2/28/2010

Apple admits using child labour - Telegraph

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

At least eleven 15-year-old children were discovered to be working last year in three factories which supply Apple.

The company did not name the offending factories, or say where they were based, but the majority of its goods are assembled in China.

Apple also has factories working for it in Taiwan, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, the Czech Republic and the United States.

Apple said the child workers are now no longer being used, or are no longer underage. “In each of the three facilities, we required a review of all employment records for the year as well as a complete analysis of the hiring process to clarify how underage people had been able to gain employment,” Apple said, in an annual report on its suppliers.

Five Pervasive Myths About Older Software Developers

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Dave, a Java developer writes about the Myths About Older Software Developers.

Our field is ripe for age discrimination in so many ways. We value hot, new technologies, the ability to absorb them at unheard of rates, working insane hours to push products out the door–all things attributed to the younger workers of our field. And did I mention that younger workers are cheaper? A lot cheaper. But the trends of computer science degrees do not bode well for having a plethora of young, cheap workers at a manager’s disposal indefinitely. In fact, all data point to one conclusion: CS degrees enrollments have been declining or flat for almost a decade. And if anything, the candidate pool for hiring is getting worse, at least according to Jeff Atwood. You’re going to have to hire someone to write your next project, and with the backlash against outsourcing, who you gonna call, Egon?

If you’re thinking you’re going to avoid the “grey matter” of software development, think again. There are a number of myths about older software developers that continue to be perpetuated in IT and software development that somehow put older, experienced workers at a disadvantage in our field. But they’re largely crap and considering the degree trends, ignoring everyone 40 and over because we’re too old seems plain foolish. Let’s debunk these myths one-by-one.

Samsung joins the Skype-TV crowd

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Samsung has joined LG and Panasonic in embedding Skype into its high-end TVs, putting video calling firmly into living rooms.

LG and Panasonic announced plans for Skype-enabled TVs in January, but Samsung is a bigger brand; and while the company has only announced two models to feature Skype functionality, it’s clearly part of a bigger plan to bring internet connectivity to everything Samsung sells.

Google to warn people before Street View map photos taken

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

European Union data privacy regulators are telling Google Inc. to warn people before it sends cameras out into cities to take pictures for its Street View maps, adding to the company’s legal worries in Europe.

Google should shorten the time it keeps the original photos from one year to six months, regulators also said in a letter to the company obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday.

In a statement, Google said its need to retain Street View images for one year is “legitimate and justified.”

The company, based in Mountain View, Calif., said it also already posts notifications on its Web site about where its Street View cameras are clicking.

2/27/2010

Rejected By Apple, Grooveshark Releases App For Jailbroken iPhones

Filed under: — Aviran

When Jason Kincaid tried out the iPhone app online music streaming startup Grooveshark built and showed off in July 2009, he wrote that it was great but that he “wouldn’t expect this to pop up in the App Store any time soon”. He was right on both counts.

Grooveshark now says it has given up on its ambitions to get approved for the official App Store, claiming that Apple has been “ritually rejecting” the app for “primary selfish reasons”. We’ve heard that song before.

The startup says it spent many months developing the iPhone application, and on occasion went months without a hearing a peep out of Cupertino.

Denied access to the App Store, Grooveshark decided to head underground and is today releasing the app on Cydia, enabling people who have jailbroken their iPhone and iPod touch devices to enjoy it – and it is actually pretty cool.

2/23/2010

U.S. pinpoints code writer behind Google attack

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

U.S. government analysts believe a Chinese man with government links wrote the key part of a spyware program used in hacker attacks on Google last year, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

The man, a security consultant in his 30s, posted sections of the program to a hacking forum where he described it as something he was “working on,” the paper said, quoting an unidentified researcher working for the U.S. government.

The spyware creator works as a freelancer and did not launch the attack, but Chinese officials had “special access” to his programing, the report said.

Wal-Mart agrees to buy movie service Vudu

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Wal-Mart Stores Inc will buy the Vudu movie service in a deal that puts the world’s largest retailer in competition for online delivery of films with the likes of Netflix Inc, the New York Times reported on Monday.

2/22/2010

OpenSolaris devs ‘ignored’ by Oracle

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Alarm bells have started ringing inside the former Sun Microsystems’ OpenSolaris community over the project’s potential future with database giant Oracle.

OpenSolaris developers have complained they’ve been “completely ignored” by Oracle despite reaching out, with their questions over the project’s future going unanswered.

Project member Peter Tribble blogged here following an open letter to Oracle by OpenSolaris developer and evangelist Ben Rockwood pleading for information about what’s in store for Solaris on February 2.

Rockwood’s appeal came days after Oracle’s high-profile strategy announcement in January that outlined the company’s product plans with Sun, that failed to mention OpenSolaris bar one reference on a slide.

Oracle and former Sun executives instead focused their Solaris talk on the paid version of the Unix operating system that spawned the free and open OpenSolaris project, and its future in joint server, storage, and relational database Exadata appliance.

Sex.com For Sale Again

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sex.com, arguably the web’s most valuable address, is up for sale after its owner went bust.

Escom LLC, which bought Sex.com in 2006 from Match.com founder Gary Kremen for a reported $14m, is in foreclosure. The coveted address currently hosts text links to porn websites.

It will change hands again at auction in New York on March 18, but it seems unlikely it will match its pre-recession price. To participate bidders must deposit $1m in escrow, however.

2/21/2010

U.S. agency says Google can be power marketer

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google Inc won approval from U.S. energy regulators to act as a power marketer, which will make it easier for the Internet search giant to obtain renewable energy to run its huge data centers.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Thursday approved Google’s request to purchase electricity and resell it to wholesale customers.

A company spokeswoman previously said that the Google Energy LLC subsidiary wanted the authority from FERC “to contain and manage the cost of energy for Google.”

In its approval order, FERC pointed out that Google does not own or control any facilities that generate electricity to sell in the wholesale markets.

Google says the extent of its electric generation ownership is to provide power solely to the company’s facilities and for emergency backup power.

Report: Hackers attacked Google from China schools

Filed under: — Aviran

The Internet attacks that may end up driving Google Inc. out of China originated from two prominent schools in the country, according to a story published late Thursday.

The New York Times reported security investigators have traced the hacking to computers at Shanghai Jiaotong University and Lanxiang Vocational School in China. The newspaper attributed the information to unnamed people involved in the investigation.

2/17/2010

Flash To Support Private Browsing; 64-Bit Flash Player For Linux In Alpha

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Even if you’re careful about cookies or even if you use your browser’s private surfing feature, sites can still track you through cookies stored by Flash. However, soon enough the next version of Flash, 10.1, will support private browsing and will integrate with browsers to turn it on when the browser itself is in private browsing mode. Browsers still store data during a private browser session, but they will delete it all at the end of the session. The same will be true of Flash private browsing.

Another Flash news: Finally, a little bit of respect from Adobe with this alpha release of the Adobe Flash Player 10 that was made available for all Linux 64-bit enthusiasts! As noted, ‘this is a prerelease version,’ so handle with care. Just remove any existing Flash player and extract the new .so file in /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins (or /usr/lib/opera/plugins).

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