28 Mart 2011 Pazartesi

Yahoo Plans to Open Source Code for Non-core Technologies

Yahoo plans to release some technologies, including storage technologies, to the open source community, a senior executive of the company said.

These are systems that Yahoo built to help it handle large numbers of users on its websites, but that don't necessarily give it a competitive advantage, said David Chaiken, chief architect at Yahoo, in an interview in Bangalore on Friday.
In 2009, Yahoo donated its Traffic Server scalable caching proxy to the Apache Software Foundation.
A working group on open source at Yahoo is currently evaluating technologies that could qualify to be released to open source.

27 Mart 2011 Pazar

Disco Messenger: Google's 'Secret' Group Texting App for iPhone

Google joins an growing number of companies offering group chat capabilities via text messaging on smartphones with the release of Disco Messenger. The Disco app -- only available on the iPhone -- was created by Slide, a company Google purchased last August.
Disco is a group texting service that's also available on the Web (Google bought that too). Sign up and you're assigned a new phone number, then invited to go on a SMS rampage, texting bunches of people -- anybody at all -- whether they're on the Disco service or not. Viral marketing! Let's hope Apple fixes its notification system sooner rather than later; otherwise, this kind of awkward intrusion could get real annoying, real quick.
Remember, Disco uses your iPhone's text message plan, so if you intend to Disco 'til you drop, be sure you have a supportive carrier plan. For $20 a month you can get unlimited texts with AT&T or 5000 texts with Verizon.
Joining the ranks of GroupMe, Beluga, Fast Society, Kik, and (too) many more, Disco is a simple service that puts Google in the hottest

26 Mart 2011 Cumartesi

Identity Theft Prompts Prison Time

An identity thief who used a people search website to confirm stolen Social Security numbers has been sentenced to 16 years and seven months in prison, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.
Artwork: Diego AguirreTodd Yurgin, 41, of Newark, Delaware, was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware for his role in a "massive" ID theft scheme, the DOJ said in a news release. The scheme resulted in a loss of nearly US$1 million to credit card-issuing financial institutions, the DOJ said.
Yurgin's sentence is the longest in Delaware history for fraud and ID theft, the DOJ said. Yurgin's partner in the scheme, Joseph Aughenbaugh, was sentenced to 12 years and one month in prison in November. (See also "Protect Your Privacy: Avoid Identity Theft.")

3DS Breakdown: Pricier than DSi

Grabbing a 3DS on the U.S. launch day will put around $150 directly back in Nintendo's pockets, according to one analyst.
3DS components. Photo: ifixitDavid Carey, vice president of technical intelligence for UBM TechInsights, gave Eurogamer a preliminary estimate saying the system's components cost about $101 per unit. Put in perspective, Eurogamer says that is about $15 more than the DSi.
Tom's Guide asked Nintendo to comment on the figure, but got a less than satisfying answer: "Total rumor and speculation. No comment."
Forking over two and a half Benjamins for a portable console is a tough pill to swallow, but not unheard of.
The PSP cost $249 when it launched in the U.S. in 2005, although the bundle included a memory stick, headphones, a case, and a UMD version of the Spider-Man 2 movie.

OMG! LOL: Internet Slang Added to Oxford English Dictionary

Time-saving online abbreviations like LOL, OMG, and IMHO are now part of the official English language. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED)announced the addition of several acronyms to its dictionary, adding some interesting trivia behind the origins of these Internet-associated expressions.
OED explained that although "initialisms" like OMG (Oh My God), LOL (Laughing Out Loud) and IMHO (In My Humble/Honest Opinion) are strongly associated with the language of electronic communications, their origins are surprisingly predating the Internet era.

Kodak Wins Important $1 Billion Victory Against Apple, RIM

A picture may be worth a 1000 words, but for Eastman Kodak the preview of a picture might be worth $1 billion in a patent battle against Apple and Research in Motion. The U.S. International Trade Commission on Friday agreed to review a claim that Apple and RIM devices infringe on a Kodak patent for image previewing.
In January an ITC judge sided with Apple and RIM, but Kodak is hoping the ITC will reconsider the individual judge's decision and potentially put royalty negotiations worth $1 billion back on the table.

Almost Here: The Nintendo 3DS Arrives Sunday March 27

The Nintendo 3DS is nearly here, a two-screen flip-top handheld that lets you play games in true 3D without bulky glasses or other odd-fitting headgear. Nintendo's handheld already went on sale February 26 in Japan, then on Friday March 25 in Europe, and it finally celebrates its U.S. launch this Sunday, March 27.
[ Our Nintendo 3DS Review ]
The midnight launch parties at stores nationwide should start rocking tonight at 12:00am Eastern time, followed by stores swinging their doors wide tomorrow during customary hours. Nintendo has a thing for Sunday launches, and while that's always felt a little anticlimactic to me (the day before most of us return to the grind) anyone who manages to snag a 3DS in the wee hours Sunday morning would probably attest to the upsides of having the Sunday sleep-in cushion.

AT&T's T-Mobile Buyout: Customers Speak

AT&T may be excited about its pending acquisition of T-Mobile USA, but T-Mobile users are wary of losing their beloved carrier and their cheaply priced plans. Some are threatening to run away from AT&T once their contract is up, while others are wondering if they can cancel their service without getting slapped with an early termination fee (ETF). Others are just sad to see T-Mobile go the way of the dodo.
It's still too early to know for sure if AT&T will get to buy T-Mobile since the deal still has to get regulatory approval from the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission. This process is expected to take at least 12 months. But the long goodbye hasn't stopped T-Mobile's dedicated users from fearing the worst and bidding farewell to the smallest national carrier in the U.S.

25 Mart 2011 Cuma

Toshiba Portege R830: An Affordable Alternative to MacBook Air

Toshiba's lightest ultraportable laptop, the Portege R830, is now available for pre-order from Toshiba with prices starting at a reasonable $890. The much anticipated Portege R830 offers a more affordable alternative to the ultra-thin MacBook Air and Samsung Series 9 laptops.
The Portege R830 has a similar form factor as the MacBook Air and Samsung Series 9, with a 13.3" display and a weight of a little over 3 pounds. While it lacks the head-turning design styling of those two ultraportables, the Portege R830 costs about $700 less.

Firefox 4 Review Round-Up: The Critics Weigh In

Firefox 4 is finally here, and its reviews are rolling in. Mozilla's new browser is its slickest yet, and adds new features like Tab Groups and Do Not Track. But with the recent launches of Internet Explorer 9 and Chrome 10, do critics think the latest version of Firefox can handle the competition? Let's check out highlights of the reviews.
Firefox 4 is loaded with features to help you manage tabs, the most impressive of which, according to Ars Technica's Ryan Paul, is "Tab Groups." This feature lets you group frequently used pages together by category, and then call them up at will. While most critics praised the feature, Paul found it impractical for everyday use. He writes:

Tech-Savvy Student Tracks Down MacBook Air Thief

Tech-Savvy Student Tracks Down MacBook Air ThiefWhat would you do if you were a college freshman and your MacBook Airwas stolen? Aside from calling your parents and crying, of course.
Eighteen-year-old "technology entrepreneur" and Bentley College student Mark Bao had his MacBook Air stolen in February. Unlike other bright-eyed college freshmen, Bao didn't write his laptop off as gone forever (ok, maybe he did--he went out and purchased another laptop the very same night it was stolen), he set out to find the thief.
Using online backup software BackBlaze that he'd installed on his laptop, Bao was able to see the machine's browser history and track any hard

Google Seals Honeycomb from Developers: A Good Call

Though Google has several good reasons to play keep-away with Android 3.0, the move to restrict developers from Honeycomb's source code is seen by some as a contradiction of its open source philosophy.
Usually Google develops a new version of Android in-house, with no access for outside developers. Then, after its announcement, it becomes available as a software update, until finally developers get access to the product's source code.

Nook Color to Get Apps, Flash Support

Barnes & Noble's Nook Color e-reader will receive a software update in April, transforming it into a cheap Android tablet. The Home Shopping Network (HSN) spilled the beans on the Nook software update via a product listing on its site.
The Wi-Fi Nook Color cost $249 from Barnes & Noble, has a 7-inch color touchscreen and runs on Google's Android mobile operating system. But the device is far from being a full-fledged Android tablets due to the lack of e-mail access, apps, a Web browser, and other standard tablet features (unless you hack the Nook Color).
According to HSN's listing, the software update for the Nook Color will bring the e-reader closer to a full-featured Android tablet thanks to a software update. The patch is set to bring a Web browser (with Adobe Flash support) and an e-mail client. The Nook Color already features a music player and can play videos in MP4 format.
Similarly to Amazon's move into the app store market (for smartphones, so far), Barnes & Noble is also expected to introduce its own store for the Nook Color via this software update. Around eight apps will be available at launch "and more will become available after the April update."

Facebook Questions: Hands On

Facebook recently launched a new question-and-answer feature that helps supply answers to important questions such as "Where's the best burger in New York City?" or "Which smartphone do you use?" The new feature lets you ask questions of your friends, set up a poll with a limited number of responses, and follow interesting questions asked by others. Questions is now rolling out to all users, but if you want to get started right away you can activate Facebook Questions here. Facebook's new question service has been in limited beta testing since July.
Facebook Question (click to enlarge)Once it's activated, the new tool shows up at the top of your News Feed as a share option along with status updates, links, photos, and video. There is also an option in the left navigation column so you can see your friends' activity along with results from questions you have asked and answered.

Straight Question or Poll?

If you want to ask a question, just click on "Question" at the top of your News Feed and ask away.
Facebook Poll (click to enlarge)Let's say you wanted to ask your friends "Which sandwich chain do you prefer?" Just type in the question and then you have the option to set specific answers such as Jimmy John's, Subway, Pita Pit, and so on. You can also decide whether you want to let people add more possible answers or restrict them to a specific set of responses.
When you set your poll responses, Facebook searches for fan pages related to the answers you are supplying. Typing in Subway, for example, connects that answer to Subway's fan page. It's not clear if fan pages will have access to the data generated from answers supplied by Facebook users. Once you're satisfied with your question, just hit the "Ask Question" button and your query will show up in your friends' News Feeds.
Any time someone responds to your questions, you will get a Facebook notification letting you know.

Not Private

The first time you ask a question using Facebook's new feature, a warning shows up letting you know that Facebook Questions are not private. Questions are visible to your friends, who can also share them with their friends, and so on. In other words, anyone on Facebook could potentially see and respond to questions asked by you. In my tests, my questions did not appear on my publicly available Facebook profile; however, your experience may differ depending on your privacy settings.
Facebook Privacy (click to enlarge)To see how much of your profile is visible to people who are not your friends, Click on "Account" in the upper right corner and select "Privacy Settings." On the next page, click on "View Settings" underneath the heading "Connecting on Facebook." At the top of the next page, you should see a button that says "Preview My Profile." This will let you see how your profile looks to people on Facebook who aren't your friends.
Just keep in mind that even though Questions may not show up on your publicly available profile, the feature is never private.

Answering Questions

When you see a question in your News Feed that you want to answer, clicking on the question will cause a window to pop up. You can then choose to select a specific answer or simply write a response as if you were responding to a status update.
Answers (click to enlarge)By default, the response window will also show you how your friends answered the question. But you can also see how everyone else on Facebook answered the question by clicking on the "Others" link at the bottom of the window. To see responses to poll questions, click on the small window with three dots next to each answer. This will show you the answers of people who aren't your Facebook friends.
Again, Facebook Questions is not a private feature, so all actions you take using this service can be seen by others. Do not use Facebook Questions if don't want the world to see your responses.

Follow a Question, Ask Your Friends

If you want to follow a particularly interesting question you can click on the "Follow" link underneath the question. Whenever someone else answers the question you will be alerted.
Questions (click to enlarge)You do not have to answer a question to follow it. You can also ask specific friends a question created by you or by others by clicking on the "Ask Friends" link underneath each question.

Be Specific

My question (click to enlarge)To get the most out of Facebook Questions, it's best to be specific in your questions and not ask something generic such as "Am I A Jerk?" As you can see in the included image, generic questions can get passed around very quickly among people who don't even know you. Then again, asking random things of the whole world could end up being half the fun of Facebook Questions.
If you can't get enough of asking and answering questions you should also check out a popular service among early adopters called Quora.

RIM's Android Play: 5 Questions

It's the day after the big news that Research in Motion will, albeit indirectly,support Android 2.3 apps on its BlackBerry PlayBook -- and questions swirl over what this means for users, for RIM, for developers, and for the BlackBerry PlayBook itself.
Here's our take on what it all means, and how this news may impact the tablet landscape.

RIM PlayBook tablet coming April 19 for $499

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Research in Motion's PlayBook tablet will go on sale on April 19, starting at $499 -- the same price as its main rival, the Apple iPad.
RIM announced early Tuesday that the Blackberry PlayBook will be sold through several retailers, including AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. Best Buy said separately that it will start accepting pre-orders Tuesday.

Video game makers win sales battle

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The video game industry came out swinging ... and won.
Video game publishers have been highly critical about how their sales are being tracked, saying it's unfair to discount digital sales -- an area that's been growing by leaps and bounds.

But late last week, retail sales tracker NPD Group said it would soon start monitoring monthly sales of video games sold through digital-only outlets.

The upstart company that made the AT&T-mobile merger possible

The AT&T/T-Mobile mega-merger was supposed to be too big for regulators to ever accept. Then came the wild success of industry upstart MetroPCS.

MetroPCS logo
Among the many people who mistakenly dismissed the idea of AT&T (T) buying out T-Mobile as a never-gonna-happen, count T-Mobile's very own top executives. How else to explain their snarky ad campaign that razzed AT&T for running an old, slow and unreliable network?

Where is Amazon's "Appstore"? - updated

It opened Tuesday, despite the trademark infringement suit Apple filed on Friday

[UPDATE: Sometime after 7:00 a.m. EST, the Amazon Appstore went live. Looks like Apple will have to go back to court and start specifying those unspecified damages it was seeking.]
Okay. It's Tuesday morning, and according to the New York Times, Amazon is supposed to enter the mobile app business today with a splash -- giving away a free copy of Angry Birds Rio for Google (GOOG) Android phones.