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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Facebook buys Face.com


SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) |  June 18, 2012 
Facebook Inc. said Monday that it has acquired facial-recognition technology company Face.com for an undisclosed sum.

Reuters
Facebook bought Face.com on Monday for an undisclosed sum.
Face.com is a three-year-old firm based in Tel Aviv, Israel, that has developed technology used for facial recognition on photos loaded onto websites and through mobile applications. The company has released two apps used on FacebookFB -0.10% called Photo Finder and Photo Tagger.
Shares of Facebook closed up nearly 4.7% to $31.41 on Monday. The stock has gained more than 20% since sliding close to the $26 mark earlier this month after a disappointing IPO on May 18, at which the stock debuted at $38 per share.
In a brief statement, Facebook said the company’s technology “has helped to provide the best photo experience” for people sharing photos over the social network.
“This transaction simply brings a world-class team and a long-time technology vendor in house,” the statement read.
By Dan Gallagher, Original post in MarketWatch


Google Censorship Report

Published on Jun 18, 2012 by TheYoungTurks ; "There has been an alarming rise in the number of times governments attempted to censor the internet in last six months, according to a report from Google. Since the search engine last published its bi-annual transparency report, it said it had seen a troubling increase in requests to remove political content. Many of these requests came from western democracies not typically associated with censorship...".* Some countries mentioned in the report include Spain, Germany, Canada, and the UK.




Google Transparency Report Site Here


FBI wants to ban new Internet protocol?

FBI wants to ban new Internet protocol
With the recent unveiling of the newest Internet protocol system, trillions upon trillions of devices are being paved access to the Internet for the unforeseeable future. And right on cue, the FBI is already up in arms over IPv6.
With computing devices around the globe already switching from the current Internet protocol system, IPv4, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation is predictably picking a fight with the biggest names in cyberspace to ensure that the FBI and other agencies across North America will be able to inch themselves into the personal Web surfing habits of citizens across the world. Now requests from the FBI to ready a system to easily snoop through Internet traffic has proponents of IPv6 and industry reps alike scrambling to make sense of the feds’ demands.
Under the original and quickly antiquating Internet protocol system, IPv4, only 4.3 billion computers, modems, smart phones and other wired devices can send and receive information through cyberspace. When the latest rollover to IPv6 is complete, however, 340 undecillion addresses (that’s a lot) will be able to be assigned. On the plus side, trillions of more devices will able to be delivered information over the Internet. The FBI, however, wants to make sure that they can still catch cyber criminals and suggest that they might have to insist that the private sector aids them in their future endeavors.
According to report filed this week by Cnet’s Declan McCullagh, the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and Royal Canadian Mounted Police officials have jointly asked Internet representatives that traceability features be enabled with IPv6 that will allow federal agents to identify suspected cybercriminals with the same kind of ease evident with IPv4. Given that the government is already having trouble trying to find alleged cyberterrorists over the Internet as is, though, they might seriously have their work cut out for them. That’s where McCullagh reports, “The FBI has even suggested that a new law may be necessary if the private sector doesn't do enough voluntarily.”
Speaking on condition of anonymity, an official with the FBI clues Cnet in on just why the agency is against the next-generation Internet protocol:
“An issue may also arise around the amount of registration information that is maintained by providers and the amount of historical logging that exists. Today there are complete registries of what IPv4 addresses are ‘owned’ by an operator. Depending on how the IPv6 system is rolled out, that registry may or may not be sufficient for law enforcement to identify what device is accessing the Internet.”
If hunting for cybercriminals is comparable to searching for a needle in a haystack under IPv4, with IPv6 it will be on par with scouring the stratosphere for a single molecule of oxygen.
John Curran of the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) tells Cnet, "We're looking at a problem that's about to occur," and adds that, “as service providers start to roll out V6,” that’s exactly what they’ll receive. The answer, according to the FBI, might be a whole new set of legislation that will let them scour cyberspace for the answers for federal inquiries into alleged Internet crimes.
"We're hoping through all of this you can come up with some self-regulatory method in which you can do it," FBI supervisory special agent Bobby Flaim said at an ARIN meeting earlier this year, reports Cnet . "Because otherwise, there will be other things that people are going to consider."
Original report RT 19 June, 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

High-profile Russian hacker extradited from France to US

High-profile Russian hacker extradited from France to USThe notorious hacker and alleged credit card trafficker, Vladislav Khorokhorin, has been extradited from France to the US over the alleged theft of around US$9.5 million from over 2,100 ATMs in some 280 cities worldwide in less than 12 hours.

Khorokhorin, a 27-year-old Moscow-born Israeli-Ukrainian citizen, (sometimes incorrectly spelt as Horohorin), is believed to be one of the most prolific sellers of stolen credit card data. He was extradited to the United States on June 6, and was arraigned before US magistrate Judge Alan Kay in the District of Columbia on June 7. He was ordered to be detained pending trial, ENewsPF.com reports.

American authorities consider Khorokhorin to be among the founders of an international cyber-criminal network called CarderPlanet – “one of the most sophisticated organizations of online financial criminals in the world,” according to the US Secret Service Assistant Director for Investigations, Michael Merritt. The criminal network employed about 7,000 people, based mostly in Eastern Europe and CIS countries. American secret services shut down the network in 2004, since when they had been tracking criminals at large.

Vladislav Khorokhorin, aka “BadB”, was arrested in Nice by order of Interpol order while boarding a plane to the Russian capital on August 7, 2010. In the United States, he faces criminal charges filed against him in the District of Columbia and in the Northern District of Georgia. If a guilty verdict is passed in connection with fraud, he could be sentenced to 10 years behind bars and a fine of US$250,000. A conviction for theft could add another two years to the prison term and an additional fine of US$250,000.

RT - 16 Jun 2012 | Original report 


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Apple buddy-buddy Facebook only!

Apple Builds Facebook with iOS 6, Snubs Google Plus Social Network




Apple Builds Facebook with iOS 6,  Snubs Google Plus Social Network

Apple Builds Facebook with iOS 6, Snubs Google Plus Social Network
Apple is ditching an important Google application off its iPhone and making friends with Facebook rather than Google’s social network, as it continues to distance itself from a bitter rival in the phone arena.
Google’s Maps application has resided on iPhone since Apple launched their very first version of the phone series in 2007.  It is one of the core apps on the phone, and users find it very useful.
Yesterday, however, Apple executives announced that Google Maps will be replaced by an Apple-developed app in iOS 6, the new operating system for iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches, which will be released late this year.
The two giant companies, Google and Apple, are locked in a fight over the attention of hundreds of millions of phone users, and the opportunities in advertising that come with having map applications.

This is an EmpoweredNews.net article - Find more articles here: EmpoweredNews
Smartphones from companies like Samsung and Google’s own Motorola division are the chief alternatives to the iPhone, which Apple has been suing in court, accusing them of imitating the iPhone’s ground-breaking features.
Apple also announced it is building Facebook into iOS 6, snubbing the Google Plus social network.
Users will soon be able to update their Facebook status and ‘like’ content in Apple’s iTunes store, Apple executives said.
The announcements were part of the keynote presentation during Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The five big myths of cloud computing


Takeaway: Thoran Rodrigues deconstructs the five biggest myths about cloud computing, driven by the cloud “hype” wave.
We are living through a wave of cloud computing hype. It seems like there is a new cloud featureor product being launched by big technology companies almost every day - and sometimes concurrently - and the cloud is at the center of all the important tech industry discussions today, from job creation and destruction to the growth and decline of companies. This hype generates a number of false expectations and concerns that may lead companies into making bad decisions about the technology.
The simple possibility of helping people avoid bad decisions would be reason enough to look into these “myths” that surround the cloud, but other advantages may also come from this exploration: a better understanding of fundamental concepts that can help in the dialogue between vendors, early adopters and those who are still holding back.

The Myth of the Green Cloud

For a few years before the 2008 crisis hit the world’s economy, being green was even more fashionable for tech companies than being in the cloud is today. Green IT movements were in full force, and some cloud vendors have been once again raising this banner claiming that moving to the cloud is the greenest decision a company can make. The logic behind this myth is that cloud data centers can optimize the use of computing resources, making them more efficient than any privately-owned data center around.
This, however, is only partly true. What most companies forget is to look for the source of that energy for their data centers. If you operate your own servers in a country where most energy comes from renewable sources (such as Brazil, with a large percentage of hydroelectric power), and you move them to a cloud based in a country whose energy matrix is dominated by thermoelectric power (coal and oil), the net effect may be an increase in your company’s carbon footprint. Any cloud is only as green as its power sources.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Apple announces 2012 Design Award winners.

A NICE WAY TO 'CATCH' POTENTIAL EMPLOYEES!

What were some of the best looking apps made in the past year? Apple's published the winners of its annual Design Awards show.




(Credit: Apple)
What were the prettiest, or otherwise design-centric apps made on Apple's platforms this year?
The results are in.
Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference continues through the rest of this week, though the annual Apple Design Awards show is in the can. This is the event where the company recognizes the achievements of developers who created particularly well-designed software, be it in looks or overall functionality.
Among some of the winners are popular games like Halfbrick's Jetpack Joyride and Playdead's Limbo, alongside creation apps like Bohemian Coding's Sketch for the Mac, and Paper for theiPad by FiftyThree.
Apple began its annual design awards program in 1997 under the moniker the "Human Interface Design Excellence," changing to its current name just a year later. Those who win get promotion on Apple's developer site, as well as a cube-shaped award that glows when picked up. The design for that cube, which has been made by Palo Alto, Calif.-based Sparkfactor Design since 2003, was once put through a CT scanner by an award winner to see how it worked.
A full list of winners from this year's show is below. All links lead to those apps in their respective App Stores.
iPhone Winners
Company: Fingerlab

Company: Halfbrick Studios

Company: National Geographic Society / Rally Interactive

iPad winners
App: Paper 
Company: FiftyThree Inc

Company: GameCollage

Company: Fingerlab

Student winners
App: DaWindci (iPad)
Company: Reality Twist GmbH, Mimimi Productions, Mediadesign Highschool of Applied Sciences

App: Little Star (iPad)
Company: BiBoBox Studio, Dalian Nationalities University

Mac winners
Company: Feral Interactive Ltd

App: Limbo
Company: Playdead ApS

App: Sketch
Company: Bohemian Coding



UK technology sector gets (US) financial support


A US hi-tech investment bank with $20bn in assets has opened its first UK branch offering banking and loan services to the technology industry.  
Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), a subsidiary of SVB Financial Group, is looking for UK customers in the technology, life science, private equity and venture capital sectors, according to theBBC.
Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) counts Cisco Systems, Mozilla and Pinterest among its US clients. Itt has lent hundreds of millions in the UK already and plans to increase this to billions very quickly by making loans of £300,000 to £30m to established firms looking to expand.
SVB claims over half of all venture capital-backed technology and life science companies bank with the group. In the US, it has made $7bn in loans.
The bank's move is regarded as an endorsement of the UK technology sector. Chancellor George Osborne said it proves the UK is fast becoming the technology centre of Europe.
Phil Cox, SVB's head of UK, Israel and India, told the BBC that existing retail banks are failing to serve smaller technology companies who may not have three years' worth of accounts yet or even any sales.
UK bank Cambridge & Counties estimates that 60,000 loan and overdraft applications worth £3bn were rejected by banks in the second half of 2011.
The bank, established to service small and medium-sized businesses, is owned jointly by Cambridgeshire Local Government Pension Fund and Cambridge University college, Trinity Hall.

EC sets Google July deadline to answer competition concerns


An investigation into complaints about Google, led by Europe's competition head Jaoquin Almunia, identified four areas of concern.
But Eric Schmidt said Google disagreed that the firm had done anything to breach EU antitrust law, at the company's Big Tent conference in Hertfordshire last month.
Schmidt said Google did not understand how the EC believes it has broken anti-trust laws and insisted the search giant had done nothing wrong.
In his letter to Google, Almunia identified four areas of concern:
  • The manner in which Google displays its own vertical search services differently from other, competing products;
  • How Google copies content from other websites – such as restaurant reviews – to include in its own services;
  • The exclusivity Google has to sell advertising around search terms people use;
  • Restrictions surrounding portability of advertising content which prevents seamless transfer to other non-Google platforms.
But Schmidt said this is still insufficient information for the company to respond.
Now Almunia has set Google a deadline of early July for the company to negotiate remedies to protect competition or face potentially heavy fines, according to the Telegraph.
If Google fails to respond, European regulators will issue a formal statement of objections in response to complaints that it abuses its dominant position to promote its own secondary services.
Almunia has also warned that, if negotiations and proposals to address the EC's concerns are unsatisfactory, formal proceedings will continue through the adoption of a statement of objections.
Once adopted, the EC could impose fines of up to 10% of Google global revenues, reported at $37.9bn in 2011.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Google told by EC to play ball or face a trial.



The European Commission is warning Google to change its search methods or the company will be forced into court over antitrust issues
The search giant has been under the microscope of the EC over complaints that it has stifled competition in the search market by favoring its own businesses. Several companies have alleged that Google purposely tweaks its search results so that its own sites appear before those of potential rivals.
Until now, the EC been in no rush to launch formal chargesagainst Google. But now the war of words has been ramped up a few notches.


Joaquin Almunia, the European Commission's head of competition, has given Google a deadline of July 2 to change its search results and ad rules or face a trial and the possibility of a hefty fine, according to the Guardian. The deadline and threats were spelled out in a letter sent to Google in light of concerns over the company's dominant position in Europe.
A spokesman for Google told CNET simply that "we continue to work cooperatively with the European Commission."
But the company was a bit more detailed in a statement to the Guardian:
"We operate in over 100 countries around the world, and the Internet is disruptive by its nature. It's understandable that our business should attract scrutiny and sometimes complaints in a few of those countries. We're always happy to answer questions authorities may have about our business."
A Google spokesman also suggested that "we've been co-operating with [the EC's] investigation and that issues can be solved through conversation," the Guardian added.
Almunia has indicated a willingness to settle with Google to avoid a courtroom showdown, but his patience may be wearing thin.






Google has been given an ultimatum by the European Commission: straighten up or we'll take you to court.
The search giant has been under the microscope of the EC over complaints that it has stifled competition in the search market by favoring its own businesses. Several companies have alleged that Google purposely tweaks its search results so that its own sites appear before those of potential rivals.
Until now, the EC been in no rush to launch formal chargesagainst Google. But now the war of words has been ramped up a few notches.
Joaquin Almunia, the European Commission's head of competition, has given Google a deadline of July 2 to change its search results and ad rules or face a trial and the possibility of a hefty fine, according to the Guardian. The deadline and threats were spelled out in a letter sent to Google in light of concerns over the company's dominant position in Europe.
A spokesman for Google told CNET simply that "we continue to work cooperatively with the European Commission."
But the company was a bit more detailed in a statement to the Guardian:
"We operate in over 100 countries around the world, and the Internet is disruptive by its nature. It's understandable that our business should attract scrutiny and sometimes complaints in a few of those countries. We're always happy to answer questions authorities may have about our business."
A Google spokesman also suggested that "we've been co-operating with [the EC's] investigation and that issues can be solved through conversation," the Guardian added.
Almunia has indicated a willingness to settle with Google to avoid a courtroom showdown, but his patience may be wearing thin.Google is also facing similar antitrust woes in other countries.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission hired high-profile attorney Beth Wilkinson to determine whether the company has violated antitrust laws in the United States.
Some experts believe the FTC is using Wilkinson's reputation as a tough litigator to force Google to settle or wind up in court.