4/29/2011

SETI shuts doors on Telescope Array

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The SETI Institute has had to retire the Allen Telescope Array (ATA) because it lacks the funding to run the group of radio satellite dishes that search the skies for signs of alien life.

The collaboration between the SETI Institute and the University of California at Berkeley was originally conceived of as a three-tier plan to build 350 radio-wave antennas that worked in concert with the Kepler space telescope to scan the heavens for signs of intelligent life.

But as of last week, the ATA will no longer be performing its regular functions, as scientists were unable to raise the $5m needed to keep the project afloat.

4/22/2011

Son of Kaspersky Labs’ founder reported kidnapped in Moscow

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Russian media, including the Moscow Times have been posting reports that the son of Yvegny Kaspersky, head of leading international data security firm Kaspersky Lab, has been kidnapped.

At about 4pm EST on Thursday, the Russian government’s daily paper Rossiyskaya Gazeta published a report which said local law enforcement had confirmed the kidnapping of 20 year old Ivan Kaspersky.

Reports say the kidnappers have demanded a three million Euro ransom for Kaspersky’s return.

Apple slammed over iPhone, iPad location tracking

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Privacy watchdogs are demanding answers from Apple Inc. about why iPhones and iPads are secretly collecting location data on users — records that cellular service providers routinely keep but require a court order to disgorge.

It’s not clear if other smartphones and tablet computers are logging such information on their users. And this week’s revelation that the Apple devices do wasn’t even new — some security experts began warning about the issue a year ago.

But the worry prompted by a report from researchers Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden at a technology conference in Santa Clara, Calif., raises questions about how much privacy you implicitly surrender by carrying around a smartphone and the responsibility of the smartphone makers to protect sensitive data that flows through their devices.

Much of the concern about the iPhone and iPad tracking stems from the fact the computers are logging users’ physical coordinates without users knowing it — and that that information is then stored in an unencrypted form that would be easy for a hacker or a suspicious spouse or a law enforcement officer to find without a warrant.

4/21/2011

Oracle washes hands of OpenOffice

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Oracle is turning OpenOffice into a purely community project, and no longer plans to offer a commercial version of the collaboration suite loved by many.

The database giant said on Friday that it believed OpenOffice would be best managed by an organization focused on serving the broad constituency on a non-commercial basis.

Oracle chief corporate architect Edward Screven said in a brief statement: “We intend to begin working immediately with community members to further the continued success of Open Office,” adding that “Oracle will continue to strongly support the adoption of open standards-based document formats, such as the Open Document Format (ODF).”

The Document Foundation was created in September 2010 by community members of the OpenOffice project when Oracle refused to release OpenOffice as an independent project. The Document Foundation is building the OpenOffice fork Libre Office.

Not only did the community members building OpenOffice leave, but Oracle also took a drubbing from some of its peers in tech and members of the open-source community.

Google, Novel, Red Hat, Ubuntu-maintainer Canonical, and the Open Source Initiative all issued forthright statements of support for the formation of the Document Foundation.

4/11/2011

Google Has Stopped Street View Photography In Germany

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

In most locations, Google sends its Street View cars out on a repeated basis “to make sure the information is accurate and kept up to date,” as the Street View website explains.

But that’s not happening in Germany.

Despite the recent German court ruling that declared photography from streets legal in Germany, Google has stopped Street View photography there and says it has “no plans to launch new imagery on Street View in Germany.” A Google spokesperson says the company’s priorities have changed:

Our business priority is to use our Google cars to collect data such as street names and road signs to improve our basic maps for our users in a similar way that other mapping companies do.

Google will continue to show its existing Street View photos for the 20 German cities that are online now, but there won’t be any updates to those photos. It’s unclear if this decision is final, or if the company might change its plans in the future.

Adobe Unveils Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Adobe Systems Incorporated today announced Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium, the complete software solution for video and post-production that helps deliver content to virtually any screen.

Better performance, workflow improvements, creative innovations, and powerful new audio editing capabilities build upon the huge customer momentum Production Premium is experiencing with broadcasters, filmmakers and video professionals worldwide.

New versions receiving major updates include Adobe Premiere® Pro CS5.5, Adobe After Effects® CS5.5, Adobe Flash® Professional CS5.5, Adobe Flash Catalyst® CS5.5, Adobe Story, Adobe Media Encoder CS5.5, and Adobe Device Central CS5.5. New to Creative Suite 5.5 is Adobe Audition® CS5.5, bringing its audio-for-video multitrack editing environment to both Mac OS and Windows® for the first time.

4/5/2011

Google goes shopping for patents

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google has made a $900m bid for the patent portfolio of Nortel Networks, the bankrupt Canadian telecom equipment maker.

The patents could help arm it against potential lawsuits aimed at its Chrome browser and Android mobile operating system.

Patents are becoming highly prized pieces of intellectual property.

Experts told the BBC they believe the final price could go well over $1bn and may be as high as $2bn.

The amount of money being put up illustrates how fierce the patent wars have become as companies like Apple, Google, Nokia and HTC become embroiled in lawsuits.

4/3/2011

Bring Back The Stop Button !!!

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

It started with Chrome browser. Google decided that the stop button is not important enough to have its own space on the browser toolbar. I guess the 16 pixel button takes too much space that Google merged it with the refresh button as a toggle button.

Now Firefox 4 also copied this poor design and eliminated the stop button.

As part of my job I sometimes need to do some web development or debug an html page. Today I has such case where I had to look at an HTML page that has an automatic refresh/redirect code in the page after few seconds. I use Firefox browser for years now and all I had to do for this kind of pages to stop the refresh is to press the stop button. However since I recently upgraded to Firefox 4 I found this task impossible because the refresh button toggle to the stop button for a split second before the page actually refreshed itself.

Chrome browser was not different, I could not stop the page from refreshing. All angry and upset I was thinking to myself, well probably IE9 (which I also recently installed) that looks like Chrome too, was no different, however I tried that too, and kudos to Microsoft, the product designer did leave the stop button on the tool bar and I was able to finally stop the page from reloading itself.

While I don’t use IE9 as my default browser I finally found a good use for it. It is no doubt that Microsoft products have best user interface designers and this is no exception.

I call to Mozilla and Google to please BRING BACK THE STOP BUTTON, I’m sure that many users will be happy to scarify a whole 10-16 pixels from the toolbar to have this button back.

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