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Monday, October 1, 2007

Technology War.- Law and order.-


No doubt the worlds Technology Market is going to trimendous up.. with the so the global leader of administration should more concious about the constructive technology , SLOGAN IS WE WANT CONSTRUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY VOID DESTRUCTIVE
We need updated law for technology governance
Apple Users Talking Class-Action Lawsuit Over iPhone Locking
You bought the iPhone, you paid for it, but now Apple is telling you how you have to use it, and if you don't do things they way they say, they're going to lock it. Turn it into a useless "brick." Is this any way to treat a customer? Apparently, it's the Steve Jobs way. But some iPhone users are mad as heck, and they're not going to take it anymore.

In a Saturday post on Apple's own iPhone discussion forums, a user who goes by the handled of "myndex" has posted the provocatively entitled message "iPhone Class Action Lawsuit." Despite its title, it's not notice of an actual lawsuit. Rather, myndex is seeking comments from other forum users on what they think of suing Apple over its refusal to service users who've unlocked their iPhones or loaded them up with "unauthorized" applications. [Update, Sun 1:40 pm. As commenter "Poli," below, notes, myndex's entry on Apple's discussions.apple.com forums appears to have been removed by Apple some three hours after this Wolfe's Den post appeared. For that reason, at the end of this entry I've added screen captures of mydex's mirror post from the macrumor board.]

Here's an summary of the post:

"To: iPhone Owners denied warranty service. Seeking respondents for possible class action lawsuit against Apple Inc. relating to refusal to service iPhones and related accessories under warranty...There are three potential classes in this case: 1) Persons who own an iPhone and used software to access the available flash drive space on the iPhone [iPhoneDrive]; 2) Persons who installed 3rd party software on the iPhone for the purpose of expanding its functionality; 3) Persons who unlocked their iPhone to allow for its use on networks other than AT&T (NYSE: T)."
Should Apple be worried? Perhaps more for the groundswell myndex could create than an immediate legal action.

A quick search indicates that "myndex" likely isn't a lawyer. More probably he's a Mac guy. You get this from his Web site--mydex.com—which is something called Myndex Technologies. "We are a research and devlopment organization," the site says. A WhoIs search reports the site is registered out of Carson City, Nevada.

The other, more troubling, reason his suit might not fly is that some respondents on the site seem to be suffering from Apple-induced Stockholm syndrome. Writes one: "I would love to tinker with my iPhone, but it's not worth bricking it or voiding my warranty. Anyone who turns his shiny new phone into an iBrick by messing with the firmware AFTER he was warned and demands compensation... well... I have no sympathy."

Here's another: "I'm not saying what this new [Apple] update did was right but then again neither was modifying the phone to do what it was not intended to do no matter how useful the modifications were."

Personally, I'm with this poster, who shows some backbone:

"I'm afraid I'm not with Apple on this one. Seems to me that Apple's usage terms are onerous and unreasonable (can't put a file on your iphone which is as much a handheld computer as it is a telephone or an ipod?) What, we live in the digital equivalent of the iron curtain?"
I'm not averse to Myndex succeeding, because Apple's stance really bothers me. It seems like Jobs has turned the famous "Pottery Barn" rule on its ear. In the iPhone world according to Apple, it's "You bought it, we [might] break it."

The sheer hypocrisy of it all rankles. Here's a company whose CEO has railed again the inclusion of digital-rights management (DRM) encryption software on competitors' music files. Many people supported Jobs in his stance, assuming it was, at least in part, a philosophic nod in favor of consumer's rights. However, in light of the latest iPhone fiasco, a sober observer would say that was probably just a cynical business move to get onboard where he figured consumers were heading with or without Apple. (That's on top of the first iPhone mess: Jobs's precipitous early price cut, which blew a big raspberry at early adopters.)

Here's some background on what specifically Apple is doing. As InformationWeek reported on Sept. 24:

"Apple warned that unlocking programs used to connect the iPhone to cellular networks other than AT&T's causes 'irreparable damage' that would likely result in the modified device becoming inoperable when this week's Apple-supplied software update is released."
Sadly, as The New York Times noted on Saturday, Sept. 29, in its story Altered iPhones Freeze Up, this has indeed come to pass:

"Joel Robison, a systems network engineer near Seattle, said his phone stopped working immediately after he installed the upgrade. He said that when he took it to an Apple store, he was accused of having unlocked the phone. But he said that with the exception of one aborted attempt to install a piece of outside software, he had made no modifications to the phone. 'Their accusation was very damaging to my opinion of Apple’s service,' Mr. Robison said."
Damaging to his opinion? Heck yeah! What additional message do consumers need that Apple's iPhone arrogance has run amuck?

Still, one has to admit that Apple's stance is not unexpected. Nor is the corporate speak emanating from Cupertino in response to consumer concerns. This quote, in the Times' story from Apple spokeswoman Jennifer Bowcock, is priceless:

"If the damage was due to use of an unauthorized software application, voiding their warranty, they should purchase a new iPhone."
You can't buy this kind of publicity, can you?

In light of myndex's threatened suit, it's relevant to examine whether Apple's position that it totally controls the iPhone after a customer has bought it, opens Apple up to any legal action. An iPhone isn't software, so Apple can't hide behind a EULA or the position that customers are only "renting" or licensing the device and don't really own it. Or can they?

AT&T, the only wireless carrier offering the iPhone, has volleyed the issue back into Apple's court. An AT&T customer document entitled "Essential information before you buy," contains this gem: "iPhone is covered by the Apple Warranty. There is no eligibility for the wireless phone insurance program." The iPhone box says an AT&T contract is required for use and activation of all features of the phone, which makes for something of a round-robin situation here.

The iPhone manual (download, here) has this: "Apple is not responsible for damage arising from failure to follow instructions relating to the product’s use."

I'm not a lawyer, so don't know whether all this stuff puts Apple in a completely defensible position. To a layperson, it seems like there's a difference between damage that's out of Apple's control and Apple going out of its way to mess up your phone.

However, at least one lawyer doesn't agree with me. Here's Noah Funderburg, an assistant dean at the University of Alabama School of Law, quoted in the Times' story. "Anyone who hacks must know that they are taking certain risks," Funderburg told the paper. "If they aren’t willing to assume the risks upfront--like a brick iPhone--then maybe they should not hack the device."

There's been at least one prior iPhone suit, but it was about the fact that consumers can't get at the battery. Myndex's missive seems to be the first chatter about a "brick" suit.

What's next? Will Mr. Jobs tell iPhone users who they can and can't call, and when.
Hey, here's an idea, which comes by way of analogy with the way Apple treats iPhone hackers: If anyone messes around with stock-options, then their job turns into a "brick."

Back STORY
Hackers Get their iPhones (Back)
Annie Oakley (played by Steve Jobs): Anything you can hack, I can lock better. I can code anything better than you.
Frank Butler (played by a chorus of anonymous hackers): No you can’t!
Oakley: Yes I can!….
So it stretches the brain to think of Ethel Merman wearing a black turtleneck and jeans. Then again, “There’s No Business Like Show Business” could just as well have been written for Mr. Jobs.
In any case, there is certainly a battle of the egos between Apple and the hacking community over the iPhone. And this weekend, some sharpshooting coders have been able to restore at least some of the modifications to their iPhones that Apple had wiped away.
To recap the story: Last Thursday Apple released an upgrade to the iPhone firmware (the code that controls the phone operations). Users that had installed unauthorized software, found their new programs unusable. Those who had unlocked their phones to use networks other than AT&T—in violation of their agreement with apple-could not use their phones at all. In other words, their iPhones had been bricked.
Then, a user of the Hackintosh Forum who goes by the screen name KMAC1985 discovered a rather peculiar maneuver: If you hold down the power button and the home button on the phone for 10 seconds, then release the power button, the phone will enter a state that will allow it to restore the 1.0.2 software from a connected computer. (The details are here. For the visual, here is a music video tutorial.)
Users are reporting in forum comments that this can take several hours, and that it works for some phones but not others. (See coverage from The Unofficial Apple Weblog and Gizmodo.)
The forums seem to indicate that by downgrading the firmware to the previous version, iPhones can again use third-party applications. If a phone had been frozen by Apple’s firmware update, this procedure will allow it again to operate as music and video players and connect to a Wi-Fi network. The restoring the 1.0.2 firmware alone will let a phone connect to AT&T or any other cellular network.
Jesus Diaz, a reporter for Gizmodo, reports that he has been able to make calls again from his previously bricked iPhone. This involves, among other steps, using a modified SIM chip called a Turbo SIM. Commenters here seem to think this is a difficult solution.
Meanwhile the IPhone Dev Team, a loose collection of hackers organized through this Web site, says it is hard at work creating new hacks that will make it easier to install unauthorized applications, fix bricked iPhones, and continue to unlock iPhones.
The comment sections to our previous posts on the iPhone upgrade (here, here and here) have seen active debate over the legitimacy of modifying iPhones. Some argue that the hackers are simply defending their rights to use the hardware they bought. Others say that since Apple made clear that the iPhone could be used only on the AT&T network and only with its official software, the hackers simply shouldn’t have bought one expecting an open device.
From a literal point of view, I see the point of the latter argument. I’d have a hard time arguing that Apple misled iPhone buyers.
Even so, I’m not sure that Apple needs to be playing so tough. Apple’s policy is that if your iPhone has been turned into a brick, buy a new one. But couldn’t the company, at least, release software that restores iPhones to their original subservient state?
More important, I’m not sure it is a tenable position in the long term to maintain such an adversarial role with a group of customers. The iPhone captures people’s imagination because it offers a flexible interface on a small device, and there have been dozens of nifty applications developed for it so far.
If Apple doesn’t create a way for developers to create new applications, this war will get uglier. But we’ve seen this musical before

where we go next-Key milestones in space exploration

Comapring the primary world with the current world update its really tuff to calculate future ,,,,,its exclamatory and more exclamatory......In the 50 years since Sputnik's launch, there have been numerous advances and setbacks, as humans endeavor to learn more about the universe around them. Here is a look at some of the key events that brought humans into space and brought home valuable information that will guide where we go next.

October 4, 1957--Soviet Union launches Sputnik I.

November 3, 1957--Sputnik II launches, with ill-fated Laika the dog on board.

January 31, 1958--United States launches Explorer I from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

October 1, 1958--NASA is formed after Congress passes the National Aeronautics and Space Act.

April 12, 1961--Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human to enter space and return safely.

May 5, 1961--With the launch of Freedom 7, Alan Shepard becomes the first American man in space. The suborbital flight, which was part of the Mercury Project, lasted 15 minutes, 28 seconds.

May 25, 1961--U.S. President John F. Kennedy announces the goal of sending astronauts to the moon before the end of the decade.

February 20, 1962--Launch of Friendship 7 (also part of the Mercury Project) makes astronaut John Glenn the first American to go into orbit. Total flight time was just shy of five hours.

August 21, 1965--Launch of Gemini 5, carrying astronauts Gordon Cooper and Charles Conrad on an eight-day mission to test rendezvous guidance and navigation systems, as well as study how humans could handle long-term exposure to a space environment. Gemini would be the critical link between the early Mercury Project and the Apollo missions.

January 27, 1967--Mission AS-204 is struck by tragedy when a flash fire breaks out during a launch pad test, killing three astronauts: Virgil Grissom, who had participated in Mercury and Gemini flights; Edward White, who conducted NASA's first extravehicular activity; and new astronaut Roger Chaffee. The mission, one of NASA's first major setbacks, was later renamed Apollo 1.

November 9, 1967--First test flight of the Saturn V rocket, which would carry dozens of spacecraft into space in the years to come

July 16, 1969--Launch of Apollo 11

July 20, 1969--Astronauts Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Neil Armstrong become the first men to walk on the moon.

March 2, 1972--Launch of unmanned Pioneer 10: Earth's first space probe to an outer planet, the first spacecraft to travel through the asteroid belt, the first spacecraft to make direct observations and obtain close-up images of Jupiter, and the first man-made object to leave the solar system. Pioneer 10 sent its last communication back to Earth on January 22, 2003, while 7.6 billion miles from home.

May 14, 1973--United States launches its first experimental space station, the Skylab.

July 15, 1975--Apollo-Soyuz Test Project is the first international manned space flight to test out cooperated space rescue and docking.

August 20, 1975--Launch of Viking 1, the first orbiter and lander sent to Mars. Viking 2 would launch a few weeks later. Both landed safely on Mars and for six years sent back the first set of images and data from the Martian surface.

August 20, 1977--Launch of Voyager 2, one of a pair of spacecraft sent by NASA on what was supposed to be a five-year mission to study Jupiter and Saturn. Voyagers 1 and 2 continue to send back pictures and data today, 30 years later from nearly 10 billion miles away.

September 5, 1977--Launch of Voyager 1

May 20, 1978--Launch of the first of two spacecraft called Pioneer Venus, which would study the Venusian atmosphere.

April 12, 1981--Aboard the space shuttle Columbia, Robert L. Crippen and John W. Young make the first mission in NASA's space shuttle program.

June 18, 1983--Sally Ride becomes first American woman in space with launch of shuttle mission STS-7 aboard the space shuttle Challenger.

August 30, 1983--Guion S. Bluford, Jr., becomes first black man in space with launch of shuttle mission STS-8 aboard the space shuttle Challenger.

January 28, 1986--First major catastrophe for NASA, when space shuttle Challenger (mission STS-51L) explodes 73 seconds after takeoff with seven crewmembers aboard

February 19, 1986--Mir space station launches.

October 18, 1989--Space shuttle Atlantis launches Galileo to study Jupiter and its moons. It took Galileo six years to reach Jupiter, and it finally disintegrated in Jupiter's atmosphere in September of 2003, 14 years after it began its collision course toward the giant planet.

February 3-11, 1994--Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev becomes the first Russian to fly aboard a U.S. space shuttle.

March 14, 1995--Astronaut Norman Thagard launched with Cosmonauts Vladimir Dezhurov and Gennady Strekalov aboard a Russian Soyuz to spend 115 days on Mir.

December 4, 1996--Launch of Mars Pathfinder

July 4, 1997--Pathfinder lands on Mars. The rover Sojourner would go on to explore the Martian surface for more than 80 days.

November 20, 1998--First piece of the International Space Station is launched.

November 2, 2000--The crew of Expedition One, astronaut Bill Shepherd and cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev, dock at the International Space Station. They are the first people to take up residence at the ISS, staying there for several months.

August 8, 2001--Launch of Genesis, which would collect samples of atoms from solar wind. Genesis would be the first attempt to return samples to Earth since the Apollo moon mission in 1972.

February 1, 2003--Crew of seven astronauts, including the first Israeli astronaut, is lost after a 16-day mission when the Columbia space shuttle explodes on re-entry. The accident was later attributed to damage sustained to foam insulation and has led NASA to understand how to safely repair similar damage on later missions.

June 10 and July 7, 2003--Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity launch.

January 2004--Spirit and Opportunity arrive on the Martian surface. They continue to explore the Red Planet today.

September 8, 2004--After capturing particles from the sun, Genesis makes a dramatic crash landing in Utah when its parachute fails to deploy. Despite the landing, scientists still managed to recover and study the samples.

September 30, 2004--SpaceShipOne becomes the first privately built craft to reach outer space.

August 4, 2007--Phoenix lander launches on its way to explore the northern pole of Mars.

Oct. 1, 1908: A Basic Car for the Great Unwashed


Oct. 1, 1908: A Basic Car for the Great Unwashed


A 1915 Ford Model T sports improvements made since the car's 1908 inception.


1908: The first production Model T rolls out of the Ford plant on Piquette Avenue in Detroit.


The Model T was the first mass-produced automobile in history; approximately 15 million were built during a period lasting nearly 20 years. It achieved exactly what Henry Ford set out to do: to "build a motorcar for the great multitude."


While it may be fairly described as the world's first people's car, history has been less kind to the Model T in other regards. Time magazine included the 1909 Tin Lizzy on its list of The 50 Worst Cars of All Time, describing it as "a piece of junk, the Yugo of its day."


Nor was the Model T where assembly-line production was introduced, as is widely believed. According to the Time "tribute," Ford engineer William Klann studied the process by visiting another assembly line -- or "disassembly line," if you will -- at a slaughterhouse. He then applied what he had observed to the business of building automobiles, lots of them, quickly and efficiently.


By 1913, the Model T's fifth full production year, an evolving assembly-line process had reduced the time for building an individual motorcar from 12 hours to an hour and a half. By 1927, the Model T's last year, Ford was cranking them out at a rate of one every 24 seconds.


But if Ford was an innovator in production technique, he was positively hidebound when it came to design. The Model T remained virtually unchanged during its lifespan and by the early 1920s it was too antiquated to compete with the more modern designs coming off the drafting tables of other car companies, notably Chevrolet. It probably didn't help that the Tin Lizzy came in only one color -- black -- for most of its career.


Nevertheless, the Model T would remain the most widely produced car in history until being surpassed by the Volkswagen Beetle in the second half of the 20th century.





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What lies beneath: new research looks deep into the centre of the Earth


What lies beneath: new research looks deep into the centre of the EarthNew research published this week on the evolution of volcanoes sheds light on what lies deep beneath the Earth's surface. The research, published in Nature, suggests that the plume of hot material that provides Hawaii's volcanoes with its continuous supply of molten lava originates from a depth of almost 3000 km, at the border between the Earth's core and its rocky mantle. This is far deeper than had been thought possible by many scientists.
Plumes are hot, narrow currents that well up in the mantle and which are responsible for the formation of long chains of volcanoes such as those of the Hawaiian Islands. The question of whether plumes rise from the boundary between the core of the Earth and the mantle that surrounds it, or from a much shallower boundary layer within the mantle, has been hotly debated for more than a quarter of a century.


The new research proved the presence of material from the Earth's core by using a new type of mass spectrometer to analyse the isotope signature of the element thallium in Hawaiian volcanic rocks. Isotope analysis can reveal the physical, chemical and biological processes to which a single element has been subjected.


Dr Mark Rehkamper, from Imperial College London's Department of Earth Sciences and Engineering and the senior author of the research, said: "It is only recently that scientists have developed the ability to analyse these volcanic rocks in enough detail to reveal exactly where in the Earth's interior they came from. The previous evidence has unfortunately been quite ambiguous but our new thallium isotope results are now able to conclusively rule out some of the alternative models. What remains is clear evidence of interaction between the Earth's core and mantle."


The evidence that plumes originate at the core-mantle boundary suggests that the mantle constitutes one big convective system, like a soup being continuously stirred, rather than being made up of several layers. It also reveals that sedimentary material from the Earth's surface is subducted into the mantle to make its way back to the surface in the plumes, over time periods of one or two billion years.


Previous analysis of volcanic rocks from Hawaii looked at the isotope signature of the element osmium in them and appeared to show that material from the earth's core was present. However, some scientists argued that the presence of core material was due to contamination of the mantle plume with sediments from the Earth's surface. The new research demonstrates that the quantities of sedimentary material were much too low for this to be the case.






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Life-giving rocks from a depth of 250 km




-If our planet did not have the ability to store oxygen in the deep reaches of its mantle there would probably be no life on its surface. This is the conclusion reached by scientists at the University of Bonn who have subjected the mineral majorite to close laboratory examination. Majorite normally occurs only at a depth of several hundred kilometres - under very high pressures and temperatures. The Bonn researchers have now succeeded in demonstrating that, under these conditions, the mineral stores oxygen and performs an important function as an oxygen reservoir. Near the earth's surface the structure breaks down, releasing oxygen, which then binds with hydrogen from the earth's interior to form water. Without this mechanism our "Blue Planet" might well be as dry and inhospitable as Mars. Advertisement


The proverbial "solid ground" under our feet is actually in constant flux. At the boundaries between the tectonic plates - in what are called the subduction zones - this seemingly solid ground is drawn down many hundreds of kilometres into the hot interior. As the material descends it takes with it oxygen, which is bound as iron oxide in the earth's mantle - oxygen that derives from the dim distant beginnings of the universe.

Far below the earth's surface high pressures and temperatures prevail. As the mantle material melts the iron oxide undergoes a chemical metamorphosis in which its oxygen component becomes, in a sense, more reactive. Moreover, it changes its medium of transportation, now being incorporated into the exotic mineral majorite which only occurs at these depths. And, as Professor Dr. Christian Ballhaus from the Mineralogical Institute at the Bonn University explains, "The higher the pressure, the more oxygen can be stored by majorite."


Oxygen takes the elevator



We can envisage the majorite as operating like an elevator for oxygen. But this time it moves in the opposite direction: the mineral rises like warm air above a heater. In fact, the experts talk here about "convection". However, nearing the earth's surface the pressure in the mantle becomes too weak to maintain the majorite, which then decomposes. "That's where the stored oxygen is released," notes Ballhaus, whose team is the first to investigate this mechanism under laboratory conditions. "Near the surface it is made available for all the oxidation reactions that are essential for life on earth."


In particular, the earth constantly exudes hydrogen, which combines with this oxygen to form water. Without the "oxygen elevator" in its mantle the earth would probably be a barren planet hostile to life. "According to our findings, planets below a certain size hardly have any chance of forming a stable atmosphere with a high water content," points out Arno Rohrbach, doctoral student in the research team at the Mineralogical Institute. "The pressure in their mantle is just not high enough to store sufficient oxygen in the rock and release it again at the surface."



Bastion against solar wind



The bigger the planet, the greater is its capacity to store heat; and, correspondingly, the longer-lasting and more intensive is the convection in its crust. Mars, for example, with a diameter of about 7,000 kilometres (the earth's diameter measures 12,700 km) cooled down long ago to a level at which there is no longer any movement in its mantle. "Its crust has therefore lost the ability to transport oxygen and maintain a lasting water-rich atmosphere," Professor Ballhaus elucidates.

In other respects, too, the size of a planet is decisive for the formation of an atmosphere. Only if temperatures in a planet's interior are high enough for it to have a fluid metal core can it develop a magnetic field. The magnetic field operates like a bastion in the face of solar winds. Over time, these winds would otherwise simply blow the atmosphere away.




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Sodium Loses Its Luster: A Liquid Metal That's Not Really Metallic


Sodium Loses Its Luster: A Liquid Metal That's Not Really Metallic


When melting sodium at high pressures, the material goes through a transition in which its electrical conductivity drops threefold.


In a series of new calculations, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists describe the unusual melting behavior of dense sodium.


"We found that molten sodium undergoes a series of pressure-induced structural and electronic transitions similar to those observed in solid sodium but beginning at a much lower pressure," said LLNL's Eric Schwegler.


Schwegler and former colleagues Stanimir Bonev, now at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, and Jeans-Yves Raty at FNRS-University of Li├Ęge in Belgium report the new findings in the Sept. 27 edition of the journal, Nature.


Earlier experimental measurements of sodium's melting curve have shown an unprecedented pressure-induced drop in melting temperature from 1,000 K at 30 GPa (30,000 atmospheres of pressure) down to room temperature at 120 GPa (120 million atmospheres of pressure).


Usually when a solid melts, its volume increases. In addition, when pressure is increased, it becomes increasingly difficult to melt a material.


However, sodium tells a different story.


As pressure is increased, liquid sodium initially evolves into a more compact local structure. In addition, a transition takes place at about 65 GPa that is associated with a threefold drop in electrical conductivity.


The researchers carried out a series of first-principle molecular dynamic simulations between 5 and 120 GPa and up to 1,500 K to investigate the structural and electronic changes in compressed sodium that are responsible for the shape of its unusual melting curve.


The team discovered that in addition to a rearrangement of the sodium atoms in the liquid under pressure, the electrons were transformed as well. The electronic cloud gets modified; the electrons sometimes get trapped in interstitial voids of the liquid and the bonds between atoms adopt specific directions.


"This behavior is totally new in a liquid as we usually expect that metals get more compact with pressure," Raty said



NanoCoolers puts liquid metal in your PC
Most of you may not have heard of NanoCoolers yet. This company is a relatively young Startup(May 2002) who has been working on improving cooling technologies behind closed doors for quite some time.


Now the first details on their cool new products emerge:


The liquid metal has significant advantages over other single phase.




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Adobe Piles On Microsoft With Online Word Processor


Adobe Piles On Microsoft With Online Word Processor


The company's acquisitions and product launches are designed to form the backbone of a free online document collaboration service.



Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE) . on Monday will join Google (NSDQ: GOOG), IBM (NYSE: IBM), Sun, not to mention startups like Ajax13, ThinkFree, TransMedia, and Zoho, in what's becoming an industry-wide assault on Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) Office.
At the Adobe Max Conference in Chicago, Adobe plans to announce that it has signed an agreement to acquire Waltham, Mass.-based Virtual Ubiquity and Buzzword, the startup's Flash-based online word processor.


Buzzword joins Adobe's other online offerings, Acrobat Connect, Create PDF Online, and a new service called Share, to form the backbone of a free online document collaboration service.


"This combination of services is focusing on what we call collaboration on documents that matter," said Erik Larson, Adobe's director of marketing and product management.


Share is being offered as a beta service through Adobe Labs. It allows users to share and publish online documents by inviting friends or colleagues. Shared documents can utilize PDF-based policy limitations to prevent copying or printing, for example.


The Share service also includes a set of REST (Representational State Transfer) APIs to integrate document data into other applications.


Like Google and its Google Docs word processor, Adobe is in this for the collaboration. "We know that people are working online more and together more," said Larson. "They're looking for their productivity increases to be not just individual gains but gains for the group."


But unlike Google Docs, Buzzword feels like a desktop word processor. It understands margins, for example, and its online pages look like their printed output. Rick Treitman, CEO of Virtual Ubiquity, calls this, "WYSIWIS, What You See Is What I See."


"All of our services and long term vision is making sure everyone is seeing the same thing," added Larson.


Adobe is aiming Buzzword at small- and medium-sized businesses, as well as consumers. "We do expect students and educators to use it because the service will be free," said Larson, noting that Buzzord isn't intended for enterprise use.


Adobe plans to add premium services around its online collaboration offerings. The company did not provide any details about what these premium services might be.


At some point next year, when Adobe AIR 1.0 is released, Buzzword will run offline under the AIR platform.


Adobe also plans on Monday to announce that nine media partners that have committed to work with Adobe to distribute their content on Adobe Media Player, Adobe's AIR-based multi-platform application runtime for running Internet applications on the desktop.


Adobe's new partners include CBS, PBS, Yahoo Video, Meredith Corporation, Blip.tv, Fora.tv, Motionbox, MyToons and StimTV.


"As we saw TV moving to Internet distribution, we saw we needed a new kind of player," said Deeje Cooley, product manager for Adobe Media Player. He described that kind of player as one that requires less time to find content and leaves more time to enjoy it.






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Facebook warned in N.Y. on safety claims


Facebook warned in N.Y. on safety claims


The social networking Web site Facebook has been warned that it could face a consumer fraud charge for failing to live up to claims that youngsters there are safer from sexual predators than at most sites and that it promptly responds to concerns, a spokesman for New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.


"We expect an immediate correction eliminating the dangers exposed by our investigation," said the spokesman, Jeffrey Lerner.


Cuomo announced last week that he had subpoenaed Facebook after he said the company did not respond to "many" complaints by investigators who were solicited for sex while posing as 12- to 14-year-olds on the site. Officials from Cuomo's office met with Facebook on Friday after they said Facebook took three days to answer calls and e-mails from state investigators.


An official in Cuomo's office said he and others are scheduled to meet with Facebook representatives this week and anticipate changes will follow immediately.


"We said, `You have got to make accurate representations on your Web site," said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because court filings haven't yet been made. "What we told them is, `Correct the language describing the site and stop marketing yourself as this pristine Web site ... parents have a misimpression. You can't mislead people."


Lerner said Facebook's contention of being safer than most sites was accurate when it started out as a closed site 3 1/2 years ago. But it's now much larger, and the safeguards and apparently the response times for complaints aren't what they once were, he said.


There was no immediate response to e-mail and phone messages left for a Facebook representative. But a statement issued a week ago stated the company was concerned about Cuomo's claim that sexual predators could use the site to meet with children.


"We strive to uphold our high standards for privacy on Facebook and are constantly working on processes and technologies that will further improve safety and user control on the site," Facebook spokeswoman Brandee Barker said in the statement.





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Microsoft Unveils TV Networking Devices For Windows Media Center


Microsoft Unveils TV Networking Devices For Windows Media Center


Microsoft opens up revenue channels on its Internet TV platform for third-party hardware makers and content providers.



Microsoft on Thursday introduced Linksys, D-Link, and Niveus Media products that would distribute high-definition video from a Windows Media Center PC to any home TV with a wired or wireless network connection.

In addition, Microsoft said that on Friday it expects to distribute an automatic upgrade to Media Center in Windows Vista Home Premium Edition and Vista Ultimate Edition. The beta release of its Internet TV products would provide easy access to more than 100 hours of ad-supported entertainment -- including TV shows, music concerts, and movie trailers -- from MSN Video, the company said.


Microsoft and partners unveiled the new hardware at the DigitalLife conference in New York this week. Called "extenders" for Media Center, the devices in general make it possible to distribute content from cable networks and the Internet to multiple TVs in the home. Media Center essentially turns a PC into a personal video recorder.


Microsoft and PC makers are trying to make it easier to use a Windows computer to manage and distribute entertainment content throughout the home. Getting video to the home TV opens up a potentially lucrative advertising channel. Competitors in the market are manufacturers of Internet-enabled digital video recorders, such as TiVo.


Linksys, a division of Cisco Systems, unveiled two Media Center extenders, the DMA2200 and DMA2100. Both devices can distribute high-definition content over an 802.11n wireless network. The standard is under development by the Wi-Fi Alliance, which is expected to issue the final specification next year. The DMA2200 includes a DVD/CD player.


D-Link introduced the DSM-750 MediaLounge Media Player that has the same capabilities as the Linksys products. The DSM-750 also includes a USB 2.0 port for downloading music, photos, and video from removable flash or hard drives.


Finally, the Niveus Media Extender targets high-end home theater enthusiasts. The system, which includes a 3-D user interface, only offers a wired connection.


The new products are expected to be available for the holiday shopping season. Pricing was not disclosed.


Microsoft's Internet TV expands the software maker's channels for distributing advertising. The MSN Video channel will offer TV programming, such as Arrested Development, and full-length music concerts from Chris Cornell, Snoop Dogg, Elton John, Pink, John Mayer, The Pussycat Dolls, and other artists. Other programming includes news segments from MSNBC and sports clips from Fox Sports Television.


Microsoft opens up revenue channels on its Internet TV platform for third-party hardware makers and content providers.








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Microsoft Unveils TV Networking Devices For Windows Media Center


Microsoft Unveils TV Networking Devices For Windows Media Center


Microsoft opens up revenue channels on its Internet TV platform for third-party hardware makers and content providers.



Microsoft on Thursday introduced Linksys, D-Link, and Niveus Media products that would distribute high-definition video from a Windows Media Center PC to any home TV with a wired or wireless network connection.

In addition, Microsoft said that on Friday it expects to distribute an automatic upgrade to Media Center in Windows Vista Home Premium Edition and Vista Ultimate Edition. The beta release of its Internet TV products would provide easy access to more than 100 hours of ad-supported entertainment -- including TV shows, music concerts, and movie trailers -- from MSN Video, the company said.


Microsoft and partners unveiled the new hardware at the DigitalLife conference in New York this week. Called "extenders" for Media Center, the devices in general make it possible to distribute content from cable networks and the Internet to multiple TVs in the home. Media Center essentially turns a PC into a personal video recorder.


Microsoft and PC makers are trying to make it easier to use a Windows computer to manage and distribute entertainment content throughout the home. Getting video to the home TV opens up a potentially lucrative advertising channel. Competitors in the market are manufacturers of Internet-enabled digital video recorders, such as TiVo.


Linksys, a division of Cisco Systems, unveiled two Media Center extenders, the DMA2200 and DMA2100. Both devices can distribute high-definition content over an 802.11n wireless network. The standard is under development by the Wi-Fi Alliance, which is expected to issue the final specification next year. The DMA2200 includes a DVD/CD player.


D-Link introduced the DSM-750 MediaLounge Media Player that has the same capabilities as the Linksys products. The DSM-750 also includes a USB 2.0 port for downloading music, photos, and video from removable flash or hard drives.


Finally, the Niveus Media Extender targets high-end home theater enthusiasts. The system, which includes a 3-D user interface, only offers a wired connection.


The new products are expected to be available for the holiday shopping season. Pricing was not disclosed.


Microsoft's Internet TV expands the software maker's channels for distributing advertising. The MSN Video channel will offer TV programming, such as Arrested Development, and full-length music concerts from Chris Cornell, Snoop Dogg, Elton John, Pink, John Mayer, The Pussycat Dolls, and other artists. Other programming includes news segments from MSNBC and sports clips from Fox Sports Television.


Microsoft opens up revenue channels on its Internet TV platform for third-party hardware makers and content providers.








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Astronomers Pinpoint Origin Of Nature's Most Powerful Magnetic Bursts


Astronomers Pinpoint Origin Of Nature's Most Powerful Magnetic Bursts


University of Arizona astronomers have pinpointed the origin of powerful bursts from nature's most magnetic objects


The bursts are from "magnetars," some of the most enigmatic objects in the universe.


Magnetars are a type of neutron star, which are superdense stars that pack the mass of a sun into a body the size of Manhattan Island. Tiny magnetars possess magnetic fields that are at least 100 trillion times as powerful as Earth's magnetic field. They occasionally produce powerful bursts, hurling high-energy radiation cascading across space. The origin of these energetic eruptions and the strong magnetic fields is a mystery.


Astronomers discovered a magnetar with the NASA's X-Ray Timing Explorer in July 2003, when it brightened by about 100 times its usual faint luminosity. They continued monitoring it regularly with the European Photon Imaging Camera, known as EPIC, on the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton Observatory until March 2006, when the object faded to its pre-outburst brightness.


As the magnetar faded, EPIC recorded changes in the energies of the X-rays released.


Tolga Guver, who is a visiting graduate student at the UA, working with Assistant Professor Feryal Ozel of the UA physics and UA astronomy departments, compared the magnetar's changing X-ray spectrum with predictions from a computer model. They developed the model to describe the physical properties of a magnetar's surface and magnetic field in detail.


Guver, Ozel and their collaborators found that the data was best fitted with a model that traced the outburst to just below the surface of the magnetar and confined it to an area about 3.5 kilometers (about two miles) across.


"This is the first time both the surface emission and its subsequent reprocessing in the magnetosphere have been incorporated into the same computer model," Ozel said.


"This is a breakthrough because we can now distinguish between surface and magnetospheric phenomena,'' Guver said.


Determining both the size and the location of the powerful burst is like "performing anatomy on a distant, tiny star,'' Ozel added.


Their model also allowed Guver, Ozel and their colleagues to determine spectroscopically the strength of this object's magnetic field. The magnetar's magnetic field is around 600 trillion times stronger than the Earth's magnetic field.


The scientists say they are encouraged because the measurement is similar to an earlier estimate made based on how fast the source is "spinning down," which is the change in the spin period over time. They said it boosts their confidence that their model is correct.


"It is tremendously exciting to be able to compute exotic quantum phenomena that appear only in these ultrastrong magnetic fields and to see these predictions appear in actual data,'' Ozel added.


The astronomers say that they don't yet understand the mechanism of the outburst, which is probably somehow magnetically triggered.


The researchers say they plan to use their computer model to study more magnetars, using more data from X-ray observatories, in the quest for answers.


They are publishing their results Sept. 20, 2007 in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. The paper's authors are Guver, Ozel, Ersin Gogus of Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey, and Chryssa Kouveliotou of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala




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Battlefield Broadband, FALCON


zBattlefield Broadband, FALCON


BAE Systems has been awarded a £45m-plus contract by the UK Ministry of Defence to upgrade the RAF's battlefield information system.


FALCON Increment C will provide broadband-like voice, data and video communications for the RAF worldwide. It will also link to MOD systems such as Skynet 5 satellites. The system, to be delivered in 2010, offers greatly improved data throughput, security, and mobility compared with current systems.


Martin Sheppard, the UK MOD's theatre and formation communications systems IPT leader said: "FALCON Increment C will give a significant boost to the RAF's ability to deploy on operations.


FALCON will be supplied in three installation types giving the RAF operational flexibility. These will be vehicle mounted containers, dismounted containers and palletised systems. The vehicle is capable of carrying three personnel and all the variants can be airlifted.


BAE Systems was awarded the FALCON Increment A contract in March 2006, to provide the British Army with an information infrastructure system, valued in excess of £200m, which is due to enter service in 2010.







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