Episode 252

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GLENN’S NOTEBOOK

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has resigned, making way for operations chief Tim Cook

***
Apple said Mr Jobs has submitted his resignation to the board of directors and “strongly recommended” that the board name Tim Cook as his successor. Mr Jobs, 56 years old, has been elected chairman of the board and Tim Cook will join the board, effective immediately, the company said.

“I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know,” Mr Jobs said in his resignation letter. “Unfortunately, that day has come.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Jobs

Tim Cook

***

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Cook

Timothy “Tim” D. Cook (born November 1960) is the CEO and COO of Apple Inc.,[1] having joined the company in March 1998.[2] His primary responsibility is managing day-to-day operations at the company.

Cook spent six months at Compaq as VP for Corporate Materials before he was hired by Steve Jobs to join Apple. He initially served as Senior Vice President for Worldwide Operations.[2] Prior to that, Cook served as the chief operating officer (COO) of the computer reseller division of Intelligent Electronics and spent 12 years in IBM‘s personal computer business as the director of North American Fulfillment.[

In January 2007, Cook was promoted to COO.[6

Cook is a fitness enthusiast and enjoys hiking, cycling, and going to the gym. He regularly begins sending emails at 4:30 a.m. and used to hold Sunday night staff meetings by telephone to prepare for the next week

Stocks of Hewlett-Packard’s tablet computer dumped in knock-down price

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/stocks-of-hewlett-packards-tablet-computer-dumped-in-knock-down-price/story-e6frg8zx-1226120003374

*** Harvey Norman, the exclusive retail outlet for the ill-fated device, announced just before 1pm that its remaining 6000 units would go on sale at 2pm. By 2.40pm, the TouchPad was sold out across the country.

The fire sale came about after HP announced last Thursday that it was discontinuing the TouchPad because of miserable US sales. Unfortunately, the axing coincided with the fourth day of TouchPad’s existence in Australia, giving it one of the shortest shelf lives of any electronic product in local history.

In England Many retailers have slashed prices on the device – some as low as £89 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14633434

Google begins Amazon river Street View project

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14592184

*** It will photograph the Amazon and Rio Negro Rivers of northwest Brazil in partnership with charity Foundation for a Sustainable Amazon (FAS).
Google will train local people to collect images, and will leave behind equipment so work continues long-term.
Pictures will be stitched together so users can explore 360-degree panoramics of the area.
“We’ll pedal the Street View trike along the narrow dirt paths of the Amazon villages and manoeuvre it up close to where civilization meets the rainforest,” Google described in a blog post.
“We’ll also mount it onto a boat to take photographs as the boat floats down the river.”
The project will start in the town of Tumbira, where the California-based company has attracted much attention.

Google to pay $500m online drug advertising fine

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14659115

By paying the fine, Google will avoid criminal prosecution in the US for profiting from the adverts.
The $500m represents the firm’s revenues from the adverts and the revenues generated from the sale of the drugs, federal investigators said.
Google said it should it not have allowed the adverts.
“We banned the advertising of prescription drugs in the US by Canadian pharmacies some time ago,” the company said in a short statement.
“However, it’s obvious with hindsight that we should not have allowed these ads on Google in the first place.”


NBN Co’s wireless admission

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/nbn-cos-wireless-admission/story-fn91v9q3-1226121550778

The NBN Co has admitted that wireless internet services in some areas could be comparable to the speed of basic services on  fibre network

the NBN Co has said wireless broadband services may be able to deliver 12 megabits per second — the NBN entry-level speed.

The NBN Co has told the competition watchdog “it is conceivable that wireless service speeds in particular areas may be comparable to the speeds of NBN Co’s entry level services”.

But it says advertised rates of 10 to 25Mbps for wireless often translate into actual rates of less than 2 to 3Mbps because speeds fall as more users are on a cell.

The NBN Co has also hit back at criticism of its move to stop Telstra from promoting wireless services as a direct substitute for fibre for two decades.

Under the terms of Telstra’s $11bn deal with the NBN Co, Telstra has agreed not to market wireless services as a substitute, but it can promote wireless as a complementary service.

Erik’s Notebook

Update: Sony and YouTube take down full-length Godfather

Early on Wednesday, the cinema classic The Godfather was made available in its entirety on YouTube by an authentic-looking account called “SonyPicturesUK.” We wrote about the event and thought the idea of putting the film up was bold. Turns out, the account hosting the film was a fraud.
Sony has contacted VentureBeat to let us know that “SonyPicturesUK” account has been taken down as well as the full-length film. A representative from Sony wrote:
On Wednesday, August 24 reports surfaced alleging that Sony Pictures UK had posted a copy of The Godfather movie to a YouTube account “SonyPicturesUK.” The YouTube handle in question is, in fact, not a Sony Pictures account and is in violation of Sony Pictures’ rights. Upon discovering the existence of this fraudulent account, Sony Pictures Entertainment worked with YouTube and the account was deactivated. Sony Pictures is investigating the violation.
While we’re saddened that movie is down, perhaps movie studios should take note. The studios have been looking for ways to combat piracy of their films for several years now. Putting one of the most critically acclaimed films ever could be a gesture of goodwill toward movie lovers and a way to stem some piracy.
The Godfather full-length film was not available in HD on YouTube, but it was available in 480p. That’s acceptable for YouTube and probably decent enough for someone who was thinking of pirating the film. Plus, the YouTube version could have advertisements sold against it. Those looking to watch the film in HD would still have to rent or buy the film through legal means.
YouTube has been trying to expand its full-length movie offerings since May, when it launched an online rentals service. At the YouTube Movies channel, users can rent recent movies like Paul and Your Highness as well as classics like American Graffiti and National Lampoon’s Vacation.



Stampede to profit on $99 TouchPad fire sale

Tablet bargain hunters hoping for a second release of HP TouchPad stock will be disappointed to learn that there’s none left in the country, but those who bought one for $99 yesterday have hit eBay looking to more than double their money.
The discontinued TouchPad sparked a stampede to Harvey Norman stores around Australia yesterday afternoon after HP slashed the base price from $499 to $99.

Thanks to the power of social media, 6000 units sold in less than an hour. The TouchPad had been on sale in Australia for just four days before the discounting and Harvey Norman’s general manager for computers, Ben McIntosh, said about 1000 were sold in that period.
McIntosh said HP told him it had an additional “few hundred” units to sell through its online store but “they told us yesterday at 5pm they’d sold out”. Across the ditch in New Zealand, consumers weren’t as lucky as stocks were extremely low and retailers were accused of allowing staff to buy up whatever was there.
McIntosh said he had hoped to get his hands on some more units hauled in by air freight but that was now impossible after BestBuy in the US moved over 200,000 of the tablets over the weekend.
“There are none [left] unfortunately. I thought there might have been some more available but BestBuy in the States sold a massive amount over the past week so literally HP’s got none,” he said.
The TouchPads also sold out in US and Canadian stores but HP has said it would make more available to US users through its online store until they’re completely gone.
Australians have been flooding Price USA, which acts as a middleman for Australians who want to buy from overseas shops that don’t ship here, with requests to buy one from the US for them.
“Please no more orders for HP Tablets. There is really no stock anywhere despite what some website are claiming,” Price USA tweeted. “Please, Please, Please no more orders for HP tablets.”
The webOS platform the TouchPad is based on may be flailing but, already, groups have formed in an effort to port Google’s Android platform to the TouchPad. One site, Hacknmod.com, is offering a $1500 cash bounty for the first person to do it successfully.
Overnight, dozens of HP TouchPads have appeared on eBay, listed by users in Australia. Most are asking for more than $300 for the 32GB models, which sold yesterday for $149.
The scarcity created by the fact that HP is producing no more TouchPads has made it somewhat of a collector’s item, and the bargain price created significant buzz, but the product will become less useful as time goes by as developers are unlikely to invest much money in creating apps for the device.
Even before the product was killed off in a surprise reorganisation of HP, analysts and reviewers queried why anyone would buy one considering the iPad and Android tablets were more compelling and had a far bigger apps ecosystem.
“HP realised it was just going to cost them significant dollars to bring it up to scratch to compete and they just weren’t prepared to do that. That’s why we had to sell them off quickly,” said McIntosh.
He added that HP Australia staff first heard about the global decision to discontinue the product from news reports, just like everyone else. McIntosh remarked yesterday that he had never seen such a dramatic drop in the price of a new product in 16 years.
HP acquired the webOS platform when it bought Palm for $US1.2 billion last year. Although it has said it won’t build any more webOS tablets and smartphones, it clarified yesterday that it was still committed to supporting the platform and licensing it to other manufacturers.
But with HTC, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and others already going full steam ahead with Android, Nokia jumping into bed with Microsoft and RIM making its own software, it’s unclear who would license the platform, particularly considering that HP itself hasn’t stuck with it.
HP senior vice president Stephen DeWitt told Bloomberg yesterday that “the whole world isn’t just about tablets and phones”.
“The webOS is not dead. We’re going to continue to evolve it, update and support it. We stand by it,” said DeWitt.
“There are going to be appliances of so many different sizes and shapes in the future that are going to require a human interface for data.”
McIntosh said Harvey Norman and HP had committed to providing support and warranties to TouchPad owners regardless of its discontinued status.
“What they’re saying is they’re not going to kill off webOS for a period of time but they’re not going to spend an extra cent developing it,” said McIntosh.
“So from a user’s point of view it’s still going to be a supported platform for a while but I can’t imagine any developers spending any more money putting apps out and I can’t imagine HP doing anything much with it.”
He said Harvey Norman would not lose money out of the heavy discounting, meaning the losses will be shouldered by HP. McIntosh would not speculate on the size of the TouchPad losses but even at the pre-discount price HP was reportedly losing money on every TouchPad it sold.
“We’ve obviously got a lost profit opportunity. Will it cost us anything? No … it’s obviously going to cost them considerably but it’s all part of a global decision that HP Australia is just a victim of,” he said.
The inability of the TouchPad to attract consumer interest at a normal price has led some analysts to ponder whether virtually any tablet that is not an iPad is doomed to failure.

NBN push for rise in key rates flies in face of reduction pledge


August 23, 2011
THE opposition has seized on a proposal from the company building the national broadband network to raise prices for key services by more than the rate of inflation.
The taxpayer-owned NBN Co suggested in a recent discussion paper that it be allowed to raise prices by up to 5 per cent more than inflation for high-speed services once the network was complete early next decade. The mooted increases in wholesale prices appear to be at odds with commitments from NBN Co to reduce its prices over time.
The cheapest broadband services would not be affected by the proposal because wholesale prices for the lowest-speed connections would be capped at $24 a month for the first five years of the network.
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The opposition communications spokesman, Malcolm Turnbull, said yesterday the prospect of price rises for NBN services would reverse the long-term trend of broadband coming down in price.
”We’ve seen over recent years the prices for fixed line telephone services and for broadband come down dramatically. Australians have been used to getting broadband access, telecommunications, at lower and lower prices.” he said.
The government maintains that consumers would receive a better deal under NBN Co because Telstra would lose its market dominance in telecommunications.
The pricing proposal was made in a discussion paper seeking comment from the industry, before NBN Co formally proposes its plans to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission this year.
The Broadband Minister, Stephen Conroy, said NBN Co had yet to make a formal submission to the competition regulator, which would consider the paper ”in the same way they consider many regulated companies’ initial proposals”.

Vodafone spruiking 850MHz network

August 23, 2011 – 10:39AM

Comments 13
Pocket Wifi.

Vodafone is offering deals to move customers onto its new 850MHz metro network to ease congestion.
As the owner of a Vodafone Pocket Wifi hotspot, I received an interesting email this week offering me a new deal. I’ve been considering ditching the Pocket Wifi because Vodafone’s network has become so unreliable. I didn’t run into problems when I first got the Pocket Wifi six months ago, but recently I’ve found that more often than not it runs at a snail’s pace and I’m forced to switch over to the wifi hotspot on my Telstra-issue iPhone 4.
The new deal offers me a Pocket Wifi 2, which is compatible with Vodafone’s new 850MHz metro HDSPA network. The new network is designed to improve performance in metro areas by shifting as many devices as possible away from Vodafone’s existing 900 and 2100MHz networks. What’s really interesting is that Vodafone will let me break my existing contract of $29 p/m for 6GB, even though I have 6 months to go. I can then sign up for the Pocket Wifi 2 on a 12 month contract at the same price, but with the first 3 months half price.
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It looks like Vodafone will do anything it can to get customers over to this new 850MHz network as soon as possible, which makes sense because by reducing congestion it should stem the flow of frustrated customers switching to alternatives such as Telstra’s Next G. I believe Vodafone is offering similar deals to customers with a USB mobile broadband modem, swapping them over for 850MHz-compatible models.
Vodafone customers with an 850MHz-compatible phone, such as the iPhone 4, might already be roaming to the new 850MHz network. Unfortunately many older Vodafone-issue handsets aren’t 850MHz-compatible, as well as a few new handsets such as the HTC Desire HD. If this is you, you’re stuck on Vodafone’s old networks but things should improve as other customers move across to 850MHz.
Right now Vodafone is about half way through upgrading around 1500 mobile towers to 850MHz, a rollout which should be completed in the first half of next year. It’s also overhauling some of its existing 900 and 2100MHz gear. You can check the network coverage details to see if 850MHz is available in your area or coming soon. It will be interesting to see if the upgrades are enough to stop more long-suffering Vodafone customers from jumping ship.

Apple Rumors: New Mac Product In The Works


Posted by Ed Carrasco on August 22, 2011 7:48 PM
Rumors indicate a new Mac product is in the works, according to a Japanese site dedicated to Apple products.
MacRumors noted in its blog post that Macotokara reported that the new products in development will be “absolutely different from current products” by the Apple family. The blog added that it could see the product hit the shelves by the end of this year.
Another rumor reported on Business Insider Monday indicated that Apple is going to switch from using Intel processors to products made by ARM. Greg Welch, director of the Ultrabook program at Intel, confirmed to CNET that he has heard the rumors too.
Using ARM processors for Apple notebooks would set a precedent for the company, which already designs the processors for Apple’s iPhone and iPad, reported Business Insider.
Reports of a new product for Mac comes after last week’s news from the Wall Street Journal that Apple will test produce a new iPad in October, which would include  a high-resolution display of 2048 by 1536 and a 9.7-inch screen. According to sources close to the production, the next generation of iPad would be released early next year.

Labor says Liberal MPs are breaking ranks with Tony Abbott to push for NBN in their seats

LIBERAL MPs are anxiously lobbying the government to have the NBN rolled out in their electorates, despite their party’s opposition to the network.

South Australian federal Liberal MP Rowan Ramsey and his West Australian colleague, Steve Irons, have both tabled questions with the government asking why their constituents are missing out on access to the National Broadband Network.

Mr Ramsey is the member for Grey, a rural South Australian electorate that includes the towns of Coober Pedy, Port Augusta and Whyalla.

He wrote to the government in July asking why the town of Streaky Bay, in his electorate, was slated to miss out on a fibre or wireless connection despite having a population in excess of 1000 people.

The NBN Co. has set a population of about 1000 people as the minimum number required for a town to receive the NBN’s fibre broadband link, rather than a slower satellite connection.

Mr Ramsey also protested about the exclusion of the towns of Wudinna and Cummins, writing: “Why are the towns of Wudinna and Cummins, being significant centres and both adjacent to optic fibre cables, not designated to receive a fibre broadband service”?

Mr Irons wrote to ask why the rollout of the NBN in the Perth suburb of Victoria Park, in his electorate of Swan, had been delayed.

Victoria Park was named as one of the locations that would receive the NBN in the so-called second round of rollouts across the country.

Mr Irons wrote to the government asking: “Why did the construction of the National Broadband Network not begin in Victoria Park during the second quarter of 2011; when will such construction now (a) begin, and (b) finish; and when will NBN services become available in this suburb?”

Fellow Liberal MP Teresa Gambaro took the government to task last week over her electorate of Brisbane missing out on being an early rollout site for the NBN.

Her seat had originally been nominated as an early test site, like Victoria Park in Perth, but the test site was shifted to the nearby seats of Lilley and Petrie because of technical difficulties.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said more and more MPs were breaking ranks with Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull’s plan to demolish the NBN.

“Last week it was Teresa Gambaro in Brisbane and this week Rowan Ramsey in South Australia and Steve Irons in WA are asking why towns in their electorates are receiving state-of-the-art ‘next generation’ satellite broadband services rather than fibre optic cable to the home, or are not getting fibre rolled out quick enough.

“It is further proof that Coalition MPs are in touch with their constituents who reject Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull’s pledge to demolish our world class NBN. They all know their constituents are desperate to have the benefits of the NBN,” Senator Conroy said.

“Coalition MPs are well aware the Australian public is tired of the substandard internet they have now and do not want the dodgy broadband services Mr Abbott and Mr Turnbull would force them to have.”

When contacted by The Australian Online, Mr Irons said he had simply been trying to find out what was going on for the people of his electorate.

“Their failure to deliver this project on time is just another Labor lie,” he said.

Liberal Communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull defended the actions of his fellow Coalition MPs, saying there was “nothing inconsistent” about asking Senator Conroy for answers about the NBN.

“Having promised Australians that the nirvana of superfast broadband would arrive many months ago, it is more than reasonable that they asked what happened to that promise,” he said.

“That is not, as Senator Conroy assumes, a sign of support but a mere investigation into the extent of this government’s incompetence and inability to deliver. The Coalition will upgrade inadequate areas of our broadband infrastructure as a matter of priority – we will deliver fast broadband faster.”



Apple Key Dates

The following are key dates in the history of Apple, whose ailing co-founder Steve Jobs resigned as CEO on Wednesday:
1976: Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak unveil the first Apple computer in Palo Alto, California. It consists of little more than a circuit board and costs just under $700.
1977: The Apple II with a one-megahertz processor becomes the first mass-produced computer and an instant hit.
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1980: Apple becomes a publicly-traded company.
1983: Lisa, the first personal computer featuring a mouse for navigating and desktop icons and folders, is introduced. Its failure is blamed on a daunting price of nearly $10,000.
1984: The Macintosh PC makes its debut. It is affordable and features innovations such as a disk drive, built-in monitor and a mouse.
1985: Jobs resigns after being stripped of control of Apple in an internal power struggle.
1986: John Sculley becomes Apple president. Jobs starts computer company NeXT and buys Lucasfilm’s computer graphics division, renaming it Pixar.
1996: Apple buys NeXT and makes Jobs an adviser.
1997: Jobs returns as head of Apple. Arch-rival Microsoft invests $US150 million in the company.
1998: Jobs revamps Apple’s product line, churning out colorful $1300 iMac PCs with monitors and drives in the same casing.
1999: The iBook, marketed as a mobile iMac, is introduced.
2001: Apple launches the iPod pocket digital music player for $US399 and opens its first retail store in Palo Alto.
2003: Apple opens online music store iTunes.
2004: Jobs undergoes an operation for pancreatic cancer.
2007: Apple kicks off the era of the touchscreen smartphone with the new iPhone.
2009: Jobs goes on medical leave in January, returning to work in June after undergoing a liver transplant.
2010: Jobs unveils the iPad tablet computer, a huge hit after it goes on sale in April. Apple passes Microsoft in May as the largest US technology company in terms of market value.
January 17, 2011: Jobs takes another medical leave of absence.
January 18: Apple reports a record quarterly net profit of $US6 billion on revenue of $US26.74 billion
March 2: Jobs makes surprise appearance to unveil of the latest iPad
June 6: Jobs again surprises by launching Apple’s free online storage hub iCloud
July 19: Apple second quarter profit hits $US7.31 billion on revenue of $US28.57 billion.
August 9: Apple briefly passes ExxonMobil as the world’s largest company by market capitalisation
August 24: Jobs announces his resignation as CEO and is replaced by chief operating officer Tim Cook, but will stay on as chairman of the Apple board.

 

WILL’S NOTEBOOK

Russia loses contact with communications satellite | Space, Military and Medicine | News.com.au
RUSSIA lost contact with a communications satellite shortly after its launch overnight, the latest in a series of failures that has dogged the nation’s space program.
The Express-AM4 satellite was launched atop a Proton-M booster rocket from the Russia-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The Federal Space Agency said the booster itself worked fine, but a subsequent failure of the additional upper stage, the Briz-M, resulted in the loss of communications with the satellite.
It said efforts were being made to re-establish contact with the 5.8-ton craft.
The satellite has been insured for 7.5 billion rubles ($248 million) with Russian Ingosstrakh insurance company.
The satellite was to be put into a geostationary orbit to provide digital TV broadcasting for Russia’s far eastern regions. Broadcasters said that the failure would likely delay the planned transfer to digital TV.
The Briz-M upper stage has experienced several failures, most recently in February when its malfunction led to the loss of a Russian military satellite.
In December 2010, another technical glitch led to the loss of three GLONASS-M navigation satellites, which were to be part of Russia’s satellite navigation system competing with the US Global Positioning System, or GPS.
That mishap eventually cost then-space chief Anatoly Perminov his job.


Brisbane tech-heads launch Kondoot to rival Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus | Information,

BRISBANE’S brightest tech-heads have joined forces to create “the next big” social network to take on internet giants Twitter, Facebook and Google.
Kondoot – a social network based around live streaming video – was launched quietly last month and already is making a splash on the web.
Users from more than 100 countries have signed up, with most interest from the US.
Users can “friend” others, just like Facebook, but the main point of difference is the wide range of streaming video options.
Kondoot will allow users to broadcast streaming video from home or work live to the world.
“The video calling and text chatting is there and posting to profiles, but we add another dimension,” Kondoot spokesman Nathan Hoad told The Courier-Mail.
“It’s mostly about connecting people and video is just one way to do that.
“We think we can make a massive splash in the social media scene.”
Mr Hoad, 24, one of the team’s programmers, said Kondoot was a mash-up of the best features of the major social media websites.
“Most of them do only their thing – nobody really covers more than that,” he said.
“YouTube, for example, is big into video but the social side is not so good. We add that other dimension.”
The team of 10 who work full-time on the site’s business, legal and IT needs is currently working 18-hour days to develop new features.
It has been more than a year in the making but the tight-lipped crew have managed to keep a lid on their idea until now. “It started as just an idea in around April last year,” Mr Hoad said.
“A few of us got together to see if it was possible and since June more and more have been joining as we started building a prototype.”
Social media has been a worldwide revolution and Facebook, which recently announced new video-calling capabilities, now boasts more than 750 million monthly active users.
Google also ventured into the market in June with Google+, which now has more than 25 million users.


The power is on! Robonaut wakes up aboard the ISS | Space, Military and Medicine | News.com.au
NASA’s humanoid robot has finally awakened in space.
Ground controllers turned Robonaut on overnight for the first time since it was delivered to the International Space Station in February. The test involved sending power to all of Robonaut’s systems. The robot was not commanded to move — that will happen next week.
“Those electrons feel GOOD! One small step for man, one giant leap for tinman kind,” Robonaut posted in a Twitter update.
(All right, so a Robonaut team member actually posted the tweets for him at @astrorobonaut.)
The four visible light cameras that serve as Robonaut’s eyes turned on in the gold-coloured head, as did the infrared camera, located in the robot’s mouth and needed for depth perception. One of Robonaut’s tweets showed the view inside the American lab, Destiny.
“Sure wish I could move my head and look around,” Robonaut said in the tweet.
Robonaut — the first humanoid robot in space — is being tested as a possible astronaut’s helper.
The robot’s handlers at Mission Control in Houston cheered as everything came alive. The main computers — buried inside Robonaut’s stomach — kicked on, as did the more than 30 processors embedded in the arms for controlling the joints.
“Robonaut behaved himself,” said deputy project manager Nicolaus Radford.
“Oh, Robonaut definitely got an ‘A’. He won’t be held back a grade, if that’s what you want to know.”
“It was just very exciting,” he said.
“It’s been a long time coming to get this thing turned on.”
The robot was delivered by space shuttle Discovery on its final flight. It took this long for the operating software to get up there, and for the astronauts to have enough time to help with the experiment
On September 1, controllers will command Robonaut to move its fingers, hands and arms.
“It’s been asleep for about a year, so it kind of has to stretch out a little bit,” Mr Radford told the Associated Press.
“Just like a crew member has to kind of acclimate themselves to zero gravity, our robot has to do a very similar thing, kind of wiggle itself and learn how it needs to move.”
For now, Robonaut exists from the waist up. It measures 3 feet 4 inches tall (91cm) and weighs 330 pounds (150kg). Each arm is 2 feet 8 inches long (60cm).
A pair of legs currently are being designed and should be launched in 2013.
Radford said if everything continues to check out well, the robot may be able to take on a few mundane chores — like taking air velocity measurements inside the space station — early next year.
For now, Robonaut — also called R2 — is designed to stay inside the space station. Future versions might venture out on spacewalks, saving astronauts time while keeping them safe.
During the two-hour test overnight, US astronaut Michael Fossum and Japanese spaceman Satoshi Furukawa took Robonaut from its sleeping bag, placed it on its fixed pedestal, then floated away as ground controllers took over. The robot went back into its bag following the test.
Because Robonaut has some flammable parts, NASA wants it stored in its fireproof bag.
Controllers were tempted to make the robot move, but held off.
“We want to be respectful,” Mr Radford said.
“It’s a very complicated piece of hardware.”


Why world’s largest PC maker pulled out of the race | Information, Gadgets, Mobile Phones News &
WHAT does it mean when the world’s biggest personal computer maker stops making PCs?

“One of the underlying tones here is that we are entering a post-PC era”

It means we’re now officially in the era of the iPad.
Late last week, computer giant Hewlett-Packard revealed a dramatic plan to pull out of the consumer electronics business.
No more personal computers. No more smartphones. No more tablets.
That’s why the HP TouchPad, which had only just launched locally, was sold off by Harvey Norman for a fifth of its regular price on Monday.
HP TouchPad — was $498, now dead, $98
But why would the PC market leader decide to stop making PCs? Experts say it’s because there is less and less money left in the business.
“The PC business is getting much more challenging,” Garnter principal analyst Tracy Tsai told news.com.au.
“The media tablet, like the iPad, has already had a level of impact on PC usage. Consumers are now considering adopting an alternative computing device — maybe a smartphone or a media tablet.”
Ms Tsai said HP were still making money on PCs — of which they shipped almost 15 million during the second quarter of 2011 — but not as much as they made from other areas.
“Their profit margin (on PCs) is about 5.9 per cent, which is not bad compared to the other PC vendors in the industry,” she said.
“However it’s much lower, probably only half, of that of other divisions like software, service and those kind of enterprise divisions.”
Accordingly, HP’s decision was to exit the consumer market completely and focus on selling software and hardware to businesses — just like IBM did before them.
That move will involve HP selling its PC division and moving to purchase business software maker Autonomy for as much as $US10 billion.

Top PC vendors

HP (17.6%)

Dell (12.5%)

Lenovo (12.1%)

Acer (11.0%)

ASUS (5.2%)

Market share by shipments, Q2 2011, Gartner

Telsyte research director Foad Fadaghi said it was possible HP’s leaders knew they couldn’t compete with Apple in the consumer market.
“Right now the company that is setting the benchmark in terms of hardware and profitability is Apple, and they’ve done that by not following the norm, if you like. They’ve reinvented the categories,” he told news.com.au.
“If you look at Apple, you have something like 40 per cent margins on their hardware, while PC businesses may be down to single digits in some instances.
“I think that HP is taking a good, hard look at itself and realising that maybe some of those things it needs to do to effectively compete with the likes of Apple, it’s just not going to be able to do under its current structure.”
However the competition between HP and Apple isn’t just about brands. It’s also a shift away from one kind of computer to another.
“I think one of the underlying tones here is that we are entering a post-PC era,” Mr Fadaghi said.
“It doesn’t mean PCs are going to go away completely. PCs are still going to be used and so forth, but there is a realisation that consumers are choosing to do their computing differently to how they did it a few years ago.
“They’re first tending towards a smartphone or a tablet, and then they’re going to a PC.
“Increasingly, over time, more of those things they do on PCs will happen on other devices.”


NSW Police in row over copyright charges | The Australian
COMPUTER forensics is the domain of law enforcement agencies but a landmark legal suit in Australia could result in NSW Police turning over its computers.
The primary claim in a breach of copyright civil suit is against NSW Police, which Micro Focus claims copied its software and distributed it to third-party agencies without its approval.
NSW Police could be forced by the courts to turn over its machines in an effort to discover if the mainframe software, ViewNow, was copied without permission.
Micro Focus claims NSW Police had licences to install ViewNow on up to 6500 computers but 16,000 copies were being used.
Similar charges have been made against the NSW Ombudsman and Police Integrity Commission, and the latter has settled the matter out of court without admitting liability.
NSW Police alleges that it had the right to use an unlimited number of copies of the mainframe software throughout its organisation.
According to documents filed in the Federal Court in Sydney, NSW Police claims it was entitled to assume continuously from about June 29, 2000, that the software distributor had sold it a licence to install an unlimited number of copies of ViewNow throughout its organisation.
NSW Police alleges it did not regard the installation or use of an unlimited number of copies of ViewNow as a breach of the licence or an infringement of any copyright in ViewNow.
Consequently the software vendor was not expected to pursue any claim for additional licence fees or for copyright infringement against the organisation.
NSW Police said that during June 2000 and February this year various computers were superseded by newer machines and as a result software programs on older PCs could have been erased.
The organisation has denied any wrongdoing.
This week, lawyers for Micro Focus and Police will meet to discuss the court appointment of an independent expert to investigate police computer systems.
The expert is crucial because the organisation’s number of ViewNow software installations is unclear. The expert will assess how many copies of ViewNow might be at issue.
ViewNow is a mainframe terminal emulator that connects a user’s PC with NSW Police’s computerised operations policing system database, which holds all operational information police officers require to do their jobs. This includes data on criminals, speeding tickets and warrants. NSW Police has been using ViewNow since 1998.
Other agencies, including the NSW Roads and Transport Authority, have ViewNow licences, as they need access to the police database. The case continues.

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