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iPad!

3 Apr

So I pre-ordered the iPad because textbooks are cheep and I am satisfied. It is probably the coolest, most futuristic device in a long time. I might send in some picture of it for you guys!

❤ RosieRosieRed

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Italian court convicts Google execs over video

24 Feb

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/02/24/BUHC1C6KIQ.DTL

In a case that could have broad implications for Internet use around the world, an Italian court convicted three Google Inc. executives Wednesday of criminal charges for failing to quickly remove an uploaded video.

Officials at the Mountain View company pledged to appeal, saying if the verdict is allowed to stand, “the Web as we know it will cease to exist.”

Legal experts agreed the case raises troubling questions for all U.S. Internet companies that do business globally.

“It absolutely is a threat,” said Danny O’Brien, international outreach coordinator for the Electronic Frontier Foundation of San Francisco.

“If intermediaries like Google or the person who hosts your Web site can be thrown in jail in any country for the acts of other people and suddenly have a legal obligation to prescreen everything anyone says on their Web site before putting it online, the tools for free speech that everyone uses on the Net would grind to a halt.”

Judge Oscar Magi found three of Google’s executives – global privacy counsel Peter Fleischer, chief legal officer David Drummond and retired Chief Financial Officer George Reyes – guilty of violating Italian privacy laws.

In absentia, the executives were handed six-month suspended sentences, although the judge also cleared them, along with a fourth executive, of defamation charges.

The case revolves around a video uploaded to Google Video in 2006 showing an autistic boy in Turin being pummeled and insulted by teenage bullies at school. The video was uploaded before Google bought the more popular YouTube.

The video drew 5,500 views in the two months before Google Italy pulled it dowwn two hours after being notified by police. The boy’s father and an advocacy group for people with Down syndrome complained the video violated privacy protection laws.

Prosecutor Alfredo Robledo told the Associated Press the verdict upheld privacy principles and put the rights of individuals ahead of those of businesses. He said the case will force Google and other firms to be held accountable for screening videos hosted on their sites.

“This is the big principal affirmed by this verdict,” Robledo said. “It is fundamental, because identity is a primary good. If we give that up, anything can happen, and that is not OK.”

Internet principles

In a company blog post, Google vice president and deputy general counsel Matt Sucherman called the ruling “astonishing” because “none of the four Googlers charged had anything to do with this video.”

The verdict “attacks the very principles of freedom on which the Internet is built,” he wrote.

The benefits of the Web could disappear if “sites like Blogger, YouTube and indeed every social network and any community bulletin board are held responsible for every single piece of content that is uploaded to them,” he said.

Support for Google

A host of U.S. technology associations jumped to Google’s defense.

“Most troubling, what happens in Italy is unlikely to stay in Italy,” said Leslie Harris, president of the Center for Democracy and Technology. “The Italian court’s actions today will surely embolden authoritarian regimes and be used to justify their own efforts to suppress Internet freedom.”

Ed Black, chief executive of the Computer and Communications Industry, said he believes the ruling will be found inconsistent with European Union laws governing Internet content.

But, he added, “this is an example of a bird in the tunnel telling us how easily it could get way out of control. This is not the only instance of countries or governments lashing out rather clumsily with blunt instruments about things they don’t like on the Internet.”

Local distinctions

Indeed, firms large enough to have an Internet presence in other countries have faced numerous skirmishes over local distinctions of laws such as copyright and intellectual property. Recently, Google has become embroiled in a dispute with China, saying it will stop censoring search results in that country after attacks on the Gmail accounts of human rights advocates there.

For those firms, there are no easy answers, said James Burger, an intellectual property attorney with the Washington, D.C., law firm Dow Lohnes.

“I could see Italy arguing we should adopt their law in this instance,” Burger said. “There is a larger problem, which is: How do we deal with U.S. companies being slammed abroad for acts that are legal in the United States?”

Pressure on Italy

Jason Schultz, director of the Samuelson Law, Technology and Public Policy Clinic at UC Berkeley, said it’s unclear whether Italian officials will try to apply the ruling more broadly.

“There will be a lot of pressure on the Italian government to rethink this shortsighted approach once the Italian citizenry realizes how limiting it will be to only have access to government-approved media,” Schultz said.

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Facebook Privacy Changed

10 Dec

Warning to you! Facebooks privacy settings have changed so even if you profile is private it now appears on a google search you can read more when you log on!

-ROSIEROSIERED

Google Unveils Chrome OS; Tech World Yawns

21 Nov

Copied from: PC world

Paul Suarez

Nov 21, 2009 2:05 pm

Earlier this week, Google gave the world a first look at the Chrome OS. The press event confirmed what was suspected when Google announced it was working on a netbook operating system four months ago — it wouldemphasize speed and simplicity. As the tech world tests versions of the operating system that were compiled from Google’s source code it is looking like the project’s priorities may be weaknesses.

Chromium OS is simple; so simple that most hands-on impressions are calling it the Chrome browser with a few add-ons. The OS adds features such as a battery life indicator and window management, but lacks a few standards — such as a way to shut down the OS.

big advantage to Chrome is that the cloud-based model has the potential for extremely fast computing, including a boot time as short as three seconds. Right now, Chrome OS is getting mixed speed results, which is probably because it is running through virtual machines.

Vladislav Savov of Engadget reports his install booted to the login screen in fewer than ten seconds and was able to browse the Web in another five.

Sean Kalinich fromTweaktown had a far more underwhelming experience. His machine was booting about as fast as a laptop running Windows 7 off a SSD. Here’s what he had to say:

Boot up – From pressing the start (power) link until we hit the log in screen was 14.8 seconds. After typing in our log in information (which HAS to be a Gmail account), it took a further 4.4 seconds to get to the “Desktop”, so total boot up time is about 20-25 . . . “

It seems that it is too early to tell if the Chrome OS will be a hit or a flop. To be fair, this is a very early version of the OS that wasn’t ever meant to be much more than a browser. As Harry McCracken of Technologizerpoints out, Google said the OS is subject to quite a bit of change before an official release next year, and critiquing the OS is premature until a close-to-final build is available.

Are you liable for your tweets?

18 Nov

WOW! Watch what you say on Twitter!

From: CNN

(CNN) — In a case that would have been impossible even five years ago, bad-girl rocker Courtney Love is being sued for libel by a fashion designer for allegedly slamming the woman on Twitter.

The suit claims that after a disagreement over what Love should pay Dawn Simorangkir for the clothes she designed, Love posted allegedly derogatory and false comments about the designer — among them that she had a “history of dealing cocaine” — on her now-discontinued Twitter feed.

But as technology evolves faster than the laws that govern free speech online, it’s not just the famous who are finding trouble.

Consider the case of Amanda Bonnen and her former landlord. Bonnen, an Illinois resident, is accused of using Twitter to tell another user: “Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon Realty thinks it’s okay.”

Horizon Group Management LLC, the company that owned the apartment in question, sued Bonnen for libel over the alleged tweet. Horizon is seeking $50,000 in damages.

Legal experts say such Internet-related cases are being watched closely because they confront new and unaddressed areas of American law.

For example, how should a libel case be handled when it comes to social media? How can society balance accountability with free speech? And if information — from private thoughts to public data — is so readily available, how do we define what constitutes privacy?

Google Puts Voice on Steroids with Gizmo5

13 Nov

All Credits to this Address: http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/182136/google_puts_voice_on_steroids_with_gizmo5.html

 

CELL PHONES / VOIP November 13, 2009 7:37 AM

The purchase of Gizmo5 enables Google Voice to compete directly with Skype. The bigger picture though is what Gizmo5 can add to Google Wave. Tony Bradley

WAS THIS ARTICLE USEFUL? Yes 12 No 0

Google Voice provides a diverse set of calling and communications features, but up to now it is mostly an accessory-pack that expands the functionality of the voice services you already use. Google Voice provides simultaneous ring of multiple phones, voicemail delivered to email and transcribed to text, the ability to transfer calls between separate phone systems, and more.

In response to an AT&T complaint to the FCC regarding Google blocking some calls on Google Voice, Google countered by stating that it does not actually provide the calling backbone so it should not be subject to those same communications rules. That is about to change.

Adding the ability to place calls over the Internet and from mobile devices using the Gizmo5 technologies will negate the argument the Google is not a telephone service provider and move Google to a different class of regulatory oversight from agencies like the FCC.

Gizmo5 provides Google with the ability to actually provide the voice service as well as the feature add-ons. Gizmo5 offers low-cost and free VoIP calls over the Internet and from mobile apps–similar to the services provided by Skype.

With Gizmo5, Google may now find itself on both sides of the net neutrality debate–both wanting an unrestricted public Internet and looking for ways to manage and restrict traffic for the services it provides.

 

Still Interested? Read More!

Is you cellphone slowly killing you?

10 Nov

Copied directly from: CNN

Evidence still fuzzy on cell phones, cancer.

By Elizabeth Landau, CNN

(CNN) — In the year since a U.S. cancer researcher’s warning drew wide attention, more evidence is emerging that long-term cell phone use is associated with cancer, but there’s still not a definitive explanation or proof of cause and effect.

Last summer, Dr. Ronald Herberman, then director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, issued a warning to about 3,000 faculty and staff, listing steps to avoid harmful electromagnetic radiation from cell phones. This included keeping the phone away from the body as much as possible and not allowing children to use cell phones except in emergencies.

“Since I put out that precautionary advisory in July of last year, I believe there is more indication for concern, particularly among children,” he recently said.

A much-anticipated but unreleased report from the World Health Organization on a decade-long investigation called Interphone will show a “significantly increased risk” of some brain tumors “related to use of mobile phones for a period of 10 years or more,” the London Daily Telegraph reported in late October. The study will be published before the end of the year, the newspaper said.

Supporting that conclusion, a recent study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology that looked at 23 case-control studies found that the research with the more scientifically rigorous methodologies suggested cell phones and tumors are linked. The eight strongest studies made sure the investigators did not know which participants had tumors when they conducted the interviews about cell phone use, and they did not receive funding from industry groups.

Studies that looked at people who had used cell phones 10 years or longer tended to find the strongest risk of tumors. Researchers found that cell phone users had a 10 percent to 30 percent higher risk than people who barely, if ever, used this technology.

A telling feature of the findings in the stronger studies was that the side of the head against which people held their cell phones was highly correlated with the location of tumors, said Joel Moskowitz, director of the Center for Family and Community Health at the University of California, Berkeley.

Skeptics criticize this as “recall bias.” People may be more likely to think about using a cell phone on the same side of the head as the tumor because they’re asked about it in that context.

Moskowitz said he was surprised to see that a subgroup of studies found this increased risk of tumors.

The poorer-quality studies actually found that cell phones had a protective quality — that the phones helped stave off tumors — but could not offer an explanation for why, he said. Many of these weaker studies were also funded by telecommunications industry groups, he said.

Interphone, for example, receives some funding from the GSM Association, which represents the worldwide mobile communications industry, and the Mobile Manufacturers Forum, an international association of telecommunications equipment manufacturers.

Research that has been released by Interphone has major flaws, Moskowitz said. Some shortcomings include poor participation in the control group and a definition of “regular cell phone use” that included people who use their phones once a week for six months.

But the scope of the project is significant: Nearly 13,000 people were questioned between 2000 and 2004 in 13 countries about their cellular phone use, looking for a link to brain cancers and salivary gland tumors.

A major problem with the existing research on the possible link between cell phones and cancer is that the studies are retrospective. That means researchers compare the cell phone use of people who have cancer against that of people who don’t have the condition. People who have tumors may be more inclined to exaggerate or misremember information about their cell phone usage.

A stronger approach would be to follow young people who are just starting out with cell phones for a generation, asking them about their cell phone use over time and seeing what portion gets cancer, said Dr. William Curry, neurosurgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Moreover, seven of the eight “strongest” studies in Moskowitz’s group’s analysis came from the same researcher: oncologist Dr. Lennart Hardell in Sweden. Critics say there could be other factors that make Sweden different in terms of cancer susceptibility and cell phone use. The causal link has not been proved.

Although the study is a thorough meta-analysis, it’s not the final word on the issue, Curry said.

“I don’t think this study would change how I counsel my patients,” he said. “There’s not enough data to say that you should be worried.”

Dr. Marc Chamberlain, neuro-oncologist at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, isn’t worried either. He said the evidence doesn’t support changing cell phone habits and tells patients who ask about the subject that there’s no credible link.

Oncologists who are skeptical of the cancer connection argue that no one can explain the mechanism by which cell phones would induce tumors.

But Moskowitz counters that the tobacco industry used this reasoning for many years as evidence built that cigarettes had a link to lung cancer.

Still, even Herberman agrees with skeptics that the electromagnetic radiation given off by cell phones is too weak to cause direct DNA damage. There are, however, other factors that can contribute to the development of cancer that don’t cause direct DNA damage and mutation, he said.

Moskowitz recommends getting a corded headset and keeping the phone away from your body. Even holding the phone a few inches from your ear makes a big difference in terms of exposure, he said.

Bluetooth devices, which produce much less energy than cell phones, may still be problematic if people keep them on next to their heads all day, as the length of exposure is also relevant, he said.

Moskowitz called for cancer organizations and government agencies to assess ways to reduce potential harms from cell phones. One expert has even suggested issuing cell phones that cannot be used without a corded headset, Moskowitz said.

Another positive measure to take is to get a cell phone with a low specific absorption rate, or SAR, which has to do with how much radio frequency energy gets absorbed by your body. Look up your phone on this list of the SAR levels from CNET.

“There may be some easy, fairly inexpensive ways to change the way people use them,” he said.

Five Things You Should Know About Windows 7 Security

29 Oct

Copied from: PC WORLD

By: Tony Bradley

Microsoft says Windows 7 is the most secure version of the Windows operating system ever developed. Big deal, right? I am pretty sure that Microsoft has made that claim for every new version of Microsoft Windows in the past 15 years, and that it is a valid claim.

What else would you expect? Is Microsoft going to come out with a new operating system and make it less secure than its predecessor? I think not. Still, while the marketing around Windows 7 security may be part hyperbole, there are actually a number of significant security improvements to be aware of, especially for Windows XP users making (or considering) the transition to Windows 7. Many of these security updates existed in Windows Vista as well, so Vista users should already be familiar with them.

1. Protecting the Core

The kernel is the heart of the operating system, which also makes it a prime target for malware and other attacks. Basically, if an attacker can access or manipulate the operating system kernel they can execute malicious code at a level that is undetectable by other applications or even by the operating system itself. Microsoft developed kernel-mode protection to protect the kernel and ensure there is no unauthorized access.

In addition to protecting the kernel, Microsoft has made some other fundamental improvements since Windows XP to protect the operating system. Many attacks rely on the attacker being able to know where a specific function or command resides within memory, or the ability to perform attacks on files that are supposed to contain only data.

Address Space Layer Randomization (ASLR) keeps attackers guessing about where to attack by randomizing the memory locations of key operating system functions. Microsoft also developed Data Execution Prevention (DEP) to prevent files that are supposed to contain data or that are stored in an area reserved for data from executing code of any type.

2. Safer Web Browsing

Windows 7 comes with the latest and greatest version of Internet Explorer, IE8. You can download and use IE8 with other versions of Windows, so its not specific to Windows 7, but it does contain some security enhancements worth nothing.

First, InPrivate Browsing provides the ability to surf the Web…in private as the name implies. When you launch an InPrivate Browsing window Internet Explorer does not save any information related to your Web surfing. That means that there is no cache containing information you typed, and no history of the sites you visited. This is especially useful if you are using IE8 on a shared or public computer, like at a library.

The other IE8 security improvement is Protected Mode. Protected Mode relies on security components in Windows 7 to ensure that malicious or unauthorized code is not allowed to run within the browser. Protected Mode prevents things like drive-by downloads that install malicious software on your system just by visiting a compromised web site.

3. Protection We Love to Hate

User Account Control (UAC) is the poster child for everything we love to hate about Windows Vista. With Windows 7, UAC is still there, but Microsoft has added a slider that enables you to control the level of protection–and therefore the amount of pop-ups asking for permission to access or execute files–UAC provides.

The pop-ups are just a small, but visible, aspect of what UAC does. Many users simply disabled UAC altogether in Windows Vista, but that also turns off Protected Mode IE and some other operating system protection. The slider in Windows 7 is set to the same protection as Windows Vista by default, but you can customize the setting in the Control Panel.

4. Security Tools and Apps

Because of the kernel-mode protection and the changes Microsoft made regarding how, or if, applications are allowed to interact with the core functionality of the operating system, older antivirus and other security software is not compatible with Windows 7.

Vendors like McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro, and others offer Windows7 compatible versions of their security software products, but Microsoft also provides free security tools to protect you if you don’t want to invest the additional money.

The Windows Firewall and Windows Defender antispyware tools are included with the base installation of Windows 7. You can also download and install Microsoft Security Essentials, a free antivirus product released recently by Microsoft.

5. Monitor the Action Center

The Security Center that Windows XP users are familiar with has been replaced by the Windows Action Center. The Action Center is a more comprehensive console for monitoring the Windows 7 system, including security.

The security section of the Action Center provides at-a-glance status regarding the security of your Windows 7 system. It includes information about firewall, spyware, and virus protection, as well as the state of Windows Updates, Internet security settings, and UAC.

There are plenty of good reasons to make the switch to Windows 7. If you are still running Windows XP, security is arguably the best reason to embrace the new operating system. It may or may not be the greatest operating system ever, but it is definitely the most secure Windows operating system ever.

Tony Bradley is an information security and unified communications expert with more than a decade of enterprise IT experience. He tweets as @PCSecurityNews and provides tips, advice and reviews on information security and unified communications technologies on his site at tonybradley.com.

Recession not making a dent in Apple’s pricey product line

21 Oct

Copied directly from: Washington post

By Rob Pegoraro

In that light, the rather pricey newdesktop and laptop computers Apple introduced Tuesday morning should flop in the market.

Apple’s updated $999 MacBook,$1,199-and-up iMac and $599 Mac Mini models may look sharp, and some add such thoughtful features as a wireless mouse that includes the “multi-touch” technology first seen on the iPhone. But Windows-based computers can cost half as much — even before you factor in Apple’s inflated charges for memory and storage upgrades. Since there’s a recession going on and we’re all smart capitalists, buyers will undoubtedly switch to more affordable alternatives. Clearly, Apple is doomed.

Read more

Cut for Wii: New Price $199

24 Sep

Picture from http://www.slipperybrick.com/2009/09/nintendo-goes-official-with-new-199-price-for-wii/

Written by: Lili

This brings me to one of my confessions, yes I do have a Wii and yes I am disappointed that I bought the Wii for $300+ and now the price is over 1/3 cut.

Nintendo has now official gone with the cut and the prices will be releasing prices in stores September 27.

This price is  $100 less than the PS3 Slim.  That price should mean that sales continue to be very robust for Nintendo.

wii-sb