Verizon workers struck this week. 45k union workers left their post in the landline division. The main contention was the $100 they would have to kick in for health insurance. Verizon has already replaced the workers, so it's possible they may not be welcome back.
20 years ago on August 6th the first website went on the internet. It was developed by a scientist at CERN. These are the same guys that are trying to find God using a super collider. The website was all text and it showed how to make more websites. No one outside of CRN could actually see that site for another year until the first public web browser was developed at the University of Illinois. Today there are over 80 million websites.
Intel's first cyber-security product co-developed with its McAfee unit will take advantage of features already built into its processors and will likely be available as an extra service to customers. Intel bought McAfee a couple years ago. The new security software is different from loading the antimalware onto your operating system because it is already on the processor itself. This is supposed to add additional security because it works at a lower layer of the architecture. Third paty testing of those claims are currently under way.
Facebook Inc. said its inspection of computers turned over by Paul Ceglia, the western New York man who claims he's entitled to half of Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg's holdings in the social-networking company, shows "smoking gun" evidence of fraud. The court ordered that Ceglia's computer be turned over to Facebook's forensics team to see if the claims were legitimate. The team said they found the document may have been illegally altered and theyw ill present this evidence to the court this week. The company is valued at $69.2 Billion. Naybe Zuckerberg will be able to keep his money after all.
Google's self driven car may have triggered a four car pileup last week. At this point no one is saying who was at fault. The self driven Google car had racked up hundreds of thousands of miles of error free driving prior to this. It was enough to convince Nevada to allow a special drivers license for the car. There is always a person in the car driving along, but if an accident is immenent it would likely be too late for the person to react fast enough to avoid it.
Apple's IOS 5 for Iphone is out to developers. According to MacRumors, the release notes include some fixes but no major additions, save for a Hearing Aid Mode designed to improve compatibility between iOS devices and hearing aids. The MacRumors item also says that like the beta 4 release, beta 5 is available as an over-the-air download but that users must first erase all content and settings. Apple suggests, also, that before installing beta 5, users back up devices with iTunes 10.5 beta 4 or through iCloud, and then restore. MacRumors adds, however, that some users have skipped the recommended process and been able to install the new beta version with no problems.
Last month it came to light that more than 4,000 voice mail accounts had potentially been hacked by journalists from the London-based newspaper The News of the World. Celebrities, politicians, and possibly even 9/11 victims' families, were allegedly targeted in these attacks. Since then, it's been widely reported how easy it is to hack into voice mail. Hackers use commercially available caller ID spoofing services that place phone calls using the same number as the intended victim. And if there is no password in place on the account, the message simply plays. Spoofing technology has been around for years and there are actually some legitimate uses for it. In fact, Google Voice and Skype use caller ID spoofing so that people can place calls from these services and have their phone numbers recognized. Last week, AT&T, the second largest wireless provider in the U.S. with more than 98 million subscribers, said it has changed its policy to make passwords on voice mail accounts the default setting on all new cell phones. Under this policy, which will begin next year, all new phones will automatically have the settings that require subscribers to enter a four-digit personal identification number to access their voice mail. Existing customers upgrading their phones will also see the change.
Following last month's introduction of a native Google+ app to iPhone users, Google's updated that app to work on Apple's iPad tablet and iPod Touch devices as well. In an update this morning, the same app (iTunes) now works with those models, though in the iPad's case it's just as a double resolution version versus a native, big screen application. Previously iPad and iPod Touch users couldn't even install the application from the App Store.
Electronics heavyweights Sony Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. signed on to a project to standardize the technology used to connect 3-D glasses with the latest high-definition televisions. The agreement initiated by Panasonic Corp. and several other electronics firms is the latest effort to widen the appeal of high-margin 3-D TVs, which are expected to claim a widening market share over the next few years. Sony and Samsung added their proprietary technology to the agreement, which will allow manufacturers to develop universal 3-D glasses that are still backward-compatible. Active 3-D glasses use batteries to continually communicate with TV sets, flashing different images to each eye to simulate the illusion of depth. The TV makers plan to launch the new standards starting next month. They will cover several types of infrared and radio-frequency communications and also feature Bluetooth technology.
Last week, HP announced a fairly dramatic price drop for its TouchPad tablet. Twice. The first price drop was $50; the second, available only through last weekend, was another $50. Tally: $399 for the 16-GB WiFi version. And if you bought it from Woot.com last Friday, it was $379. Note that some experts believe the HP TouchPad costs $328 to make.
Microsoft, despite the struggles so far with Windows Phone 7 (Microsoft's share of the phone market is down 38% since the launch, InformationWeek's Paul McDougall reported), has a compelling new update coming in Mango, which is likely to also provide a boost. Windows 8, to be demonstrated in more detail next month at Microsoft's Build event, seems to be a very interesting hybrid OS--one that can power laptops and tablets alike. It's too early to take any guesses about its success, but it sure is intriguing.
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