Engineers construct 220 million pixel computer display

August 25, 2007 - Leave a Response

Engineers at the University of California, San Diego have constructed the highest-resolution computer display in the world – with a screen resolution up to 220 million pixels.

The system located at the UCSD division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) is also linked via optical fiber to Calit2’s building at UC Irvine, which boasts the previous record holder. The combination – known as the Highly Interactive Parallelized Display Space (HIPerSpace) – can deliver real-time rendered graphics simultaneously across 420 million pixels to audiences in Irvine and San Diego.

“We don’t intend to stop there,” said Falko Kuester, Calit2 professor for visualization and virtual reality and associate professor of structural engineering in UCSD’s Jacobs School of Engineering. “HIPerSpace provides a unique environment for visual analytics and cyberinfrastructure research and we are now seeking funding to double the size of the system at UC San Diego alone to reach half a billion pixels with a one gigapixel distributed display in sight.”

Kuester is the chief architect of the systems deployed in both Calit2 buildings. Until last week, UC Irvine’s Highly Interactive Parallelized Display Wall (HIPerWall) – built in 2005 with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) – held the record of 200 million pixels for a tiled display system. It is located in the Calit2 Center of Graphics, Visualization and Imaging Technology (GRAVITY), which Kuester directs. When Kuester’s group moved to UCSD in 2006 they began work on the next generation of massively tiled display walls, which now serve as a prototype for ultra-high resolution OptIPortal tiled displays developed by the NSF-funded OptIPuter project (led by Calit2 director Larry Smarr).

The new HIPerSpace system between Irvine and San Diego is joined together via high-performance, dedicated optical networking that clocks in at up to two gigabits per second (2Gbps). The systems use the same type of graphics rendering technology, from industry partner NVIDIA. The “graphics super cluster” being developed at……. Read the full Article from the source: physorg.com

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Engineers construct 220 million pixel computer display

August 25, 2007 - Leave a Response

Engineers at the University of California, San Diego have constructed the highest-resolution computer display in the world – with a screen resolution up to 220 million pixels.

The system located at the UCSD division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) is also linked via optical fiber to Calit2’s building at UC Irvine, which boasts the previous record holder. The combination – known as the Highly Interactive Parallelized Display Space (HIPerSpace) – can deliver real-time rendered graphics simultaneously across 420 million pixels to audiences in Irvine and San Diego.

“We don’t intend to stop there,” said Falko Kuester, Calit2 professor for visualization and virtual reality and associate professor of structural engineering in UCSD’s Jacobs School of Engineering. “HIPerSpace provides a unique environment for visual analytics and cyberinfrastructure research and we are now seeking funding to double the size of the system at UC San Diego alone to reach half a billion pixels with a one gigapixel distributed display in sight.”

Kuester is the chief architect of the systems deployed in both Calit2 buildings. Until last week, UC Irvine’s Highly Interactive Parallelized Display Wall (HIPerWall) – built in 2005 with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) – held the record of 200 million pixels for a tiled display system. It is located in the Calit2 Center of Graphics, Visualization and Imaging Technology (GRAVITY), which Kuester directs. When Kuester’s group moved to UCSD in 2006 they began work on the next generation of massively tiled display walls, which now serve as a prototype for ultra-high resolution OptIPortal tiled displays developed by the NSF-funded OptIPuter project (led by Calit2 director Larry Smarr).

The new HIPerSpace system between Irvine and San Diego is joined together via high-performance, dedicated optical networking that clocks in at up to two gigabits per second (2Gbps). The systems use the same type of graphics rendering technology, from industry partner NVIDIA. The “graphics super cluster” being developed at……. Read the full Article from the source: physorg.com

Via announces one-watt processor

August 25, 2007 - Leave a Response

Via Technologies has unveiled its 500MHz Eden CPU which it claims is the most power-efficient x86 processor yet produced.

The new chip draws a single watt of power when in use, and just 0.1 watt when idle, and joins Via’s ultra-low voltage processor family designed primarily for ultra-mobile applications.

Because of its very low power draw the CPU does not require a fan, reducing the power requirements even further and opening up design options for developers.

Richard Brown, vice president of corporate marketing at Via, claimed that Eden’s design “defines our ‘small is beautiful’ strategy” and “provides a way for embedded developers to push the market forward”.

The new processor is powerful enough to run portable media devices and UMPCs, while still enabling system platforms to maintain a maximum power drain of less than 10 watts, greatly improving battery life.

Eden will be showcased at the Embedded System Conference in Taipei on 23-24 August 2007 along with several customer boards.

Written by: an Williams, vnunet.com

Fujitsu’s ‘Nanohole’ Tech Could Triple Hard Drive Capacity

August 11, 2007 - Leave a Response

Last November, we reported on Fujitsu’s efforts to overcome a curious problem with the physics of hard disk drives: storing magnetic data at densities that are smaller than the grains of the underlying ferromagnetic medium should physically allow. The company’s solution involved a combination of lasers to locate precise locations on the drive, and also to pre-heat data spots to make them more conducive to holding data at precise locations.

But all that assumes that the precise locations in question…already exist. Yesterday, we learned from Fujitsu how they intend to accomplish that, and we also got a peek at some areal density goals.

The problem facing HDD engineers has been that perpendicular recording – the process that has already led us to the one-terabyte era for desktop storage – can only go so far. Even higher-capacity drives will be needed soon, not for storing spreadsheets but for serving media…unless CE manufacturers expect every digital home in the 2010s decade to drive their own SANs.Fujitsu’s next big idea literally came from those aluminum “hologram” stickers you frequently see on the front of cereal boxes, and the certification tape of sealed software cases. Making those pretty colors onto aluminum uses a process called anodization, which is a kind of electrolytic “washing” that leaves pits beneath its surface. The non-pitted regions become oxidized to form what’s called alumina.

This pitting can change the color of aluminum, but it also increases its corrosion resistance. The size of those pits has already been known to be “nanoscale.” What if the location of those pits could be predetermined, so a manufacturing process could place pits in an exact arrangement? Then those pits could be exploited for use as bits, in the data sense. Read the full post from the Beta news

Macs are more secure: official

August 4, 2007 - Leave a Response

Apple’s recent campaign claiming its machines were more secure and less likely to crash or pick up a virus than Windows PCs has been cleared by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

No word on whether the smugness of comedians Mitchell and Webb is likely to break acceptable bounds though.

A national press campaign included a picture of Webb holding a sign reading in part: “I run Mac OS X so you don’t have to worry about the viruses and spyware that PCs do”.

The ASA received 14 complaints, nine of which considered the virus claims misleading and irresponsible because viruses attack operating systems rather than machines and some PCs could run on operating systems, like Linux, which were just as safe as Mac OSX. Apple said the advert was meant to refer to PCs running Microsoft Windows and provided evidence that 97 per cent of home PCs – targeted by the ad – run Microsoft Windows. Apple identified 114,000 viruses that target PCs and that it did not claim Macs were entirely immune to viruses.

A second advert shown in cinemas and online showed Mitchell sneezing and warning his Mac mate Webb that he had a virus. The third advert subject to complaint was a cinema advert which showed the PC character played by Mitchell repeatedly freezing to illustrate a crashed PC.

The ASA ruled in Apple’s favour in each of the three complaints.

Apple, you’ll be relieved to hear, will not be running the adverts again.

The ASA ruling is available here.

Written by: John Oates

AMD’s War with Intel Becomes a Street Brawl

August 4, 2007 - One Response

The war between Intel and AMD this week became almost entirely rhetorical, following the European Commission’s action last week, charging Intel with abuse of its dominant power status on that continent. While US antitrust law holds companies to a higher standard of conduct once they have attained monopoly power through non-illegal means, EU law sets the bar somewhat lower, where the test is dominant power.

But just what is dominant power, legally speaking? A Wall Street Journal editorial last Tuesday raised the question. It’s easy to call Intel’s 80% market share there “dominant;” but the article asked, why should a company expect to compete its little heart out using any means necessary, until it reaches 80% or some such point, after which time it can no longer be allowed to compete the same way?
“This leaves companies in the absurd position of being free to compete as hard as possible until they reach a certain market share – at which point their hitherto legal behavior becomes unlawful.”

That got AMD’s blood boiling. In a response statement, AMD’s Executive Vice President for Legal Affairs Thomas McCoy said, “Here’s where the history of American antitrust law comes in. In the 2004 Trinko decision, Justice Scalia made a careful distinction: Mere monopoly status is not illegal. But the use of anticompetitive conduct to gain or to maintain a monopoly is illegal, because such practices block the dynamic potential of competition.

This is the distinction employed by the European authorities in their statement of objections against Intel. They did not base their case merely on the size and success of Intel. Rather, the authorities concluded that Intel waged a sustained campaign to leverage its monopoly status to coerce computer makers into boycotting AMD.

“Thus, as the European Commission explained, Intel’s conduct is ‘bad for competition and consumers,”‘ McCoy continued. “And that’s exactly the kind of conclusion that justified the century of landmark U.S. antitrust decisions spanning the decades from Standard Oil, through Alcoa and AT&T, to Microsoft.”

It’s important to note here that the European Commission has not actually reached a conclusion – not in the legal sense – about Intel’s conduct. It can only reach a conclusion after it has given Intel a chance to make its case heard at an oral hearing, which Intel has indicated it wishes to do.

Equally important is the fact that the EC, time and again with various antitrust and competitiveness cases, has chosen to distinguish itself from US antitrust law by saying it does not borrow EU statutes from US code. Much of the EC’s incentive for pursuing Microsoft over the past few years is believed to have been sparked by that company’s settlement with the US Justice Dept., after a district court judgment that would have seen the company broken in two, fell apart.

But AMD’s rhetoric didn’t end there this week. Yesterday, the company released what it claimed to be an economic study concluding that Intel “extracted monopoly profits” from the sale of microprocessors worldwide, during the ten-year period between 1996 and 2006, estimated at $60 billion.

AMD released a summary of a report from Dr. Michael Williams of ERS Group, which includes the…. Read it all from the source : Beta news

Could Windows 7 use touchscreen tech?

July 30, 2007 - Leave a Response

Microsoft revealed earlier this week that Windows Vista’s successor – codenamed Windows 7 – is scheduled to be released in 2010. But what the company is not making clear is what new features the OS will have, a topic that has become fodder for educated speculation.

Analysts said Microsoft is probably keeping tight-lipped about what Windows 7 will look like because at this point, company engineers and executives don’t even know.

“They don’t want to commit because they don’t have a good idea what’s in it,” said Gartner analyst Michael Silver. “We’re three years out, so you can’t really expect that much detail.”

Michael Cherry, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, said with so many people still in the midst of upgrading to the latest client OS, Windows Vista, he’s hesitant to speculate on what might be in Windows 7. “We barely know the features of the one we just got,” he said.

Windows Vista includes new features such as desktop search and a new user interface, which also are two areas that leave room for expansion in Windows 7, analysts said.

Microsoft has shown the direction it’s going with the latter with its Surface computer, introduced in late May. That form factor looks like a coffee table with a touchscreen interface that lets users move photos around by hand synchronise devices by placing them on the table.

With products such as the Apple iPhone making the touchscreen popular with consumers, a touchscreen UI in Windows 7 is a possibility, Silver said. “They… Read it all from the source (PC Advisor)

BBC Launches Free Online TV in UK

July 30, 2007 - Leave a Response

 The BBC launched its online television service on Friday, which is being called the biggest change to the way its viewers watch its programming in four decades.The advent of content on the Internet is as big for the BBC as its first broadcasts in color in the 1960s, according to Director General Mark Thompson.

Altogether, about 400 hours of programming would be available through the service at no cost, which constitutes about two-thirds of the BBC’s television lineup. Similar services are already available from commercial competitors such as Channel 4 and ITV.”This is a significant moment, as it heralds a new era when viewers will have the freedom to watch programs from the BBC’s linear TV channels when they want,” BBC Vision director Jana Bennett said. The application is in beta, and will be launched in the fall of this year.

The service, called iPlayer, does not permit users to permanently save programs. Instead, after viewing or 30 days, whichever comes first, the programs are automatically deleted. The software prevents any kind of copying.

iPlayer is only available to those living in the UK, and running Windows XP. The BBC said it takes about 30 minutes to download an hour-long show. Programs on the service are from the previous week’s programming.

Although not available initially, the network does plan to eventually make available versions compatible with Vista and Macintosh. Other distribution agreements are in the works with MSN, telegraph.co.uk, AOL, Tiscali, Yahoo!, MySpace, Blinkx and Bebo.

It was not immediately clear whether those agreements would also be geographically restricted or open to a worldwide audience.

Written by: By Ed Oswald, BetaNews

Apple Buys Open Source Printing Software

July 14, 2007 - Leave a Response

In a move that should help the company improve the printing capabilities in Mac OS X Leopard, due this October, Apple has acquired the source code to the UNIX printing software CUPS in addition to hiring the program’s author. CUPS will continue to be available under its existing GPL2/LGPL2 license.

An acronym for Common Unix Printing System, CUPS enables computers to function as print servers by accepting print jobs from networked computers. CUPS has been used in Mac OS X — which is built upon a UNIX core — since 10.2 Jaguar after Apple abandoned plans to build its own printing software.

Written By: BetaNews

Windows Live Mobile Search 2.0 Out

July 14, 2007 - One Response

Microsoft released the second version of its Windows Live Mobile Search application on Friday, including some new features for both the standalone and Web-based versions of the client.

Versions of the software are available for Windows Mobile, J2ME, and in beta for BlackBerry devices. Unsupported phones will be able to access the new Web-based version. The iPhone can use the Web-based app, but a bug prevents the search button from working properly.

“When you do a search, hit “Go” on the soft-keyboard after entering your search terms as the normal search button is not active,” Microsoft said. “The mobile search team will have a maintenance release shortly to address this issue.”In the Windows Live Search 2.0 desktop version, new features include movie showtimes and the addition of more local data and user reviews. The Virtual Earth maps functionality has been improved and users would have the option of increasing the cache by using a storage card.

The directions functionality has been bolstered as well, with better support for in-phone GPS and improved turn-by-turn navigation. The application would even prompt to reroute if it detects you have veered away from the given directions.

The Web-based version now allows for a single search box that shows results from Instant Answers, Local, Web, Images to News and Spaces. Two of these features are new to the Web platform, including Instant Answers and Image Search. Clicking on the links would show the page formatted specifically for a mobile phone.

Those with compatible devices can download the standalone version of Windows Live Search 2.0 by pointing their mobile browser to wls.live.com. The mobile search page can be accessed from m.live.com.

Written By: Ed Oswald, BetaNews

Apple Files New Wi-Fi iPod Patents

July 14, 2007 - Leave a Response

 

Apple may be close to developing a Wi-Fi enabled iPod as a new patent application submitted recently by the company indicates it is developing a way for devices to talk to each other through a wireless network.
First reported by Macsimum News on Thursday, the patent sounds quite similar to what Microsoft is already doing with the Zune. There has been much speculation about the release of a Wi-Fi enabled device, however none have surfaced as of yet.

While Apple’s iPhone does include Wi-Fi, it still must connect directly with its host computer to download songs, update data, and so forth.While mobile devices can do this already, “it is advantageous to exchange (send and/or receive) media or other types of data with other electronic devices in a wireless manner,” Apple claims in its application.

It should be mentioned that Apple has already filed for several patents surrounding Wi-Fi technology in iPod-like devices, so this application could be just the latest in a series of them, and not necessarily an indication that such a device is imminent.

However, last year Apple filed for several patents that ultimately pointed to the release of the iPhone.

Written By: Ed Oswald, BetaNews

Wii outsells PS3 ‘six to one’ in Japan

July 9, 2007 - Leave a Response

Nintendo sold 270,974 Wii consoles last month while Sony sold 41,628 PS3s, according to Enterbrain, a Japanese publisher that tracks console sales.

Nintendo has sold about 2.76m Wii consoles in Japan since the launch last December, while Sony has sold 970,270 PS3s since it debuted last November.

About 17,616 Xbox 360 consoles were sold in June.

Last week, Phil Harrison, PlayStation’s head of worldwide studios, told US Game Informer magazine that pundits should not judge the success of the console based on the launch software line-up.

Struggled

He said: “You only have to go back to the games that launched PlayStation 1 and Playstation 2.

“If you took those few dozen titles and analysed them, you would never have imagined that either of those formats would have on to sell over 100m units each.”

Globally, Sony has struggled so far to replicate the success it had with the first two PlayStation consoles.

The machine has also suffered from a lack of “killer” exclusive titles which showcase the power of the machine.

PlayStation fans are still awaiting some of the biggest franchises on the machine to emerge, such as Metal Gear Solid, Killzone 2 and Gran Turismo.

Written by: BBC News 

FeedBurner premium news feed now free

July 8, 2007 - Leave a Response

RSS provider FeedBurner is to make its premium news feed management services available to publishers at no extra charge, just one month after being acquired by Google.

FeedBurner’s Stats PRO and MyBrand services were previously available for an additional monthly fee of $5.

Stats PRO includes tools to allow users to more effectively track stats on feeds, such as ad metrics and a list of sites publishing the feed.

MyBrand allows users to attach their own URL to a feed which is being served by FeedBurner. The original charge for the service ranged from $3 to $14, depending on the number of feeds.

The move follows a pattern for Google, which makes the vast majority of its money from advertising sales. The company had previously removed charges for premium services after acquiring such companies as Blogger, Picasa and Urchin.

Like its parent company, FeedBurner will now rely on ad sales for revenue. Increasing ad sales had been a constant theme for both companies when the acquisition was announced.

Susan Wojcicki, vice president of product management at Google, said at the time of the acquisition that the search giant “constantly aims to give AdWords advertisers broader distribution to an even wider audience of users”.

FeedBurner chief executive Dick Costello told users that the acquisition will allow them to make more money from Google’s huge advertising network.

Users will need to manually activate the Stats PRO and MyBrand services in order to take advantage of the premium features.

Written by: Vnunet 

Solaris to Get Linux Features

July 8, 2007 - Leave a Response

BOSTON (Reuters) – Sun Microsystems Inc. is revamping its Solaris operating system, incorporating key pieces of rival Linux software in a move that could gain better support from developers who have massed behind Linux.

Solaris is one of the main varieties of the Unix family of operating systems, known for their ability to safely and securely handle major computing tasks rather than for ease of use.

Sun itself is known for its business computers that can handle major corporate loads and it long has courted programmers who cooperatively develop Linux and other so-called open-source software, with mixed success.

The revamped Solaris system will have features borrowed from Linux that could make it easier to use, correspondence on Sun’s Web site shows.

“This is a big deal to the extent that it lowers the barrier for adoption of Solaris,” said IDC software analyst Al Gillen.

The new system will keep the Solaris kernel, which is a basic group of code at the heart of the operating system that controls the way other programs interact with each other as well as the computer’s hardware.

“Solaris is hard to set up. It doesn’t have good hardware support,” said Ladislav Bodnar, founder of Distrowatch.com, a Web site that reviews open-source software. “The hope is that things may change.”

Sun executives declined to comment in advance of a formal unveiling next week of the plans, called Project Indiana.

Written by: PC World

Xcavator, Photo Comparison Search

June 26, 2007 - One Response

Xcavator.net is an interesting stock photo search engine. Instead of just searching for tags, you can also select a color, or upload your own photo to get best matches returned. Results are already OK, and would probably be even better with a larger image database in the back-end (so that you would find more precise matches to the photos you upload).

What’s really neat is that you can drag and drop photos from the result onto the bar below the results, so that you can buy the stock photo at a later point but continue browsing… in fact, thanks to Ajax you never have to leave the frontpage of Xcavator; on the downside of that, you also can’t use your browser’s back button to return to past searches (as ever so often with modern web apps, for every pro of on-page interactivity, there’s a con in accessibility).

If you find certain surprising or just very precise matches when you uploaded a photo to the site, please post your screenshot in the comments.

Written by: Google Blogoscoped

Plaxo 3 Beta Review

June 26, 2007 - Leave a Response

Robert Scoble broke the news on Sunday night first as far as I can tell. The address book, calendar and task management and synchronization platform Plaxo opened their new version 3.0 beta to the public.

As a user and fan of Plaxo, did I go and tested it out right away of course. I had a whole day to play around with it and here are my comments.

The new version included a complete overhaul of the web interface, the part of Plaxo, which I used the least to be honest. The interface was user friendly before and it did not change with the new version although the number of features increased and had to fit on the page as well.

I liked and still like the synchronization features, the de-duper, the auto update and the easy web access to your contacts the most. With Plaxo was I finally able to clean-up my address book for the first time to an extent, which I had never thought possible before. Plaxo offers plug-ins for Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express. In addition, Mac users who are using Mac OS X have a plug-in available as well. I did not see any plug-in for Linux though.

The Plaxo plug-in automatically synchronized my contacts, calendars, tasks and notes (which are new I believe). The one thing I had hoped for did not make it into V3.0 unfortunately.

I posted comments in their support forum in April, after two other people already noted the same, but the Plaxo support people did misunderstand the request first.

Plaxo synchronizes images of people, if they provided one and shared it in their Plaxo profile. Images I specify in Outlook myself on the other hand, does Plaxo ignore and not use it, even for contacts who did not specify an Image at all. I am a visual person and the image for the contact helps me a lot to make associations about where we met etc. I hope that Plaxo will implement a feature like that in the near future.

Plaxo Syncs with MS Outlook, MS Outlook Express, Max OS X, Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, MSN Hotmail/Windows Live, LinkedIn (Pro Version) and Windows Mail. As I already mentioned, mobile access is also available, free (it used to be a Pro-Account feature). Users also have the option to do a one way import from a number of the sources I mentioned above.

The De-Dupe feature was extended and does include calendar entries. It is still a Pro feature, but that does not cost a lot. Full access to all features is available for less than $50 per year and well worth the investment.

A cool feature from previous version was the auto update of contact information for people in your address book that also have a Plaxo account. That happens automatically and requires no configuration at all. Plaxo informs you of contacts who created an account recently to let you know about it. Plaxo also reminds you of birthdays, if either you or your contact provided the information.

Another feature is to send out in bulk or individually a request to……. Read the full reviw from the Source “Search Engine Journal

Fauxto Online Photo Editor

June 25, 2007 - Leave a Response

Fauxto*, released in late 2006, is a Photoshop-like online image editor that’s constantly growing its list of features. Once you edited a photo with brushes, layers, fill tools, eraser and so on, you can save it online – no need to go back to your hard disk (though you can do that, too).

This tool works incredibly well, though I’m not sure if there’s any business plan behind it (registration is free). Perhaps the makers are hoping to get acquired. And Google Inc. seems to be one likely candidate: the Google office already has online Word, online Excel, online FrontPage, online email, online calendar, perhaps soon online PowerPoint, and more (all of these with less features than their desktop counterparts, but better sharing & multi-user editing capabilities), so online Photoshop would make sense too**.

*If you pronounce this the French way, faux – to, it supposedly sounds a bit like “photo.”

**Unless Google’s already working on this in-house, of course.

 

Written by:  Google Blogoscoped

Google wants U.S. help fighting censorship

June 24, 2007 - Leave a Response

WASHINGTON (AP) — Once relatively indifferent to government affairs, Google Inc. is seeking help inside the Beltway to fight the rise of Web censorship worldwide.

The online search giant is taking a novel approach to the problem by asking U.S. trade officials to treat Internet restrictions as international trade barriers, similar to other hurdles to global commerce, such as tariffs.

Google sees the dramatic increase in government Net censorship, particularly in Asia and the Middle East, as a potential threat to its advertising-driven business model, and wants government officials to consider the issue in economic, rather than just political, terms.

“It’s fair to say that censorship is the No. 1 barrier to trade that we face,” said Andrew McLaughlin, Google’s director of public policy and government affairs. A Google spokesman said Monday that McLaughlin has met with officials from the U.S. Trade Representative’s office several times this year to discuss the issue.

“If censorship regimes create barriers to trade in violation of international trade rules, the USTR would get involved,” USTR spokeswoman Gretchen Hamel said. She added though that human rights issues, such as censorship, typically falls under the purview of the State Department.

While human rights activists are pleased with Google’s efforts to fight censorship, they harshly criticized the company early last year for agreeing to censor its Web site in China, which has the second-largest number of Internet users in the world.

The company defends its actions, saying the Chinese government made it a condition of allowing Chinese users access to Google Web pages. China has an Internet firewall that slows or disrupts Chinese users from accessing foreign uncensored Web sites.

Censorship on the rise

Censorship online has risen dramatically the past five years, belying the hype of the late 1990s, which portrayed the Internet as largely impervious to government interference.

A study released last month by the OpenNet Initiative found that 25 of 41 countries surveyed engage in Internet censorship. That’s a dramatic increase from the two or three countries guilty of the practice in 2002, says John Palfrey, executive director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, who helped prepare the report.

China, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, India, Singapore and Thailand, among others, are increasingly blocking or filtering Web pages, Palfrey says.

Governments “are having more success than the more idealistic of us thought,” acknowledges Danny… Read the full story at the source: CNN

Microsoft to Change Vista After Google Complaints

June 23, 2007 - Leave a Response

A little background info is in order. A couple of months ago Google made a confidential complaint against Microsoft to the Justice department over Microsoft’s indexing software. Google’s complaint was that Microsoft doesn’t make it easy to turn off the default indexing software in Vista (“Instant Search,” which allows you to search your hard drive) if you chose to use a competitor’s product like Google Desktop. So you would be wasting system resources by running 2 indexing applications.

Last week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that Google’s claims were “baseless”. Well it seems that Microsoft and the Justice department have come to an agreement and will make changes to Vista that will allow users to select a third party application as the default search program. This update will be available for testing by the end of the year.

Written by: Colin Colehour, Google Blogoscoped

LG’s Google Phone Coming to Europe

June 23, 2007 - Leave a Response

The Korea Times is reporting that LG Electronics has unveiled their new cell phone which offers a full range of services provided by Google, or as us bloggers like to call it, the Google Phone.

The Google Phone (LG-KU580) is expected to hit the European markets this week and cost about $350.

The LG-KU580 will be the first phone on the market to specifically deliver GMail, Google Search, and Google Maps in one easy to use interface.

Other add-ons include an MP3 player, FM radio and a two inch display panel.

“Google’s strong search services are just one click away with our phone as we put a hot key that directs users to Google services in a fraction of a second,” Choi Je-wook of LG told the Korea Times. “In addition, the phone provides other Google services such as e-mail (G-Mail) and map-viewing (Google Earth).”

Written by: Loren Baker, search engine journal 

Mandriva: We Won’t Sign Microsoft Pact

June 23, 2007 - Leave a Response

Mandriva has become the latest Linux vendor to publicly refute speculation that it will join Novell, Xandros and Linspire in signing a patent covenant with Microsoft, in which the Redmond company agrees not to sue for potential intellectual property infringement.

The statement from Mandriva CEO Francois Bancilhon follows a similar refusal from Canonical chief executive Mark Shuttleworth; Canonical makes the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution. Red Hat also said it would not sign any patent pledge with Microsoft.

Microsoft’s agreement with Novell, inked last November, formed a rift in the Linux community. Some companies felt they could use the patent covenant to help protect their customers, while others felt Microsoft was simply spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt to push businesses to Windows instead.While the deal between Microsoft and Novell included work on interoperability between the two platforms, it primarily focused on intellectual property. Novell agreed to make royalty payments to Microsoft in exchange for lawsuit protection, although Microsoft has yet to specify what patents Linux may infringe upon.

“Interoperability between the Windows and Linux world is important and must be dealt with, and anything that helps this interoperability is a good thing,” wrote Mandriva’s Bancihon. “We also believe what we see, and up to now, there has been absolutely no hard evidence from any of the FUD propagators that Linux and open source applications are in breach of any patents.”

Red Hat said it would not pay an “innovation tax” to Microsoft. Like Ubuntu’s Shuttleworth, Banchion characterized Microsoft’s offer as a protection racket, similar to that employed by the mafia.

“We think that, as in any democracy, people are innocent unless proven guilty and we can continue working in good faith,” he continued. “So we don’t believe it is necessary for us to get protection from Microsoft to do our job or to pay protection money to anyone.”

Written by: Nate Mook, BetaNews