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Thread: Pc News

  1. #1426
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    BlackBerry Storm 2 Expected in September: Report

    Research In Motion (RIM) will debut an upgraded BlackBerry Storm in September, SlashGear is reporting. According to "a source very close to the issue," the Storm 2 will support Wi-Fi-a significant omission in the first-generation Storm, which debuted last fall on Verizon Wireless.

    The report offers few Storm 2 details, but it's likely that RIM will upgrade the Storm's much-maligned SurePress click screen, which many reviewers reported was sluggish and awkward to use. Since the Storm is RIM's answer to the iPhone, a mediocre interface would likely be the first issue to address.

    Recent rumors say the Storm 2 will also include a 5-megapixel camera, an upgraded display, and a screen keyboard that's easier to type on. A slide-out keyboard? Probably not. If Blackberry fans want a physical keyboard, they already have plenty of worthy options, including the Curve and the Pearl.

    Despite its shortcomings, the Storm has proven very popular. It was the third-best-selling consumer smart phone in the U.S. last quarter, according to market research firm The NPD Group.

    RIM seems to be making all the right moves now. The Storm's sibling, the more traditional Curve, bumped the iPhone out of the top spot to become America's most popular smart phone in Q1 2009.




  2. #1427
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    Android UI Changes Look With Femtocell App

    A new application for phones based on the Android platform automatically adjusts the device's user interface when it's in range of a femtocell, a small base station that can improve wireless coverage and bandwidth.

    Mobile app developer Intrinsyc Software and femtocell maker Ubiquisys have teamed up to develop UX-Zone, they said Wednesday. The home version of the user interface could include icons for high bandwidth entertainment services like video streaming and home network integration. When the user gets to the office, a new range of enterprise application icons would appear, according to a statement from the two companies.

    When a user is making calls and surfing the Web with a phone or laptop equipped with wireless broadband, signals are sent via the femtocell and a fixed broadband connection. Femtocells also allow carriers to offload users from the regular mobile network, and save money on backhaul capacity.

    But UX-Zone shows that femtocells can be about more than just that, according to Keith Day, vice president of marketing at Ubiquisys. The company has tried to make it as easy as possible for third parties to develop applications that take advantage of the fact that the femtocell knows when users are present, he said.

    Currently, UX-Zone is only available as a demonstration. But Ubiquisys is in discussions with operators that are interesting in launching it. They would then get a tailored version of the application, according to Day.

    To encourage the development of third-party applications Ubiquisys has started the FemtoApps Initiative, which is currently in beta.




  3. #1428
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    French net piracy bill signed off

    A controversial French bill which will disconnect people caught downloading content illegally three times has been given final approval.

    The legislation, backed by President Nicolas Sarkozy, was surprisingly voted down by the Assembly last month.

    The bill sets a tough global precedent in cracking down on internet piracy, and is being closely watched by other governments as a potential deterrent.

    The global music industry has been calling for tougher anti-piracy laws.

    The Creation and Internet bill was passed by a vote of 296 to 233 by the lower house on Tuesday and has now been given final approval by the Senate.

    Opposition Socialist and Communist senators did not take part in the vote on the bill, which was passed by 189 votes to 14.

    Industry backing

    The new legislation operates under a three-stage system. A new state agency would first send illegal file-sharers a warning e-mail, then a letter, and finally cut off their connection for a year if they were caught a third time.

    It has been backed by both the film and record industries.

    But some consumer groups have warned that the wrong people might be punished, should hackers hijack their computers' identity, and that the scheme amounted to state surveillance.

    The socialist parliamentarian Patrick Bloche said the bill was "dangerous, useless, inefficient, and very risky for us citizens".

    John Kennedy, chairman of the IFPI, which represents the global music industry, has described the bill as "an effective and proportionate way of tackling online copyright infringement and migrating users to the wide variety of legal music services in France".




  4. #1429
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    Dell Warns PC Market Hasn't Yet Hit Bottom

    Dell Inc. warned that the painful slump in demand for its personal computers has yet to reach a bottom, as the PC maker posted a 63% drop in quarterly profit amid a 23% decline in revenue.

    The results mark the third consecutive quarter of shrinking sales and profit at the company, whose turnaround efforts and new products have been unable to arrest its slide.


    Michael Dell
    .The Round Rock, Texas, company said its results were driven by weak business spending during the three months ended May 1. It's profit was also dragged down by restructuring charges.

    Brian Gladden, Dell's chief financial officer, said the company has yet to see "a bottom" to the prolonged slump in technology spending. "Demand is still not improving," he said.

    Dell's results, along with weak results from rival Hewlett-Packard Co. last week, snuffed recent hopes that tech spending might be picking up.

    Executives at tech giants Cisco Systems Inc. and Intel Corp. recently said spending on technology seemed to be leveling off. But that optimism hasn't extended to the PC market, which still accounts for about half of Dell's revenue.

    Dell reported a 20% decline in laptop revenue and a 34% drop in desktop PCs for the quarter. The division that sells to large companies posted a 31% revenue slide.

    The falloff reflects "very bad demand" among the large corporate customers that make up a sizeable chunk of Dell's business, said Jayson Noland, an analyst at R.W. Baird.

    Dell has been trying to become less reliant on corporate customers since early 2007, when founder Michael Dell returned as chief executive. Mr. Dell has since tried to expand into areas like consumer PC sales and tech services to run businesses' computer systems.

    .But the turnaround attempt has proceeded slowly. "The tough economic conditions have certainly put a crimp in the plans," said Bill Kreher, an analyst at Edward Jones.

    Overall, Dell reported earnings of $290 million, or 15 cents a share, down from $784 million, or 38 cents a share, a year ago. The latest period included restructuring expenses of $185 million. Revenue was $12.34 billion, down from $16.08 billion.

    Dell's consumer revenue of $2.8 billion was down 16% from last year despite a 12% increase in consumer PC shipments. The services division saw an 8% revenue drop from last year to $1.2 billion, even though Dell has invested in acquisitions and hiring.

    Recently, Dell has indicated it may make more acquisitions to generate new growth. The company this month tried to hire David Johnson, the vice president of corporate development at International Business Machines Corp., to be in charge of mergers and acquisitions.

    But IBM sued Dell last week over its attempt to lure Mr. Johnson, a 27-year IBM veteran, alleging that Mr. Johnson's contract prohibits him from working for a competitor for a year after leaving IBM.




  5. #1430
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    Retailer PC World drops Linux netbooks for Windows

    "UK retailer PC World will take all Linux-based netbooks off its shelves, in favour of machines running Microsoft Windows. While Linux netbooks will still be available online, PC World said that people just didn't seem to want them as much. "Despite initial hype that netbooks would move more users onto the Linux platform, Microsoft has emerged as the preferred operating system because Windows makes it easier to share content, and provides customers with a simpler, more familiar computing experience on the move," a spokesman claimed, saying most customers want an OS that they're already familiar with."

  6. #1431
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    Pirated Windows 7 on sale at China PC bazaar

    Pirated copies of Windows 7 have hit the shelves at China's electronics bazaars, months before the operating system officially goes on sale.

    A stall owner at one of the multistory PC markets in Beijing sold a copy of the program for 40 yuan (US$5.86) on Monday. It was not clear from the thin, DVD-shaped box or the contents of the disc what version of Windows 7 it purported to carry, but a 1.8GB file named Win7.gho was on the disc. A .gho file is an image of a system that can be copied onto a new hard drive, potentially letting a user bypass the activation key step for programs like Windows.

    Both legal and cracked copies of Windows 7 were already available online. A release candidate version of the operating system is publicly available, and subscribers to the Microsoft Developer Network can download the RTM (release to manufacturing) version on the network's Web site.

    A cracked version of Windows 7 has also appeared online in recent weeks. An image file containing Windows 7 Ultimate RTM and a manufacturer product key was stolen from Lenovo and placed on a Chinese hacker forum, the company said in a statement.

    A user can purportedly pair the leaked key with a certain hack to install and use the operating system, Microsoft said in an MSDN blog entry. But Microsoft said it is working with Lenovo to make sure no PCs using the pirated manufacturer key are sold, and Lenovo said the key would be disabled. Windows 7 will go on sale Oct. 22.

    Pirated software from Microsoft and other companies is widely used in homes and offices across China, and it is often sold in stores or on streets.

    The vendor at the Beijing bazaar said she said had sold pirated copies of Windows 7 for more than a month and had a dozen buyers on some days. She kept the program discs in a low cabinet that she opened only when asked specifically for the OS.

    It was not clear if the pirated Windows 7 disc carried malicious code, but its setup file promoted a Web site, www.pkghost.cn, infested with a high level of malware. Google found 31 scripting exploits, 25 Trojans and 21 other exploits on the site, according to its diagnostic page.

    Malware may have been on the disc as well. Pirated software packages sold in China often include malware used to steal personal information from users, said Vu Nguyen, a McAfee Avert Labs researcher. One common type of Trojan steals passwords for popular online games, he said. Attackers can then profit by selling virtual items in the game accounts.




  7. #1432
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    State of the Art: Blu-ray on the Mac

    It may have beaten out HD-DVD in the bloody battle to be the high definition optical drive standard, but in the roughly year and a half since the format wars ended, Blu-ray DVD has yet to gain any real traction in the desktop computer realm. Indeed, Apple has done its best to downplay the relevance of any kind of optical drive in this new world of streaming media--the MacBook Air ships without an internal optical drive, its DVD Studio Pro application has been almost totally ignored in the last two Final Cut Studio releases, and the company provides no way of playing movies released on Blu-ray on Macs running OS X.

    But while Apple hasn't exactly embraced Blu-ray, a couple of the company's applications--Final Cut Pro ( Macworld rated 4 out of 5 mice ) and Compressor ( Macworld rated 4.5 out of 5 mice ), now allow you to create Blu-ray projects and burn them to attached Blu-ray drives to watch on the Blu-ray player in your living room.

    If you're considering adding a second optical drive for DVD copying, or just want faster burn speeds than your older optical drive can deliver, you might be considering a Blu-ray capable burner. Apple has yet to offer Blu-ray as a standard or build-to-order option, but a few third party companies have been quietly testing the waters and marketing external Blu-ray burners to Mac users.

    We recently looked at a handful of these new Blu-ray burners (namely, the LaCie d2 Blu-ray Professional Drive ( Macworld rated 3.5 out of 5 mice ), the Buffalo Media Station 8X External Drive ( Macworld rated 4 out of 5 mice ), the OWC Mercury Pro 8X Blu-ray Extermal ( Macworld rated 3.5 out of 5 mice ), and the MCE 8X Blu-ray External Recordable Drive), and can offer a few tips on what to look for when shopping for a Blu-ray drive.

    Connection: From eSATA to FireWire 800 and FireWire 400 to USB 2.0, we saw a wide variety of different connections, but surprisingly, didn't find eSATA to be faster on any of the drives we tested. In fact, the USB 2.0 connection on the Buffalo MediaStation was faster than FireWire 800 or 400 on some competing drives. If you haven't already added an eSATA card to your Mac, a Blu-ray burner is not a good reason to do so.

    Software: If you want to burn discs you can watch via a Blu-ray player on your HD TV, you'll need software to go with your Blu-ray burner. Roxio offers the High-Def/Blu-ray Disc Plug-in for Toast, a $20 plug-in to its Toast Titanium application that lets you burn HD movies for playback. Windows users have access to software that allows them to watch Blu-ray movies on their PCs, but such capability has yet to make its way to Mac OS X. Some external Blu-ray burners bundle Toast Titanium with their drives.

    Advantages: Even if you don't envision using Blu-ray technology immediately, an external optical drive will often be faster than the internal drive you already have. The Blu-ray drives we looked at may also support more media types than your built-in SuperDrive--the iMac we use for burning DVDs in our office doesn't support DVD-R (dual layer), only DVD+R (dual layer), for example. Having multiple optical drives also makes duplicating optical media much more convenient. And finally, Blu-ray media comes in either 25GB single-layer capacity or 50GB dual-layer capacity, quite a bit more storage space than the 8.5GB on a standard dual-layer DVD.

    Cost: Blu-ray burners cost significantly more than standard DVD burners right now, but that cost is coming down. In fact, many of the companies cut prices between the time they shipped us their Blu-ray burning drives and the time we were through testing them.

    With its expensive hardware and media, combined with limited support from the OS, Blu-ray adoption has been slow on the Mac. However, the format's high-capacity media and HD capabilities are attracting more users, and with an increasing number of companies offering drives and applications to fill in the gaps, the rate of adoption should increase, if only modestly.




  8. #1433
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    Two Romanians to Face Phishing Charges in US

    The U.S. Department of Justice has extradited two Romanians to the U.S., where they face charges in connection with a massive phishing scam.

    The two men, Petru Belbita, 25, and Cornel Tonita, 28, are accused of setting up fake phishing sites designed to steal user names and passwords from the Web customers of Citibank, Wells Fargo, eBay and other financial institutions.

    Victims would receive e-mails or text messages that looked like they came from legitimate financial institutions, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Aveis. "You'd of course freak out and be concerned that your account was under attack," he explained. "You'd click a link and that link would take you to what you thought was a legitimate [bank] site."

    In fact it was a fake site. And once the phishers had this information, they'd send it to U.S.-based "cashiers," who would manufacture fake ATM cards with the information. They would then hand over those cards to "runners" who would go from ATM to ATM withdrawing money.

    The Romanians preferred to work with runners located in the U.S. because they had more ATMs to choose from, Aveis said.

    The phishers and the cashiers would meet in online "carder" Web sites to buy and sell stolen IDs, Aveis said.

    A third alleged co-conspirator, Ovidiu-Ionut Nicola-Roman, also of Romania, became the first foreign national convicted in the U.S. of phishing. He was sentenced to more than four years in prison in March.

    All of the charges stem from a May 2008 phishing sweep by U.S. authorities that led to charges against about 40 people, all with ties to international organized crime, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. More than half of those involved in the alleged conspiracy are still at large, most of them in Romania, the DoJ said.

    Cyber security experts say that Romania has been a top source of phishing for the better part of the past decade. In 2006 the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's Cyber Division dispatched six FBI agents to Bucharest to work with Romanian National Police. Last year the FBI conducted two phishing crackdowns, including the May 2008 action that led to Belbita's and Tonita's charges.

    The two men now face more than 30 years in prison on the charges.

    Belbita was arrested in Montreal on Jan. 24 and extradited to the U.S. on Friday. Tonita was arrested in Dubrovnik, Croatia, on July 18 and extradited on Sept. 4. Both men have pleaded not guilty to the charges.




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  10. #1435
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    Skype To Join China's Internet Graveyard Of Facebook, Flickr, YouTube & Google?

    http://inventorspot.com/articles/sky...kr_youtube_goo




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