Sorry! We have moved! The new URL is:

You will be redirected to the new address in five seconds.

If you see this message for more than 5 seconds, please click on the link above!

Social Icons

twitterfacebookgoogle pluslinkedinrss feedemail

Monday, May 31, 2010

China ups supercomputer power

China is ramping up efforts to become the world's supercomputing superpower.

Its Nebulae machine at the National Super Computer Center in Shenzhen, was ranked second on the biannual Top 500 supercomputer list.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bee stripes may not keep predators away

Bumblebees' distinctive bright yellow and black stripes may not be what keeps them safe from their enemies, scientists say.

A UK study has shown that other aspects of bees' behaviour may matter more than the classic bee colour to keep predators away.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Facebook reveals 'simplified' privacy changes

Social network Facebook has said it will offer a one-stop shop for privacy settings in response to user concerns.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg admitted the settings had "gotten complex" for users.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lost a smartphone? Track it and erase data

These days, a lost smartphone is not just a shame -- it's a potential nightmare. That phone may contain personal information -- your contacts, emails and calendar entries -- not to mention potentially sensitive company information. The good news is you can protect your data, remotely, with wireless technology.

The unfortunate reality for those who lose a smartphone is the cost to replace the hardware should be the least of your worries. Rather, the data that resides on the smartphone -- including potentially sensitive information about you or your business -- isn't something you want falling into the wrong hands.

Locking a smartphone with a password isn't enough. Instead, many phone makers and third-party software developers are offering ways to remotely wipe the data from lost or stolen smartphone.

Usually the way it's handled is a small packet of data is sent down to the device's firmware, remotely, that will start to scrub the device of its information. Using GPS and/or cellular triangulation, you might also be able to track a missing phone -- say, if you left it at a nearby restaurant -- or if stolen, the information could be given to the authorities to pursue.

Whether you use a BlackBerry, iPhone, or Windows device, here's a look at the offerings (and cost) of what's available today:


Apple's MobileMe service ($109/year), which synchronizes all of your information between Apple devices -- such as email, contacts, and calendars -- can also be used to remotely lock, wipe, or locate a lost or stolen iPhone.

When you realize your phone is missing, the first step is to log into your MobileMe account on a computer and remotely set a four-digit passcode lock to prevent anyone from using it.

Then, you can have it ring (in case you left it under a pile of clothes), type a text message that appears on the iPhone's screen (e.g. "Please call me if found") or you might want to locate the phone on a map.

If this, too, proves unsuccessful, you might want to remotely wipe the iPhone's data, which is also an option once logged into your MobileMe account. Or you can do this through a Microsoft Exchange Server wipe command, too.

Windows Phones

Designed for Windows Mobile 6.0 phones (and newer), Microsoft's My Phone (free) offers a number of handy features including automatic back-ups of your phone's info (such as contacts, emails, and text messages) and the ability to access it all online.

Once you sign up for the service, you can erase your phone if it is missing by sending a command to restore the device to its original factory settings. My Phone can also find your lost phone by pinpointing the last location it was synchronized.

Many phones -- including the upcoming Windows Phone 7 devices -- will have My Phone already bundled on the phone but it's also available as a free download.


There are a few free third-party tools available for users of Research in Motion's BlackBerry smartphones.

For one, SmrtGuard lets you remotely track or wipe your phone. A "Pro" version of the software also gives a "data protection package," enabling you to backup and restore your data.

BuddyGuard also lets you remotely access, lock, wipe, or retrieve a missing BlackBerry (via GPS). Similar to MobileMe, you can also have the BlackBerry emit a loud tone -- even if the phone was left in silent mode -- if you suspect the device is somewhere in the home, car, or office.

Video Gamers Can Control Dreams, Study Suggests

Playing video games before bedtime may give people an unusual level of awareness and control in their dreams, LiveScience has learned.

Monday, May 24, 2010

32-bit and 64-bit Windows

Here are answers to some common questions about the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows

What is the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows?

The terms 32-bit and 64-bit refer to the way a computer's processor (also called a CPU), handles information. The 64-bit version of Windows handles large amounts of random access memory (RAM) more effectively than a 32-bit system.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

SketchBook Pro 2010: Software SketchBook Pro 2010: Software

Product Features

Autodesk SketchBook Pro software offers best-in-class sketching capabilities for professional designers and artists from all industries

Fast and intuitive user interface; designed specifically for use with digitized pen tablets and Tablet PCs

Free up the sketching process with ultra-responsive digital pencils, pens, markers, and airbrushes that look and feel just like the real thing

Communicate more efficiently by emailing sketches and annotations instantly to colleagues and clients

Open and save common file formats, including TIF, BMP, JPG, PNG, and PSD files

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Search more securely with encrypted Google web search

As people spend more time on the Internet, they want greater control over who has access to their online communications. Many Internet services use what are known as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connections to encrypt information that travels between your computer and their service. Usually recognized by a

 web address starting with “https” or a browser lock icon, this technology is regularly used by online banking sites and e-commerce websites. Other sites may also implement SSL in a more limited fashion, for example, to help protect your passwords when you enter your login information.

Years ago Google added SSL encryption to products ranging from Gmail to Google Docs and others, and we continue to enable encryption on more services. Like banking and e-commerce sites, Google’s encryption extends beyond login passwords to the entire service. This session-wide encryption is a significant privacy advantage over systems that only encrypt login pages and credit card information. Early this year, we took an important step forward by making SSL the default setting for all Gmail users. And today we’re gradually rolling out a new choice to search more securely at .

When you search on , an encrypted connection is created between your browser and Google. This secured channel helps protect your search terms and your search results pages from being intercepted by a third party on your network. The service includes a modified logo to help indicate that you’re searching using SSL and that you may encounter a somewhat different Google search experience, but as always, remember to check the start of the address bar for “https” and your browser lock indicators:

Today’s release comes with a “beta” label for a few reasons. First, it currently covers only the core Google web search product. To help avoid misunderstanding, when you search using SSL, you won’t see links to offerings like Image Search and Maps that, for the most part, don’t support SSL at this time. Also, since SSL connections require additional time to set up the encryption between your browser and the remote web server, your experience with search over SSL might be slightly slower than your regular Google search experience. What won’t change is that you will still get the same great search results.

A few notes to remember: Google will still maintain search data to improve your search quality and to provide better service. Searching over SSL doesn’t reduce the data sent to Google — it only hides that data from third parties who seek it. And clicking on any of the web results, including Google universal search results for unsupported services like Google Images, could take you out of SSL mode. Our hope is that more websites and services will add support for SSL to help create a better and more consistent experience for you.

We think users will appreciate this new option for searching. It’s a helpful addition to users’ online privacy and security, and we’ll continue to add encryption support for more search offerings. To learn more about using the feature, refer to our help article on search over SSL.

 by Evan Roseman, Software Engineer

The $100,000 waitress

The $100,000 waitress: Making good money without a university degree

A waitress at a high-end hotel bar recently told me that the full-time bar staff at her establishment and at many other upscale places like it can earn over $100,000 a year, largely from tips. I watched her interacting with a wide variety of people that night, always making each customer feel like a valued guest. She had great banter, rapport and provided great service.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Google launches smart TV service

Search giant Google has launched a TV service that unites live television with the web.

The "smart TV" service allows people to search both live channels as well as content from websites such as YouTube.

(The average American watches five hours of TV a day, Google said )

Special TV sets - or normal TVs connected to a Google box - will also allow people to access the web and download applications.

The first TV sets will be produced by Sony and should be available in the Autumn.

"Video should be consumed on the biggest, brightest, best screen in your house - the television," said Rishi Chandra of the firm. "That's not the PC, or mobile."

He said that there were currently 4bn TV users worldwide and that around $70bn (£50bn) was spent annually on adverts in the US alone.

"There is no better medium to reach a wider and broader audience than TV," he said.

"Google is great at organising information, both legal and illegal"

Dan Cryan

Google generates the lion's share of its revenue from selling web ads and many analysts speculate that its move into television is an extension of the business.

Dan Cryan, an analyst at Research Firm Screen Digest, said that television was a "very natural space" for Google.

"Its stated ambition is to organise the World's information, so why not move into it," he told BBC News.

He said that there had been several attempts to connect televisions to the internet in the past but none had been "terribly successful".

"Things have changed recently with an increasing number of higher quality web TV services available on TV sets."

'Mobile impact'

Google showed off the service at a launch event in San Francisco that was plagued by technical glitches.

So many people in the 5,000-strong audience were using the conference wi-fi that the demo ran into repeated problems.

Google finally had to ask people to disconnect their phones from the wireless network to free-up enough bandwidth.

The service is built around an onscreen search box, similar to Google's web offering, that allows people to search for content on live channels or the web.

(Google have announced several products at the conference )

Google have announced several products at the conference Mr Chandra showed how searching for the television programme House brought up results from live channels as well as web services such as Hulu and Amazon.

"The TV becomes a natural extension of the web," he said. "You spend less time finding your favourite content and more time watching it."

The service streams shows from the web using Google's Chrome browser.

Mr Cryan said the approach opened up an "interesting question" about whether people would use the service to watch pirated content.

"Google is great at organising information, both legal and illegal," he said.

The browser also allows people to search non-video content from the web.

"We can make your TV into a games console, a photo viewer or a music player," Mr Chandra said.

The first television sets will be built by Sony, who will also build the service into a Blu-Ray DVD player. Set top boxes and peripherals will be built by Logitech, although the service can also be controlled from a mobile phone running Google's Android operating system.

The TVs and boxes will also use Android and will rely on an Intel microprocessor.

"We want to have the same impact on TV that the smartphone had on the mobile experience," said Mr Chandra.

Future battle

The firm has also used the conference to launch various initiatives, including an update to its Android operating system and an open source video project called WebM.

The WebM project will make the VP8 video codec, which it acquired when it bought On2 for $133m (£92m), open source.

Codecs are used to encode and decode web video. Various formats are currently competing to become the default standard for web video in the future.

Several web browser makers, including Mozilla, which makes Firefox, and Opera, have agreed to support Google's new format, which will be offered for free.

Another codec called H.264 has the support of Apple and Microsoft.

Whilst it will be free for the next five years, it is encumbered by patents and its owners MPEG LA plan to charge for its use.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Scientists create first 'synthetic cell'

Scientists have created the first cell controlled by a human-made genome - a controversial step toward what is widely referred to as artificial life.

A team from the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Md., announced on Thursday it had created a synthetic bacterial genome that is a copy of an existing genome, though with added DNA sequences that "watermark" the genome to distinguish it from a natural one.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Apps emerge to reset Facebook privacy settings

New third-party applications are trying to make it easier to reset Facebook privacy settings, following recent changes from the company that make a sizable chunk of profile content public by default when it was once under lock and key.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Link between cellphones, brain cancer 'inconclusive'

The most comprehensive study to date on the possible link between cellphone use and brain cancer has proven to be inconclusive, according to a Canadian scientist who contributed to the research.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Google admits wi-fi data collection blunder

Google has admitted that for the past three years it has wrongly collected information people have sent over unencrypted wi-fi networks.

The issue came to light after German authorities asked to audit the data the company's Street View cars gathered as they took photos viewed on Google maps.

(Peter Barron, Head of Communications at Google, says it was a mistake)

Google said during a review it found it had "been mistakenly collecting samples of payload data from open networks".

The admission will increase concerns about potential privacy breaches.

These snippets could include parts of an email, text or photograph or even the website someone may be viewing.

In a blogpost Google said as soon as it became aware of the problem it grounded its Street View cars from collecting wi-fi information and segregated the data on its network.

It is now asking for a third party to review the software that caused the problem and examine precisely what data had been gathered.

"Maintaining people's trust is crucial to everything we do, and in this case we fell short," wrote Alan Eustace, senior vice president of engineering and research.

"The engineering team at Google works hard to earn your trust - and we are acutely aware that we failed badly here."

'Pushing the envelope'

Google said the problem dated back to 2006 when "an engineer working on an experimental wi-fi project wrote a piece of code that sampled all categories of publicly broadcast wi-fi data".

That code was included in the software the Street View cars used and "quite simply, it was a mistake", said Mr Eustace.

"This incident highlights just how publicly accessible, open, non-password protected wi-fi networks are today."

Dan Kaminsky, director of penetration testing for security firm Ioactive, said there was no intent by Google.

"This information was leaking out and they picked it up. If you are going to broadcast your email on an open wi-fi, don't be surprised if someone picks it up."

John Simpson, from the Consumer Watchdog, told the BBC: "The problem is [Google] have a bunch of engineers who push the envelope and gather as much information as they can and don't think about the ramifications of that."

Dr Ian Brown, an expert on privacy and cyber security at the Oxford Internet Institute, told BBC News the wi-fi data collection was part of an idea to accurately map a user's location on Google Map and Street View.

"The idea was to use to the different signals and strengths from wi-fi and phones to position a users - think of it as a sort of GPS.

"However, there are concerns in many countries that Google has broken numerous data protection and privacy laws by collecting this data and I expect a clutch of lawsuits to follow," he said.


How Alan Turing's Pilot ACE changed computing

On 10th January, 1954, a de Havilland Comet - the world's first commercial jet airliner - took off from Rome.

After only just 20 minutes in flight, it exploded, killing all 35 people on board.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Facebook downplays privacy crisis meeting

Facebook has downplayed the significance of a company-wide meeting to discuss privacy issues.

The blogosphere described the meeting as a panic measure following weeks of criticism over the way it handles members' data.
Several US senators have made public calls for Facebook to rethink its privacy safeguards.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ad campaign seeks to derail US net plan

A $1.4million TV advertising blitz has been launched across the US in an attempt to derail efforts to increase regulation of broadband services.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Microsoft Office 2010 takes aim at Google Docs

Microsoft is preparing to launch its latest weapon in its ongoing battle with Google.

The software giant will launch its flagship product Office 2010 to businesses on 12 May.

The latest version of the software has a free online component - called Office Web Apps.

Internet approaches addressing limit

In less than 18 months there will be no more big blocks of net addresses to give out, estimates suggest.

Predictions name 9 September 2011 as the date on which the last of those tranches is released for net firms and others to use.

Google answers privacy questions

Google answers privacy questions posed by commissioners

Google has defended its privacy practices following a letter of complaint from data protection commissioners around the world.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

'Historic' day as first non-Latin web addresses go live

Arab nations are leading a "historic" charge to make the world wide web live up to its name.

Net regulator Icann has switched on a system that allows full web addresses that contain no Latin characters.

Nokia sues Apple for 'patent infringement'

The world's biggest mobile phone maker, Nokia, has filed a lawsuit against Apple claiming the iPad 3G and iPhone infringe five of its patents.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Get the New Forefront Protection 2010 for SharePoint Trial

Microsoft Forefront Protection for SharePoint provides essential building blocks for secure collaboration by helping to prevent users from uploading or downloading documents containing malware, out-of-policy content, or sensitive information to SharePoint libraries. Learn more...

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

How to upgrade your PC to Windows 7

It is simple to upgrade from Windows XP or Vista to Windows 7. MSN shows you here how to make the switch quickly and what to look out for.

Monday, May 03, 2010

How to avoid being told, ‘You’re Fired.’

I figured if “The Apprentice” reality show with Donald Trump is mandatory viewing for MBA students at Harvard, then I would probably be entertained and learn something as well – so I watch it.

Configure Remote Media Streaming in Windows 7

Windows 7 and Windows Media Player 12 include a very useful and cool feature called Internet Media Sharing. Integrated with an online ID provider such as Windows Live ID users can access their media located on a home Windows 7 computer remotely over the Internet on any other Windows 7 computer. For example, I have a desktop at home that is running Windows 7 Ultimate and a laptop running Windows 7 Pro. Remote Media Streaming allows me to connect to stream my music and videos from home over the internet to my laptop.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Lexus makes bike you can't buy

Lexus promotes hybrid bicycle concept

In conjunction with announcing its title sponsorship of charity cyclathon the Great British Bike Ride, Lexus is once again promoting its hybrid bicycle concept.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Flash unfit for iPhone, says Jobs

Apple CEO Steve Jobs had a message Thursday for all those users of iPhones, iPods and iPads who are hoping their devices will one day support Flash: don't hold your breath.

Facebook posts may reveal teens' sexual intentions

For researchers or health officials seeking to identify teenagers' sexual intentions, Facebook may be the place to look.


Blog Archive

Total Pageviews