Archive for August, 2011

Apple Job Posting Points To New Location Centric Features Coming To iOS

August 31st, 2011 08:30 admin View Comments

iOS Maps

A new job posting on Apple’s site for the position of “iOS QA Location Engineer” further strengthens claims that Apple is working on greatly improving and expanding location based features on iOS devices.

Presently the in-built location based experience on iOS devices largely revolves around the bundled Maps app, which in turn heavily relies on Google’s data.

Apple naturally senses an opportunity, rather a void, here which is why it has been actively hiring people into its location team. The new job posting reads:

The iOS Quality team is looking for a Location QA Engineer who’s engineering and technical skill is only matched by their problem solving and communication abilities. You will join a dynamic team responsible for qualifying the latest iOS products, working on exciting new features for iOS location services. The successful candidate will complete both documented and adhoc testing to ensure high quality releases.

The job posting says that candidates should be familiar with GPS and navigation algorithms, suggesting that Apple’s crowd-sourced real-time traffic database would be put to use in the form of a turn-by-turn navigation solution. The job is based in Cupertino, California where Apple’s headquarters are located. The posting also includes a line at the top which says:

“Join the iPhone Quality team in its effort to provide the best location experience for our customers! “

We do hope some of these improvements feature in iOS 5, but the chances of that happening are very slim. Apple’s acquisitions of mapping companies Poly9 and Placebase happened over a year ago and the company has yet to break free of its reliance on Google’s data for the Maps app. There might be changes happening at the back end, but largely Apple is using Google’s imagery for Maps even now.

iOS 5 does include location based reminders, which apart from Find My iPhone, is the only location based feature residing on the iPhone outside the Maps app. There have been a number of patent filings and job listings which hint at feature additions like Augmented Reality and location based communication in the future, but are yet to see the light of day.

Apart from turn-by-turn navigation what other location based features do you want to see in iOS?

[Apple Jobs via AppleInsider]

Source: Apple Job Posting Points To New Location Centric Features Coming To iOS

Juno Looks Back, Photographs Earth-Moon System

August 31st, 2011 08:39 admin View Comments


astroengine writes “Looking back as it zooms through interplanetary space, less than a month into its 445-million mile, five-year journey to the gas giant Jupiter, NASA’s spacecraft Juno captured a portrait of the Earth and moon. Juno was 6 million miles away at the time. ‘This is a remarkable sight people get to see all too rarely,’ said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. ‘This view of our planet shows how Earth looks from the outside, illustrating a special perspective of our role and place in the universe. We see a humbling yet beautiful view of ourselves.’”

Source: Juno Looks Back, Photographs Earth-Moon System

The Crypto Project Revives Cypherpunk Ethic

August 30th, 2011 08:23 admin View Comments


Trailrunner7 writes “When a small group of activists announced the debut of The Crypto Project earlier this year, for many, ahem, mature, security and privacy advocates it brought to mind memories of the original cypherpunk movement that began in the 1990s and that group’s seminal efforts to encourage the use of strong cryptography and anonymity online, as well as its successes and failures. The two groups are not allied by anything other than ideology, but The Crypto Project’s leaders are aiming to follow in the footsteps of the cypherpunks, build on their accomplishments and make security and privacy tools freely available to the masses. The group is working on a number of projects right now, including setting up an anonymous remailer, putting up a Convergence notary and setting up a Tahoe-LAFS grid. Threatpost has an interview with Sir Valiance, one of the leaders of the project, who talks about the need for better privacy and anonymity online and why the cypherpunks are still important today.”

Source: The Crypto Project Revives Cypherpunk Ethic

Alloy Could Produce Hydrogen Fuel Using Sunlight

August 30th, 2011 08:21 admin View Comments


intellitech writes “Using state-of-the-art theoretical computations, a University of Kentucky-University of Louisville team demonstrated that an alloy formed by a 2 percent substitution of antimony (Sb) in gallium nitride (GaN) has the right electrical properties to enable solar light energy to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen, a process known as photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting. When the alloy is immersed in water and exposed to sunlight, the chemical bond between the hydrogen and oxygen molecules in water is broken (abstract). Because pure hydrogen gas is not found in free abundance on Earth, it must be manufactured by unlocking it from other compounds. Thus, hydrogen is not considered an energy source, but rather an ‘energy carrier.’ Currently, it takes a large amount of electricity to generate hydrogen by water splitting. As a consequence, most of the hydrogen manufactured today is derived from non-renewable sources such as coal and natural gas. The team says the GaN-Sb alloy has the potential to convert solar energy into an economical, carbon-free source for hydrogen.”

Source: Alloy Could Produce Hydrogen Fuel Using Sunlight

Akamai Employee Tried To Sell Secrets To Israel

August 30th, 2011 08:13 admin View Comments


CWmike writes “A 43-year-old former Akamai employee has pleaded guilty to espionage charges after offering to hand over confidential information about the Web acceleration company to an agent posing as an Israeli consular official in Boston. Starting in September 2007, Elliot Doxer played an elaborate 18-month-long game of cloak-and-dagger with James Cromer, a man he thought was an Israeli intelligence officer. He handed over pages and pages of confidential data to Cromer, providing a list of Akamai’s clients and contracts, information about the company’s security practices, and even a list of 1,300 Akamai employees, including mobile numbers, departments and e-mail addresses. Doxer delivered the information to a dead drop box 62 times. His motivation: To help Israel and to get information on his son and estranged wife, who lived outside the U.S., prosecutors said in court filings. Doxer faces 15 years in prison on the charges.”

Source: Akamai Employee Tried To Sell Secrets To Israel

James Gosling Leaves Google

August 30th, 2011 08:12 admin View Comments


scottbomb writes “Well, that didn’t take long: ‘After only a few months at Google, Java founder James Gosling has left the search engine giant to go to a small startup company specializing in ocean-based robotics.’ In a brief blog post about his new company, Gosling says, ‘They have a growing fleet of autonomous vehicles that roves the ocean collecting data from a variety of onboard sensors and uploading it to the cloud. The robots have a pile of satellite uplink/GSM/WiMax communication gear and redundant GPS units. They have a bunch of deployments. For example, one is a set of robots patrolling the ocean around the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico monitoring water chemistry. These craft harvest energy from the waves for propulsion and can stay at sea for a very long time. The longest that one craft has been out is 2.5(ish) years. They can cross oceans…. Slowly. They only move at 1-2 knots, which is a great speed for data collection.’”

Source: James Gosling Leaves Google

Making Fuel With Newspapers and Bacteria

August 30th, 2011 08:29 admin View Comments


Debuting on the front page, Lifyre writes “Scientists at Tulane have found a natural bacteria (dubbed TU-103) that produces butanol. While butanol-producing bacteria aren’t new, there are a few important points about this particular bacterium. It is the first natural bacteria that converts cellulose directly to butanol without the cellulose needing to be processed into sugar first, and it can do this in the presence of oxygen, which kills other butanol-producing bacteria. The simplification of the process could significantly decrease the production costs of butanol. This bacteria could allow virtually any plant product, such as newspaper or grass clippings, to be used to produce fuel for conventional vehicles.”

Source: Making Fuel With Newspapers and Bacteria

Pakistan Bans Encryption

August 30th, 2011 08:44 admin View Comments


An anonymous reader writes “After some rumors of this last month, Pakistan has now officially told all of the country’s ISPs that they need to block all encrypted VPNs since content running over such services cannot be monitored by the government.”

Source: Pakistan Bans Encryption

Novell Wins Against SCO Again

August 30th, 2011 08:03 admin View Comments


duh P3rf3ss3r writes “The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has just affirmed the District Court ruling in SCO v Novell (PDF) in its entirety. The decision is quite a good read and lays out the reasons why the court has rejected, in toto, SCO’s attempt to re-argue the case before the Court of Appeals. Is this the last gasp for SCO or will they try to appeal this to the Supreme Court? The betting lines open at 11…” Realistically this is the end of the line for the case.

Source: Novell Wins Against SCO Again

A Look Back At the Career of Steve Jobs

August 30th, 2011 08:20 admin View Comments


Zothecula writes with a rather extensive piece in Gizmag about Steve Jobs’s various business endeavors. From the article: “Revered by many, hated by some, but respected by most, the indisputable fact remains that Steve Jobs is the most successful business leader of his generation and quite possibly of all time. The numbers are impressive in themselves but the most remarkable aspect of his success is how it was achieved. Though he remains at Apple, the end of his tenure as CEO is the end of an era and an opportunity to try and grasp just exactly what it is he did and what lessons there are for all of us ‘trying to make a dent in the universe.’”

Source: A Look Back At the Career of Steve Jobs