IPADs may be a little late getting delivered this week after an explosion in the Foxconn factory that makes the Apple components had an explosion that injured 15 and killed 3. Foxconn is the same Chinese company that has many suicide by employees, including several this year. They have also been busted for hiring minors.
Cisco Systems designed a surveillance system to help the Chinese government track and ultimately suppress members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement, according to a lawsuit the group filed against the network equipment maker. The lawsuit, which was filed Thursday in Federal District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose, alleges Cisco supplied and helped maintain a surveillance system known as the "Golden Shield" that allowed the Chinese government to track and censor the group's Internet activities. As a result of Cisco's technology, Falun Gong members suffered false imprisonment, torture, and wrongful death, according the lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of the religious group by the Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Law Foundation.
The details were revealed this week in a new patent application published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and discovered by AppleInsider. Entitled "Local Storage of a Portion of Streamed Media Items," it describes a device like an iPhone having pieces of songs synced to it via iTunes. Using this method, users could dramatically reduce the amount of storage used by their music library on their mobile device. Segments of the song would be stored locally, and the iOS software would fill in the gaps by obtaining the rest of the track from a file stored in the cloud. This is much different than Pandora because the music being stored would be music you already own. The downside is when you lose internet connectivity.
Microsoft will kick off a back-to-school promotion in the U.S. on Sunday with an offer of a free Xbox 360 game console to eligible students who purchase a Windows PC priced at $699 or higher. High school or college students with proof of status -- a student ID card or an email address that ends in .edu -- will receive a 4GB Xbox 360 video game console when they purchase a Windows PC for $699 or more. Microsoft is pairing with some of its biggest partners -- Hewlett-Packard, Dell and retailer Best Buy -- on the deal.
Hulu popped the announcement this morning for the second time since September. But it's no foolie this go around. Hulu Plus really is available for TiVo Premiere. "In celebration, TiVo is offering a 6-month free trial to those who purchase a TiVo Premiere from a retailer or Tivo.com," Rob Wong, Hulu director of product management, blogs today. "This offer starts today and runs until August 30, 2011. And TiVo subscribers who already subscribe to Hulu Plus can begin accessing their account with no additional charges."
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is willing to alter the site's regulations to permit children under 13 to join, he said recently. Speaking before the NewSchools Summit in California, Zuckerberg acknowledged that the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act regulates what information websites can gather on children under age 13. He's determined to change this, reported International Business Times. "That will be a fight we take on at some point," Zuckerberg reportedly said. "My philosophy is that for education you need to start at a really, really young age." The site hasn't yet begun to figure out how kids would use the site at such an age, though he assured those present that the company would take a lot of precautions to make sure that younger kids are safe.
The Apple iPhone 5 rumors just keep piling on. In the latest, Taiwanese newspaper DigiTimes reports that the fifth-generation iPhone will come with a curved glass display, the same kind Apple has been using in its iPods since the fourth-generation iPod Nano came out in 2008. Citing sources from Apple's supply chain in Taiwan, DigiTimes says that that Apple has bought 200 to 300 glass-cutting machines to eventually be used by cover glass makers. Apple had to purchase the machines because "cover glass makers have apparently been reluctant to commit investment to the purchase of glass cutting equipment due to the high capital involved," the report says. The machines are being stored at Apple's assembly plants (like Foxconn) until "yield rates" are satisfactory. Several newer phones have already adopted a curve glass display, like Samsung's Nexus S, LG's G2x With Google, and Samsung's Galaxy Prevail. The concave glass display of the Nexus S is often praised for feeling more comfortable when holding it up to your face. In fact curved glass displays are more about aesthetics and "perceived usability" (as Engadget notes in its review for the Nexus S) than any actual change to display quality.
Last week we learned from BGR that Amazon's upcoming tablets will come in both 7 and 10-inch models. Now reports are coming out about pricing, and it's a lot better than what Apple has to offer with the iPad. The 7-inch tablet will cost $349 and the 10-inch tablet will cost $449. Unlike most iPad competitors, it looks like Amazon is looking at a cheaper pricing structure which should help it compete. (Assuming the specs are as good as we hear.) The pricing rumors come from PC Mag, which has sources close to the issue in Taiwan.
Fulfilling its promise to churn out new releases of the Firefox open-source browser on a faster schedule, Mozilla has launched a beta version of Firefox 5 just two months after Firefox 4 hit the streets. Firefox 5, for both desktop and mobile devices, is scheduled to be generally available June 21. Mozilla recently created what it called the Aurora development channel, a pre-beta stage where users can try out new software features and capabilities that are more polished than those offered in the raw "nightly build" releases, but may or may not appear in beta or final releases. Mozilla said the aurora releases make it possible to deliver Firefox updates more quickly and give users more opportunities to participate in building the software. Fulfilling its promise to churn out new releases of the Firefox open-source browser on a faster schedule, Mozilla has launched a beta version of Firefox 5 just two months after Firefox 4 hit the streets.
Firefox 5, for both desktop and mobile devices, is scheduled to be generally available June 21.
The overall percentage is still insignificant, but sales of Apple's Mac computers in the enterprise soared in the company's last fiscal quarter. Apple Insider's Neil Hughes flagged some recent data compiled by Needham & Company analyst Charlie Wolf noting that Mac sales in the enterprise increased 66 percent in the company's fiscal second quarter ended March 26. That gives Macs only 3 percent of the enterprise PC market, but 1) that's the company's largest share since Q2 of 1997, and 2) the 66 percent growth rate stands in stark contrast to the 4.5 percent growth in second-quarter enterprise sales for all other PCs.
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