Google Receive Hi-Resolution Images From GeoEye-1 Satellite

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

GeoEye Inc on Thursday said it will provide imagery from its new $502 million high-resolution GeoEye-1 satellite to Google Earth and Google Maps after the spacecraft is launched on Sept. 4.

GeoEye spokesman Mark Brender said the Google logo was on the first stage of the Delta II rocket that will launch the new satellite, which will provide the highest resolution commercial color imagery available on the market.

“Google is interested in collecting the highest quality satellite imagery available and as a symbol of this commitment has agreed to put the company logo on the first stage of our launch vehicle,” Brender said.

He said Google did not have any direct or indirect financial interest in the satellite or in GeoEye, nor did it pay to have its logo emblazoned on the rocket.

If all goes well with the launch, GeoEye’s new satellite will be the world’s highest resolution commercial earth-imaging satellite, offering images at .41 meters resolution in black and white and 1.65 meters in color.

Under current government rules, the company can only offer the public half-meter images.

Google spokeswoman Kate Hurowitz said Google would begin receiving half-meter resolution imagery from the new satellite after 45 to 60 days, during which the company will make sure all the satellite’s systems are up and running.

Microsoft breaks IE8 interoperability promise

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

In March, Microsoft announced that their upcoming Internet Explorer 8 would: “use its most standards compliant mode, IE8 Standards, as the default.”

Note the last word: default. Microsoft argued that, in light of their newly published interoperability principles, it was the right thing to do. This declaration heralded an about-face and was widely praised by the web standards community; people were stunned and delighted by Microsoft’s promise.

This week, the promise was broken. It lasted less than six months. Now that Internet Explorer IE8 beta 2 is released, we know that many, if not most, pages viewed in IE8 will not be shown in standards mode by default. The dirty secret is buried deep down in the «Compatibility view» configuration panel, where the «Display intranet sites in Compatibility View» box is checked by default. Thus, by default, intranet pages are not viewed in standards mode.

Credit Card Companies Kill Episode Exposing RFID Security Flaws

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Credit card companies successfully nixed a Mythbusters segment exposing RFID’s security flaws, according to Arbiter of Truth and Mythbusters co-host, Adam Savage.

Texas Instruments comes on along with chief legal counsel for American Express, Visa, Discover, and everybody else… They were way, way outgunned and they absolutely made it really clear to Discovery that they were not going to air this episode talking about how hackable this stuff was, and Discovery backed way down being a large corporation that depends upon the revenue of the advertisers. Now it’s on Discovery’s radar and they won’t let us go near it.

German customs raid Hyundai at Berlin tech fair

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

German customs police raided South Korea’s Hyundai IT Corp in Berlin on Saturday, seizing flat-screen televisions from its stand at IFA, the world’s largest consumer electronics fair.

A German court had ruled late on Thursday that Hyundai and other east Asian and European firms were marketing unlicensed patented technology at IFA and authorized 69 raids, a spokesman for Berlin’s customs investigation office said.

“Hyundai had the chance today to show us that it had paid for the licenses — then we would have gone. But that was not the case. They could not prove they had paid so we took the devices away,” said spokesman Norbert Scheidhauer.

A Reuters photographer witnessed uniformed customs police removing Hyundai’s flat-screen televisions in front of the public and trade visitors, leaving an empty stand with wires hanging from it.

Scheidhauer said he was not permitted to name other firms affected, but said that around 170 televisions, 140 MP3 music players, 21 mobile phones and 57 DVD recorders had been seized at IFA so far.

“This year is the biggest operation that customs investigators have had to carry out,” he said.

The theft of trade secrets by foreign companies is a sensitive topic in Germany, where the economy depends on a research-intensive export sector.


CSI Stick grabs data from cell phones

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

If someone asks to borrow your cell phone, or you leave it unattended, beware!

Unless you actually watch them use it, they may be secretly grabbing every piece of your information on the device, even deleted messages. If you leave your phone sitting on your desk, or in the center console of your car while the valet parks it, then you and everyone in your contacts list may be at risk, to say nothing of confidential e-mails, spread sheets, or other information. And of course, if you do not want your spouse to see who you are chatting with on your phone, you might want to use extra caution.

There is a new electronic capture device that has been developed primarily for law enforcement, surveillance, and intelligence operations that is also available to the public. It is called the Cellular Seizure Investigation Stick, or CSI Stick as a clever acronym. It is manufactured by a company called Paraben, and is a self-contained module about the size of a BIC lighter. It plugs directly into most Motorola and Samsung cell phones to capture all data that they contain. More phones will be added to the list, including many from


Sony to launch world’s thinnest LCD TVs

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sony Corp said on Thursday it would launch the world’s thinnest liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs this year, broadening its product line-up ahead of the critical year-end shopping season.

The new 40-inch model, which is 9.9 mm thick, is estimated to sell for 490,000 yen ($4,478) in Japan, Sony said.

The Japanese electronics and entertainment conglomerate will also offer the world’s first LCD TVs that display 240 frames per second, compared with 120 frames for Sony’s existing models.

More frames in a given time make fast-moving images in sports programs and action movies look seamless.

Sony, the world’s second-largest LCD TV maker behind Samsung Electronics Co Ltd expects a 46-inch model with the 240 frame function to sell for around 400,000 yen.

Both models will go on sale in Japan on November 10, closely followed by overseas launches.

Comcast to limit customers’ broadband usage

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Comcast Corp, the largest U.S. cable operator, said on Thursday it will cap customers’ Internet usage starting October 1, in a bid to ensure the best service for the vast majority of its subscribers.

Comcast said it was setting a monthly data usage threshold of 250 gigabytes per account for all residential high-speed Internet customers, or the equivalent of 50 million e-mails or 124 standard-definition movies.

“If a customer exceeds more than 250 GB and is one of the heaviest data users who consume the most data on our high-speed Internet service, he or she may receive a call from Comcast’s Customer Security Assurance (CSA) group to notify them of excessive use,” according to the company’s updated Frequently Asked Questions on Excessive Use.

Customers who top 250 GB in a month twice in a six-month timeframe could have service terminated for a year.

Yahoo! Mash Shut-down

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

On September 29, 2008 Yahoo! will shut down it beta service Yahoo! Mash. Mash users (me included) already got an email announcement about the closing and being urged to copy al the important information of the web site and copy it to a different document.

Once the service is closed all of the content on your Mash profile with the EXCEPTION of your profile photo, nickname, age, sex and location (if you’ve provided this information) will be unavailable.

Here is the email message I got:

Dear Yahoo! Mash member,

Thank you for trying out our Mash Beta service. We hope you had fun with it.

Please note that we will shut down Mash on September 29, 2008. As a result, your current profile on Mash will no longer be available. We strongly recommend that you return to http://mash.yahoo.com and copy the content that you wish to save onto a separate document.

For a list of FAQs, please refer to the Mash Help Page.

Thanks for trying out Mash!

Matt Warburton


iTunes Store back online in China after Tibet song leaves front page

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The iTunes Store was blocked in China two weeks after an album released by Tibet activists appeared, but after the Olympics Games concluded, it was available once again.

Silicon Hutong has written a concise summary of what happened:

- The album was featured on the front page of the site - a choice I would wager was made by Apple, not by the activist organization that produced the album;

- The album went live in the days leading up to the Olympics;

- Pro-Tibetan activists have been attempting to leverage Beijing’s hosting of the Olympics to draw attention to their cause;

- The activists told the Associated Press that they had contacted athletes directly and provided free downloads to the athletes and urged them to play it in Beijing as an act of solidarity.

- The activists then issued a press release telling the world that this was, in effect, a protest, and that at least 40 athletes in the village had downloaded the tunes.

- The site was then blocked, fifteen days after the album went up.

- The Games ended, the athletes went home, and the site was unblocked.

- The album is available for purchase here in Beijing under the same conditions as everything else on iTunes - got a foreign credit card that bills to a foreign address, and the songs are yours.

The post goes on to examine at great length the ups and downs of Apple’s apparent decision to feature this content. It also opines that “the content itself was not a problem - what set the Chinese government off was the concern over a potential protest in the Olympic Village. Apple was a target only to the extent that it was seen by the Chinese authorities as aiding that protest.”

Microsoft releases beta 2 of Internet Explorer 8

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp released on Wednesday a second test version of Internet Explorer 8, delivering a feature-complete upgrade to the world’s most widely used Web browser.

The world’s largest software maker said the latest version — beta 2 — of Internet Explorer, which has a market share of about 75 percent, comes with new features to enhance privacy, ease-of-use, and security.

Printer maker offers to help people print less

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A leading printer maker wants to help you do less printing.

Printing an article off the Web often produces several pages of waste, including ads, links and boxes for entering text. So the latest version of a Web toolbar from Lexmark International Inc. gives people more ways to block such images from coming out of the printer, saving ink and paper.

Some of Lexmark’s tools already exist in standard printer settings, but accessing them normally requires several mouse clicks. Lexmark’s free program brings those functions to the forefront. For example, one click converts a Web page into black and white for printing, extending the life of expensive color ink cartridges.

The Web software also extends the “printer-friendly” features many sites offer. Often those printer-friendly versions still carry logos and other graphics; the Lexmark tools let you eliminate those as well.

Although printer companies make much of their money from ink cartridges and other products that consumers constantly have to replace, Lexmark figures it can improve customer satisfaction. Most of the features work regardless of whether your printer was made by Lexmark, Hewlett-Packard Co. or another rival.

Lexmark has versions available for both Microsoft Corp.’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s Firefox browsers.

The Firefox version offers more functions. Lexmark says Firefox users tend to be more technically advanced, and thus open to more customization. While the Internet Explorer tool lets you eliminate images, for instance, the Firefox version lets you remove forms, links and other elements, too.

Blogger arrested over leak of Guns N’ Roses songs

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A blogger suspected of streaming songs from the unreleased Guns N’ Roses album “Chinese Democracy” on his Web site was arrested Wednesday and appeared in court, where his bail was set at $10,000.

FBI agents arrested 27-year-old Kevin Cogill on Wednesday morning on suspicion of violating federal copyright laws. Cogill appeared in court in the afternoon wearing a T-shirt; his girlfriend sat court and afterward said, “Rally the troops,” but declined further comment.

Federal authorities say Cogill posted nine unreleased Guns N’ Roses songs on his Web site in June. The songs were later removed.

In later posts, Cogill wrote that the FBI had questioned him and asked his readers if any of them knew a good attorney. He was represented Wednesday by a federal public defender.

According to an arrest affidavit, Cogill admitted to agents that he posted the songs on his Web site. Prosecutors said Wednesday the leak could result in a “significant” financial loss for the band.

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