Archive for May, 2010

Mobile Game Trojan Calls the South Pole

May 31st, 2010 05:42 admin View Comments

UgLyPuNk writes with an excerpt from “Freeware games can actually cost you more money than their pay-to-play cousins, as mobile gamers in the UK have learned. A ‘booby-trapped’ version of a popular Windows Mobile game has been sneakily spending their money while they sleep – by dialing phone numbers in the Antarctic behind their backs.”

Source: Mobile Game Trojan Calls the South Pole

“Canadian DMCA” Rising From the Dead

May 31st, 2010 05:25 admin View Comments

mandelbr0t writes “The Canadian Conservative government is preparing to reintroduce amended copyright legislation on Thursday (we discussed the rumor some weeks ago). Most sources say that the proposed legislation is very similar to Bill C-61, generally dubbed the ‘Canadian DMCA.’ It still includes definitions of ‘technological protections’ and criminalizes ‘circumvention’ of those protections. Bill C-61 died in the summer of 2008, facing massive opposition from the Canadian public. Once again, it’s time for Canadians to get politically active; ORC ran a large campaign with the last attempt, and will likely be updated soon with the new proposed legislation.” Read below for more of the submitter’s thoughts on the coming battle.

As with Bill C-61, the Conservative government has launched a campaign of misinformation to attempt to force the law down our throat. Industry Minister Tony Clement is trying to convince people that “format shifting” is currently illegal. Of course, it is not actually criminal, and enforcement of private infringement, as always, is prevented by the fact that massive invasion of privacy would have to occur. Second, Mr. Clement is claiming that this law is necessary to bring Canada into line with the WIPO Treaty. The above readings discredit WIPO altogether. Furthermore, the two articles that are being referred to are Articles 11 and 12. Note the use of the phrase “effective technological measure” and the absence of any criminality requirement. This legislation is not necessary to provide amended copyright law that is consistent with the WIPO treaty, and will hopefully die an uneventful death, to be buried for eternity.

Source: “Canadian DMCA” Rising From the Dead

Google Reportedly Ditching Windows

May 31st, 2010 05:09 admin View Comments

Reader awyeah notes a Financial Times report that Google is ditching the use of Windows internally. Some blogs have picked up the FT piece but so far there isn’t any other independent reporting of the claim, which is based on comments from anonymous Googlers. One indication of possibly hasty reporting is the note that Google “employs more than 10,000 workers internationally,” whereas it’s easy enough to find official word that the total exceeds 20,000. “The directive to move to other operating systems began in earnest in January, after Google’s Chinese operations were hacked, and could effectively end the use of Windows at Google… ‘We’re not doing any more Windows. It is a security effort,’ said one Google employee. … New hires are now given the option of using Apple’s Mac computers or PCs running the Linux operating system. ‘Linux is open source and we feel good about it,’ said one employee. ‘Microsoft we don’t feel so good about.’ … Employees wanting to stay on Windows required clearance from ‘quite senior levels,’ one employee said. ‘Getting a new Windows machine now requires CIO approval,’ said another employee.”

Source: Google Reportedly Ditching Windows

Study Claims Cellphones Implicated In Bee Loss

May 31st, 2010 05:56 admin View Comments

krou passes along word from that researchers from Chandigarh’s Punjab University claim that they have proven mobile phones could explain Colony Collapse Disorder. “They set up a controlled experiment in Punjab earlier this year comparing the behavior and productivity of bees in two hives — one fitted with two mobile telephones which were powered on for two 15-minute sessions per day for three months. The other had dummy models installed. After three months the researchers recorded a dramatic decline in the size of the hive fitted with the mobile phone, a significant reduction in the number of eggs laid by the queen bee. The bees also stopped producing honey. The queen bee in the ‘mobile’ hive produced fewer than half of those created by her counterpart in the normal hive. They also found a dramatic decline in the number of worker bees returning to the hive after collecting pollen.” We’ve talked about the honeybee problem before. Today’s article quotes a British bee specialist who dismisses talk of cellphone radiation having anything to do with the problem.

Source: Study Claims Cellphones Implicated In Bee Loss

Verizon iPhone Might Be Available During Holiday Shopping Season

May 31st, 2010 05:52 admin View Comments

CDMA iPhone on Verizon in November

A recent research note from Rodman Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar has revealed that the hugely anticipated Verizon iPhone may launch during this year's holiday shopping season.

Kumar reports that according to his sources in Asia, Pegatron Technology is working with Apple in the mass-production of the handsets that are scheduled for a November launch.

This is the latest in a series of rumors that we have been tracking with respect to the purported launch of a Verizon iPhone later this year. Earlier this month, DigiTimes reported that Apple had contracted Pegatron Technology, an operating division of Asustek, to manufacture CDMA iPhones. The report also stated that mass-production was expected to commence in September and that the annual shipment of CDMA iPhones was likely to be around 10 million units.

However, in a recent revelation, DigiTimes senior analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo noted that Pegatron was still in early stages of production, which would mean that a full release was not likely before the end of this year. 

A November release however makes a lot of sense. Verizon has traditionally timed its high profile launches for the holiday shopping season. Following the successful launch of Motorola Droid during the holiday season last year, the carrier will be looking forward to repeat its success with the iPhone this year. An early 2011 release will quite clearly rob Verizon of lucrative revenues from the holiday shopping season.

However, an announcement regarding the launch of the fourth generation iPhone on Verizon's network is unlikely during next week's Worldwide Developers Conference. Ashok Kumar warns that a decision on the Verizon iPhone ultimately rests with Steve Jobs and hence we may have to take the speculations with caution at the moment.

It needs to be noted that a November launch of a Verizon iPhone doesn't mean that users have to stay until then to migrate to another carrier. Apple could still announce an end to AT&T's iPhone exclusivity at the WWDC next week and launch iPhone 4G also on Sprint's 4G network

In our opinion, if Apple releases a Verizon iPhone in November, it would work over Verizon's 4G LTE network rather than CDMA as Apple had long labeled it as a "dead" technology.

[via The Street]

Source: Verizon iPhone Might Be Available During Holiday Shopping Season

The Life of a South Korean Pro Gamer

May 31st, 2010 05:47 admin View Comments

chajath writes with this excerpt from a South Korean newspaper about the lives of professional StarCraft players:
“Prospective gamers take tests based on the skills they have picked up in PC rooms, and passing scores allow them entry into ‘clans,’ or guilds. Those who aspire to become pro gamers pay move-in fees and go to live at group dormitories, where they practice playing games all day long. Following a ‘courage match’ for semi-pro certification, the hopefuls must take a test to become apprentices in a pro-gaming group. … ‘The standard in pro gaming groups is for people to live together 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with no traveling to or from work, and for those ranked Group 2 or lower, their entire daily routine consists of eating, cleaning, laundry, and games,’ said Kim Jeong-geun. ‘Because of this structure of bringing in young people, developing them, and then replacing them when their lifespan is spent and they have been squeezed dry, it has earned the name of “the chicken coop.”‘”

Source: The Life of a South Korean Pro Gamer

Chameleon-Like Behavior of Neutrino Confirmed

May 31st, 2010 05:46 admin View Comments

Anonymous Apcoheur writes “Scientists from CERN and INFN of the OPERA Collaboration have announced the first direct observation of a muon neutrino turning into a tau neutrino. ‘The OPERA result follows seven years of preparation and over three years of beam provided by CERN. During that time, billions of billions of muon-neutrinos have been sent from CERN to Gran Sasso, taking just 2.4 milliseconds to make the trip. The rarity of neutrino oscillation, coupled with the fact that neutrinos interact very weakly with matter, makes this kind of experiment extremely subtle to conduct. … While closing a chapter on understanding the nature of neutrinos, the observation of neutrino oscillations is strong evidence for new physics. The Standard Model of fundamental particles posits no mass for the neutrino. For them to be able to oscillate, however, they must have mass.’”

Source: Chameleon-Like Behavior of Neutrino Confirmed

Publishers Campaign For Universal E-Book Format

May 31st, 2010 05:59 admin View Comments

As the battle rages for control of the e-book market, publishers are starting to unite behind a common desire: a universal e-book format. David Shanks, chief executive at Penguin Group USA, said, “Our fondest wish is that all the devices become agnostic so that there isn’t proprietary formats and you can read wherever you want to read. First we have to get a standard that everybody embraces.” The company’s president, Susan Petersen Kennedy, explained that book publishers did not want to “make the same mistakes as the music industry, which had an epic struggle over electronic distribution and piracy and lost huge market share.”

Source: Publishers Campaign For Universal E-Book Format

Netflix iPad App Hacked To Work On The iPhone Briefly

May 31st, 2010 05:18 admin View Comments

Netflix app for iPhone

Soon after the iPad was available in the US last month, Netflix announced the launch of an iPad-specific application on the App Store.

This had come as a surprise to us since Netflix CEO Reed Hastings had noted late last year that his company was completely focused on the gaming console market and that an application for the iPhone OS was not coming anytime soon.

Though the Netflix app is now available on the App Store, the movie streaming service has left scores of iPhone users disappointed since the application does not stream movies over the iPhone. Steve Swasey, VP of Corporate Communications at Netflix had written last month:

"For those of you asking whether Netflix will be on the iPhone and iPod Touch: We wouldn't invite you to dinner without planning to serve dessert. In other words, we're working on it so stay tuned."

Despite promises that a Netflix iPhone app shall be launching soon, there is still no news about a release date. Frustrated over the long wait, folks at ModMyi have reported that a developer going by the name 'Knisitruck' had succeeded in hacking the Netflix's iPad application to make it work on the iPhone. This was achieved by copying the iPad Netflix app and iPad mediaplayer framework to the iPhone and then making a change on a few plists. ModMyi however makes an interesting revelation that the Netflix iPad app is actually bundled with the native iPhone application which makes the hack possible in the first place.

Netflix app for iPhone

Netflix app for iPhone

Strangely though, the hack has been remotely disabled within a few hours of it going live. It is not clear whether Netflix or Apple is responsible for disabling the functionality. The incident has nevertheless triggered speculations that the launch of an iPhone compatible Netflix application has been put on hold deliberately and is not "under development" as Netflix had earlier noted.

We are unsure if the move follows reservations from AT&T over allowing movie streaming apps on its congested 3G network. Knisitruck, the developer who has hacked the Netflix app, however disagrees. He points out that the Netflix app can drain as much as 25% of iPhone's battery inside 15 minutes of movie streaming. He speculates that the high battery usage of Netflix's app on iPhone could be a reason why the application has not been made iPhone-compatible so far. 

Nevertheless, we eagerly await the launch of an official Netflix iPhone app. We will update you on the same as and when that happens. 

[via ModMyi]

Source: Netflix iPad App Hacked To Work On The iPhone Briefly

Foxconn Workers Getting Raise With Apple Subsidies

May 31st, 2010 05:08 admin View Comments

hackingbear writes “Workers at Taiwanese electronic outsourcing manufacturer Foxconn are getting a pay raise after a series of 13 suicides, including three in three consecutive days. According to an article by state-run newspaper China Daily, Apple concluded that the main cause of the suicides is low wages. (The media has also attributed the suicides to a variety of other factors — everything from the semi-military style of management, to long overtime, to China’s one-child policy, and Foxconn paying too much compensation to the family of suicide workers, thereby encouraging copycat suicides.) Apple plans to subsidize raises using its own products (Google translation; Chinese original here) — the first one being the iPad. This would raise the outsourcing cost from 2.3% to 3% of the iPad’s sales price. The article does not say the amount of the raise per worker, but it is rumored to be about 20%, according to other Chinese news sources.”

Source: Foxconn Workers Getting Raise With Apple Subsidies