Samsung unveils new Galaxy S Android phone

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, the world’s second-biggest mobile phone maker, on Tuesday unveiled a new smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S, which is based on Google Inc’s Android software.

The Galaxy S, which will compete with devices from Nokia, Motorola Inc and Apple Inc’s iPhone, will be available for global distribution later this year, said JK Shin, head of Samsung’s mobile phone business.

He said in a keynote speech at the CTIA annual wireless trade show that the phone would use an advanced screen technology called Super AMOLED, which promises a display 20 percent brighter that will reflect 80 percent less sunlight outdoors.

The Galaxy S will also have a 1 gigahertz Samsung chip, which Shin said is twice as powerful as today’s average smartphone.

Hacker gets 20 years for U.S. payment card theft

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

One of the world’s most notorious computer hackers was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Thursday after he pleaded guilty to helping run a global ring that stole tens of millions of payment card numbers.

Albert Gonzalez, a 28-year-old college dropout from Miami, had confessed to helping lead a ring that stole more than 40 million payment card numbers by breaking into retailers including TJX Cos Inc, BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc and Barnes & Noble.

It was the harshest sentence ever handed down for a computer crime in an American court, said Mark Rasch, former head of the computer crimes unit at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Some Yahoo email accounts hacked in China, Taiwan

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Yahoo email accounts of some journalists and other users whose work relates to China were compromised in an attack discovered this week, days after Google announced it would move its Chinese-language search services out of China due to censorship concerns.

Some journalists in China and Taiwan found they were unable to access their accounts beginning March 25, among them Kathleen McLaughlin, a freelance journalist in Beijing. Her access was restored on Wednesday, she told Reuters.


Microsoft Confirms IE9 Won’t Come to XP

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

When we previewed Internet Explorer’s new rendering engine this week we noted that the same features that made IE9’s hardware-acceleration possible probably aren’t compatible with Windows XP. Microsoft initially dodged giving a straight answer to the question of XP support but has since admitted that the new browser won’t be XP-compatible when it launches.

This has created a small tempest of protest from those users still using XP, but this is less of an arbitrary decision than some appear to think. It’s literally impossible to port Windows Vista/Win 7-style hardware acceleration backwards into XP. Microsoft would have to either develop a workaround from scratch or create a CPU-driven “software mode.” Using such a mode could easily max out a CPU and negatively impact system speed and battery life.

Mozilla Labs builds add-on to bring address book to Firefox

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Mozilla has announced the availability of an experimental new add-on for Firefox that is designed to import information about the user’s contacts from a variety of Web services and other sources. The add-on makes contact details easily accessible to the user and can also selectively supply it to remote Web applications. The initial implementation can import data from Gmail, Twitter, and the local system address book on OS X. It can optionally use the Gravatar service to find contact avatars.

After the add-on has imported and indexed the user’s contact data, it becomes available to the user through an integrated contact management tool that functions like an address book. There are a number of ways that the contact information could potentially be useful in the browser itself. One of Mozilla’s first experiments is an autocompletion feature that allows users to select a contact when they are typing an e-mail address into a Web form.

Quantum film threatens to replace CMOS image chips

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Just as photographic film was mostly replaced by silicon image chips, now quantum film threats to replace the conventional CMOS image sensors in digital cameras.

Made from materials similar to conventional film—a polymer with embedded particles—instead of silver grains like photographic film the embedded particles are quantum dots. Quantum films can image scenes with more pixel resolution, according to their inventors, InVisage Inc., offering four-times better sensitivity for ultra-high resolution sensors that are cheaper to manufacture.

China Hits Back At Google

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

After Google yesterday started redirecting google.cn users to their uncensored Hong Kong-tbased google.com.hk servers, the Chinese government has now hit back at Google by restricting access to Google’s Hong Kong servers.

‘On Tuesday mainland China users could not see uncensored Hong Kong-based content after the government either disabled certain searches or blocked links to results.’

China Mobile, the largest wireless carrier in the country, has also been approached by the Chinese government to cancel a contract with Google about having google.cn on their mobile home page for search. China Unicom, the second largest carrier in China, has also either postponed or killed the launch of Android-based mobile phones in the country.


Nintendo to launch 3D-capable DS in 2010/11

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Nintendo Co plans to launch a new model of its DS handheld game console that allows users to play three-dimensional (3D) games without using special glasses, aiming to reinvigorate demand for the five year old machine.

The Japanese company said the new portable player, tentatively named “Nintendo 3DS,” will be able to play titles created for previous DS models and will be launched in the financial year starting in April.


Energizer site still plagued by data-stealing trojan

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The maker of Energizer brand batteries is continuing to serve its customers a file laced with a data-stealing trojan more than 24 hours after the company was notified of the threat and almost two weeks after it promised to fix the problem.

A spokeswoman for Energizer Holdings acknowledged receiving a voicemail Wednesday night informing her the trojan was being offered for download on one of the company’s European websites. She said she didn’t respond to the message because of the late hour at which it was left, and never saw an article reporting that two anti-virus firms had confirmed the site continued to offer the toxic file 12 days after the company promised to stamp it out.

Firefox zero-day fix set up for 30 March release

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Mozilla confirmed the presence of an unpatched flaw in its browser on Thursday, with a post promising to release a fix at the end of the month.

The flaw, discovered by security researcher Evgeny Legerov, creates a means to inject hostile code on vulnerable systems. The vulnerability is due to be fixed in version 3.6 of Firefox on 30 March.


Microsoft announces Windows 7 SP1

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft announced service packs for both Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, but declined to set a release date or a schedule for getting a beta in users’ hands.

According to a company spokesman, Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) will primarily contain “minor updates,” including patches and hotfixes that will have been delivered earlier via the Windows Update service, rather than new features. One of the latter: an updated Remote Desktop client designed to work with RemoteFX, the new remote-access platform set to debut in SP1 for Windows Server 2008 R2.

Windows Server 2008 R2 will also be upgraded to SP1, Microsoft said, presumably at the same time as Windows 7 since the two operating systems share a single code base.

Amazon allows Kindle application for Mac computers

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Amazon.com Inc said on Thursday it released an application to allow its Kindle e-books to be read on Apple Inc Mac computers.

Amazon, maker of the popular Kindle e-reader, is trying to cement its leading position as the top maker of e-readers — and distributor of e-books — by making content available on other devices.

The move comes just two weeks ahead of the launch of Apple’s new iPad tablet, a device with broader functionality than the Kindle, but which includes an e-reader application. The iPad is seen as a strong challenge to Amazon.

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