Episode 230

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GLENN’S NOTEBOOK

Ubisoft pirates own soundtrack | bit-gamer.net
Ubisoft pirates own soundtrack The accusation revolves around the soundtrack for the Digital Deluxe Collector’s Edition of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, the meta-data of which reveal it to be a torrented version which was encoded by ‘Arsa13’, rather than Ubisoft.

Back in 2008 Ubisoft released a patch for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 which allowed players to run the game without the CD in the drive. PC gamers quickly discovered, however, that the patch was actually just an existing
NO-CD hack by pirate group Reloaded.

Twitter adds permanent HTTPS setting – CNN.com
Twitter adds permanent HTTPS setting Twitter has taken a big step towards improving account security with a new setting that permanently enables HTTPS.
HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) allows encrypted communication between networks and users.
It creates a secure tunnel through the inherently chaotic web, decreasing the chance that somebody will access a user’s account information on an open Wi-Fi network, for example.
Twitter has offered HTTPS access for some time. But starting today, users can activate HTTPS permanently by going to their settings and selecting “Always use HTTPS.”
These users will always be logged into Twitter via HTTPS rather than the traditional HTTP method.
The company notes that its mobile website still can’t force HTTPS permanently.
users currently need to make sure they are logged into https://mobile.twitter.com rather than http://mobile.twitter.com if they want a secure connection


ANZ trials iPhone swipe payment system – Finance – Business – News – iTnews.com.au
ANZ trials iPhone swipe payment system ANZ Bank has teamed with Visa to trial a new iPhone case that turns the Apple smartphone into a mobile wallet

About 50 staff from the two companies were provided phones with the “special protective case” made by DeviceFidelity.

The case incorporated a microSD card which hosted Visa’s contactless payment application, payWave and a prepaid ANZ account that could be topped up using the internet.

Staff members could buy items under $100 simply by swiping their phone against a payWave reader in a retail store – “no PIN or signature required”.

Visa had previously conducted a trial of payWave payments using mobile phones with ANZ rival NAB and Telstra in August 2007.

Although the trial was proclaimed a success it did not lead to a commercial deployment of the capability.


iPad 2 costs US$326 in parts – Hardware – Technology – News – iTnews.com.au
iPad 2 costs US$326 in parts The 32GB, 3G version of Apple’s updated tablet has a bill of materials (BoM) of US$326.60,

The most expensive part in the iPad 2 is the touchscreen, which costs US$127

ipad 2 on the apple US store for us$499

iTWire – MoneyWorks 6 aims to make life easier for non-accountants
MoneyWorks 6 aims to make life easier for non-accountants Cognito Software is positioning the new version of its MoneyWorks accounting software as a superior alternative to QuickBooks or MYOB. MoneyWorks 6 includes a range of new features.

include more efficient navigation, a dashboard to show key information in graphical form, auto-fill, multiple transaction windows, the ability to attach digital or scanned documents to transactions, sticky notes, provision for images (eg, product photos) in records, improved print preview handling, inventory improvements, and emailing direct to a server instead of sending via a mail client.

“MoneyWorks meets all the Australian legal requirements for lodging returns, paying taxes and completing GST accounting in a flexible, scalable solution that won’t cost you an arm and a leg in annual support or upgrade fees. It’s fast, powerful, integrates easily with other systems and has a low cost of ownership, making it the perfect solution for a small and growing business,” said Dr Cowie.

MoneyWorks 6 runs on Windows and Mac OS X, and the original purchase can be moved to the other platform if necessary. Prices range from $125 for the Cashbook version to $2995 for the Datacentre edition with an always-on multi-company server.

A 45-day free trial is available.

iTWire – Sensis rolls its own Yellow Pages iPad app
Sensis rolls its own Yellow Pages iPad app The free app, developed internally by Sensis, uses iPad features such as GPS, and touch-screen panning and zooming.

Company officials noted Nielsen research showing 8% of online Australians are using tablets. Indeed, Nielsen predicts tablet ownership will triple by the end of this year

Sensis’ new Yellow Pages app for the iPad and iPad 2 delivers relevant ads from the print edition along with other search results

BBC News – Google buys Parrot Pictures to improve YouTube quality
Google buys Parrot Pictures to improve YouTube quality
The Dublin-based firm specialises in image processing to improve, for example, sharpness and camera shake.
Its technology has already been used by several big Hollywood film studios on movies such as X-Men and Spiderman.
Google said that Green Parrot’s technology would enhance the look of videos posted on its site while using bandwidth more efficiently.
in a bid to improve the quality of video uploaded to YouTube


BBC News – Apple delays Japanese launch of iPad 2
Apple delays Japanese launch of iPad 2 Apple has postponed the launch of the iPad 2 tablet in Japan

Originally planned for 25 March, the company said its launch had been delayed indefinitely.
Many technology firms are facing supply problems after factories in Japan shut down in the wake of the disaster.


BBC News – Kinect ‘fastest-selling electronics device on record’
Kinect ‘fastest-selling electronics device on record’
Microsoft has sold more than 10 million Kinect sensor systems since launch on 4 November and – according to Guinness World Records – is the fastest-selling consumer electronics device on record.
The sales figures outstrip those of both Apple’s iPhone and iPad when launched, Guinness said

Internet Explorer 9 is out today, but can it contain Chrome?
Internet Explorer 9 is out today, but can it contain Chrome? Microsoft today released the final version of its Internet Explorer 9 web browser, which has been available in Beta form for the past six months (accruing more than 40 million downloads in that time)

is touted as being the only fully hardware-accelerated HTML5 browser, promising to offer a “faster, richer and more immersive web experience”.

IE9 does not offer support for Windows XP
Purportedly this is due to the graphics hardware acceleration features of IE9, which are optimised for newer operating systems.

IE9 is available to download today from here

Tried twice before the show to install – failed – good start

 

WILL’S NOTEBOOK

William Shatner explains what microprocessors are and do… from way back in 1976 — Engadget

For a man that spent the best part of his acting career representing a savvy dude from the future, William Shatner looks pretty well at home in the past as well. This video, dusted off from AT&T’s Tech Channel archives, shows Shatner dressed in a casual tan ensemble and dropping some knowledge on the subject of microprocessors. Aside from the retro visuals and presentation, what’s great about the vid is that the seemingly lavish claims about where computers could take us — and their own move toward increasing importance, utility and ubiquity — actually seem pretty tame in light of what we know today. Beam yourself past the break to see this golden nugget from the Bell Labs archives.

Online news overtakes paper, and nearly half of it is mobile — Engadget

Wait, this is just now happening? The Pew Project’s 2011 report on mobile devices’ effect on media was published this week; it’s a fascinating read from end to end that reveals a wild swing in the way we’ve gathered news and information as human beings over the past decade, but a couple stats really stand out. First off, the internet has finally overtaken newspapers as a news source, putting it behind just television — and we already know the writing’s on the wall there since the young ones are already preferring the web. And of those web-savvy, voracious consumers of information, some 47 percent are getting at least some of it on the go, either through their phone or tablet (like, say, Engadget’s lovely selection of mobile apps). Mass transit commuters have always been a haven for newspaper-toting businessfolk — but with iPads continuing to sell like hotcakes, not even the subway is safe from the tablet onslaught.

Lexar now shipping 128GB and 64GB SDXC cards from the future straight to your door — Engadget

One of the great many announcements of CES 2011 was Lexar’s new pair of Class 10 SDXC memory cards, one sized at 64GB and the other touting a spectacular 128GB capacity. The two performance — minimum transfer speeds of 20MBps — and storage enhancers for DSLRs and camcorders have now started shipping, asking for a measly $200 and $330, respectively. Those are steep price hills to climb, to be sure, but they’re peanuts compared to the initial $400 and $700 MSRPs that Lexar was touting back in January. And hey, that Professional label adorning the new cards isn’t there accidentally either, Lexar’s offering a limited lifetime warranty with each storage cell. Full press release and locations where you can buy the new SDXC lovelies await after the break.

Motorola makes WiFi-only Xoom official: $599 on March 27th — Engadget

Motorola makes WiFi-only Xoom official: $599 on March 27th

By Vlad Savov
Breaking News



Sanjay Jha and various leaks already told us as much, but here’s the official word: the WiFi-only Motorola Xoom is launching on March 27th for $599. Retail availability will be truly widespread, with Amazon, Best Buy, Costco, RadioShack, Sam’s Club, Staples and Walmart all offering up the Honeycomb tablet. Other than the omission of the 3G and 4G radios of the original Xoom, you’re basically looking at an identical hardware package. That includes a 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 5 megapixel autofocus camera, and a 10.1-inch display with 1280 x 800 resolution.


Google buys Green Parrot Pictures, looking to make YouTube vids easier on the eye — Engadget

Google buys Green Parrot Pictures, looking to make YouTube vids easier on the eye

By Vlad Savov



If you can’t fix it, buy someone who can. That must be Google’s rationale behind this latest acquisition, as the proprietor of YouTube has just bought Green Parrot Pictures, a company concerned solely with enhancing and improving the quality of video content. Through the use of some fancy motion prediction algorithms, the Irish startup has been able to build a name for itself over the past few years, and now it’s been snapped up by the biggest fish in the online video ocean. The removal of flicker, noise and blotches from poorly executed recordings sounds nice, but we’re most excited by Green Parrot’s video stabilization feature. With all the cameraphone video being uploaded nowadays, there’s plenty of camera shake populating YouTube’s archives, and the addition of such a potent post-production technique seems like a veritable boon to us. Check out video demos of the stabilization algorithm and Green Parrot’s other technologies below.


Cobra iRadar detection system coming to Android next month — Engadget

iPhone users have been able to avoid radar speed guns using Cobra’s iRadar system since late last year, and it looks like Android users will soon finally be able to get in on the act as well. Cobra used the gdgt Live event at SXSW to announce that iRadar will be available for Android phones sometime in April. That consists of a standard dash-mounted radar detector and, of course, an app, which also takes advantage of your phone’s built-in GPS capabilities to provide warnings of photo enforcement zones and other potential impediments to your inability to drive 55 — you’ll apparently soon even be able to share radar alerts with other iRadar users. Head on past the break for a video of the iPhone version.

LunchCommunicator films your every single bite, saves relationships — Engadget

LunchCommunicator films your every single bite, saves relationships

By Richard Lai



Ever wanted to tell your loved ones how grateful (or ungrateful) you are for your packed lunch, but not keen on having an awkward face-to-face dialog about it? Well, now you can! A research group at Ochanomizu University, Japan hacked up a nerdy lunch box — consisting of a Creative webcam and a Viliv S5 MID — just for this purpose. The idea is that when opened, the webcam will start recording the box being prepared at home; and when it’s opened again at work, it automatically starts playing back the preparation footage while simultaneously recording the diner munching away. Obviously, you can throw in the occasional “oishii” and “arigatō” while you’re at it. Sounds like the perfect gift for newlyweds, if you ask us. Video after the break.


Sun.com, the twelfth oldest domain on the internet, will be decommissioned on June 1st — Engadget

Sun Microsystems, one of the original gangsters responsible for supplying all the electronics and infrastructure we now know as the internet, ceased to be Sun Microsystems in January of last year. Assimilated into the Oracle juggernaut, its operations no longer carry that familiar logo and soon they’ll no longer even be referenced in the same spot on the internet. Yes, after 25 years of answering the call of sun.com, the company that no longer is will be letting go of its former domain name as well. The site has already been redirecting users to Oracle for quite a while, but come June 1st, it’ll be like the Sun we knew had never even risen.

Safari and IE8 get shamed at Pwn2Own, Chrome still safe… for now — Engadget

Safari and IE8 get shamed at Pwn2Own, Chrome still safe… for now

By Tim Stevens


Ahead of the most recent Pwn2Own, Google made a rather proud challenge: it’d pay $20,000 to any team or individual who could successfully hack Chrome. Two takers signed up for that challenge — and then both backed down. One individual didn’t show up and a second entry, known as Team Anon, decided to focus their efforts elsewhere. There’s still time left for someone to come out of the woodwork and scrape off that polish, but as of now no brave souls have registered intent. Meanwhile, IE8 was taken down by Stephen Fewer, who used three separate vulnerabilities to get out of Protected Mode and crack that browser’s best locks. Safari running on a MacBook Air got shamed again, cracked in just five seconds. Not exactly an improvement compared to how it fared in 2008.

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