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Showing posts from September, 2013

France Moves to Impose Sanctions Against Google Over Privacy Policy

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French officials today moved to impose sanctions against Google for failing to alter its privacy policy.
France's CNIL (Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libert├ęs) said it will initiate 'a formal procedure for imposing sanctions, according to the provisions laid down in the French data protection law.'
The CNIL had given Google three months to make changes to its privacy policy. On the final day before the deadline, Google contested the request, 'notably the applicability of the French data protection law to the services used by residents in France,' CNIL said. As a result, the changes were not made, and CNIL made good on its sanction threat.
At issue is an update to Google's privacy policy that went into effect on March 1, 2012. The revamp consolidated 70 or so privacy policies across Google's products down to one. But with this change, Google also switched to one profile for users across all services rather than separate logins for offerings …

Microsoft's Surface 2 launch: What to expect

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Summary: Microsoft is readying its next-generation Surface tablets and peripherals for launch on September 23. Here's what we know (and think we know) on specs, pricing and availability.
On Monday, September 23, Microsoft will be launching (but not shipping) its next-generation Surface tablets at an invitation-only event in New York City.

In the past few weeks, lots of leaks have revealed much of what's expected to debut at the launch. Although Microsoft officials haven't commented on or confirmed these specs, I've heard and seen information that leads me to believe they are correct.
The new Surfaces are going to look almost identical to the current Surfaces, as they are going to use the same 10.6-inch screens and VaporMg casing and be compatible with the same snap-on keyboard/covers that the current Surfaces use.
They will have the same number of USB ports and they won't support LTE, just WiFi. The Surface 2, the successor to Surface RT, will be an ARM-based (Tegra 4)…

Evernote Post

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According to Evernote CEO Phil Libin, 'paperless as a concept is stupid.' Speaking with WSJ this week on their new collaboration with 3M's Post-It notes, Libin continued, 'the goal is to get rid of stupid uses of paper.' Users will be able to purchase packs of Evernote-branded Post-It notes soon, each of them working with a unique tone calibrated to an Evernote app that, when you photograph said note, it organizes the note for you automatically. Evernote is a quickly expanding ecosystem of note-taking apps and products, and this week they've revealed a new wave.

Oddly enough, Libin also suggested that off-brand Post-It notes (not made by 3M, not branded as such) would also 'likely' work with the Evernote update. This collaboration is just one of several that are taking hold between 3M and Evernote - they've also shown off a new Evernote Post-It Notes Holder in the new Evernote market online. Green, yellow, pink, and blue are included.

Post-It notes ca…

Ford CEO Mulally in lead for Microsoft CEO job?

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Unnamed sources tell All Things Digital that, despite his initial claims to the contrary, Ford CEO Alan Mulally has warmed up to the idea of succeeding Steve Ballmer and is now a frontrunner candidate.


(Credit: Ford Motor Co.)
Ford CEO Alan Mulally's name has already be bandied about the candidate pool for replacing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who announced his retirement last month. And it seemed the lively executive wasn't too interested in the post -- at least initially -- vowing to remain with his company in the upcoming year.
But All Things Digital is reporting Mulally may have had a change of heart. Citing unnamed sources 'close to the situation,' ATD's Kara Swisher said Mulally 'has become more amenable to the idea in recent weeks.' Mulally, who has been CEO of Ford for seven years and has earned kudos for a restructuring plan that helped return Ford to profitability, has yet to respond to Swisher's request for comment.

(Credit: CBS News)
Ballmer say…

Facebook Finally Lets You Edit Posts

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If autocorrect has ever ruined your Facebook post, your prayers have been answered. Facebook introduced the ability to edit status updates starting Thursday.
The latest update for the Android Facebook app adds the ability to 'edit your posts and comments and tap to see all your changes.' However, the editing has not been enabled on any of the Android devices we experimented with.
The editing feature will roll out to Facebook users on the web and Android devices over the next day, Facebook confirmed to Mashable. The eiting feature is not included in the latest iOS app, but will likely get pushed out in the next update. Users will see the option to 'Edit Post' when they click on the drop-down arrow in the top-right corner of a post.
Editing posts was potentially dicey territory for Facebook, since the it brings the danger of a bait-and-switch with followers. A user could conceivably write, 'Who likes ice cream?' and get hundreds of Likes and affirming comments, then…

Evernote moves into hardware with its own Fujitsu Scansnap scanner

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Summary: 'This is ridiculously the world's greatest scanner,' boasted Evernote's CEO.

It had been rumored before that Evernote, a wunderkind startup when it comes to producitity apps, was interested in dabbling with hardware.
The Redwood City, Calif.-based company has made some backwards-like steps before given its partnerships with companies producing a medium that is arguably the very platform Evernote is trying to replace: paper.
But Evernote doesn't seem to care about the critics as demonstrated through collaboration with legendary notebook maker Moleskine and Post-It Note creator 3M.
And hardware is definitely on the agenda at Evernote.
Introduced at the software comapny's third annual developer conference on Thursday morning, Evernote has teamed up with Fujitsu to debut an Evernote-branded scanner within Fujitsu's Scansnap portfolio.
'We're five years in. This is how we stretch. This is how we broaden our toolset,' remarked CEO Phil Libin about …

Researchers Build a Working Carbon Nanotube Computer

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PALO ALTO, Calif. - A group of Stanford researchers has moved a step closer to answering the question of what happens when silicon, the standard material in today's microelectronic circuits, reaches its fundamental limits for use in increasingly small transistors.
In a paper in the journal Nature on Wednesday, the researchers reported that they had successfully built a working computer - albeit an extremely simple one - entirely from transistors fashioned from carbon nanotubes. The nanotubes, which are cylinder-shaped molecules, have long held the promise of allowing smaller, faster and lower-powered computing, though they have proved difficult to work with.
The Stanford Robust Systems Group, however, has made significant progress in the last 18 months, advancing from building individual carbon nanotube transistors to simple electronic circuits made by interconnecting the transistors, and this week to a complete computer made from an ensemble of just 142 low-power transistors.
While …

Day

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Users booting up their newly released iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c on Friday will be prompted to install a minor operating system update, intended to squash a few minor bugs Apple discovered with its latest handsets.

iOS 7.0.1 is exclusive to the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. It was actually released alongside iOS 7.0 on Wednesday, but did not affect users until Friday, when the new handsets were actually made available to the public.
The update is said to address an issue with the new Touch ID sensor found on the new iPhone 5s. Walt Mossberg of AllThingsD noted in his iPhone 5s review that Apple was planning to quickly release a patch to fix a minor bug related to using the fingerprint scanner for iTunes purchases.
Officially, Apple has said that the minor update simply includes 'bug fixes and improvements.' It's unknown how iOS 7.0.1 affects the iPhone 5c, which lacks the Touch ID sensor embedded in the home button.
iOS 7.0.1 can be installed as an over-the-air update via the iPhone…

Facebook Updates iPhone App For iOS 7

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(click image for larger view)
Shortly after Apple pushed its iOS 7 update live on Wednesday, Facebook announced an iOS 7 update of its own. The changes coming to the new version of Facebook's mobile app focus on improving its design and navigation.
Users will notice that the icons for friend requests, messages and notifications that were traditionally found at the top of the app are no longer there. Instead, Facebook has added a new menu bar that runs along the bottom of the screen that makes it easier to switch between five options -- the news feed, your friend requests, messages, notifications and more -- while you're browsing your news feed. The 'More' button sends you to the main menu, where you can access the rest of Facebook's sections, such as events, pages, photos and other options.
In addition, Facebook also made improvements to the aesthetics of features such as notifications. Before, tapping the notifications button at the top of the app opened the list in …

Google updates Chrome for iOS ahead of Android

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AS MILLIONS of eager iPhone users battled to download iOS 7, Google announced that the Chrome 30 version for iOS was available just 30 minutes after iOS 7 became available.
As well as improvements to the full-screen experience for iPad users, the new Chrome design includes tighter integration with Google apps, similar to that seen in Android phones, allowing users to open searches for locations in Google Maps or searches for videos in Youtube.
Voice Searching also received a boost with the addition of pronoun recognition, allowing searches such as 'Who was the winner of Wimbledon 2013 AND where does he get his racquets?'
Finally, the ability to 'snap back' to search results using the back button makes searching significantly faster. With the battle of the voice recognition suites heating up, it's surprising that Google remains committed to adding more of its Google Now functionality to iOS. While the approach of Google Now compared to that of Siri is based far more ar…

Apple's Control Center used to bypass iOS 7 passcode lock [u]

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A security hole in iOS 7 has been reported in which Apple's Control Center, along with some quick finger work, can be used to bypass a passcode protected lock screen on an iPhone or iPad running iOS 7, grating access to Mail, Photos and Twitter, and more.

The exploit, discovered by Jose Rodriguez on Thursday, take a bit of finesse to get right, though we have independently verified that it works. It is somewhat reminiscent of a lock screen bug in iOS 6.1 that allowed access to Contacts, Photos and Voicemail by using a complex string of commands including the emergency call feature.
As reported by Fortune, the recently discovered vulnerability involves Control Center, a new feature in iOS 7 that gives users quick access to commonly used apps and commands.
First, a nefarious user must invoke Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of a locked iPhone or iPad's lock screen. From there, the Clock app can be opened even without a passcode. Holding down the power button will bring …

Google tackles immortality with launch of health company Calico

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Sci-Tech Digital Life News Technology News

Google bicycles at the company's campus in Mountain View, California. Photo: AP
Google is looking for the Fountain of Youth in its latest expansion beyond internet search.
The ambitious quest to reverse the ageing process and extend human life will be pursued by a new company called Calico that is being financed by Google, which has amassed a $US54 billion ($56.9 billion) stockpile primarily through its dominance of internet search and online advertising.
Calico will be run by former Google board member Arthur Levinson, best known as the ex-chief executive of biotechnology pioneer Genentech. Levinson resigned from Google's board nearly four years ago after the US Federal Trade Commission opened an investigation into whether his overlapping role on Apple's board created conflicts of interest that might lessen competition between rivals. Levinson will remain chairman at Apple and Genentech while he runs Calico.
Google isn't disclosin…

Apple's Control Center used to bypass iOS 7 passcode lock [u]

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A security hole in iOS 7 has been reported in which Apple's Control Center, along with some quick finger work, can be used to bypass a passcode protected lock screen on an iPhone or iPad running iOS 7, grating access to Mail, Photos and Twitter, and more.

The exploit, discovered by Jose Rodriguez on Thursday, take a bit of finesse to get right, though we have independently verified that it works. It is somewhat reminiscent of a lock screen bug in iOS 6.1 that allowed access to Contacts, Photos and Voicemail by using a complex string of commands including the emergency call feature.
As reported by Fortune, the recently discovered vulnerability involves Control Center, a new feature in iOS 7 that gives users quick access to commonly used apps and commands.
First, a nefarious user must invoke Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of a locked iPhone or iPad's lock screen. From there, the Clock app can be opened even without a passcode. Holding down the power button will bring …

iPhone 5S Touch ID faces hack bounty

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Apple's new fingerprint sensor Touch ID becomes the focus of a hack bounty, but with a twist. Rewards include cash, but also a patent application, some Scotch, and a book of erotica.

Apple demos Touch ID fingerprint reader for iPhone 5S
The iPhone 5S won't hit the streets until tomorrow, but there's already more than $16,000 in cash offered to the first person to hack its Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
IsTouchIDhackedyet.com is the brainchild of Nick DePetrillo, an independent security researcher whose last major public research was 2010's Carmen San Diego Project.
Soon after DePetrillo promoted the Touch ID site on Twitter, he was joined by Robert David Graham, a security researcher at Errata Security who created one of the first personal firewalls, and most recently the sidejacking technique for 'eavesdropping' on browser cookies. Graham manages the pledges and runs IsTouchIDHackedYet.com.
At the time of writing, the overall bounty is valued at more than $16,000. Th…

New health company launched by google

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Updated: 11:22, Thursday September 19, 2013
Google says it is launching a new company focused on health and well-being, and hinted at co-operation with longtime rival Apple in the venture.
A Google statement said the company called Calico 'will focus on health and well-being, in particular the challenge of ageing and associated diseases.'
Arthur Levinson, chairman and former chief executive of the biotech firm Genentech and chairman of Apple, will be Calico's chief executive and a founding investor.
Announcing the new investment, Google CEO Larry Page said: 'Illness and ageing affect all our families. With some longer term, moonshot thinking around healthcare and biotechnology, I believe we can improve millions of lives.'
'It's impossible to imagine anyone better than Art - one of the leading scientists, entrepreneurs and CEOs of our generation - to take this new venture forward,' he said.
Levinson said in the same statement: 'I've devoted much of my…

iOS 7 download problems? Join the crowd.

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Apple's new iOS 7 experienced a rocky roll-out this week.
By Matthew Shaer, Amelia Pak-Harvey, Contributor / September 19, 2013

Tell us if this sounds familiar: After much wrangling, you manage to download the iOS 7 software for your phone or tablet. But when it comes time to actually activating the new operating system, Apple's servers are suddenly very unresponsive, and you spend the next six hours futilely clicking the 'try again' button, all while cursing your rotten luck. It happened to us. (Granted, by 11 p.m., we finally had iOS 7 up and running.)
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It also happened to plenty of other users, who this week flooded Apple forums with multitudinous complaints of non-working iPhones and iPads.
'I personally don't think Apple cares one way or the other,' one user wrote on the MacRumors forum, summing up the sentiment of a legion of frazzled Apple fans. 'If your network can't handle it then why should th…

iPhone 5S Touch ID faces hack bounty

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Apple's new fingerprint sensor Touch ID becomes the focus of a hack bounty, but with a twist. Rewards include cash, but also a patent application, some Scotch, and a book of erotica.

Apple demos Touch ID fingerprint reader for iPhone 5S
The iPhone 5S won't hit the streets until tomorrow, but there's already more than $16,000 in cash offered to the first person to hack its Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
IsTouchIDhackedyet.com is the brainchild of Nick DePetrillo, an independent security researcher whose last major public research was 2010's Carmen San Diego Project.
Soon after DePetrillo promoted the Touch ID site on Twitter, he was joined by Robert David Graham, a security researcher at Errata Security who created one of the first personal firewalls, and most recently the sidejacking technique for 'eavesdropping' on browser cookies. Graham manages the pledges and runs IsTouchIDHackedYet.com.
At the time of writing, the overall bounty is valued at more than $16,000. Th…

Mining an Old Claim

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Several years ago, I was researching a story on modern day gold prospectors. One thing I discovered was that many of them that panned for gold or used sluice boxes would investigate old claims that expired years ago that nobody renewed because they thought the claim was played out.

According to my expert, it can take years for the gold to work its way out of the mountains and down
the river, but it will usually settle in the same places. So, it made sense to work an old claim.

As a writer, sometimes it helps to work an old claim. I'm thinking about this now because I ran across a manuscript I was working on several years ago. At the time my day job got in the way of me completing it. I looked it over and it's pretty good. So, I've put it in the queue of things to edit and publish. But it started me thinking. How many articles have I written over the years that could be updated and slanted for different publications. How many blog posts do I have of value? I'm considering…