8/23/2006

Apple Computer to Pay $100 Million to Creative

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple Computer Inc. will pay $100 million to rival Creative Technology Ltd. to settle five patent lawsuits over technology for navigating through songs on the popular iPod digital music player, the companies said Wednesday.

The settlement allows Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple to recoup a portion of its payment if other electronics companies license Creative’s technology.

“Creative is very fortunate to have been granted this early patent,” Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, said in a statement Wednesday. “This settlement resolves all of our differences with Creative, including the five lawsuits currently pending between the companies, and removes the uncertainty and distraction of prolonged litigation.”

Creative Chairman and CEO Sim Wong Hoo called the settlement “amicable.”

Source: AP

Canon to start making its own photo printers

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Canon Inc. (7751.T: Quote, NEWS, Research), the world’s third-biggest printer maker, said on Thursday it would start making its own photo printers, in addition to the models it buys from an outside supplier, to meet rising demand.

Canon, also the world’s biggest digital camera maker, has started manufacturing new models its Selphy brand photo printers at a factory based in southern Japan, a spokesman said. The new models will be sold globally starting this fall.

Source: Reuters

Dell Stops Selling DJ Ditty Music Players

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Dell Inc. has quietly pulled the plug on its DJ Ditty music players, less than a year after the world’s largest computer maker launched the device to compete with Apple Computer Inc.’s iPod Shuffle.

The company stopped selling the Ditty on Aug. 17, Dell spokesman Venancio Figueroa said Wednesday.

He declined to characterize the decision as Dell bowing out in the face of competition from market leader Apple. Dell is trying to focus on its core areas of PCs, printers and flat-panel televisions, he said.

Source: AP

AT&T sues data brokers for stolen customer records

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

AT&T Inc. on Wednesday sued 25 unnamed data brokers, accusing them of fraudulently gaining access to about 2,500 customers’ calling records.

The lawsuit, filed in a U.S. District Court division in San Antonio, said the “John Doe” defendants often collected information for use in legal or domestic disputes.

AT&T said they used a method known as “pretexting,” or setting up online accounts by using identification data such as Social Security numbers. Through the online accounts, the brokers obtained access to customer information, including calling records.

Source: Yahoo

AMD quad-cores CPUs to become dualies to save power

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

AMD’s quad-core processor will become a dual-core processor if it decides the user isn’t giving it enough work to do. The chip will also beef up the on-board cache with an extra level of memory shared between the four cores.

Source: Reg Hardware

Worm sparks rise in zombie PCs

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

On Tuesday, CipherTrust reported a 23 percent growth in the total number of so-called zombie PCs it has detected. The jump is due to the spread of Mocbot worm variants, CipherTrust said. Mocbot, also known as Cuebot and Graweg, exploits a Windows security flaw for which Microsoft issued a patch with security bulletin MS06-040 on Aug. 8.

Source: News.com

NASA Announces Space Shuttle Web and TV Coverage

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

NASA TV and the agency’s home on the Internet will provide extensive prelaunch and launch day coverage of the Space Shuttle Atlantis mission STS-115 to the International Space Station, scheduled for a Sunday, Aug. 27 launch.

A prelaunch webcast is set for 11 a.m. EDT Saturday, Aug. 26, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla. It will feature a mission overview hosted by Jon N. Cowart, Orbiter Project Office manager at Kennedy.

Highlights will include an interview with STS-114 astronaut Steve Robinson who will discuss the STS- 115 mission and astronaut training. Live countdown coverage from NASA’s Launch Blog begins at 10:30 a.m. EDT Aug. 27.

Coverage features real-time updates as countdown milestones occur, streaming video clips highlighting launch preparations and liftoff. A panel of experts answered questions about NASA’s preparation for the STS-115 mission.

Those responses are available online and in podcasts. To access these interactive features and more, go to NASA’s Space Shuttle main page at http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle and follow the links provided in the right column under the “Mission Information” section.

Gmail Gets Audio Player

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Since Gmail has a very large mail box, users can use it to send mp3 files as an attachment. Up until now, when you got an mp3 file all you could do is to download the file to your hard drive an then listen to it.

Now Gmail gives you a new option to click called “Play”. Clicking the play link will pop up a new window with a music player, so you can listen to your music directly from the browser, without having to download the file.

Gmail audio player

Gmail Gets Audio Player

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Since Gmail has a very large mail box, users can use it to send mp3 files as an attachment. Up until now, when you got an mp3 file all you could do is to download the file to your hard drive an then listen to it.

Now Gmail gives you a new option to click called “Play”. Clicking the play link will pop up a new window with a music player, so you couls listen to your music directly from the browser, without having to download the file.

Gmail audio player

Google prosecuted in Brazil to hand over user data

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google is in danger of being shut-down in Brazil and faces a possible US$61 million fine for refusing to hand over user information associated with one of its social networking sites.

The problem is that the Sao Paulo based federal prosecutor’s office alleges that pages on Google’s Orkut social networking site are used to promote child porn and other criminal activity. So the prosector wants a federal judge to order Google Brazil to hand over the data on users associated with those pages.

Google maintains that as the data is housed on a server in the US, the request should be made to Google headquarters in the US.

If a Brazilian judge decides that Google must hand over data or pay a hefty fine and shut down its local operations then it sets a dangerous precedent for Google.

Source: iTWire

Microsoft May Need To Change Activation For Vista

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A Texas federal judge has upheld a patent verdict against Microsoft and AutoDesk for their use of product activation software to stop piracy.

U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Davis rejected Microsoft’s and AutoDesk’s request for a new trial and upped the amount that Microsoft must pay z4 Technologies by $25 million. Previously, a jury had awarded the Michigan-based z4 $115 million in damages from Microsoft and $18 million from AutoDesk.

Although the judge did not grant z4 an injunction but this ruling will certainly affect Microsoft approach to activation. When Vista and Office 2007 release is just around the corner Microsoft will have to either pay z4 licensing fee or to take a whole new approach for their product activation of the operating system and Office products.

Indeed it is unlikely that Microsoft will scrap the product activation, which is making Microsoft a lot of money, but we might see a different activation approach, or maybe Microsoft will just force people to run WGA, which also works on Office products (in beta) and skip the activation altogether.

Apple axes Leopard-downloading workers

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple has reportedly fired five retail workers for downloading unauthorised copies of Mac OS X 10.5 from the internet. Many more employees have been accused of the same transgression and face a similar sanction, it has been claimed.

According to a Think Secret report citing an email it received from one of the allegedly sacked workers, the five were said to have lost their jobs for violating Apple’s non-disclosure agreement - a breach the site’s correspondent readily admitted to, both to Apple and to Think Secret.

Source: The Register

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