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Thu, 31 Mar 11
Historic Photos Reveal a Mercury Never Seen Before
NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft on Tuesday and Wednesday captured and delivered to Earth the first photographs of Mercury ever taken from within the planet's orbit. Taken at 5:20 am EDT Tuesday, the historic first photo was soon joined by 364 more of the solar system's innermost planet, and several of them were released on Wednesday. Photos were taken by MESSENGER's Mercury Dual Imaging System as the spacecraft sailed high above the planet's south pole, providing a glimpse of portions of Mercury's surface that had not previously been seen by humans. "The entire MESSENGER team is thrilled," said Principal Investigator Sean Solomon.

Thu, 31 Mar 11
Ignoring Angel Investors' Advice and Other Web 2.0 Pearls
At first glance, the Web 2.0 conference, being held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, appears tailor-made for today's audience. Keynotes are kept short -- about 20 minutes each -- and follow each other in rapid-fire succession. They're posted on the Web. The audience is mainly young and armed with multiple mobile devices -- several had smartphones and iPads, for instance. However, things came to a screeching halt when the keynote presenters got on stage to make their presentations Tuesday.

Thu, 31 Mar 11
Devs Grapple for WWDC Tix as Prices Skyrocket
Tickets to Apple's World Wide Developer Conference, to be held in San Francisco in June, are hot. Some would-be attendees seem to be willing to pay thousands to get in on the event -- a quick search on eBay showed tickets being offered at prices ranging from $1,600 to $4,500 each. Many of them had multiple bids. What would be worth $4,500 to an app developer? While there are stories of some companies making millions on apps they created for the iTunes App Store, the vast majority of developers aren't doing quite so well.

Thu, 31 Mar 11
5 Budget-Friendly Ways to Tighten Up the Data Center
As online shopping becomes a larger and larger part of global consumers' spending habits, they are demanding the highest levels of availability, performance and security. Your application cannot be unavailable, slow or vulnerable. Period. The single most important factor in keeping an application live and performing well is ensuring that your data center is running properly. Maintaining an up-to-date, secure and safely redundant data center seems like an expensive and tedious order, but there are actually many budget-friendly steps that can be taken to improve operations.

Thu, 31 Mar 11
New KDE Polishes Linux but Leaves a Few Little Streaks
Having multiple choices of desktop environments is one of the Linux OS's strong points -- as well as its potential nemesis. This lack of a uniform desktop strategy means confusion for Linux newcomers and frustration for seasoned users. For example, the two most used desktop environments are GNOME and KDE. But the choices do not end there. Add to the fray Xfce and LXDE and more bare-bones systems such as FVWM and IceWM, among several others. And then you must factor in a handful of X Window managers that handle the windows that applications bring up within a desktop environment.

Wed, 30 Mar 11
3DS - No Games, No Glory
Nintendo's latest gaming system went on sale on Sunday, promising to deliver a 3D gaming experience without the need for cumbersome 3D glasses. While the concept is great and the timing seems right considering the wider trend toward 3D, there is little reason to buy a 3DS today. The 3DS device itself is certainly exciting. It has been nearly five years since the most recent new gaming platform was released, and gamers are hungry for something new and exciting. Combine that with the momentum of the 3D industry right now and the bleeding edge idea of glasses-free 3D technology.

Wed, 30 Mar 11
Cellphones and the Brain: Faith, Hope and Calamity
It's now official: Everything that the Federal Communications Commission has ever told us about the safety of cellphones is almost certainly wrong. When the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse recently reported that simply holding a turned-on cellphone next to the ear for 50 minutes caused significant changes to brain chemistry, many stalwarts in the scientific community were stunned. After all, cellphones were not even tested for safety before being introduced, because it was thought that they had to be safe. Not anymore.

Wed, 30 Mar 11
Google Search for iPhone Hits Its Awkward Stage
Originally, Google Search for iPhone was little more than a polished little app-sized link to its Web pages. So much of what people use Google for takes place through a browser that there wasn't much point in delivering a heavy piece of software; a well-put-together set of roadsigns did the trick. Now Google's iPhone app has grown up a bit. It received an update that makes its main interface a little more complex, delivers a few new features, and builds in some slidey-swipey action to lessen the impression that you're looking at a made-for-mobile website.

Wed, 30 Mar 11
MeeGo and Symbian: How Long Will the Bodies Stay Warm?
When Nokia and Microsoft announced a partnership last month, many systems and app developers interpreted the deal to mean Nokia was beginning to turn away QT Symbian and MeeGo platforms. In essence, Nokia would be dialing into Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 technology in the near future -- and, it was presumed, dialing out of its own mobile OSes. The announcement caused some 1,000 Nokia employees to stage a walkout to protest the deal. They feared the transition to WP7 would cost them their jobs.

Tue, 29 Mar 11
Power Plant: One Small Leaf Could Electrify an Entire Home
A team of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed what it describes as the first practical artificial leaf. The device, made from silicon, electronics and catalysts, is the same size and shape as a playing card, but thinner. It splits water into its two components, hydrogen and oxygen. These are then stored in a fuel cell and used later to generate electricity. "It's really cool stuff -- they're taking a solar cell and turning it into a battery," Carl Howe, director of anywhere consumer research at the Yankee Group, told TechNewsWorld.

Tue, 29 Mar 11
Asus' Eee Pad Transformer Is a Notebook in Disguise
Asus on Friday announced the first shipments of its Eee Pad Transformer, which are directed to Taiwan. The Eee Pad Transformer is so named because it uses an optional docking station that provides a full QWERTY keyboard with unique Android function keys. This tablet runs on an Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor and uses Google's Android 3.0 operating system, aka "Honeycomb." Its frame just over half an inch deep, and it weighs in at about 24 ounces. It comes preloaded with Polaris Office 3.0, which supports the most frequently used file formats on PCs.

Tue, 29 Mar 11
FUD-Bombing Intel and HP: What's Next From the Crazy Guys at Oracle?
Last week, Oracle FUD-bombed the Itanium processor. Like Oracle's own SPARC chip and PowerPC at one time, Itanium was supposed to be the future for most everything -- but all of these chips ended up on the largest and most fault-tolerant systems each company supports. Announcing the death of any one of them puts question marks on the class -- and given that Oracle's SPARC is the most exposed, that seems like throwing stones from a glass house. Oracle seems to be doing a lot of crazy stuff at the moment.

Tue, 29 Mar 11
The Day Firefox Left IE in the Dust
Those of us here in the free software community are almost always rooting for new open source products as they debut, but it's not often that we are as completely and thoroughly gratified as we were last week upon the launch of Firefox 4. With headlines like "Firefox 4 thumps IE9 in first day download contest" and "Why Firefox 4 is winning the browser battle," it was hard to refrain from simply grinning continuously. Linux Girl spent the majority of the week down at the blogosphere's Punchy Penguin bar, where FOSS fans took no pains to contain their exuberance -- or their perspectives on what Microsoft did wrong.

Tue, 29 Mar 11
iPad 2 Smart Cover: Softcore Armor Lets the Sexy Shine Through
Apple's new iPad Smart Cover for the iPad 2 took the tech geek world by storm when Apple first announced it and posted a fancy video of it in action on its Smart Cover site. I saw a lot of positive feedback for it online -- first impressions -- so when I was up at 2 a.m. ordering a brand-spankin' new iPad 2 on launch day, I ordered a Smart Cover, too. The last thing I wanted was to have a new iPad 2 and have zero access to cases and covers. Any cover is better than no cover.

Sun, 27 Mar 11
Clash of the Carrier Titans
Remember that rumor from a couple weeks ago that Sprint and T-Mobile were getting together? That's not happening. T-Mobile USA actually wants to get in with AT&T, which has agreed to buy the company from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion. Maybe those talks with Sprint really were going on simultaneously, but it looks like they didn't end so well for Sprint. On a technical level, this deal makes a whole lot more sense. Unlike Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile already run on the same GSM technology.

Sat, 26 Mar 11
Facebook Lets Users Put Questions in a Bottle
What is the temperature of the sun? What is free will? Who's in charge here, anyway? These questions and more -- any question one could possibly imagine, really -- are what Facebook's Questions feature is for. The social network updated Questions Thursday, throwing the general inquiry forum open to the public. Anyone can opt in, Facebook spokesperson Meredith Chin told TechNewsWorld. That will set up the Questions link on their publisher, next to their status, photo and other links.

Sat, 26 Mar 11
Will the Real iPad Challenger Please Stand Up?
There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth among vendors of mobile devices and computers since Apple launched the first iPad in 2010. Competitors frantically began announcing plans to bring out their own tablets, most of them running on Google's Android operating system. Since then, Google has unveiled Android 3.0, aka "Honeycomb," which is tailored to tablets. A bunch of Honeycomb-based tablets were announced at CES last January, including Motorola's Xoom; Acer's Iconia Tab A500; the Asus Eee Pad MeMo, Transformer and Slider; the Dell Streak 10; and the LG G-Slate.

Sat, 26 Mar 11
Critics Question the Money of Color
In the age of social media and infinitely creative new software start-ups, there have been a lot of rags-to-riches stories. But the latest tale, about an app called "Color," seems to bypass the rags stage entirely. Color is a new app for Android and iOS that allows users to easily share pictures with one another. On the face of it, there doesn't seem to be anything particularly new about that. But on closer inspection, it appears that unlike other popular services such as Photobucket or ImageShack, Color doesn't just want you to send the picture around to people you know.

Sat, 26 Mar 11
Steve Jobs Waves Off Radiation-Detecting App
An app that detects non-ionizing radiation and could answer questions about mobile phones and cancer risk is caught between a curt two-word rejection from Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Japan's ongoing nuclear radiation crisis. Israeli app maker "Tawkon is a start up that has been working for the last 20 months on a patent pending mobile application that allows users to see the level of radiation they are exposed to from their mobile phone," founder and CEO Gil Friedlander emailed Jobs last August. "No interest," Jobs wrote -- but despite his dismissal, Tawkon just released the app for jailbroken iPhones on Cydia.

Fri, 25 Mar 11
Firefox 4 Gains Features, Loses Charm
Just a matter of days after Microsoft released Internet Explorer 9, Mozilla has come forward with its newest browser, Firefox 4. It has been three years since the release of Firefox 3.0, and during that time a lot has changed in the browser landscape. Mozilla's latest software answers the call to be sleeker and faster, like its competitors, but some of the changes are so radical that it will take faithful Firefox users quite some time to get used to them. Of course, the most noticeable change as soon as you open Firefox 4 is a sweepingly reworked interface.

Fri, 25 Mar 11
Art Galleries Online: Everything Except the White Wine and Snooty Talk
Artists seeking to sell their work and art lovers seeking to buy it need now go no further than their computer. With the rise in online art sales, buying and selling original art can take place entirely online. One such site, Ugallery, was founded by two University of Arizona college students in 2006 as a class project. Since then, the site has taken off, and it currently sells the work of over 300 emerging painters, photographers, and other artists in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. "Ugallery gives emerging artists a place to sell their artwork and people a place to find affordable, original artwork," Stephen Tanenbaum, director of operations and cofounder of UGallery, told TechNewsWorld. "We operate like a brick-and-mortar gallery, except it's all online."

Fri, 25 Mar 11
Much Ado About Android Licensing and Headers
Those of us who have spent more than, say, five minutes in the Linux blogosphere know that there's pretty much never a dull moment around here. In case any further proof was needed, however, the past week or so has surely afforded it, courtesy of the never-ending quagmire of legal licensing. "Does Android have a copyright problem?" was the question that got posed on Slashdot last week, and it generated more than 200 comments itself, not even counting the 100 or that appeared on the original article in The Register.

Thu, 24 Mar 11
Brown Dwarf Star Is as Cool as They Come
A brown dwarf is A) a tepid spot of tea; B) a tiny cup of java; or C) a star with so little energy its temperature isn't much different from a cup of coffee or tea. The correct answer -- C -- describes a newly discovered, lukewarm star about 75 light years -- 709,539,630,000,000 kilometers or 440,887,486,000,000 miles -- from Earth. Wishing upon this star, however, might be difficult. Unromantically dubbed "CFBDSIR J1458+1013B," it is the coldest and faintest star ever found, astronomers say, with a surface temperature not much higher than 100 degrees Celsius.

Thu, 24 Mar 11
WinPho 7 NoDo Update Peeks Its Head Out
Microsoft has released the so-called NoDo update, fulfilling a pledge it made earlier to do so by late March. The ill-fated update had been originally scheduled for rollout during the first week of March. The release was put off after Microsoft ran into problems with its first update in February. Microsoft's NoDo update includes the long-awaited copy-and-paste feature, CDMA capabilities and other functionalities. "We've begun to gradually roll out the copy-and-paste update, starting small with customers with open market phones this week," said a Microsoft spokesperson.

Thu, 24 Mar 11
Beyond Mobile: A Computer the Size of a Grain of Sand
When so-called "minicomputers" first appeared in the 1970s, they supplanted mainframes on a scale of size and cost expressed by Bell's Law, which holds that a new class of smaller, cheaper computers comes along roughly every 10 years. Personal computers, notebooks, smartphones, and tablets followed, and the latest entry -- a millimeter-scale computerized eye pressure monitor -- was displayed last month at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco.

Thu, 24 Mar 11
A Tale of Two Alarm Clocks: One to Use, One to Lose
Sometimes FOSS can be a confusing source of programs to feed my Linux passion. I confronted that confusion the last few weeks while settling into a preferred Alarm Clock app for my GNOME desktop. I found what I thought was a perfect solution for my need of a do-it-all alarm tool for my computers. Aptly enough, I really liked the features in Alarm Clock. The only problem was two separate programs claim the same name. Since I use several computers regularly in addition to my test bench computer, I did not immediately realize the problem of multiple identities.

Wed, 23 Mar 11
AT&T Could Squeeze T-Mobile's Network for 4G Boost
Winning regulatory approval may be a difficult battle for AT&T in its bid to buy up wireless rival T-Mobile. However, if it does indeed gain permission to purchase its GSM wireless competitor, the technological challenges could prove to be much less of a headache. AT&T will be able to transition T-Mobile USA's networks into its own fairly easily, should regulators rubber-stamp the deal. Ma Bell wants to incorporate T-Mobile's AWS network into its own LTE 4G network.

Wed, 23 Mar 11
FireFox 4 Lets Fly With New Speed, Privacy Features
Its logo depicting a wily flame-colored fox encircling the globe suggests that nonprofit Mozilla aims to set the world on fire with every new version of its free, open source Web browser Firefox, released in its fourth incarnation Tuesday. Available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android and Maemo, Firefox 4 boasts speed and performance advancements, enhancements to the JavaScript engine and a new look that supports HTML5, Mozilla representatives posted on the company blog.

Wed, 23 Mar 11
Samsung's Galactic Expansion Continues With New Tablet Models
After launching a seven-inch tablet last year and unveiling a 10.1-inch pad earlier in 2011, Samsung on Tuesday revealed its Galaxy Tab family's middle child: an 8.9-inch tablet computer. While other high-profile tablet makers like Apple and Motorola have generally stuck around the 10-inch form factor, Samsung's apparently attacking the market with a lineup that offers a range of choice in size. "This shows just how dynamic and competitive the mobile market has become, and how innovative we need to be to stay ahead of the competition," said Samsung Mobile President JK Shin.

Wed, 23 Mar 11
App Peddlers Shape the Future of Mobile at CTIA ShowStoppers
A handful of emerging companies in the mobile space showed off their wares at a ShowStoppers event Monday night as a kickoff to this week's CTIA Wireless convention in Orlando, Fla. From maps for the interiors of malls to an infrared device that turns your iPhone into a universal remote, there was no shortage of new ideas. One of the more intriguing showcase sat the event, however, centered on a technology that the vast majority of users may never even notice. Enter AppMobi.

Wed, 23 Mar 11
The Chinese Government's Gremlins in Google's Works
Friendly to capitalism but unfriendly to democracy, the Chinese government is cracking down on that great engine of information democratization, Google, the Internet search giant claims. Complaints that Google's Gmail email system hasn't been performing up to speed in China prompted Google to level the accusation. Google has investigated the reported problems and said it found no technical glitches. Message sending, receiving, and other basic Gmail functions reportedly have been disrupted. A Google people finder established after neighboring Japan's earthquakes and tsunami also failed in China.

Wed, 23 Mar 11
The iPad 2's Magnetic Personality
It's one thing to use a buddy's iPad, messing around here and there. It's another thing entirely to own a new iPad 2. I'm way more protective. And worried. Where the original iPad was nice, the iPad 2 is gorgeous. Astoundingly thin, but also surprisingly solid in your hand. I'm not familiar with holding it yet, and after a weekend and a pair of days, I have the sinking feeling I'm going to trip on the stairs and send it cartwheeling. Maybe I won't pay attention and I'll set a ceramic cereal bowl on the screen one morning while I'm trying to rub the lack of sleep out of my eyes.

Wed, 23 Mar 11
Froyo, Gingerbread Get Full Frontal Flash
Adobe announced Monday that its Flash Player 10.2 update is now available on Android Market. The update's a production release for Android 2.2 and 2.3 but an initial beta release for Android 3.0.1. That news may impact the Motorola Xoom, as it runs Android 3.0 aka "Honeycomb." Android 3.0.1 is Honeycomb with the latest Google updates. Adobe lists a number of new features of Flash Player 10.2. One is enhanced performance for newer, high-profile phones and tablets, including the Motorola Atrix 4G, Motorola Xoom and the LG Optimux 2X.

Tue, 22 Mar 11
Sony Rumor Mill: Flash of Chrome, Rumble of Thunder
Sony is readying a hybrid Vaio notebook with a docking system that augments its hardware, as well as another Vaio sporting Chrome OS, according to a report in SonyInsider. The so-called hybrid notebook will feature the communications technology Apple introduced as "Thunderbolt" recently in its MacBook Pro notebooks, the report stated. This notebook will apparently have an unltra-thin chassis as well as a docking station equipped with its own discrete graphics processing unit, a Blu-ray drive and other connectivity options.

Tue, 22 Mar 11
Killing PowerPoint and Changing the World
Last week, I was at the HP analyst event where DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg got up on stage and gave an example of what every speaker should do -- tell a story. Behind him slides went by, and we even saw a preview of one of the coming movies. Looking back, it was one of the two best presentations of the event. The other, by Chandrakant Patel -- on powering a data center using cow dung -- was actually just as fascinating for much the same reason. Interestingly enough, on the prior day, the speaker with the most stage presence was Cathy Lesjak who, instead of the more normal numbers-oriented talk, wove a compelling story around HP's new strategy.

Tue, 22 Mar 11
Introducing Your Honey to Linux
Linux geeks are a generous sort, it seems fair to say, always eager to share the joys of their favorite operating system. So when a Linux geek enters a new relationship -- with a fellow human, that is -- it's only natural to encourage that new flame to adopt Linux too. Makes perfect sense, right? Of course it does. Unfortunately, said partners don't always see it that way. The School of Hard Knocks has done a good job of teaching Linux Girl that lesson, so her interest was naturally piqued when she came across a post from a while back on just that topic.

Tue, 22 Mar 11
iMovie for iPad 2 Is All Awesomeness, Frame by Frame
I used the first version of Apple's iMovie app on my iPhone 4, and I thought it was pretty good. But the new iMovie version 1.2 for iPad is so freaking good, it's surprising. In fact, as I was learning to use it, I forgot that I was basically editing a movie on a tablet, using video I had shot with a smartphone. Not so long ago, I wouldn't even have imagined this would be possible, and if possible, that it would actually be easy and enjoyable. But now, with the iPad 2, it's definitely both.

Tue, 22 Mar 11
Lawyers Smack Sony's Hand as It Reaches for Hotz's Hard Drive
Lawyers for George Hotz, whom Sony is suing for publishing codes used to jailbreak PlayStation 3s, claim the Japanese electronics giant has misled the court. Sony Computer Entertainment America, based in California, is suing Hotz for publishing a secret encryption key and software tools that allow PS3 owners gain deep control of the video game consoles. SCEA won the right to search hard drives belonging to Hotz for the PS3 software developer's kit. However, Hotz's lawyers say SCEA doesn't have the right to search hard drives because it doesn't own the copyright to the SDK.

Sun, 20 Mar 11
iPad 2 Is Everywhere and Nowhere
The new iPad 2 has arrived, sort of. It made a brief appearance last Friday in Apple stores and a few other retailers. But by Saturday the only place you could find one was either chained to an Apple store table as a demo model or clutched in the hands of a neighbor who decided that getting up in the wee hours to stand in line on Day One was a sensible thing to do. Ordering online didn't necessarily mean instant gratification either. Some extremely early orders have come in, but by the second day, delivery times had stretched to three weeks. Now it's more like five.

Sat, 19 Mar 11
Hotshot Maneuver Propels Messenger Into Mercury's Orbit
In a first-time ever maneuver, NASA's MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging space probe -- aka "Messenger" -- entered Mercury's orbit Thursday. The sun's closest planetary neighbor, Mercury is hot and harsh, presenting conditions no human astronaut could endure. Messenger, however, will hover as close as 124 miles from the planet's surface, sending data back that should capture some serious science, including Mercury's wild climatological swings. Areas bathed in sunlight can reach 840 degrees F, while shaded areas can drop 1,100 degrees, hitting minus 350 degrees F.

Sat, 19 Mar 11
RSA Break-In Leaves SecurID Users Sweating Bullets
Hackers have broken into and stolen information from RSA's systems, a move that may have seriously reduced the security firm's street cred. RSA is the sponsor of a major security conference bearing its name. The gathering attracts the creme de la creme of the IT industry as well as government bigwigs such as United States Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn III and former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff. The company has been promoting its two-factor authentication feature, SecurID, as a secure solution.

Sat, 19 Mar 11
America's Perilous Patchwork of Privacy Laws
As a concept, the notion of online privacy seems to rank right up there with the Tooth Fairy. Facebook has declared that all posts by members on their walls are public property; Google keeps getting into trouble with various governments over the data its Street View cars collect; and you can forget about your Tweets being private -- the Library of Congress is recording them. "Consumers can't expect much privacy in online services like Google, Facebook and Twitter," Rainey Reitman, activism director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told TechNewsWorld.

Sat, 19 Mar 11
Critics Poke Holes in Android vs. iPhone Browser Test
The browser in Google's Android mobile operating system is more than 50 percent faster than the browser found in Apple's iOS, according to company Blaze.io. Blaze tested the embedded browsers in Android 2.3 and iOS 4.3. These were WebView and UIWebView, respectively. The tests were conducted against websites of Fortune 1,000 corporations. Also among Blaze's findings is that although both Google and Apple claim they've sped up JavaScript in Android 2.3 and the browser in iOS 4.3, respectively, it had no impact on browser speed.

Sat, 19 Mar 11
Dumb Buy Back Program Makes Best Buy the Fool
The Super Bowl brought us an exciting game and some entertaining commercials. Best Buy was all over the place with its "Buy Back" program: It offers to replace your new device (such as phone or laptop) two years after you buy it -- if you're willing to pay a fee for the privilege when you make your original purchase. One of the commercials Best Buy ran -- besides the Justin Bieber/Ozzy Osbourne bit -- is about people finding out soon after they've purchased some technology product that it's already outdated. The spot pokes fun at this whole mentality, or reality, and makes the consumers look foolish.

Fri, 18 Mar 11
Global IT Security Wonks Get Wake-up Call
The audience at a panel discussing challenges and opportunities from a global IT security perspective Wednesday at the IT Security Entrepreneurs' Forum was nodding off until question time, when Jody Westby blasted the panelists. She accused them of not sticking to the topic and suggested they focus more on the issues. "The issue is a legal one," Westby said. "We need to stop talking at the 10,000-foot level about private/public partnerships or you gentlemen will be up there [on the stage] for the next few years."

Fri, 18 Mar 11
Ubisoft Attacks Music Gaming With a Real Ax
The October release of Electronic Arts' "Rock Band 3" turned a lot of heads with its so-called Pro guitar controller that looks and feels more like a real guitar than any previous title in the series. But now another publisher, Ubisoft, is taking things a step further, having just revealed an upcoming game called "Rocksmith" that will actually let players plug in a real guitar to play along. The game will come with a special USB cable that connects to the quarter-inch jack slot found in any electric guitar. Other than that, few of the game's details have been disclosed, but that hasn't prevented speculation from flowing freely.

Fri, 18 Mar 11
Art Online and Beyond
A few years ago, several Google employees got together and asked a fateful question: What if they extended Google's technologies of gathering and archiving information into the world of visual art? The recently launched Google Art Project is the answer to that question, taking one of the broadest steps yet in bringing the bricks-and-mortar-and-paint world of art museums to easily accessible virtual spaces. "We started thinking about how we might use Google's technology to help museums make their art more accessible," said Amit Sood, head of the Google Art Project.

Fri, 18 Mar 11
Does FOSS Need a Charismatic Leader?
Apple has Steve Jobs; Microsoft has Bill Gates. The question on hand in the Linux community lately has been, does FOSS need someone similar? That, indeed, was the topic of a recent poll on TuxRadar, and it's sparked quite a debate. "Does free software need a figurehead?" the TuxRadar crew began. "We all talk about the freedom and democracy that FLOSS brings -- but does it also help to have a strong character at the top keeping us on the right path?" Well near 50 comments appeared on the site in short order, but any kind of a consensus was nowhere to be found.

Thu, 17 Mar 11
ITSEF 2011: It's a Mobile, Social, Cloudy, Insecure World
Cloud computing, mobile computing and social networking are reshaping the face of the information security industry, Sarah Friar, managing director at Goldman Sachs, said Wednesday. "I believe the cloud shift we're seeing is similar to what we saw in the shift from mainframe to client/server," Friar told attendees at ITSEF 2011, the fifth annual IT Security Entrepreneurs Forum, being held at Stanford University through Thursday. Also, mobility is becoming the new face of computing, Friar said.

Thu, 17 Mar 11
9th Time Around: New IE Is Best Yet but Doesn't Top Rivals
The latest version of Microsoft's Web browser was released this week. The company says Internet Explorer 9 incorporates more feedback from beta testers than any other previous release of the software. It has increased speed and performance, added new functionalities, and brought some new things to the table that no other browser has. The end result is without a doubt the best Internet Explorer to date, but nothing that would make most Firefox or Chrome users want to switch. It could, however, do a lot to ensure current IE users don't start getting wandering eyes.

Thu, 17 Mar 11
'Smart Bed' Could Give Patients a Lift When They Need It
"Smart" computerized hospital beds may become a standard of care if negotiations between John LaCourse -- professor and chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of New Hampshire -- and hospital bed manufacturers bear fruit. An algorithm LaCourse invented programs the smart bed to communicate with and respond to medical devices that monitor a patient's condition, permitting fast, automatic responses that could prove especially valuable in the wee morning hours, when fewer staff are on hand, or whenever they are busy with other patients.

Thu, 17 Mar 11
Kraft: A No-Nonsense Office Assistant That Gets Straight to Work
Operating a small business or home office is always fraught with tasks based on creating and maintaining office documents. Often, entrepreneurs are stuck using different apps to handle each phase of record-keeping and pricing business proposals for each customer. Why stretch those tasks over multiple business apps when Kraft can do it all in one package? Kraft lets you create, customize and manage your business correspondence and planning. It uses a MySQL back end and helps you calculate the cost of doing business with clients.

Wed, 16 Mar 11
Strange Rumblings Surround Thunderbolt Pricing and Availability
Verizon Wireless on Tuesday announced that its first 4G smartphone, the HTC Thunderbolt, will hit retail shelves Thursday. It will offer the device, which runs Android 2.2, at $249.99 with a two-year contract if purchased through the carrier's site or in its stores. However, questions have arisen regarding pricing and availability. Best Buy, which has claimed a "national retail exclusive" on the phone in the United States, will jack up the device's price by $50 starting Sunday.

Wed, 16 Mar 11
The Neverending Quest for IT Security
If you ever have a need to burn off some excess optimism, try taking a look through some of the statistics out there about success and failure rates for enterprise IT projects -- it's pretty ugly. Although specifics of statistic and survey data vary, studies have historically suggested failure rates as high as 75 percent for technology projects. That means it's quite a bit more likely for an IT project to fail than succeed -- including projects that don't complete at all, as well as projects that have time, budget or quality "challenges."

Wed, 16 Mar 11
Does Mozilla Have a Speed Problem?
The Firefox Web browser is about to go where it has never gone before. Firefox makers are changing their developmental strategy. This new approach will warp Mozilla.org's flagship browser through several release generations in less time than it took to advance from Firefox 3.0 to the not-yet-released Firefox 4.0. By comparison, Google has shipped a new version of its Google Chrome Web browser about every three months. The other major browser developers -- Microsoft and Mozilla.org -- have been locked into a new version release cycle of once every year or two.

Wed, 16 Mar 11
TaskAware Knows Its Place but Has a Funny Interface
My quest for a perfect taskmaster app to babysit my absent mind continues. I still haven't discovered one with perfect vigilance, something that will consistently, doggedly nag me at intervals of my choosing after I blow it off, regardless of how often I keep hitting Snooze. But a maniacal dedication to annoy me wasn't what initially drew my eye to TaskAware. Instead, it was the app's ability to know the user's location and apply it to a list of reminders.

Tue, 15 Mar 11
Microsoft: No Can Do on NoDo WinPho Update
Once again, Microsoft has put off the unfortunately named "NoDo" update for its Windows Phone 7 operating system. This time, the company's Windows Phone blog said the update, which CEO Steve Ballmer had previously stated would be out during the first week of March, will be available in the later part of the month. The so-called NoDo update consists of a copy-and-paste function, better Windows Marketplace search, and other functions. However, only the copy-and-paste function will be delivered later in March, according to Microsoft's blog.

Tue, 15 Mar 11
Applemania Strikes Again as iPad 2 Bedazzles the iCrowd
Best Buy employees in Columbia, Mo., passed out 20 "golden tickets" to dozens of people waiting in a morning line. Rather than opening the coveted gates to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, however, the tickets offered first dibs on the purchase of an Apple iPad 2. It was a gimmicky way to address a product shortage that played out in communities across the U.S. Authorized Apple dealers including AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and The MacXprts Network -- which started a waiting list when Apple announced iPad 2 March 2 -- were short supplied.

Tue, 15 Mar 11
Power-Sipping Nanotech Could Give Rise to Methuselah Batteries
Researchers at the University of Illinois claim to have made a breakthrough in phase-change materials technology that could lengthen battery life by up to two orders of magnitude, or 100 times. The team, led by Professor Eric Pop, used carbon nanotube electrodes, it stated in a paper published in Science Magazine. It found that the programming voltage and energy are highly scalable. "As academic researchers, we will continue to focus on reducing the power dissipation till we reach nearly fundamental limits," Pop told TechNewsWorld.

Tue, 15 Mar 11
Could Nvidia's CEO Be the Next Steve Jobs?
I'm writing this before the iPad release last week, so you now know what I don't -- whether it met expectations. I imagine Apple sold out, but things aren't looking so rosy at the moment, and I wonder if it will sustain the kind of growth the iPad 1 did. I remain concerned that no other Tablet has shown anywhere near the success of the iPad and that the concept of "magical" that drove the iPad 1 has given way to "incremental" for the iPad 2. In a market with rapidly rising gas prices, folks may not buy an "incremental" product.

Tue, 15 Mar 11
In Search of the King of the Linux Distros
Here in the Linux community, debating the relative merits of various distributions is a common pastime. So when it was proclaimed in an article recently that "Debian is the most influential Linux distribution ever," it was a rare geek who didn't sit up and take notice. Sure enough, that's just what Datamation's Bruce Byfield asserted in a recent article, adding that "not everyone uses Debian, but, both alone and second hand through Ubuntu, it is the source of more derivative distributions than any other." Linuxy tongues have been wagging ever since.

Tue, 15 Mar 11
Utilities That Belong In Every iPhone's Toolbox
I just realized that of all the things I do with my iPhone 4, talking with it is the thing I do the least. This might not be a revelation to you, but for me, until just this week, I still thought of my iPhone as a phone first. Still. I spend far more time watching videos, reading books, slogging through email, browsing the Web, taking photos, taking video, editing video, organizing my life, making grocery lists, and occasionally ignoring everything else to play a game. My iPhone 4 is my go-to tool of choice.

Sun, 13 Mar 11
Facebook Goes to Hollywood
Video rental stores made it so you don't have to go all the way to a theater to watch a movie, then online video channels like Netflix and iTunes made is so you don't even have to leave the house. The next step will be that you won't even have to leave the warm, squishy embrace of Facebook in order to watch movies on demand. The social network's hooked up with Warner Bros. to provide users with streaming videos for a rental fee of three bucks. Just visit the movie's Facebook profile, pay the toll, and you get access to the film for 48 hours.

Sat, 12 Mar 11
Jittery Notes From Tokyo - One IT Manager's Earthquake Experience
From the 39th floor of a new office building in downtown Tokyo, Appirio cloud computing's director of Japanese operations Jason Park shared with TechNewsWorld his harrowing, moment-by-moment account of Friday's 8.9 magnitude earthquake, a mere 150 miles away from the temblor epicenter. Park and colleagues "saw other high-rise offices and apartments visibly shaking," he wrote. "It was hard to stand without losing my balance." The earthquake started small -- "with mild tremors, but this happens every few months," he recalled. "We didn't think anything of it until the tremors didn't stop."

Sat, 12 Mar 11
Microsoft to Deploy IE9 in Browser War Hot Zone
On March 14, just days after Google released a new version of its Chrome browser -- and right before Mozilla is set to unwrap its latest edition of Firefox -- Microsoft will be unleashing Internet Explorer 9 into the wild, adding to the next chapter in the hotly contended browser wars. It's the first major update to Microsoft's Web browser in nearly two years, and it aims to attract users back to its platform with several new enhancements added to version 9. The new version of Internet Explorer brings a completely new interface.

Sat, 12 Mar 11
Who Are the FOSS Police?
More than 70 percent of mobile applications containing open source code fail to comply with basic open source license requirements, OpenLogic claims. The company scanned compiled binaries and source code where available for the top paid and free Android and iOS apps in the business and consumer sectors. Of the 635 it viewed, 66 contained Apache or GPL/LGPL licenses. Of these, 71 percent contained violations of those licenses, according to the company. OpenLogic did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Sat, 12 Mar 11
iPhone Security: Priceless
The Android operating system continues to grow in popularity and the options it offers also have grown tremendously. Diversity can be a wonderful thing, but it may be coming at a cost in the form of a security risk. That's right -- everything you do on your phone is risky if you don't play by the rules. So what are the rules? The rules are that you sign up for and stick to an expensive carrier plan and use the phone's features and approved apps as they were designed to be used. Sideloading, or transferring files directly from your computer to your Android phone, puts the phone and everything you do on it at risk.

Sat, 12 Mar 11
Microsoft Could Muscle Back Into the Mobile Market
The turmoil surrounding Microsoft's efforts in the mobile market last year and the spectacularly rapid changes in this sector has raised concern about the company's hopes of ever catching up to the competition. Product miscues and a loss of high-profile personnel have contributed to the perception. Robbie Bach, who headed Microsoft's entertainment division, stepped down in May, just when Redmond unveiled two new Kin smartphones. These devices were pulled in July on what was rumored to be particularly poor sales.

Fri, 11 Mar 11
Next on Kinect's Hit List: Hardcore Gamers
Guinness World Records has just announced that Microsoft's Kinect is the fastest-selling electronics device ever. In its first 60 days on the market, more than 8 million of the Xbox 360 accessory units were sold, and to date that number has eclipsed 10 million. With this many Kinects installed around the world, it's now pretty clear it's a viable platform for developers to look into. Although estimated game sales have also surpassed the 10 million mark, as of now, it seems few of the games built for the motion controller address a hardcore gaming audience.

Fri, 11 Mar 11
Chrome 10: More About Speed Than Security
Search giant Google released its latest Chrome browser Thursday with less emphasis on security, instead touting the new version's increased speed and JavaScript performance. "With today's stable release, even your most complex Web apps will run more quickly and responsively in the browser," Google software engineer Tim Steele posted on the company blog. "We realize that speed isn't just about pure brawn -- it's also about saving time with simple interfaces." Chrome's updated interfaces, Steele explained, are designed to end the digging for ways to import bookmarks, change a homepage, find new settings or manipulate links.

Fri, 11 Mar 11
Fine Art in a World Gone Digital
It used to be that if you wanted a work of art, you either had to get an original or settle for a less-than-perfect reproduction. Now, however, digital technologies, new printing processes, and the online world have converged to create a whole new world of collectible and affordable prints and reproductions. ArtWeLove.com, for instance, specializes in making and selling prints of contemporary artwork. "We make fine art collectible," Laurence Lafforgue, founder of ArtWeLove, told TechNewsWorld. "It's for all the people who like to go to museums but can't afford the contemporary art they see."

Fri, 11 Mar 11
Waxing Nostalgic About Old-School Linux
Sometimes there's nothing like a walk down memory lane to remind us of how far we've come, and that's just what a recent blog post over at TechRepublic has afforded. "10 Things I Miss About Old School Linux" was the title of the post, in which blogger Jack Wallen waxes nostalgic over some of the key, old-school aspects of Linux he'd like to bring back. Top of Wallen's list? None other than linuxconf. "Of all the admin tools I have used on Linux, the one I thought was the best of the best was linuxconf," he wrote.

Fri, 11 Mar 11
The Delicate Decisions Facing an iPad Buyer
Whenever I shell out $500 or more for anything, I tend to think it over quite a while. The iPad 2 is no exception. I thought simply deciding to hit the "Buy Now" button at the Apple online store was the big decision. I was wrong. It turns out, it was just the first of many decisions. We all like to think that Apple is just offering two tablets -- the old iPad and new iPad 2 -- but really, Apple is offering no fewer than 18 possible combinations of iPad 2 features, depending on storage, color, and possible 3G cellular service carrier.

Thu, 10 Mar 11
HP: You Get WebOS, You Get WebOS - Every PC Gets WebOS
Mobile is getting grounded, HP CEO Leo Apotheker has announced. In 2012, HP will include the mobile operating system it purchased with Palm in 2009, webOS, on every PC it ships, along with the latest version of stationary computing standard Microsoft Windows. HP seeks to expand the webOS platform's reach and attract more developers, Apotheker explained. With a mere 6,000 developed apps, webOS seriously lags both Apple's App Store, with its 350,000 apps, and Google's Android, with its 250,000. That could all change, however, with the webOS-PC marriage.

Thu, 10 Mar 11
Fixing the Fragmented Face of Android
Android 3.0, aka "Honeycomb," took center stage at Wednesday's AnDevCon keynote address, and LinuxInsider joined about 200 Android developers in a small room at the Marriott Hotel in San Mateo, Calif., to listen in. Presenters Chet Haase and Romain Guy of Google explained some things about the Honeycomb operating system and demoed some of its features using a Motorola Xoom tablet while trading quips. They also discussed the fragmentation of Android and pointed out the recently introduced Fragments feature Google put out to deal with that issue.

Thu, 10 Mar 11
Who's on the Mobile Security Job?
Enterprises are coming to realize that while their VPNs might be doing a fine job of controlling data, mobile devices have turned into a veritable wild west of security nightmares. It was all well and good when the only thing they had to worry about was data being accessed by enterprise BlackBerry users. Its proprietary server infrastructure has always provided a welcome security blanket for email security. Today, however, almost every smartphone in use can be a business device. And that's a problem that IT managers are not happy about.

Thu, 10 Mar 11
GnoTime: A Marvelously Manic Time Tracker
If your work routine at all resembles mine, you probably have little or no time to squeeze in new appointments or run unscheduled errands. That is where the GnoTime Tracking Tool can save your work day and probably much of your night time as well. The Gnome Time Tracker comes close to doing it all. It works as your to-do list. It can serve as your diary or work journal. Even better, it can track how much time you spend on projects. If those functions do not qualify GnoTime as the Linux killer app of the year, then maybe its ability to generate invoices based on that time log will.

Wed, 9 Mar 11
To Mars, Europa and Beyond - Budget Permitting
The National Research Council is recommending planetary science missions for the decade 2013-2022 that could provide important new clues about our solar system. After sorting out budget issues, five expert panels selected research priorities through a rigorous review that included input from planetary sciences experts, town hall meetings, and a contractor who provided independent cost and technical analyses. "Our recommendations are science-driven, and they offer a balanced mix of missions ... that have the potential to greatly expand our knowledge of the solar system," said committee chair Steven W. Squyres.

Wed, 9 Mar 11
Hurt by the Algorithm Change? Do the Google Rain Dance
If you are a victim of the latest Google algorithm change and experienced an 85 percent traffic drop like the disgruntled fellow penning this article, you may be feeling the heat right now. It's easy to blame others and point out competitors who are "getting away with worse," but what all of those wounded really need to do is look into the the mirror and figure out how to get better. Here is a quick guide on how to right the ship if you've keeled over -- or, if you're just starting your website, how to avoid disaster to begin with.

Wed, 9 Mar 11
Motorola Revs Up Devs at Android Conference
A small conference room at the San Mateo Marriott Hotel in San Mateo, Calif., was packed to overflowing for the keynote speech Tuesday from Christy Wyatt, a Motorola corporate vice president, at AnDevCon 2011. About 300 people squeezed into the room, forcing hotel staff to bring in some chairs and some attendees to liberate seating from nearby rooms. "I don't think they expected to have so many people," attendee Lance Taschner, vice president of software engineering at Wipit, told LinuxInsider.

Wed, 9 Mar 11
Samsung Universe Expands With Galaxy Pro
Samsung has just lifted the veil on its latest smartphone, the Galaxy Pro. With its vertically-oriented physical QWERTY keypad, it looks somewhat like a RIM BlackBerry device, though like all phones in Samsung's Galaxy line, the Pro is powered by Android. The Pro is perhaps another swipe against Research In Motion, as manufacturers and users alike continue to look beyond BlackBerry when it comes to the next generation of business phones. Since it was introduced in 2008, Android has become a behemoth in the mobile industry, and enterprise customers have begun to take note.

Wed, 9 Mar 11
Fanning the Flames of Developer Burnout
It wasn't long ago that Microsoft was in federal court in Washington, D.C., charged with being a monopoly. At that time, if you were building an application or running a business, you were doing it on Microsoft Windows. They were the only game in town, and the IT world quivered over their dominance. Off to the side was the Macintosh operating system. It was the domain of a handful of creatives who used it in publishing and in Hollywood. Then there was the Web browser. It made its way onto the Windows desktop, but the only thing the Web was being used for was publishing. Nobody was doing serious application development work on it.

Wed, 9 Mar 11
'Little Wings' Soars by Not Trying Too Hard
Some iPhone games try to emulate the kind of layout you'd see on an actual video game controller -- a directional pad on the left and a set of A/B/C buttons on the right. That's a familiar configuration, it allows for a lot of options, and the developer can let the player customize just how everything's laid out. In practice, though, the touchscreen control pads just don't offer the level of detailed control you get from an actual dedicated controller, and detailed control is exactly what you need when playing that type of game.

Tue, 8 Mar 11
'Alien Life' Claim Hampered by Journal's Dubious Reputation
A controversial, game-changing claim published in a journal with a reputation some consider sketchy has the scientific community both praising and damning the reported discovery: fossils of bacteria embedded in meteorites from outer space. "Scanning Electron Microscopy investigations of the internal surfaces of carbonaceous meteorites have yielded images of large complex filaments that exhibit features diagnostic of cyanobacteria and other prokaryotes," or simple cellular life forms, claims Richard Hoover, Ph.D.

Tue, 8 Mar 11
Mobility Reigns Supreme at GDC
Every year, hordes of video game professionals and wannabe industry insiders flock to San Francisco for the Game Developers Conference. It's usually more focused on the professional, business side of the industry, but even though it's not filled with the glitz and glamor of some of the industry's other big trade shows, it's a good early indicator of what will be big for the rest of the year. This time around, portable gaming -- dedicated gameplay devices and smartphones -- seemed to be the trendsetter.

Tue, 8 Mar 11
Google Remote-Detonates Dirty Apps, Promises to Do Better
Google has begun removing the "Droid Dream" malware from devices running Android versions earlier than 2.2.2, also known as "Froyo." About 260,000 owners of Android devices downloaded the malware, Google spokesperson Randall Sarafa told LinuxInsider. However, that doesn't mean they've all been impacted. "Remember, that figure only refers to the number of people who downloaded the malware app," Sarafa pointed out. "In order for the malware to be activated, people have to run the app, and we're not sure how many did so."

Tue, 8 Mar 11
Is Samsung Obsessed With Size?
Samsung's invites to a March 22 event at the CTIA Wireless trade show have kicked up rumors that the company plans to launch yet another version of its Galaxy Tab line, which already has 7-inch and 10.1-inch models. The invitation includes an image of what looks like a tablet device, with the words "What's your Tab life?" followed by the numerals 78910. The invite says Samsung Mobile will unveil its latest mobile products and innovations. That invite sparked a fresh round of rumors about an 8.9-inch tablet.

Tue, 8 Mar 11
Apple, Personal Computing and Owning the Future
The biggest event last week was Apple's launch of the iPad with Steve Jobs presenting it. While many seem to see the new iPad as an iterative release and not as exciting as the first one, I think it will quickly eclipse its predecessor. It is vastly more capable and moves even closer to being a full PC. Fortune released a piece last Thursday that argues, in a well-documented fashion, that Steve Jobs basically lied to us about the iPad, implying we are all idiots. We aren't. We are very gullible, though, and few understand what this means like Steve Jobs does.

Tue, 8 Mar 11
Is the iPad an iFad?
You might say "all pads, all the time" has been the theme of the past week or so, what with the splashy debut of Apple's second-generation contender. Indeed, by many accounts, the new iPad 2 is truly the best thing since the proverbial sliced bread. While the limelight has been focused squarely on Cupertino, it's become plainly evident that not everyone has sipped the iKoolAid yet. Early reactions to the new device have been decidedly mixed, in fact -- particularly when it's held up in the clear light of day against Motorola's Android-powered Xoom.

Tue, 8 Mar 11
3 Smash Movie Apps for iPhone
Apps come and go, as any iOS user knows, but everyone has core apps tucked away that get consistent use. When it comes to the land of movies, there are three apps that stand head and shoulders above the rest: IMDb, Flixster, and Netflix. For me, these three apps actually get used consistently. IMDb stands for The Internet Movie Database, and online it offers up details on almost every modern movie ever made, including synopsis, directors, stars/cast, writers, opening weekend, gross profits, overall budget, soundtracks, trivia and so much more.

Sun, 6 Mar 11
Tablet Wars Begin in Earnest
The iPad 2 has made its entrance, and by next week it'll go up for grabs. There's been a lot of anticipation for what Apple would do with its next tablet now that rivals have showed up with their own tablets that beat the original iPad's specs -- granted, they were mostly demo units. Steve Jobs himself showed up to kick off the proceedings. They opened with a reference to iBooks and how Apple just signed on Random House as a participating publisher. Could be a bid to reassure customers who are worried that its strict purchasing rules will squeeze Kindle out of the App Store.

Sat, 5 Mar 11
Pesky Nose-Cone Problem Downs NASA's Glory Satellite
A second high-profile failure in two days has helped make a bona-fide rough week for NASA. The U.S. space agency's Glory atmospheric research mission satellite crashed into the Pacific Ocean Friday, one day after a faulty o-ring caused a space suit leak on board the Shuttle Discovery. A so-called "nose cone fairing" that protects the enclosed satellite "did not separate as expected about three minutes after launch," said NASA spokesperson Steve Cole. The failed fairing brought down the Orbital Sciences Taurus XL rocket, causing a $424 million loss.

Sat, 5 Mar 11
Google's Content-Farm Algorithm Yields Bitter Harvest
Late last month, Google deployed a new algorithm intended to improve the quality of its search results, and as some critics feared, the results have in several cases hurt legitimate websites. The algorithm was meant to clamp down on website owners gaming the system to raise their standings in search results. Perhaps two of the most prominent accused system-gamers in recent months were J.C. Penney and Overstock.com. Both allegedly got multiple sites to link back to them to improve their site rankings, though both companies have denied this was a deliberate act backed by top management.

Sat, 5 Mar 11
Apple Sticks It to the DIY Repairman
People have always had an interest in repair. Haynes Manuals helped pave the road for today's do-it-yourself industry more than 50 years ago, providing people with written instructions on how to take apart their cars. Repairs can be taxing and frustrating, especially when the manufacturing company focuses on style and assembly, and not disassembly. There is a practice called "design for manufacturing" that's becoming more and more common in every stage and generation of devices. Many companies are also now beginning to design for repairability.

Sat, 5 Mar 11
Android Calls Shotgun in Upcoming Saabs
In what could potentially be a huge win for Android, Swedish automaker Saab has selected the operating system as the basis of its IQon in-vehicle infotainment system. Saab will open up the API for IQon to third-party developers and set up an app store to which they can post their apps after approval. Users will be able to download any apps they like from the store, although Saab didn't provide any details about pricing. IQon provides an embedded computer platform in a vehicle with a modem that automatically connects to the Internet when the vehicle's owner switches on the ignition.

Fri, 4 Mar 11
Air Force Tight-Lipped About Unmanned 'Mini Shuttle' Mission
A U.S. Air Force space vehicle called the "X-37B" that caused "conniptions among Chinese space bloggers" during its first mission last year, according to Heritage Foundation Chinese political and security affairs research fellow Dean Cheng, is being prepared for its second mission launch on Friday. What that mission will entail, however, remains a mystery, in keeping with the space plane's James Bond image. "The X-37B doesn't operate by the usual space travel rules," said Bill Sweetman, editor-in-chief of Aviation Week's Defense Technology International.

Fri, 4 Mar 11
The Winter of Our Disconnect
Many already refer to it as Snowpocalypse 2011 -- one of the biggest and baddest winters in more than 50 years. Storms have systematically worked their way across almost all of the lower 48 states since November. Snow, sleet, freezing rain, and just plain old rain delivered by wave after wave of huge storms have caused massive disruptions across two thirds of the nation. Despite the power outages, shuttered highways, disrupted bus schedules, air travel delays, and school closings, companies still need to operate.

Fri, 4 Mar 11
Apple to Give iOS a Nudge Up
Apple's big announcement yesterday was the reveal of the iPad 2, but for those who already own an iPad or iPhone, there was some important news as well. Apple has firmed up a release date for its latest iOS firmware, bringing an update to existing iPad and iPhone users on March 11. The new update will push the operating system to version iOS 4.3, and while it's not the biggest software upgrade to ever hit Apple's portable product line, it does bring about some significant changes.

Fri, 4 Mar 11
Spacewalkers Take O-Ring Glitch in Stride
Faulty seals are NASA nemeses, bringing down the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986, delaying the Shuttle Discovery's launch late last year, and now hampering the space walking abilities of Shuttle Discovery astronaut Steve Bowen, whose space suit experienced a minor leak just before he set out to circumnavigate the International Space Station Wednesday. With astronaut Alvin Drew, Bowen was on the mission's second and final spacewalk, as Discovery heads into retirement after returning home.

Fri, 4 Mar 11
Pain and Suffering in Germany, or How Linux Lost to XP
With all the world aflutter about the latest "i-thingie" to emerge from the Hallowed Halls of Cupertino, it's been a great week for catching up on Linux news from around the world. Expecting the usual assortment of triumphant tales regarding our favorite operating system, however, Linux Girl's jaw fairly hit the floor when she came across something entirely different. It's the sad, sad story of the German Foreign Office, to be specific, which recently chose to reverse a decade-old migration to Linux. Now, it's switching back to Windows instead.

Fri, 4 Mar 11
iPad 2: The Only Thing Missing Is the Buy Now Button
Over the last year, I've been an iPad holdout. If you already have an iPhone and a MacBook, do you really need an iPad, too? Need is a relative term, of course, so let's use want instead. With Apple's introduction of the iPad 2 Wednesday, I now want an iPad 2. My reservations have been swiped away, and the only thing standing between me and a shiny new iPad 2 is an absent Buy Now button on Apple's online store. March 11 is the date Apple will start taking orders, and you can bet the company's website will be hammered, and for good reason.

Thu, 3 Mar 11
Newest Computer Controller: Your Eyes
Aptly named Tobii Technology -- spelled with not one, but two "i's" -- unveiled the world's first eye-controlled laptop at CeBIT Tuesday.Developed with computer manufacturer Lenovo, the laptop uses Tobii's eye-tracking technology to enhance interaction at a glance. Eyeing points on the screen releases information from icons and gadgets, zooms pictures and maps, switches between open windows, and browses email and documents. The Tobii technology also comes with an energy-saving green feature: The screen automatically brightens from auto-dim when a user first looks at it.

Thu, 3 Mar 11
Steve Jobs Heralds the Second Coming of iPad
Apple unveiled the highly anticipated followup to its iPad tablet, the iPad 2, at an event in San Francisco Wednesday. The presence of a dual-core A5 processor, front and back cameras, and a thinner and lighter chassis confirmed some of the many rumors that have been surrounding the device in recent months. The iPad 2 will hit the shelves March 11. Apple CEO Jobs took the stage for the iPad 2's introduction, receiving a standing ovation from the audience. Jobs has technically been on a leave of absence since January, citing chronic health problems.

Thu, 3 Mar 11
Is Silicon Valley Losing Its Edge?
Many of the world's largest tech companies were started by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, but that doesn't mean that the startup mecca of the world will remain dominant forever. Instead, some argue that Silicon Valley stands in danger of losing its competitive edge to entrepreneurs in other parts of the world. Silicon Valley "has become pampered," argues technology journalist Sarah Lacy in her new book, Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky. Its "entrepreneurial muscles are getting weaker" at the same time as those in the developing world are getting stronger.

Thu, 3 Mar 11
GNOME 3 Beta: Ever So Slightly More Than a Pretty Face
Innovation time on the Linux desktop is right around the corner. GNOME.org is set to release the much-awaited GNOME 3 desktop sometime next month. I am always looking to play with new Linux stuff. So I put the GNOME 3 beta release to work on my test rig a few weeks ago. The GNOME 3 Beta version 2.91.90 worked so well that I installed it on all of my computers so I can work with it no matter where I am or what system I use. Some Linux distros already have the beta version available through the package manager repository.

Wed, 2 Mar 11
Google Tapes Up Gmail Sprain
Google says it has restored email access to some Gmail users who lost it over the weekend. "We're still working fast and furious to restore account access," Google spokesperson Jessica Kositz told TechNewsWorld. Google said 0.02 percent of Gmail users were impacted, but Kositz once again declined to state how many users its email service has. She referred TechNewsWorld to a post Monday afternoon on the Gmail blog by Ben Treynor, Google's site reliability czar, stating that things should be back to normal for everyone soon.

Wed, 2 Mar 11
Facebook Likes Likes, Like, Even More
Facebook has tweaked the function of its so-called Like button, think link users click to register approval or support of various messages, posts and profiles on the social networking site. As it stands now, when you are on Facebook and decide to "Like" something -- like a company's Facebook page or an external news story -- the only thing that happens is you get added to that external page's "Like" list, and a small blurb gets posted to your Wall.

Wed, 2 Mar 11
Is P2P Encryption Secure? That Depends...
In the wake of the highly publicized payment card security breaches of the past few years, point-to-point encryption has emerged as a frontrunner in the search for a stronger defense against data compromise. The technology is also being touted as a solution to limit the scope -- and therefore the expense -- of complying with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. Yet the ability of P2PE to improve security as well as reduce PCI scope is entirely dependent on the implementation.

Wed, 2 Mar 11
Powered by Linux
How many out there use Linux? I bet if I asked 100 people, less than 10 percent would say yes. To be fair, people think in terms of computers, laptops, netbooks, and desktops, and that demographic is 90 percent Windows, 90 percent Microsoft-centric. But computers and OSes that power them permeate all aspects of our lives today. While people mostly don't care about computing they don't directly choose and pay for, I think people might be surprised at the numbers and how much they do use Linux. Let's let people know computing doesn't always equate to Microsoft or Apple.

Wed, 2 Mar 11
Camera+: Meet Your New Go-To Cam App
The iOS App Store is not wanting for camera software. Photography is a top-level category, and at the time I'm writing this, it contains 3,670 apps. Some give you new and interesting stillcam functions, some augment video capture, others are photo-editing applications. The problem is, too many of them are one-trick ponies. I'm not just talking about joke apps that do silly things like seeing what you'd look like if you suddenly became overweight or were attacked by a zombie.

Tue, 1 Mar 11
SocialEyes Lets Facebook Friends Chat Hollywood Squares-Style
Rob Glaser -- founder, chair and former CEO of RealNetworks -- hopes all eyes will soon be on an app developed by his new company, SocialEyes, which is designed to bring video chat to Facebook. Like all social media services, SocialEyes can be used both publicly, for groups organized around common interests, and privately -- but this time the experience is not about static text and pictures. "SocialEyes takes the social networking experience to the next level through face-to-face communication or via video messages," said Rob Williams, cofounder and CEO.

Tue, 1 Mar 11
Motorola Xoom Designed for Heavy Meddling
Unlike its arch-rival, the Apple iPad, the Motorola Xoom tablet is easy to open up for repairs and upgrades. "It appears Motorola built the Xoom to be upgraded, so they have this parting line about an inch from the top on the back that lets you separate the device into two pieces," Miroslav Djuric, who tore down the Xoom for iFixit, told TechNewsWorld. "A large portion of the back cover that slides down just enough to expose the PCIE slot and that lets you swop out PCIE cards and upgrade the device from 3G to 4G LTE," Djuric added.

Tue, 1 Mar 11
Mint for iPhone: A Handy Attachment for a Personal Finance Power Tool
The Mint.com Personal Finance app for Apple's iOS iPhones, iPads and iPods quickly led me to a staggering realization: The application is not only astoundingly powerful; it's quite sobering, too. But let's take a step back. The Mint.com Personal Finance app is basically an iOS gateway application to the online Mint.com personal finance service. While you can sign up for the service within the app itself, I went to the Mint.com website first and signed up there. For best results, you'll want to use the Mint.com service from both a Web browser as well as the Mint.com Personal Finance app.


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