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