hit dealer showrooms this year.

Wed, 13 Jan 10
TSA Isn't Telling the Whole Truth About Scanners, Charges Privacy Group
Pushback against the deployment at airports of digital image scanners that show people's naked images through their clothes is gaining steam, bolstered by the Electronic Privacy Information Center's publication of government documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security papers suggest the Transportation Security Administration overstated the privacy protections travelers subjected to the scanners would have.

Wed, 13 Jan 10
There's More Than One Way to Plug Enterprise Data Leaks
Data leakage prevention is a topic that has been getting a lot of attention lately. Keeping sensitive data from leaving the network has quickly risen to the top of many IT and compliance officers' lists of priorities. DLP will likely be the first thing most organizations spend their 2010 information security budgets on. Any time sensitive data gets into the hands nonauthorized individuals, it can constitute a data security breach. Malicious employees may take and use sensitive customer or employee information to commit fraud, identity theft or sell to others for quick, easy money.

Wed, 13 Jan 10
As Nexus One Goes, So Goes Android?
When Google unveiled its wildly hyped Nexus One phone last week, it described the device as more than just another Android smartphone. Rather, it dubbed the new handset as one of an emerging class known as "superphones" and "an exemplar of what's possible on mobile phones through Android," as vice president of product management Mario Queiroz put it. Fast forward a few days, and it's not at all clear that the new device deserves either of those titles.

Wed, 13 Jan 10
Baidu Targeted by 'Iranian Cyber Army' Hack Attack
China's largest search engine, Baidu.com, said that it was temporarily shut down after a cyberattack Tuesday. Hackers briefly blocked access to China's top search engine by steering traffic to another Web site where a group reportedly calling itself the "Iranian Cyber Army" claimed responsibility. "Services on Baidu's main Web site were interrupted today due to external manipulation of its DNS (domain name server) in the U.S.," said Baidu spokesperson Victor Tseng.

Tue, 12 Jan 10
Zuckerberg: Facebook Is Helping People Avoid All That Unwanted Privacy
Just a month ago, Facebook overhauled the privacy settings for its 350 million or so users and was targeted in an FTC complaint as a result -- yet company CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Friday suggested that online privacy has faded in importance in recent years. "When we got started in my dorm room at Harvard, the question a lot of people asked was, 'Why would I want to put any information on the Internet at all? Why would I want to have a Web site?'" Zuckerberg recounted in an interview at the The Crunchies Awards in San Francisco.

Tue, 12 Jan 10
Roxxxy Sexbot: It's Not Her Looks, It's Her Personalities
The real world has finally caught up with the concept of a sex robot, something that's been immortalized in films ranging from "Westworld" to "A.I." and the fembots of "Austin Powers." And where else but the 2010 Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas would that vision be realized in the five-foot-seven, 120-pound, lingerie-clad form of Roxxxy? True Companion, a New Jersey-based company, took the wraps off of Roxxxy in Vegas over the weekend, touting her as "the world's first sex robot."

Tue, 12 Jan 10
StarTech's KVM Switch Is a Desktop Space Savior
StarTech.com's new DisplayPort KVM Switch helped me solve a computing problem I did not realize I had. The company's KVM Switch provides direct connections to monitors and computers without using a converter. The DisplayPort KVM Switch let me control two DisplayPort-capable computers with a single keyboard, mouse and monitor. The device's graphical and audio capability did not degrade the output from either computer system. Years ago when I first began using more than one computer, I relied on an A-B box to connect the two desktop machines to the same printer.

Tue, 12 Jan 10
CES: The Magic Is Back
I was at CES last week, and the magic was clearly back in this show. In the past couple of years, CES has been dominated by one device -- making it more like a one-product waste of time. Two years ago, everyone was talking about the iPhone, making many of us wonder if we were at the wrong event. Last year, it was the Palm Pre, which turned out to be a bit of a flash in the pan. This year, it seemed at first that the Google/HTC Nexus One would steal the show, but its buzz dissipated by the end of the first day.

Tue, 12 Jan 10
Magellan Gives iPhones and iPods a Cushy Shotgun Seat
In recent months, portable auto GPS navigation systems have been challenged in their market by smartphone applications that mirror much of the functionality of the standalone units. Now an attack is being launched from another vector, thanks to a new iPod gadget announced by a major player in the take-it-with-you auto nav arena. The gadget, made by Magellan, is a device for the second-generation iPod touch or iPhone that mounts on the dash or windshield of a vehicle and contains a GPS receiver, amplified speaker and noise-canceling speakerphone.

Tue, 12 Jan 10
Install Linux, Void Your Netbook's Warranty?
Best Buy has never been a favorite company among Linux fans, and that feeling was not improved by the Microsoft ExpertZone training scandal that erupted last September. A whole new crop of reasons to hurl insults at the chain came up in recent weeks, however, following news of one blogger's experience. "My four month-old netbook's touchpad and power adapter all stopped working," began the anonymous reader. "I took the machine into Best Buy for service ... [and] the manager of the Geek Squad informed me that installing Ubuntu Linux on my machine voided my warranty."

Mon, 11 Jan 10
Are Consumers Ready for the E-Reader Rush?
When most people think of electronic book readers, Amazon's thin, white Kindle probably springs to mind. However, that could be about to change. A cascade of e-readers will hit the market this year, taking the devices far beyond gray-scale screens with features like touch navigation and video chatting -- and probably lowering prices, too. It's happening as other gadgets, such as mobile phones and tablet computers, give people even more choices for diving into their favorite books.

Sun, 10 Jan 10
Can magicJack Pull Off Its Bill-Shrinking Trick?
The company behind the magicJack, the cheap Internet phone gadget that's been heavily promoted on TV, has made a new version of the device that allows free calls from cellphones in the home, in a fashion that's sure to draw protest from cellular carriers. The new magicJack uses, without permission, radio frequencies for which cellular carriers have paid billions of dollars for exclusive licenses. YMax, which is based in Palm Beach, Fla., said this week at the International Consumers Electronics Show that it plans to start selling the device in about four months for $40.

Sat, 9 Jan 10
Things You Can Do in a Ford Besides Drive
Twitter, Pandora Internet radio and other popular smartphone apps are hitting the road, thanks to Ford Motor Company's Thursday announcement of forthcoming dashboard technologies that will soon be available in a wider, more affordable range of its cars. Ford CEO Alan Mulally, along with other company executives charged with integrating more consumer-friendly technologies into their cars, demonstrated the new options at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Sat, 9 Jan 10
Palm Pumps Up Pre and Pixi, Latches Onto Verizon
One year after first showing the world its Pre smartphone, Palm on Thursday announced a new generation of the device at the Consumer Electronics Show. It also unveiled an upgrade to its Pixi, a smaller smartphone that relies on the same webOS software as the Pre. These, the Pre Plus and Pixi Plus, will debut on Verizon's network Jan. 25. They include some new features, such as three-dimensional games and the ability to act as mobile hotspots for up to five other devices. The Pre Plus does not have a physical button on its face, unlike the original, and it's doubled its memory capacity.

Sat, 9 Jan 10
Nexus One: You Can Look, You Can Buy, but You Can't Touch
The 2009 holiday spirit seems to have faded for Google and Apple, who didn't waste much time getting back to the business of giving each other the stinkeye. First up was Google, which gave its Nexus One smartphone its first official public appearance. It's a phone manufactured by HTC, and it runs on Android 2.1, which is .1 better than the version on the Verizon Droid. It has a 1 GHz processor, and for a smartphone today, that's pretty powerful. I think my 24-pound desktop from 2002 had the same stats, and I thought it was just so cool.

Sat, 9 Jan 10
Are Tablets the Right Rx for Print Pub Ailments?
The cavernous halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center during any Consumer Electronics Show, and the endless rows of exhibitor's booths hawking edgy technology products, can remind you of the final shot of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" -- which is itself, of course, an homage to the last sequence from "Citizen Kane." We're talking boxes and crates stretching out into infinity, and somewhere within is the secret to a super-powerful weapon straight from God, or a childhood toy forever lost to an unhappy billionaire.

Sat, 9 Jan 10
Connecting the Dots on the Apple Tablet
As Jan. 27 nears, rumors swirling about an expected Apple tablet are hitting new heights. Later this month, the company is expected to make an announcement, though Cupertino has said nothing about what that announcement might focus on. At this point, though, perhaps the most surprising development would be if Apple didn't mention a new tablet computer device. What chips will such a device use? How will the interface work? What kind of Internet connectivity will it offer?

Sat, 9 Jan 10
Nexus One: Where's the Revolution?
The trifecta that was Apple's iPhone introduction in January 2007 was a result of the successful introduction of a software platform and a truly revolutionary device, coupled with a massive surge in the functionality of iTunes -- a compelling device on an intriguing platform, which itself was on a respected and advanced platform. Matching that achievement quite literally may never be possible for a smartphone, but it may be possible for something else. The question is, is the Google Nexus One that something else?

Fri, 8 Jan 10
Cellphone Radiation May Thwart Alzheimer's
Despite long-standing concerns about the health effects of cellphones, a new study suggests that radiation from the devices may actually have a beneficial effect when it comes to Alzheimer's disease. Specifically, long-term exposure to the electromagnetic waves associated with cellphone use may actually protect against -- and even reverse -- Alzheimer's, according to a study led by University of South Florida researchers at the Florida Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and published Wednesday in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

Fri, 8 Jan 10
3-D Mania Today, Format Skirmishes Tomorrow?
Three-dimensional television has been hot this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, JVC Kenwood and Samsung were among the consumer electronics companies announcing new products in this line. Behind the scenes, however, a battle is brewing, as there are few hard and fast standards for the industry yet. Meanwhile, the struggle for dominance in the 3-D TV arena is moving into the broadcasting world, with DirecTV announcing plans for a 3-D channel.

Fri, 8 Jan 10
Mystery Tablet's Not the Only Thing on Microsoft's Slate
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Wednesday took the stage to deliver a keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Ballmer showcased products from several partners at the event, including a tablet device made by HP. He also announced a tie-in with HP to promote the Bing search engine. The Microsoft chief forecast a banner year for the Xbox 360 and promised consumers would get its Natal natural user interface this year. At the CES keynote, Microsoft demonstrated new products and technology from various partners, including HP, Lenovo, Sony, Dell and Asus.

Fri, 8 Jan 10
Colored Lights May Switch Off Damaging Brain Activity
Neuroscientists at MIT have figured out how to use colored lights to temporarily quiet activity in the brain. By shining a light on a set of neurons affected by a gene-enhanced virus tool, they were able to shut those neurons down. When they turned off the lights, the neurons started right back up again. No harm, no foul. This is really good news for sufferers of chronic pain, epilepsy, brain injury, Parkinson's disease or other ailments that involve abnormal brain activity.

Fri, 8 Jan 10
Signing On to the Digital Handwriting Revolution
Everything's going digital. Why not handwriting? A new generation of digital pens and smartpens is bridging the divide between handwriting on paper and writing on the computer. With digital pens, you have the best of both worlds: You can sit in a meeting and take notes by hand, and then you can upload those notes onto a computer and save, share and edit them. The pens are becoming popular in the business world, in classrooms, in the field, and anywhere that accuracy, efficiency and digital access are valued.

Fri, 8 Jan 10
Another Year, Another Microsoft Job Targeting FOSS
Well, the new year may be officially under way, but that hasn't stopped Linux bloggers from continuing their reflections on all that transpired over the past decade. At TuxRadar, for example, Graham Morrison looked back over the past 10 or so years and identified "15 game-changing Linux moments of the decade." Beginning with the release of version 2.4 of the Linux kernel back in 2001, all the way through to Oracle's purchase of Sun last year, Morrison zeroes in on the news he thinks mattered most for Linux.

Fri, 8 Jan 10
Pastebot Offers a Little Sanity to iPhone Snippers and Clippers
Was it only six months ago that the iPhone didn't even have cut and paste? So glad that's behind us. In the range of problems and obstacles a person encounters in life, being unable to transfer text on a smartphone was barely worth a brainwave -- until the moment you actually needed to cut and paste something, and all you could do was sigh and sadly write on your hand with a ballpoint pen. Equilibrium would usually return after about two seconds of that little indignity, but whatever, it's all in the past now.

Thu, 7 Jan 10
AT&T, T-Mobile Roll Out Dueling 3G Upgrades
AT&T and T-Mobile both announced on Tuesday that they have upgraded their 3G networks with technology enabling faster speeds. Specifically, the carriers have both deployed HSPA 7.2 technology at their cell sites across the United States. That technology will improve consistency in accessing data sessions, AT&T said, as well as increase network efficiency. Faster speeds will come as AT&T increases the number of high-speed backhaul connections to its cell sites, primarily with fiber-optic connections, over the course of this year and next.

Thu, 7 Jan 10
HP Packs Mini PCs With More Hardware, Software
HP became the latest vendor to unveil brightly colored netbooks in its lineup with its announcement of several new products Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Among the new offerings are the Mini 210 and 2102, which are positioned as secondary PCs. The Mini 210 and 2102, HP said, are companion PCs that focus on information "snacking" and content access, as opposed to the content-creation capabilities offered by its full notebook and desktop PC lines.

Thu, 7 Jan 10
Throw Less Spectrum at It
"Throw more money at it." That's an old suggestion for trying to solve problems big and small, but it's a solution that rarely works, because it doesn't address the root cause of the problem in question. Despite knowing that it's bad advice, the FCC has recently come up with a corollary to it: Throw more spectrum at it. Recently, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski outlined a plan to promote growth in the mobile communications sector, including a proposal to give mobile operators more spectrum. That's bad.

Thu, 7 Jan 10
MIPS Puts Android on TV
MIPS Technologies announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday its plan to develop a new line of set-top boxes with Android inside. The new product base provides the company's OEM customers and partners with a viable Android platform ready for individual customization for digital home devices such as set-top boxes, Blu-ray disc players, digital TVs and VoIP products. "MIPS is driving the movement of Android beyond the mobile device. In the mobile market, MIPS has focused on ARM. But it has not yet conquered the home entertainment market," said MIPS' Kevin Kitagawa.

Wed, 6 Jan 10
Google Nexus Takes Center Stage
Unveiling its much-anticipated Nexus One smartphone on Tuesday, Google put it in a new class of devices it dubs "superphones." "Nexus One is where the Web meets the phone," declared Mario Queiroz, vice president of product management. "It's an exemplar of what's possible on mobile phones through Android." The device hit the market in two versions Tuesday -- an unlocked version that will run on any GSM network, and a subsidized one from T-Mobile.

Wed, 6 Jan 10
Skype Brings Video Chat to Flat-Screen TVs
Skype's new strategy for 2010: Your flat-screen TV in your living room can now be your phone. Or, if your tastes run more toward "The Twilight Zone," think of it as your TV watching you -- as you watch TV. The makers of popular software that allows users to make free phone and video calls via the Internet announced new deals Tuesday with LG and Panasonic that put Skype inside new Web-connected versions of their HDTVs. Starting sometime in mid-2010, consumers who buy certain Panasonic and LG sets will be able to plug in special webcams and enjoy face-to-face conversations.

Wed, 6 Jan 10
nPower Makes Battery Charging a Walk in the Park
Tremont Electric may very well be traveling along the same path once crossed by the Little Engine That Could. The two-year-old startup is headed where several other power generation companies want to go but have yet to get off the research and development tracks. If the inventor and developer of the nPower PEG, Aaron LeMieux, stays on schedule, consumers may find his product on store shelves by next Spring. Several developmental delays compounded a missed target date of reaching market by this past holiday season.

Wed, 6 Jan 10
Skiff to Test Its Mettle in E-Reader Waters
The e-reader market is set to take a big leap forward with the debut of the Skiff Reader at the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. Skiff, a Hearst-backed consortium, has partnered with Sprint to deliver content to the devices via its wireless network. The Skiff Reader will also support wireless connectivity via WiFi. Skiff's competitive differentiator in the rapidly growing e-reader market is newspaper and magazine content.

Wed, 6 Jan 10
Lenovo Opens Smartbook Chapter With Skylight
Lenovo unveiled a slew of PCs for the consumer market on Tuesday. These include its Skylight smartbook, a refreshed S10 netbook lineup, and a refreshed all-in-one desktop line. Multimedia, multitouch and access speed featured prominently in the lineup. Lenovo's beefing up of its consumer product line, especially with the Skylight, may help its efforts to be perceived as more than just a PC vendor for the enterprise market, Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, told TechNewsWorld.

Wed, 6 Jan 10
Chrome Streaks Past Safari in Market Share
Google's Chrome may be a relatively new entrant in the browser arena, but already it's edged past Apple's long-standing Safari to assume the third-place spot. That's according to market researcher Net Applications, which recently released year-end data indicating that Chrome now accounts for 4.63 percent of the browser market. Microsoft's Internet Explorer still holds the top position, with 62.69 percent of the market, while Mozilla's Firefox weighs in at No. 2, with a 24.61 percent market share. Safari, now in fourth place, accounts for 4.46 percent.

Wed, 6 Jan 10
Please Don't Let This Thing Be Named 'iSlate'
Over the holidays, several revelations came to light about the fabled Apple tablet computer -- which, even to this day, Apple hasn't admitted exists. The revelations: One, Apple has rented a stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, where the company is expected to make a big announcement on Jan. 26 or 27. Two, in a flurry of online investigations, MacRumors, courtesy of a tip from iPhone app developer Mark Gurman, reported that Apple owns the domain name "iSlate.com."

Sun, 3 Jan 10
New Cars Mean New High-Tech Headaches for Mechanics
A sign inside the Humming Motors auto repair shop says, "We do the worrying so you don't have to." These days, owner David Baur spends a lot of time worrying in his full-service garage near downtown Los Angeles. As cars become vastly more complicated than models made just a few years ago, Baur is often turning down jobs and referring customers to auto dealer shops. Like many other independent mechanics, he does not have the thousands of dollars to purchase the online manuals and specialized tools needed to fix the computer-controlled machines.


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