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Kingston Expands Device Support for Wi-Drive

Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced an update enabling browser support for Wi-Drive. The update allows multiplatform wireless streaming of data to any Wi-Fi enabled mobile device via a Web browser. The feature will be included in future shipments and all current owners of Wi-Drive can update their own device.

This expansion of device support allows a mixture of users’ preferred mobile devices to simultaneously access and share content on the Wi-Drive. With integrated Wi-Fi and four hours of battery life, Kingston Wi-Drive offers great pocket-sized portable storage (up to 64GB) and easy file sharing for any Wi-Fi device including Apple iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Android devices, Kindle Fire and more.

Apple Rapidly Moving to Become Direct Mobile Service Provider, Predicts Strategist

Apple’s next big move will be to provide wireless service directly to its iPad and iPhone customers, according to veteran wireless industry strategist Whitey Bluestein.

Bluestein told an international gathering of wireless operators, resellers and suppliers that Apple has all of the critical elements – the world’s leading brand, distribution through 363 Apple Stores, digital content (music, video and apps)—which will allow it to exploit its 250 million iTunes accounts with credit cards on file.

He also noted that Apple has a patent-pending network architecture to enter the wireless industry as a service provider. Apple filed a patent application in October 2006, shortly before the first iPhone announcement, with a diagram on how it would offer wireless service directly to customers using networks of several mobile operators. The patent application was extended in fall 2011. Bluestein said that the patent confirms that Apple has thought through how it would offer service directly to customers.

Trimble Acquiring Google's SketchUp 3D Modeling Platform

Trimble today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SketchUp, one of the most popular 3D modeling tools in the world, from Google. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2012, subject to customary closing conditions and expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. While financial terms are not being disclosed the transaction is not expected to be material to 2012 earnings per share.

SketchUp is currently used by millions of users annually - ranging from architects to engineering and construction firms to building and design professionals—for designing, modeling and visualizing projects. The SketchUp product and its vision of "3D modeling for everyone" has allowed modelers worldwide, across a wide range of industries, to express design concepts easily, accurately and efficiently. Additionally, SketchUp users benefit from its extensive third-party developer community that provides industry-specific solutions for a variety of customers.

Linux Creator Linus Torvalds Receives One of World's Highest Technology Honors

The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that Linux Creator and Linux Foundation Fellow Linus Torvalds is a Millennium Technology Prize laureate. This prize, determined by the Technology Academy of Finland, is one of the world's largest such prizes with candidates sought from across the world and from all fields of technology.

The Millennium Technology Prize is awarded every two years for innovations improving the quality of human life and encouraging sustainable development. Universities, research institutions, scientific and engineering academies, and high-tech companies from around the globe make nominations. The International Selection Committee, nominated by TAF Board, reviews the nominations and determines the year's laureates. The Board makes the final decision on who will be the recipients of the prize, which is together established by Finnish industry and state.

Wintel Tablets Aim to Push Down iPad Market Share to 50% by Mid-2013

With a new line of Atom processors optimized for low-power devices, and Microsoft's touch-optimized Windows 8 operating system, the Wintel (Windows+Intel) alliance aims to reduce the stranglehold that Apple iPad has over the tablet market, all the way down to 50 percent. The duo also aim for this to happen as relatively early as by mid-2013. What makes this an ambitious claim by Wintel alliance, is that while iPad currently holds over 70 percent of the tablet market, it's not that Wintel tablets hold the remaining 30 percent. A bulk of iPad alternatives are tablets running Google's Android operating system, and ARM processors. It would be interesting to see the outcome of this Mexican-standoff in the making (between Windows+Intel, Android+ARM, and Apple iPad), at the end of 2013.


Source: DigiTimes

AMD and Google in Race to Buy Out MIPS

AMD and Google are locked in a race to buy out MIPS, an application processor architecture designer competitive to ARM. AMD comes from a decades old presence in the microprocessor industry, while Google is a satrap with smartphones, tablets, and other mobile computing devices thanks to its Android operating system. With Microsoft opening up to ARM architecture with Windows 8 RT, it is in Google's interests to hedge its bets on an alternative machine architecture to both x86 and ARM. The easiest way to that is buying out MIPS and funding development of powerful processors based on it. For AMD, it's a bid to stay competitive in the low-power processor market as Intel began making inroads to smartphone processor market.

Source: Bright Side of News, Image Courtesy: X-bit Labs

Google Announces First Quarter 2012 Results and Proposal for New Class of Stock

Google Inc. today announced financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2012.

"Google had another great quarter with revenues up 24% year on year," said Larry Page, CEO of Google. "We also saw tremendous momentum from the big bets we've made in products like Android, Chrome and YouTube. We are still at the very early stages of what technology can do to improve people's lives and we have enormous opportunities ahead. It is a very exciting time to be at Google."

comScore Releases March 2012 U.S. Search Engine Rankings

comScore, Inc., a leader in measuring the digital world, today released its monthly comScore qSearch analysis of the U.S. search marketplace. Google Sites led the explicit core search market in March with 66.4 percent of search queries conducted.

U.S. Explicit Core Search

Google Sites led the U.S. explicit core search market in March with 66.4 percent market share, followed by Microsoft Sites with 15.3 percent and Yahoo! Sites with 13.7 percent. Ask Network accounted for 3.0 percent of explicit core searches, followed by AOL, Inc. with 1.6 percent.

Apple Could Become History's First Trillion-Dollar Company

Wall Street punters predict Apple could become the first trillion dollar company in an year or two. The company's share prices rose last week, to $633.38, edging past those of Google. Analyst Brian White, of Topeka Capital Markets claimed that the share price could enter four-figures in under an year, making the company worth US $1T. In his report, White stated "Apple fever is spreading like a wildfire around the world." By that, he meant that the craze for Apple products and services, is spreading.

Source: Reuters

Chrome OS-powered Sony VAIO Notebook Exposed by the FCC

Things on the Chromebook front have been pretty quiet this year but it seems they will change soon as the US FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has received and tested a new machine running Google's Chrome OS. Seen below is the VAIO VCC111 Series, Sony's very first Chromebook, which features a 11.6-inch LCD screen (made by Samsung), 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G, an SSD, an SD card reader, two USB 2.0 ports, a HDMI output, a webcam, and a 4100 mAh battery.

Chrome is World's Number One Browser for a Day - StatCounter

Google's Chrome narrowly became the world's top internet browser for the first time on Sunday 18 March 2012, according to StatCounter, the independent website analytics company. The firm's research arm StatCounter Global Stats reports that Chrome topped the polls in India, Russia and Brazil, all of which contributed to it becoming the number one browser for that day on a global basis.

"While it is only one day, this is a milestone," commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. He added that Chrome still faces a battle to unseat its main rivals including IE and Firefox in many regions. Chrome remains in 2nd or 3rd place in China, United States and Germany, for example.

Mozilla Firefox To Pack H.264 Support

It looks like Mozilla has given in to the pressure of incorporating H.264 CODEC into its Firefox web-browser, and could incorporate it in future versions of the browser. The CODEC allows online videos utilizing H.264 format to run. Mozilla has been avoiding H.264 support since it is proprietary, riddled with patents, and requires Mozilla to purchase a license for millions of Dollars from MPEG-LA.

Mozilla has been trying to push for standards alternative to H.264, such as WebM, and the VP8 format. It had originally planned its push for an H.264-free web at a time when it was a much stronger player in the web-browser market, which now sees a strong presence of Google Chrome, which already features H.264. H.264 is superior to its alternatives, in being lighter on the system's resources (hence, lighter on the battery).


Sources: Engadget, The Inquirer

Apple Rolls Out Safari 5.1.4, Google Delivers 18.0.1025.56 Beta

Today, mobile arch-rivals Apple and Google have both released updates for their PC/Mac browsers, Safari and Chrome. Apple made available the 5.1.4 version of Safari for both Windows and Mac OS, while Google has served up the Chrome 18.0.1025.56 Beta for Windows, Mac OS and Linux.

The new Chrome Beta includes the following highlights:

- GPU acceleration of the Canvas 2D is now disabled by default and can be enabled in about :flags
- Disabled the image transport surface on Windows Vista and 7. For GPU accelerated content GPU process now renders directly to the window.
- Core Animation plugins no longer trigger GPU accelerated compositing on the Mac.

Windows 8 Has a Killswitch

Microsoft's Windows 8 is reported to come with a "killswitch", which can by flipped by Microsoft to delete malware downloaded from its App Store by unsuspecting customers. Last year, Google's Android Marketplace was swarmed by malware disguised as popular applications from various other publishers. These applications were bought and downloaded by unsuspecting users. When word reached Google, it flipped a killswitch with Android that instantly removed these bogus applications across thousands of devices. It's not just Google, Apple too has a similar killswitch with which it keeps its App Store users safe from malware.

News of killswitches with Windows (in-turn the PC platform), isn't going in too well with advocates of privacy and free-speech, who fear that Microsoft's planted killswitch gives it unwarranted power to remotely erase applications and user data (connected to these applications), without the consent of the user. It could then be used as a potential censorship tool, or even an anti-competition tool, by synthetically-engineering market-shares of software used by people.Sources: Businessweek, VigilantCitizen

Governments Take On Google Over User Monitoring

Authorities from various countries, are suiting up to take on Google over its controversial "One Google, One Policy", which is in effect from today, which its critics call as being invasive to privacy. "Under the new policy," DailyTech writes, "Google will do away with separate privacy agreements and individual collection of data in its various products. In its place will be a single mass monitoring/data mining apparatus, which will collect sensitive information including location, interests, age, sexual orientation, sexual habits, relationship status, religion, political views, health concerns, employment status, and more."

Google's implementation of the new policy has been faced with opposition from French authorities, who sent an open letter to Google CEO Larry Page asking for technical details of how Google plans to collect and use user data. The letter notes that the new policy "does not meet the requirements of the European Directive on Data Protection, especially regarding the information provided to data subjects." Across the Atlantic, in the US, Attorneys General of various states expressed concerns and voiced criticism over the new policy.Source: DailyTech

FTC Chairman Calls New Google Policy A "Fairly Binary and Brutal Choice to Consumers"

US FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz called Google's new unified policy "a fairly binary and somewhat brutal choice that they're giving consumers," in other words, a "take it or leave it" choice. Mr. Leibowitz made these comments speaking an episode of C-SPAN's Newsmakers. Google's new unified gives users of its various services (eg: G-Mail, YouTube, Picassa), a single user policy to agree to, to continue using the services. The policy also outlines how Google will use data collected by its different services, something its critics noted to be invasive. Less than 48 hours from taking effect, the policy is facing opposition from European regulators, and even a group of 36 US Attorneys General.
Sources: The Verge, All Things D

Google and Apple Sued over 'Street View' feature

The lawyer armies of both Google and Apple have yet another battle on their hands as last week one PanoMap Technologies, LLC, a virtually unknown company based in Florida, sued both of them for patent infringement.

Filed in Orlando federal court, PanoMap's complaint claims that the Street View feature of the Google Maps iOS app violates US Patent No. 6,563,529. This patent is entitled "Interactive system for displaying detailed view and direction in panoramic images" and it describes "A method and system for indicating the camera position, direction, and field of view in a map or panoramic image comprises a map image window which displays a map or panoramic image of the site to be studied (house, apartment, city, etc.)."

The 6,563,529 patent was given to scientist Jerry Jongerius back in 2003 and was transferred to Empire IP in 2011. PanoMap got a hold of it (through another transfer, gotta love this) only this month (on February 14th to be exact).

PanoMap says Google and Apple were aware of their infringement and wants triple damages.Source: paidContent

Google Rolls out the Chrome 18.0.1025.33 Beta

Google has now made available a new beta Chrome release, a build known as 18.0.1025.33 which includes an updated V8 JavaScript engine (version 3.8.9.6), an improved omnibox, as well as the fixes for the following issues:

All

- Sync: Conflicting sync entries should not be committed
- Back button frequently hangs
- Speech input bubble borders don't closing

Mac

- Gap between download shelf and vertical scrollbar

Chrome 18.0.1025.33 is available here for Windows, Mac OS and Linux.

Google to Buy Motorola Mobility

Today Fox Business is reporting U.S. and European regulators approved Google Inc's $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility on Monday and said they would keep a sharp eye on the web search giant to ensure patents critical to the telecom industry would be licensed at fair prices. The U.S. Justice Department also approved an Apple Inc -led consortium's purchase of a trove of patents from bankrupt Canadian company Nortel Networks.Both the Justice Department and European antitrust authorities said that they would monitor how patents are used to ensure they comply with antitrust rules. Antitrust enforcers on both sides of the Atlantic are concerned that patents essential to ensuring communications devices sold by different companies work together are licensed for a reasonable fee.

Apple Launches New Attack on Samsung Phones

Apple seems to have a revolving door for legal actions as of late. Today the Chicago Tribune is reporting Apple has asked a federal court in California to block Samsung from selling its new Galaxy Nexus smartphones, which use Google's newest version of Android, called Ice Cream Sandwich, alleging four patent violations including new features such as a voice-command search function.

Galaxy Nexus, the official debut of which was delayed by Samsung in October to pay respect to Apple's co-founder Steve Jobs, is the first phone running on the newest Android version before the platform is widely adopted by hardware manufacturers such as HTC Corp and Motorola Mobility. HTC and Motorola are also in separate patent disputes with Apple. In a lawsuit filed last week in San Jose, Apple said the Galaxy Nexus infringes on patents underlying features customers expect from Apple products. Those include the ability to unlock phones by sliding an image and to search for information by voice.

Samsung Slips Out Ivy Bridge-Powered Notebook, Redacts It Later

A goof-up by Samsung's US website team saw the product page of an upcoming Intel Ivy Bridge-powered notebook getting published, and later redacted, leaving enough time for a Google cached copy to take shape. Carrying the model number NP700G7C, the notebook is a large-format 17.3-incher, which looks slim enough not to be labelled "desktop-replacement". The notebook is driven by Intel Core i7-3610QM quad-core processor, which is clocked at 2.30 GHz, and packs 6 MB of L3 cache. The processor is wired to four 4 GB DDR3 modules, totaling 16 GB.

The storage subsystem on this notebook consists of two 1 TB HDDs that are striped (RAID 0), backed a small 8 GB SSD that acts as a cache, temporarily holding hot-data of the volume. The optical-drive is a slot-in Blu-ray ROM. The 17.3-inch screen provides 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution, which is driven by NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M graphics with 2 GB GDDR5 memory. Other features include wireless b/g/n with Intel WiDi support, gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, two USB 3.0 ports, and a USB 2.0 port. The top-mounted webcam features 2 MP resolution. The product page also went on to reveal a price, US $1,699.99.

Source: VR-Zone

Yahoo US Search Share Slips In January, Google Still on Top

According to comScore, the month of January has seen all major players in the US Internet search market keep the positions held at the end of 2012. Still, there have been small changes as Google increased its share to 66.2% (66.1% in the previous month) while Yahoo dropped a little, from 16.2% in December to 16.0%.

Following Google and Yahoo was Microsoft with a 13.8% market share, while on the fourth and fifth places in January's top we have Ask and AOL with 2.6% and 1.4%, respectively. Almost 20 billion core search queries were conducted in the US in January.

Google To Launch GoogleDrive Cloud-Storage Service Soon

Google is going to monetize its ocean of data storage and bandwidth by starting a new service that will rival the likes of DropBox. Called Google Drive, the service could allow people to make use of their G-Mail storage quota (like G-Mail Drive once did) for free, and probably offer additional storage at a cost. According to Wall Street Journal, the service is expected to be launched "soon" (in the next few weeks or months). To compete with other similar service providers, Google could come up with attractive prices. Unlike services such as MegaUpload, Google Drive would be strictly personal storage. The Drive service will be inter-twined with Google Docs, and facilitate better remote collaboration between co-workers.

Sources: The Verge, Wall Street Journal

Google Chrome 17 Stable Available for Download

After going through a month-long beta stage, Chrome 17 has now been promoted and is available as a Stable release for Windows, Mac OS and Linux. Chrome 17 (build 17.0.963.46) features new Extension APIs, updated Omnibox Prerendering, download scanning protection, various tweaks and fixes for about 20 vulnerabilities.

Chrome 17 Stable can be downloaded via this page.

Adobe Working on Sandboxed Flash Player for Firefox

Adobe is working on a new sandboxed version of the Flash Player browser plugin for Firefox. The move will make it tougher to compromise a system's security using malicious Shockwave Flash objects. The new plugin for Firefox (and other browsers like Opera, which rely on the common Netscape Plugin Wrapper model of browser plugins), will work essentially similar to the Flash Player Google Chrome ships with, which works in a "Protected Mode". When "sandboxed" Shockwave Flash objects in webpages will work as separate processes, with much lower privileges than the actual user, the user's machine environment will be kept abstract to it. Adobe has already redesigned the browser plugin of its Reader X (PDF viewer) to work this way, and hasn't seen a significant successful exploit since November, last year.

Source: Adobe Asset Blog
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