The Mobile World Congress exhibition in Barcelona closed its doors on Thursday, with a sudden rain shower sending the last attendees scurrying off to their hotels. It's been a gargantuan affair that saw pretty much everyone who is anything in the mobile phone industry (minus Apple) make some sort of announcement. Following are a few side notes that probably didn't make the headlines, from IDG News Service reporters:
Lasrick writes “This article starts with an interesting anecdote: ‘In 1998, President Bill Clinton read a novel about biological warfare that deeply disturbed him. In fact, the story reportedly kept him up all night. It’s one of the reasons that Clinton became personally invested in protecting the United States from bioterrorism threats. The book was The Cobra Event (Preston, 1998), a sci-fi thriller by journalist and novelist Richard Preston that told of a mad scientist who brewed a lethal, genetically engineered virus in his New York City apartment. Preston’s tale highlighted the potential ease with which individuals or small groups with access to advanced bioweapons capabilities could launch attacks on major US cities.1 After reading The Cobra Event, Clinton called several advisory meetings and ordered classified assessments and simulation exercises to examine the threat depicted in the story. As a result of these deliberations, by the end of his administration Clinton had increased funding for biodefense preparedness efforts fourfold, to more than $ 400 million per year.’ The article goes on to describe the two trajectories of bioweapons threats, and puts them both in perspective. It may or may not calm everyone who’s ever spent a sleepless night after reading one of the many bioterrorism novels”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Fraunhofer’s new Boston headquarters will be a deep energy retrofit able to measure the performance of the latest building technologies.
A 100-year-old building will soon become a proving ground for cutting-edge building technologies.
New on MIT Technology Review
Sometimes, it’s not political powerhouses who have the power to change the world, sometimes it’s true-blue entrepreneurs who live to solve problems. One such person is Gurbaksh Chahal, who has launched BeProud.org, launched after the shootings at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in August 2012, with some pretty impressive backers.
The point of the multi-million dollar campaign is to put an end to hatred, and to encourage self-pride. Using the web to help bring attention to this is a fantastic idea. I had a chance to chat with Chahal on his background and the future of the BeProud initiative.
Six years ago, almost to the day, I remember sitting on the couch with my then one-year-old son playing Elebits on the recently launched Wii. I thought he’d understand the simple point and shoot game. It was sort of a shooter. You walked around a house and aimed at the little characters. He was enthralled.
I was a new parent and I was showing him the magic of the Wii – Nintendo’s standard-definition console effort that appeared after years of relative stagnation and, more important, the launch of new consoles from Sony and Microsoft. This oddly underpowered console somehow survived to sell 97 million units, 20 million more than its competitors.
Editor’s note: Bernard Moon is co-founder and CEO of Vidquik, a new web conferencing and sales solutions platform, and co-founder of SparkLabs, a recently launched startup accelerator in Seoul, Korea.
Qik co-founder Ramu Sunkara discusses the company’s voyage from its founding in 2006 in his garage to being acquired by Skype in January 2011 for $ 150 million.
With its cool climate, low risk rating and skilled labor force, Canada seems like a great spot to build a new data center. If that's where your customers are, experts say, there's no reason not to expand north of the border. Otherwise, think twice.
NASA was successful in putting the largest rover ever on to the surface of the red planet when Curiosity touched down last month. So far, the Curiosity mission has gone off nearly perfectly and the rover is doing its job of investigating the surface of the red planet. In the future, NASA hopes to go
Read The Full Story
Just in case you thought the often discussed / as yet unseen Apple HDTV rumor mill was dead, you were wrong. The Wall Street Journal is reigniting things this evening, with sources claiming that instead of competing with cable providers by starting up its own IPTV offering, Apple has switched to sweet talking pay-TV providers into offering their content through its box. If you’re still looking for a Cupertino-embued display you may be in luck, since the anonymous parties also indicate the set-top box tech it’s working on could be integrated with HDTVs. That is still an less than certain path at the moment however, given pay-TV operators current preference to control every element of the experience and relationship with consumers, as well as the split of profits.
According to the Journal report, Steve Jobs was “dismissive” of attempts to build a cable box since cable operators each only have limited regional exposure and don’t own the content they license from studios. Since then however we have seen a few offerings of cable and satellite TV beyond the box as Microsoft offers Verizon and Comcast apps on its Xbox 360, Samsung has brought providers directly to its smart HDTVs and many providers offer streaming access via iPad or other mobile devices. Still, since the rumor doesn’t indicate a deal is inked or even on the way, we wouldn’t hold our breath for any or all of the listed possibilities to come true any time soon.
Filed under: Home Entertainment
WSJ: Apple’s TV focus changes to putting cable TV in its set-top box originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 15 Aug 2012 20:42:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Permalink | Wall Street Journal | Email this | Comments
It’s long been said that “I agree to the terms of service” is the biggest lie on the internet. And even if you do read them, many TOS are so ridden with legalese that you practically need to be a lawyer to understand them. Also, as I wrote in a gloomy post last weekend, users have no choice but either agree to the terms offered by a web app or simply not use the service at all.
But a new project called TOS;DR wants to change that. The site aims to give more power to users by summarizing terms of service, flagging potential issues and rating apps on a scale from A (the best) to E (the worst).
Jack Spine writes “The Raspberry Pi is likely to be blasted into space, according to project founder Eben Upton. The $ 35/$ 25 credit-card-sized single-board educational computer could be used in sounding rockets, satellites, and high altitude balloon tests, according to Upton. Raspberry Pi has proved wildly popular since its launch, with one developer planning to build into a model boat to sail it across the Atlantic.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
For anyone who enjoys (or has a knack for) planning, organizing a hackathon is not terribly difficult: it’s a matter of understanding your goals, assessing needs, and figuring out how to bridge the two. Naturally, this is much easier said than done.
The most important part of a hackathon, by far, are the demos. Why else — it’s what makes the event worth attending in the first place. Sponsoring companies wouldn’t offer money to anything that didn’t provide exposure. Developers wouldn’t forsake sleep if they couldn’t show an eager audience the hacks they built overnight.
Pulling off demos at Photo Hack Day and Photo Hack Day 2, for example, has proven to be a continuous learning process, with a much more public (and much less forgiving) learning curve. There’s no need to be a n00b, I’ve done a lot of the screwing up for you.
It’s really beautiful outside. Like so beautiful if San Francisco is like this more often it will become really expensive to live here. Also, Quora is raising money according to the multiple people in the past week who have told me that Quora is raising money.
From what I’ve heard, the startup wants to raise between $ 30 to $ 50 million in its Series B, at a $ 400 million valuation — an amount which strangely enough seems modest in light of the billion dollar rounds being thrown about willy nilly.
It’s telling, perhaps, when a VP for your company uses the word “finally” while discussing plans to release test models for your upcoming mobile operating system — but it’s certainly a pretty accurate sentiment when dealing BlackBerry 10. Talking up RIM’s plans to release up to 2,000 prototypes running the OS at the BlackBerry Jam conference in May, executive Alec Saunders had this to say: “It’s tangible evidence of the company making progress to finally shipping the device.” Barring any further setbacks, the operating system formerly known as BBX is set to hit before year’s end.
RIM putting BlackBerry 10 test units in developers’ hands in May originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 24 Mar 2012 11:36:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Permalink | Bloomberg | Email this | Comments
Google is looking to the completion of its massive purchase of Motorola Mobility with the needed approvals in the US and EU granted. The company is also looking to replace the existing CEO with its own. Google is making moves to put walls between its Android team and Motorola Mobility according to Andy Rubin. Rubin [...]
The Asus Transformer Prime has seen its fair share of performance complaints, particularly concerning GPS and Wi-Fi. But what are the root causes of these problems and just how widespread are they?
Imagine you’re walking down the block when, suddenly, your phone goes off. You take it out of your pocket, unlock that sucker and pull down the notification bar to reveal… an ad! The idea of such a travesty is enough to make our blood (which is primarily just liquid caffeine and taurine at this point) boil. Disturbingly enough though, this isn’t some terrifying dystopian Android future — this is the reality for at least some KDDI au customers. The Japanese carrier bundles the au one Market on many of its handsets as an alternative to the standard Google offering, and a recent update to the third party app outlet has it sending ads as push notifications to users. It’s similar to Airpush, a service that offers both push notifications and ads as homescreen icons, which suffered a serious backlash shortly after launching. Of course, the carrier market can’t be removed (at least not without a little bit of hackery) which makes this a practically unforgivable offense. Oh, and a quick message to any American carriers considering a similar move: don’t even think about it.
KDDI putting ads in the notification bar on Android phones originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 23 Jan 2012 12:55:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Permalink | Asiajin | Email this | Comments
Kim Dotcom will spend the weekend in a New Zealand jail while the U.S. tries to extradite him. His attorney said YouTube was accused of the same copyright violations nobody raided them.
Hugh Pickens writes “Roni Caryn Rabin says patients have a legal right to their medical records, though access can prove difficult. But what would happen if patients were encouraged not just to see their medical records but to take them home, study them and really own them? A research collaboration called OpenNotes set out to answer this question, publishing the first results of a study on physician and patient attitudes toward shared medical records and demonstrating that for patients, at least, shared medical records seems to be an idea whose time has come. ‘That’s the great challenge in medicine: getting patients to be more active in their own care,’ says Dr. Tom Delbanco, a principal investigator of the study. ‘What we’re doing is opening the black box and letting you look inside.’ Dr. Delbanco and his colleagues recruited more than 100 primary care doctors who were already using electronic health records to volunteer to share their medical notes with patients. Patients were enthusiastic: 90 percent thought they would be more in control of their care if they saw the notes. They weren’t worried about being confused and most said seeing the record would help them take better care of themselves helping them better remember their treatment plan, understand it and take their medication. The goal is to engage patients more fully in their own health. ‘Knowledge is power,’ says Jan Walker, the study’s senior author. ‘A patient goes to the doctor only once in a while, but in between visits, you’re making all kinds of decisions that affect your health every single day.’”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
When you think about what Google, the 32,000-employee search engine conglomerate, is strategically focused on these days, here’s one thing that doesn’t come to mind: an initiative to get more Kenyan businesses online via manually grabbing data from a local startup that’s trying to do something complementary.
I’ve been looking into the well-researched story that Mocality, a Kenya-based business listing service, published this morning. There are certainly serious issues it brings up, as Google has admitted. But there’s nothing anywhere near the same magnitude as, say, the press fallout and antitrust probe around the new Google+ search integration, or the Motorola acquisition, the Android patent licensing issues, or the many other efforts and problems it has happening every day.
An anonymous reader writes “I’m trying to help a school put their classes online in the way most minimally invasive to the teachers. A few environmental considerations: They don’t always have live internet in the classroom, or I’d just run to Skype. I’m hoping to make it as much one-touch start/stop as possible to start recording, stop recording, and upload to a server. I’d like to believe others here have already done something similar, so if a package or process worked for you, that would be great to hear. Not sure what if it’s all PowerPoint lectures, or if they actually use a whiteboard, and if so what the best camera would be to use (on a school budget!).”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
An anonymous reader writes “There are two types of office workers in the world — those who file their emails in folders, and those who use search. Well, it looks like the searchers are smarter. A 354-user study by IBM research found that users who just searched their inbox found emails slightly faster than users who had filed them by folder. Add the time spent filing and the searchers easily come out on top. Apparently the filers are using their inbox as a to-do list rather than wanting to categorize information to find it more easily.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.