Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Panda Security has announced that it is releasing the industry's first cloud computing antivirus system for free.

The company has made the beta release of the Cloud Antivirus software available for download and says it will scan and quarantine malware with 50 per cent less performance load than traditional antivirus systems.

"We truly believe that Panda Cloud Antivirus represents a quantum leap in protection over the traditional approach to antivirus architecture," said Juan Santana, chief executive for Panda Security.

"We're excited to make it available today for free, which is Panda's way of paying back to the community and growing our Collective Intelligence network so that we can deliver even greater protection to all customers."

Panda says that the system uses a new method of virus scanning that installs detection systems n the host PC but then uses cloud analytics to check for security problems. On average this uses less memory, only 17MB of RAM the company claims.
By making it available the company is trying to increase the size of its Collective Intelligence network from its current user base which pulls in 50,000 software samples a day.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Cablevision Systems Corp plans to roll out super-fast Internet access connections that can allow a customer to download a full-length high-definition movie in less 10 minutes.

The New York-based cable operator said on Tuesday it is also doubling the speed of its Wi-Fi wireless Internet service -- free for subscribers -- as it steps up its offerings to counter the competitive threat of Verizon Communications' FiOS service.

Cablevision customers will pay nearly $100 a month to use the new high-speed Internet service, which will deliver download speeds of up to 101 megabits per second and upload speeds of up to 15 megabits per second. Such speeds can enable the download of up to 750 digital photos or 150 songs in one minute.

The company plans to roll out the service across its entire market starting May 11. Currently Cablevision offers download speeds of 15 megabits per second for $45 to $50 a month.

It remains to be seen how much customer demand there is for new super-fast Internet access, which cable companies charge premium prices for. Comcast Corp charges up to $139 a month for its 50 megabit Wideband service in certain markets, for instance.
"Right now the real demand for 50 to 100 megabits is pretty limited," said Todd Mitchell, analyst at Kaufman Bros. "But over the next two to three years, the number of video applications we all use will grow exponentially so it will become a necessary level of service."

Cablevision will be the first of the major U.S. cable operators to roll out new super-fast speeds to its entire network using a new cable technology called DOCSIS 3.0. Other cable operators like Comcast and Charter Communications started trying out the super-fast access speed in some of their regions last year.

The cable companies are increasing access speeds in response to the launch of advanced digital services from phone companies Verizon and AT&T Inc, and also encouraged by the popularity of Web video services like Google Inc's YouTube and Hulu, a venture of News Corp and NBC Universal.

Faster speeds will make it easier to watch video programing over the Web, but there are industry concerns that they might also make it easier for customers to 'cut the cord' of traditional cable TV subscriptions.

"The cable operators are trying to walk a fine line," said Craig Moffett, analyst at Sanford Bernstein.

Moffett said the challenge for the operators is how to preserve their current technology and speed advantage over phone companies without harming their core video offering.

"They don't want to provide so much bandwidth that they foster the means to bypass their core service," he said.

Cablevision is also doubling the speed of its wireless Internet access to 3.0 megabits per second using Wi-Fi technology. The company offers the service for free to Cablevision subscribers using their laptops and other mobile devices around certain locations in its local area.

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Hewlett-Packard is today launching a new line of inexpensive business laptops with fresh features targeting small and medium companies.

The machine will be the company's new mainstream business notebook and replaces the HP Compaq line, although the Compaq name will continue to be used in other PCs.

The ProBook offers an optional Linux-based operating system pre-installed - Novell's SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11, the company's first-ever Linux pre-install on a standard business laptop.

The machine comes with a choice of finishes - including an optional "Merlot" color - dark red to you and me - and a raised keyboard design that the company promises makes it easier to clean.

"The stunning HP ProBook s-series delivers exceptional style and aggressive pricing that will captivate small and medium business users," said Ted Clark, senior vice president and general manager, Notebook Global Business Unit, Personal Systems Group, HP. "But it's not just about good looks or low cost, the HP ProBooks deliver the right blend of features and professional innovations to provide a great user experience."

The ProBooks come with 14-inch, 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch screen sizes, with prices starting at $529. Some models incorporate HP Mobile Broadband. There is built-in Qualcomm Gobi technology, enabling them to use a single module, the HP un2400, to support multiple mobile broadband network technologies and mobile operators.

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SEAGATE ANNOUNCED a USB backup appliance aimed at Windows PCs on Monday.

The company's easy to use backup system, which it calls Replica, doesn't require the user to do much more than plug in the device. It plugs into a USB 2.0 port and draws its power over the same USB connection, so it doesn't need a separate power brick, cord or plug. The drive is about the size of a paperback book and weighs about half a pound.

Once the user connects the Replica, all they have to do is click OK to accept the software licence. The device then copies everything on the system it's connected to, including the operating system, settings, applications and all the data files it finds - documents, emails, pictures, music, movies and whatever else the user has on their PC. The system is capable of backing up either a single PC or multiple PCs.

Once the Replica finishes its initial backup, it runs in the background as long as it remains plugged-in, quietly and continuously backing up all changed files.

Terry Cunningham, a Seagate senior vice president, said in a statement, "While people continue to amass digital content, many still don’t understand the importance of backing up their libraries of personal memories, or they don’t take the time."

He reckons: "The Seagate Replica is about as easy as it gets."

Seagate's Replica mindless backup appliance for Windows PCs doesn't come cheaply, however. The 250GB model for backing up one PC costs $130, while the 500GB model capable of backing up multiple PCs is priced at $200.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Peapod was announced late last year as a small street electric vehicle which I would say is notable for the smile-like design of its grill. It's a low-speed machine that has a max speed of 25 mph the designer, Peter E. Arnell (whose name acronym is PEA, thus the car is named Peapod), calls a Mobi; a term he coined and branded. Starting this coming Earth Day, April 22, 2009, Peapod will finally be available directly to consumers through the company web site, the first batch of orders slated to be delivered by October.

The final Peapod model differs a bit from the prototype shown before, completely removing the doors for the backseat. Besides that, it retains most of its design which is inspired by a combination of Japanese bullet trains, space helmets, turtles, and of course, Star Wars storm troopers (as was mentioned to Treehugger by Arnell). Wired takes note that it doesn't make sense for the Peapod to actually require an iPod or an iPhone to start, even if it comes with apps that analyze your carbon footprint and how much money is saved by using the electric vehicle. But just in case non-iPod users plan to purchase one of these $12,500 babies, there's an in-dash iPod you can buy separately.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Indiana in March joined seven other U.S. states with a jobless rate of at least 10 percent, and unemployment surged in Oregon, Washington and West Virginia as the worst employment slump in the postwar era rippled through the economy.

Indiana’s jobless rate jumped to 10 percent last month from 9.4 percent in February, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. Michigan, with 12.6 percent, remained the state with the highest unemployment rate, followed by Oregon at 12.1 percent. The rate in California rose to 11.2 percent from 10.6 percent.

“There is a bad news story in just about every part of the country right now,” said Mark Vitner, a senior economist at Wachovia Corp. in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Economists at Wachovia and Bank of America-Merrill Lynch are among those predicting the rate nationally, currently at a 25-year high of 8.5 percent, will also reach 10 percent. The need to cut costs and boost profits means payrolls will keep dropping even as the economy begins to recover from the recession.

Forty-six states registered increases in the unemployment rate in March from the prior month, three states had no change, while North Dakota and the District of Columbia posted a drop, the Labor Department said.

Oregon Jumps

Unemployment in Oregon saw the biggest jump for the month, climbing 1.4 percentage points from February’s 10.7 percent. Joblessness rose by 0.9 percentage point in Washington, to 9.2 percent, and in West Virginia, where it reached 6.9 percent, Labor said.

The Northwest “is getting the double whammy from the slumps in trade and aerospace,” said Michael Englund, chief economist at Action Economics LLC in Boulder, Colorado. “We may be seeing the impact from the collapse in trade along the whole west coast.”

Payroll employment in March decreased in 48 states and the District of Columbia. California led with a loss of 62,100 jobs, followed by Florida with 51,900 workers dismissed. Texas, North Carolina, Illinois and Ohio rounded out the six states with the biggest loss of jobs.

“Economic weakness is greatest in parts of the country with the most direct links to the housing boom and bust,” Wachovia’s Vitner said. “Also, those with the greatest concentration in manufacturing” are hurting, he said.

RV Collapse

A “collapse” in production of recreational vehicles in the area of Elkhart, Indiana, combined with links to the auto industry have contributed to the surge in unemployment in the state, said Marc Lotter, communications director for the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

Bob Warnock, 52, president of Teamsters Local 364 in South Bend, which covers North Central Indiana, including Elkhart, said the collapse of the RV industry has affected many of his members, from vending machine operators that once stocked now idled plants to truck drivers.

“I’ve been with this local for 26 years and I have never, ever seen it this bad,” he said in an interview. “The trickle down just spreads and spreads. It’s affecting everything.”

A factory slump also hurt Oregon, said David Cooke, an economist at the state’s employment department. In addition, Oregon residents that lost their jobs in neighboring California have returned to their home state seeking work, causing the labor force to bulge and having a “substantial effect” on the jump in joblessness, he said.

Exceeding 10%

Other states with unemployment exceeding 10 percent in March were South Carolina at 11.4 percent, North Carolina at 10.8 percent, Rhode Island at 10.5 percent and Nevada at 10.4 percent, figures showed today.

The economy has lost about 5.1 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007. Payrolls fell by 663,000 in March and the jobless rate jumped to the highest level since 1983. This month, Labor Department figures showed the total number of people collecting unemployment benefits climbed to a record 6.02 million in the week ended April 4.

Finding work again is getting harder because expertise isn’t necessarily transferable from industry to industry, said Craig Hewitt of Atlanta, who lost a management job in October with HSBC Holdings Plc’s auto-finance unit after six years.

Specific Skills

“Employers who are out there have become very specific in what they are looking for,” said Hewitt, 43, who hasn’t landed a single interview after six months of searching for a job and applying for about 40 positions. “It is challenging for all those who have been in financial services as a career as that business has been decimated.”

Fewer job postings are eroding advertising revenue at newspapers, causing firings and prompting some journalists to consider other lines of work. Robert Taylor, a feature writer for the Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek, California, lost his job in July after eight years.

Taylor, who also worked at the Oakland Tribune for 25 years before that, said he is a month away from finishing classes for a marketing certificate program at San Francisco State University. He has rewritten his resume numerous times, applied for at least 15 jobs, and is still searching daily for public relations or marketing positions.

“I’ve never been unemployed for so long in my life,” said Taylor. “When I was laid off I thought I’d certainly have another job by year-end. Now I doubt I’ll ever work for a newspaper again.”

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headquarters in Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, where Sony Ericsson cut 450 of 750 workers last fall.

The mobile phone manufacturer officials did not immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment on how the new round of cuts would affect RTP.

Sony Ericsson saw its first quarter sales fall 35 percent, to 14.5 million units, from the same period a year ago. Sales totaled $2.25 billion, down 36 percent from the first quarter of 2008.

As a result of the losses, the company announced it would look to cut its operating expenses by $520 million and reduce its total work force by 2,000 people. Those cuts should be completed by mid-2010.

The latest round of cuts come nine months after Sony-Ericsson announced plans to shave $300 million in a round of cuts that dropped the ax on 2,000 jobs. Those cuts have already been completed.

“We are aligning our business to the new market reality with the aim of bringing the company back to profitability as quickly as possible,” company president Dick Komiyama said in a statement.

The company has continued to struggle in the cell-phone market. Sony-Ericsson estimated its market share fell about 2 percentage points to 6 percent overall.

The company also expects global cell-phone sales to fall about 10 percent from 2008, when almost 1.2 billion units were sold.

The handset maker is a joint venture between Japan’s Sony (NYSE: SNE) and Sweden’s Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERIC).

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

T-Mobile is plans to make two new devices running on the Google Android platform early next year. The wireless carrier will introduce a home phone and a tablet computer, both powered by Google's mobile operating system.

Confidential documents cited by The New York Times suggest that alongside its current offering of Google Android devices (T-Mobile G1 and soon the G2), T-Mobile will venture into unchartered waters with a home phone and a small form factor tablet computer, also powered by Google's mobile OS.

The home phone from T-Mobile is said to plug into a docking station and also come with another device used to synchronize data while it recharges the battery. The tablet computer will feature a seven-inch touchscreen and won't have any physical keyboard.

T-Mobile was the first wireless carrier in the world to launch a Google Android phone -- the T-Mobile G1. Despite starting off slowly, Android gained user traction and more mobile phone manufacturers committed to building devices using it. The wireless carrier will launch the T-Mobile G2, its second iteration of the Google phone later on this year.

After delaying its Android offering, Samsung is also set to launch several new Google devices, the first one reportedly coming out in June. Motorola is building an Android phone as well, with an expected launch date sometime in October.

For more information visit here
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Suggestion: Fun With Google Suggest

Google Suggest is a Google Search feature that automatically completes a search query with suggested phrases as you type in the Google search text field. Suggestions are meant to be helpful--but they can sometimes be funny, bizarre, or downright creepy.

We initially got lassoed into playing around with this Google feature when we noticed that select search queries were generating inexplicably odd auto-complete suggestions. The phrase "What would Jesus..." generated the suggestion "What would Jesus do for a Klondike bar?"

First, though, a bit of background. Google says that its software makes suggestions based on complex popularity algorithms that are designed to predict the queries you are most likely to want to submit. Suggestions appear in a drop-down menu; and next to the suggested search phrases are green numbers approximating how many search results each particular query would return.

Google Suggest works with current versions of the Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Chrome Web browsers. If you find the service annoying, you can turn it off by visiting your Google Preferences page.

We spent way too much time playing with this feature. We were hoping Google Suggest might shed some light on important questions such as “The meaning to life is...” But what we found instead was "The meaning to life is Christopher Walken." Who knew?

What follows are funny and sometimes insightful answers to random questions.

For more fun with Google services, check out:

  • -- The Strangest Sights in Google Earth
  • -- Strangest Sights in Google Street View
  • -- Google's Top 17 Easter Eggs, Gags, and Hoaxes

And as the search results pictured above suggest, when you've had your fill of fun with Google, you can turn your attention to "fun with goats."

For more images and information visit here
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Saturday, April 4, 2009

'Elke' the four-day-old hand raised Francois Leaf-Monkey is shown for the first time at Taronga Zoo in Sydney. The Leaf-Monkeys native habitat is Northeast Vietnam and Southeast China.

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