Episode 119

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Hi guys,
I work for a data recovery company and we’ve recently put up a webpage with some typical sounds dying hard drives make. Just thought you might find it interesting for your podcast: http://datacent.com/failing_hard_drive_sounds
Thanks for your podcast……E.

Time added to 2008 allows for longer smooch – CNN.com
Time added to 2008 allows for longer smooch 

Uproar in Australia Over Plan to Block Web Sites – NYTimes.com
Uproar in Australia Over Plan to Block Web Sites

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) — A proposed Internet filter dubbed the ”Great Aussie Firewall” is promising to make Australia one of the strictest Internet regulators among democratic countries.

Consumers, civil-rights activists, engineers, Internet providers and politicians from opposition parties are among the critics of a mandatory Internet filter that would block at least 1,300 Web sites prohibited by the government — mostly child pornography, excessive violence, instructions in crime or drug use and advocacy of terrorism.

Hundreds protested in state capitals earlier this month.

”This is obviously censorship,” said Justin Pearson Smith, 29, organizer of protests in Melbourne and an officer of one of a dozen Facebook groups against the filter.

Warner Music pulls videos from YouTube | Australian IT
Warner Music pulls videos from YouTube


WARNER Music Group ordered YouTube on Saturday to remove all music videos by its artists from the popular online video-sharing site after contract negotiations broke down.

The order could affect hundreds of thousands of videos clips, as it covers Warner Music’s recorded artists as well as the rights for songs published by its Warner/Chappell unit, which includes many artists not signed to Warner Music record labels.

The talks fell apart early on Saturday because Warner wants a bigger share of the huge revenue potential of YouTube’s massive visitor traffic.

We simply cannot accept terms that fail to appropriately and fairly compensate recording artists, songwriters, labels and publishers for the value they provide,” Warner said in a statement.

“Despite our constant efforts, it isn’t always possible to maintain their innovative agreements,” YouTube said in a statement on its blog about difficulties of music licensing. “Sometimes, if we can’t reach acceptable business terms, we must part ways with successful partners.”

YouTube also has agreements with Vivendi’s (VIV.PA) Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and EMI Music. Warner’s move could see them also making tough demands for higher fees.

Conroy expands ISP filter tests to examine P2P and BitTorrent traffic – Internet – iTnews Australia
Conroy expands ISP filter tests to examine P2P and BitTorrent traffic

 Broadband Minister Stephen Conroy has broken his silence on the controversial ISP content filter trials to start before the end of the year, saying they will now cover new filter technologies that can examine peer-to-peer and BitTorrent traffic.

“Technology that filters peer-to-peer and BitTorrent traffic does exist and it is anticipated that the effectiveness of this will be tested in the live pilot trial,” said Conroy.

However, the Minister has resisted calls to reveal the contents of the proposed blacklist, claiming it is not in the public’s best interests.

“The ACMA blacklist is currently protected from release under the Freedom of Information Act,” said Conroy.

“Publishing the title or internet address of child abuse material would constitute distribution of illegal material and is therefore protected from release. 

“All the government is now seeking to do is to examine how technology can assist in filtering internationally-hosted content.”

He also ruled out re-introducing PC-level filtering – the approach adopted by the previous government.

“Despite an $84.8 million government program and $15.5 million in advertising, only about two per cent of households with dependent children are using a [PC] filter,” said Conroy.

“Unfortunately, many parents do not have the technical skills or knowledge to install and manage PC-level filters. ISP-level filtering could provide important protection for those families with limited technical expertise.”

He continued: “We understand that ISP filtering is not a ‘silver bullet’ for this purpose. However, in conjunction with the Government’s numerous other initiatives in this area, we believe it can make an important contribution to protecting children online.”

Rumour has Android G2 in the works – News – Mobile Phones
Rumour has Android G2 in the works

 The T-Mobile G2, as the device will reportedly be called, will debut on 26 January, according to “rumours” reported by Cell Phone Signal. The new device is expected to have a 5-megapixel autofocus camera, VGA camera for video calls, a full touchscreen, and Wi-Fi connectivity, according to the blog.

Boy Genius Report has reported a follow-up rumour that says those specs are pretty accurate, but that the release date will actually be in April. Boy Genius’ tipster said the G2 wouldn’t have a physical QWERTY keyboard, but there would still be a trackball at the bottom of the device.

The new device is also expected to be non-exclusive to T-Mobile and sold elsewhere around the world, according to Boy Genius.

Apple offers advice on 10.5.6 upgrade problems – News – Operating Systems Software
Apple offers advice on 10.5.6 upgrade problems

 In a support document posted to its site, Apple described an issue in which a Mac would hang on a “Configuring installation” window when trying to install Mac OS X 10.5.6. That was apparently the result of an incomplete update getting seeded into the Software Update process, and Mac OS X will freak out if it tries to install a partially downloaded update.

Apple recommends that if you encounter this problem, or have already, that you force Software Update to quit, remove the partial update from your library, and re-download the update. If you chose to download the standalone update from Apple’s site rather than the combo update, you might also have had this problem; when in doubt, choose the combo update option.

GoldCoast Social Media Group





The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard


More Than Just Novelties: 20 Useful USB Gadgets That Don’t Suck | AMOG – Alpha Males of the Group
More Than Just Novelties: 20 Useful USB Gadgets That Don’t Suck


It seems that every day there are new USB devices. Some are cool and some are not. I think that anyone that even has a little bit of geek in them will appreciate any of these. Some have practical uses and some are just fun, but all twenty of these gadgets are awesome.

keychain1-300x261 More Than Just Novelties: 20 Useful USB Gadgets That Dont Suck

1. Digital Photo Keychain:

I’m sure you’ve seen these cool devices. They can hold up to 35 pictures and you can download them right from your PC. Now you can have pictures of your kids, dog, girlfriend, or wife with you all the time. Just make sure that you don’t have your wife and your girlfriend on the same key chain.

 More Than Just Novelties: 20 Useful USB Gadgets That Dont Suck

2. Phone Book Cell Phone/ PC Flash Drive:

This handy device is great for maintaining and backing up your phone numbers on your cell phone. You can edit the phone book on your PC and upload it into your phone. Conversely, you can download phone numbers from your phone to your PC so you can have a backup in case something ever happens to your phone. This device can hold up to 10,000 different phone numbers and is compatible with Windows 98SE, Windows ME, Windows 2000, and Windows XP.

 More Than Just Novelties: 20 Useful USB Gadgets That Dont Suck

3. USB Beverage Warmer/ Cooler:

Keep your drinks warm or cold with this awesome beverage device. In addition, it doesn’t just link up to your computer. It’s also compatible with video game systems such as Xbox and Playstation and is even compatible with your cable box. You can use this gadget for keeping your coffee warm while you’re working during the day, keeping your soda cool while you’re playing your favorite video games in the evenings, and keeping your beer cold while watching sports on TV on the weekends.

 More Than Just Novelties: 20 Useful USB Gadgets That Dont Suck

4. Oscillating Fan:

This fan is great for warm offices and can either be stationary or can oscillate to circulate some air. It’s only 7 inches, so it will fit anywhere and is perfect for a desktop in your office.

 More Than Just Novelties: 20 Useful USB Gadgets That Dont Suck

5. Wireless mouse:

There are numerous wireless mice to choose from on the market these days, but it’s an awesome PC item that I think everyone should have. You never have to worry about the restraints of a corded mouse again. You also don’t have to worry about the cord rubbing against a surface so much that it eventually loses wire connection, which is a common problem that can occur over an extended period of time. The wireless mouse is compatible with Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000, and Windows XP.

 More Than Just Novelties: 20 Useful USB Gadgets That Dont Suck

6. Flexible Keyboard:

This cool keyboard is not only spill-proof, but also water-resistant. You can actually run it under water to clean it! This is a great sanitary solution to keyboards that may sit out for months with crumbs from several meals and the oils from the skin of several different people.

Also, it’s made of high quality silicone, so you can bend it or roll it and it won’t damage the keyboard at all. The keyboard also has a soft and silent touch so you won’t hear that “tap-tap-tap” when you’re typing as you do with traditional keyboards. This keyboard is compatible with Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows ME, Windows 2000, and Windows 98.

notebook-charger2 More Than Just Novelties: 20 Useful USB Gadgets That Dont Suck

7. Battery Charger:

The USB battery charger holds either 2 AA batteries or 3 AAA batteries. This device contains two LED status lights and has an automatic off feature.

 More Than Just Novelties: 20 Useful USB Gadgets That Dont Suck

8. Pencil Sharpener:

The USB pencil sharpener can be useful at work or at home. It’s a perfect size for a desk as its dimensions are about 3 inches all the way around.

missile-launcher1-300x216 More Than Just Novelties: 20 Useful USB Gadgets That Dont Suck

9. Missile Launcher:

This little gadget has no practical use, but it’s a lot of fun. It’s equipped with three foam missiles, pre-recorded sound effects, and missile software in the form of a CD. The missiles can really soar through the air and can shoot up to 20 feet away. This means that you could have a lot of fun at home and drive your pets crazy, or you can have even more fun at work and drive your coworkers crazy.

 More Than Just Novelties: 20 Useful USB Gadgets That Dont Suck

10. Pen/ MP3Player:

I’ve never seen as awesome a USB gadget as the pen/ MP3 player. It contains a 1GB or 512 MB flash drive, FM radio, built in microphone for voice recordings, and earphones. You get 7 hours of playing time, so it would be perfect to take to work. It’s compatible with Windows XP, 2000, ME and 98 SE operating systems as well as Mac and included in the package is a driver CD and the user’s manual. It’s pretty reasonably priced as the 512 MB version is under $50 and the 1 GB version is under $70.

chess-board1-300x261 More Than Just Novelties: 20 Useful USB Gadgets That Dont Suck

11. USB Chess Board:

This awesome flexible chessboard is great for playing with a friend, by yourself versus the computer, or with online competitors. It’s great because you can roll it up and go. This gadget is compatible with Windows 2000 or Windows XP operating systems and you will need a 1.5 Ghz processor or faster.

humidifier1-149x300 More Than Just Novelties: 20 Useful USB Gadgets That Dont Suck

12. Mini Humidifier:

This “cool” humidifier works for a full 45 minutes in its continuous mode or you can use it in its intermittent mode and it will run for 90 minutes. You can also pour scented oils in it for aromatherapy. This is a great device especially during those dry winter months.

 More Than Just Novelties: 20 Useful USB Gadgets That Dont Suck

13. Digital Microscope:

Okay, all you scientists. Here’s one that you’ll love. This innovative microscope can magnify up to 200 times without even changing lenses. It can attain images up at 1,024 x 768 pixels and also records video. It’s pricey, but worth it.

 More Than Just Novelties: 20 Useful USB Gadgets That Dont Suck

14. USB Basketball Game:

This awesome little basketball game is great to kill boredom at your work desk or great to play at home too. It’s only about 6 1/2 inches tall, so it’s practical for almost anywhere, despite what your boss might think.

fridge More Than Just Novelties: 20 Useful USB Gadgets That Dont Suck

15. USB Refrigerator:

Don’t worry. Your PC’s USB port isn’t going to be powering a 6-foot tall, bulky unit. This is a mini-fridge that will hold only one can of soda so that you can keep a soda cold and ready for you without even leaving your computer. The best part about this mini-fridge is that it only takes about 5 minutes to cool a soda down to 47 degrees Fahrenheit.

wireless-presenter-188x300 More Than Just Novelties: 20 Useful USB Gadgets That Dont Suck

16. Wireless PowerPoint Presenter:

Do you prepare a lot of PowerPoint presentations at work? Are you tired of being tethered by a corded remote? Here’s your answer. This wireless presenter works from up to 10 meters away from the source and includes buttons for page up, page down, escape, and F5 (Presentation). It supports Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, XP, and Vista operating systems.

 More Than Just Novelties: 20 Useful USB Gadgets That Dont Suck

17. Heated Gloves:

This gadget is terrific if you share an office with others who insist on keeping the air conditioning cranked way up beyond your comfort level. These gloves with the holes in the fingers keep your hands warm and still allow you to work.

piano-keyboard-300x225 More Than Just Novelties: 20 Useful USB Gadgets That Dont Suck

18. Roll-up Musical Keyboard:

I doubt you’ve seen anything like this. This 49-key flexible piano keyboard contains six different tones and 100 prerecorded rhythms. The keyboard rolls out to be a little less than 30 inches long, but rolls up into a convenient small package. This keyboard and software is compatible with Windows 2000, XP, and Vista operating systems.

memory-watch-204x300 More Than Just Novelties: 20 Useful USB Gadgets That Dont Suck

19. Memory Watch:

Now you can carry all of your important data and files right on your wrist with this USB memory watch. This great gadget comes in a 2GB version and a 4GB version and it’s compatible with Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP, Linux 2.4 or higher, and Mac 8.6 or higher operating systems.

photo-frame-300x173 More Than Just Novelties: 20 Useful USB Gadgets That Dont Suck

20. Digital Photo Frames:

These frames come in sizes that range from 2×2 to 8×10 and hold tons of pictures. They’re awesome for setting in your living room or on your desk at work. It’s something you can enjoy and other people will marvel. Though you’ll pay quite a bit, these frames are worth it.

So, what do you think of these gadgets? I’m certain that you’ve seen some of these before. Which ones most impress you? If you think these are impressive, just think about what the next generation’s technology has in store!

YouTube – Christian the Lion – the full story (in HQ)
Christian the Lion – the full story (in HQ) 

Tough sentences in China over huge piracy ring, Microsoft says – Breaking News – Technology –
Tough sentences in China over huge piracy ring, Microsoft says


A Chinese court has issued tough sentences to members of a huge software counterfeiting ring, which distributed more than two billion US dollars’ worth of fake Microsoft goods, the company said.

The court in the southern city of Shenzhen on Wednesday sentenced 11 people to jail terms of up to six-and-a-half years for making high-quality counterfeit software that was sold in 36 countries, Microsoft said in a statement.

The sentences were the “stiffest ever meted out for intellectual property rights violations in China,” said a report on the verdicts by the popular Chinese Internet portal Sina.com.

The illegal syndicate, based in the southern province of Guangdong, pirated versions of 19 of the company’s most popular products, which were produced in at least 11 languages, Microsoft said in its statement posted on Wednesday.

Microsoft described the group as the world’s biggest software counterfeiting syndicate.

The Futian People’s Court, which issued the verdicts, could not be reached by AFP on Thursday, a national holiday in China.

Ringleaders were arrested in July 2007 by China’s Public Security Bureau after a joint investigation with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

US officials have previously called the joint effort a milestone in law enforcement cooperation between the two sides, and Microsoft thanked them for their efforts.

“Microsoft greatly appreciates the work of China’s PSB and the FBI in taking strong enforcement action against this global software counterfeiting syndicate,” David Finn, a top Microsoft anti-piracy official, said in the statement.

Copyright counterfeiting is rampant in China and a constant irritant in trade ties with the United States.

Counterfeit versions of popular foreign movies, brand-name fashions and other products continue to be sold openly in China.

Washington filed a case in April 2007 at the World Trade Organisation over widespread copyright piracy in China, a practice that US companies say deprives them of billions of US dollars in sales each year.

In November, China’s assistant commerce minister Chong Quan told US industry and government officials at a gathering in Beijing that Washington must take into account its difficulties as a developing country in tackling copyright breaches.

But China also has recently touted tougher anti-piracy laws as evidence of its resolve to crush such violations.

YouTube shoots down Israeli air strike videos – web – Technology
YouTube shoots down Israeli air strike videos


YouTube censors have removed several videos showing footage of air strikes and other attacks on Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip which were posted by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on its new YouTube channel.

One of those videos was reportedly a clip showing a group of suspected Hamas militants being blown up in an air strike as they loaded missiles onto a truck (see main image above).

“We are saddened that YouTube has taken down some of our exclusive footage showing the IDF’s operational success in operation Cast Lead against Hamas extremists in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF spokesman’s office said.

“As the state of Israel again faces those who would see it destroyed, it is imperative that we in the IDF show the world the inhumanity directed against us and our efforts to stop it,” it said.

There was no immediate response from YouTube to an inquiry from AFP about whether videos had been removed and, if so, the explanation for the move.

YouTube routinely removes videos which are judged to violate its Terms of Use policies.

The spokesman’s office of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it created ots own channel on YouTube on Monday to “help us bring our message to the world.”

The channel has over 2000 subscribers and hosts 10 videos, some of which have been viewed more than 20,000 times.

The black-and-white videos include aerial footage of Israeli Air Force attacks on what are described as rocket launching sites, weapons storage facilities, a Hamas government complex and smuggling tunnels.

One video shows what is described as a Hamas patrol boat being destroyed by a rocket fired from an Israeli naval vessel.

Four days of intensive Israeli bombardment have killed several senior Hamas officials and reduced much of the Islamist movement’s infrastructure in Gaza to rubble, but have failed to stop rocket fire into Israel.

Since the massive aerial attack was unleashed on Saturday, at least 373 Palestinians, including 39 children, have been killed and 1720 wounded, according to Gaza medics.

Palestinian militants have also fired more than 250 rockets and mortar shells, killing four people inside Israel and wounding around two dozen more.

Google snaps secret Porsche road test – Technology – BrisbaneTimes
Google snaps secret Porsche road test


Google’s all-seeing roaming cameras have captured images of a clandestine high-altitude road test featuring a fleet of new Porsches.

The images were unearthed by the Garage 419 blog on the Google Maps Street View feature, near the end of Mount Evans Road, Idaho Spring, Colorado.

The road is the highest paved road in North America and ends at a point just 40m below the 4267m high summit of Mount Evans.

Car manufacturers routinely take new cars out on test runs prior to launch.

These are deliberately kept below the radar to ensure that the auto world’s equivalent of the paparazzi don’t get a chance to grab shots and spoil official launches.

The Porsche have been identified as Caymans, Boxsters, a 911 Turbo and Targa.

The image set shows men throwing tarps over the cars in an attempt to conceal them from the oncoming Google Street View car.

Mount Evans Road, which climbs 2133m in 45km, is frequently used by car manufacturers for high-altitude testing.

Street View images are shot by a fleet of distinctive cars mounted with tripods carrying a special camera which takes 360° horizontal panoramic photographs.

Launched in 2007, Google’s Street View footprint expanded rapidly the past year and now covers seven countries, including large parts of the United States and Australia.

The images from Mount Evans were added last year, but it’s not clear when they were taken. Often, it can be several months between the time images are captured and when they are made publicly available on Street View.

Leap year bug zaps Zune music players – Breaking News – Technology – Breaking News
Leap year bug zaps Zune music players


It wasn’t a very Happy New Year for owners of Microsoft’s Zune.

Thousands of the MP3 music players froze on New Year’s Eve around the world due to what Microsoft described as a bug in the device’s internal clock.

The bug only affected the original, 30-gigabyte version of the music player that was introduced by the Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft in 2006 as its answer to Apple’s wildly popular iPod.

Later devices with 80GB and 120GB of memory were not affected.

Microsoft was alerted to the problem when Zune forums and discussion boards lit up overnight with complaints from Zune owners around the world that their devices players had stopped working.

Many of the messages were signed “Victim of the December 31st 2008 Zune 30 Meltdown!” and the mass Zune stoppage gave rise to puns such as “Zunesday” and “Z2K,” a reference to the millennium Y2K bug.

Microsoft initially put out a statement saying owners of the 30GB Zune may experience “issues” when booting up the device, asked for patience and apologized for the inconvenience.

Several hours later, another statement on Microsoft’s zune.net explained the problem and said it would essentially self-resolve.

“There is a bug in the internal clock driver causing the 30GB device to improperly handle the last day of a leap year,” Microsoft said.

“The issue should be resolved over the next 24 hours as the time change moves to January 1, 2009,” it said. “We expect the internal clock on the Zune 30GB devices will automatically reset tomorrow.

“By tomorrow you should allow the battery to fully run out of power before the unit can restart successfully then simply ensure that your device is recharged, then turn it back on,” it advised users.

Top viral videos of 2008 – Technology – BrisbaneTimes – brisbanetimes.com.au
Top viral videos of 2008

Some web videos get a few thousand views, and more are lost in cyberspace. A few break away from the pack and become superstars, with viewership in the millions.

Since YouTube launched in 2005 and made video sharing part of pop culture, viral videos have quickly become the latest mutation in mass media.

The viral video is a web video clip that takes on a life of its own thanks to viewers passing it along through emails and instant messages or mentioning it in blogs.

What makes a video go viral? It’s not necessarily artistic quality or content.

Some are created by Hollywood screenwriters and directors. Some are gleaned from TV news footage and commercials.

Many others are amateur creations that strike a chord with web surfers everywhere.

And it’s not star power. In this alternate universe, a hamster running on a piano keyboard has as much of a shot at fame as Britney Spears.

There are sites devoted to measuring the viral-ness of videos.

Viral Video Chart serves up the top picks for the day, week, month and year, complete with stats on number of views, blog posts and comments, graphs measuring hits over time, and even a “buzz by language” pie chart.

TVWeek.com monitors the top videos from Google, Yahoo, MSN, YouTube, Veoh and others, based on numbers from Nielsen NetRatings.

The power of popular videos has been harnessed by the ad industry. Viral advertising and marketing homes in on target audiences through social networking platforms.

In the viral marketing campaign built around the release of The Dark Knight, a virtual Gotham City was built through web sites – TV stations, cab companies and more, which were designed to keep interest high before the film’s release.

And millions watch or post TV commercials they like online – voluntarily.

For example, sponsors pay a lot for a US Super Bowl spot, but it’s an investment with good returns: The ads – especially the ones that generate buzz – have a new life on the web.

Here are five that made a splash in ’08.

1. It’s little more than more than two weeks old, but the footage of Iraqi broadcast journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi throwing his shoes at President George Bush during his visit to Baghdad is a late entry in the race. Footage from different newscasts drew more than 2 million viewings on YouTube alone, and also can be seen on Metacafe, Break, Google Video and other sites.

The incident spawned several parody videos, which were less viral, including Funny or Die’s ad for an Iraqi discount shoe emporium offering “the most elegant shoes for throwing at world leaders”.

2. Election ’08 made political videos some of the most-watched online content this year. Barack Obama’s road to victory made history on yet another level: It was the first presidential campaign waged in part on video sharing sites. There were the memorable speeches and efforts that went viral. And there were the stars — Black Eyed Peas frontman Will.I.Am (named the online artist of the year by the Webby Awards) with his Yes, We Can video, and Sexy! Flashy! Wonky! Super Obama Girl! Amber Ettinger.

3. The separated-at-birth duo of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and comedian Tina Fey became two of the year’s biggest viral stars. Fey’s spot-on imitations of Palin on Saturday Night Live (SNL) became web classics: More people watched them online than they did on TV.

And Palin’s own turkey pardon video, SNL and Katie Couric appearances, along with signature wink videos could have been SNL skits themselves.

4. When then-presidential hopeful Senator John McCain pegged his opponent as a celebrity, and mentioned Paris Hilton in the campaign ad, Hilton fired back with her own campaign video on Funny or Die, in which she outlined her energy policy and came up with a memorable slogan: “I’m like totally ready to lead.”

5. Christian the Lion has all the elements of the classic feel-good movie, and it gets it done in less than three minutes. It’s the true story of two London men who adopted a lion cub, raised it and released it back into the wild. The reunion scene – where the grown male lion remembers them and rushes to give them a lion hug, is powerful stuff – especially those seconds where you’re not quite sure just what he’s going to do next.


Speculation about new Apple – Technology – BrisbaneTimes – brisbanetimes.com.au

New rumours about the health of Apple’s charismatic CEO Steve Jobs have sent the company’s share price 2 per cent lower.

The report about Jobs’s health were published on the technology website Gizmodo which quoted a “solid source”, who was not identify, as saying that Jobs’s “rapidly declining” health was the real reason behind his decision to cancel a keynote speech at next week’s Macworld conference.

It titled the report “rumour.”

A spokesman for Apple declined to comment on the rumour.

When asked about Jobs’s health, the spokesman said “if ever Steve or the board of directors decided that he was no longer capable of doing his job as CEO of Apple, I’m sure they will let you know.”

Jobs’s guant appearance during the year has led to much speculation over the course of the past six months that he is suffering from a recurrence of pancreatic cancer, which he had surgery to remove in 2004.

Apple shares had been trading up 1.5 per cent at $US87.92 before moving sharply lower. The stock then recovered to trade down about half a per cent at $US86.15 by mid-afternoon.

“The main reason why Apple shares have sold off midday is that a website reported that Steve Jobs health is getting worse, citing an unidentified source,” said William Lefkowitz, an options strategist at brokerage firm vFinance Investments.

“However, this is not the first time Steve Jobs health has come into question. In the past, this has created large fluctuations in Apple stock,” he said.

Apple announced earlier this month that the company’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller, would present the keynote address at the annual Macworld conference.

Apple also said it was the last time the company would exhibit at the conference and trade show, which is operated by a third party.

Facebook protest over breastfeeding removal | Australian IT
FACEBOOK is facing an online protest after removing pictures of breastfeeding mothers found to be overly revealing from the pages of members of the social network. A Facebook group entitled “Hey, Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!” has attracted nearly 85,000 members as of Tuesday and a handful of activists held a rally outside its California headquarters over the weekend.

The organisers of the page, which is hosting a lively debate, receiving more than 10,000 comments, said they launched their “Official Petition to Facebook” after Facebook pulled profile pictures showing women nursing their babies.

“The pictures have been reported as ‘obscene’ and have been removed — their posters warned not to repost or fear being kicked off of Facebook,” the group’s organisers said.

“We’re wondering: what about a baby breastfeeding is obscene? Especially in comparison to MANY other pictures posted all over Facebook that really are obscene.”

Facebook, which has more than 120 million members, said there was no ban on breastfeeding pictures but it did have a policy on how much of a woman’s breast can be revealed similar to that of newspapers and other media outlets.

“We agree that breastfeeding is natural and beautiful and we’re very glad to know that it is so important to some mothers to share this experience with others on Facebook,” said Barry Schnitt, a Facebook spokesman.

“We take no action on the vast majority of breastfeeding photos because they follow the site’s Terms of Use,” Mr Schnitt said in a statement.

“Photos containing a fully exposed breast (as defined by showing the nipple or areola) do violate those Terms and may be removed,” he said.

“These policies are designed to ensure Facebook remains a safe, secure and trusted environment for all users, including the many children (over the age of 13) who use the site,” Mr Schnitt said.

“The photos we act upon are almost exclusively brought to our attention by other users who complain,” he added.

Saturday, the Facebook breastfeeding group staged a virtual protest online, called the Mothers International Lactation Campaign, which attracted more than 11,000 followers.

Real-life mothers also held a “nurse-in” outside Facebook’s Palo Alto, California, headquarters the same day, the Palo Alto Daily News reported.

The local newspaper said a handful of activists attended the protest, signing songs, displaying signs and breastfeeding their children outside Facebook headquarters.

Notebook sales top desktops for first time | Australian IT
Notebook sales top desktops for first time

GLOBAL notebook computer shipments topped those of desktops for the first time ever on a quarterly basis in the third quarter of the year, according to market research firm iSuppli.

Notebook sales top desktops for first time

Global notebook computer shipments have topped those of desktops for the first time ever.

The research firm, in what it described as a “watershed event in the history of the industry,” said notebook PC shipments rose nearly 40 per  cent in the third quarter compared with the same period last year to 38.6 million units.

It said desktop PC shipments declined 1.3 per cent compared with the same period to 38.5 million units.

“Momentum has been building in the notebook market for some time, so it’s not a complete surprise that shipments have surpassed those of desktops,” Matthew Wilkins, an iSuppli analyst, said in a statement.

“However, this marks a major event in the PC market because it marks the start of the age of the notebook,” he said. “The notebook PC is no longer a tool only for the business market, or a computer for the well-off consumer; it’s now a computer for everyman.”

Mr Wilkins said the PC market managed strong growth in the third quarter despite the global economic downturn.

Worldwide PC unit shipments rose 15.4 per cent over the third quarter of 2007 with 79 million units shipped, iSuppli said.

It said overall third-quarter PC shipments exceeded iSuppli’s forecast of 12 per cent year-over-year growth for the third quarter.

iSuppli said Hewlett-Packard of the United States retained its top ranking position in the third quarter of 2008 with shipments of 14.9 million units and a market share of 18.8 per cent.

It said fellow US PC maker Dell was next with shipments of around 11 million units, a market share of 13.9 per cent, followed by Taiwan’s Acer, with shipments of 9.7 million units and a market share of 12.2 per cent.

Lenovo and Toshiba were fourth and fifth, with market shares of 7.5 and 4.6 per cent respectively. Apple, with a market share of 3.2 per cent, was seventh overall in total PC shipments.

“The big news from iSuppli’s market share data for the third quarter was undoubtedly the performance of Taiwan’s Acer,” Mr Wilkins said.

“Acer shipped almost three million more notebooks in the third quarter than it did in the preceding quarter with the majority of those three million being the company’s Netbook products,” he said.

iSuppli slightly increased its full year 2008 unit growth forecast from 12.5 per cent to 13.0 per cent and revised its 2009 outlook to call for PC unit growth of 4.3 per cent.


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