There is no Mr Symantec, or Mr McAfee, but there is a Mr Kaspersky. The fourth largest antivirus software make in the world had a scare last week. Eugene Kaspersky's son Ivan was kidnapped. The kidnappers demanded over $4m for the 20 year olds release. On Sunday, security forces cracked the code of where he was being held and rushed in to free him. The kidnappers are now in jail awaiting Russian justice.
Both Google and Apple have received criticism over the data collection tactics. Every few minutes both companies track your location and upload that data to their databases. This can be used for all kinds of information such as targeted ads, or if the data falls into the wrong hands, ID theft. To keep this from happening you can turn off location based services in the settings area, but you have turn it back on for any GPS functionality to work.
Cloud Computing got a black eye last week when one of Amazon.com's cloud data centers went offline, and is still having problems. Amazon is the largest cloud provider which basically means that companies who don't want to have to pay to have their servers onsite, have them hosted by another company like Amazon. Companies like Netflix to Pfizer use the services. The West Virginia data center went offline knocking access to hundreds of websites. Those that had redundant locations, like Neyflix, weren't as bad off, but those who didn't pay for redundancy did have many problems. Many companies are now realizing that cloud computing still needs to mature before we completely trust it.
Sony says they have no timeframe for when PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable owners can expect the PlayStation Network to go back online. According to a new post on the official PlayStation blog, Patrick Seybold, Sony's senior director of corporate communications and social media, says they continue pushing to get PSN and music service Qriocity back up and running soon. "This is a time intensive process and we're working to get them back online quickly," Seybold says. PSN and Qriocity have been knocked out since last Wednesday, and Sony revealed it was caused by an "external intrusion." Meanwhile, the bigger question for many PSN subscribers might be whether personal data and credit card info has been compromised. PC World spoke with Sony Computer
The speculation that Nintendo will announce a new game console at the trade show E3 in June isn't speculation anymore. Nintendo has released its sales numbers for the last fiscal year today, and with it the confirmation that it will be showing off a new system in Los Angeles. The announcement was short and cryptic, only stating "we will show a playable model of the new system and announce more specifications at the E3 Expo," not confirming any of the recent rumors surrounding the specs of the system. We'll have to wait until June to find out if the "Wii 2" will have the technical specs to compete with or even overshadow the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Speculation surrounding the new console has been scattershot at best. Some say it will be named the Stream. Some say it will have a triple-core PowerPC CPU. Some say it will natively output 1080p video. Some say its controllers will have their own screens, and will be able to emulate consoles. For all we know, it could be called the Stig (though I may be thinking of Top Gear in that case).
Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS) has enhanced its popular Nook Color electronic-book reader, giving the e-reader more of the capabilities and functionality of pricier tablet computers. The bookseller hopes the Nook Color software upgrade will make the device an attractive alternative for consumers who want features like e-mail and other applications, like learning and organizational tools, plus popular games like Rovio's "Angry Birds" and an enhanced multimedia experience with Adobe Systems Inc.'s (ADBE) Flash video player. Priced at $249 apiece, Nook Color is hundreds of dollars less than competitors that include Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) wildly popular iPad 2, Motorola Mobility Inc.'s (MMI) Xoom and the Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM) PlayBook. Of course, the more expensive alternatives have several advantages over the Nook Color, like cameras, a much wider selection of apps than Nook will at first offer and more powerful processors. However, for those looking for basic tablet computing to go along with a full-color, e-book reader, Nook Color is a cheaper and perhaps more attractive alternative. Savvy Nook Color users have for months been taking matters into their own hands, using what's called "rooting" or "jail-breaking" software to make their e-readers more tablet-like, rather than wait for Barnes & Noble to make the upgrade. Barnes & Noble had said it would add the new features to the Nook Color this year, but some were willing to risk voiding their warranties by downloading the fix, which is legal but unauthorized by Barnes & Noble.
New Yorkers can watch porn in public libraries thanks to the city's policy that embraces the protection of free speech under the First Amendment. According to reports, library officials gave the official OK to viewing hardcore adult material - as long as it's legal - while visiting the 200-plus library branches. "In deference to the First Amendment protecting freedom of speech, the New York Public Library cannot prevent adult patrons from accessing adult content that is legal," said New York Public Library spokeswoman Angela Montefinise. But the anti-porn zealots including religious leaders and even some librarians are not happy. "What they're doing is publicly funding an appetite for the most debased fare available. It's not like a Playboy centerfold anymore - it's far worse," said Catholic League President Bill Donohue.
Chinese computer manufacturer Lenovo is rumored to be releasing the ThinkPad Tablet this summer, running Honeycomb and featuring a decent spec list. Although there's been no official announcement from Lenovo itself, the This is my next website claims to have come into possession of some PowerPoint slides indicating that the Chinese computer company may be adding the final touches to a new tablet due for a summer release. Called either the ThinkPad Tablet or Think Slate (both names appear on the slides) and billed as "a great consumer device with additional features for business professionals," the tablet looks like it could pack a punch with its rather nifty, albeit rumored, specs. Although it looks like the tablet will be running Honeycomb, Lenovo will customize it with its own "Lenovo Family UI." The 1.6-pound mobile device will incorporate a 10.1-inch IPS screen with a resolution of 1280 x 800. And here's an interesting part: It'll come with a "true pen" option for "sketching and note-taking." Recording the minutes of business meetings may never be quite the same again.
Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell believes Android tablets will eventually overtake Apple's iPad as the dominant force in the slate market, according to an interview published today in The Wall Street Journal. "Not tomorrow. Not the next day. But again, if you look at 18 months ago, Android phones were like, 'What is that?' And now there are more Android phones than iPhones," Dell said in response to a question on the possibility of Android tablets beating iPad sales. "I don't see any reason why the same won't occur with Android tablets." Admittedly, Dell has a vested interest in seeing that happen. His company currently offers both 5- and 7-inch Android tablets, known as the Streak. He also pointed out in the interview that Dell will continue to double down on Android. Of course, Dell didn't say exactly when the shift might occur in tablet market dominance. Right now, Apple's iPad is easily overshadowing the competition. According to research firm IDC, Apple owned 83 percent of the tablet market last year, and IDC expects the company to control between 70 and 80 percent of the tablet market this year.
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