1/23/2010

Hacker brings multitouch to Google’s Nexus One • The Register

Filed under: — Aviran

A celebrated Android hacker has released software that greatly enhances Google’s Nexus One smartphone, endowing it for the first time with the same coveted multitouch features that grace Apple’s iPhone.

Operating under the moniker Cyanogen, the hacker released the updates on Wednesday. The hack came as Google formally made the Nexus One operating system, Android version 2.1, open source, paving the way for much more advanced modifications of the phone.

Introduced and trademarked by Apple, multitouch gives users the ability to use two or more fingers directly on a device screen to enlarge images and carry out similar actions. While it’s been on the iPhone since day one, certain aspects of the technology were noticeably absent from official releases of Android devices. Google axed the feature at the request of Apple, an unnamed person has told Venture Beat.

Microsoft dodges multi-million dollar WGA payout

Filed under: — Aviran

Microsoft has dodged a potentially-expensive legal fight after a case against Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) was denied class-action status.

This means lawyers cannot represent individuals as a group of defendants in the case, and that’s likely a cost saver for Microsoft. Class-action status can push case costs and any final settlements into the multi-million-dollar range.

The dismissal is a victory for Microsoft, whose lawyers last year slammed the three-year-old case as “fictional,” “demonstrably false,” and from an “alternate universe.”

The case alleged that WGA breached privacy because it was spyware used to gather information about users Windows XP machines and accused Microsoft of making false claims about the software

Expert finds vulnerabilities in Microsoft browser

Filed under: — Aviran

A security research firm said it discovered another set of vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, a day after Microsoft Corp patched the Web browser following a high-profile cyber attack on Google in China.

Microsoft fixes browser flaw used in Google breach

Filed under: — Aviran

Microsoft Corp. took the unusual step of issuing an unscheduled fix Thursday for security holes in its Internet Explorer browser that played a role in the recent computer attacks that led Google to threaten to leave China.

The updates are for all supported versions of Internet Explorer, from IE 5.01 up through the newest IE 8.

People who have their computers set to install security updates automatically will get the fix. PC users who don’t automatically get updates should go to http://www.microsoft.com/security to download the patch.

Astronauts finally get Internet access in space

Filed under: — Aviran

Space station resident Timothy (TJ) Creamer had been working with flight controllers to establish Internet access from his orbital post ever since he moved in last month. On Friday, his effort paid off. He posted the first live Twitter post truly from space.

“Hello Twitterverse!” he wrote. “We r now LIVE tweeting from the International Space Station — the 1st live tweet from Space! :) More soon, send your ?s”

Before, orbiting astronauts had to send such Twitter updates by e-mail to Mission Control in Houston. Then controllers posted the tweets.

The International Space Station crew can now use an on-board laptop to reach a desktop computer at Mission Control, and thereby browse the Web. This remote Internet access is possible whenever there is a solid high-speed communication link.

Judge slashes “monstrous” P2P award by 97% to $54,000

Filed under: — Aviran

Judge Michael Davis is the senior federal jurist in Minnesota. He presides over the gleaming 15th floor courtroom where, earlier this year, P2P user Jammie Thomas-Rasset was slapped with $1.92 million in damages for sharing 24 songs. Davis made no comment on the amount of the award and showed no emotion as it was read out.

But now we know how he rely feels about the jury’s work in that case: it led to a “monstrous and shocking” damage award that veered into “the realm of gross injustice.”

Davis used his power of remittitur today to slash the damage award by 97.2 percent, from $1.92 million down to $54,000—and he suggested that even this lower amount was too high.

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