Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Four Alternatives to Google Video. No, Not Including YouTube.

Why didn't we appreciate Google Video and its free unlimited storage facility more when it was around?
On Sunday Google announced that it was shutting down Google Video, the video sharing site that was effectively replaced by YouTube when Google acquired it in 2006.
Unlike YouTube, Google Video didn't restrict your file size or number of uploads. Sure it stopped accepting videos in 2007, but it did remain as a valuable storage facility for 2.8 million (unofficially) videos, many of which featured long academic talks.

Read more here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Yale Mail Moving to Gmail

Starting next September, Yale students will access their University mail using new Gmail accounts.
Provost Peter Salovey approved a proposal last week to run the University’s email through Google Apps for Education — a software suite that includes Google Mail, Calendar, Docs, Talk and Sites applications. Despite previous security concerns, Chuck Powell, associate chief information officer for Information Technology Services, said ITS has negotiated a contract with Google that addresses those concerns. He said he hopes to begin migrating student accounts from the current Horde email service to the Google platform Sept. 15, followed by faculty and staff accounts.
Read more here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Can A BlackBerry Tablet With No Email Impress Wall Street Professionals?

Wall Street executives who like the iPad but are addicted to their BlackBerry now have a solution: RIM's new PlayBook tablet, which launched last Tuesday. But will it strike a chord with CrackBerries?
Well, according to initial reports of empty stores, it's off to a slow start. Or at least it's failed to whip up a similar frenzy to the iPad (or any new Apple product, for that matter.)

But analysts in this CNBC video think the PlayBook could be a sleeper hit, since it is targeted at enterprises and professionals who love their BlackBerries (and that's a lot of them) .

For those who think that Apple is the only company that can stir up any kind of passionate emotion from its users, think again: is a site dedicated to BlackBerry users and abusers featuring news coverage, how to guides, forums and BlackBerry software, themes and accessories. So will BlackBerry lovers flock to the PlayBook? After all, Wall Street professionals - particularly institutional investors, retail traders and financial advisors - have already embraced the iPad. Firms like Morgan Stanley, TD Ameritrade and Barclays Capital are just some of the big firms that have recently launched popular apps for the Apple device.

Well, the RIM tablet only works with WiFi, unlike the iPad which also works on cellular networks. That's actually a plus: it means users can get online using the BlackBerry's cellular connection. You don't have to pay an extra $15 or $20 a month for a tethering plan, as you do with the iPhone or Android.

Read more here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Uh, Oh: Epsilon Email Breach Exposed Medical Info

The Epsilon data breach just got more serious — or at least, more embarrassing. When the database hack that compromised the subscriber lists of over 100 companies was first revealed, Epsilon said that only names and email addresses were exposed — meaning all the millions of people affected had to fear was a lot of spam and possibly some targeted phishing attacks. But now there’s a drug company on the Epsilon breach list; its client list included the drug websites to which its customers subscribed — and thus implies which medical  conditions they may suffer from.
The Wall Street Journal reports that GlaxoSmithKline sent a letter to consumers over the weekend who had “registered with Glaxo Web sites for some prescription and nonprescription drugs and products,” warning them that their email addresses and names had been hacked, and that the stolen information “may have identified the product website on which you registered.”
Glaxo has websites for products ranging from HIV, bipolar disorder, and depression medication to Nicorette gum. And if you’re a Beano registrant, some hacker out there may be having a gas at your expense.

Read more here

Monday, April 18, 2011

Android tweak lets admins reset stolen devices

Google has enhanced the enterprise management capabilities of its Android smartphone platform, making it possible for administrators to secure and reset lost or stolen devices.
In a blog post on Thursday, Google Enterprise Mobility Product Manager Mayur Kamat wrote that Android already worked "quite well" with the Google Apps productivity and collaboration suite, but the company was working to provide more functionality for those organizations using both platforms.

Read more here

Friday, April 15, 2011

Microsoft Fixing 64 Security Flaws for April's Patch

Microsoft's massive April Patch Tuesday will tie the record for the most security bulletins released at one time. It is a dramatic contrast to last month's skimpy Patch Tuesday release, which only contained three security bulletins.

On April 12, Microsoft plans to release 17 security bulletins, including nine that are rated "Critical" and eight rated "Important." Fifteen of the bulletins address vulnerabilities that allow attackers to remotely execute code.

Read more here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Paying Taxes for Online Purchases?

You probably don't want to pay sales tax for online purchase, but you should. There's no strong argument that Internet commerce should receive more favorable tax treatment than shopping at a store in person. A post I wrote earlier this week argued this point. It posed the question: why aren't states doing more to pursue collecting sales tax from online retailers? In fact, some are.

Read more here

Monday, April 11, 2011

Beats by Dre -- Review

You like beats?

You like Dr. Dre?

Then check out this review for Beats by Dre!

The good: The Monster Beats by Dr. Dre headphones offer a stylish and comfortable design as well as exceptionally crisp audio response. Sound quality is mostly balanced, with warm mids and thumping bass. Included are a nice carrying case and a music-phone-compatible cable.
The bad: The Monster Beats by Dr. Dre headphones cannot be used without batteries. Glossy black design is very smudge-prone, and a few songs sound harsh. Right earcup rattles while you walk.
The bottom line: The unique and stylish Monster Beats by Dr. Dre headphones offer solid audio, useful accessories, and a look that's anything but copycat. For fashion-forward folks with cash to spare, they're a great option.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hackers Take Down PSN?

If you were having issues connecting to PlayStation Network or any of Sony’s websites, here’s the reason. Hacktivist group Anonymous, or a group claiming to them, went through with their earlier promise of exacting revenge on Sony for their treatment of the jailbreak scenario, and their “fellow hackers” GeoHot and Graf_Chokolo.
 Read more here

Giant futuristic batteries to power 2,000 households

Renewable energy like solar and wind may help to save the planet, but a key challenge is storing the power they generate for dark or low-wind periods.
One approach for large-scale energy storage systems are redox flow batteries, which are basically large tanks with flowing electrolytes.
Researchers from several Fraunhofer Institutes are working jointly to develop these scalable fluid batteries with a goal of one day building a handball-court-sized battery installation with a capacity of 20 MWh – enough energy to provide power to roughly 2,000 households through a long winter’s night or an overcast day.
They still have a long way to go. Currently, they have a working demo based on a 2-kW plant that is on display at the Hannover Messe conference this week. A 20-kW plant is scheduled to go into operation at the end of next year and the researchers hope to cross the megawatt threshold in roughly five years.

Read more here

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Toyota Teams Up With Microsoft on In-Car Tech

Ready for a talking car?

TORRANCE, Calif. -- One of the world's largest technology companies just linked up with one of the world's biggest car makers.
Toyota announced Wednesday a $12 million partnership with Microsoft aimed at building out the Japanese auto makers’ in-car technology.
The initial investment was a pittance compared to the overall size of the vehicle “infotainment” market, but it was “an important step in developing” the burgeoning technology, according to Toyota President Akio Toyoda.

Read more here

Saturday, April 2, 2011

State Department Builds A Panic Button App

Sorry I haven't blogged lately, I had to take care of some personal things.

Anyway, imagine you are a pro-democracy protester on the streets of a repressive government. You’ve got your cellphone and you are messaging your friends. In the crowd near you, the police start making arrests. Fearing the government will confiscate your phone and investigate your contacts, you push a “panic button” on your phone. It deletes the contacts in your address book and sends out an alert. Such an app wasn’t readily available so the U.S. State Department, acting as a venture capitalist, decided to build one.
The State Department tells TechCrunch government funded work is underway to build an Android version of this “panic button” app. No release date has been set. Another version designed to work on low-cost Nokia phones, more common in the developing world, is being considered. No iPhone app is planned for now.

Read more here

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Need help conserving that laptop battery?

After a recent test, Internet Explorer 9 proved to be the most energy-efficient browser!

Microsoft compared its new browser with Opera 11, Firefox 4, Chrome 10, and Safari 5 on an Intel laptop, measuring how many watts the machine consumed with the browser idling, showing a news site, and running graphics-intensive Web tests.

Monday, March 28, 2011

HTC Evo - Terrible Device?

When MG reviewed the new HTC EVO, which is now selling out in the U.S., I wasn’t surprised he gave it a thumbs down. The device was too big in his opinion, the software too flaky. And the battery life isn’t just bad, it’s 90′s laptop bad. You need to be near a power source at all times.
But the commenters came at him anyway, attacking so viciously that they were actually starting to act like the evil twins of rabid Apple fanboys. “Android Fanboys Have Arrived,” quipped MG.

Well, I’m an Android Fanboy, and I’m telling you not to buy this device. The battery life is abysmal – MobileCrunch calls it a “dealbreaker” and I agree. Yes you can do a few things to get a little extra time out of it, but this device routinely runs out of power while sitting on standby overnight next to my bed. You aren’t just charging this once a day. Or twice a day. You need to be thinking about your next power fix just about any time you are using it. I keep chargers at home, in my office, in my car, and an extra one to suck power from my laptop. That keeps it going, but it isn’t fun.

And it’s more than that. The HTC Sense user interface and all the extra HTC and Sprint software on this device just makes it a joke for anyone that wants to fully control and customize their device. You can get rid of or at least turn off much of it, but it’s a pain to do that. And worse, you can’t upgrade the Android OS to new releases until HTC and Sprint are ready to let you do that. See Gizmodo for a full analysis of the problem.

See full story here

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Don't you hate it when you just bought the latest, hottest gadget on the market, only to find out another, better version of it has been released? No need to worry, retailers have a solution for consumers — and for themselves. They will buy back your old gadget in hopes that you turn around and purchase the next best gadget on their shelves.

Under these buyback programs, big-box retailers and online merchants give cash or credit for a piece of used electronics. Best Buy, the world's largest consumer electronics retailer, launched its program this year.

One company in particular using this program is Best Buy. They aired a commercial with Justin Beiber a few months back, take a look.

Rebecca Black - Dead?

On March 27th, 2011 Black was found dead in her home in Anaheim Hills, California. While Orange County Sheriff's Department is still investigating the death, an officer at the scene commented "It has all the signs of a suicide". No details regarding a possible cause of death have thus far been released. The Orange County Sheriff's Department was unavailable for a statement.

Wow, that has to be pretty devastating to her fans, friends and family. My condolences goes out to her loved ones. R.I.P. Rebecca Black

EDIT: Seems a kind person already created a tribute.

Edit: Disregard that, she's alive and well

Facebook to Buy Mobile App Developer Snaptu

Facebook has agreed to buy Snaptu, an application developer for mobile devices that are less sophisticated than smartphones, as the world's largest Internet social network focuses on expanding its mobile services.

Facebook will pay up to $70 million for the London-based Snaptu, according to the Israeli newspapers Calcalist and The Marker.

Snaptu confirmed the deal, which is expected to close in a few weeks, on its website on Sunday.

Facebook spokesman Jonny Thaw declined to comment on the deal's terms, but said in an email, "As part of Facebook, Snaptu's team and technology will enable us to deliver an even better mobile experience."

The site has been increasingly focusing on building up its mobile phone services for its 500-million-plus member online social network, and is in the market for more deals. Last week, Facebook said it had hired a member of Google Inc's corporate development team to lead its fledgling merger and acquisition efforts.

Snaptu, founded in 2007, develops applications for feature phones, which have fewer capabilities than smartphones. The company helped develop a feature phone Facebook app earlier this year.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Geek version of Sherlock Holmes?

Mark Bao is a Massachusetts college student with enough computer savviness to track down a thief who broke into his dorm and stole his laptop.
The 18-year-old's MacBook Air was stolen in February and through the help of Social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, he was able to track the perpetrator down single (and gadget) handedly.
The perpetrator

Apparently the thief used the stolen computers web cam to record himself dancing to a a rap song. Bao uploaded the video to YouTube which can be viewed below!

He's got some pretty groovy moves for a thief!

Glass Phone?

Called the CPT002, this transparent glass Aston Martin phone by Mobiado "can control many of the car's functions." Aside from its stunning looks, "cameras integrated into the vehicle can be set to periodically update Facebook and Twitter with pictures, video, and information of passing cities/landmarks during road trips."

Gamestop - Rolling in dough

Get ready to open up your money vault, Gamestop! The company reported "all-time high" sales of $9.47 billion for 2010, with a record net profit of $408 million. During the fourth quarter, the company also saw a 4.8 percent increase in sales to $3.69 billion, with a 10 percent increase in net earnings to $237.8 million.