Live Internet TV Coming to Airlines

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Airline passengers will soon be able to watch live television on their laptops through Connexion by Boeing’s in-flight Internet service.

Beginning Jan. 23, passengers who buy blocks of Internet access on the nine foreign airlines that currently offer Connexion’s service will also be able to watch programs broadcast on BBC World, CNBC, Eurosportnews, and either EuroNews or MSNBC.

Airlines like JetBlue Airways and Frontier Airlines offer similar programming viewable on TV screens on the backs of passengers’ seats.

Under new pricing announced Wednesday, access to Connexion’s high-speed Internet service will cost $26.95 for up to 24 hours beginning Jan. 31. Connexion currently charges $29.95 for six hours of Internet access or more. Hourly pricing also is available.

The TV service will not cost passengers any extra.

Source: AP

Overhaul of GPL set for public release

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A major revamp of the General Public License is scheduled for public release next week, a move that’s expected to kick off a long and vocal debate over the key foundation of open-source programming.

The Free Software Foundation will release and describe the first public draft of version 3 of the document on Jan. 16, at the First International Conference on GPLv3 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the organization said.

Source: News.com

PlayStation 3 price - $500?

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

While there was little doubt the Xbox 360 was going to be a hit in the just completed holiday season, no one was real sure how consumers would react to the $399 price tag.

Despite the $100 bump over the launch price of the original Xbox, few seemed to mind. Now, with Sony’s PlayStation 3 looming, it appears another price threshold may be crossed before the year is out.

Sony hasn’t commented on specific pricing figures, though Ken Kutaragi, president of Sony Consumer Entertainment, reportedly told attendees of a 2005 corporate meeting “it’ll be expensive.” Analysts and many video game developers, though, suspect the system may debut with a price tag reaching nearly $500.

“[Sony] could now consider launching its PlayStation 3 at a price range of $399 to $499, with the $499 price point more likely,” said American Technology Research’s P.J. McNealy in a note to clients Monday.

Sony, as you might guess, didn’t have much to say about McNealy’s theory.

“We haven’t made an official announcement about pricing yet,” said Ryan Bowling, PR manager for Sony. “At this point, that’s all speculation.”

Source: CNN

iTunes is tracking your music

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Recently a few blogs have started to indicate that iTunes is tracking your music preferences and using that data to recommend other songs from iTMS. The article provides a good overview, with some recommendations of its own. Basically, iTunes is tracking your music and sending the data back to Apple servers. This info is then used to advertise songs that may be to your tastes. A convenient feature, perhaps, but it raises concerns over privacy.

Source: Slashdot

Now, pay for Google services

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google founder Larry Page said the company鈥檚 new pay video download service may herald opportunities to charge users for more items, a new strategy at Google, which until now has depended on advertising sales.

鈥淚t would be great for us as a business if we were able to charge a lot of users,鈥? Page said at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

鈥淚t would be great for users if they had something they really felt strongly enough that they wanted to pay for. I view that as pretty positive.鈥?

Page鈥檚 comments provide a glimpse at possible revenue streams for Google, usually secretive about product plans and sales projections.

Source: indiatimes.com

Anti-terror tech tested on London commuters

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Trials of airport-style body-scanning technology and high-tech closed-circuit TV systems are to begin Thursday at London’s Paddington railway station as part of the government’s attempts to reduce the risk of terrorist bomb attacks on the capital’s transportation network.

The four-week trial, announced by the government last year following the July 7 suicide bomb attacks in London, will involve passengers using the Heathrow Express rail link from the airport to Paddington station and will be voluntary.

Passengers who agree to be screened at Paddington during the trial will pass through a metal box containing a millimeter wave-imaging technology that can detect items such as guns, ammunition or bombs hidden beneath clothing.

The checks will be carried out by armed police and are expected to take just over a minute each. Police can increase or reduce the number of checks according to the security threat level.

Luggage will also be screened, using a traditional X-ray machine, while a new high-tech closed-circuit TV camera system is being tested that alerts security staff to unattended luggage or suspicious behavior by passengers.

Source: News.com

Tool for Ajax development with Java goes open source

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Software company ClearNova said it will open-source a toolkit designed to make Java programmers more productive writing Ajax-style Web applications.

The company next month will release the ThinkCAP JX development framework under the General Public License for non-commercial use. Software vendors which bundle the product for commercial use will be charged $2,000 per developer.

ThinkCAP JX is a visual development tool that cuts down on the need to write Java or JavaScript code, said Steve Benfield, vice president of strategy at ClearNova. The framework is built using a number of other open-source frameworks, including Hibernate and Apache Axis, he said.

The source code to the ThinkCAP JX framework will be available from ThinkCAP.org.

Source: News.com

NASA Wants Your CPU Time

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

NASA is looking for volunteers to spend about 30,000 hours looking at minuscule particles on a web-based microscope to identify traces of interstellar dust collected by the ‘Stardust’ spacecraft, expected to return to Earth on Sunday.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said Tuesday it would enlist an army of internet volunteers to help in the meticulous search for rare grains of ’submicroscopic dust’ that was collected along with larger grains of dust from the comet Wild 2 during the probe’s seven-year, 4.5 billion kilometre journey.

The reward for discoverers will be the privilege of naming the dust grains they find. The programme was announced at the national meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington, D.C.

Source: Science and Nature

Google Earth for Mac

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google introduced Google Earth for Mac. Available for free, Mac users can now engage in the immersive mapping experience of Google Earth, exploring and annotating the world with ease. Google Earth for Mac is available for download at http://earth.google.com.

Google Earth is like a web browser, but for the earth. As such, it needs to be accessible from multiple platforms. Available in beta for 10.4.x OS, Google Earth for Mac offers the same features as the PC version, such as animated driving directions, zoom in and out capabilities, 3D buildings view, and more. Google Earth Plus and Google Earth Pro are not yet available for Mac.

European tech giants craft search engine

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Quaero is billed as Europe’s answer to Google, but it has a lot to live up to.

The awkward word - which means “to search” in Latin - is unlikely to flash across the continent’s computer screens anytime soon.

So far Quaero is just a scattering of top tech minds in labs across France and Germany, working on what they hope will be the world’s most advanced multimedia search engine.

Quaero epitomizes European ambitions - especially for French President Jacques Chirac - of creating alternatives to U.S. technological prowess. But facing off against super-rich, super-talented U.S. companies may prove daunting for the cumbersome consortium of European companies and public agencies hatching Quaero.

Source: AP

Microsoft’s FAT file system patent upheld

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Two patents covering one of Microsoft’s main Windows file-storage systems are valid after all, federal patent examiners have decided.

The decision, announced Tuesday by the software giant, effectively ends a two-year saga over the patents and reverses two non-final rulings–the latest issued in October–in which the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected Microsoft’s claims.

In their latest action, filed last week, the examiners concluded that the company’s File Allocation Table (FAT) file system is, in fact, “novel and non-obvious,” entitling it to patentability. Now the office is in the process of issuing a “patent re-examination certificate,” which signals the finality of the decision, a Microsoft representative said.

The FAT file system, a common means of storing files, was originally developed for the DOS operating system, but has also been employed in Microsoft’s Windows and on removable flash memory cards used in digital cameras and other devices. Some Linux- and Unix-related products also use the system to exchange data with Windows.

Source: News.com

IDs of 50,000 Bahamas resort guests stolen

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The identities of more than 50,000 customers of major Bahamas resort Atlantis have been exposed to possible identity fraud following the theft of personal information from the hotel, the owners said.

Kerzner International Ltd., owner of the luxury 2,300-room Atlantis resort on Paradise Island, revealed details of the data theft in a document filed with the Bahamas Securities and Exchange Commission.

Information stolen included names, addresses, credit card details, social security numbers, drivers license numbers and bank account data, the filing said.

The information appears to have gone missing from the hotel’s computer database and was the work of either an insider or outside hacker.

The Atlantis hotel management is notifying affected customers in writing so they can take steps to protect themselves from possible identify fraud.

The hotel is also providing, at no cost to customers, a credit monitoring service for a year.

Source: Reuters

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