Monday, January 31, 2011

State of the art: background of the call over the network

"Hi David! I am the only get really confused by all free/cheap calls Internet Options? You wouldn't mind clearing the waters constantly occluding Skype, Google Voice, Line2, FreePhone2Phone and so on? Your fan, Caroline c. "

I loved this e-mail message for two reasons. First, I knew the answer could make a great column.

Secondly, you rarely encounter the word "occluding."

All rights, Caroline, here is the story.

The world of phone calls is changing fast. Whenever some service is essential and expensive — as phone service — you can bet that somebody will invent less costly alternatives.

As faster Internet connections are caught, it didn't take long for programmers intelligent to realize that the Internet could transmit entries.

The world was suddenly full of programs (Skype, iChat, Google Talk, various programs Messenger) that allow free phone calls "" anywhere, as long as you and your called were both sitting at the computer.

Then came the era of mobile phones that can connect to the Internet. What a mind-boggler! Does not mean that mobile app (like iPhone and Android phones) could, in theory, "" free phone calls over the Internet, bypassing the voice networks? Internet calls up to not ever use any of your minutes. You could save all kinds of money. She has had the rock foundation of the world of telecommunications.

Well, we are getting there. There's still no app that offers all three elements: free calls to regular phone numbers from your mobile phone. That, of course, would be the maximum. For now, you can only choose two out of three. For example, you can make free calls to any phone number — but only by the computer (Google Voice). Or you can make free calls from your phone to other owners of an app (Fring, Skype, TruPhone) — but not to real phone numbers.

To prepare this report on the State of the call of the Internet, I made a lot of calls in all types of configurations: a phone, a landline, via WiFi, on mobile phones and so on. Over time, it became clear that Internet calling apps represent a great exercise in expectation-lowering.

For example, than in a normal phone call, Internet calls usually require more time to connect. The sound quality is almost always less; you would describe it as muffled, weak or distant.

Finally, the delay of heading is measured worst on Internet calls. During each test, I conducted a little experiment: I told my partner caller who was going to count to three and asked to say "three" simultaneously with me. Even on a typical phone call, I hear her "three" distinctly late — a half-second or so. But Internet calls, the delay is usually a full second or more. Don't try to practice your calendar comics on a call via the Internet.

Typically, call apps connect to the Internet when you're in a Wi-Fi hot spots. When you're not, these applications can connect to the Internet via the company's data network for your mobile phone. In this approach, however, the results are disappointing; sound is muffled delayed and, if you're driving, calls drop frequently. Internet call apps are generally worth use only when you're on Wi-Fi.

Exaggerating the ability of these applications is par for the course. Skype and Fring, say, for example, allow the phone to phone, video chat, even when not using Wi-Fi. In practice, the quality and the delays are so terrible that the feature is unusable.

Despite all these drawbacks, however, these applications offer two advantages unassailable. First, of course, you can save a lot of money. If most calls over Wi-Fi, you can install a cellular caller plan cheaper, because you are using fewer minutes. (If you have Line2, Pinger or Google Voice, you can also cancel your SMS plan because they offer unlimited free texting.)

And secondly, these apps Wi-Fi allow internal calls solids — just where cellular coverage is weaker.

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Bit: Go Yahoo to Let 140 employees

Yahoo announced plans Tuesday to layoff roughly 140 employees in the latest in a series of job cuts.

The reduction comes a month after the Web portal of leaves nearly 600 workers go as part of a strategy of Carol a. Bartz, Executive Director, pare costs and revive a stagnant business. In 2009 and 2008 was held the previous rounds of layoffs.

Cuts Tuesday focused on Yahoo marketing team, according to a person knowledgeable about the issue that was not authorized to speak on the record. They represent about 1 percent of global workforce of Yahoo.

"The changes we are making personnel are part of our ongoing strategy to better position Yahoo to expand revenue growth and margin and to support our strategy to deliver differentiated products and experiences to market," the company said in a statement. "We will continue to take on a global basis to support our key priority."

Yahoo announced its earnings quarter Tuesday afternoon; analysts don't expect results blockbuster. MS. Bartz said Yahoo's turnaround will take time.

The strategy is to focus on the strengths of Yahoo as display advertising and editorial content. Several products that are not central to its plans should be shuttered or sold, including Delicious, a bookmarking service.

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Pope warns or risk of alienation in social networks

Vatican City (Reuters)-Pope Benedict XVI gave a blessing qualified social networking Monday, praising its potential, but beware that friendships online are no substitute for real human contact.

The Pontiff of 83 years, who do not have their own Facebook account, established from his point of view in a message with a heavy title that fits easily in a tweet: "Truth, proclamation and authenticity of life in the digital age".

Said the possibilities of new media and social networks offered "a great opportunity", but warned of the risks of depersonalization, alienation, self-indulgence and dangers have more friends than virtual reality.

"It is important to always remember that virtual contact cannot and should not take the place of direct human contact with people at every level of our life," Benedict said in his message for world communications day of the Catholic Church.

He urged users of social networks to wonder "who is my ' perfect ' in this new world?" and avoid the danger of always is available online, but to be "less present to those we encounter in our daily lives".

The wide horizons of new media "urgently demand a serious reflection on the importance of communication in the digital age," he said.

The Pope does not mention any specific social networking website or application by name, but sprinkled his message with terms such as "sharing," of "friends" and "profiles".

Said social networking can help "dialogue, sharing, solidarity and creating positive relationships", but also provided a list of warnings.

"Entering cyberspace can be a sign of an authentic search for personal meetings with others, provided that it is careful to avoid the dangers, as if you were around in some sort of parallel existence, or excessive exposure to the virtual world," he said.

"In search of sharing, of ' friends ', there is the challenge of being genuine and faithful and not succumb to the illusion of artificial construct a public profile for themselves".

The Pope is known to write by hand, most of his speeches, while his aides to manage his forays into cyberspace. In 2009, a new site,, went live, offering an application called "the Pope is on Facebook," and another that allows people to see the Pope's speeches and messages on their iPhone or iPod.

The Vatican has notoriously egg on his face in 2009, when it was forced to admit that, if it had sailed on the web anymore, it might have known that a traditionalist Bishop was revoked the excommunication was for years a Holocaust denier.

(Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

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The Understudy take the Apple scene

On an 18-hour flight from California to Singapore a few years ago, Timothy d. Cook, chief operating officer of Apple, has had little time for small talk with a colleague. Glued to his place of business, Mr. Cook had the nose to spreadsheets, preparing for an in-depth review of Apple's Asian operations.

Timothy d. Cook, leading Apple in the absence of Steven p., is widely regarded as the most likely replace it permanently. Apple has benefited from the complementary expertise of Timothy d. Cook, chief operating officer and jobs Steven P..

The two landed at 6 a.m., took the time to shower and drove in a meeting with local leaders of Apple. Twelve hours later and well over dinner, local leaders were ready to call it quits.

"Were absolutely exhausted," said Michael Janes, Apple Executive who accompanied Mr. Cook. "It was Tim. He was ready to move to the next slide and the next slide after that. He is absolutely relentless. "

This determination may be indispensable in the coming months, because Mr. Cook can be tested like never before. He has been accused of running day-to-day operations at Apple, while his boss, Steven p. Jobs, CEO of the company's visionary, medical leave.

Mr. Cook has done it twice before, concisely, and with success. Even if you don't improve the health of Mr. Jobs, Mr. Cook could be at work for a long time. And while Apple's succession plans are closely guarded, Mr. Cook is widely believed to be the most likely candidate to replace definitively Mr. Jobs.

In Silicon Valley, Mr. Jobs is also known for determination. Yet on many levels, he and Mr. Cook are opposites. While Mr. Jobs is volatile and prone to outbursts, Mr. Cook, who was raised in a small town in Alabama, is polite and soft spoken. He is often described as a "Southern gentleman". While Mr. Jobs obsesses over every detail of Apple products, Mr. Cook obsesses over the minutiae less glamorous than Apple's operations.

Their complementary skills helped Apple pull out the most notable turning point in American companies and made most valuable technology company in the world. When Mr. Cook is on his own, he must compensate for the absence of Mr. Jobs — and its inventive, charisma and uncanny ability to predict the future of technology and anticipate the desires of consumers.

"He is going to look at the other to provide the creative void left by Steve," said a. m. Sacconaghi Jr., an analyst with Sanford Bernstein & Company.

Mr. Cook and Apple has refused to comment on this article. From his early days at Apple in 1998, Mr. Cook, who is known as intensely private, has worked in the shadow of Mr. Jobs and other prominent leaders. Although his work — making sure that Apple would produce, assemble and ship his products in the world and ensure profitable — was he not considered sexy, quickly remove inefficiencies from Apple's supply chain.

"My favorite scenes were suppliers of Assembly," said a former Apple Executive who had traveled with Mr. Cook frequently and asked to remain anonymous, because he doesn't want to upset their relationship. "He is Mr. spreadsheet. If things weren't right, he would torture the suppliers and the improvement of the application. At the same time, he had a good relationship with them. "

Apple has been largely concentrated on making the PC and then smaller. The operations were a mess.

Apple was still running their factories in California, Ireland and Singapore. As companies more efficient and profitable as Dell had moved to a model of just in time production, Apple held still 90 days of inventory.

Mr. Cook Apple's closed factories and outsourced manufacturing all to a network far-flung suppliers in Asia. Inventories decreased to 60 days, then 30 days, then the template just-in-time. Mr. Cook lived practically in airplanes, traveling the world to meet with vendors and browbeat them in fulfilling your requests.

Analysts and investors say efforts of Mr. Cook on the production order has made the difference in transforming fate Apple. And are still critical to the success of the company.

Take the iPad. It took fancy of Mr. Jobs and the expertise of its engineers and designers to create it. But the operational capacities of Mr. Cook of parlay a Apple authorized fresh produce into a business that has already led to 9.6 billion, as the company built and shipped IPAD nearly 15 million worldwide in just nine months to meet the seemingly insatiable appetite customers.

Steve Lohr contributed reporting.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: January 25, 2011

An article on Monday on Timothy d. Cook, who is running Apple during medical leave, Steven p. Jobs, misstated in some copies, the year that Mr. Cook took a job at Compaq, computer maker. He went to work for Compaq in 1997, 1981.

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Obama pushes expanding high-speed Wireless Service

WASHINGTON (Reuters)-President Barack Obama on Tuesday called for extending wireless services at high speed to satisfy the voracious appetite of consumers and businesses, a task that could be difficult because the radio waves is a limited resource and application is virtually unlimited.

"Within the next five years, we will make it possible for companies to deploy the next generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98% of all Americans," Obama said during his annual State of the Union speech to Congress of the United States.

"This is not only a faster Internet and fewer dropped calls. It is about connecting every part of America to the digital age, "he said, noting the farmers in rural areas can sell their crops abroad and doctors can chat with patients via video.

The Obama administration has approved making 500 megahertz of wireless airwaves, or spectrum, available in the next decade to meet the growing demand for broadband services, including the Apple iPad and the widespread proliferation of smartphones.

The Federal Communications Commission hopes to reuse 120 MHz spectrum via auctions incentive, where broadcasters such as CBS Corp. would relinquish spectrum voluntarily in exchange for a portion of the proceeds.

"President Obama is helping the nation understand the benefits of the amazing stuff that can bring broadband wireless: in our business, healthcare, education and productivity," said the General Counsel of Verizon Wireless Steve Zipperstein.

"Wireless innovation requires public policies that promote innovation, growth and encouraging investment continues from Verizon and our partners in technology," he said.

However, the television broadcasting industry has raised concerns to renounce its airwaves. A representative from industry noted that it refrained from airwaves two years are still not fully usable.

"We urge Congress to immediately pass legislation spectrum inventory that identifies fully radio waves that are not used," said Dennis Wharton, a spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters.

(Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky and Jasmin Melvin; (Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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Bits: HighNote App Spruces messages

Mobile phone users who want to stay in touch with friends and share their favorite song often find e-mail, IM and texting be imperfect choices. Each has its shortcomings, be it a canned overload or look spartan.

HighNote, a cellphone app introduced on Tuesday for Android devices and Apple, is looking for — along with many other services — to address some of these issues. Its free app is a sort of cross between texting and social networking with a large emphasis on multimedia sharing.

Users can create individual or group messages queued with maps, music, video and audio. How can the font and alignment, text color can be adjusted.

To accelerate the messaging, users can add "quick answers" as "love/hate" and "where are you?" that the recipient can respond to with a single touch of their finger. Are also available for birthday greetings, among other special occasions.

Although HighNote solves some problems inherent to traditional online and text messaging, fails to others. How instant messaging services, HighNote is largely a closed system. Both the sender and the recipient must have downloaded the app HighNote completely communicate. Messages to recipients who have not done so to get the piece of text messages from the e-mail message or text with a link to the entire message into a Web page — maps, videos and other multimedia content included.

In addition, HighNote can add yet another form of communication for people who already have too many. It is not difficult to imagine someone having to use half a dozen different applications to send messages to friends who use the phone various messaging services.

Among them are GroupMe, Beluga, PingChat, Fast Society, BrightKite, TextPlus and Kik.

Marc Barach, chief executive of HighNote, said that he expects the multitude of services to shrink at the end.

"This is a market that is going to merge between one or two players," he said. "In a year, but I doubt that there will be 10 of them."

For now, HighNote has no advertising. Can add some later, with sponsorship in an area called "Pulse" which includes games and quizzes to users as a distraction while waiting for a reply to their messages.

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Drill Down: willing to spend Online, two points (a)

After 60 Years, a Promise Kept to Sinclair Lewis Feeding Dreams of a Better Life Mom, You’re One Tough Art CriticStuxnet what it means for the future of computer viruses.Recipe Redux: Rib Roast of Beef, 1966 what does it say a manuscript of Lincoln doctored around the 16th President of the enduring myths.John McWhorter and Benjamin Zimmer discuss the rhetoric and ritual of the State of the Union address.

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Google offers a Wisp of cloud printing

Print is directed to the cloud, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) announced several times in recent years and Mondays, it beta-launched mobile cloud print to documents.

"Imagine the printing of an important document from your smartphone on the way to work and find printing awaits you when you walk in the door," a member of the team of Google Print cloud Tyler Odean published on the Internet search giant's Mobile Blog. "Just open a document in Google Docs or an email to Gmail on your mobile browser and choose" print "from the drop-down menu".

Document printing from mobile devices, although accused of concerns Enterprise Payment Security 2.0 Whitepaper from CyberSource safety, "is a step in the right direction to ' cut the cord, '" said Ari Zoldan, CEO of Quantum networks.

"The digital landscape is changing dramatically," he told TechNewsWorld. "Mobile devices are becoming the new notebook, and then print from your mobile phone will be commonplace."

One of the great promises of the cloud--a communications network, aptly named independent position becoming ubiquitous as his brother, the Web--it sounds as if it was heaven sent.

To use its many services, cloud computing does not require any drivers--none of those pesky programs that connect hardware to the software by another entity annoying cloud promises to make obsolete: the cable.

"As we said in the blog post yesterday, Google cloud Print is ' a service that allows you to print from any application on any device, OS or browsers without the need to install drivers, '" Google spokesman Eitan Bencuya pointed to TechNewsWorld.

What is more, "cloud Google Print in Gmail and docs mobile mobile is only a first step" in the cloud, Bencuya noted.

This step "100%" promises services which will be even more flexible, Quantum Zoldan explained, "and other options, the better it is for the consumer mobile"

On a PC desktop, cloud printing requires Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 running Google Chrome version 9.0.597.1 or later. Mac OS X and Linux is not supported. Wrench icon in the upper right corner of Chrome goes "sign in to Google cloud print." A success-access list available printers as cloud printing options.

HTML5 is the key to cloud printing works on mobile devices running Android 2.1 + and 3 + iOS.

"HTML5 mobile apps brings to behave more like desktop applications or native," said Compuware CTO Imad Moulin. He gives no success cloud printing and enjoy other Google applications for this version of the popular markup language, which ironically is not known among the general public.

"Safari uses HTML 5; Chrome uses HTML5; but some desktop browser to use it, so that the distribution was slow, "the Moulin told TechNewsWorld.

"HTML5 makes it easier to deploy Web-based applications and does not require an app store", he added. "Without it, cloud printing would be much less easy to use and much more difficult to operate across many different browsers and devices."

Sending confidential documents on a network of cloud raises two major security issues: public access and security of the transmission.

"Google Chrome OS was Create an online store today -- 30 day free trial. Click here to learn more. is designed to store all data in the cloud," Barnes & Thornburg partner John Watkins, a member of his or her practice of cloud computing and cyber security, told TechNewsWorld. "This raises all the privacy and security issues associated with the storing of information (especially sensitive information) on public cloud based systems."

What's more, if the transmission is not secure, "someone could intercept the transmission to the printer and access the document," added Barnes & Thornburg partner Roy Hadley, also a member of his or her practice of cloud computing and cyber security.

To respond to two concerns, "you can read our privacy policy the cloud of Google Print FAQ," Bencuya Google told TechNewsWorld.

"Any transfer of data between applications and between cloud Google Print and Google cloud printing and printers, is over an encrypted connection," explains the FAQ.

From Gmail messages to Google Docs, documents can be stored in the user's Google account. Google cloud Print temporarily stores data residing elsewhere, "securely accessible only by the user" FAQ explains. "Once the data has reached the printer, it is deleted from the Google servers".

Secure connections, security deposit remains.

"Although convenient, would not recommend clients store sensitive data in this way," said Barnes & Thornburg Watkins--"up to security, privacy and liability issues are sorted."

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Rumor: Next-Gen iThings will Flirt with NFC

Entries are still showed that Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) will incorporate wireless technology Enterprise Payment Security 2.0 Whitepaper from CyberSource payment in its next iPhone design.

This time, it's being reported that technology--near field communication NFC--or will be included in the next iPad 2.

Several banks have already tested the ability of wireless payment with the iPhone 4 and other smartphones with Visa (NYSE: V).

2.3 Android or gingerbread, NFC capabilities built in, and at least two NFC Android apps are available in Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android market. Meanwhile, Nokia (NYSE: NOK) announced that it will be able to build NFC capabilities in its new phones this year.

The most recent wave of rumors began with a Bloomberg report quoting Richard Doherty, co-founder of market research company, the Envisioneering Group, as saying that Apple will probably introduce NFC capabilities in its iPad iPhone 2 and 5.

It is said from 2009 that Apple has worked to add radio frequency identification (RFID) for the iPhone. In August, Apple has hired NFC experts Benjamin Vigier, allegedly designed and managed the PayPal Mobile service and Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX) ' mobile payments service based on barcode.

That same month, TechCrunch reported that Apple was testing prototypes NFC-enabled iPhone using hardware from NXP Semiconductor, the market leader in NFC.

Earlier in 2010, Apple has released several NFC related patent applications, including one for an NFC-based mobile payments; patents for iPay, iBuy and iCoupons, which are based on the iPhone; and a place of concert, entertainment and sports ticketing application-based NFC.

Apple did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

In the summer of 2010, Visa has launched the wireless payment trials with the iPhone and other smartphones with four banks--JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC), Bankcorp and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC)--Jason Michael, public relations agency Fleishman-Hillard's Visa, told MacNewsWorld.

This process uses technology from DeviceFidelity, which created the cases for the iPhone 3 G, iPhone 4 that incorporate microSD card using Visa and 3GS In2Pay.

DeviceFidelity did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

In December, Visa has announced that it had certified In2Pay microSD solution of DeviceFidelity for commercial use.

In September, Visa rolled out a pilot program in New York that allow commuters to pay subway, bus and train fares wirelessly with their iPhones. New York City Transit, NJ Transit and port authority of New York and New Jersey are participating in the programme.

There is money to be made in mobile payments, why Apple, Google and Nokia are rampant in the area.

"PayPal has seen a perceived increase in mobile payments in the last two years, starting from $ 25 million in 2008 to $ 750 million in 2010," Nadav Naaman, head of PayPal Mobile Applications, told MacNewsWorld. "Consumers are embracing mobile commerce and mobile wallet more easily now."

In fact they are and Apple seems to be lagging behind in the race for the dollar mobile payment.

Google has already announced that gingerbread, or 2.3 Android, will have capacity NFC, built in and has included a package of Android NFC Android Developers blog.

Further, two NFC applications are already available in Google's Android market. The Taglets and more NFC enabled table.

Nokia to develop NFC capability in all its devices this year.

So, Apple is late to the market?

Not necessarily--Starbucks has avoided its NFC mobile payment system that initiated the roll-out its shops in the United States because the infrastructure NFC is not mature enough yet, Chuck Davidson, the company said.

In fact, it is unclear whether the United States will ever wireless payment technology nationwide.

Has seen its technology; AT&T (NYSE: T), Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA Network mobile payment ISIS launched in November, which works with discover financial services; mPayy proposes the use of RFID chips; and then, of course, there's NFC.

"Despite the hype, NFC still didn't make it through," Diarmuid Mallon, senior product marketing manager for Sybase (NYSE: SY) 365, told MacNewsWorld.

Companies are implementing strategies using mobile payment mobile and Smartphone applications, but you're facing an uphill battle.

First, the Android market is fragmented; for another, there is a variety of phones on the market, Mallon said.

"Today there are more than 1000 different phones used on US networks," said Mallon. "Even if you look at phones with more than 100,000 users, there are over 350 models. To achieve all these users will have a multi-channel approach.

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Ubuntu Unity Plays to Frustrating Shell Game

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The upcoming new Unity shell design for the next release of Canonical's Ubuntu 11.04 could change the face of the popular Linux desktop as we know it. Canonical creator Mark Shuttleworth is pushing the change to Unity while other Linux distros are rolling into GNOME 3.


Linux Picks this week takes a look at this new desktop shell for Ubuntu. I have been using the Unity edition Canonical released for netbooks in its Ubuntu 10.10 Remix edition on both my small-screen netbook and wide-screen notebook. For newcomers to Ubuntu or small-screen computers, Unity offers usability advantages over both the Gnome and KDE desktops for Linux.

But for seasoned Linux users, shifting to Unity is a drastic change. It requires giving up your comfort zone and making do with new computing procedures. I have grown to tolerate Unity on the netbook. Using it as the only shell option on my large-screen desktops, however, will make me reconsider switching from Ubuntu 10.10 when Canonical releases version 11.04.

Signing onto Ubuntu 10.10 in the netbook remix version offers users a choice of desktop environments. A panel on the bottom of the screen below the log-in window has a drop-down options list. The choices are Gnome, KDE and two versions of the Unity shell. Not having a similar choice in the next release could force me to avoid Ubuntu 11.04 and beyond.

Canonical's Mark Shuttleworth announced in late October 2010 that Ubuntu will shift to the tablet-friendly Unity interface rather than maintain GNOME 2 or adopt the new GNOME 3.0. He explained in subsequent blog accounts that using one common interface for all sizes of screens and hardware form factors will improve quality assurance. That move will also make it easier for computer makers to integrate and support Ubuntu.

Some Canonical dispatches have since suggested that Ubuntu 11.04 and beyond will make Ubuntu Unity the default offering. But users will continue select their preferred desktop environment.

GNOME 3's developers are giving that desktop view a new design as well. The Gonome Foundation will release the new version later this year. The Gnome desktop is driven by its GTK+ libraries and has competed for years with the KDE Linux desktop. The K environment runs on the QT libraries.

Ubuntu users have been able to run complete versions of the Gnome desktop (Ubuntu) or the K desktop (Kubuntu) by selecting the environment at installation or switching back and forth between environments. They could also run apps from either desktop version in one system or the other as long as the dependent libraries were also installed. To an extent, other distros do the same thing.

Shuttleworth seems to be aiming at a major change in this shell game of sorts. He indicated in his blogs that the next Ubuntu version default install level will have access to both GNOME and KDE libraries. This will make using apps from both desktop systems more seamless and unified. This will still happen with the Unity shell. So it seems that GNOME and KDE will still exist in Ubuntu 11.04. What will change is the look and feel of the desktop environment.

I use a variety of desktop and notebook computers that dual boot into Ubuntu and Puppy Linux. To create a sense of my own desktop "unity," I've been using The Avant Window Navigator in Ubuntu and a similar app docking utility in Puppy Linux. See my review here.

To ease my way into using Ubuntu's Unity shell, I kept the AWN dock at the bottom of the screen. That helped me to adjust to the drastic change Unity presents. I eventually removed AWN and relied on Unity alone. Still, navigating to the apps I wanted to run took some relearning.

My biggest change in how I moved among open programs and files involved the apparent loss of virtual desktops. With the AWN dock running, the virtual desktops were right there on the indicator window. But once I stopped using AWN, I could not find any connection in Unity to switching virtual desktops.

That left me scampering up and down the vertical icon row along the left edge of the screen to find the indicator marker for running apps. It was there in the vertical row of icons that I stumbled upon the Workplaces icon. I clicked it to discover that the center display area showed four smaller screen squares. Clicking on a square brings that virtual desktop to full-screen status. More on this in a bit.

Unity is much different from GNOME and KDE. Any chance of a similarity ends with the Ubuntu icon in the top left corner. Clicking it is not a portal to the traditional menu list of application categories. Forget seeing any main menu. Instead, clicking on it brings to the center of the screen rows of large icons representing app categories. For instance, the rows fill with Web, Music, Photos & Videos, Games, Email & Chat, Office, Files & Folders, and Get New Apps. Clicking on any of these large icons opens rows of installed apps within that category.

The traditional GNOME panel is gone from the top or bottom of the screen. Instead, a Unity panel sits across the top of the screen. This panel shows navigational arrows and a search window. The additional contents of this Unity panel changes depending on what category icons you click. Also gone is the traditional applications, Places and System drop down menus. No adequate replacement for them exists in Unity.

For instance, clicking the Files & Folders icon brings to the center of the screen a row of recent file icons, a row of downloads present, and a bottom row of favorite folders. These showings grow and change based on your continued opening and closing of menu items in your computing sessions.

As you open additional apps or folders, the list of icons in the vertical row on the left grows. But rather than having to scroll through this list, the icons at the top and bottom of the vertical row fall flat so no scrolling is needed. As you point the mouse at the flat icon, it stands up, allowing the icons under it to slide down for a full view.

For me, the way the virtual desktops play with the rest of the shell is the deal-breaker. I found it awkward to always have to go to the icon on the left panel to view the virtual desktop grid and click on a square to move to that desktop.

Sure, I could see a thumbnail view of running apps in each desktop space. But not having a workspace grid plainly visible in the panel display slowed me down.

Unity still has the right-click directional shortcuts when I click the title bar of an app window. This lets me move the app to another virtual space easily only when that app is the active window on the screen. But it does not work for apps displayed in the workspace grid display. There all I can do is drag a thumbnail to another square.

I realize that my displeasure with Unity is based on my personal preferences for how I compute. But I subscribe to the theory that if something isn't broken, don't try to fix it. I think the Unity design goes too far. GNOME and KDE environments are not perfect. But Unity leaves too much behind in trying to improve the navigational shell for Linux users.

For example, the title bar in open app windows does not have a maximize button. When you click on the minimize button (the only other choice is the X button to close the app), you can't find it. The indicator bar in the vertical row on the left only shows the same arrow for all open apps or folders. You have to go to the workplaces grid to see it and then click on it.

Also gone is the ability to drag the corners of an app window to resize it. So Unity limits what you do to its preset defaults.

I like the concept behind the Unity shell. But its execution is lacking. Maybe for a tiny netbook screen, Unity is a good solution. But it seems unnecessary on my larger-screen notebook and desktop computer configurations.

I also found the Unity shell to slow down my system performance. This is true for the netbook running a dinky Atom processor as well as the more robust notebook computers powered with AMD (NYSE: AMD) and Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) processors and 3 GB of RAM.

Like I said, if it isn't broken, why try to fix it? If the GNOME 3 shell is a nice improvement over GNOME 2, I may spend my computing time there.

*ECT News Network editor's note - Jan. 26, 2011: In our original publication of this article, the image was labeled "Unity." More precisely, it is the Ubuntu 10.10 Remix version of the Unity shell.

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Big questions surrounding the game little Sony

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Questa settimana, Sony (NYSE: end) presenter? ufficialmente la PlayStation Portable 2 (PSP2), il sequel di sua originale dispositivo mobile gaming di PSP. Diverse voci circondano la console di gioco imminente, uno dei quali ? di integrare uno smartphone.

Tuttavia, una storia di Bloomberg News, che ha alimentato l'ultima novit? sulla questione, ha riferito che Sony effettivamente presenter? due dispositivi: una console di gioco portatile PlayStation Portable aggiornata la prossima settimana e uno smartphone di gioco nel mese di febbraio.

Inoltre, il prossimo giocatore PSP saranno probabilmente supporto dischi, Louis Ward, direttore della ricerca presso IDC, ha detto TechNewsWorld.

Ancora, la confusione su Sony piani rimane.

"Ho sentito alcune voci che il PSP2 avr? una componente cellulare e gli altri dicendo che non", Pietro Macchiarella, un analista di ricerca di Parks Associates, detto TechNewsWorld.

Il nuovo dispositivo PSP sar? svelato il 27 gennaio a Tokyo, Bloomberg segnalati.

Sony presenter? lo smartphone di gioco presso il Mobile World Congress (MWC), che si terr? a Barcellona, in Spagna, in febbraio, ai sensi dell'articolo.

"Non ho sentito nulla su questo, ma non ? per mancanza di cercando," Ramon Llamas, un analista senior ricerca di IDC, detto TechNewsWorld quando viene chiesto se forse Sony potrebbe svelare una combinazione PSP2 giocatore e smartphone presso il MWC.

"Sony Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERICY) non ha nemmeno un accenno al nulla nel suo appello di guadagni, l'altro giorno," Llamas continuato. "So che hai state vedendo la possibilit? di un telefono di tali, ma ? stato tutto ricerca e prototipi ed esperimento".

Sony Ericsson ? entrato nell'immagine torna nel mese di novembre, quando il Wall Street Journal citato suo chief executive, Bert Nordberg, come dicendo che era consapevole della speculazione che la societ? stava lavorando su uno smartphone che sarebbe sfruttare l'esperienza di Sony nello sviluppo di PSP.

Fare uno smartphone che gioca i giochi ? tecnicamente fattibile, Nordberg detto il libro; la sfida principale risiederebbe nella negoziazione dei diritti con gli editori dei giochi.

Nordberg detto anche, in effetti, che Sony Ericsson sarebbe demo di un prodotto interessante presso il MWC e che Android rimarrebbe sua piattaforma smartphone dominante per almeno i prossimi due anni.

Sony Ericsson ha rifiutato di offrire ulteriori dettagli perch? essa "non commento su dicerie, speculazione o prodotti senza preavviso", ha detto portavoce Joshua Lefkowitz TechNewsWorld.

Non ? come se uno smartphone gioco sarebbe un prodotto rivoluzionario. Telefoni a basso costo anche funzionalit? possono essere utilizzati per gioco e smartphone piattaforme come iPhone e Android pu? scaricare e giocare migliaia di titoli da loro negozi rispettivi app.

Se, tuttavia, uno smartphone doveva essere accoppiato con un PSP2, che potrebbe essere un altro kettle of fish.

"Finora, gioco su Smartphone tende ad essere piuttosto informale, con giochi come"Angry uccelli"," ha detto Parks Associates' Pietro Macchiarella. "Il PSP2 avrebbe colpito pi? hard-core gamers, che ora passano ore sul loro PlayStation".

L'idea di un PSP2 con funzionalit? di smartphone ? "molto buona e ha il potenziale per il successo" se tale dispositivo ? infatti lanciato, Macchiarella suggerito. Ecco perch? Sony ha una base di clienti fedeli e forse perch? i proprietari di PlayStation potrebbero voler estendere la loro esperienza per lo smartphone, ha aggiunto.

Il nuovo PSP2 sar? UMD dischi probabilmente supporto Sony, a differenza di PlayStation Go, che ? supportato solo il download di giochi, ha detto Ward di IDC.

Un UMD, o Universal Media Disc, ? un mezzo di disco ottico sviluppato da Sony per l'uso su PlayStation Portable. Pu? contenere fino a 1,8 GB di dati.

Supporto della PSP 2 di UMD potrebbe essere lieta notizia per gli appassionati di PlayStation. Quando ? stato lanciato, il PSP Go ricevuto pesanti critiche per la sua capacit? di giocare solo giochi scaricati, piuttosto che saranno giochi contenuti su cartucce disco che gli utenti potrebbero scambiare a.

"La mancanza di cartucce in PlayStation Go reso un disastro," ha dichiarato Parks Associates' Macchiarella.

"Sospetto che la nuova versione di PlayStation [Portable] avr? la possibilit? di riprodurre dischi UMD, principalmente perch? i rivenditori preferiscono in questo modo, ma forse perch? un sacco di consumatori preferirebbero poter rivendere i dischi," ha detto Ward di IDC.

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Features of Firefox-not-track seen as toothless

As the Incredibles, facing down a nefarious villain, underground, called "the Underminer" at the end of their film debut, Mozilla is facing down data miners, giving users of Firefox, a new, albeit less-than-impressive power.

The browser will give users the ability to opt-out of advertising based on behavior. Server Web sites and ad will receive a "do not disturb" via a click-track not transmitted "HTTP header," a better approach, the indications of Mozilla, from cookies or user-Blacklist of advertisers.

As a non-standard platform, the header approach will rely not only on Firefox, but also on the websites for the implementation. It follows a call December 2010 by United States Department of Commerce for an "online privacy bill of rights" and a set of data Internet code of conduct--red flags that suggest the new tool can simply be an attempt to fend off future privacy legislation.

"That must be an important motivating factor," Jennifer Bayuk, Program Director of Security Systems Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology (SIT), told TechNewsWorld.

Mozilla may also be against competitors by allowing greater customization, "said Darren Hayes, Ph.d., President of the computer program at Pace University information systems.

"This could be seen as a reaction to Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Internet Explorer Browsing In private and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) customization options," he told TechNewsWorld.

While the new feature in Firefox does not block all advertisements, custom block ads that helped to carve out a unique niche advertising for advertising Internet giants such as Google.

The user-specific niche ad is often based on user ignorance of a "third report," Mozilla Labs principal engineer Mike Hanson explained in a blog post that Mozilla spokesperson Shannon first referred TechNewsWorld.

"For example, when you visit a news site that directs the user's browser to open an image from the site of an ad network, the report is the third," Hanson said. "In many cases, the user does not know that the relationship exists."

User-tracking is defined Similarly. "Third-party Tracking is intended to provide some persistence of a party relations," said Hanson. "The use, most people think is behavioral advertising, in which search keywords are identified and sent to a server, where they are used to select a display ads".

To escape the party behavioral advertising, Internet surfers have several options: opt-out registers; Web browser changes designed to prevent detection; blocking cookies and disabling.

These methods suffer from serious flaws, but Hanson wrote. Data registry of opt-out, for example, are stored in a cookie. Delete cookies, Delete the opt-out, and the ads start crackling once again.

Header-not-track Firefox explained Hanson, solves these problems of broadcasting "a clear declaration of intent of the user," enabling automatic tracking opt-out "mechanisms from around the Web in an easy-to-implement.

The concept is "nothing out of the ordinary" and represents a typical integration "challenge," explained Bayuk SIT. "The developers of interface between different software all the time."

"Powerful new tool for Firefox" persists through the cookies, requires no central register or the "black list" and "gives good actors in the information they need to treat users with respect," said Hanson.

At the top "With Hanson" list, however: "has no effect until the sites are incentivized to adopt it."

Incentives can be elusive.

"I see no incentive to participate without legislation," said Hayes, University of pace. "It is difficult to see the companies that advertise even trying to provide full co-operation to make this a success for Mozilla".

History tends to agree, the SIT Bayuk observed. "Other consortia, as a group that has promised to report a bug Enterprise Payment Security 2.0 Whitepaper from CyberSource safety in 30 days or more, have it. I see no incentive to use the header window-not-track except the good press that could come with it. "

To put it bluntly, "this is a public relations ploy by the father of Firefox (Mozilla Foundation)," said public relations specialist Richard Laermer technology.

It is unlikely that they receive widespread adoption, told TechNewsWorld, "because most people don't understand even detect it."

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Unstoppable forward with NVIDIA Tegra 2 3D

NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA) reportedly will ship a 3D Tegra 2 processor, to be used in mobile devices, this year.

A slide from planned presentation Nvidia at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, in February, shows the 3D 2 Tegra, according to TechEye, blog that broke the news.

The slide mentions also reported the Tegra 3, which is a quad-core processor.

"I cannot provide specific information about future products, because we don't comment on rumors or unannounced products," Ken Brown, a spokesman for Nvidia, told TechNewsWorld.

However, he did give credibility rumors on a possible 3D version of the Tegra.

"We're really excited about bringing 3D capabilities of Tegra," said Brown.

3D 2 Tegra reported will be based on an arm (Nasdaq: ARMHY) Dual Cortex A9 processor, clocked at up to 1.2 GHz and you will be able to manage 5,493 MIPS, or millions of instructions per second.

These statistics do not differ much from those of the Tegra 2, which is already in production.

Tegra 2 has a dual core ARM Cortex A9 CPU. It also includes a low power processor, an Nvidia GeForce graphics processor, 1080p video playback, video processor, 1080p encode an image signal processor, an audio processor and ARM7 processors.

NVIDIA demoed reported five loaves Tegra 2-based at the Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas in January. Had da NotionInk, ICD, Compal, Foxconn and MSI.

NVIDIA reportedly will start to produce the 3D Tegra 2 in the first quarter.

3D-devices-including Smartphones, notebooks, mobile Internet devices and portable players--including more than 11 percent of the total market of mobile devices by 2015, according to ABI Research.

Unlike the 3D TVs, the mobile category has a rapid replacement cycle, said Victoria Fodale, senior analyst with ABI, mobile devices. This means that consumers are more likely to upgrade to a mobile device with 3D, and are likely to do it sooner than you would upgrade to a 3D TV.

There are two specific use cases for 3D on mobile devices depending on the form factor and hardware specifications, Fodale told TechNewsWorld.

One of these is the game--not just on Smartphones with larger screens, but also collapsed as well. The second is playing 3D content, like movies on mobile devices.

"At CES, I've seen demonstrations of animated films as" shrek "on mobile devices, and they looked really, really good," Fodale, he said. "I was skeptical, but I was convinced."

Generations of 3D content will be enabled by the ability of still and video cameras to capture 3D images, said Fodale.

That will require some additional hardware, such as multiple processors, as well as improvements in the software to render, he added.

The GeForce graphics processing unit of low power Tegra already has advanced 2D and 3D rendering, Nvidia Brown stressed. Further, Tegra already supports used by leading game engines and for designing 3D user interfaces, 3D rendering.

The same slide that shows the 3D 2 Tegra apparently also shows the 3 Tegra. Will reportedly have a quad-core processor 1.5 GHz and more than two times faster than line 2 Tegra.

It will have a very low power processor, and there will be two versions--one for a smartphone--and one for a tablet, if the information disclosed is accurate.

You probably won't see 3D mobile devices until the end of this year, ABI Fodale speculated.

That's why the technology that you think will probably fit the Bill will not be available until then.

"There's a number of different technologies that provide 3D functionality, and what I find most applicable is the Parallax barrier technology," said Fodale.

A parallax barrier consists of a layer of material with a series of slots that allow you to see a different set of pixels, so that the viewer Gets a 3D image without the need to wear 3D glasses each eye. The problem with this technology is that you must sit at exactly the right place to experience the 3D effect. In addition, the slits are vertical, which is problematic given the swivel and tilt functionality offered by mobile devices.

However, a new version of this technology using cellular blinds instead of vertical stripes, which means that users can rotate the screen and don't miss the 3D image, said Fodale.

"I spoke with the company to drive this approach at CES," he added, "and they said that we're going to see these things happen towards the end of 2011."

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Victim of butterfly wings Guiding Light for Nanotech innovation

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Butterfly Wings Offer Guiding Light for Nanotech Innovation By Mike Martin
01/25/11 5:00 AM PT

"I love nanotechnology, but I really have not seen a commercialization of it that can make money in the near term," said NanoTech CEO Doug Blakeway. "When this was initially presented to me by Bozena and Clint, I immediately saw their vision." The vision made sense in simple terms: Insects and other animals use colorful markings to uniquely identify themselves. Documents could benefit from the same concept.

The Morpho butterfly's highly evolved wings are so unique that scientists at Simon Fraser University (SFU) have teamed up with NanoTech Security to reproduce their iridescent blue coloring for a new anti-counterfeiting technology.

Nanotech Security's new anti-counterfeiting product, N.O.t.E.S., will replace holograms used on banknotes and to authenticate items such as legal documents, visas, passports and retail merchandise.

A clever pairing of nanotechnology and entomology -- the study of insects -- used nanoscale microscopic holes that interact with light to reproduce the butterfly's shimmering signature wherever a counterfeit-proof watermark is desired: in bank notes, legal documents, merchandise, concert tickets, stock certificates, visas, passports, and pharmaceutical products, to name a few of the possible uses.

"Nobody has ever done this," said NanoTech Security CEO Doug Blakeway, who also serves as SFU Venture Connection entrepreneur in residence. "We have succeeded, while everybody else is still trying to duplicate or imitate a butterfly's wing."

The new U.S. $100 bill includes several state-of-the art security Enterprise Payment Security 2.0 Whitepaper from CyberSource features that haven't yet been unveiled, but probably mirror similar technology, such as hologram strips, security threads woven into paper, raised type, color-shifting and UV-sensitive inks.

The printing arts and the science of inks, however -- old standbys in the quest for counterfeit-proof documents -- aren't part of the NanoTech concept.

"The Morpho's wing absorbs light and gives off the color," Blakeway told TechNewsWorld, "but there's no color pigment -- there's nothing like a dye or anything else. It's a hole that traps light and releases color."

The new product has attracted the attention of treasuries internationally, and for a few simple reasons, Blakeway explained. "You can't copy or scan it, you can't inkjet it on paper. And anywhere a hologram is used, our technology can replace it. It's more secure. We can put it onto metal, plastic, or paper, and you can't lift it off."

The appropriately named Morpho butterfly -- which morphs, like all of its kin, from caterpillar to winged beauty -- lives an achingly short life, roughly 137 days, mostly in the tropical climes of Mexico, Central America and South America.

The creature's pigment-free coloring -- metallic shades of blue and green -- reflects iridescence, an optical property common to soap bubbles and even other insects in which the color changes, appearing to shimmer, with the angle of viewing.

Microscopic scales called "iridescent lamellae" cover the top of the Morpho's wings, leaving the underside a dull brown. The lamellae reflect about 70 percent of light, create the coloring, and are reportedly visible to the human eye from up to one kilometer (0.6 miles) away.

Confined to males in most Morpho species, the wing color probably encourages female butterflies while discouraging male competitors, entomologists believe. Territorial male Morphos are known to chase away rivals.

Though the NanoTech Security technology doesn't use the wings directly, the butterflies are bred commercially for jewelry, wood inlay, and even ceremonial masks.

The guiding concept behind the NanoTech Security project sounds simple enough -- drill small holes, place in right light.

But the project took some years to evolve at the hands of a team that included SFU engineering professor Bozena Kaminska and NanoTech Security CTO Clint Landrock.

"Bank of Canada researchers expressed interest in the new technology," Kaminska told TechNewsWorld. "Their interest inspired me and Clint, then my graduate student, to develop the nanofeatures."

The next step involved patents and introductions.

"After Dr. Kaminska and I patented our technology, we were introduced to NanoTech's CEO, Doug Blakeway, through SFU's Venture Connection office," Landrock told TechNewsWorld. "After giving him a presentation on our technology, he thought it held a lot of potential. The three of us formed the company I|D|ME and licensed the nano-optics for use in security documents to NanoTech Security Corp."

Now dubbed "Nano-Optic Technology for Enhanced Security," the anti-counterfeiting measures should hit the market sometime in 2012, Landrock explained. That should be good news to nanotechnologists everywhere, who've engaged with anidea -- the use of ultra-small things to make giant-sized impacts -- filled with promise but fraught with slow application.

"I love nanotechnology, but I really have not seen a commercialization of it that can make money in the near term," said Blakeway. "When this was initially presented to me by Bozena and Clint, I immediately saw their vision."

The vision made sense in simple terms: Insects and other animals use colorful markings to uniquely identify themselves. Documents could benefit from the same concept.

"I kept thinking of applications for the idea, and how it could be used. Bozena and Clint were only after one application -- creating anti-counterfeiting features for banknotes," Blakeway explained. "I felt this could be the first commercial application of nanotechnology in the world. The potential astounds me."

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E-Skin for Robots Could Lead to Touchy-Feely Prosthetics for Humans
September 14, 2010
UC Berkeley researchers have come up with a way to use nanowires to create a touch-sensitive "e-skin" for robots. Their research represents "the very beginning" of the journey toward prosthetic limbs that can both accomplish tasks and also be modulated by a user who is receiving information back from the device, said Steven Hsiao, professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University.

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Facebook Once Again Hangs Up on Phone Rumors
January 26, 2011
Facebook issued a flat denial Wednesday to persistent rumors that the company is developing its own branded cellphone. Talk of a Facebook phone surfaced last fall, and it was brought to life again Wednesday with a report stating the company would bring two phones to Mobile World Congress. The company's said it's not building a phone, and for some, it's a very believable denial. Google Offers a Wisp of Cloud Printing
January 25, 2011
Google's new mobile cloud printing service is just a modest first step toward a driver-free, cord-free future. "HTML5 is key to operating Cloud Print on mobile devices running Android 2.1+ and iOS 3+, noted Compuware CTO Imad Mouline. "HTML5 causes mobile apps to behave more like desktop or native applications." Firefox Do-Not-Track Feature Seen as Toothless
January 24, 2011
Browser features like those planned for Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox are little more than thinly veiled attempts to pre-empt mandatory do-not-track regulation, say critics. To put it bluntly, "this is a public relations ploy by Firefox's parent (the Mozilla Foundation)," said technology public relations specialist Richard Laermer.

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California Shouldn't ain't Internet Tax Plan of NY

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California Shouldn't Follow NY's Internet Tax Plan By Sonia Arrison
01/26/11 5:00 AM PT

It is difficult enough to get a business running and profitable. Forcing businesses to do the government's job is a huge additional burden that could break some companies. And of course, every time this issue comes up, it serves to remind Californians that they have the highest sales tax in the nation, not a distinction to brag about when state coffers are so empty.

California is facing budget problems yet again, and once again state lawmakers are hoping to shake down Internet retailers as a fast source of revenue. A bill introduced by Democratic Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner ( AB 153) proposes to force out-of-state businesses to collect tax if they use an in-state company to generate leads. It's an idea that has been tested in New York and led to significant losses in that state.

"If advertising with California-based websites were to create a nexus in the state for out of state retailers, those retailers will simply chose to terminate click-thru advertising agreements with California-based websites," said Patrick Gleason of Americans for Tax Reform. When New York passed a law similar to AB 153, cut contracts with online Create an online store today -- 30 day free trial. Click here to learn more. advertisers in that state. Bills like AB 153 "will eliminate an important source of revenue, which income tax is paid on, for many online entrepreneurs and other California-based organizations."

It seems that by attempting to generate more income, Skinner could wind up killing jobs and diminishing revenue for California. So why target online sales? E-commerce is growing for a variety of reasons, and some businesses, like Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS), argue that (Nasdaq: AMZN) has an unfair advantage over them because they do not collect taxes for states in which they are not based. The reality is more complicated than that.

Online shopping is clearly different from in-person shopping. When someone shops online, they typically have to pay a shipping fee. For instance, to get a pair of shoes shipped overnight from, the charge is US$25 -- a much larger fee than the state tax. In those circumstances, it is the retailer based around the corner from one's home that holds an advantage over the Internet vendor.

Even if everyone agrees that the Internet doesn't automatically convey an advantage, some argue that it seems unfair that one company has to collect a tax for the government while the other does not. The reason for this comes from a Supreme Court ruling that says that states cannot force companies out of their jurisdiction to do their work.

This makes sense, since companies that do not physically reside in the state do not use government services, like police and firefighting, as in-state businesses do. But again, even if everyone agrees with this, what about the so-called "tax-break" for consumers who shop with the out-of-state retailers? This is the crux of the matter.

Consumers are supposed to pay "use tax" on goods purchased from out-of-state retailers. Sometimes individuals are unaware of this requirement, or they fail to do it on their yearly tax form. Governments have trouble enforcing compliance with tax law in an Internet age, and since governments are not willing directly to force payment Enterprise Payment Security 2.0 Whitepaper from CyberSource of the taxes by targeting individuals or switching to an origin-based tax, they would rather ask Internet businesses to do it for them. This is what many businesses object to, and rightly so.

It is difficult enough to get a business running and profitable. Forcing businesses to do the government's job is a huge additional burden that could break some companies. And of course, every time this issue comes up, it serves to remind Californians that they have the highest sales tax in the nation, not a distinction to brag about when state coffers are so empty.

Technology companies power California's economy and provide much needed jobs. It is disappointing to see legislators again targeting this sector as a source of revenue. Instead, legislators should make the state more hospitable to all entrepreneurs by lightening California's onerous tax and regulatory burden. Legislators also need to get spending under control, so huge budget deficits don't cause panic and ill-advised money grabs.

Sonia Arrison, a TechNewsWorld columnist, is senior fellow in technology studies at the California-based Pacific Research Institute. Follow her on Twitter @soniaarrison. Print Version E-Mail Article Reprints More by Sonia Arrison

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On the Envronment and Human Rights, Is Apple Just Blowing Smoke?
January 25, 2011
Apparently, Mike Daisey's monologue play, "The Agony & The Ecstasy of Steve Jobs," is hilarious and covers the genius of Apple's CEO, but it also paints a dark picture of Apple's overseas manufacturing efforts. The message is that the products we all love are made under inhumane conditions. And that, perhaps, brings up some interesting ideas of what is humane and inhumane.

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In Uncle Sam, You've Got a Friend... Who Wants Everybody's DNA
December 01, 2010
Creepy as they might seem, the government's latest intrusive moves should not be surprising. One of the roles of government is to maintain law, and those tasked with that goal will naturally use all the tools at their disposal. Yet it is important to maintain a balance between privacy and security, especially as new abilities such as whole genome sequencing get cheaper. Hey You, Get Off of My Cloud!
September 29, 2010
The technology industry doesn't need government's help to innovate and create jobs. The sector is so competitive that market forces serve to keep most issues in check. Privacy from unwarranted law enforcement access, however, is one issue that can't be addressed by the marketplace. Cloud Computing Calms Open Source Warfare
September 01, 2010
Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, has been widely cited arguing that cloud computing is a trap to be avoided because, he thinks, it leads to a loss of freedom and control. Such comments are an unnecessary throwback to a time when some individuals got great pleasure out of bashing big companies that were not as cooperative as they could have been.

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Page and willingness to Zuckerberg Duke it out for supremacy Tech

The announcement that Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) co-founder Larry Page will become the company is a big deal--and not just for Google CEO.

With Mark Zuckerberg firmly ensconced in the top spot at Facebook and set of pages to take the reins of Google in April, the two most influential companies in the tech industry will be led by executives who launched their careers on products that are designed specifically to leverage the power of the World Wide Web.

Starting from Facebook and Google, page, and Zuckerberg demonstrated that they understood the potential of the Web to change the world. Now, the rest of us get to see that one of them can do the best job of harnessing the Web to develop products that attract users and ultimately generate long-term business profits.

In contemplating how this battle will be playing, an examination of how page and Zuckerberg--or more precisely their company--became the two main combatants in a struggle for supremacy of the tech industry may be useful.

The short answer is that initial products these companies embody the vision that led Tim Berners-Lee to create the Web, which was to develop a platform that would reflect the way before we work, play and socialize and so allow us to improve the ways to do those things.

Google has certainly improved our ability to locate information with its first product, the search engine, based on an algorithm that page developed with Google co-founder Sergey Brin during the days as graduate students at Stanford. Lately, the search engine Google has been criticised for serving up too many links that are irrelevant, obsolete or related businesses that have paid to advertise on the site.

While those criticisms are not entirely unfounded, Google still gives us faster, easier access to much more information--from titles of books in the libraries of college to newspapers, magazines and videos--that we have ever had.

More than 600 million users of Facebook without doubt say that Facebook has improved the way we socialize, and a large proportion of them also like to play games that are available on the site.

There are, of course, a number of other tech companies. Do not put any of these companies in the same class as Google or Facebook, however, since those companies were founded during the pre-Web. I wonder if their products have had the same impact on our work or social life that Google and Facebook have had.

GroupOn, the daily deal site founded by now 30-year-old Andrew Mason, is the company that would come closer to be compared directly with Facebook and Google. However, I have trouble making this comparison, largely because I feel that a site that offers discount shopping coupons into a business with a potential stock market valuation of $ 15 billion to be more of a triumph of marketing of turning a technological breakthrough.

GroupOn made headlines by turning down buy-out 6-billion dollars in Google offer late last year. Mason and the company can also net more in an IPO that was expected to be held sometime this year. Still, I wouldn't be surprised to see a day that GroupOn looked like an also-ran in a market flooded with sites to connect users with discounts. In fact, Google already launched such a risk.

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), with a market capitalization of $ 300 million, is the most valuable technology company in the world, but it's also a different animal than Google or Facebook. First, Apple's CEO Steve Jobs has been one of Silicon Valley original wunderkinds when he collaborated with Steve Wozniak to build what was then the revolutionary device known as the PC Apple in the 1970s, long before the public had even heard of the Internet.

These days, Apple is creating major buzz--and earn this noble-market assessment-with its line of widely admired iProducts. As popular as these devices are, they aren't really designed to connect people.

The first of these devices, iPod, was built to allow users to bring their personal music libraries wherever they went, listening through headphones and, indeed, they themselves closing from the outside world. The iPhone and the iPad allows users to freely connect with social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter, but are still largely devices to meet your personal wishes. You might remember that the ability to read Create an online store today -- 30 day free trial. Click here to learn more. books online--a very lonely--was the top feature that Apple touted when was preparing the initial iPad launch.

To his credit, Apple has embraced social media, but that was largely a reaction to the popularity of Facebook and Twitter, as well as the competition that Google's Android operating system--which is extremely social media friendly--presented to the iPlatform.

When looking at the landscape of the tech industry going forward, we must also consider that Jobs ' health unhappy can force the pace by Apple completely, and that the company could send in a spiral. It was, after all, that brought Apple out a prolonged recession when he returned for his second tenure as CEO in the late 1990s.

Even if he lost some favor with Wall Street, Google is still a very profitable company. It also has $ 30 billion in cash.

It might seem that Google has an advantage on Facebook with the 38-year-old hired as CEO after nearly a decade under the watchful eye of a 55-year-old Eric Schmidt, a veteran high-tech exec previously stints at spending places such as Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL) and Sun Microsystems.

The joke not-so-inside Google is that Schmidt was there to provide adult supervision for Page and Brin, and now that I'm grown up, the President of the Executive role can fade Schmidt.

Meanwhile, the 26-year-old Zuckerberg continues to run Facebook without visible signs of seeking help from more experienced leaders in the industry. That may change at some point, especially with Goldman Sachs having recently invested close to $ 1.5 billion in Facebook and certainly eager to see a significant return on that investment.

Meanwhile, anxious to see the full impact that both Google and Facebook will have on the industry and the rest of the world for the coming years. Regardless of whether these companies end up on top of the tech world--or even if some are now non-existent upstart comes to dethrone both--there are bound to be exciting things in store for users of technology.

TechNewsWorld columnist Sidney Hill has been writing about business and technology trends for more than two decades. In addition to his work as a freelance journalist, he operates a consulting firm independent marketing communications. You can connect with Hill through its website.

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«LA noire ": latest Rockstar Epic Gets treatment Sam Spade

'LA Noire': Latest Rockstar Epic Gets the Sam Spade TreatmentBy Mark Raby
01/25/10 9: 10 AM PT after taking players on a long tour of destruction and devastation criminals with his series of "Grand Theft Auto, Rockstar Games will put players on the right side of the law with" LA Noire, "scheduled for release in May. A new trailer video reveals more information about the game, in which players assume the role of a detective of the 1940s on the trail of a murderer.

When it comes to video games violent, controversial, Rockstar is King. "Grand Theft Auto" put the company on the map, and hasn't looked back since. It has become one of the most talked-about publishers in the industry and continues to push the envelope. But his latest game, while still containing a lot of sex and violence, puts players in a very different perspective.

Rockstar announced "LA noire" more than three years ago, but until now, remained sketchy details on exact texture and the gameplay mechanics of the game. This week, has released a new trailer that gives the most complete vision yet of how the game will take place.

Unlike its "Grand Theft Auto," serie a "LA noire", players are on the right side of the law. They assume the role of a detective who faces a string of murder mysteries to be solved at any cost. However, much like "gta", everything is indefinite. Players are facing challenging situations and morally can go down any path they choose, but the key point is the objective of solving murders. Players are not criminals in this latest creation of Rockstar.

This is a big change to the Publisher, said Chris Morris, former editor-in-Chief of Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) finance and famous video game industry expert. Previous titles Rockstar "allow you to play on the wrong side of the law. This time around, you are the police--and while we are driving and shooting elements, as there are other Rockstar titles, the game is much more cerebral. "

Morris, who recently got a sneak peek at the PS3 game, compared to last year's hit "Heavy Rain", "in which players could easily become emotionally to their characters in the game and faced tough questions that couldn't help but get them thinking," what would I do in real life if I had to deal with this situation? "

Even if your moral compass in "LA noire" is different than "Grand Theft Auto," If the new trailer is anything to go, there is still a lot of content that you may get the parents in a tizzy. There is blood, graphical representations of bodies shot and some sexual tension thrown good fit.

But in a turn of events for Rockstar, not blood and sex that "LA noire" is getting attention for. It is highly sophisticated technology used in the development of the game.

"LA noire" uses a new technology called "MotionScan" in which the actors that lend their portraits to the game were motion-captured by a circle of 32 cameras, allowing the game to display sophisticated facial expressions. When talking about characters in the game, the lips will move in sync actually dialogue.

"L.A. Noire will take video games one step closer to cinematic imagery," Morris told us. It could force other game developers to step up their game. "

The game is set in the era of the 1940s/1950s film noire, and is designed to be so much cinematic experience as well as is a powerful and sophisticated video game. There are more than 20 hours of recorded voice acting in the game, or about enough to fill an entire season of an animated TV series.

Rockstar founder Sam Houser said "LA noire" difference is anything the company has done before, action and real detective work. Rockstar wouldn't expand further on that assertion, when asked for comment by TechNewsWorld.

"We are expecting pre-orders for ' l.a. noire is pretty high, just like with any game at Rockstar," Brian Matte, Director General, GameStop in New York City, told TechNewsWorld. "There has already been consumer interest, and we are excited that we can now tell everyone when the game will be available."

However, Morris does not expect to be a huge marketing juggernaut on the day of launch, declaring "is a title that is not one that people will clamor for day one, but can be drawn quickly."

"LA noire" will be available on Xbox 360 and PS3 in the United States on May 17. A European launch follows the May 20th.

Print version of the article electronic reprints more of Mark Raby

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Sony is expected to unveil a new addition to its family of PlayStation Portable handset game this week. While the new PSP can include functionality of smartphone, at least one report suggests two devices will be delivered in the coming weeks: a single unit and a smartphone game/game. Whatever the configuration, Sony may also reintroduce UMD features that were discontinued in PSP Go of 2009.

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Kinect Hack gives users a Robo-Alter Ego
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Kinect hackers have figured out how to use technology to allow robot in the physical world to simulate the movement of its human controllers. Today, the result is simply a cool YouTube video--but what about tomorrow? Buyers of avatar? Martian explorers? Real clone wars? Redmond is watching, no doubt, for the burst of creative genius that could become the next big commercial application.

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