A new technology called ShotSpotter enables law enforcement officials to precisely and instantaneously locate shooters, and it has been quietly rolling out across America. From Long Island, N.Y., to San Francisco, Calif., more than 60 cities in the U.S. have been leveraging ShotSpotter to make their streets safer.ShotSpotter relies on wide-area acoustic surveillance and GPS technology to triangulate the source of gunshots. Sensors are fixed to buildings and poles to provide coverage over a fixed area. With audio-analysis software, it can identify whether a shooter is stationary or moving -- meaning police officers can be equipped with information on the speed and direction of, say, a vehicle from which a shot was fired.It can also "hear" the acoustic signature and distinguish between calibers and types of firearms. Similarly, it can hear different explosions and classify them, from vehicle backfires to fireworks to bombs.
Domain registrar Go Daddy lost over 21,000 domains yesterday. It could be a coincidence--or it could be the result of the company's p.r. debacle over its support for the Stop Online Piracy Act. Yesterday, Go Daddy actually reversed course and dropped its support for the controversial legislation. "Go Daddy will support it when and if the Internet community supports it," Go Daddy CEO Warren Adelman announced in a statement. SOPA, introduced in Congress this fall, would make it easier for the Justice Department to shut down sites allegedly dedicated to piracy. An anti-Go Daddy thread on social site Reddit led to the creation of Godaddyboycott.org, a site set up to let people amass their disapproval with the company's support of SOPA.
The proposed sale of T-Mobile assets failed to win regulators approval for the ATT T-Mobile acquisition. Now Sprint is waiting in the wings to possibly buy out T-Mobile. In the meantime Verizon has scooped up additional portions of the available spectrum for Verizon customers, while ATT put all of their energy into the failed merger. It should be a good year for Verizon, and a tough one for ATT next year.
A new report by Forbes magazine shows that Apple makes about 30% profit on every iPhone, but Chinese manufacturers make close to nothing. They do get jobs out of it, but the percentage of profit is almost too low to calculate. Would the US benefit by taking over this manufacturing? Forbes says "no". It's just not worth it.
Sony has sold its nearly 50% stake in joint venture with Samsung Electronics to the South Korean company for $940m (£602m), as the Japanese company struggles to cut its losses at its TV business. The venture for liquid crystal display (LCD) had been subject to rumours that Sony was negotiating an exit, aiming to switch to cheaper outsourcing for flat screens for its TVs while Samsung pushes ahead with next-generation displays. "In terms of direction it is a positive [for Sony]," said Keita Wakabayashi, an analyst at Mito Securities in Tokyo, about the deal. "But if they are making a loss on the sale, one could ask why they didn't make this decision sooner." "Their biggest problem is that they are not making a profit even though they don't have many plants," he said.
The global activist hacking group Anonymous claims to have obtained thousands of credit card numbers and personal information from the high-profile clients of a leading security think tank, all in the name of charity. Up to a total of $1 million was reportedly stolen from Stratfor, in Austin, Texas, a leading provider of military, economic and political analysis for clients that include Apple and the U.S. Air Force. "#AntiSec plundered 200gb of their mails and more booty," read a tweet by @AnonymousIRC on Saturday. Anonymous, an online community with no hierarchical organization, has been working with the hacking group Lulzsec on a series of hacking attacks it calls Operation Anti-Security, or Operation AntiSec.
A lawsuit between Noah Kravitz, a writer who used to write for mobile phone site, Phonedog.com, and the company has raised the uncomfortable issue of who owns a Twitter account. It is a nuanced case, explained in detail in the New York Times. Suffice to say that depending on how the issue is decided, it could upend the business practices that have formed around this channel-from promoting to branding to customer service. For anyone in shock that their Twitter contacts might not belong to them, well, they can consider this their last warning. They very well could not be.
We only have a few more days left until the festivities truly kick off at CES 2012 in Las Vegas, but LG has already tipped its hand with a press release promising the "world's largest" OLED panel for the show. We've seen smaller screens from LG before and it had already promised a 55-inch OLED HDTV for mid-2012, so this news is just another sign the company is ready to take its technology mainstream. LG's tech uses white OLEDs overlaid with colors, which it claims makes for a lower error rate and clearer "ultra definition" screen, with more colors than standard LCDs. Check after the break for one more promo pic of LG's super skinny 5mm prototype, we'll get a better look at it (and the inevitable competition from Korean rival Samsung) at the company's booth January 9th.
Federal regulators approved AT&T Inc.'s $1.9 billion acquisition of airwaves from Qualcomm Inc. on Thursday, giving AT&T a much-needed boost after its deal to acquire T-Mobile USA fell apart. The Federal Communications Commission signed off on the deal Thursday on a 3-1 vote, with minor conditions, FCC officials said. The approval means that AT&T and Qualcomm could close the deal by the end of the year. An AT&T spokesman had no comment on the FCC's decision. The licenses AT&T is purchasing from Qualcomm would be used to supplement its next-generation LTE network nationally and give it more bandwidth for customer downloads.
A patent lawsuit won last week by iPhone maker Apple Inc. represented a single victory in a global legal war, with giant corporations fighting for control of the technologies behind smartphones and computers, potentially resulting in less appealing devices or higher prices for consumers. Technology firms like Google Inc., Samsung Corp., Microsoft Corp., and especially Apple - which is one of the most active combatants - are embroiled in about 100 patent lawsuits in at least 10 countries. The stakes are high: potential domination of the multibillion-dollar market for smartphones, tablet computers, and the software that runs them. One successful lawsuit could generate millions in patent licensing fees for the victor, or it could force a rival firm to modify the way its devices work - even removing features users treasure.So far, no company has landed a knockout blow. But Apple, creator of the popular iPhone, has scored a number of victories over the makers of phones using Google's competing Android software. The result: a series of small, but significant limitations on the functions of Android phones.
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