Saturday, March 31, 2012

China punishes social media, websites on coup talk

BEIJING (AP) â€" China is closing a dozen websites, penalizing two popular social media sites and detaining six people for circulating rumors of a coup that rattled Beijing in the midst of its worst high-level political crisis in years.

The extensive clampdown, announced late Friday by state media, underscores the authoritarian government anxieties over a public that is wired to the Internet and eager to discuss political events despite censorship and threats of punishment.

A Xinhua News Agency report said Beijing police questioned and admonished an unspecified number of Internet users and detained six people not further identified. Aside from the 16 websites shut down, two Twitter-like services run by Sina Corporation and Tencent Holdings, which each have more than 300 million users, said they would disable their comment functions for three days in a necessary "concerted cleanup."

Users of the services â€" the most unfettered media in China â€" received a notice when they tried to post comments explaining the suspension was due to the many "rumors and such illegal, harmful information." Original postings are still allowed, and some used them to castigate the government.

"Every time you murder free speech, we all take note of your reaction. Your gradual loss of public credibility is the result of such messes," Wang Gongquan, a private equity executive, wrote on his Sina microblog account, which has 1.3 million followers.

Both the coup rumors and the crackdown show how the firing two weeks ago of Bo Xilai, the populist leader of the mega-city of Chongqing, has brought leadership struggles out of the usually closed confines of elite Communist Party politics and into the public.

Yet to be fully explained, Bo dismissal came after a top aide fled temporarily to a U.S. consulate, apparently to seek asylum and in violation of party rules. It also came as the senior leadership gears up for a handover of power to a younger generation leaders in the fall, always an a period of intense bargaining.

Politically minded Chinese saw the removal of Bo, considered a contender for a top job only months ago, as a sign of divisive infighting. Speculation about Bo fate and that of others ricocheted across microblogs and spiraled into talk of troop movements and gunshots around the leadership Zhongnanhai compound in central Beijing on March 19.

The Internet sites and people punished fabricated and disseminated rumors that "military vehicles are entering Beijing, something is going wrong in Beijing" and similar posts, Xinhua said, citing the State Internet Information Office, an interagency body charged with policing the Internet.

Over the past week, President Hu Jintao and other senior leaders have tried to project an image of unity and reassert control over the public message. Censors have furiously blocked and unblocked a range of terms to quell errant microblog chatter; "coup" remained a banned search term Saturday.

"Internet rumors and lies packaged as 'facts' will turn conjecture into 'reality,' stir up trouble online and disturb people minds," the party flagship newspaper People Daily said in a commentary accompanying the announcement of the clampdown. "If allowed to run amok, they will seriously disrupt social order, affect social stability and harm social integrity."

The Twitter-like microblogs, with their huge user numbers and rapid-fire postings, have proved a challenge for Beijing and its Internet monitors. Social media played a role in forcing the government to disclose more information after a crash on the showcase high-speed rail network last summer and to provide more information on the thick air pollution in Beijing and other cities.

A new rule requiring social media users to register accounts under their real names and identity card numbers by the middle of March failed to deter the rumors over Bo or a coup.

Following the detentions, shutdowns and other penalties, Pan Shiyi, a celebrity real estate developer and prolific microblog poster with 9 million followers, questioned Saturday whether the tactics were "the right medicine" to deal with rumors. Pan had not directly posted about a coup but had noted the heavy-handed censorship. To dispel rumors about himself, he said: "I'm not among the six."

Google car drives legally blind man around town

I challenge you to watch the below video and not sigh out loud.

It features Steve Mahan, a man who has lost 95% of this vision sitting in Google’s self-driving car. With zero interaction from Mahan, the car rolls through suburbs, cruises onto the highway, stops by a drive-thru and takes Mahan on his errands.

The video is one of the few public communications that Google has made about its self-driving car project, since announcing it back in 2010. We’ve seen a few videos peppered on the Internet, but this is the first time we’ve actually seen how a car like this can simply blend in with everyday life.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Apple pledge could lead to China wage hikes

BEIJING (AP) â€" A pledge by the manufacturer of Apple iPhones and iPads to limit work hours at its factories in China could force other global corporations to hike pay for Chinese workers who produce the world consumer electronics, toys and other goods.

Foxconn Technology promise comes as Beijing is pushing foreign companies to share more of their revenues with Chinese employees. It follows a report by a labor auditor hired by Apple Inc. that found Foxconn was regularly violating legal limits on overtime, with factory employees working more than 60 hours per week.

"I think whatever Foxconn did will have an impact, certainly, on all Chinese workers in all trades," said Willy Lin, managing director of Hong Kong-based Milo Knitwear, which makes clothing in three factories in China for European clients.

Foxconn, owned by Taiwan Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., promised to limit hours while keeping total pay the same, effectively paying more per hour. Foxconn is one of China biggest employers, with 1.2 million workers who also assemble products for Microsoft Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co.

Japan Toshiba Group, which employs 32,000 workers in China to make goods such as refrigerators and TVs, said it too is taking measures to reduce overtime work and create safe working conditions at its factories.

China has long been a low-cost manufacturing center for goods sold under foreign brand names. But wages already were rising quickly as companies compete for workers and communist leaders try to push the country up the technology ladder to make more profitable products.

After a lull following the 2008 global crisis when Beijing froze the minimum wage to help exporters compete, Chinese workers have received big pay hikes over the past two years, though salaries still are low by Western standards.

Foxconn responded to a spate of suicides by employees at one of its mainland factory campuses in 2010 by more than doubling its basic monthly salary to 1,800 yuan ($290). The same year, Toyota Motor Corp. and other Japanese automakers granted pay hikes following a wave of strikes that had tacit government support.

Communist leaders have promised to double the country minimum wage from 2010 levels by 2015.

The minimum wage in Shanghai, one of the world most expensive cities, is about 1,200 yuan ($200) a month after an increase of more than 10 percent last year. The northern city of Tianjin raised its minimum wage to 1,070 yuan ($175).

Beijing has tightened enforcement of wage and hour rules "because there has been a general lack of compliance â€" greater than in other countries," said K. Lesli Ligorner, head of the China employment group for law firm Simmons & Simmons.

"China is trying to make sure that at least at the lowest level of unskilled workers there are greater protections in place for them," she said.

Export-driven manufacturers along China booming east coast also have to pay more to get and keep workers as rising living standards in the countryside mean fewer people migrate to cities for factory jobs.

U.S. and European clients might push Chinese suppliers to pay more so they look better in front of consumers, Ligorner said.

Higher wages at Foxconn "will have a ripple effect," she said.

Pay and working and environmental conditions are a sensitive issue for U.S. and European companies, some of which have been criticized by activist groups. Companies such as Nike Inc. and The Walt Disney Co. set specific standards in contracts with producers of toys, athletic shoes and other goods sold under their brands and send auditors to enforce them.

"We mind our corporate social responsibility and demand that our contract manufacturers strictly follow local as well as international rules on labor and environmental protection," said Henry Wang, public relations director for Taiwan Acer Inc., the world fourth-largest personal manufacturer.

Acer laptop computers are produced by contractors in Kunshan, west of Shanghai, and in Chongqing in the southwest.

Wang said he didn't know whether the report on Foxconn by the Fair Labor Association, an American industry group, would lead to changes at Acer. He said suppliers already are required to "strictly follow" rules on wages and working conditions.

Higher wages will be easier for manufacturers to absorb if labor is a small portion of their total costs.

Research firm IHS iSuppli estimates that Apple pays $8 for the assembly of a 16-gigabyte iPhone 4S and $188 for its components. iSuppli figures suggest that if Apple were to absorb a Foxconn wage increase to keep pay level and cut the work week from 60 hours to 49, it would pay less than $2 extra to have an iPhone made.

Other companies earn smaller profits and might find higher wages harder to pass on.

Higher costs in China already have prompted some companies in labor-intensive industries such as shoes and textiles to migrate to Vietnam and other lower-wage economies.

Lin, the garment manufacturer, said his company employs about 1,500 people in Guangdong province near Hong Kong. He said entry level pay has more than doubled over the past five years from 600 to 700 yuan ($95-$110) a month to about 1,500 yuan ($240).

"Anything lower than that, you wouldn't find the workers willing to do it," he said.


AP Business Writers Kelvin Chan in Hong Kong and Elaine Kurtenbach in Tokyo and Associated Press writers Annie Huang in Taipei, Taiwan and Foster Klug in Seoul, South Korea contributed.

United introduces Brocade to deliver HDTV and Online Viewing Services

Press Release:

As the broadcast industry faces up to the challenge of delivering multiplatform content and high definition (HD) video to consumers, United â€" part of the Euro Media Group (EMG) and a full-service company providing facilities, technical and creative support for multimedia audiovisual productions â€" has turned to Brocade (Nasdaq: BRCD) to deliver an end-to-end data center networking solution based on Ethernet fabric technology and its 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) core routing platform.

The new deployment will provide the performance, elasticity and resilience needed to support higher traffic volumes and daily data volumes in its video production environment that are approaching 16 terabytes. The Brocade® network will also reduce operational cost and complexity for United Broadcast Facilities’ IT department while providing a seamless, cost-effective path for high-density deployment of 100 GbE technology.

United provides onsite broadcast facilities for large sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup. It also manages more than 45 percent of all Dutch TV productions and works with international broadcasters such as NBC, Warner and ESPN by providing post-production services that include audio-visual rendering and trans-coding for multiplatform delivery (such as video on demand).

Confronted with the challenge of managing multiple data feeds for various clients â€" all demanding secure access/delivery of content â€" United looked to significantly update and simplify its networking architecture to improve service levels to its customers.

“In our line of work, managing huge data volumes is nothing new. However, over the past two years it had become all too apparent that our disparate IT environment was no longer fit for our constantly evolving business needs. Coming at the same time as a planned move to a new facility by consolidating four buildings into one, we knew that the time was right to make a wholesale change to our data center network, radically improve performance, and also take an innovative approach to its design,” said Marc Ruesen, manager of Business Development at United.

Specifically, United turned to Brocade VCSâ„¢ technology and the Brocade VDXâ„¢ 6720 Data Center Switches, part of the growing Brocade VDX product family as well as the primary building blocks for Ethernet fabrics that have revolutionized the design of Layer 2 networks inside of data centers. Brocade Ethernet fabrics are designed to improve network utilization, maximize application availability, increase scalability and dramatically simplify network architectures in highly virtualized data centers.

At the network core, Brocade MLXe Series core routers provide the breakthrough 10 GbE performance and scalability to support the firm’s rising application traffic demands and deliver reliable services using less hardware â€" vastly improving operational efficiency and driving down capital cost. Additionally, the Brocade MLXe provides a seamless, cost-effective path for high-density deployment of 100 GbE technology.

The Ethernet fabric and MLXe deployment are elements of a holistic network upgrade that includes the following Brocade product lines:
- Brocade NetIron® CER 2000 Series routers will be deployed to deliver high-performance Ethernet edge routing and MPLS applications, and by providing enhanced scalability and flexibility, meet the dynamic needs for higher bandwidth services.
- Brocade FCX Series, Brocade FastIron® SX Series and Brocade FastIron WS Series switches, along with Brocade ServerIron® ADX Series application delivery switches, will be rolled out across the environment in conjunction with Brocade Mobility Access Points and Controllers to form a campus-wide deployment.
- Brocade Converged Network Adapters (CNAs) enable transport over a 10 GbE connection through Data Center Bridging (DCB) and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) protocols, providing best-in-class LAN connectivity and I/O consolidation to reduce cost and complexity.
- Brocade Network Advisor provides end-to-end visibility across different network types through a seamless and unified user experience

“This was an ambitious project, but one that I am delighted to have taken on. Having used Brocade SAN solutions in the data center for many years, we knew that Brocade offered class-leading performance. The new Ethernet fabric-based environment gives us a far stronger proposition to take to market as we have the performance and flexibility to deal with anything our clients ask of us,” added Ruesen.

Alberto Soto, Vice President EMEA at Brocade commented, “Through our data center networking and Ethernet fabric solutions, we are delivering platforms that are unparalleled in today’s market. In the media industry, demand will only grow. It is a huge advantage to have an environment that offers seamless scalability and performance without requiring complicated management protocols. United has found such a solution with Brocade.”


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Millennial Media shares double in market debut

NEW YORK (AP) â€" Shares of Millennial Media doubled in the mobile advertising company market debut Thursday, as the IPO market heats up this spring.

Millennial quick ascent follows pasta maker Annie Inc. splash Wednesday. Shares jumped 89 percent in Annie debut â€" that had been the biggest opening day since jobs networking site LinkedIn Corp. went public in May 2011, closing up 109 percent in its first day of trading.

Millennial, trading under the "MM" ticker symbol on the New York Stock Exchange, is one of four companies going public Thursday and 10 this week.

Consumers' fast-growing demand for smartphones and tablets and appetite for the apps they download on those devices is powering Millenial growth. The company said its MYDAS mobile ad platform reached more than 300 million unique users worldwide in February, including about 140 million unique users in the U.S. It determines what ads to deliver through mobile apps, when and to whom. It said its developer base includes The New York Times, games maker Zynga and online radio company Pandora.

The Baltimore company and its stockholders raised $132.6 million in an initial public offering of 10.2 million shares on Wednesday night. Shares priced at $13 each, the high end of the predicted range. Millennial had increased the expected price range to $11 to 13 per share on Tuesday from its initial estimate of a $9 to $11 price per share. That a sign of strong demand for the stock.

Millenial wants to use money from the IPO for general corporate purposes such as expanding overseas and developing products, or possibly acquisitions.

Millennial lost $5.3 million for the year ended Dec. 31, which is nearly half of its loss of $10.1 million in the previous year. Its full-year revenue more than doubled to $103.7 million from $47.8 million.

In late morning trading on Thursday, Millennial stock climbed 94 percent, adding $12.20 to $25.20. The other companies lauching IPOs today are San Mateo, Calif.-based CafePress Inc., a website that lets customers make custom T-shirts and other products, which gained 14 percent; Milwaukee manufacturer Rexnord Corp., which added 10 percent; and biopharmaceutical Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc., based in Cambridge, Mass., which dropped 10 percent.

Globally the internet is still mostly used for emails

In a recent survey conducted by research firm Ipsos on behalf of Reuters, some interesting trends were found out for global internet usage. The survey was conducted in 24 countries, including Saudi Arabia, with a total sample size of 19,216 people.

The key findings were that 85% of global respondents still use the internet to send and receive emails. Saudi Arabia is an exception to this, with only 46% using the internet for emails.

Meanwhile 62% use the internet for social networking around the world, with Japan showing exceptional resilience with only 35% using the net for social networking.

VOIP remains a distant third in the poles, with an average global usage of 14%; Russia being the largest user with 36% usage rate.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Nokia launches China smartphone, hopes for rebound

BEIJING (AP) â€" Struggling cellphone maker Nokia Corp. launched its first smartphone for China on Wednesday, looking to the world biggest mobile market to help drive its 1-year-old turnaround effort.

Nokia said its Lumia 800C will be supported by China Telecom Ltd., one of the country three major state-owned carriers.

The Finnish company, once the global industry leader, launched a corporate turnaround effort after falling behind Apple Inc. and other competitors in tapping into the popularity of smartphones.

China is the world biggest mobile phone market with about 900 million accounts, and is Nokia biggest market. Nokia is one of China most prominent brands but its market share has slipped amid intense competition from Apple iPhone and phones made by South Korea Samsung and other rivals.

"China is critically important for Nokia," CEO Stephen Elop said at a product debut held in an aircraft hangar-size tent with pop music and dancers. He was joined on stage by the China Telecom chairman, Wang Xiaochu.

Colin Giles, Nokia executive vice president for global sales, pointed to the rollout of four Lumia models over the past year as evidence of the company revival.

"We've been demonstrating innovation and some leadership as well," Giles told reporters after the event. "We are changing and transforming ourselves as we go."

Chinese consumers are increasingly important to global electronics and other brands as their spending rises at a time of economic malaise in the United States, Japan and Europe.

Free-spending Chinese gadget lovers bought 70 million smartphones last year and sales are forecast to rise by 45 percent this year, according to Analysys International, a research firm in Beijing.

"Even a part of that would make a substantial market for any of these players," said David Wolf, a technology marketing consultant in Beijing. "It could be the one factor that ensures survival."

Globally, Nokia also has been squeezed by phones running Google Inc. Android system and by lower-end Asian manufacturers. Its market share plummeted to below 30 percent last year from 40 percent in 2008.

Nokia announced this year it would stop assembling phones in Europe by year-end and shift production to Asia. It announced 4,000 job cuts on top of nearly 10,000 layoffs last year.

In China, the Lumia 800C will go on sale in early April for 3,599 yuan ($570), according to Elop.

Nokia and China Telecom plan to release a lower-priced model, the 610C, aimed at students and other budget users, according to Elop. He said the Lumia 900C and the 710C sold in other markets also will be brought to China over time.

Nokia also will roll out Lumia models for the networks of China two other major carriers, China Mobile Ltd. and China Unicom Ltd., said Colin Giles, Nokia executive vice president for global sales and manager of its China unit until 2010.

The Lumia 800C will run on Microsoft Corp. Windows Phone, giving that system its first major exposure in a Chinese market dominated by iPhones and Android.

In the United States, AT&T Inc. announced Monday it will sell the Lumia 900 running Windows Phone for $100 with a two-year contract.

Giles expressed confidence Nokia can make up for its late entry into China smartphone market on the strength of an extensive retail presence and close ties with local developers of services that form a large part of the appeal of smartphones.

Nokia has formed partnerships with leading Chinese Web companies such as search engine Baidu and portals Sina, Sohu and Tencent to create services. The company says it and Microsoft will provide financing for entrepreneurs to develop Windows Phone-based applications.

"We're creating innovation in China for China, which some of our competitors are not doing," Giles said.

Nokia phones are sold in some 200,000 retail outlets in China including the company own stores and other distributors, according to Anna Shipley, its communications director for China, Japan and Korea.

Giles said the company plans an extensive marketing campaign on television and online.

Nokia has a stronger brand in China than it does in the United States but will need to revitalize sales and relations with retailers who have seen demand for its products falter, said Wolf, chairman of Wolf Group Asia.

"They've got a lot of work ahead of them," he said.



GFI launches VIPRE Business Antivirus 5.0 in the UAE

Press Release:

GFI Software today launched GFI VIPRE Antivirus Business 5.0 and GFI VIPRE® Business Premium 5.0 in the UAE, the latest evolutions of the company’s flagship antivirus solutions. Following extensive development and the integration of many new features and enhancements based on user feedback and requests, VIPRE Business 5.0 proves that comprehensive malware protection does not have to be difficult to deploy, time-consuming to manage or a drain on system resources to be effective.

“At a time when IT security in the workplace has never been more critical, our philosophy and approach to antivirus software continues to be in stark contrast to our competitors,” said John Spoor, Channel Sales Manager MEA, GFI Software. “Our focus continues to be on refining VIPRE to deliver superior performance and protection, through a solution that is easier to deploy, easier to manage and more effective at detecting and stopping threats than ever before.”

To accomplish that, GFI has made several key enhancements to VIPRE Business, including:
- Incompatible Software Removal â€" Seamlessly integrated into a newly streamlined installation process, the incompatible software removal tool enables IT admins to deploy VIPRE Business in an environment free of other antivirus agents. This technology is provided free of charge, and it is ideal for IT admins removing numerous agents across a network, as well as to ensure a completely clean testing environment when evaluating a 30-day, full-featured trial of the product.
- Windows Firewall Auto-Configuration â€" The new VIPRE Business installation process automatically configures and provisions Windows Firewall settings on all endpoints to ensure communication with all deployed VIPRE agents, removing another time-consuming task IT admins may face when managing an antivirus solution.
- Integrated Database â€" VIPRE Business also eliminates the need for any database configuration by IT admins. It employs an integrated database that further accelerates the installation process and eases administration. IT admins can also use their own Microsoft SQL database instance.
- Auditing and Reporting â€" IT admins have complete insight into any changes made to VIPRE Business’ security settings. This aids in policy enforcement, regulatory compliance and e-discovery.
- Remote Management â€" VIPRE Business provides an improved communication layer for IT admins, VARs and MSPs remotely managing antivirus solutions across multiple networks and locations.
- Enhanced Management Console â€" An updated user interface makes managing endpoints even easier.

A Trusted, Proven Security Solution
Used by tens of thousands of customers worldwide, VIPRE Business has become a trusted, reliable security solution for small and medium businesses (SMBs), healthcare providers, educational institutions, non-profit organisations, government agencies and more.

Comprehensive Malware Protection
Backed by GFI Labs, VIPRE Business defends against viruses, worms, spyware, Trojans, bots, rootkits and more. It uses a proprietary technology stack to scan large volumes of files quickly and with minimal impact on system performance. VIPRE Business also protects against email-borne viruses and integrates with all desktop email solutions using POP3 or SMTP, including Microsoft® Outlook®. VIPRE is certified by AV-TEST, ICSA, Virus Bulletin (VB100) and West Coast Labs.

VIPRE Business Premium adds a bi-directional firewall for admin control of network traffic; a Host Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS) to monitor suspicious activity; and Web filtering to block malicious URLs, ads, harmful scripts and phishing sites.

Pricing and Availability
VIPRE Antivirus Business is priced aggressively and includes one year of support, updates and product upgrades. The upgrade to VIPRE Antivirus Business 5.0 is available to all existing VIPRE Antivirus Business and VIPRE Enterprise customers. New customers can purchase VIPRE Antivirus Business on a per-machine basis. Pricing for VIPRE Antivirus Business and VIPRE Business Premium includes the first year of maintenance and are extremely competitive, based on a five user licence, with a sliding scale discount based on number of machines.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hon Hai buying 10 percent stake in Sharp

Taiwan electronics manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. is taking a 10 percent stake in struggling Japanese rival Sharp Corp.

Hon Hai, owner of the Foxconn factories in China, is a key producer of iPads and iPhones for Apple Inc., the world most valuable company.

Sharp and Hon Hai will form an alliance in liquid crystal displays and other electronics sectors to cut costs. Like other Japanese electronics makers, Sharp has struggled in its flat-panel TV business and with a stronger yen.

Sharp is issuing 66.9 billion yen ($806 million) of new shares for Hon Hai to buy.

Rovio buys Futuremark

Rovio, the company that has developed the super popular Angry Birds announced today that it has bought Futuremark [update: not the parent company but Futuremark Games Studio, the gaming arm of software developer Futuremark]- the company reponsible for benchmarks in the PC industry such as 3DMark and PCMark (both of which are used at t-break to benchmark components and computers). Both the companys are based in Finland, however, details of the deal havent been announced.

“They are an incredibly talented and experienced team, and we are thrilled to have them on board,” said Mikael Hed, Rovio Entertainment’s CEO said in a statement. “Rovio’s success is founded on the excellence of our team, and Futuremark Games Studio is going to be a superb addition.”

Futuremark’s CEO Jukka Makinen says that the remaining company will continue to focus on benchmarking software, used by the gaming industry to test and improve the performance of their games. “Future will now focus on supporting gamers and industry with 3DMark,” he said in a statement. The company is planning to release a new version of the software later this year that will let developers test across different platforms.

Futuremark has previously mentioned that they will be developing a benchmark for mobile devices so don’t be surprised to see little red wingers stress testing your iOS or Android device in the upcoming future.

Source: Tech Crunch

Monday, March 26, 2012

Windows Phone Smoked!

Microsoft has a public challenge going on in the US called Smoked by Windows Phone” that puts you with your smartphone against a Microsoft employee with Windows Phone. The challenge is that if you can do tasks faster on your phone than the MS employee, then you get a Hunger Games PC (HP Folio 13 Special Edition) valued at $1,049.00.

However, a recent challenger, Sahas Katta with his Galaxy Nexus, managed to win the challenge. Lady luck was smiling on Katta when his challenge was to bring up the weather of two different cities as he had two weather widgets on his home screen and no lock on the phone. The store manager where this was taking place told Katta that the weather widget was required to show two different cities in different states, and that his Android phone “could not do that”. Not only that but Katta was asked to take a picture in front of a sign that read, “My Android was smoked by Windows Phone.

Now you would certainly expect a young person carrying a Galaxy Nexus to not sit down quietly when he know about this little thing called the Internet. Needless to say, he got results and Microsoft’s Ben Rudolph has since tweeted that while he wasn’t there, the company will make things right for Katta. “I want to make things right,” “So I’ve got a laptop & phone (& apology) for you. Email me!”

Harvard emails show Zuckerberg's business side

NEW YORK (AP) â€" Emails from Mark Zuckerberg Harvard days show the dropout-turned-Facebook CEO as a young entrepreneur losing patience with a client delayed payments.

"I contracted out my services for money, and even though I seem to continually be providing services, I don't seem to be receiving money from you guys," he wrote on Sunday, January 25, 2004, according to court documents filed on Monday by Facebook lawyers. The deal, writes Zuckerberg, was for $18,000, plus a side project for $1,500. He was still owed $10,000. Zuckerberg founded Facebook the following month.

The client, Paul Ceglia, sued Zuckerberg in 2010, claiming that a contract he signed in 2003 entitled him to a 50 percent ownership stake in Facebook. If Facebook upcoming initial public offering goes as expected, that could amount to as much as $50 billion. Facebook lawyers are seeking to dismiss the suit. They say the contract is a fake.

Facebook included email exchanges between Ceglia, his associates and Zuckerberg in court documents filed in a U.S. District Court in Buffalo, New York on Monday. Facebook said the roughly 300 emails it obtained from Harvard servers relating to the case make no mention of Facebook.

Instead, the emails center on a database company called StreetFax that never took off. The two traded messages on technical specifications of the website that Ceglia had hired Zuckerberg to work on, and payments. The emails show a range of exchanges between Zuckerberg and Ceglia, which were sometimes terse and at other times lengthy and detailed.

"I will do my best to try to raise the cash needed to pay the amount requested though I honestly cannot guarantee it," wrote Ceglia on Feb. 22, 2004 according to the filing.

A day earlier, Zuckerberg wrote that he did not think Ceglia would pay him "at any point in the near future."

In addition to losing patience with his late payments, Zuckerberg tells Ceglia colleague in one email that StreetFax is not a very high priority for him, given that there are "many other things I'd like to, and have started to, work on."

"I am at a school surrounded by some of the smartest people in the world, cultivating ideas and constantly coming up with projects to work on," he wrote in January 2004, just days before launching "Thefacebook," as it was then called. "The last thing I need right now is someone calling me twice a day asking if I've uploaded some small changes to a site that I made eight months ago ... My time is valuable, and seems better spent on things that I know, or at least can reasonably expect, will produce some sort of gratification in the near future."

The last email, from May 2004, shows the two men may have worked out a payment plan, where Ceglia would send $500 a month until his bill was paid in full. It not clear if the payments were actually made.

Ceglia lawyers said that Ceglia deserves his day in court where a jury will decide the ownership dispute.

Space Soon Angry Birds 'Fly' to Windows Phone

Once present in Apple IOS and Android handsets, confirms Rovio popular game Space Angry Birds also immediately flew to Windows Phone. This Finnish company rectify their earlier statements.

Previously, Peter Vesterbacka Rovio as Head of Marketing said, need extra work in developing another game for the Microsoft operating system that is looking for that momentum. So they decided to not release a new series Angry Birds for Windows phones.

"We're number one in the Windows Phone application store, but became a major effort to support it. And you really have to develop the game application again," said Vesterbacka time.

This public statement was interpreted as a call to Microsoft and its partner Nokia to be more aggressive memplokamirkan itself as a serious challenger to the same level with the IOS and Android.

But soon after that statement, as reported by Reuters on Tuesday (3/27/2012) pembesut the 'birds go ballistic' soon clarify remarks Vesterbacka.

"We are working to seek Angry Birds Space is present in Windows Phone 7," said Chief Executive Mikael Hed Rovio. But he did not mention the exact date of release.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Need coffee? Make it in your car

I’m not quite sure if this classifies as ‘tech’ news, but it’s about a gadget so I’m going to run with it.

Ever gone through those long drives and felt ridiculously tired? Missed your morning caffeine kick and craving the perfect roast?

Well look no further – you can now grab a piping hot espresso from the comfort of your car with the Handpresso, a device that takes just a bit of water and an espresso pod to deliver your beverage. Why on earth you can’t just pull up to a Starbucks is beyond me, but if you fancy drinking espresso around the world with each sip as the bizarre video below demonstrates, then fork out the € 149.00 and open up a barista in your back seat.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Facebook warns employers not to demand passwords

NEW YORK (AP) â€" Facebook is warning employers not to demand the passwords of job applicants, saying that it an invasion of privacy that opens companies to legal liabilities.

The social networking company is also threatening legal action.

An Associated Press story this week documented cases of job applicants who are being asked, at the interview table, to reveal their Facebook passwords so their prospective employers can check their backgrounds.

In a post on Friday, Facebook chief privacy officer cautions that if an employer discovers that a job applicant is a member of a protected group, the employer may open itself up to claims of discrimination if it doesn't hire that person.

"If you are a Facebook user, you should never have to share your password," Erin Egan wrote.

Nokia files patent for ‘vibrating tattoo’

Today’s ‘bizarre news’ item is surely one to make you chuckle. If you think you’re already overwhelmed by notifications and sounds from your phone, prepare for another treat. It was revealed earlier today that phone giant Nokia has filed a patent for…vibrating tattoos.

The tattoo would interact with your mobile phone and gently vibrate to notify you of a new email, sms, or phone call. To dismiss the alert, a user would have to simply scratch their skin. While the patent was originally filed back in 2010, it has only just been made public and has been met with plenty of amusement so far. The tattoo would be inserted under the skin in a minor surgical procedure, and later revisions would make the tattoo invisible completely.

It’s mind boggling to think that there would be someone out there who’d actually want to do this, but let’s hope that this just gets filed away in a cupboard somewhere and never sees the light of day. Unless of course, you *do* want parts of your anatomy vibrating.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

HP combines printer, PC units in turnaround effort

NEW YORK (AP) â€" Hewlett-Packard Co. is combining its printer and PC divisions as it tries to overcome dragging profits, growing competition and the lack of clear identity.

The move announced Wednesday will help the company streamline its business and save money to invest in growing areas. HP, a Silicon Valley pioneer, is hoping a renewed focus on innovation will re-establish the 73-year-old company as a technology trailblazer

"We have got to place a few bets where we can fundamentally change the name of the game," HP CEO Meg Whitman told shareholders Wednesday at the company annual meeting in Santa Clara, Calif. The Associated Press monitored a webcast of the meeting.

Whitman said printing remains one of the areas where HP can still make its mark. First, though, she said the company needs to trim its expenses, describing the combination of the PC and printing division as a "perfect example" of her streamlining plans.

"We are going to have to save to get growth going again at HP," Whitman told shareholders.

Wednesday restructuring is one of the first major steps that Whitman, formerly eBay Inc. chief, has taken since she took the top job at HP in September. Her predecessor, Leo Apotheker, had wanted to sell or spin off the PC business, a plan that contributed to his ouster after 11 months on the job. Under Whitman, HP decided to keep the unit after all.

The change comes as sales of printers and ink, once HP lifeblood, are falling because people are sharing more documents and photos online instead of printing them.

HP, the world No. 1 maker of personal computers, is also coping with declining PC sales as consumers in the U.S. and Western Europe delay replacing their machines and spend money instead on smartphones and tablet computers such as Apple iPad.

Whitman inherited a faltering company that facing growing competition from mobile devices and internal operational challenges such as a complex supply chain, which HP hopes to simplify by combining the divisions. While HP revenue has been falling, the company expenses have been rising â€" an imbalance that Whitman is scrambling to fix.

Echoing remarks that she made to analysts last month, Whitman told shareholders Wednesday that it may take several years to clean up the mess.

Investors already have been growing impatient as HP has been eclipsed by neighboring tech companies such as Apple Inc., whose founder, Steve Jobs, briefly worked at HP in the 1970s

One investor who addressed Whitman expressed his frustration over the divergent fortunes of Apple and HP. Apple market value has soared by more than $500 billion during the past decade while HP has climbed by about $10 billion.

Besides combining the PC and printing units, Whitman is unifying HPs marketing functions under one executive and consolidating other areas of its business. She told shareholders that the company can reduce its roughly $4 billion marketing budget without hurting the HP brand.

Whitman hopes to reduce the internal complexity that she believes is making the company slow to adapt to customer demands and changing technology. On Wednesday, the company stressed that the changes will mean a more streamlined, faster and consumer-focused Hewlett-Packard, one that fits its mantra, "One HP."

The company expects to increase productivity and efficiency in PCs and printing, while streamlining customer support and the company supply chain.

Shaw Wu, senior technology analyst at Sterne Agee, said he believes there room to cut expenses, particularly in administration and marketing.

But he warned that savings may be limited. Customers don't necessarily want to buy computers and printers at the same time. People replace PCs much quicker than printers, which can last five years or longer.

HP didn't say how much it will save or what effect the restructuring would have on jobs, but the move is likely to result in layoffs. In a 2009 shake-up of the printing, PC and other divisions, HP cut 4,400 jobs. The company had 349,600 workers as of October, the end of its most recent fiscal year.

Whitman will have plenty of choices as she decides where to invest the company savings, said Forrester analyst Frank Gillett said. For one, HP has been investing in thinner, lighter laptop computers known as ultrabooks â€" devices that are easy to hold like tablets yet more powerful in sporting regular keyboards and the ability to run programs side by side on the same screen.

Gillett also believes there room for innovation in printing as the way people use printers evolves. He said it'll help to have PC and printer product designers working together.

Though the market might be shrinking, he said, "it hard to imagine in the next 10 years that we are going to get rid of large, cheap, disposable displays â€" i.e. paper."

The combined PC and printing unit will be led by Todd Bradley, 53, the executive vice president of the PC group since 2005. Vyomesh Joshi, the head of the printing group, is retiring after 31 years with HP, with a severance package of about $10.8 million, according to the company regulatory filings. Joshi also is eligible for retirement benefits valued at nearly $7 million as of Oct. 31.

HP said the restructuring will help improve its branding, a challenge for a massive and storied technology company with a role in everything from computers to consulting. Unlike, say, Apple or IBM Corp., HP lacks an identity that people can associate with it, Wu said.

Ultimately, HP will have to define the "big picture" of what the company stands for, Wu said. "What is HP?"

Whitman offered this definition at Wednesday annual meeting: "HP is the world largest provider of information technology infrastructure, software, services and solutions to individuals and corporations of all sizes. It simple, it clear and it doesn't need a lot of explanation."

Toward the end of the meeting, Whitman discovered she had gotten a part of HP identity wrong. In her prepared remarks, Whitman said the company would be celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2014. A shareholder corrected her during the question-and-answer session, reminding her that HP started in a Palo Alto, Calif. garage in 1939, which would make the company 75-years-old in 2014.

HP, which is still based in Palo Alto, had briefly combined the PC and printing business businesses before, under the leadership of Carly Fiorina. Mark Hurd reversed that when he took over as CEO in 2005, when the printer division was still thriving.

The printing and PC units together made up about half of HP $30 billion revenue in the November-January quarter.

HP stock fell 52 cents, or 2.2 percent, to close at $23.46 on Wednesday.


AP Business Writer Michelle Chapman and AP Technology Writers Michael Liedtke and Peter Svensson contributed to this story. Liedtke reported from San Francisco.

Adobe Photoshop CS6 beta available for downloading

Adobe has gone ahead and released a beta version of their super-popular photo-editing application. Moving up from SC5.5, Photoshop CS6 beta is available for downloading for free on both the Mac and the PC and brings with it a redesigned UI as well as over 65 features. New features include a new crop tool, ability to search for specific layers and auto-saving of projects in the background. We’ll publish a nads-on preview some time next week as wel get more time to play with it, but here is the official press release.

First Major Release Since April 2010 Packed with New Features and Huge Performance Enhancements
SAN JOSE, Calif., – March 22, 2012 – Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced Adobe® Photoshop® CS6 beta, a preview of what’s to come in the next release of the industry standard in digital imaging, is available as a free download from Adobe Labs. Customers can download the beta, try out the experience and provide feedback to the product team. Packed with groundbreaking new innovations, features and incredible performance enhancements, Photoshop CS6 beta is available for the Mac OS and Microsoft® Windows® platforms. The final release is expected in the first half of 2012.

Photoshop CS6 will be a milestone release that pushes the boundaries of imaging innovation with incredible speed and performance,” said Winston Hendrickson, vice president products, Creative Media Solutions, Adobe. We couldn’t wait to share this beta of Photoshop CS6 with our customers and are looking forward to hearing from them and seeing the ways they are incorporating the beta into their daily creative workflows.”

New Features in Photoshop CS6 Beta
Photoshop CS6 beta demonstrates Adobe’s focus on huge performance enhancements, imaging magic and creativity tools that offer customers a new experience in digital imaging. Key features include new additions to the Content-Aware tools: Content-Aware Patch allows greater control by letting users select and duplicate an area of an image to fill in or patch” another. Content-Aware Move lets users select and magically move an object to a new place in the image.

Customers will experience incredible performance, powered by the new Adobe Mercury Graphics Engine*, enabling near-instant results from popular editing tools including Liquify, Puppet Warp, Transform and Lighting Effects; and a refined, modern interface featuring dark UI options to make images pop. New and re-engineered design tools make creating designs faster and more efficient. Vector layers allow users to apply dashed lines and gradient strokes, searchable layers help quickly zero in on any layer you need, and new type styles let designers quickly apply type treatments to their designs.

In addition, the Photoshop CS6 beta offers all the features of Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended, such as new 3D editing features and quantitative imaging analysis capabilities. These features will be included in the shipping version of Photoshop CS6 Extended when it becomes available.

Pricing and Availability
The Photoshop CS6 beta is available immediately as a free download in English and Japanese. At installation, users will be required to provide an Adobe ID to complete a one-time login and online product activation. For information on how to install Photoshop CS6 beta visit . Customers can submit feedback via the Photoshop CS6 beta forum: Users can also connect with the Photoshop team via the community-powered site:; on Facebook:; YouTube:; blog:; or via Twitter:

Adobe Photoshop Family
Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Extended are at the heart of the Photoshop family, joined by solutions for users at every level who want to bring out the best in their digital images either at home, in the office or on the go. Coupled with Adobe Photoshop, the recently released Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 addresses the workflow needs of amateur and professional photographers, helping them create, manage and showcase images in impactful ways. Adobe Photoshop Elements provides consumers with powerful yet easy-to-use tools that organize, edit, create and share photos memories. For mobile devices, the Adobe Photoshop Touch app transforms images with core Photoshop features custom-built for tablets; and Photoshop Express is a free app for simple photo fixes and enhancements, and sharing to social networks.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hewlett-Packard to merge printing, PC divisions

NEW YORK (AP) â€" Hewlett-Packard Co. will combine its printer and PC divisions to save money, part of the technology company effort to turn around its business.

The move announced Wednesday comes at a time when sales of printers and ink, once HP lifeblood, are falling as people increasingly share documents and photos online. HP, the world No. 1 maker of personal computers, is also facing declining PC sales as people turn their attention to tablet computers and smartphones.

The combined unit will be led by Todd Bradley, the executive vice president of the PC group since 2005. Vyomesh Joshi, the head of the printing group, is retiring after 31 years with HP.

HP has said it needs to identify ways to save money to invest in growing businesses. The company said combining the units will increase productivity and efficiency, while streamlining customer support and the company supply chain.

Shaw Wu, senior technology analyst at Sterne Agee, believes there room to cut expenses, especially when it comes to administrative and marketing costs.

But he said that there a limit. Customers don't necessarily want to buy computers and printers at the same time. People replace PCs much quicker than printers, which can last five years or longer.

HP didn't say how much it will save or what effect the restructuring would have on jobs, but the move is likely to result in layoffs. In a 2009 shake-up of the printing, PC and other divisions, HP cut 4,400 jobs. The company had 349,600 workers as of October, the end of its most recent fiscal year.

HP said combining the two divisions will improve its branding, supply chain management and customer support. Branding has been a challenge for Hewlett-Packard, a massive and storied technology company with a role in everything from computers to consulting.

Ultimately, HP will have to define the "big picture" of what the company stands for, Wu said. "What is HP?"

Unlike, say, Apple Inc. or IBM Corp., HP lacks an identity that people can associate with it, Wu said.

The restructuring is one of the first major steps taken by former eBay chief Meg Whitman since she became HP CEO in September. Her predecessor, Leo Apotheker, had wanted to sell or spin off the PC business, a plan that contributed to his ouster after 11 months on the job. Later, under Whitman, HP said it plans to keep the unit.

Whitman inherited a faltering company that facing growing competition and its own operational issues. She said last month that HP plans to spend several years turning its business around. This means addressing the internal problems as well as broader threats to its PC business from tablets and smartphones.

Revenue from the printing division has fallen 13 percent from a peak of $29.6 billion in fiscal 2008 to $25.8 billion for the most recent fiscal year, which ended in October. Meanwhile, operating profit of the printing division has dropped from $4.6 billion to $4 billion.

Former CEO Mark Hurd had been trying to make the company less dependent on printer ink for most of its profits when he was ousted in 2010 in the wake of a sexual harassment investigation.

HP had combined its PC and printers business before, under the leadership of Carly Fiorina. Hurd reversed that when he took over as CEO in 2005. Unlike today, the printer division was thriving then.

The PC division, while less profitable, has held up better. Sales are down 6.4 percent from 2008, to $39.6 billion, while operating income has been flat, at $2.4 billion.

The printing and PC units together made up about half of HP $30 billion revenue in the first quarter, which ended in January.

Shares of Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP fell 42 cents, or 1.75 percent, to $23.56 in midday trading Wednesday.


AP Business Writer Michelle Chapman and AP Technology Writers Michael Liedtke and Peter Svensson contributed to this story. Liedtke reported from San Francisco.

Adverts in free apps take a lot of battery to run

You know those naggy advertisement that pop-up below the app you are running but don’t mind it because the app is for free and you can’t/don’t want to shell out for it? Yeah, those advertisements are draining your phone’s battery more than the actual app itself.

This is according to a research conducted by Purdue University’s computer scientist Abhinav Pathak, who has revealed some startling numbers to present his case.

For his research, he compared apps on Android and Windows Mobile (that’s Windows Phone, we assume) with a tool called eprof to monitor the energy consumption of each. He tested apps like Angry Birds, Facebook, NYTimes and Free Chess, and found that they were only responsible of consuming 10-30 percent of the phone’s battery. The rest were eaten up by the advertisements.

In the case of Angry Birds specifically, the app itself would only consume 20 percent of the total battery. The rest was used to track users on the GPS and download location-specific adverts over a 3G connection. The app then kept the 3G connection open for at least 10 seconds, even when the data transmission was completed, resulting in another 28 percent of battery consumption.

Pathak, who has urged app developers to take better care of battery use, will be presenting his research at the EuroSys conference in Switzerland next month.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Verizon CEO 's pay rose in 2011, despite retiring

NEW YORK (AP) â€" Despite retiring as CEO of Verizon Communications Inc. in August, Ivan Seidenberg earned more in 2011 than he did in the last two full years of work.

According to an analysis of a Monday regulatory filing from the New York-based phone company, Seidenberg earned $26.4 million in 2011. That compares with the $18.1 million he earned in 2010 and the $17.5 million he received in 2009.

He was CEO for seven months of 2011, and then remained as executive chairman until the end of the year.

Seidenberg didn't receive a severance payment. In calculating executive compensation, The Associated Press includes salary, bonus, performance-related bonuses, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year.

Seidenberg was the highest-paid CEO in the U.S. telecommunications industry last year. Randall Stephenson, his counterpart at AT&T Inc., which is larger, earned $18.7 million.

Seidenberg's successor, Lowell McAdam, earned $23 million in 2011. That was in large part due to a special grant of $10 million in restricted stock, made when he assumed the CEO role.

Verizon Communications is based in New York.

Cisco helping to set new land speed record

At the Cisco Expo UAE 2012 event yesterday Cisco showcased the Bloodhound project, a project it is helping to support which aims to set a new land speed reecord of 1,000mph (mach 1.4) in the Hakskeen Pan Northern Cape located in South Africa.

The project’s mission is to inspire future generations to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Cisco’s involvement helps to provide the video and network support that such a project needs, and they are keen to support the Bloodhound Ambassador Programme, which targets young students to understand the physics behind the project and also encourage students to come up with their own mini-models to mimic the concepts being used in the real Bloodhound car.

The programme has received great media attention and participation from schools in Europe, and Cisco is helping to roll out the initiative to schools in the region as well. More information on the project can be found here.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Apple to pay dividend, start stock buybacks

NEW YORK (AP) â€" After amassing a huge cash hoard, Apple Inc. is finally acknowledging that it doesn't need all that money, saying Monday that it will start paying some of it out to shareholders in the form of a dividend and share buyback program.

Investors had been expecting the announcement, driving up Apple shares 37 percent since management hinted in January that a dividend was in the works.

Apple, the world's most valuable company, sits on $97.6 billion in cash and securities. For years, CEO Steve Jobs resisted calls to reward shareholders with some of that money. He used to say that the money was better used to give Apple maneuvering room, for instance by giving it the ability to buy other companies.

Apple paid a quarterly dividend between 1987 and 1995, a period when Jobs was not involved with the company.

Jobs died in October after a long fight with cancer. On Monday, new CEO Tim Cook said that with this much cash on hand, a dividend wouldn't restrain the company's options.

"These decisions will not close any doors for us," he told analysts and reporters on a conference call.

Had it kept amassing cash and low-yielding securities, Apple could eventually have opened itself to legal challenge from shareholders, who could have argued that it was misusing their money.

Cook also suggested that the dividend could have been larger if U.S. tax laws were different.

Apple said Monday that it will pay a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share, starting in its fiscal fourth quarter, which begins July 1.

The dividend works out to $10.60 annually, or 1.8 percent of the current stock price. By comparison, Microsoft Corp., pays 2.5 percent of its stock price in dividends, and Hewlett-Packard Co. pays 2 percent.

However, in absolute terms, Apple will pay one of the richest dividends in the U.S. It will spend more than $10 billion on dividends in its first year, placing it just below companies including AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc., for whom the dividend is the main way of attracting investors.

Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's second largest company by market capitalization, pays about $9 billion in dividends annually.

Apple generated $31 billion in cash in the fiscal year that ended in September, and is on pace to generate even more in the current year. That means its cash pile will continue to grow even with a dividend and a buyback program, albeit at a lower rate.

Even if it had no net cash, Apple would hardly be financially constrained, since it could borrow all the money it needs.

The dividend opens up ownership of Apple shares to a wider range of funds, potentially boosting the stock price in the long term. Many "value-oriented" funds are not allowed to buy stocks that don't pay dividends

Apple said the $10 billion share buyback program will begin next fiscal year, which starts Sept. 30, and run for three years.

Buybacks are a popular alternative to dividends, since they reduce the number of shares outstanding. That means every remaining investor has title to a larger share of the company.

Cook said the main point of Apple's buyback is to offset the shares issued to reward the Cupertino, California, company's employees.

In late morning trading, Apple shares rose $7.93, or 1.3 percent, to $593.50. Last week, the shares hit an all-time record of $600.01. The company is worth $553 billion.

The dividend and buyback announcement comes three days after the launch of Apple's latest iPad tablet in the U.S. and nine other countries.

Cook said the company also considered splitting its stock, and continues to look at that option. Stock splits increase the number of shares while reducing their value, potentially making it easier for small investors to buy them. But Cook said "there's very little support" for the idea that this helps the stock overall.

Cook said that when Apple analyzing how much it could give out to shareholders, it looked solely at how much cash it has in the U.S. Like many other big exporters, Apple has much of its cash overseas â€" two-thirds, specifically.

Apple is reluctant to bring back overseas profits, which have already been taxed in their respective countries, to the U.S. because they'd then be subject to the 35 percent corporate tax rate.

"Current tax laws provide a considerable economic disincentive to U.S. companies that might otherwise repatriate a substantial amount of foreign cash," Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said.

Cook said the company looked at how much domestic cash it had, then set aside enough for planned and unplanned investments. What was left over would be given out to shareholders, he said.

That suggests that if Apple could bring back its $64 billion in overseas money, the rewards to shareholders could be larger. Corporations have been clamoring for a change in tax laws, or a repeat of a 2004 tax amnesty on repatriated earnings.

The new iPad unofficially available in the UAE

The new iPad has landed in the UAE for potential buyers and surprisingly, the deals are much better for the end consumer compared to iPad 2.

You can pick one up from online sites like or where the units start from AED 2200 onwards. I personally picked my unit up from and it was delivered on the same day I ordered. The following are the prices from their website:

16GB- Wifi- AED 2349, Wi-Fi + 3G: AED 3,199
32GB- Wifi- AED 2749, Wi-Fi + 3G: AED 3,649
64GB- Wifi- AED 3149, Wi-Fi + 3G: AED 3,999

If you compare these prices to the prices in the US, you are paying a premium between AED 400 to AED 600 which is pretty decent considering that you were paying more than AED 1000 premium for iPad 2 when that was launched a year back. Comparing the prices to UK, we actually find a couple of models cheaper in the UAE.

All version are available in Black and White colors. The 4G version of the new iPad works under 3G/HSPA in the UAE. I personally tested my Etisalat micro-SIM card and it works without any issues- expect our full review soon.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Solar storms join floods, terrorism as risks to UK

LONDON (AP) â€" Britain has added volcanoes and solar storms to floods, flu and terrorism on a list of threats to national security.

The highest-priority risks to Britain are pandemic influenza, coastal flooding, terrorist attacks and â€" a new addition â€" volcanic eruptions in countries like Iceland, according to the recently published 2012 edition of the government's National Risk Register for Civil Emergencies.

"Severe space weather" poses a threat to communications systems, electronic circuits and power grids, the list said. Solar storms â€" eruptions of magnetic energy and charged particles â€" are part of the sun's normal 11-year cycle, which is expected to reach a peak next year.

The storms can't hurt people, but can disturb electric grids, GPS systems and satellites. In 1989, a strong solar storm knocked out the power grid in Quebec, cutting electricity to 6 million people. Last week, the strongest solar storm since 2004 passed without major disruptions.

Last month, Parliament's defense committee called on the government to prepare for disruptions to electrical supplies and satellites from electromagnetic pulses â€" whether caused by the sun or by a nuclear weapon exploded in space.

Space war is not included on the British government's risk register.

"We are becoming more and more reliant on technology, and that technology is becoming more and more delicate," the committee's chairman, Conservative lawmaker James Arbuthnot, told Sunday's edition of The Observer newspaper. "Be afraid, very afraid."

Launched in 2008, the risk register assesses threats that are likely to endanger human welfare, the environment or security in Britain. It is the public version of the National Risk Assessment, which is classified.

Volcanic eruptions have been added to the list since the last edition in 2010. Ash from the April 2010 eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano grounded European air travel for days.

But the British government says a more serious risk is posed by an effusive, of gas-rich, eruption. The 1783-84 Laki eruption in Iceland sent out noxious gases that spread as smog across Europe, causing crop failures, famine and thousands of deaths. The government said such an eruption "is now one of the highest-priority risks" Britain faces.



National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies:

Official Google + app coming to Windows Phone

Though Google Plus may not have caught on quite as well as Google might have hoped, they’re still thoroughly supporting the platform. Now, it will be getting a Windows Phone app soon. reports on the tweet of Stefan Keuchel, an official Google PR rep for Germany, which pretty much says that they’re working on a Windows Phone app for Google Plus but there’s no other details mentioned.

Makes sense why Google would want to promote their service on every platform that they could and Windows Phone is a major one in itself. We’ll keep you posted.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Leader of 'Kony' video group to focus on health

SAN DIEGO (AP) â€" Jason Russell may be the most public face of Invisible Children, the nonprofit group he co-founded to stop African war atrocities. He narrates a 30-minute video on warlord Joseph Kony that went viral on the Internet.

Less than two weeks after the video's smashing success, Invisible Children is facing the prospect of carrying on without Russell â€" at least for a while. He was briefly detained by police and hospitalized after witnesses saw him running through streets in his underwear, screaming and banging his fists on the pavement.

Danica Russell said late Friday that her husband "did some irrational things brought on by extreme exhaustion and dehydration." She denied that alcohol or drug use triggered the behavior.

"We thought a few thousand people would see the film, but in less than a week, millions of people around the world saw it. While that attention was great for raising awareness about Joseph Kony, it also brought a lot of attention to Jason and, because of how personal the film is, many of the attacks against it were also very personal, and Jason took them very hard," she said.

"On our end, the focus remains only on his health, and protecting our family. We'll take care of Jason, you take care of the work," her statement continued. "The message of the film remains the same: stop at nothing."

San Diego police dispatcher transcripts show neighbors began calling around 11:30 a.m. Thursday to report that a man was running around in his underwear in the city's Pacific Beach neighborhood.

"(Subject) is at the corner, banging his hands on the ground, screaming, incoherent," the transcript says. "People are trying to calm him down, he's been stopping traffic."

Police Lt. Andra Brown said a 33-year-old man was taken to a hospital for medical evaluation. He was never arrested, and no charges are planned.

"At this point, the police department's involvement in the matter is done," Brown said.

Russell, a San Diego native and graduate of the University of Southern California's film school, narrates the video, which has been viewed more than 80 million times on YouTube. In the video, Russell talks to his young son, Gavin, about Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army.

Gavin's birth is shown at the beginning of the film. At one point, the boy sums up what his dad does for a living.

"You stop the bad guys from being mean," he says.

At the video's conclusion Russell says, "At the end of my life I want to say that the world we left behind is one Gavin can be proud of, one that doesn't allow Joseph Konys and child soldiers."

Gavin replies: "I'm going to be like you dad. I'm going to come with you to Africa."

The video's overnight success has brought heightened scrutiny to the San Diego-based nonprofit over its tactics, governance and spending practices.

The group has been criticized for not spending enough directly on the people it intends to help and for oversimplifying the 26-year-old conflict involving the LRA and its leader, Kony, a bush fighter wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

The group acknowledged the video overlooked many nuances but said it was a "first entry point" that puts the conflict "in an easily understandable format."

Ben Keesey, chief executive officer, released a video on Monday to respond to questions about the group's finances, including the amount of money it spends on travel and operations. He said money that directly benefits the cause accounted for more than 80 percent of its spending from 2007 to 2011.

"I understand why a lot of people are wondering, 'Is this just some slick, kind of fly-by-night, slacktivist thing?' when actually it's not at all," Keesey said. "It's connected to a really deep, thoughtful, very intentional and strategic campaign."

Charity Navigator gives Invisible Children two out of four stars for accountability and transparency. The watchdog group says organizations should have at least five independent members on their boards of directors. Invisible Children has four, though it plans to add one this year.

Russell co-founded Invisible Children in 2005 and is its highest-paid employee, making $89,669 a year. He is also on the six-member board of directors, with Keesey.

Keesey, who oversees the business side of the organization while Russell makes films, said Friday that the last two weeks have taken a "severe emotional toll on all of us, Jason especially."

"Jason's passion and his work have done so much to help so many, and we are devastated to see him dealing with this personal health issue," Keesey said.

Microsoft wants you to fall in love with IE9

For the record, I’m typing this blog post on Chrome. Why? Because I’d rather eat charcoal than try to use Internet Explorer. And apparently I’m not alone in skimming over IE and using the plethora of other web browsers available for download.

So in an attempt to woo people back to the world of IE, Microsoft has started a campaign called The browser you loved to hate”, where people download and try out Internet Explorer 9 and realize just how much better their web experience becomes.

I’ll reserve my skepticism for another day, but in the mean time – cat video!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Apple fans buy iPad on 1st day, some wait hours

Apple's latest iPad drew die-hard fans to stores in the U.S. and nine other countries Friday, many of whom lined up for hours to be among the first to buy one.

The third version of the iPad went on sale there at 8 a.m. local time, with 25 other countries getting it a week later. The new model, at prices starting at $499 in the U.S., comes with a faster processor, a much sharper screen and an improved camera, though the changes aren't as big as the upgrade to the iPad 2.

"I don't think it's worth the price but I guess I'm a victim of society," Athena May, 21, said in Paris.

About 450 people lined up outside Apple's Ginza store in downtown Tokyo. Some had spent the night sleeping outside the store. In Madison, Wisconsin, people brought reclining lawn chairs for naps, while a few played games on older iPads.

Dipak Varsani, 21, got in line in London at 1 a.m. Thursday local time and said he was drawn by the new device's better screen.

"You've got clearer movies and clearer games," he said. "I use it as a multimedia device."

In Hong Kong, a steady stream of buyers picked up their new devices at preset times at the city's sole Apple store after entering an online lottery.

The system, which required buyers to have local ID cards, also helped thwart visitors from mainland China â€" Apple's fastest growing market â€" who have a reputation for scooping up Apple gadgets to get them earlier and avoid sales tax at home. A release date in China has not yet been announced.

Kelvin Tsui, a 26-year-old hospital worker in Hong Kong, was allowed to buy two and planned to sell the second to make money.

Two years after the debut of the first iPad, the device's launch has become the second-biggest "gadget event" of the year, after the annual iPhone release. Customers could have ordered iPads ahead of time to arrive at home Friday, but many came out in person for the atmosphere.

"People always stop to talk to us," Harry Barrington-Mountford, 22, said in London. "I am exhausted though. I have only had about 45 minutes of sleep."

Christos Pavlides, 24, got to a downtown Philadelphia store at 10 p.m. Thursday and was the first in line. He already owns the two previous iPad models and several iPhones and figures the new iPad was next.

Despite competition from cheaper tablet computers such as Inc.'s Kindle Fire, the iPad remains the most popular tablet computer. Apple Inc. has sold more than 55 million iPads since its debut in 2010.

For some customers, standing in line was the only chance to get a new iPad on Friday. Apple quickly ran out of supplies it set aside for advance orders. The company was telling customers Thursday to expect a two- to three-week wait for orders placed through its online stores. Some buyers feared even longer waits.


Kelvin Chan contributed from Hong Kong and Robert Barr from London. Peter Svensson in New York, Sharon Chen in Singapore and Malcolm Foster in Tokyo, Kathy Matheson in Philadelphia and Thomas Adamson in Paris and Dinesh Ramde in Madison, Wis. contributed to this report.

Sourceforge takes Anonymous-OS offline

Less that twenty-four hours since it’s upload, the now famed ‘Anonymous-OS‘ has been taken offline from

In a blog post, the company clearly states that though SourceForge remains committed to making open-source projects successful, it would not allow a potential security risk to be hosted.

The blog post notes that the Anonymous-OS is supposedly filled with various trojans and security risks and that …as the day progressed, various security experts have had a chance to take a look at what’s really in this distribution, and verify that it is indeed a security risk, and not merely a distribution of security-related utilities, as the project page implies.”

It’s a no-brainer that SourceForge would want to keep the community risk-free and open to everyone, but let’s hope that by taking this project down they haven’t incurred the wrath of Anonymous.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Trading dengan cara Pivot Point

Walau sering dibahas atau anda sering menemukan teknik Trading dengan menggunakan Pivot Point, Tidak salah jika kami menuliskannya kembali teknik trading dengan menggunakan Sistem ini. Pivot point adalah teknik yang dikembangkan oleh para pialang saham di lantai bursa, yang dapat membantu kita melihat dimana letak suatu level harga secara relatif terhadap situasi dan dinamika pasar yang terjadi sebelumnya. *****

Sesuai dengan arti katanya, pivot point berarti titik atau batas dimana suatu pergerakan harga akan berbalik arah. Dalam forex, pivot point adalah level dimana sentimen pasar berubah dari 'bullish' (naik) menjadi 'bearish' (turun) atau sebaliknya. Pivot point bersifat seperti support atau resistance, harga yang bergerak mendekati titik ini akan mendapat perlawanan dan akan berbalik arah. Tetapi jika harga berhasil menembus dan bergerak melewati titik ini, pergerakan itu akan berlanjut terus hingga mencapai pivot point berikutnya.bPivot point dan level-level resistance serta support-nya dihitung dengan menggunakan harga-harga pembukaan, tertinggi, terrendah, dan penutupan dari sesi trading sebelumnya. Karena pasar forex aktif terus-menerus selama 24 jam, trader menggunakan patokan penutupan pasar New York (21.00 GMT) sebagai patokan waktu penutupan bursa mata-uang.

Pivot point dihitung dengan rumus sebagai berikut:
Pivot point = (High + Low + Close) / 3

Sedangkan level support dan resistance dihitung sebagai berikut:

Support pertama (S1) = (2*PP) - High
Resistance pertama (R1) = (2*PP) - Low
Support kedua (S2) = PP - (high - Low)
Resistance kedua (R2) = PP + High - Low)

Pada umumnya anda tidak perlu repot-repot menghitung ini, software chart yang disediakan oleh broker biasanya memiliki fasilitas untuk menghitung pivot point ini. Ada banyak software malah memberikan tidak hanya ke-5 titik tersebut tapi lebih jauh lagi menambahkannya dengan support dan resistance ketiga (S3 & R3). Memang titik-titk tambahan itu sudah tidak signifikan seperti kelima titik yang utama, tapi tidak salah juga kalau diikutkan sebagai pelengkap.

Trading Dengan  Pivot Point

Pivot point adalah daerah harus mendapat perhatian saat melakukan analisa pasar karena pivot point ini adalah level support atau resistance yang paling signifikan. banyak trader berpengalaman menunggu di level ini untuk melakukan transaksi. Pada saat harga bergerak mendekati pivot point banyak trader yang mulai masuk pasar untuk mengambil posisi, beli ataupun jual, dan menetapkan target keuntungan (take profit) serta batas kerugian (stop loss). Secara umum jika harga berada di atas pivot, maka pasar dianggap bullish (naik). Sebaliknya jika harga berada di bawah pivot, pasar dikatakan bearish (turun).

Apabila harga tertahan di bawah pivot point (PP) dan ditutup pada level tersebut, hal itu merupakan alasan yang cukup baik untuk mengambil posisi ;jual' dengan stop-loss beberapa point di atas PP dan target profit di sekitar S1.

Akan tetapi jika harga bergerak turun terus dan menembus S1, dari pada menutup transaksi anda dapat memindahkan 'stop-loss' beberapa point di atas S1 dan meletakkan target profit berikutnya pada S2. Biasanya S2 adalah level terrendah dari pergerakan mata uang harian dan menutup transaksi pada level ini adlah langkah yang bijaksana.Hal yang sebaliknya terjadi apabila harga berada di atas pivot point dan ditutup pada level itu. Anda bisa mengambil posisi beli dengan stop-loss di bawah pivot point dan target profit beberapa point di bawah R1. Tapi apabila harga naik dengan kuat dan menembus R1, stop-loss bisa dinaikkan dan ditempatkan di bawah R1 sementara itu target profit bergeser ke level R2.

Kekuatan dari support dan resistance pada berbagai pivot level ditentukan oleh berapa kali suatu harga mencapai level itu dan kemudian berbalik arah.Semakin sering harga mencapai level itu dan kemudian berbalik arah maka semakin kuat pivot level tersebut.

Jika pergerakan harga bergerak naik mendekati resistance, anda bisa mengamati kapan harga akan berbalik arah turun. Saat harga bergerak turun anda bisa mengambil posisi jual dengan stop-loss ada di atas resistance. Tapi adakalanya gerakan naik ini cukup kuat dan resistance dapat tertembus sehingga stop-loss anda terkena. Ini adalah resiko dalam forex. Tapi apabila gerakan itu anda percaya begitu kuat, anda bisa mengambil posisi beli saat harga menembus resistance. Pada kondisi ini resistance berubah menjadi support sehingga anda bisa memasang stop-loss di bawah level support yang baru (yaitu yang sebelumnya adalah resistance). Dengan cara ini kerugian yang anda alami pada transaksi awal dapat tertutupi keuntungan yang anda raih pada transaksi kedua. Hal yang serupa bisa anda lakukan jika harga bergerak turun mendekati support. Saat harga mulai berbalik arah dan bergerak naik anda dapat melakukan transaksi beli dengan stop loss di bawah garis support.

Kondisi Trading Sesungguhnya

Pivot point seringkali berhasil karena ada banyak trader yang juga percaya pada teori ini dan menetapkan pivot point pada level yang kurang lebih sama. Sehingga saat harga bergerak mendekati level ini ada banyak trader yang mengambil reaksi yang serupa sehingga harga cenderung berbalik arah.Tapi bagaimanapun ada banyak kasus dimana pivot point tidak berhasil sama sekali. Biasanya ini terjadi saat ada data atau berita fundamental yang membuat harga cenderung bergerak dengan trend yang kuat dan para trader banyak yang mengabaikan segala bentuk resistance dan support.

Oleh karena itu apapun kondisinya tidak ada strategi yang lebih baik dari pada ini: ikuti trend yang terjadi di pasar. Jadi apabila kondisi pasar normal dan harga bergerak dalam batasan support dan resistance, lakukan transaksi dengan mengikuti pola itu. Demikian juga jika terjadi trend yang kuat dan harga bergerak ke satu arah, lupakan soal support dan resistance, ikuti saja trend.


Latar belakang psikologis yang ada pada pendekatan ini cukup sederhana saja. Jika karena satu dan lain hal harga tidak berhasil melampaui suatu level tertentu pada sesi sebelumnya, maka level tersebut cenderung akan menjadi pertimbangan para trader dalam memperhitungkan support dan resistance. Ada kemungkinan cukup besar level tersebut sulit ditembus dan harga berbalik arah. Penetapan level-level pivot point dengan cara ini dapat diterapkan pada kondisi harga yang trending maupun datar (sideways). Di bawah ini beberapa tips yang dapat membantu anda untuk mengambil keputusan berdasarkan pemetaan pasar dengan menggunakan pivot point

    Jika harga ada di PP, perhatikan kemungkinan gerakan menuju R1 atau S1.
    Jika harga ada di R1, perhatikan kemungkinan harga berbalik arah ke PP atau gerakan berlanjut ke R2.
    Jika harga ada di S1, perhatikan kemungkinan harga berbalik arah ke PP atau gerakan harga berlanjut ke S2.
    Jika harga ada di R2, perhatikan kemungkinan harga bergerak kembali ke R1 atau berlanjut ke R3.
    Jika harga ada di S2, perhatikan kemungkinan harga bergerak kembali ke S1 atau berlanjut ke S3.
    Jika tidak ada berita atau faktor fundamental yang signifikan, harga biasanya bergerak dari PP ke S1 atau R2 dan berbalik lagi.
    Jika ada berita atau faktor fundamental yang signifikan, harga biasanya cenderung menembus R1 menuju R2, atau bahkan R3 jika trend naik. Dan pada trend turun harga cenderung menembus level S1 menuju S2, atau bahkan S3.

    Dalam kondisi normal S3 dan R3 merupakan batas maksimum pergerakan harga yang mungkin pada satu sesi trading. Level ini hanya tertembus jika terjadi kondisi ekstrem di pasar mata uang.

Pengalaman Penulis. Sistem ini merupakan system yang pertama kali penulis gunakan dan ajarkan. Jika menggunakan Sistem ini / Pivot Point, akan ditemukan Support dan Resistance. Menurut pengalaman Penulis Support diartikan sebagai Dukungan dan resistance sebagai perlawanan. Support diartikan sebagai sinyal Beli dan Resistance sebagai sebagai sinyal Jual. Jika kita akan BUY di S1 maka yang perlu diiangat ada S2 dibawah. Jika kita akan Sell di R2, maka ada R3 diatasnya. Dan seterusnya.Untuk hasil yang masksimal, Anda bisa kolaborasikan system ini  indicator  yang lain, semisal stochastic Osilator 14,3,3, atau dengan Fractal. Dan Managemen Modal, menjadi indicator utama plus kemampuan dalam mengendalikan diri.

Yahoo board battle may begin within the next week

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) â€" A potentially nasty battle to reshape Yahoo's board of directors will begin within the next week unless the troubled Internet company submits to the demands of a major shareholder.

Third Point LLC, a hedge fund that owns a 5.8 percent stake in Yahoo, issued its ultimatum in a letter Wednesday to company CEO Scott Thompson.

The letter, released in a regulatory filing, comes a month after Third Point first announced that it wanted four seats on a Yahoo board already undergoing an overhaul.

The board currently consists of 11 directors, but Chairman Roy Bostock and three other members announced they will step down at Yahoo's annual meeting. The departures are part of an attempt to placate shareholders frustrated with a long-running financial funk that has depressed the company's stock price.

Third Point believes Yahoo would fare better if the hedge fund's representatives were in the boardroom. Third Point's proposed directors are: Daniel Loeb, the hedge fund's manager; former NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker; former MTV Networks executive Michael Wolf and turnaround specialist Harry Wilson.

In Wednesday's letter, Loeb told Thompson he was disappointed with Yahoo's "dismissive" attitude toward Third Point's candidates since the two men spoke in a Feb. 17 conversation.

"The board's stonewalling, apparent insouciance and decision not to engage with us in a serious manner, has left us no choice but to directly approach our fellow owners" in an attempt to get Third Point's slate elected as directors, Loeb wrote.

In a statement, Yahoo said its board's nominating committee is still considering "a wide range of highly qualified candidates" for its board. The company appointed two new directors, Alfred Amoroso and Maynard Webb, to its board last month.

"The committee has included Third Point's candidates in its thorough review process and will make its recommendations to the full board in due course," Yahoo said.

Unless Yahoo accepts Third Point's candidates on the board, Loeb pledged to begin his campaign within the next week. That could lead to a showdown that culminates at Yahoo's annual meeting, which is usually held in late June.

The mutiny would threaten to distract Thompson as he plots his turnaround strategy. Citing unnamed people, the technology blog All Things D recently reported Thompson is considering a tumultuous shake-up that could include thousands of job cuts.

Yahoo has only said it "is engaged in a process that will generate significant strategic change."

Given those plans Loeb urged Thompson to negotiate a truce. "You appear to have enough battles to fight already," Loeb wrote.

Yahoo shares rose 5 cents to $14.68 in Wednesday's extending trading.

ZOTAC Announces GeForce GTX 560 SE

ZOTAC International, a global innovator of graphics cards, mainboards and mini-PCs, today announces the GeForce® GTX 560 SE. The new ZOTAC® GeForce® GTX 560 SE gives gamers a taste of stunning 1080p gaming on a budget.

“1080p resolution displays and Microsoft® DirectX® 11-enabled titles are affordable and become quite popular among gamers. Our new ZOTAC® GeForce® GTX 560 SE provides an excellent value for gamers that want to get their feet wet with 1080p and DirectX® 11 gaming,” said Carsten Berger, marketing director, ZOTAC International.

Packing 288 unified shaders and 1GB of video memory, the ZOTAC® GeForce® GTX 560 SE shreds through the latest Microsoft® DirectX® 11 titles with blazing-fast frame rates and dazzling eye-candy for an out-of-this world gaming experience on a budget.

It’s time to game with the ZOTAC® GeForce® GTX 560 SE.

General details
- New ZOTAC® GeForce® GTX 560 SE graphics card
- NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 560 SE GPU
- Engine clock: 746 MHz
- 288 unified shaders
- Shader clock: 1,492 MHz
- 1GB GDDR5 memory
- Memory clock: 3828 MHz
- 192-bit memory interface
- Dual DVI, HDMI & DisplayPort outputs
- DirectX® 11 technology & Shader Model 5.0
- OpenGL® 4.2 compatible
- Hardware-accelerated Full HD video playback
- Blu-ray 3D ready
- Loss-less audio bitstream capable
- TrackMania 2 Canyon 3-Day Game Pass included

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

NewsRight lands first customer to license news

NEW YORK (AP) â€" NewsRight, a company created by The Associated Press and other publishers to scour the Internet for unauthorized use of their content, said it has secured a licensing agreement with a company that monitors how its clients are portrayed in the media.

The multiyear agreement with Moreover Technologies Inc., announced Wednesday, is the first licensing deal by NewsRight. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Moreover, which is based in Reston, Va., will obtain the right to use content from hundreds of newspaper websites, according to NewsRight. Moreover's clients will also receive data about how stories and photos are viewed online, NewsRight said.

NewsRight was launched in January to track the unpaid online use of content from its 29 founding member companies, which include the AP, Hearst Newspapers, The McClatchy Co., The New York Times Co., and The Washington Post Co.

NewsRight aims to generate revenue from websites, blogs, news aggregators and other newsgathering services that aren't paying for the content. NewsRight is hoping other big publishers, including News Corp., join the venture.

NewsRight CEO David Westin said the deal establishes an important precedent that puts a value on original reporting.

"It gives us an approach now that we can replicate with other aggregators in the industry," he said.

In 2007, the AP sued Moreover and its parent, VeriSign Inc., for copyright infringement, alleging that Moreover continuously accessed and electronically published the AP's news reports without authorization. The sides reached a settlement a year later. The terms of that settlement were not disclosed.