May 08 2011
Few Google creations remain as captivating as Google Earth. Released in 2005, the app allows users to thoroughly explore the world, in a digital format, but with the feel of having actually visited the place. And now, finally, Google Earth has been fine-tuned for tablets powered by Google’s Android mobile operating system.
With the update, Google has optimized the app for the larger screens of the tablets (as opposed to the relatively tiny smartphone screens), and added support for fully textured 3D buildings, “so your tour through the streets of Manhattan will look more realistic than ever,” Google boasts in a press release posted to its official blog. Before now, Google Earth’s 3D viewing capabilities were only available on the desktop version of the app.
“When we launched Google Earth in 2005, most of us were still using flip phones,” wrote Google product manager Peter Birch in a blog post. “At the time, the thought of being able to cart around 197 million square miles of Earth in your pocket was still a distant dream. Last year, that dream came to fruition for Android users when we released Google Earth for Android.”
Google has also added a new “action bar” to the top of the app’s screen, which makes it easier to zip around to your favorite locations around the globe. To augment the already-enhanced reality provided by Google Earth, the company also added layer support for things like Google Places, Panoramio photos, Wikipedia and 3D buildings.
The practical applications for Google Earth remain both vague and widespread. One of those uses made itself apparent following the devastating earthquakes and tsunami that ravaged Japan earlier this year when Google updated Earth to include satellite images of the Sendai region, an area hit hardest by the disasters.
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May 08 2011
.Death of Osama bin Laden
Latest newsThe cost of bin LadenReimagining ObamaVideo: SEALs' stealth copterInteractive timelinePhotos of the compound.
EmailPrint..Related Quotes Symbol Price Change
^DJUSS 587.34 +1.96
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Jeff Hughes Jeff Hughes – Fri May 6, 2:42 am ET
David Braben, British game developer and co-founder of Frontier Developments, has created an ultra-low cost computer the size of a USB stick called Raspberry Pi. The expected price would be a measly $25 for a fully-configured system. He says he’s developed the PC in order to encourage the pursuit of computer programming in children.
But what can you expect from a system that comes for less than the cost of a video game? The tiny PC sports an HDMI port at its head and a USB port at its tail, giving it the ability to be plugged into a TV, hooked up to a USB keyboard or combined with a touch screen for a low cost tablet. The computer packs a 700MHz ARM11 processor with 128MB of SDRAM. As far as graphics go, it runs OpenGL ES 2.0 and has 1080p output.
At the stage the prototype is in now, developers seem to be favoring the Linux based Ubuntu OS for Raspberry Pi’s initial equipment; which means OpenOffice, Firefox, GIMP for image editing etc., all ready for a user to play around with.
Braben feels that the way schools teach children about computers leaves them uninspired, that too much gets in the way of their enthusiasm; today’s computer classes only prepare kids to navigate office jobs. He says these low cost PC will allow children to do typical things such as go on Facebook or tweet, but it will also give them the ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Looking to increase its foothold in a business-user space that is very much in play, Motorola Mobility on Thursday launched two new feature-packed smartphones aimed at enterprises, to be distributed by Sprint Nextel.
Both the XPRT and Titanium are powered by Google's Android operating system. The XPRT goes on sale June 5 for $129.99 with a two-year voice and data plan, including a $10 charge for premium add-on data. The price and availability for the Titanium have not yet been announced.
Productivity and Security
"Motorola XPRT delivers the security features enterprise customers demand without scrimping on the latest in technology, while Motorola Titanium is a rugged Android smartphone with Nextel Direct Connect's sub-second Push-to-Talk," said Paget L. Alves, president of Sprint's business division.
Motorola's vice president for sales, Jeff Miller, added that the phones "blend feature-packed consumer experiences with an optimal set of productivity and security tools."
Both phones have 3.1-inch touchscreens with a full QWERTY keyboards. The XPRT has access to corporate e-mail through Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync as well as POP and IMAP. The XPRT runs Android 2.2 and has Worldmode for international roaming in more than 200 countries; a 3G mobile hot spot for up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices; a five-megapixel camera with camcorder and dual LED flash for low-light performance; and a microSD slot with a 2GB memory card included and supporting up to 32GB.
The Titanium, which ships with Android 2.1, supports Nextel Direct Connect and Google mobile services and has a five-megapixel camera with camcorder, 4x zoom and flash, GPS navigation, and a microSD slot with a 2GB memory card included and supporting up to 32GB. The Titanium is designed to meet military specifications for dust, shock, vibration, low pressure, solar radiation, and ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
May 08 2011
SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Chinese computer colossus Lenovo is infusing its leading business laptops with more fun features as Internet Age lifestyles blur lines between work and play.
Lenovo was at the San Francisco headquarters of Dolby Laboratories this week to show off theater quality sound, rich viewing and quick graphics handling in a ThinkPad laptop computer line that has become a top choice for businesses.
"We are adding elements that are more relevant and interesting to consumers," ThinkPad marketing director Tom Butler said while demonstrating new features that included audio enhanced with Dolby Home Theater 4.
Long popular with big corporations, Lenovo recently launched ThinkPad models aimed at small businesses whose operators tend to shop for gear at retail shops and whose employees increasingly make work computers part of home lives.
"We see a clear merger of consumer and business in the small business space," Butler said.
"At the same time workers are using systems 24 hours a day, seven days a week," he continued. "They are taking them home and checking personal email, searching the Web, playing music videos and other multi-media."
Dolby software added to freshly released ThinkPad laptop models dramatically ramps up the quality of any audio from film soundtracks or music to Internet conference calls.
"Even though you are listening over stereo speakers we are able to create a virtual surround-sound experience," said Kevin Brennan of Dolby.
"We are trying to re-create the immersive, cinematic experience that you enjoy at the movies, but on your personal computer," he continued.
Lenovo is the first to put Dolby Home Theater 4 on a business computer, according to Brennan.
"Lenovo is walking the walk and talking the talk by incorporating new features," he said.
Digital lifestyle enhancements ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Attackers are now using Google's image search to distributed malware, security experts say. Thousands of sites have reportedly been compromised by code injection--the malicious code redirects users to fake antivirus applications.
Internet Storm Center researcher Bojan Zdrnja writes that the attackers are mostly targeting Wordpress sites, and are injecting PHP code that generates pages with images based on highly-searched content. Google then indexes these pages, and the images show up on Google's image search.
Image hack is widespread and effective
Image searchers can be redirected to these fake antivirus sites, thanks to Google displays images when clicked, Zdrnja wrote in a blog post this week. At least 5,000 sites have been compromised, and Google could be serving as many as 15 million hits a month to these malicious pages.
Russian security researcher Denis Sinegubko said that, in about 90 percent of the compromised image searches, results from malicious websites appear on the first page.
"The main problem is not that cybercrooks managed to seriously poison Google Image search results but the fact that many people do click on such results results and get exposed to malicious content," Sinegubko wrote to the Unmask Parasites blog on Thursday.
Google in the process of improving detection
Google says it is aware of the problem, and is making an effort to detect malicious pages. It would not detail its plans out of fear that attackers may adjust their methods to get around the company's efforts. Sinegubko is also in the process of developing an add-on for Firefox that will alert users to these links.
Efforts are already underway to protect Google users on the web search side: Google added alerts to potentially hacked sites in December of last year, and Google's Chrome browser blocks potentially dangerous ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
May 08 2011
A senior member of the U.S. Senate plans to introduce legislation that would require websites and online advertising networks to stop tracking Web users who ask to be left alone.
Senator John "Jay" Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, said Friday he will introduce an online do-not-track bill soon.
"Consumers have a right to know when and how their personal and sensitive information is being used online -- and most importantly to be able to say 'no thanks' when companies seek to gather that information without their approval," said Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, in a statement. "This bill will offer a simple, straightforward way for people to stop companies from tracking their every move on the Internet."
The Do-Not-Track Online Act would create an obligation for online companies to honor consumer requests to opt out of tracking. The bill would allow the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to take enforcement action against companies that do not honor the do-not-track requests.
After an Internet user opts out of online tracking, Web-based companies could collect only the information needed for the website or online service to function. Online companies would be required to destroy or anonymize personal information after it's no longer needed under the legislation.
Representative Jackie Speier, a California Democrat, introduced a do-not-track bill in the U.S. House of Representatives in February.
NetChoice, a trade group representing e-commerce groups, opposes the Speier bill, saying it would hurt Web businesses. Online tracking helps deliver targeted advertising that pays for free Web content and services, said NetChoice executive director Steve DelBianco..
DelBianco said he has not seen a draft of the Rockefeller legislation, but he wants to buy Rockefeller "a gift he really needs -- an iPad, so the ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission should investigate AT&T's new broadband caps and ask questions about why the company needs them, two broadband advocacy groups said.
AT&T's broadband-use caps went into effect Monday, with a 150 gigabyte-per-month limit for DSL (digital subscriber line) subscribers and 250 gigabytes for its U-verse subscribers. The caps raise several questions about AT&T's networks, said Public Knowledge and the New America Foundation's Open Technology Initiative in a Friday letter to the FCC.
The AT&T broadband caps are "particularly aggressive," said the letter, signed by Harold Feld, legal director at Public Knowledge, and Sascha Meinrath, director of the Open Technology Initiative. The broadband provider plans to charge subscribers an extra US$10 per 50 gigabytes after they exceed the caps three times.
"Unlike competitors whose caps appear to be at least nominally linked to congestions during peak-use periods, AT&T seeks to convert caps into a profit center by charging additional fees to customers who exceed the cap," the letter said. "In addition to concerns raised by broadband caps generally, such a practice produces a perverse incentive for AT&T to avoid raising its cap even as its own capacity expands."
AT&T has said about 2 percent of its customers will be affected by the caps. "Our usage-based pricing plan is about offering a high-quality, fair and affordable broadband service for all of our customers," an AT&T spokeswoman said. "It is designed to protect the low-volume consumer and provide the high-volume consumer with the necessary information ... prior to being billed for overages."
High-use subscribers will get at least six warnings before being charged extra, she said. The plan is "narrowly tailored to ensure that only those who use the most bandwidth pay for it," she added.
While the FCC has called for ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
May 08 2011
LONDON – Pipe bombs, a targeted car crash, a lone gunman: Western intelligence officials said Friday they are seeing increased Internet and phone chatter about cheap, small-scale terror attacks to avenge the death of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.
More than 100 protesters, meanwhile, gathered Friday outside the U.S. Embassy in London shouting, "USA, you will pay!" and warning of such revenge attacks.
European security officials say there is no specific plot to justify raising the threat level in Europe. But one of their biggest fears is the possibility of a Mumbai-style attack like the 2008 shooting spree that killed 166 people and paralyzed India's business capital for days.
Many of the Indian police who initially responded to the attack were unarmed. Most of Britain's police force is also unarmed, while other European police officers usually carry lighter arms than their North American counterparts.
Interpol has asked law enforcement agencies in some 188 countries to be on alert for retaliatory attacks. Communities have been warned to report anything suspicious. Embassies and some American businesses have added new security measures.
"Is it likely that people who follow bin Laden's ideology will try to avenge his death," one European intelligence official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of his work. "There is an increase in chatter, but that doesn't mean the threat has increased for now."
Europe has been the target of numerous terror plots by Islamist militants. The deadliest was the 2004 Madrid train bombings, when shrapnel-filled bombs exploded, killing 191 people and wounding about 1,800. A year later, suicide bombers killed 52 rush-hour commuters in London aboard three subway trains and a bus. And in 2006, U.S. and British intelligence officials thwarted one of the largest plots yet ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
May 08 2011
Mozilla, maker of the open source Firefox browser, recently told the Department of Homeland Security that if you want to censor the Internet you better have a good reason or at least a legal justification. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the DHS' principal investigative arm, recently asked Mozilla to remove an add-on called MafiaaFire Redirector from the organization's Firefox add-ons site.
The government agency said MafiaaFire was circumventing a series of ICE domain seizures.
MafiaaFire ind exes seized domains and then redirect users to active sites that use the same name but now operate under a different Web address. If you went to Torrent-finder.com, for example, you'd see a site seizure notice, but the actual site is still alive under the same name as an ".info" site. The same can be said for many of the sites ICE has seized. So MafiaaFire acts as an automated navigation system to help users find their way down the Web's dark alleys.
More Info Please
Mozilla's legal department didn't immediately comply with ICE's request to take down MafiaaFire and instead asked for more clarification. "Our approach is to comply with valid court orders...but in this case there was no such court order," Harvey Anderson, a member of Mozilla's legal team, recently explained on his personal blog. "Thus, to evaluate Homeland Security's request, we asked them several questions...to understand the legal justification."
Mozilla posed a series of eleven questions to DHS about their request to take down MafiaaFire such as have any courts determined that MafiaaFire is illegal? Is Mozilla legally obligated to take down MafiaaFire? And, has the government talked to MafiaaFire about its concerns?
So far, DHS has not responded to Mozilla's request for more information. Mozilla posed its questions to DHS on April 19.
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May 08 2011
BEIJING (AFP) – Apple fans queued up for hours Friday in China to snap up the iPad 2 as the updated version of the popular tablet computer went on sale in the world's biggest Internet market.
Apple's four stores in Beijing and Shanghai began offering the Wi-Fi model of the lighter, thinner, camera-equipped touchscreen device, which went on sale in the US on March 11 and in countries across Asia last week to great fanfare.
"It's convenient and it's great fun. I've been looking forward to getting one for more than a month, since I learned that Apple was going to launch it in China," 22-year-old Liu Yan, who runs a magic shop, told AFP.
Liu purchased the most expensive model -- the 64-gigabyte version selling for 5,288 yuan ($815). The cheapest 16-gigabyte version sells for 3,688 yuan. Both black and white models were on offer.
Apple employees told AFP that hundreds had queued overnight outside the store in a trendy upscale shopping mall in the city centre. Hired security guards maintained order throughout the day.
By 5:00 pm, queues had waned, but the glassfront store was still jammed with customers including 22-year-old Flora Wang, who said she wanted to buy an iPad but was still deciding whether to buy the original model or the updated one.
"The screen is so big," said Wang, as she played a game and browsed the online app of Spanish fashion brand Zara.
The iPad was also on sale at authorised dealers in China, such as electronics chain stores, but was not available late Friday on Apple's online store for China.
China has a booming grey market for Apple products to satisfy pent-up demand -- perhaps prompting the California-based high-tech giant to gradually shorten the lag ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)