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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Taiwanese Firm Claims iPad Name

According to the Financial Times, Proview, a "struggling Taiwanese-owned company," has threatened to sue Apple for alleged trademark infringement, claiming ownership of "I-Pad" -- a device the company tried to market 10 years ago.

Proview, a contract manufacturer of flat screens, registered trademarks in the EU, China, Mexico, South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam between 2000 and 2004, trademark databases show.

Citing "people involved in the case," Apple has successfully won preliminary injunctions to stop Proview from selling off the IPAD name, in pending cases in Hong Kong and Shenzhen. As far back as 2006, Proview agreed to sell the "global trademark" for the name to a US registered company called IP Application Development (IPAD) for £35,000 ($55,104), which at the time Proview didn't think had any direct links with Apple.

"It is arrogant of Apple to just ignore our rights and go ahead selling the iPad in this market, and we will oppose that," Mr Yang, Proview Electronics (Taiwan) said.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

LimeWire shut down by federal court

LimeWire, one of the world's most popular peer-to-peer filesharing websites, has been shut down after a four year legal battle with the US music industry. A federal court in New York issued a "permanent injunction" against LimeWire late on Tuesday, ruling that the platform intentionally caused a "massive scale of infringement" by permitting the sharing of thousands of copyrighted works by its 50 million monthly users.

The court also ruled that LimeWire should "use all reasonable technological means to immediately cease and desist" copyright infringements still taking place through applications already downloaded. The site's popularity is reflected in a survey by NDP Group, which found that LimeWire was used by 58% of people who have downloaded music from a peer-to-peer network in the year from May 2009.

Earlier this year, LimeWire planned to release a service called Spoon, which would allow users to legally purchase copyrighted tracks. The deal fell through, however, when record labels were told that the site would need at least a year to migrate illicit filesharers to the new service. The company reinvented itself as a legal download service in 2004, later launching what it claimed was "the world's largest and most comprehensive MP3 store", before unveiling a "freemium" model similar to that of Spotify last year.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

China hijacked U.S. Internet data

A Chinese state run telecom provider was the source of the redirection of U.S. military and corporate data that occurred this past April, according to excerpts of a draft report sent to CNET by the U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission. In several cases, Chinese telecommunications firms have disrupted or impacted U.S. Internet traffic, according to the excerpts.

On March 24, Web traffic from YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and other popular sites was temporarily affected by China's own internal censorship system, sometimes known as the Great Firewall. Users in Chile and the United States trying to reach those sites were diverted to incorrect servers or encountered error messages indicating that the sites did not exist. The USCC report said it was as if users outside China were trying to access restricted sites from behind China's Great Firewall.

Then on April 8, a large number of routing paths to various Internet Protocol addresses were redirected through networks in China for 17 minutes. The USCC identified China's state-owned telecommunications firm China Telecom as the source of the "hijacking." This diversion of data would have given the operators of the servers on those networks the ability to read, delete, or edit e-mail and other information sent along those paths.

Evidence didn't clearly indicate whether this diversion of data was done intentionally or for what purpose, according to the USCC. But the capability alone raises a red flag. Though the USCC could not definitively link this incident to the Chinese government, the authors of the report do believe there's an "obvious correlation to be drawn between the victims, the nature of the documents stolen, and the strategic interests of the Chinese state."

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

244,000 Germans Opt Out of Google Mapping Service

Google said 244,000 people in Germany had asked the company to remove images of their houses and apartments from its Street View maps, but that the requests would not derail its plans to activate the service this year. In a blog posting on its Web site, Google said 2.9 percent of the 8.5 million households in Germany’s 20 largest cities had opted out of the service.

Google has been working to make amends with privacy regulators in Germany over Street View, and over personal data that Google inadvertently obtained off unencrypted Wi-Fi routers while collecting information for the service. Under its pact with German data protection officials, Google is blurring the image of entire apartment buildings even if just one apartment resident has requested to be removed from the archive.

After initially balking, Google in September gave German data officials a copy of the data it had mistakenly collected there. German data officials say they are evaluating the data Google provided.

The company faces both an administrative inquiry and a criminal investigation in Hamburg.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Facebook Caught Up in Apps Privacy Breach

Many Facebook applications share users' personal information with advertising networks and other Internet-tracking companies, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Facebook said Sunday, however, that the Journal is exaggerating the problem and that Facebook is working to put an end to any inadvertent data sharing.

The problem affects tens of millions of Facebook's 500 million users, the Journal said, and all of the social-networking site's top 10 apps. At issue are Facebook user IDs (UID), a number that is assigned to every Facebook user that can be used to look up your name, the Journal said. It might also reveal age, location, occupation, and photos, depending on your privacy settings.

The news comes five months after sites like Facebook and MySpace fixed a glitch that allowed advertising partners to see user ID information. Specifically, advertising partners might receive user names or ID numbers tied to member's personal profiles if that member clicked on an ad within Facebook or MySpace.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

US Teens Text 3,339 Times a Month, Nielsen Says

According to The Nielsen Co. SMS (Short Message Service) is now the main reason to own a cell phone, according to teens in the U.S. SMS, which was created as a testing and communication system for cellular network technicians, is limited to 160 characters per message but has proved well-suited to consumers around the world. The pace at which the average U.S. teens is now using SMS comes out to six messages per waking hour, according to Nielsen.

Teens also are using much more data on their phones, with a gain to 62MB per month from 14MB a year earlier, Nielsen said. Meanwhile, mobile users in the 13-17 age group are talking less, now averaging 646 minutes per month, down 14 percent from last year.

Texting is easier and faster than making a voice call, as well as more fun, teens told Nielsen. Among teens, the mobile Web has now outpaced earlier mobile data offerings, including pre-installed games, ringtone downloads and instant messaging.

Nielsen said its findings came from analyzing the cell phone bills of more than 60,000 mobile subscribers and survey data from more than 3,000 teens.

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Google robo cars drive selves on public streets

Google has built a fleet of cars that drive themselves, and over the past several months, these robotic vehicles have driven over 140,000 miles on public roads, from the Pacific Coast Highway to the famous twists and turns of San Francisco's Lombard Street.

As the company revealed on Saturday morning with a blog post, each car is equipped with video cameras, radar sensors, and a laser range finder that alerts the vehicle to other traffic, and they navigate using maps previously collected by cars that were driven by people. The self-driving cars, Google says, are never unmanned. A human sits in the driver seat and can take control of the car at anytime.

According to Google's blog post, the project aims to improve car safety and efficiency. "Our goal is to help prevent traffic accidents, free up people’s time and reduce carbon emissions by fundamentally changing car use," the post reads." Naturally, Google says it has no firms plans to actually make money form the project. But speaking with The Times, it seems to indicate that it might be able to profit by providing information and navigation services for makers of self-driving vehicles.

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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Hitachi LG Prototypes 1TB Bluray Cartridge Storage

Hitachi LG Data Storage has developed a prototype data storage device that can automatically back up unused data to Blu-ray Disc cartridges, each capable of holding one terabyte (1TB) of data.

Packed with Blu-ray Discs based on the new BDXL format, each cartridge can hold 1TB of data. BDXL was standardized earlier this year and offers 128GB of storage space on a write once disc and 100GB on a rewritable disc. Each disc contains several recording layers. The system is programmed to run automatic back-ups, transferring little-used data from the hard disks to the cartridge for backup.

For most consumers or professionals the creation of even a terabyte of data would take years, but users working with high-definition video can quickly generate massive amounts of data that needs to be archived. The system is meant for such users.

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Sunday, October 03, 2010

Facebook Photos Go High-Resolution

Catering to some 500 million users who upload more than 100 million images each day, Facebook said it is adding high-resolution image support and a new photo upload tool.

Facebook in April purchased Divvyshot for the expertise of Sam Odio, who as the founder of that startup wrote software to let groups of people upload photos to the Web, share them and edit them.

Many of the social network's 500 million-plus users use the Website to build whole digital photo albums online, adding pictures from computers and mobile phones, storing them for posterity.

As Facebook Photos Product Manager, Odio was tasked with drastically revamping the company's photo software. After adding face detection and photo-tagging in July, Odio has added new perks to improve the service.Facebook began rolling out free support for print-quality, high-resolution photos, which are geared for larger images. Odio said he is increasing the size of the photos stored by a factor of 8, from 720 pixels to 2,048 pixels on the largest edge.

Don't fret if you don't see the new photo capabilities right away. They will roll out over the course of October.

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