Tech News

Sony 'kill switch' Myth

For nearly 20 years Sony in Japan has been plagued by the myth of the "Sony Timer" – but is there really a kill-switch that destroys your device just after its warranty runs out? Many Japanese genuinely believe that there is.

It was the recall of more than 4.1 million Dell laptops containing faulty Sony batteries in 2006 that jump-started a rumour that has been around for decades. From 1980 to 2006 geeks and tech-obsessed Japanese had joked about the existence of the timer, creating sarcastic manga and venting anger through online forums.

Thomas' piracy penalty Reduced

Updated at 2:03 p.m. PST to include quotes from RIAA, music industry sources, and Jammie Thomas-Rasset's attorney.

A U.S. district court has dramatically slashed the amount of money a Minnesota woman must pay in damages for illegally sharing music online.

Last June, a federal jury in Minnesota found Jammie Thomas-Rasset liable for willful copyright infringement and ordered her to pay nearly $2 million. Michael Davis, chief judge for the U.S.

Man Buried in Haiti Rubble Uses iPhone to Treat Wounds, Survive

U.S. filmmaker Dan Woolley was shooting a documentary about the impact of poverty in Haiti when the earthquake struck. He could have died, but he ultimately survived with the help of an iPhone first-aid app that taught him to treat his wounds.

After being crushed by a pile of rubble, Woolley used his digital SLR to illuminate his surroundings and snap photos of the wreckage in search of a safe place to dwell.

Drupal's Dries Buytaert on Building the Next Drupal

Among the many open source projects on the upswing is Drupal, a content management system written in PHP; Drupal has attracted a lot of attention from developers and mindshare among end users. This week, when Drupal 7 was about to go into Alpha test, I spoke with Dries Buytaert, creator of Drupal and also the founder of the Drupal services company, Acquia.

Avatar is Nvidia's wet dream

Avatar is the hottest movie that's currently airing in cinemas and Hollywood likes it since it can charge you additional €1 for 3D glasses. Even more so, if you go to Imax they will top it with an extra €3 fee.

Its been more than a month since the movie started and we’ve decided to see the movie and this is a quick verdict.

The 3D, something that Nvidia cares and pushes really well, looks good. It's not great, but on some scenes it really looks impressive.

Users spurn traditional calls for Skype

Users wanting to call home form abroad are increasingly turning to Skype's Internet telephony service to the detriment of international carriers, new data showed.

"Skype is now the largest provider of cross border communications in the world, by far," said Stephan Beckert, analyst at research firm TeleGeography on Tuesday.

Skype's technology allows consumers to make practically free long-distance calls over the Internet on fixed lines.

IE zero-day used in Chinese cyber assault on 34 firms

Updated Hackers who breached the defenses of Google, Adobe Systems and at least 32 other companies used a potent vulnerability in all versions of Internet Explorer to carry out at least some of the attacks, researchers from McAfee said Thursday.

Google Locks Down Gmail with Secure HTTP

Google on Wednesday announced that it will encrypt Gmail at all times, not just during sign-on, and make the process an opt-out feature rather than opt-in.

At this point, Google only uses this encryption process, known as HTTPS, during the sign-in process in order to protect your password. HTTPS keeps e-mail encrypted as it travels between your web browser and servers and is mostly used for things like banks and credit card company Web sites.

Google vs. China

GOOD FOR Google. The company's decision to stop censoring its Chinese search engine is more likely to mean the end of its China-based service than a breakdown of Beijing's political firewall. But more important than the question of whether survives is the larger issue that Google has now raised for other Western companies and democratic governments -- which is whether China's gross and growing abuse of the Internet should be quietly tolerated or actively resisted.

Wireless power group sees standard within 6 months

The group developing a standard for wireless charging expects to complete its first specification within six months, opening the door for makers of cell phones, digital cameras and other devices to bring compatible products to market.

Wireless charging lets consumers place gadgets on a mat that plugs into a wall outlet, and have the devices recharge automatically without needing to plug in each one. Apart from the gee-whiz factor, it's supposed to make life more convenient by letting people walk into their home or office, toss their gadgets onto a mat to recharge and forget about them.

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