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Vintage NASA Probe Still Kicking

July 23, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
Vintage NASA Probe Still Kicking

After refusing to fire its engines last week for a course correction, a vintage NASA spacecraft did produce a bit of thrust Wednesday (July 16), proving it still has at least some fuel left after 36 years in space. The International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 (ISEE-3), which launched in 1978, is close to Earth right now, but on a trajectory that will send it further out into the solar system. A private group, called the ISEE-3 Reboot Project, is sending commands to the aged NASA probe with the goal of... 

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Twitter Pressed To Release Diversity Data

July 22, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Twitter Pressed To Release Diversity Data

U.S. civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson is urging Twitter to release its employee diversity information, which its Silicon Valley peers such as Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn and Facebook have already done. The Rainbow Push Coalition, founded by Jackson, has also asked Twitter to signal its commitment to inclusion by hosting a public community forum to address the company’s plan to recruit and retain more African American talent. The coalition and black empowerment group, ColorOfChange.org, plans... 

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China’s Rush To The Internet Is Slowing

July 22, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
China’s Rush To The Internet Is Slowing

China’s once furious pace to get on the Internet is slowing, with the country adding only 14.4 million new Internet users in the first half of 2014, the lowest half-year growth in eight years. There were 632 million Internet users in China in June, according to the government-linked China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC). Although China has long reigned as the country with the world’s largest Internet population, the services are still struggling to take off in the rural areas,... 

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Is the Hunt For Alien Planets Heating Up?

July 22, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
Is the Hunt For Alien Planets Heating Up?

It’s a time of amazing discovery in the hunt for planets in other solar systems. Over the past six months, more than 700 exoplanets have been found. It seems that each week brings the announcement of another foreign world: a rocky orb that seems much like Earth except that it’s 17 times more massive; a colossal planet that orbits its star at a whopping 2,000 times the distance between Earth and our sun; an Earth-like planet in a two-sun system. On July 9, three astrophysicists — Zachory... 

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Dell Is Now Accepting Bitcoin Payments

July 21, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Dell Is Now Accepting Bitcoin Payments

Want to purchase a laptop with bitcoins? Dell is now accepting the digital currency as a form of payment. Consumer and business shoppers can pay for products directly via bitcoins or through Coinbase, a third-party payment processing company, Dell said. Buyers can pay for products through Bitcoin wallets or by scanning a QR code with a smartphone. The volatile Bitcoin has had its share of controversies and exchange shutdowns as the currency matures. Companies like Overstock.com, Newegg, Expedia... 

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Google’s Growth Will Be In A Shift To Mobile

July 21, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Google’s Growth Will Be In A Shift To Mobile

Google Inc  is the more properly positioned than any company to benefit from the shift to mobile, increased local advertising and wearables, analysts said after the search giant posted its 18th straight quarter of 20 percent-plus revenue growth. At least eight brokerages raised their price targets on the stock on Friday by as much as $75, to a high of $745. The company, which is also set to benefit from the so-called “internet of things”, said that second-quarter revenue rose 22 percent... 

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The EC Goes After Apple

July 21, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
The EC Goes After Apple

The European Commission (EC) has scolded Apple for its lack of action on its “misleading” in-app purchase practices, while praising Google for its impending changes. The EC said on Friday that has teamed with national authorities to put an end to the ongoing in-app purchases problem , which has lead to it receiving a “large number of complaints” related to inadvertent purchases of virtual crap by children. EU commissioner for Consumer Policy Neven Mimica said in a statement,... 

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Apple Agrees To $450 Settlement In E-book Antitrust Case

July 18, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Apple Agrees To $450 Settlement In E-book Antitrust Case

Apple Inc has agreed to pay $450 million to settle U.S. state and consumer claims the iPad manufacturer conspired with five major publishers to fix e-book prices, according to court records filed Wednesday. The settlement, which would provide $400 million for consumers, is conditioned on the outcome of a pending appeal of a New York federal judge’s ruling last year that Apple was liable for violating antitrust laws. A ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York reversing the... 

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Are Bigger Telescopes Needed To Find Alien Life?

July 18, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
Are Bigger Telescopes Needed To Find Alien Life?

Humanity will probably have to wait a few decades to find out if life is common beyond our own solar system. While NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) — which is scheduled to launch in 2018 — will be capable of finding signs of life on nearby exoplanets, a broad and bona fide hunt for life beyond Earth’s neighborhood will require bigger spacecraft that aren’t even on the agency’s books yet, experts say. “To find evidence of actual life is going to take another... 

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Google Ends Real-name Requirement For Google+

July 17, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Google Ends Real-name Requirement For Google+

Google+ may attract some new — and certainly anonymous — users after Google announced it was abolishing its real-names policy for the profiles in the service. Since its introduction, Google’s social network has required that people use their real names in Google+ profiles, as part of an effort to help other people find them through the service. “You need to provide both your first and last name for your Google+ profile,” the guidelines said. One could be an initial,... 

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Bank Of America Accused Of Using $300M Worth Of Illegal Software

July 17, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Bank Of America Accused Of Using $300M Worth Of Illegal Software

Bank of America illegally copied $300 million worth of Tibco’s enterprise software for use in a large-scale IT project at its Merrill Lynch subsidiary, Tibco alleges in a lawsuit. The bank amassed huge quantities of Tibco software while it was still within the terms of a license agreement that expired in February 2013, then used the software for the project when it was out of license, according to the suit. As of Tuesday, Bank of America hadn’t filed a response to Tibco’s suit,... 

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Is Apple Having Issues With Sharp?

July 17, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
Is Apple Having Issues With Sharp?

There is a spat brewing between Apple and its long term supplier Sharp. Sharp has been making Apple displays for ages and has an entire plant dedicated to this purpose. The manufacturing gear now belongs to Apple and Sharp wants to buy the equipment back for $293 million. Apparently, Sharp wants to diversify its production and shift away from supplying only to Apple. Jobs’ Mob is amenable to the idea of selling the facilities but only if Sharp never sells anything to Samsung. Samsung mostly utilizes... 

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Apple Touch ID Patent Falters

July 17, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
Apple Touch ID Patent Falters

Apple’s application to trademark the name ‘Touch ID’ for its fingerprint scanning technology has been rejected by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Apparently the name already belongs to an outfit called Kronos, a US-based company that makes workforce management software. The USPTO pointed out that granting Apple the patent for Touch ID may create confusion among potential users. Kronos’s Touch ID technology is also related to fingerprint recognition and has been... 

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Microsoft Rumored To Be Cutting Jobs Soon

July 16, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Microsoft Rumored To Be Cutting Jobs Soon

Microsoft Corp is said to be planning its biggest round of job cuts in five years as the software giant moves to integrate Nokia Oyj’s handset unit, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the company’s plans. The reductions, expected to be announced as soon as this week, could be in the Nokia unit and the parts of Microsoft that overlap with that business, as well as in marketing and engineering, Bloomberg reported. Since absorbing the handset business of Nokia this spring,... 

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Will Germany Regulate Google?

July 16, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
Will Germany Regulate Google?

German officials are planning to clip the wings of technology giants such as Google through heavier regulation. According to a report in the Sunday Times, the country’s Federal Cartel Office would be given powers to curtail Google’s influence, were it decided that it had got too big for its boots. A document obtained by the newspaper says that under the new rules, technology companies would be treated and regulated like utilities such as electricity and water and subject to the same anti-competitive... 

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