Foxconn Technology, one of the biggest manufacturers of products for Apple, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and other electronics companies, said Saturday that it would sharply raise worker salaries at its Chinese factories. Foxconn said that salaries for many workers would immediately jump by 16 to 25 percent, to about $400 a month, before overtime. The company also said it would reduce overtime hours at its factories. Labor rights groups say that over the years, many Foxconn plants have violated Chinese labor laws by pushing workers to endure excessive amounts of overtime.
If you are one of the 25 million iPhone 4 owners, you will get either a $15 credit at iTunes, or free case thanks to a settlement in a class action lawsuit. This has to do with the antenna issue of holding it a certain way and not being able to make calls. You should be able to claim the credit as of April 30th.
The Sony PSP Vita goes on sale at midnight on Wednesday. I will be there with one of my sons to make the purchase. The Vita is the first handheld device that plays 3d games, can talk on skype using audio or video, and allow download of games. In short it's like a smart phone without the phone but with a high end video card. It costs $250 for the wifi only version and $300 for the 3G version.
Scientists have taken a first early step toward surpassing the limits of a technological principle called Moore's Law by creating a working transistor using a single phosphorus atom. The atom was etched into a silicon bed with "gates" to control electrical flow and metallic contacts to apply voltage, researchers reported in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. It is the first such device to be precisely positioned using a repeatable technology, they said, and may one day help ease the way toward creation of a so-called quantum computer that would be significantly smaller and faster than existing technology. There is a limitation to the latest finding: The atom must be kept at minus-391 degrees Fahrenheit to keep it from migrating out of its channel, the report said. Because of this, the result should be seen as a proof of principle rather than an initial step in a manufacturing process.
Google is full of nosy people it would appear. In the wake of reports that Google had sidestepped privacy settings in Safari, Microsoft announced today it had discovered the Web giant had done the same with Internet Explorer. "When the IE team heard that Google had bypassed user privacy settings on Safari, we asked ourselves a simple question: is Google circumventing the privacy preferences of Internet Explorer users too?" IE executive Dean Hachamovitch wrote in a blog post this morning. "We've discovered the answer is yes: Google is employing similar methods to get around the default privacy protections in IE and track IE users with cookies." The blog post, which details Microsoft's findings and offers privacy protection tips, said it has contacted Google about its concerns and asked it to "commit to honoring P3P privacy settings for users of all browsers." Google representatives did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.
Microsoft Fends Off iCloud With Windows 8 SkyDrive Push SkyDrive is coming to Windows 8. In an apparent response to Apple's big cloud move last week - when the Cupertino outfit announced iCloud would be integrated with its upcoming Mountain Lion release of OS X for Macs - Microsoft has announced a plan to embrace the cloud by integrating its SkyDrive with Windows 8. "We designed a no-compromise cloud experience where enthusiasts will be able to control files the way they want, while others who are less familiar with the file system can still take advantage of the cloud simply by accessing SkyDrive through the apps they use every day," Microsoft wrote today, revealing that SkyDrive will be a Metro-style app in Windows 8
The overarching theme of Mountain Lion is iOS integration. It's obvious that Apple is trying to blur the lines between its desktop and mobile software-one subtle change is that "Mac" is no longer a part of the operating system's name. Additionally, Mountain Lion will include Mac versions of many iOS apps, such as Notes, Reminders and Game Center. It also appears to use the Notification Center concept from iOS, gathering action items in a single place and giving the popular Growl notification service a serious run for its money. One of the most intriguing announcements relates to iMessage, Apple's proprietary protocol currently used for SMS-like communication between iPhones and iPads. It seems that a Messages application will be coming to Macs, allowing users to send and receive iMessages on their desktop computers. In fact, Apple released a beta of Messages on Thursday, allowing Lion users the chance to try out the new functionality. The Messages application also includes support for AIM, Gtalk and FaceTime, completely replacing iChat in the process.
New technology to help blind people text using touchscreen mobile devices has been developed. Researchers at Georgia Tech produced the app - to be made available on Apple and Android devices - based on the Braille writing system. It is claimed typing with the app is up to six times faster than existing methods for texting without sight. Access to technology for the visually-impaired is a growing issue due to the proliferation of touchscreens. Experts say currently available tools, such as Apple's Voiceover technology, are functional but too slow to be used effectively.
Microsoft just unveiled a Windows 8 logo that matches what the company calls its "complete reimagination" of the operating system. "The Windows logo is a strong and widely recognized mark but when we stepped back and analyzed it, we realized an evolution of our logo would better reflect our Metro style design principles and we also felt there was an opportunity to reconnect with some of the powerful characteristics of previous incarnations," Sam Moreau, principal director of User Experience for Windows, wrote in a blog post.
Google's Chrome development team is working on a system to automatically generate passwords, which would help users secure their online identities with passwords that would be diversified across different sites, and are randomized and thus harder to guess. Detailed in developer documentation on the Chromium Project site, the system would detect account sign-up pages and "add a small UI element to the password field" giving the user the option of letting Chrome manage the password for them.
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