Khaama Press (KP) | Afghan News Agency » Tech http://www.khaama.com The largest news and information source in Afghanistan Mon, 21 Apr 2014 09:06:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 Afghanistan deploys its first satellite into orbit by February http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-deploys-its-first-satellite-into-orbit-by-february-2732 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-deploys-its-first-satellite-into-orbit-by-february-2732#comments Wed, 29 Jan 2014 16:35:20 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=31668 Afghanistan deploys its first satellite into orbit by February
Officials in the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology of Afghanistan (MCIT) announced Wednesday that the first satellite of Afghanistan will be deployed into orbit within the next one month. Amirzai Sangin, Afghanistan’s Communications & Information Technology Minister, said Afghanistan for the first time will join the nations which have launched their own satellites into Read the full article...]]>
Afghanistan deploys its first satellite into orbit by February

Officials in the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology of Afghanistan (MCIT) announced Wednesday that the first satellite of Afghanistan will be deployed into orbit within the next one month.

Amirzai Sangin, Afghanistan’s Communications & Information Technology Minister, said Afghanistan for the first time will join the nations which have launched their own satellites into the orbit.

Mr. Sangin was speaking during the signing ceremony of Memorandum of Understanding with Eutelsat Communications, which will provide Afghanistan satellite resources that will enhance deployment of its national broadcasting and telecommunications infrastructure as well as its international connectivity.

According to Sangin, Eutelsat will deploy an in-orbit satellite from February 2014 to 48° East to deliver full national coverage and extensive reach of Central Asia and the Middle East, under the multi-year agreement.

He said the satellite will be officially called Afghansat 1 by the government of Afghanistan.

A wide range of services including broadcasting, mobile telephony backhaul and IP connectivity will be supported by the satellite (Afghansat 1), Sangin said.

He also added that an agreement was reached between the Eutelsat and the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology of Afghanistan to explore opportunities for long-term cooperation of transforming Afghanistan into an information society.

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First mobile-based news application launched in Afghanistan http://www.khaama.com/first-mobile-based-news-application-launched-in-afghanistan-3117 http://www.khaama.com/first-mobile-based-news-application-launched-in-afghanistan-3117#comments Wed, 27 Nov 2013 06:14:32 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=30147 First mobile-based news application launched in Afghanistan
Mobile phone users in Afghanistan can now have access to daily news and reports about Afghanistan and the world following the launch of a new initiative by leading mobile-based social network outlet and local news agencies. The Android-based application for smartphones, jointly launched by Paywast, Khaam Press (KP) and Wadsam News, aims to provide access Read the full article...]]>
First mobile-based news application launched in Afghanistan

Mobile phone users in Afghanistan can now have access to daily news and reports about Afghanistan and the world following the launch of a new initiative by leading mobile-based social network outlet and local news agencies.

The Android-based application for smartphones, jointly launched by Paywast, Khaam Press (KP) and Wadsam News, aims to provide access to daily political, economic and social affairs including sports news.

The launch of Paywast News application is yet another breakthrough in media and telecommunications sector in Afghanistan, which will provide quality  local content to modern consumers – who believe spending time on what is value is a luxury.

The application will help over 800,000 Afghans who have smartphones, to have access to news articles in Dari as well as English.

Founder and CEO of Khaama Press, Khushnood Nabizada said, “The launch of the application and service will help the owners of smartphones to have access to latest news from Afghanistan, region and the world. “

Nabizada further added that Paywast News is a cost effective application which consumes less bandwidth and automatically downloads the contents to applications, once the owners of the smartphones enter the internet coverage area.

He also added that direct access to websites for accessing the articles will consume more bandwidth and will take more time to load the content along with its graphics, but the Paywast News application, once installed to the smartphones, will automatically download only the contens the news.

“We are excited to launch Paywast News, because it has the potential to have a direct impact on how modern Afghans get their information, and provides a steady stream of relevant updates and current affairs,” Jes Kaliebe Petersen Director of Development for Paywast said.

Petersen also added, “Paywast News is one of many products and services we provide in Afghanistan – but our first smartphone app. There are currently more than 800,000 Android and iPhone devices in Afghanistan, and 3G consumption is growing quickly.

We identified a need in the market for a news app with local high quality content – and today, Paywast News is available in the iTunes and Google Play app stores.”

Applications can be downloaded from the following  links directly:

- Android

- iTunes

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Newly technology built to stop suicide car bombers http://www.khaama.com/newly-technology-built-to-stop-suicide-car-bombers-2387 http://www.khaama.com/newly-technology-built-to-stop-suicide-car-bombers-2387#comments Thu, 12 Sep 2013 17:01:40 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=28465 Newly technology built to stop suicide car bombers
A technology is being tested at a secret location in Norway that can make a car’s engine cut out using high-intensity jammers. Better still, it can also take out drones, jet skis, and any other vehicle used to deliver bombs. And it has also positively tested disrupting remote control-activated bombs – even chemical and biological Read the full article...]]>
Newly technology built to stop suicide car bombers

A technology is being tested at a secret location in Norway that can make a car’s engine cut out using high-intensity jammers.

Better still, it can also take out drones, jet skis, and any other vehicle used to deliver bombs. And it has also positively tested disrupting remote control-activated bombs – even chemical and biological ones.

A video posted by NATO Channel shows the device being put through its paces using fast cars, briefcase bombs and drones as it prepares to be unveiled.

An individual is show in the video playing a suicide bomber, and approaches the target, which is a big black jeep and just coming up, and by losing the power, the lights gone off and the car is dead.

Dr Ernst Krogager heads up an international team developing a new device which stops suspected suicide bombers’ vehicles. The team is now testing their new technology at a secret location in Norway. The NATO-funded project has developed a high-intensity electromagnetic beam which makes engines cut out.

“The ignition would generate a very high-intensity pulse that would interfere with the electronic control system inside the car and the engine would stop,” said Dr. Ernst Krogager.

The first test simulated a suicide bomber driving up to a checkpoint. But would the device work against a suicide bomber targeting a moving car?

Dr. Ernst Krogager said, “What’s going to happen is that when we get really close to it, they will fire the engine-stopper and the electromagnetic noise from the radio will actually interfere with our engine and stop it.”

He said, “Well, it’s a fairly safe and simple way of doing it; and it’s also non-lethal: it doesn’t actually kill anyone, it doesn’t harm anyone and it doesn’t really harm the vehicle much either.”

This device is not just for use in high-risk countries. At 3.25 on the afternoon of the 22nd of July 2011, Oslo was hit by an enormous car bomb planted by Anders Breivik outside the Prime Minister’s office. And Norwegians clearly still remember that day well.

The device was also tested by the team to see if the device can defend against bombs mounted on drones. With the drones’ electronics successfully jammed, the team now knows that any terrorist planning this kind of attack will face a new kind of obstacle.

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Google launches internet balloons aiming for global web http://www.khaama.com/google-launches-internet-balloons-aiming-for-global-web-1574 http://www.khaama.com/google-launches-internet-balloons-aiming-for-global-web-1574#comments Sun, 16 Jun 2013 09:18:07 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=26673 Google launches internet balloons aiming for global web
Google Inc has launched a small network of Internet-beaming antennas balloons into the stratosphere, with the lofty goal of getting the entire planet online. The translucent jellyfish-shaped balloons were released this week from a frozen field in the heart of New Zealand’s South Island. The project called operation loon targets the last frontier — the Read the full article...]]>
Google launches internet balloons aiming for global web

Google Inc has launched a small network of Internet-beaming antennas balloons into the stratosphere, with the lofty goal of getting the entire planet online.

The translucent jellyfish-shaped balloons were released this week from a frozen field in the heart of New Zealand’s South Island.

The project called operation loon targets the last frontier — the web-less wilds — with internet-enabling balloons capable of parachuting in connectivity.

Project Loon uses algorithms to determine where the balloons need to go, like the internet search engine for which Google is best known.

The company said radio-enabled, solar-powered balloons are to be released super-high-up (twice as high as planes fly, says the Wall Street Journal), where they will travel the globe via wind.

By moving with the wind, the balloons form a network of airborne hot spots that can deliver Internet access over a broad area at speeds comparable to 3G using open radio frequency bands, Google said.

While the project is still in the very early testing stages, Google hopes eventually to launch thousands of the thin, polyethylene-film inflatables and bring the Internet to some of the more remote parts of the globe, including Afghanistan’s steep and winding Khyber Pass.

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Facebook ‘Home’ to make life easier http://www.khaama.com/facebook-home-for-android-phones-makes-life-easier-13569 http://www.khaama.com/facebook-home-for-android-phones-makes-life-easier-13569#comments Fri, 05 Apr 2013 11:32:17 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=24830 Facebook ‘Home’ to make life easier
Facebook unveiled a new product for Android phones on Thursday. This service is called ‘Home’ which brings the social media contents to the home screen of the phones rather to open apps on the device. Mark Zuckerberg, chief of Facebook and the youngest billionaire launched the new Facebook product on Thursday in California. “On one Read the full article...]]>
Facebook ‘Home’ to make life easier

Facebook unveiled a new product for Android phones on Thursday.

This service is called ‘Home’ which brings the social media contents to the home screen of the phones rather to open apps on the device.

Mark Zuckerberg, chief of Facebook and the youngest billionaire launched the new Facebook product on Thursday in California.

“On one level, this is just a mobile version of Facebook”, Mark said to the media on Thursday.

“At a deeper level, this can start to be a change in the relationship with how we use these computing devices,” he said.

This software provides the options of adding Facebook newsfeeds, messages and timeline photos to the home screens of Android devices.

Facebook ‘Home’ makes life easier for Facebook addicted users, but, there are concerns about battery life as downloading newsfeeds and photos in the background will kill the battery charges.

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Mobile phones turn 40 in first week of April http://www.khaama.com/mobile-phones-turn-40-in-first-week-of-april-36598 http://www.khaama.com/mobile-phones-turn-40-in-first-week-of-april-36598#comments Thu, 04 Apr 2013 16:34:59 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=24819 Mobile phones turn 40 in first week of April
The first cell phone was made in this week of 1973 and the first call was made by Martin Cooper. 40 years back, Inventor Mr. Cooper made the first call using a prototype Motorola DynaTac in New York City. The original DynaTac was 10 inches long and weighed 2.5 pounds, a behemoth by today’s standards. Read the full article...]]>
Mobile phones turn 40 in first week of April

The first cell phone was made in this week of 1973 and the first call was made by Martin Cooper.

40 years back, Inventor Mr. Cooper made the first call using a prototype Motorola DynaTac in New York City.

The original DynaTac was 10 inches long and weighed 2.5 pounds, a behemoth by today’s standards. For comparison, most modern smartphones weigh between four and six ounces.

Cellphones are everywhere in 2013. According to the U.N., the world has 6 billion cellphone subscribers, and more of them are moving into the realm of smartphones. Last fall, the tech research firm Strategic Analytics claims the global smartphone population topped 1 billion.

Today, Cooper helps run the tech incubator Dyna LLC. He also works as an adviser for companies and the government on telecommunications issues.

Mobile came to Afghanistan in 2002 after the fall of Taliban regime by Afghan-Wireless, the first Afghan telecom company.  Roshan, Afghan Telecom, MTN, Etisalat and Wasel Telecom companies are the largest telecom service providers in Afghanistan with over 10 million subscribers.

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Google launches “Google Nose” product on April Fools Day http://www.khaama.com/google-launches-google-nose-product-on-april-fools-day-1529 http://www.khaama.com/google-launches-google-nose-product-on-april-fools-day-1529#comments Mon, 01 Apr 2013 07:03:44 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=24711 Google launches “Google Nose” product on April Fools Day
Every year Google tries to outdo itself in pulling April Fool pranks and yet in another hoax product on April 1, 2013, it launched Google Nose, which Google says is “The new scentsation in search”. The search-engine giant has launched Google Nose Beta, which will allow you to search and smell such things. Product manager Read the full article...]]>
Google launches “Google Nose” product on April Fools Day

Every year Google tries to outdo itself in pulling April Fool pranks and yet in another hoax product on April 1, 2013, it launched Google Nose, which Google says is “The new scentsation in search”.

The search-engine giant has launched Google Nose Beta, which will allow you to search and smell such things.

Product manager Jon Wooly says, “Google Search is incredibly powerful, and you can search for text across the Internet, most of human knowledge, images, books, videos, but we realized there was an important part of the search experience we’d overlooked.”

Many tech companies usually participate in the fun, and last year there were pranks from Sony, Reddit, Twilio, and more. Google has a rich history of April Fools’ Day pranks, and last year it launched a clever 8-bit version of Google Maps for NES and Game

There is also the announcement that YouTube is shutting down at midnight – to allow a panel of experts to pick the best video ever for when the site relaunches in 2023.

The hilarious clip includes comments from some of the site’s biggest stars including the little boy who had a dazed conversation with his father following a dentist appointment and Judson Laipply from ‘Evolution of Dance’ clips.

April Fools’ Day, sometimes called All Fools’ Day, is one of the most light-hearted days of the year. Its origins are uncertain. Some see it as a celebration related to the turn of the seasons, while others believe it stems from the adoption of a new calendar.

Ancient cultures, including those of the Romans and Hindus, celebrated New Year’s Day on or around April 1. It closely follows the vernal equinox (March 20th or March 21st.) In medieval times, much of Europe celebrated March 25, the Feast of Annunciation, as the beginning of the new year.

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Importance of SEO for your business http://www.khaama.com/importance-of-seo-for-online-business-3214 http://www.khaama.com/importance-of-seo-for-online-business-3214#comments Mon, 04 Mar 2013 05:48:35 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=23813 Importance of SEO for your business
What is SEO? Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a portal in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more Read the full article...]]>
Importance of SEO for your business

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a portal in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.

As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. Optimizing a website may involve editing its content, HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Promoting a site to increase the number of backlinks, or inbound links, is another SEO tactic.

The plural of the abbreviation SEO can also refer to “search engine optimizers,” those who provide SEO services.

Alexa.com is a web information service website that ranks websites based on the number of visitors and page views. Alexa gets its data from its toolball users community.

Ten Benefits of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

 

1. The Results are Low Cost (In Comparison to Adwords and PPC)

Organic listings are essentially free. When you are listed at the top, you don’t need to pay per click or allocate a budget for advertising, one of the main benefits of SEO is that it is the gift that keeps on giving. With a little bit of effort (and some money upfront to pay for SEO costs) you can watch your website get consistent traffic. You don’t have to pay $10 for every person who clicks on your ad. Unlike paid ads, your traffic will not drop to nothing when it stops. SEO gets rid of the need to have thousands of ads across the web.

2. Definite Increase in Traffic

With Analytics and reporting tools, you’ll see a clear cut increase in traffic. This is a definite way to maximize your business efforts. SEO will give you results (not immediately but rather quickly) and as soon as you start your SEO efforts, traffic will increase at a steady rate. Using tools to track traffic to your site you can clearly watch as more people visit your site and sales go through the roof.

3. Higher Brand Credibility, People Trust Google

People trust that the first listing in google is a reputable company, by doing SEO, your website becomes THE brand name. You’re the guy the competitors want to beat. The further back you are in rankings on Google the more people are skeptical about your website. If google has a spot dedicated to you at the top especially if it is a top tier listing with other subpages listed below the main home page it gives your website credibility that no ad can top. Ads can often be seen as annoying and many people have ad blockers installed on their browsers.

4. Better ROI (Return on Investment) Than Normal Ads

When you buy 1000 visitors from a paid ad, 2% of those visitors might convert into a sale. When you get 1000 clicks from SEO, 4% of those visitors will convert into a sale, leading to a better return on investment. This higher conversion rate is just another one of the benefits of SEO that cannot be matched by any other form of marketing. Google searches actually get people who searched for the tag in your website. These people are actually looking for your product. Ads can be from anyone. Many people may misclick on an ad. A hit from google is much more valuable over a hit from an ad.

5. Your Competitors Are Doing It

SEO is a rising field and it is gaining ground. More people are starting to realize that the benefits of SEO are extremely high. Your competitors know this and are starting to take advantage of it. If your competitors are using it then they will appear before you on Google and get all those hits that can lead to sales before your website will. Even if your site offers better services or prices. Hiring a better SEO company or investing in a skilled SEO Staff could be exactly what your company needs to rank above your competitors in the Google rankings.

6. Take Your Business to the Next Level

SEO can bring it thousands upon thousands of visitors to your website a day. This may put your company in a position of needing to expand to a larger web server to accommodate the traffic and sales to your website. Your customers may recommend you a product or service that they were looking for when they visited your website. SEO is a really great investment for your company and could be what you need to take it to the next level.

7. 250 Million websites on the web, SEO makes you stand out

There are well over 250 million websites on the web. It can be pretty hard to make a name for yourself with that many out there. Especially if your product or service is highly competitive. Using SEO will make your brand stand out from the rest and can easily be the boost that you need to see your sales go through the roof.

8. 60% Of Clicks Go to the First Result

This means that only 40% of clicks are left for the second through the millionth result on google for the keyword. Securing that top spot on Google is a sure fire way to gain thousands upon thousands of visitors. SEO is certainly the tool needed to gain that top spot as well. For a small up front investment you are looking at potentially millions of sales.

9. You’ll Have Access to Data

What data you may ask? You get customer data. You can discover new products to expand to by looking at keyword data and seeing what people are searching the most for. You can use this to your advantage and find a high search volume keyword with low competitiveness and although that may be hard to find it has the potential to bring in thousands of sales per month to your website. Customer data is extremely valuable in this business and is not that hard to come by with the right tools. Manipulating it to your advantage can be exponentially beneficial for your business.

10. The Results are Permanent

Unlike advertisements the affects of SEO are permanent. They don’t suddenly stop if you stop paying for them. Of course you will need a little upkeep to maintain that top 1st spot ranking, but if you can get that top spot chances are it will be quite difficult for it to get taken away.

Search Engine Optimization in Afghanistan

Yet there are no SEO and online marketing companies in Afghanistan due to being no online business in the country.

Recently there are few online Classified Ads services and Jobs portal, none of which are integrated with online transaction system as Afghan banks yet have not started providing Credit Cards.

It is important for larger enterprises to hire professional web developers and SEO consultants to keep their web pages in first pages of search engines.

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Facebook become target of sophisticated hacking group http://www.khaama.com/facebook-become-target-of-sophisticated-hacking-group-1380 http://www.khaama.com/facebook-become-target-of-sophisticated-hacking-group-1380#comments Sat, 16 Feb 2013 07:23:14 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=23337 Facebook become target of sophisticated hacking group
Facebook Inc said on Friday hackers had infiltrated some of its employees’ laptops in recent weeks, making the world’s No.1 social network the latest victim of a wave of cyber attacks, many of which have been traced to China. The unsettling revelation is the latest breach to expose the digital cracks in a society and Read the full article...]]>
Facebook become target of sophisticated hacking group

Facebook Inc said on Friday hackers had infiltrated some of its employees’ laptops in recent weeks, making the world’s No.1 social network the latest victim of a wave of cyber attacks, many of which have been traced to China.

The unsettling revelation is the latest breach to expose the digital cracks in a society and an economy that is storing an ever-growing volume of personal and business data online.

The news didn’t seem to faze investors. Facebook Inc.’s stock dipped 10 cents to $28.22 in Friday’s extended trading.

“As soon as we discovered the presence of the malware, we remediated all infected machines, informed law enforcement, and began a significant investigation that continues to this day,” Facebook said.

It was not immediately clear why Facebook waited until now to announce the incident. Facebook declined to comment on the reason or the origin of the attack.

Facebook’s announcement follows recent cyber attacks on other prominent websites. Online short-messaging service Twitter acknowledged being hacked earlier this month. In that security breakdown, Twitter warned that the attackers may have stolen user names, email addresses and encrypted passwords belonging to 250,000 of the more than 200 million accounts set up on its service.

Newspaper websites, including those of The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, have said they have also been infiltrated. Those attacks were attributed by the news organisations to Chinese hackers targeting their coverage of China.

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Facebook social networking website turns nine-year-old today http://www.khaama.com/facebook-social-networking-website-turns-nine-year-old-today-1331 http://www.khaama.com/facebook-social-networking-website-turns-nine-year-old-today-1331#comments Mon, 04 Feb 2013 10:15:37 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=22886 Facebook social networking website turns nine-year-old today
The world’s most popular social networking website, Facebook has turned nine-year-old today. Facebook was started on February 4, 2004 in a dorm of Harvard University by Mark Zuckerburg with the help of his four friends Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum and Chris Hughes. With well over 1 billion users, it’s hard to believe that Read the full article...]]>
Facebook social networking website turns nine-year-old today

The world’s most popular social networking website, Facebook has turned nine-year-old today. Facebook was started on February 4, 2004 in a dorm of Harvard University by Mark Zuckerburg with the help of his four friends Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum and Chris Hughes.

With well over 1 billion users, it’s hard to believe that the site has not even been around for a decade.

Zuckeberg relaunched Facemash as TheFacebook.com, initially and the name was later changed to Facebook. In 2005, the site allowed users to upload pictures. Till date, Facebook has seen over 219 billion photos being uploaded.

By September 2006, Facebook began expanding and allowed anyone over 13 to join the site. It also got the News Feed in 2006.

Facebook CEO Zuckerburg recently announced a new feature called Graph Search, a tool that utilises social data to help compile results for users.

Additional features like Facebook Cards and voice calling on iPhone in North America to attract users were also rolled out by the company.

Facebook has been mired in controversies over privacy concerns, underage members, hacking attacks etc despite tremendous growth.

The CEO of Facebook Zuckerburg has been dragged into lawsuits over stealing the idea for Facebook from his seniors at Harvard – Cameron Winklewoss, Tyler Winklewoss and Divya Narendra.

A separate case also filed by Co-founder Eduardo Saverin accusing Zuckerburg for pushing him out of the company. Both the cases were settled out of court.

Facebook in 2012 floated its IPO and the company went public with a peak market capitalisation of over $104 billion. The hype was short-lived and the stock of the company soon took a battering however the company is set to evolve more this year. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has indicated that in the earnings call, highlighting that mobile and new elements will be the key to the site’s future.

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Cyber-Attacks: Hackers compromise 250000 Twitter accounts http://www.khaama.com/cyber-attacks-hackers-compromise-250000-twitter-accounts-2161 http://www.khaama.com/cyber-attacks-hackers-compromise-250000-twitter-accounts-2161#comments Sat, 02 Feb 2013 18:26:48 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=22829 Cyber-Attacks: Hackers compromise 250000 Twitter accounts
A quarter of a million Twitter users may have had their passwords and email addresses stolen by hackers, the social networking site has warned. The company said a blog post by Bob Lord on Friday it detected attempts to gain access to its user data earlier in the week. It shut down one attack moments Read the full article...]]>
Cyber-Attacks: Hackers compromise 250000 Twitter accounts

A quarter of a million Twitter users may have had their passwords and email addresses stolen by hackers, the social networking site has warned.

The company said a blog post by Bob Lord on Friday it detected attempts to gain access to its user data earlier in the week. It shut down one attack moments after it was detected.

In the Arab World, many users have taken to Twitter to complain that their accounts were among those affected by the hacking.

“We discovered one live attack and were able to shut it down in process moments later,” wrote Lord. “However, our investigation has thus far indicated that the attackers may have had access to limited user information — usernames, email addresses, session tokens and encrypted/salted versions of passwords — for approximately 250,000 users.”

But security experts warned that the hackers had possession of a potentially valuable cache of information, as many people’s Twitter passwords are identical to those they use for other purposes, including banking.

In the meantime one expert said that the Twitter hack probably happened after an employee’s home or work computer was compromised through vulnerabilities in Java, a commonly used computing language whose weaknesses have been well publicised.

Twitter reset the pilfered passwords and has said all affected users would receive an e-mail notifying them that they need to create a new password.

The online attack comes on the heels of recent hacks into the computer systems of US media and technology companies, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Both American newspapers reported this week that their computer systems had been infiltrated by China-based hackers, likely to monitor media coverage the Chinese government deems important.

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Massive Asteroid to pass close the earth in 2 weeks http://www.khaama.com/massive-asteroid-to-pass-close-the-earth-in-2-weeks-1312 http://www.khaama.com/massive-asteroid-to-pass-close-the-earth-in-2-weeks-1312#comments Thu, 31 Jan 2013 07:07:10 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=22749 Massive Asteroid to pass close the earth in 2 weeks
According to reports Asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass inside the geosynchronous satellite ring, located about 35,800 km above the equator. Its orbit about the sun can bring it no closer to the Earth’s surface than 3.2 Earth radii on February 15, 2013. Given the radius of the Earth, it will be about 28,000 km from Read the full article...]]>
Massive Asteroid to pass close the earth in 2 weeks

According to reports Asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass inside the geosynchronous satellite ring, located about 35,800 km above the equator. Its orbit about the sun can bring it no closer to the Earth’s surface than 3.2 Earth radii on February 15, 2013.

Given the radius of the Earth, it will be about 28,000 km from the earth’s surface, a small distance in terms of astronomical figures.

The asteroid discovered by amateur astronomer Gary Hug was first noticed on the west edge on the field of vision provided by the camera he had attached to his telescope.

The massive asteroid weighs approximately 143,000 tons and measures 148 feet long. That means that the asteroid is roughly half the size of a football field. According to scientists Don Yeoman this massive asteroid is similar to the one believed to have leveled hundreds of square miles of Siberian forest back in 1908.

“This is a record-setting close approach,” says Don Yeomans of NASA’s Near Earth Object Program at JPL. “Since regular sky surveys began in the 1990s, we’ve never seen an object this big get so close to Earth.”

In the meantime astronomer Gary Hug who has been studying asteroids for the past 15 years and has been credited with discovering hundreds of main belt asteroids said “It was traveling too slow for most satellites but moving about 10 times faster than main belt asteroids, Within 15 minutes, this asteroid was listed on the NEOCP at the Minor Planet Center.”

That massive impact is called the “Tunguska Event.” According to NASA, this particular asteroid will pass harmlessly by the Earth. However, on a cosmic scale it is passing quite close to our planet.

Nasa’s Goldstone radar in the Mojave Desert is scheduled to ping 2012 DA14 almost every day from Feb. 16th through 20th, and it is expected to brighten to the point of looking like an 8th degree star according to Nasa.

The next close approach will be on February 16, 2046 when it will pass no closer than 60,000 km, from the centre of the earth.

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Only 3 percent Afghans have proper access to internet http://www.khaama.com/only-3-percent-afghans-have-proper-access-to-internet-2114 http://www.khaama.com/only-3-percent-afghans-have-proper-access-to-internet-2114#comments Wed, 16 Jan 2013 16:31:53 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=22291 Only 3 percent Afghans have proper access to internet
Worldwide, 32% of adults in 2011 reported having home Internet access, according to Gallup surveys conducted in 148 countries.  This is up from 29% in 2010 and 25% in 2009, marking the continuation of a steady uptick each year that Gallup has conducted surveys worldwide. According to the survey report around 93% people in Sweden Read the full article...]]>
Only 3 percent Afghans have proper access to internet

Worldwide, 32% of adults in 2011 reported having home Internet access, according to Gallup surveys conducted in 148 countries.  This is up from 29% in 2010 and 25% in 2009, marking the continuation of a steady uptick each year that Gallup has conducted surveys worldwide.

According to the survey report around 93% people in Sweden and Singapore have access to internet, and is followed Denmark and Holland where people have more access to internet while United States secures 23 position in providing internet connection facilities to Americans.

Based on the survey report after interviewing millions of people across the world, only 3% of the Afghan people have access to internet connection.

Omer Mansoor Ansari chief of the national information technology association of Afghanistan said, “Based on the statistics of
the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), around 1,250,000 Afghans which comprises 4.2% of the population have access to
internet.”

Analysts belive that low speed and high cost are the two main reasons which discourage Afghans to have less access to internet despite the Afghan telecommunication and information technology ministry has repeatedly informed of the fibre optic technology development in the country however there has been no considerable change in internet prices in Afghanistan.

Mr. Ansari pointing towards the issues said, “One of the main issue which prevents the growht of internet network in Afghanistan is because of higher price and the Afghan government should step up efforts to reduce the internet cost so that the ordinary Afghans can have access to it.”

In the meantime Afghan telecommunication and information technology minister Amirzai Sangin said, “We have been able to bring changes in internet cost in Afghanistan during the recent two years. The internet prices will be further reduced and we are 100% sure that all Afghans will have proper access to internet with lower costs.”

Despite a considerable reduction in internet costs have been noted in Afghanistan recently however analysts are saying that the changes are not adequate and the Afghan people are expecting more changes and further practical steps in this regard.

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YouTube website unblocked in Afghanistan: Raheen http://www.khaama.com/youtube-website-unblocked-in-afghanistan-raheen-2093 http://www.khaama.com/youtube-website-unblocked-in-afghanistan-raheen-2093#comments Sat, 05 Jan 2013 17:28:09 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=22008 YouTube website unblocked in Afghanistan: Raheen
Afghan information and culture minister Syed Makhdom Raheen on Saturday said the YouTube website was unblocked in Afghanistan. The website was banned by the Afghan government following the broadcast of the insulting movie on Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) however Afghan information and culture minister Syed Makhdom Raheen in his Facebook page wrote, “YouTube has been unblocked, Read the full article...]]>
YouTube website unblocked in Afghanistan: Raheen

Afghan information and culture minister Syed Makhdom Raheen on Saturday said the YouTube website was unblocked in Afghanistan.

The website was banned by the Afghan government following the broadcast of the insulting movie on Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) however Afghan information and culture minister Syed Makhdom Raheen in his Facebook page wrote, “YouTube has been unblocked, but I am not sure if we have learnt the culture and discipline on how to YouTube or not. It was good to test the experience.”

An official in Afghan telecommunication ministry Abdul Malik Nazari, who are monitoring the filtering of websites in Afghanistan said the website of YouTube was unblocked following a formal letter from the information and culture ministry.

YouTube users welcoming the decision by information and culture ministry said they are now able to enter the website.

The website was previously blocked for the users accessing internet through state controlled internet service provider and other private internet service providers including mobile telecom companies.

However internet users out of the control of the Afghan government had only limited access to youTube website and a consider number of viewers in international organizations could access the website.

In the meantime users of the Facebook website in Afghanistan largely campaigned to unblock the YouTube website and a few users called on the government to end extremism.

The comments by information and culture minister regarding the unblocking of YouTube website was largely welcomed by Facebook users however his comments regarding the culture and discipline on how to use the website was criticized.

But Mr. Raheen’s gesture was towards the contents being displayed in YouTube was those materials which are considered to be unethical in Afghanistan.

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NASA: No Universal Blackout in December 2012 http://www.khaama.com/nasa-no-universal-blackout-in-december-2012 http://www.khaama.com/nasa-no-universal-blackout-in-december-2012#comments Sat, 01 Dec 2012 07:20:29 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=20808 NASA: No Universal Blackout in December 2012
NASA deny reports regarding a universal blackout which has been predicted during 23-25 Dec 2012 due to Earth Alignment. This comes as unconfirmed reports quoting US scientists predicted Universe change, total blackout of planet for 3 days from Dec 23 2012. The report also added that it is not the end of the world, it Read the full article...]]>
NASA: No Universal Blackout in December 2012

NASA deny reports regarding a universal blackout which has been predicted during 23-25 Dec 2012 due to Earth Alignment.

This comes as unconfirmed reports quoting US scientists predicted Universe change, total blackout of planet for 3 days from Dec 23 2012.

The report also added that it is not the end of the world, it is an alignment of the Universe, where the Sun and the earth will align for the first time. The earth will shift from the current third dimension to zero dimension, then shift to the forth dimension. During this transition, the entire Universe will face a big change, and we will see a entire brand new world.

However NASA has said, “Neither NASA nor any other scientific organization is predicting such a blackout. The false reports on this issue claim that some sort of “alignment of the Universe” will cause a blackout. There is no such alignment (see next question). Some versions of this rumor cite an emergency preparedness message from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. This is simply a message encouraging people to be prepared for emergencies, recorded as part of a wider government preparedness campaign. It never mentions a blackout.”

The officials further added, “There are no planetary alignments in the next few decades and even if these alignments were to occur, their effects on the Earth would be negligible. One major alignment occurred in 1962, for example, and two others happened during 1982 and 2000. Each December the Earth and sun align with the approximate center of the Milky Way Galaxy but that is an annual event of no consequence.”

The 2012 phenomenon comprises a range of eschatological beliefs according to which cataclysmic or transformative events will occur on 21 December 2012. This date is regarded as the end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar. Various astronomical alignments and numerological formulae have been proposed as pertaining to this date, though none have been accepted by mainstream scholarship.

The phenomenon was followed after Mayan archaeologists met in Guatemala and confirmed the end date for the Mayan Prophecy is December 21, 2012.  That’s when the world will end.

Archaeologists reviewed a newly discovered 1,300 year-old Maya text that provides only the second reference to the “end date” of the Maya calendar on December 21, 2012.  The discovery, one of the most significant hieroglyphic find in decades, was announced at the National Palace in Guatemala.

The Mayan phenomena was refused by various scientists and Astrobiology Institutes since Maya calendar doesn’t end in 2012, as some have said, and the ancients never viewed this year as the time of the end of the world.

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NASA’s rover Curiosity safely lands on planet of Mars http://www.khaama.com/nasas-rover-curiosity-safely-lands-on-planet-of-mars-072 http://www.khaama.com/nasas-rover-curiosity-safely-lands-on-planet-of-mars-072#comments Mon, 06 Aug 2012 06:40:42 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=17770 NASA’s rover Curiosity safely lands on planet of Mars
Curiosity, the largest and most advanced spacecraft ever sent to another planet, stuck its extraordinary landing Sunday night without a hitch and is poised to begin its pioneering two-year hunt for the building blocks of life — signs that Earth’s creatures may not be alone in the universe. “Touchdown confirmed,” said engineer Allen Chen. “We’re Read the full article...]]>
NASA’s rover Curiosity safely lands on planet of Mars

Curiosity, the largest and most advanced spacecraft ever sent to another planet, stuck its extraordinary landing Sunday night without a hitch and is poised to begin its pioneering two-year hunt for the building blocks of life — signs that Earth’s creatures may not be alone in the universe.

“Touchdown confirmed,” said engineer Allen Chen. “We’re safe on Mars.”

Minutes after touchdown, Curiosity beamed back the first pictures from the surface showing its wheel and its shadow, cast by the afternoon sun.

It was NASA’s seventh landing on Earth’s neighbour; many other attempts by the U.S. and other countries to zip past, circle or set down on Mars have gone awry.

The arrival was an engineering tour de force, debuting never-before-tried acrobatics packed into “seven minutes of terror” as Curiosity sliced through the Martian atmosphere at 13,000 mph.

Over the next two years, Curiosity will drive over to a mountain rising from the crater floor, poke into rocks and scoop up rust-tinted soil to see if the region ever had the right environment for microscopic organisms to thrive. It’s the latest chapter in the long-running quest to find out whether primitive life arose early in the planet’s history.

The voyage to Mars took more than eight months and spanned 352 million miles. The trickiest part of the journey? The landing. Because Curiosity weighs nearly a ton, engineers drummed up a new and more controlled way to set the rover down. The last Mars rovers, twins Spirit and Opportunity, were cocooned in air bags and bounced to a stop in 2004.

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Facebook launches specialised store offering Mobile Apps http://www.khaama.com/facebook-launches-specialised-store-offering-mobile-apps-919 http://www.khaama.com/facebook-launches-specialised-store-offering-mobile-apps-919#comments Thu, 10 May 2012 11:09:38 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=14936 Facebook launches specialised store offering Mobile Apps
Facebook is getting into the app store game, announcing an initiative called App Center which it claims will help developers get their social web and mobile applications discovered by more people. The app store will also allow developers to sell apps direct to consumers for the first time via the network. It’s the latest in Read the full article...]]>
Facebook launches specialised store offering Mobile Apps

Facebook is getting into the app store game, announcing an initiative called App Center which it claims will help developers get their social web and mobile applications discovered by more people.

The app store will also allow developers to sell apps direct to consumers for the first time via the network.
It’s the latest in a series of moves to ‘spruce up’ the number one social network in advance of a flotation on the stock market expected to take place later this month – and to convince investors it CAN earn more money.

Facebook software engineer Aaron Brady said the upcoming new App Center “gives developers an additional way to grow their apps and creates opportunities for more types of apps to be successful.”

Indeed, “For the over 900 million people that use Facebook, the App Center will become the new, central place to find great apps like Draw Something, Pinterest, Spotify, Battle Pirates, Viddy, and Bubble Witch Saga,” Brady said.

Apps will be sorted by category, including games, communications, lifestyle, music, news, photos & videos, sports, travel & local, TV & movies and utilities. Each app gets its own page on the store, which will become the first thing Facebook users see when searching for it – but only if it’s deemed good enough.

‘For the over 900 million people that use Facebook, the App Center will become the new, central place to find great apps like Draw Something, Pinterest, Spotify, Battle Pirates, Viddy, and Bubble Witch Saga,’ said the site’s developer blog.

Facebook also is giving developers the opportunity to offer paid apps with a “simple-to-implement” payment feature that enables users to pay a flat fee to use an app on Facebook.com.

What’s interesting about App Center is the change of emphasis that it represents for Facebook. The social network’s app discovery has traditionally been focused on a mixture of virality – those messages that get posted in people’s news streams – and advertising.

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Google launch online Drive cloud storage services http://www.khaama.com/google-launch-online-drive-cloud-storage-services-793 http://www.khaama.com/google-launch-online-drive-cloud-storage-services-793#comments Tue, 24 Apr 2012 19:26:33 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=14178 Google launch online Drive cloud storage services
Google launches ‘Drive’ online music and video storage service which could render PC hard drives obsolete. Drive is a free storage system for videos, photos, documents, PDFs – and will allow users to ‘drag and drop’ their files direct from PCs or Macs instead of storing them on their own hard drives. With Google Drive, Read the full article...]]>
Google launch online Drive cloud storage services

Google launches ‘Drive’ online music and video storage service which could render PC hard drives obsolete. Drive is a free storage system for videos, photos, documents, PDFs – and will allow users to ‘drag and drop’ their files direct from PCs or Macs instead of storing them on their own hard drives.

With Google Drive, you can access your stuff from anywhere—on the web, in your home, at the office and while running errands. Users can install Drive on their Macs or PCs and can download the Drive app to their Android phones or tablets. The company says that it is working on a drive app for iOS devices.

Google Docs is also built right into Google Drive, so users can work with others in real time on documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

Google Drive will offer 5 GB of storage for free, 24 GB for $2.49/month, 100 GB for $4.99/month, and 1 whopping TB of storage for $49.99/month. While the 1 TB of storage doesn’t come cheap, forking over $2.49 or $4.99 a month is pocket change. You can definitely part with your morning coffee for one day to pay for that amount of cloud storage.

Google Drive also features a new search function, which will allow you to not only search by filename or file type, but also by text in scanned documents. Image recognition searches will also be allowed, although Google warns that it “is still in its early stages, and we [Google] expect it to get better over time.”

Google has been widely rumoured to be releasing such a service for weeks – and rivals have already begun to respond to the ‘threat’ posed by the search giant.

Online storage company Dropbox has made it easier to share content such as videos via its 50-million-user ‘cloud’ storage service, in advance of the launch of a rival from web giant Google.

Dropbox has altered its service so users can share simply by sending an emailed link rather than sharing folders.

Microsoft’s SkyDrive service has also been upgraded in advanced of Google’s launch, with users able to drag files into SkyDrive from Windows 7 machines.

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The impact of facebook on Afghan society http://www.khaama.com/adverse-effects-of-facebook-on-afghans-451 http://www.khaama.com/adverse-effects-of-facebook-on-afghans-451#comments Mon, 23 Apr 2012 09:03:01 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=14096 The impact of facebook on Afghan society
Before to begin this reformatory piece of writing, let’s have a bird’s eye view on Facebook being used worldwide, particularly here in Afghanistan. The technology of Facebook got access to many computers in the last few years in almost all major cities of Afghanistan where communication is comparatively easier. People and youth in particular, became Read the full article...]]>
The impact of facebook on Afghan society

Before to begin this reformatory piece of writing, let’s have a bird’s eye view on Facebook being used worldwide, particularly here in Afghanistan. The technology of Facebook got access to many computers in the last few years in almost all major cities of Afghanistan where communication is comparatively easier.

People and youth in particular, became interested in this technology as it is a source of finding friends inside and outside the country. Since then, the popularity of Facebook increased to the extent that it became a part and parcel of almost every computer of majority youth now-a-days.

Despite the innovation and the revolution in the field of networking Facebook has brought, the disadvantages of over using Facebook should also be taken into account, however, face book has some disadvantages besides its advantages but as I think, it has more disadvantages as compare to its advantages for the majority of Afghan youth who are illiterate and are unable to browse Facebook properly. A literate person uses Facebook just for his needs and not more than it as he knows that over usage of Facebook waste ones time and can also cause physical strains.

The biggest disadvantage of Facebook is that it can be proved a threat to one’s life as it was reported some time ago that a mother killed her infant because it was crying in hunger while she was browsing Facebook. I have came across almost similar incident here when one of my friends busy in his mobile phone Facebook while driving a car collided his car with another car that resulted in the injury of three persons.

This incident compelled me to write a precautionary note for my fellow youth. On the other hand, Facebook has many merits such as a fastest and free medium of communication, the best source for finding old friends, sharing of feelings, videos, photos, views, chatting, cheap medium for promotional materials and getting valuable information, but our youth are unable yet to avail themselves of these benefits properly. They use Facebook just for entertainment and gossip purposes.

Many people make fake profiles with their names changed in order to deceive or harass others. This is more common against girls where people simply make a fake profile and start harassing them.  Similarly, Facebook is too much addicting which often kills our valuable time. Using Facebook for our need is not bad but when we waste most of your valuable time than it becomes bad. Students who are addicted to Facebook often perform poorly in exams.

So from the above statement it is clear that Facebook can be dangerous as well.

Author: Ahmad Shoaib, Jalalabad

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Iran cuts off access to internet by August http://www.khaama.com/iran-cuts-off-access-to-internet-by-august http://www.khaama.com/iran-cuts-off-access-to-internet-by-august#comments Tue, 10 Apr 2012 08:21:06 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=13483 Iran cuts off access to internet by August
According to reports Iran shuts down access to internet and cuts off access to many popular websites and email services by August 2012. Reza Taghipour, Minister of Information and Technology of Iran said in a statement that they will introduce a local Intranet in order to provide clean and filtered internet services to the country. Read the full article...]]>
Iran cuts off access to internet by August

According to reports Iran shuts down access to internet and cuts off access to many popular websites and email services by August 2012.

Reza Taghipour, Minister of Information and Technology of Iran said in a statement that they will introduce a local Intranet in order to provide clean and filtered internet services to the country.

The new project is set to start next month and it will block the popular websites like Google, Yahoo and Hotmail and will replace them with government Intranet alternatives like Iran Mail and Iran Search Engines.

Other services will remain online until August 2012 when Iran government introduce a full blocking system of the worldwide web, confirmed by Reza Taghipour in a statement.

“All internet service providers must only provide national internet by August 2012”, said Reza Taghipour, the Communication Minister.

He further added that the open internet promotes disunity, crimes, unsound moral contents and atheism in Iran.

This comes as Iran’s government announced its intention to take the country off the grid last July, and this year saw ominous signs of that threat developing as it began monitoring Internet cafe usage and blocking VPN (virtual private network) systems during what were said to be tests of an intranet system.

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Afghanistan to implement 3G services in next one month http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-to-implement-3g-services-in-next-one-month-870 http://www.khaama.com/afghanistan-to-implement-3g-services-in-next-one-month-870#comments Sun, 18 Mar 2012 17:01:28 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=12606 Afghanistan to implement 3G services in next one month
Officials in the ministry of telecommunication of Afghanistan announced to implement the service of 3G in Afghanistan within the next 1 month. The 3G service will enable participants of telecom companies in Afghanistan to have access to high speed internet in thier mobile phones besides having access to multimedia services including visual and audio services. Read the full article...]]>
Afghanistan to implement 3G services in next one month

Officials in the ministry of telecommunication of Afghanistan announced to implement the service of 3G in Afghanistan within the next 1 month.

The 3G service will enable participants of telecom companies in Afghanistan to have access to high speed internet in thier mobile phones besides having access to multimedia services including visual and audio services.

Afghan telecommunications ministry signed an agreement with a private company in Kabul to provide 3G services in the country.

The officials also added, Afghanistan will earn around $100 million annually through 3G services.

Afghanistan witnessed a rapid growth in telecommunication services during the past years where fewer Afghans can be seen without having access to mobile phones.

However 3G services will further boost improvements in telecom sector in Afghanistan.

The tender for the provision of 3G services was put into tender by Afghan telecommunication ministry few months back where Etisalat was announced as the winner to provide the services in Afghanistan.

Afghan telecommunication minister Amirzai Sangeen while signing the contract said all the telecom companies will provide 3G services in the country in the near future.

Currently Afghanistan is being served by 5 private telecom companies however only 1 telelcom company will have access to provide 3G services during the initial period while the 3G technology will cover all the regions of the country in the next two years.

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Bee my friend? Depends on your face http://www.khaama.com/bee-my-friend-depends-on-your-face-874 http://www.khaama.com/bee-my-friend-depends-on-your-face-874#comments Sat, 17 Mar 2012 19:40:15 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=12573 Bee my friend? Depends on your face
Bees can be trained to sniff out explosives and cocaine, and here’s something else they can be trained to do: tell apart one human face from another, according to a study published in the February issue of Journal of Experimental Biology. The way to get a bee to choose you to be its friend: droplets of sugar Read the full article...]]>
Bee my friend? Depends on your face

Bees can be trained to sniff out explosives and cocaine, and here’s something else they can be trained to do: tell apart one human face from another, according to a study published in the February issue of Journal of Experimental Biology.

The way to get a bee to choose you to be its friend: droplets of sugar water.

The study’s authors placed a sugar solution in front of a picture of simple symbols arranged in a “normal” face-like image — two dots for eyes, a short vertical dash for a nose and a longer horizontal line for a mouth — then rewarded the bee for going to the photo.

Dr. Arian Dyer from Monash University, Dr. Martin Giurfa from the Universite´ de Toulouse, France, and their team conducted the study.

They then added in other dot-dash images to the mix with the symbols cramped together, others with them farther apart, and the bees continuously went to the original photo — the one most face-like and where the reward was given — even after the sugar solution was taken away.

The researchers say this proves that the bee could recognize a specific pattern and remember it as a reward source. But now they wanted to see if the insect could distinguish between more complex, more human-like faces.

Presented with a completely fresh series of images where the dot-dash faces from before were laid on top of photographs of real faces, the bees still favored the real face photo with the original, most face-like dot-dash arrangement on it. Then, when the “dot-dash face” was taken off, still the bees flew toward the real face photo that was organized most like a normal human face.

When the team tried scrambling the real face photos — moving the eyes, nose and mouth — the bees no longer recognized the images as faces and treated them like unknown patterns.

The theory is these intelligent, but incredibly small-brained, insects probably use this facial recognition strategy to learn about the environment around them, because they certainly have no need to remember who we are. Unless they want to bee friends.

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Facebook’s Timeline-application http://www.khaama.com/facebooks-timeline-application-874 http://www.khaama.com/facebooks-timeline-application-874#comments Mon, 20 Feb 2012 10:27:09 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=11536 Facebook’s Timeline-application
Facebook has recently introduced the Timeline application that has received mixed reactions from its users. The concerns over the application’s invasion of privacy are rising. ESET Middle East, the technology company dedicated to developing high-performing security solutions and detecting malware, has warned of cyber threats that may result from the Timeline application. The new facebook Read the full article...]]>
Facebook’s Timeline-application

Facebook has recently introduced the Timeline application that has received mixed reactions from its users. The concerns over the application’s invasion of privacy are rising. ESET Middle East, the technology company dedicated to developing high-performing security solutions and detecting malware, has warned of cyber threats that may result from the Timeline application. The new facebook feature allows a growing number of scams and malicious campaigns offering fake applications.

At the moment, the feature is not mandatory. Once the Timeline has been activated, users cannot deactivate it.  However, last month Facebook said it would be making the feature mandatory soon.

ESET Middle East general manager Aji Joseph explained: “The fake pages/ apps urges users to click on ‘Like’ buttons in order to activate a feature that allows them to enable or disable the Timeline whenever they want on their profiles. After the entire process is complete, a message appears saying ‘the Timeline Office will take care of their request’. Likes is the most common activity on Facebook, which could possibly dupe users to malicious scams”.

Joseph advises users to keep their privacy settings updated and avoid adding unknown people as friend. Lax privacy settings can lead to false profiles being created in your name, personal details being invaded and your computer being exposed to malware like viruses and worms.

He also added to avoid links to videos which take you to malicious websites and web pages that give you the option to disable the Timeline. “Be careful about what you ‘Like’ on Facebook”.

 Author: Samadi. Kabul, Afghanistan

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Mobiles Outnumber Humans in 2012 http://www.khaama.com/mobiles-outnumber-humans-in-2012 http://www.khaama.com/mobiles-outnumber-humans-in-2012#comments Thu, 16 Feb 2012 11:11:00 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=11437 Mobiles Outnumber Humans in 2012
According to the latest analysis of global mobile data by Cisco, mobile devices will outnumber humans this year. By 2016 there will be 10 billion mobile connected devices around the world which will translate into networks carrying 130 exabytes of data each year, equivalent to 33 billion DVDs. “By 2016, 60% of mobile users – Read the full article...]]>
Mobiles Outnumber Humans in 2012

According to the latest analysis of global mobile data by Cisco, mobile devices will outnumber humans this year. By 2016 there will be 10 billion mobile connected devices around the world which will translate into networks carrying 130 exabytes of data each year, equivalent to 33 billion DVDs. “By 2016, 60% of mobile users – three billion people worldwide – will belong to the Gigabyte Club, each generating more than one gigabyte of mobile data traffic per month,” said Suraj Shetty, vice-president of products and solutions at Cisco.

The data consumption is pushed by various factors. One is the increase in the usage of tablet devices which consume even more data than smartphones. According to Cisco, tablet use exploded in 2011 – tripling to 34 million devices, each of which is generating over three times more traffic than smartphones. By 2016 it predicts that tablets will account for more than 10% of global mobile traffic.

The second factor is the availability of faster networks like 4G, which accounts for 6% of mobile data traffic. Using mobile data on a 4G connection generates 28% more traffic than a non-4G connection, according to Cisco’s report. A faster network allows for more video streaming, which results into more traffic.

Recently, Android has reached iPhone level in terms of its consumption of bandwidth, mainly in the US and Western Europe. As speeds and quality increase, it is more tempting for users to start watching video on mobiles.

Author: Samadi, Kabul – Afghanistan

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Soyuz launches Pleiades satellite‎ in French Guiana‎ http://www.khaama.com/soyuz-launches-159 http://www.khaama.com/soyuz-launches-159#comments Sat, 17 Dec 2011 04:43:16 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=8839 Soyuz launches Pleiades satellite‎ in French Guiana‎
Saturday, December 17, 2011 – A Soyuz rocket carrying six satellites has been launched from French Guiana in the Russian-built rocket’s second mission this year. The satellites weigh a total of more than 4,400 pounds (2,000 kilograms). The Soyuz put six satellites in orbit, including France’s new Pleiades-1 high-resolution imaging spacecraft. The rocket will first Read the full article...]]>
Soyuz launches Pleiades satellite‎ in French Guiana‎

Saturday, December 17, 2011 – A Soyuz rocket carrying six satellites has been launched from French Guiana in the Russian-built rocket’s second mission this year.

The satellites weigh a total of more than 4,400 pounds (2,000 kilograms).

The Soyuz put six satellites in orbit, including France’s new Pleiades-1 high-resolution imaging spacecraft.

The rocket will first release a French Earthobservation satellite followed by four French micro-satellites. A Chilean Earth observation satellite will be released last.

Pleiades is designed to provide images to military and civilian customers, while the four smaller satellites will be used to gather electronic intelligence for the military, according to Arianespace.

The spacecraft’s sensor actually has a resolution of 70cm, but image processing will recover detail that is around the half-metre mark.

According to Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES) , the Pleiades satellites each carry a Korsch telescope with a primary mirror 2.1 feet in diameter. Its CCD detectors are 40 times more sensitive to light than those in standard consumer digital cameras.

Built by Astrium of France, Pleiades 1 will collect up to 450 images per day with a peak resolution of 70 centimeters, or about 2.3 feet. CNES says special processing can sharpen the images to a resolution of 50 centimeters, or less than 20 inches, placing the satellite among the top commercial observation platforms worldwide.

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Astronomers confirm new earth-like planet http://www.khaama.com/astronomers-confrim-901 http://www.khaama.com/astronomers-confrim-901#comments Mon, 05 Dec 2011 18:42:48 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=8380 Astronomers confirm new earth-like planet
Monday, December 05, 2011 – A planet about twice the size of Earth has been confirmed to exist right in the middle of the “habitable zone” around its star, which is much like our own. According to Astronomers the planet Kepler 22-b lies about 600 light-years away and is about 2.4 times the size of Read the full article...]]>
Astronomers confirm new earth-like planet

Monday, December 05, 2011 – A planet about twice the size of Earth has been confirmed to exist right in the middle of the “habitable zone” around its star, which is much like our own.

According to Astronomers the planet Kepler 22-b lies about 600 light-years away and is about 2.4 times the size of Earth, and has a temperature of about 22C, making it the smallest planet ever found in the middle of the habitable zone around a star – the area where liquid water, and therefore life as we know it, can theoretically exist. The planet orbits a star similar to our sun, but slightly smaller and cooler. It completes the orbit every 290 days. Scientists don’t yet know whether it is a rocky, gaseous or liquid-covered planet.

While speaking during a press briefing on Monday  William Borucki, lead Kepler researcher at NASA’s Ames Research Center said, “If the greenhouse warming was similar on this planet and if it had a surface, its temperature would be something like 72 degrees Fahrenheit, a very pleasant temperature here on the Earth.”

He also said, We are certain that it is in the habitable zone and if it has a surface it ought to have a nice temperature.

This comes as French astronomers earlier this year confirmed the first exoplanet to meet key requirements for sustaining life, but Kepler 22b, initially glimpsed in 2009, is the first the US space agency has been able to confirm.

The Kepler team had to wait for three passes of the planet before upping its status from “candidate” to “confirmed”.

Accoding to William Borucki, Kepler principal investigator at Nasa’s Ames Research Center, the first transit was captured just three days after we declared the spacecraft operationally ready. We witnessed the defining third transit over the 2010 holiday season.

]]> http://www.khaama.com/astronomers-confrim-901/feed 0 NASA launches $2.5 billion Mars Rover http://www.khaama.com/nasa-launches-2-5-billion-mars-rover-617 http://www.khaama.com/nasa-launches-2-5-billion-mars-rover-617#comments Sun, 27 Nov 2011 06:29:49 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=7999 NASA launches $2.5 billion Mars Rover
Sunday, November 27, 2011 – In a bid to investigate he Red Planet could ever have hosted microbial life, The world’s biggest extraterrestrial explorer NASA has launched its next Mars rover. The car-size Curiosity rover blasted off atop its Atlas 5 rocket at 10:02 a.m. ET Saturday, streaking into a cloudy sky above Cape Canaveral Air Read the full article...]]>
NASA launches $2.5 billion Mars Rover

Sunday, November 27, 2011 – In a bid to investigate he Red Planet could ever have hosted microbial life, The world’s biggest extraterrestrial explorer NASA has launched its next Mars rover.

The car-size Curiosity rover blasted off atop its Atlas 5 rocket at 10:02 a.m. ET Saturday, streaking into a cloudy sky above Cape Canaveral Air Force Station here. It will take eight and a half months for Curiosity to make the 345-million-mile journey to Mars and  is due to arrive at the Red Planet on 6 August 2012.

NASA began planning Curiosity’s mission — which is officially known as the Mars Science Laboratory, or MSL — back in 2003. The rover was originally scheduled to blast off in 2009, but it wasn’t ready in time.

Curiosity project manager Peter Theisinger said, “Our spacecraft is in excellent health and it’s on its way to Mars.”

The rover, about 10 feet long and 9 feet wide, should be able to go farther and work harder than any previous Mars explorer because of its power source: 10.6 pounds of radioactive plutonium. The nuclear generator was encased in several protective layers in case of a launching accident.

This comes as a senior space agency official this week called Mars the “Death Planet” because so many missions have failed to get down in one piece.

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Afghan MOT : 3G wil be coming in 6 months http://www.khaama.com/afghan-mot-3g-wil-be-coming-in-6-months-912 http://www.khaama.com/afghan-mot-3g-wil-be-coming-in-6-months-912#comments Thu, 27 Oct 2011 04:35:49 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=7271 Afghan MOT : 3G wil be coming in 6 months
Thursday, October 27, 2011 – Afghanistan Telecommunication Ministry announced that they are working hard to bring 3G system in Afghanistan within next 6 months. 3G is a new system in telecommunication that enables users to share graphics and videos and also high internet services are provided with it. Afghan government wants to implement this system Read the full article...]]>
Afghan MOT : 3G wil be coming in 6 months

Thursday, October 27, 2011 – Afghanistan Telecommunication Ministry announced that they are working hard to bring 3G system in Afghanistan within next 6 months.

3G is a new system in telecommunication that enables users to share graphics and videos and also high internet services are provided with it.

Afghan government wants to implement this system in Afghanistan big cities in next six months, but many Afghans emphasizes that the government should control the quality and price for this system.

Meanwhile, many people have concerns that this system will be expensive for people with low economy level and will only be for the use of rich people.

According to MOT officials six US and Europe based companies have expressed their intention in investing in Afghanistan for provision of 3G service.

Amirzai  Sangeen, Minister of Telecommunication said to media, “3G enables users to share pictures and videos beside conversation. The most important feature of this system is the high speed internet service. This system will be activated within next 6 months in big cities of Afghanistan.”

Afghanistan had a considerable growth in telecommunication sector after the fall of Taliban regime.

According to Afghanistan telecommunication ministry, 1.7 billion dollars have been invested in this sector till now.

But still there are complains about the quality and prices of communication in Afghanistan. People want Afghan government to control the quality and price seriously.

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Google+, A Big Competitor to Facebook http://www.khaama.com/google-a-big-competitor-to-facebook http://www.khaama.com/google-a-big-competitor-to-facebook#comments Tue, 20 Sep 2011 07:35:04 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=6383 Google+, A Big Competitor to Facebook
Tuesday, September 20 – Google launched a limited Google+ field trial to accommodate the growing number of online social media users. According to some estimates the program has gained over 20 million users and is said to be Facebook’s next big competitor. According to a report by Khaama Press from Afghanistan college students and office Read the full article...]]>
Google+, A Big Competitor to Facebook

Tuesday, September 20 – Google launched a limited Google+ field trial to accommodate the growing number of online social media users. According to some estimates the program has gained over 20 million users and is said to be Facebook’s next big competitor.

According to a report by Khaama Press from Afghanistan college students and office workers, Google+ has much user friendly environment and has been warmly welcomed by public in Afghanistan.

“I really enjoy being in Google+ environment”, Said Satya Kumar, IT specialist in a private insurance firm.

The new Google+ seems to be slightly complex than Facebook, but the concept of ‘circles’ better captures the nuances and subtleties that characterize real-life relationships.

The best thing is that your boss and coworkers in your ‘work’ circle or your mother in your ‘family’ circle don’t see the ludicrous pictures of your late-night drinking posted to your ‘BFF’ circle.

While something akin to circles can also be worked out by tinkering with Facebook’s privacy controls, it would require a troublesome amount of work on the part of the user. Unlike having to set custom controls for each setting you’d like to monitor, managing circles is as easy as dragging and dropping them into their designated places.

The new Google+ also provides some additional features in addition to circles like ‘Hangouts’ and ‘Sparks.’ The Hangouts feature allow users to have face to face video chats with up to ten people and even watch YouTube videos together during the live video chats.

While the Sparks feature allows you to type in personal interests and retrieves anything — from pictures, books, videos, and links to blog posts that Google thinks you’ll like.

The user can add anything that catches his/her eyes to interest list. The Google+ also offers ‘+1’ button that parallel the thumbs-up Face book ‘Like’ button.

By presenting interesting features, Google now wants to succeed in the social space. Given the failures of Google Buzz and Wave, this time around, however, Google has tied social strategy to web search i.e. the +1 buttons now appear alongside search results.
Meanwhile, Google CEO Larry Page has linked employee bonuses to the success or failure of its products in the social space, to provide incentive for success.
On the other hand, Industry-watchers speculate that Google doesn’t really need to gain more users than Facebook to “win” in the social space.
The Industry-watchers suggest, all Google+ needs to do is attract enough users to pose a credible threat and pressure Facebook into ‘opening’ up its closed platform — particularly allowing user data to become more portable.

Taking into consideration the threats of the Google+, Facebook followed the Google+ launch by releasing its own video-chatting service in collaboration with Skype and is currently testing out a real-time news feed. But, the most worrying issue for Facebook is that, currently, Google+ is ad-free, and Google might have the resources to keep it ad-free indefinitely.

The prospects of the Google+ project have excited some tech-savvy individuals while some are already tired by excess of social networks.
But, the question, whether the users of Facebook addicts will flock to Google+ will be proven as time passes.

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Facebook begins a partnership with Skpe http://www.khaama.com/facebook-begins-a-partnership-with-skpe http://www.khaama.com/facebook-begins-a-partnership-with-skpe#comments Thu, 07 Jul 2011 13:35:06 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=4386 Facebook begins a partnership with Skpe
Facebook has announced a partnership with Skype to add video chat to the social networking site. The move is likely to be seen as a shot across the bow of Google, which recently launched a Facebook rival, Google+, also featuring video calling. This is not the first time Facebook and Skype have teamed up – Read the full article...]]>
Facebook begins a partnership with Skpe

Facebook has announced a partnership with Skype to add video chat to the social networking site.

The move is likely to be seen as a shot across the bow of Google, which recently launched a Facebook rival, Google+, also featuring video calling.

This is not the first time Facebook and Skype have teamed up – they already share some instant messaging tools.

Skype is in the process of being bought by Microsoft, which is a major shareholder in Facebook.

The new video-call service was launched by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who also revealed that the site now had more than 750 million users.

However, he said that the total number of active users was no longer a useful measure of the site’s success.

Instead, the amount of sharing – of photographs, videos and web links – was a better indication of how people engaged with the site, explained Mr Zuckerberg.

One to one

At launch, Facebook’s video chat service will only be able to connect two users face-to-face, whereas Google’s system allows group video calls, known as Hangouts.

Mr Zuckerberg said that it was likely that other “premium” Skype functions would be added in future.

He also appeared to offer a back-handed compliment to Google+, saying that its creation was a vindication of Facebook’s vision for the social web.

Industry analysts welcomed the announcement.

“Advertisers love anything that keeps users on Facebook for longer and that is something Facebook has been brilliant at – keeping people engaged with the platform for increasingly longer periods of time,” Susan Etlinger of the Altimeter Group told BBC News.

“It stands to reason that the longer you are on Facebook, the happier advertisers will be.”

In California, Skype chief executive Tony Bates welcomed the partnership, calling it a “long-term relationship” that could benefit both companies.

At one point he had to correct Mr Zuckerberg on the subject of Skype’s ownership, reminding him that the Microsoft deal was not yet complete and still had to be cleared by regulators.

The tie-in was announced a week after Google announced its own social networking service, Google+.

“The two companies built these products separately and independently over a number of months but they will be compared directly,” said Ben Parr, editor-at-large of social media blog Mashable.com.

“They are going to be in more heated competition in the next year or so and you are going to hear a lot about who is going to win the social networking war – how does Google catch up, how does Facebook respond. This story isn’t going away.”

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Flexible phone made from electronic paper to debut http://www.khaama.com/flexible-phone-made-from-electronic-paper-to-debut http://www.khaama.com/flexible-phone-made-from-electronic-paper-to-debut#comments Sat, 07 May 2011 06:47:32 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=2847 Flexible phone made from electronic paper to debut
BBC – A prototype flexible smartphone made of electronic paper has been created by Canadian researchers. The PaperPhone can do all the things bulkier smartphones can do such as make and take calls, send messages, play music or display e-books. The gadget triggers different functions and features when bent, folded and flexed at its corners Read the full article...]]>
Flexible phone made from electronic paper to debut

The PaperPhone is used by being bent or written upon.

BBC – A prototype flexible smartphone made of electronic paper has been created by Canadian researchers.

The PaperPhone can do all the things bulkier smartphones can do such as make and take calls, send messages, play music or display e-books.

The gadget triggers different functions and features when bent, folded and flexed at its corners or sides.

“Everything is going to look and feel like this within five years,” said creator Dr Roel Vertegaal.

The device emerged from a collaboration between researchers at the Human Media Lab at Queen’s University, Canada and Arizona State University’s Motivational Environments Research group.

“This computer looks, feels and operates like a small sheet of interactive paper,” said Dr Vertegaal in a statement. “You interact with it by bending it into a cell phone, flipping the corner to turn pages, or writing on it with a pen.”

The millimetres thick prototype is built from the same e-ink technology found in Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader and this is bonded to flex sensors and a touchscreen that interprets drawings and text written on it.

The prototype was created in order to investigate how easy it is for people to use bending and flexing to control such a device. The early version is connected to a laptop to interpret and record the ways test subjects flexed it.

Dr Vertegaal predicted that widespread use of larger versions of the PaperPhone might make the paperless office a reality.

The PaperPhone prototype will be on display on 10 May at the Computer Human Interaction conference in Vancouver.

At the same show the research team plan to show off a device they called the Snaplet. This device takes on different functions depending on how it is worn and bent.

The wristband is a watch when convex, a PDA when flat and a phone when concave.

 

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Google unveils One Pass system for online content http://www.khaama.com/google-unveils-one-pass-system-for-online-content http://www.khaama.com/google-unveils-one-pass-system-for-online-content#comments Thu, 17 Feb 2011 04:40:27 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=2007 Google unveils One Pass system for online content
(BBC) – Google has launched a new payment system that allows users to subscribe to online content for a 10% commission fee. The move comes after rival Apple was criticised over its payment system which takes 30% of the sale price. One Pass will work on tablets and smartphones, as well as Google-related websites. One Read the full article...]]>
Google unveils One Pass system for online content

Google says the 10% charge will allow publishers to customise how and when they charge for content

(BBC) – Google has launched a new payment system that allows users to subscribe to online content for a 10% commission fee.

The move comes after rival Apple was criticised over its payment system which takes 30% of the sale price.

One Pass will work on tablets and smartphones, as well as Google-related websites.

One Pass will launch initially in the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

The announcement came just one day after Apple announced new rules for publishers selling subscriptions on its iOS platform.

Apple says companies must now offer users the option to buy directly through an iTunes account, handing 30% of the price to Apple.

Previously, vendors were allowed to simply direct customers to an external website, keeping all of the profits.

On a Google blog posting, Lee Shirani, the company’s director of business product management wrote: “Publishers can customise how and when they charge for content while experimenting with different models to see what works best for them.”

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Global data storage calculated at 295 exabytes http://www.khaama.com/global-data-storage-calculated-at-295-exabytes http://www.khaama.com/global-data-storage-calculated-at-295-exabytes#comments Sun, 13 Feb 2011 04:29:05 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=1929 Global data storage calculated at 295 exabytes
(BBC) – Mankind’s capacity to store the colossal amount of information in the world has been measured by scientists. The study, published in the journal Science, calculates the amount of data stored in the world by 2007 as 295 exabytes. That is the equivalent of 1.2 billion average hard drives. The researchers calculated the figure Read the full article...]]>
Global data storage calculated at 295 exabytes

By 2007, 94% of stored information was kept digitally

(BBC) – Mankind’s capacity to store the colossal amount of information in the world has been measured by scientists.

The study, published in the journal Science, calculates the amount of data stored in the world by 2007 as 295 exabytes.

That is the equivalent of 1.2 billion average hard drives.

The researchers calculated the figure by estimating the amount of data held on 60 technologies from PCs and and DVDs to paper adverts and books.

“If we were to take all that information and store it in books, we could cover the entire area of the US or China in 13 layers of books,” Dr Martin Hilbert of the University of Southern California told the BBC’s Science in Action.

Information revolution

omputer storage has traditionally been measured in kilobytes, then megabytes, and now usually gigabytes. After that comes terabytes, petabytes, then exabytes. One exabyte is a billion gigabytes.

The same information stored digitally on CDs would create a stack of discs that would reach beyond the moon, according to the researchers.

Scientists calculated the figure by estimating the amount of data held on 60 analogue and digital technologies during the period from 1986 to 2007. They considered everything from computer hard drives to obsolete floppy discs, and x-ray films to microchips on credit cards.

The survey covers a period known as the “information revolution” as human societies transition to a digital age. It shows that in 2000 75% of stored information was in an analogue format such as video cassettes, but that by 2007, 94% of it was digital.

“There have been other revolutions before.” Dr Hilbert told the BBC’s Science in Action programme.

“The car changed society completely, or electricity. Every 40, 50 or 60 years something grows faster than anything else, and right now it’s information.

“Basically what you can do with information is transmit it through space, and we call that communication. You can transmit it through time; we call that storage. Or you can transform it, manipulate it, change the meaning of it, and we call that computation.”

Other results from the global survey show that we broadcast around two zettabytes of data (a zettabyte is 1000 exabytes). That’s the equivalent of 175 newspapers per person, per day.

The fastest growing area of information manipulation has been computation. During the two decades the survey covers, global computing capacity increased by 58% per year.

These numbers may sound large, but they are still dwarfed by the information processing and storage capacity of nature.

“The Human DNA in one single body can store around 300 times more information than we store in all our technological devices” according to Dr Hilbert.

This study looked at the world as a whole, but the scientists say that it does show that the “digital divide” between rich and poor countries is growing. Despite the spread of computers and mobile phones, the capacity to process information is becoming more unequal.

In 2002 people in the developed world could communicate eight times more information than people in the developing world. Just five years later, in 2007, that gap has nearly doubled, and people in richer countries have 15 times more information carrying capacity.

The study also pinpoints the arrival of the digital age as 2002, the first year worldwide digital storage capacity overtook analogue capacity.

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Jimmy Wales says Wikipedia too complicated for many http://www.khaama.com/jimmy-wales-says-wikipedia-too-complicated-for-many http://www.khaama.com/jimmy-wales-says-wikipedia-too-complicated-for-many#comments Sat, 15 Jan 2011 04:06:17 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=1631 Jimmy Wales says Wikipedia too complicated for many
(BBC) – Wikipedia is too complicated for many people to modify despite billing itself as “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit”, its founder has said. Jimmy Wales told BBC News the site wants a new generation of contributors, including more women. The online encyclopedia, which is 10 years old on 15 January, is the Read the full article...]]>
Jimmy Wales says Wikipedia too complicated for many

(BBC) – Wikipedia is too complicated for many people to modify despite billing itself as “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit”, its founder has said.

Jimmy Wales told BBC News the site wants a new generation of contributors, including more women.

The online encyclopedia, which is 10 years old on 15 January, is the world’s fifth most popular site.

It aims to increase its users from 400m to 1bn by 2015. But growth requires a new interface, said Mr Wales.

“We have to support our old power users because they build the site,” he said. “But we also need to have a ramp for new users.”

He said a lot of people were “afraid” to contribute to the site by the sometimes complicated code – known as Wiki mark-up – needed to format entries.

“If you click edit and you see some Wiki syntax and some bizarre table structure – a lot of people are literally afraid.

“They’re good people and they don’t want to break something.

As well as initiatives such as “adopt a user”, that allows experienced Wikipedians to take a new user under their wing, he said his for-profit company Wikia had been doing a lot of work designing simple “what you see is what you get” editing tools.

“We’re releasing all of that open source and Wikipedia will probably adopt some of that.”

‘Ugly mug’

However, Mr Wales said that one change he would not make would be to the site’s financial model.

It currently operates as a not-for-profit organisation funded by donations from its users.

“We have just finished our fundraiser for the year – we raised $16m (£10m) faster than we have ever done it before,” he said.

For many, Mr Wales’ face will be familiar from banners that have been running on the site promoting the appeal.

Mr Wales said that he had tried to resist using his picture, but user testing had shown the organisation received more money by using his face.

“Those banners outperformed the other ones two-to-one,” he said. “I think maybe because no-one wants to see my ugly mug anymore. People thought: ‘let’s give the guy the money so he’ll go away’.”

He said the donation model was “very stable” but admitted it did “constrain” what the site could do.

“We don’t have a lot of money – we are running a website with 408m visitors on just over $20m,” he said. “I think we’re the most efficient charity there is by a long shot in terms of the number of people we impact for a small amount of money.”

However, he said that he was not tempted to turn it into a commercial venture to pull in more money.

“If you look at pressures that commercial ventures would be under – suddenly there is a need to produce quarterly results, suddenly there is a need to bring in money.”

He admitted the site could run as a non-profit supported by advertisements, but again said that there were no plans to make changes.

“Our view has always been we can always do that if we need to.”

‘Defensive move’

Mr Wales also used the interview to clear up the organisation’s perceived association with the whistle-blowing organisation Wikileaks.

“The core of their work is not about Wiki at all – Wiki is a collaborative editing process, it’s a group of people coming together to collaboratively write something. And what Wikileaks is doing is getting documents and leaking them.”

However, he said, many people get confused – including airport security, he said.

But the two still have a loose association.

Technically, the Wikia company has until this week legally owned domain names including wikileaks.net, wikileaks.com and wikileaks.us.

“We transferred the domains to them but they never completed the technical part,” said Mr Wales. “All they needed to do was sign in and complete the transfer but they have never done it.”

He said the domains had been registered “defensively” when Wikileaks launched in 2006.

“When they first launched they put out a press release that said the ‘Wikipedia of secrets’, which would have been a trademark violation.

“So someone in the office registered two or three domains.”

He said that he regularly tries to prompt Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange to complete the transaction, to no avail.

“I saw someone else say that he’s prone to saying ‘I’m busy fighting superpowers’ and that’s exactly what he said to me.”

Mr Wales said the domains would expire “this week”.

“I’m not renewing them,” said Mr Wales.

“We may ping them and say they are loose.”

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Legal Gamble for Facebook Fortune http://www.khaama.com/legal-gamble-for-facebook-fortune http://www.khaama.com/legal-gamble-for-facebook-fortune#comments Tue, 11 Jan 2011 08:03:40 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=1611 Legal Gamble for Facebook Fortune
By Maggie Shiels Technology reporter, BBC News, Silicon Valley (BBC) – Three Harvard graduates are to gamble a $65m settlement they made with Facebook over who came up with the idea for the site, in an effort to get more money. Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss and Divya Narendra argue that at the time of the Read the full article...]]>
Legal Gamble for Facebook Fortune

By Maggie Shiels
Technology reporter, BBC News, Silicon Valley

The identical twins were played by one actor in The Social Network

(BBC) – Three Harvard graduates are to gamble a $65m settlement they made with Facebook over who came up with the idea for the site, in an effort to get more money.

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss and Divya Narendra argue that at the time of the settlement Facebook misrepresented its stock price, robbing them of millions.

The three accuse Mark Zuckerberg of stealing their idea for what has become the world’s biggest social network.

Mr Zuckerberg, who also attended Harvard, has always denied the claims.

But in 2008, after years of legal wrangling, Facebook agreed a multi-million dollar deal to put an end to the “rancorous litigation”.

Nearly three years later, the Winklevoss twins and Mr Narendra want the case heard again.

On 11 January, they will ask the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to undo the original settlement so they can legally pursue Facebook or more money and once again try to wrest an admission from Mr Zuckerberg that he stole their idea.

“The settlement they reached involved $20m in cash and $45m in stock based on a valuation of $36 a share,” said Jerome Falk, senior attorney for the Winklevoss twins and Mr Narendra.

“Facebook failed to disclose that at about the same time its board of directors had approved a valuation of $9 a share which was to be the basis of stock options for key employees. Facebook did not disclose this significant piece of information.”

Mr Falk and his legal team will argue that under American Securities Law, issuers of stock are obliged to make full disclosure of all facts.

“This was a highly material fact and the fact they didn’t disclose it is a violation of federal security law,” Mr Falk told BBC News.

Money and principle

This is about more than dollars and cents the trio and their legal team maintain.

The twins declined a request for an interview by BBC News. But in the past the pair, who both competed in rowing events at the Beijing Olympics, have said “the principle is they [Facebook] didn’t fight fair…Mark stole the idea”.

Facebook’s lawyers have dismissed the claims as a case of “settlers remorse”.

But that is wrong said Mr Falk.

“This is about money and matters of principle. They feel they were badly treated. The feel their idea was stolen and that in the settlement they did not get full disclosure as they were entitled to.

“In America you measure things by money, and this is an awful lot of money.”

Had the shares portion of the settlement been based on the $9 figure, Mr Falk said his clients would have been awarded four times as many shares as they were given.

He said Facebook signed over 1,253,000 shares at the time, now worth around $140m.

If the men win, they stand to receive a much larger payout but if they lose they will forfeit the $65m which has been in escrow since the settlement was finalised.

If the court unwinds the agreement Facebook will have to decide whether to offer more money or fight it out in court.

A recent deal with Goldman Sachs and trades on private exchanges suggested that Facebook, which is still a private company, is now worth around $50bn.

The publicity circus that will surround the public court case might not be the best thing for Facebook if it decides to move forward with a stock offering sometime in the near future.

“Facebook will undoubtedly try to settle and get this all out of the way,” said Caroline McCarthy, who writes about social networking for technology news site CNet.

“Facebook has always maintained this is not a big deal and if it goes to court and fights it, it will make it look like a big deal. Mark’s reaction has always been this was a very small blip on the radar of the Facebook trajectory.

“Also Facebook is trying to court investors, and an IPO might be in the offing, so this will not look good if there is high-profile legal action going on,” added Ms McCarthy.

‘Delusional’

The long running bitter dispute between the three men and Mr Zuckerberg attracted a wider audience last year when Hollywood decided to make a movie.

The Social Network charted the rise of Facebook from a Harvard dormitory room to a global behemoth with more than 500m users. It also traced Mr Zuckerberg’s transformation from a nerdy student to one of the world’s youngest billionaires and the face of Time Magazine.

Central to the movie, which has garnered a slew of award nominations, was the litigation between Winklevoss twins and Mr Narendra.

While initially agreeing to do programming work for their social site called Harvard Connect, he stalled. At the time, social networks were popping up at colleges all over the country, and Mr Zuckerberg was working on his own version called The Facebook.

While Mr Zuckerberg, who eventually dropped out of school, has always been painted as socially awkward, the identical Winklevoss twins were seen as urbane, connected and privileged.

They are elite rowers who competed in the Beijing Olympics and are presently training for the 2012 London Olympics.

It is understood Mr Narendra comes from more humble means and works in the financial industry. He generally keeps a low profile while the twins are known to enjoy the limelight and the glare of publicity.

David Kirkpatrick is the author of a semi-official biography of the social network and Mark Zuckerberg called The Facebook Effect.

“I think these guys are delusional, spoiled brats who believe they are entitled to everything the world could offer them.

“I think Mark mistreated them as a partner during one brief and not important moment in Facebook history but they did not invent anything of significance in the realm of social media. There were tons of people inventing social networks at the time.

“They are just desperate to get credit for something. They are media hounds and the irony is they are obsessed with being famous and Mark is so obsessed with being obscure; yet he is the one that has really accomplished something,” added Mr Kirkpatrick.

‘Back stabbing’

There will be no court room face off between the three men and Mr Zuckerberg. He will not be in court on Tuesday.

The three judge panel will hear from lawyers from both sides and rule on the merits in a couple of months time.

In a further twist, the Winklevoss twins are themselves being sued by a former partner.

Wayne Chang’s lawsuit claims he is entitled to a portion of the original $65m settlement made with Facebook.

The 27-year-old formed a file-sharing network called i2hub while studying at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, which he later merged with their social network ConnectU in 2004.

ConnectU was bought by Facebook as part of the settlement and Mr Chang said that means he is due a share of the deal.

Mr Chang said he was “back-stabbed” and that he has been treated the way the Winklevoss’s claim they have been treated by Facebook.

]]> http://www.khaama.com/legal-gamble-for-facebook-fortune/feed 0 Piracy concerns over Apple’s new Mac download store http://www.khaama.com/piracy-concerns-over-apples-new-mac-download-store http://www.khaama.com/piracy-concerns-over-apples-new-mac-download-store#comments Sat, 08 Jan 2011 04:01:52 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=1541 Piracy concerns over Apple’s new Mac download store
The Mac App Store offers programs for computers including the Macbook Air (BBC) – Pirates have targeted Apple’s new software download service just one day after it launched. Several groups claim to have found security flaws in the company’s new Mac App Store, which launched on Thursday. The new service allows people to find and Read the full article...]]>
Piracy concerns over Apple’s new Mac download store

The Mac App Store offers programs for computers including the Macbook Air

(BBC) – Pirates have targeted Apple’s new software download service just one day after it launched.

Several groups claim to have found security flaws in the company’s new Mac App Store, which launched on Thursday.

The new service allows people to find and download approved applications to their Apple computers.

However pirates suggest that the loopholes mean many pieces of paid-for software are vulnerable to unauthorised copying.

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs had hailed the launch as “innovative”, but the company has yet to respond to the claims.

While Mac users have been able to purchase and install programs on their computers for many years, the Californian technology giant hopes the new system can emulate the success of its music and mobile download services.

The store has more than 1,000 programs for download, including best sellers such as Angry Birds and Twitter.

Apple scrutiny

Unlike ordinary software downloads, however, every program in the store is scrutinised by Apple and must pass a series of tests before gaining approval.

Almost immediately after the launch, however, pirates and Apple experts outlined a series of loopholes that could allow software to be copied or shared illegally.

One flaw, which only affects some applications including the popular Angry Birds game, involves simply copying and pasting the purchase code to allow paid-for programs to be used for free.

At the same time, a group known as Hackulous says it has developed a program called Kickback which can break the protection on any piece of App Store software.

However the organisation, which has previously broken the copy protection systems used by the iPhone and iPad, says it will not release its work until next month.

“We’re not going to release Kickback until well after the store’s been established,” said “Dissident”, a spokesman for the group. “We don’t want to devalue applications and frustrate developers.”

Google battle

Although Apple’s approval process is intended to boost security, prominent blogger John Gruber – who writes extensively about the company – said the loopholes showed gaps in the system.

“Apple should test for this in the review process, and reject paid apps that are susceptible to this simple technique,” he wrote.

In the past the company has come under fire for the opaque nature of its approval scheme, which has sometimes resulted in applications being blocked without an obvious reason.

Most notably Google complained after its Voice application for the iPhone was turned down. It was eventually given approval, but only after a protracted battle between the two companies.

The news also comes after it emerged that as many as 50,000 fraudulently-obtained iTunes accounts were for sale on Chinese auction site TaoBao.

]]> http://www.khaama.com/piracy-concerns-over-apples-new-mac-download-store/feed 0 Hotmail e-mails ‘missing’ from accounts http://www.khaama.com/hotmail-e-mails-missing-from-accounts http://www.khaama.com/hotmail-e-mails-missing-from-accounts#comments Mon, 03 Jan 2011 03:44:48 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=1495 Hotmail e-mails ‘missing’ from accounts
(BBC) – A number of people with Hotmail accounts have posted complaints on Microsoft forums complaining that their e-mails have been deleted. Users around the world said e-mails were missing from their inbox and other folders within their Hotmail accounts. A spokeswoman for Microsoft said that the issue of missing e-mails was not a widespread Read the full article...]]>
Hotmail e-mails ‘missing’ from accounts

Some Hotmail users are reporting that their e-mails are missing from their accounts

(BBC) – A number of people with Hotmail accounts have posted complaints on Microsoft forums complaining that their e-mails have been deleted.

Users around the world said e-mails were missing from their inbox and other folders within their Hotmail accounts.

A spokeswoman for Microsoft said that the issue of missing e-mails was not a widespread problem.

By Sunday evening the issue was “fully resolved”, she said. The company apologised for any inconvenience.

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Facebook suffers brief shut down http://www.khaama.com/facebook-suffers-brief-shut-down http://www.khaama.com/facebook-suffers-brief-shut-down#comments Fri, 17 Dec 2010 10:52:16 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=1407 Facebook suffers brief shut down
(BBC) – Facebook was forced to take itself offline after a staff member accidentally leaked internal product prototypes. The social network was unreachable for about 20-30 minutes while the mess was cleared up. The outage happened as the site introduced redesigned brand pages, a revamped photos section and a new page management feature. In a Read the full article...]]>
Facebook suffers brief shut down

(BBC) – Facebook was forced to take itself offline after a staff member accidentally leaked internal product prototypes.

The social network was unreachable for about 20-30 minutes while the mess was cleared up.

The outage happened as the site introduced redesigned brand pages, a revamped photos section and a new page management feature.

In a statement on its blog, Facebook apologised for the brief downtime.

“For a brief period of time, some internal prototypes were made public to a number of people externally.” read the message. “As a result, we took the site down for a few minutes. It’s back up, and we apologise for the inconvenience.”

The BBC understands that the problem arose when code for a number of new products was exposed to the public before they were ready to be launched. This included a feature called “memories” that indexed what people have done on Facebook chronologically.

“They’re not pleased that they had to shut the website down for 30 minutes,” said Sam Gustin at Wired.com.

“But it comes with the territory when you have a culture of iterative innovation, they say,” he said. “Sometimes code gets pushed out before it’s ready.”

“There’s probably an engineer at Facebook who is feeling pretty sheepish that he or she caused the world’s biggest online social network to shut itself down for a half an hour,” added Mr Gustin.

The news blog ReadWriteWeb saw the funny side of things by listing five things to do during a Facebook outage. They included resorting to instant messaging, using the phone to connect with people and reading a book.

On Twitter, one widely circulated tweet doing the rounds read “Facebook is down. Half the world population had suddenly become productive. The other half of the population is using Twitter.”

______________________

Source: BBC News

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Google unveils Chrome OS notebook for test scheme http://www.khaama.com/google-unveils-chrome-os-notebook-for-test-scheme http://www.khaama.com/google-unveils-chrome-os-notebook-for-test-scheme#comments Wed, 08 Dec 2010 06:20:10 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=1252 Google unveils Chrome OS notebook for test scheme
By Maggie Shiels  Technology reporter, BBC News, Silicon Valley Google has delayed a much anticipated branded laptop powered by its Chrome operating system until next year. Instead of a Chrome OS device for general release, Google announced a pilot programme aimed at people who “live on the web”. Chrome OS is Google’s boldest bid yet Read the full article...]]>
Google unveils Chrome OS notebook for test scheme

By Maggie Shiels
 Technology reporter, BBC News, Silicon Valley

Google has delayed a much anticipated branded laptop powered by its Chrome operating system until next year.

Instead of a Chrome OS device for general release, Google announced a pilot programme aimed at people who “live on the web”.

Chrome OS is Google’s boldest bid yet to erode Microsoft’s market dominance with Windows software.

Google has already gone after one of Microsoft’s cash cows, Office, with Google Docs.

Chrome marks a departure in traditional operating systems, offering a light touch approach to controlling a computer’s hardware and applications.

It also targets users who spend most of their time on the web and are comfortable relying on the cloud to access their data.

“We think cloud computing will define computing as we know it,” said Eric Schmidt, Google’s chief operating officer.

“Finally there is a viable third choice for an operating system.”

Google’s head of product for Chrome, Sundar Pichai, said the pilot scheme is aimed at early adopters, developers and users who are used to using beta software.

They will be given an unbranded black notebook that has been dubbed Cr-48.

Mr Pichai said there would be no devices on sale until next year simply because the software was not ready for prime time, due to a number of bugs and unfinished features.

“This is a profound shift,” said Mr Pichai, claiming that the operating system is Google’s attempt to “re-think the personal experience for the modern web”.

“Chrome is nothing but the web,” he added.

Machines for the pilot scheme will start shipping soon.

Consumer devices from Acer and Samsung are due on the market in 2011. No pricing details were given.

Features

At the press event in San Francisco – in front of a crowd of journalists, bloggers and analysts – Google also outlined a number of features in Chrome OS.

Security was at its heart, with automatic updates for users taking away the need to constantly ensure that the latest version has been activated.

The company said that it hoped to be the first to ship a tool called “verified boot” on Chrome OS devices, which makes sure nothing on the machine has been modified or compromised.

“We are confident that when we ship Chrome notebooks, it will be the most secure OS ever shipped to users,” said Mr Pichai.

He also said that because data will be accessed through the cloud, users could loan their machines to other people.

“By delivering nothing but the web, it makes it very easy to share your computer,” said Mr Pichai.

Google said it has also partnered with telecom titan Verizon to offer connectivity with Chrome notebooks.

The plans range from 100 MB of free data, to $9.99 a day for unlimited data.

There will be no contracts, no activation fees, no overage fees or no cancellation fees.

Concerns

A number of analysts have questioned whether or not Google is making a smart play with the Chrome OS, given that the computing world has changed dramatically since it announced plans for the low-cost operating system over 18 months ago.

In the last year, Apple’s iPad has reinvigorated the tablet market, and Google’s own Android OS – which powers smartphones – has taken off.

Android is also being used in tablet devices and netbooks, prompting a number of industry watchers to question Google’s twin approach in the OS market.

Many fear two Google operating systems will cause confusion for consumers.

Google’s Mr Schmidt does not believe it will, and recently stated that Chrome is for keyboards and Android for touch based devices.

The Chrome OS will be given free to hardware manufacturers.

Microsoft, in comparison, charges a fee for its Windows software.

Back in October, the software leader said Windows sales increased by 66% on a year earlier, to $4.8bn, helping to boost first quarter profits.

Browser growth

At the event, Google also revealed that the number of users of their Chrome browser has grown from 70m this summer to 120m.

During a demo, Brian Rakowski, the company’s director of product management for Chrome, emphasised the speed of the browser.

He showed how fast Chrome is at loading documents, from a 30-page comic book to the 1990-page Healthcare Reform Bill.

Both demos took a number of seconds, and Google said that thanks to enhancements like a tool called Crankshaft, Chrome is 50 times faster than browsers of two years ago.

“The most important thing is it’s all going to be really, really fast,” said Mr Rakowski.

The team also emphasised security on Chrome – the most important area according to Mr Pichai, who announced automatic updating.

“The bad guys have it easy on the web these days,” he said, because users do not update their browsers frequently enough.

Google also unveiled a Chrome web store to help bring users and developers together.

There are over 500 applications available now, ranging from games to newspapers to books.

Apple said in October it would open an app store for MacIntosh computers, in an effort to replicate its success in apps sold for the iPhone.

 _______________________________
Source: BBC

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China leadership ‘orchestrated Google hacking’ http://www.khaama.com/china-leadership-orchestrated-google-hacking http://www.khaama.com/china-leadership-orchestrated-google-hacking#comments Mon, 06 Dec 2010 06:00:53 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=1218 China leadership ‘orchestrated Google hacking’
BBC – Senior Chinese figures were behind the hacking of Google earlier this year which forced the search engine to quit the country, leaked US cables suggest. One cable, released by whistle-blowing site Wikileaks, cites a “well-placed” contact as saying the action against Google was “100% political”. A politburo member is said to have been Read the full article...]]>
China leadership ‘orchestrated Google hacking’

BBC – Senior Chinese figures were behind the hacking of Google earlier this year which forced the search engine to quit the country, leaked US cables suggest.

One cable, released by whistle-blowing site Wikileaks, cites a “well-placed” contact as saying the action against Google was “100% political”.

A politburo member is said to have been angered after Googling his name and finding critical comments online.

The cable says it is unclear whether China’s top leaders were involved.

Other cables show Beijing has been “extremely concerned” about the use of high-resolution satellite imagery on Google’s mapping software, Google Earth.

In January, Google said it had been subjected to a “sophisticated cyber attack originating from China” – it said the e-mail accounts of human rights activists were among those hacked.

In the ensuing row over internet censorship, Google abandoned mainland China and moved its Chinese-language operations to Hong Kong.

The company did not say who it thought was responsible but the cables, released by Wikileaks and published on the Guardian website, show the company had repeatedly raised concerns about the issue.

‘Forbidden fruit’

The BBC’s Nick Childs says the allegations contained in the cables will reinforce both the perception that the Chinese government is highly sensitive about the internet and suspicions that it was behind the hacking attacks on Google.

One cable from the US embassy in Beijing cites a “well-placed contact” as claiming “that the Chinese government coordinated the recent intrusions of Google systems”.

“According to our contact, the closely held operations were directed at the Politburo Standing Committee level,” it says.

The source, whose name is deleted from the text, told the US that the operations against Google were “100%” political in nature, not an attempt to reduce Google’s influence in China in favour of domestic search engines, such as Baidu.

But the writer of the cable notes that it is “unclear whether President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao were aware of these actions” before Google publicly announced its concerns.

The cable also reports on alleged concern in the Chinese government that, by challenging official censorship of the internet, Google had made itself seem more appealing to Chinese net users and given the impression that the US and Google were working together “to undermine Chinese government controls of the internet”.

“All of a sudden, XXXXXXXXXXXX continued, Baidu looked like a boring state-owned enterprise while Google “seems very attractive, like the forbidden fruit,” it says.

In cable dated 18 May 2009, US diplomats quote a Chinese source as saying that “the root of the problem” was an unnamed member of the politburo standing committee who wanted Google to stop linking to its international site from its sanitised version, google.cn.

The politician is said to have “recently discovered that Google’s worldwide site is uncensored, and is capable of Chinese language searches and search results”. He reportedly carried out a search for his own name and found sites personally critical of him.

Google consistently refused to remove the link, citing its own anti-censorship principles, and eventually left the Chinese mainland.

The cable says that while the US can neither confirm nor deny the allegations against Beijing, “the potential for continuing escalation by the Chinese, assuming Google sticks to its guns – and the likelihood of loud US Congressional and public outcry if it caves – suggest a high-level USG [US government] response may be in order”.

The following January, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged China to fully investigate the hacking allegations.

“Countries or individuals that engage in cyber attacks should face consequences and international condemnation,” she said.

 ________________________
Source: BBC

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Wikileaks ‘attacked by hackers’ http://www.khaama.com/wikileaks-attacked-by-hackers http://www.khaama.com/wikileaks-attacked-by-hackers#comments Mon, 29 Nov 2010 04:57:53 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=1118 Wikileaks ‘attacked by hackers’
(BBC) – Whistle-blowing website Wikileaks says it has come under attack from a computer-hacking operation, ahead of a release of secret US documents. “We are currently under a mass distributed denial of service attack,” it said on its Twitter feed earlier. It added that several newspapers will go ahead and publish the documents released to Read the full article...]]>
Wikileaks ‘attacked by hackers’

(BBC) – Whistle-blowing website Wikileaks says it has come under attack from a computer-hacking operation, ahead of a release of secret US documents.

“We are currently under a mass distributed denial of service attack,” it said on its Twitter feed earlier.

It added that several newspapers will go ahead and publish the documents released to them by Wikileaks even if the site goes down.

The US state department has said the release will put many lives at risk.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has said the US authorities are afraid of being held to account.

Wikileaks has said the release of classified messages sent by US embassies will be bigger than past releases on Afghanistan and Iraq.

The newspapers set to publish details of the US embassy cables include Spain’s El Pais, France’s Le Monde, Germany’s Spiegel, the UK’s Guardian and the New York Times.

The latest leak is expected to include documents covering US dealings and diplomats’ confidential views of countries including Australia, Britain, Canada, Israel, Russia and Turkey.

“The material that we are about to release covers essentially every major issue in every country in the world,” Mr Assange told reporters by video link on Sunday.

A journalist with Britain’s Guardian newspaper said the files include an unflattering US assessment of UK PM David Cameron.

Simon Hoggart told the BBC: “There is going to be some embarrassment certainly for Gordon Brown but even more so for David Cameron who was not very highly regarded by the Obama administration or by the US ambassador here.”

No-one has been charged with passing the diplomatic files to the website but suspicion has fallen on US Army private Bradley Manning, an intelligence analyst arrested in Iraq in June and charged over an earlier leak of classified US documents to Mr Assange’s organisation.

‘Illegally obtained’

The US government has written to Mr Assange, urging him not release the documents.

The letter from the US state department’s legal adviser Harold Koh said the release of classified state department documents was against US law and would put “countless” lives at risk.

Mr Assange is said to have asked which individuals would be put at risk by the leak and offered to negotiate over limited redactions.

In response, Mr Koh demanded that Wikileaks return official documents to the US government.

“We will not engage in a negotiation regarding the further release or dissemination of illegally obtained US government classified materials,” he said in the letter.

Mr Koh’s letter adds that the publication of the documents would endanger the lives of “countless” individuals – from journalists to human rights activists and bloggers – and put US military operations at risk.

Wikileaks earlier this week said that its next release of documents would be nearly seven times larger than the nearly 400,000 Pentagon documents relating to the Iraq war it published in October.

Wikileaks argues that the site’s previous releases shed light on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. They included allegations of torture by Iraqi forces and reports that suggested 15,000 additional civilian deaths in Iraq.

________________________
Source: BBC

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Facebook news feeds beset with malware http://www.khaama.com/facebook-news-feeds-beset-with-malware http://www.khaama.com/facebook-news-feeds-beset-with-malware#comments Thu, 25 Nov 2010 04:07:31 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=1037 Facebook news feeds beset with malware
(BBC) – One fifth of Facebook users are exposed to malware contained in their news feeds, claim security researchers. Security firm BitDefender said it had detected infections contained in the news feeds of around 20% of Facebook users. By clicking on infected links in a news feed, users risk having viruses installed on their computer. Read the full article...]]>
Facebook news feeds beset with malware

(BBC) – One fifth of Facebook users are exposed to malware contained in their news feeds, claim security researchers.

Security firm BitDefender said it had detected infections contained in the news feeds of around 20% of Facebook users.

By clicking on infected links in a news feed, users risk having viruses installed on their computer.

Facebook said it already had steps in place to identify and remove malware-containing links.

BitDefender arrived at its figures by analysing data from 14,000 Facebook users that had installed a security app, called safego, it makes for the social network site.

In the month since safego launched, it has analysed 17 million Facebook posts, said BitDefender.

The majority of infections were associated with apps written by independent developers, which promised enticements and rewards to trick users into installing the malware, BitDefender said.

Trusted community

These apps would then either install malware used for spying on users or to send messages containing adverts to the users’ contacts.

Facebook has a thriving community of independent developers who have built apps for the social network.

The vast majority enable users to tweak their Facebook pages, adding widgets, games or extra functions, such as delivering daily horoscope predictions.

Facebook said it had processes and checks in place to guard against the risk of malware.

“Once we detect a phony message, we delete all instances of that message across the site,” the site said in a statement.

Crooks have targeted social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter because of their vast number of users, said Rik Ferguson, a security researcher for anti-virus maker Trend Micro.

“Because social networks are based on a community of people you trust, they’re an attractive target for malware writers,” said Ferguson. “You’re more likely to click on a link from someone you trust.”

__________________________
Source: BBC News

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Internet pioneer Vint Cerf warns over address changes http://www.khaama.com/internet-pioneer-vint-cerf-warns-over-address-changes http://www.khaama.com/internet-pioneer-vint-cerf-warns-over-address-changes#comments Fri, 12 Nov 2010 08:32:35 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=937 Internet pioneer Vint Cerf warns over address changes
(BBC) – The internet could face years of instability as it moves to a new addressing system, one of the network’s original architects has warned. Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the internet, spoke as the UK was urged to begin using the new addressing system. With current addresses due to run out in Read the full article...]]>
Internet pioneer Vint Cerf warns over address changes

(BBC) – The internet could face years of instability as it moves to a new addressing system, one of the network’s original architects has warned.

Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the internet, spoke as the UK was urged to begin using the new addressing system.

With current addresses due to run out in 2012, nations and businesses must get on with switching, said Mr Cerf.

During the switch internet links could become unreliable, making sites and services hard to reach, Mr Cerf said.

“This has to happen or the internet will stop growing or will not be growable,” he said of the move to the addressing system.

The net has grown to its current size using version 4 of its addressing scheme (IPv4), which allows for about 4.3 billion addresses.

Estimates suggest that this pool of addresses will be exhausted by the end of January 2012.

Priority issue

A system with a far larger pool of addresses has been created, called IPv6, but progress towards using it has been sluggish.

“The business community needs to understand that this is an infrastructure they are relying on and it needs to change for them to continue to grow and to rely on it,” Mr Cerf said.

He criticised global businesses, saying they were “short-sighted” for not making the shift sooner.

“They cannot grow their business if they do not have an address space to grow it into,” he added.

The problem of the switchover will be exacerbated, said Mr Cerf, because the two addressing systems are not compatible.

As parts of the internet do eventually convert to IPv6 those trying to get at the parts still on IPv4 may not reach the site, resource or service they were after.

The net would not stop during the switch, said Mr Cerf, but access could get “spotty”.

That instability could last years, he suggested, as even search giant Google – his current employer – took three years to get its IPv6 network up and running.

“There’s work to be done,” he said.

“It’s not massive work but it is meticulous work.”

Mr Cerf was the keynote speaker at a launch event for 6UK, a non-profit group set up to get UK businesses converting to the new addressing scheme.

Currently only about 1% of data sent over the internet is wrapped in IPv6 packets, said Mr Cerf, adding that moving to using the bigger address space should now be a global priority.

Some nations, such as China and the Czech Republic, had made great strides in using IPv6 but others had not even started.

“There is turbulence coming,” said Nigel Titley, chairman of RIPE, the body that hands out Europe’s allocation of IPv4 addresses.

He said it was only a matter of time before the shortfall of addresses started to hit business.

Attempts to get more people online, close digital divisions or to boost e-commerce could all be hampered by a lack of addresses, Mr Titley said.

The key to accelerating the shift to IPv6 would be making internet service providers (ISPs) offer the service to their customers, he said, something too few were doing at the moment.

“Sooner or later BT is not going to be able to provision a new broadband customer,” said Mr Titley. “That’s when the accountants might wake up.”

 _______________________
Source: BBC

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Laptop designer honoured with Duke of Edinburgh prize http://www.khaama.com/laptop-designer-honoured-with-duke-of-edinburgh-prize http://www.khaama.com/laptop-designer-honoured-with-duke-of-edinburgh-prize#comments Tue, 09 Nov 2010 06:01:17 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=849 Laptop designer honoured with Duke of Edinburgh prize
(BBC) – The creator of the world’s first laptop has been given a lifetime achievement award by the Duke of Edinburgh. Bill Moggridge has been named the winner of the 2010 Prince Philip Designers Prize. He was chosen from a list of famous nominees, including fashion designer Dame Viviene Westwood and the creator of the Read the full article...]]>
Laptop designer honoured with Duke of Edinburgh prize

(BBC) – The creator of the world’s first laptop has been given a lifetime achievement award by the Duke of Edinburgh.

Bill Moggridge has been named the winner of the 2010 Prince Philip Designers Prize.

He was chosen from a list of famous nominees, including fashion designer Dame Viviene Westwood and the creator of the London 2012 Aquatics Centre.

The jury said Mr Moggridge had been central to how design helped people understand and use technology.

The Grid Compass computer was designed by Mr Moggridge in the early 1980s and is widely credited as the fore-runner for the modern laptop.

The machine went on sale in 1982, with its own operating system, Grid-OS.

It sold for over $,8,000 (£4,900), meaning it was limited to specialist applications, with the US government being one of the main buyers.

It was used on the space shuttle during the 1980s, offering the astronauts a navigational programme when they were out of reach of earth-bound navigation tools.

Mr Moggridge told BBC News he was “astonished” to have been chosen for the award.

“I’m really amazed. The other nominees are such super-heroes of mine and have incredible bodies of work,” he said.

As well as designing the Grid Compass computer, Mr Moggridge also co-founded design company IDEO.

He is currently the director of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

The Prince Philip Designers Prize is awarded annually to recognise a lifetime contribution to design.

It is Britain’s longest-running design award and was set up by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1959 to encourage entrepreneurship.

Past winners have included Sir James Dyson, Terence Conran and Lord Norman Foster.

_______________________
Source: BBC

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Facebook uncovers user data sales http://www.khaama.com/facebook-uncovers-user-data-sales http://www.khaama.com/facebook-uncovers-user-data-sales#comments Tue, 02 Nov 2010 11:10:47 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=412 Facebook uncovers user data sales
Facebook has taken action against developers it caught selling user names and contact lists. The sales were uncovered as Facebook investigated a web browser bug that let user IDs be shared inadvertently. The user details were sold to data brokers who used the information to target adverts more precisely. The developers have been banned for Read the full article...]]>
Facebook uncovers user data sales

Facebook has taken action against developers it caught selling user names and contact lists.

The sales were uncovered as Facebook investigated a web browser bug that let user IDs be shared inadvertently.

The user details were sold to data brokers who used the information to target adverts more precisely.

The developers have been banned for six months from connecting to Facebook and must be audited to check they comply with the social network’s policies.

Facebook started investigating what was happening with user identifiers (UIDs) following media reports that the information and lists of contacts were being sold on to advertising firms.

In a blog post, Facebook said its investigation showed that the technical demands of some browsers meant that some user IDs were being leaked.

It also discovered that some developers that create applications for the social network were taking the user IDs of those who used their creations and selling them on.

Facebook said the investigation “determined that no private user data was sold and confirmed that transfer of these UIDs did not give access to any private data”.

Despite this, it said, it took the breach “seriously” and had imposed a six-month ban on the developers it caught out.

Facebook did not identify which developers were being punished and only said there were fewer than a dozen of them and none had any applications in the top 10 most popular used on the social network.

It named ad-targeting firm Rapleaf as one of the data brokers which had been buying UIDs. It said it had reached an agreement with the firm which would end Rapleaf’s involvement with any application on Facebook now and in the future.
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Source: BBC

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UK MPs question Google over Street View data breaches http://www.khaama.com/uk-mps-question-google-over-street-view-data-breaches http://www.khaama.com/uk-mps-question-google-over-street-view-data-breaches#comments Sat, 30 Oct 2010 06:42:13 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=346 UK MPs question Google over Street View data breaches
(BBC) – MPs have accused Google of deliberately collecting wi-fi data for commercial gain. It is another twist to events kicked off by the search giant collecting of millions of pieces of sensitive information via its Street View cars. Discovery of the data triggered investigations around the globe. Google has always maintained that the data Read the full article...]]>
UK MPs question Google over Street View data breaches

(BBC) – MPs have accused Google of deliberately collecting wi-fi data for commercial gain.
It is another twist to events kicked off by the search giant collecting of millions of pieces of sensitive information via its Street View cars.
Discovery of the data triggered investigations around the globe.
Google has always maintained that the data was collected in error because of code being mistakenly included in the Street View software.
The code was created by a Google engineer as part of a wider project to map wi-fi hotspots but should never have found its way into Street View cars, the search giant said.
 
Google’s head of PR told the BBC’s Today programme this week that there was code incorporated into Street View which was intended to map wi-fi hotspots in order to improve Google’s location-based services.
But it was never the intention that any part of it would also suck up personal and sensitive information relating to unsecured wireless networks, he said.
“This data has never been used in any Google product, was never intended to be used by Google and will never be used,” he said.
He added that Google had now stopped collecting any wi-fi data, had “isolated” the personal data and wanted to delete it as soon as investigations by information commissions around the world had concluded.
During a two-hour parliamentary debate on privacy, MPs questioned Google’s version of events.
Conservative MP Robert Halfon questioned Google’s insistence that the details were sucked up by Street View cars as a result of code being accidentally included in the software.
“I find it hard to believe that a company with the creative genius and originality of Google could map the personal wi-fi details, computer passwords and e-mail addresses of millions of people across the world and not know what it was doing,” he said.
“My own feeling is that this data was of use to Google for commercial purposes and that is why it was done.
The question is whether the company underestimated the reaction of the public, and many governments around the world, once it had been revealed what it had done.”
Google said that the allegations were “completely untrue”.
Graham Cluley, a senior consultant at security firm Sophos, told the BBC that he found it “surprising” that Google staff did not realise that the Street View cars were storing more than just the location of wi-fi hotspots.
“If you were competent then it would be surprising that you wouldn’t know that you were storing far more than you actually needed,” he said.
Refuge pictures
During the two-hour parliamentary debate, there was wider criticism of the Street View service, which offers detailed maps of the country on a street-by-street basis.
Conservative MP Mark Lancaster cited a women’s refuge in his constituency which had asked to be removed from Street View.
“Imagine their great concern when on entering the name of the organisation on Google, a picture of the building the refugees use and also their addresses appear on the search engine,” he said.
He said that requests to Google to remove the refuge from the map had received no response.
“I find it staggering that such an invasion of privacy on an organisation whose purpose is to protect others is allowed to occur,” he said.
Google told the BBC that it was unaware of this particular case.
“Anyone can request an image for removal using our simple ‘report a problem’ tool in Street View. When they do we remove the image quickly,” said a Google spokeswoman.
No investigation
In June Privacy International made a complaint to the UK Metropolitan police, saying the data collection put Google in breach of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa).
Broadband minister Ed Vaizey revealed during the debate that the police had “decided that it would not be appropriate” to launch a criminal investigation in the matter.
But he said that he planned to meet with Google to discuss the data breaches.
MPs also criticised the way the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) had handled the matter, describing it as “lily-livered”.
In July, the ICO said that Google did not harvest “significant” personal details when the data was collected.
But as more details have emerged about the nature of the data it is reassessing its position.
“Earlier this year the ICO visited Google’s premises to make a preliminary assessment of the ‘pay-load’ data it inadvertently collected.
Whilst the information we saw at the time did not include meaningful personal details, we have continued to liaise with, and await the findings of, the investigations carried out by our international counterparts,” it said in a statement.
“Now that these findings are starting to emerge, we understand that Google has accepted that in some instances entire URLs and e-mail and passwords have been captured,” it added.
In the light of this the ICO said it was “deciding on the necessary course of action, including a consideration of the need to use our enforcement powers”.
Investigations conducted by the Canadian information commissioner revealed that Google had collected some highly sensitive information including complete e-mails, lists of names of people suffering from a certain medical conditions, telephone numbers and addresses.
Its findings go against Google’s initial assertion that all the information collected was “fragmentary”.
The Canadian investigation found that Google was in breach of privacy laws but said no further action would be taken if Google tightened up its internal privacy policies.
Medical conditions
The US Federal Trade Commission ended its investigation yesterday, welcoming changes Google has recently announced to its internal processes.
On Friday Google revealed that it would be creating a director of privacy and offering more training and better procedures regarding privacy.
“Every engineering project leader will be required to maintain a privacy design document for each initiative they are working on,” Google said in a statement.
But it still faces on-going investigation in the US, with a lawsuit looming and a large scale enquiry backed by 38 states demanding detailed explanations about the process which led to so much personal data being stored by Google.
It has pressed Google to name the engineer responsible and to explain in full how the code he designed came to be incorporated in Street View.
Google has never publicly named the engineer.

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Source: BBC

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Hi-tech criminals target Vietnam http://www.khaama.com/hi-tech-criminals-target-vietnam http://www.khaama.com/hi-tech-criminals-target-vietnam#comments Wed, 27 Oct 2010 05:14:46 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=301 Hi-tech criminals target Vietnam
(BBC) – The net domain reserved for Vietnam has become a haven of cyber crime, suggests research. About 58% of the sites using Vietnam’s .vn domain harboured malware found the McAfee report. Those visiting the dangerous sites risk having sensitive data stolen or their computer being hijacked. In all, it found, 6.2% of the 27 Read the full article...]]>
Hi-tech criminals target Vietnam

(BBC) – The net domain reserved for Vietnam has become a haven of cyber crime, suggests research.

About 58% of the sites using Vietnam’s .vn domain harboured malware found the McAfee report.

Those visiting the dangerous sites risk having sensitive data stolen or their computer being hijacked.

In all, it found, 6.2% of the 27 million live sites it tracks were found to be risky to visit. A figure up from 5.9% in 2009.

“The web is getting trickier to navigate safely,” said the report which tried to compile a global snapshot of the criminal activity perpetrated via the net.

Sites risky to visit could host so-called drive-by downloads that exploit bugs to install attack code on a PC. Others may be fake pharmacy sites or host virus-ridden files.

Vietnam had only become a favourite with hi-tech criminals in 2010, said the report, as in 2009 the country’s domain came 39th in the global risk ranking. By comparison, the UK is ranked as the 49th riskiest domain.

Explaining the surge in malicious activity, Paula Greve, director of web security research for McAfee Labs, said: “Cybercriminals target regions where registering sites is cheap and convenient and pose the least risk of being caught.”

“A domain that’s safe one year can be dangerous the next,” she said.

About 15,000 of the 24,000 websites sitting on the .vn domain were home to criminal activity, said the report. Many .vn domains are used as re-direct points for other malicious sites or to control networks of hijacked computers or botnets.

Among generic domains, the .info suffix also proved popular in 2010 as the number of malicious sites on the domain grew by 94.5%. Spam gangs were using the implied authority of the .info name to lend credibility to sites peddling fake pills or bogus security software, it found.

Malicious sites hosted under the .com domain almost hit one million in 2010 with many being enrolled in long-running malware attacks.

For instance, said McAfee, many .com domains were involved in the Koobface virus outbreak which targeted Windows users who were heavy users of social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter

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Source : BBC

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Yahoo Mail gets first major revamp in five years http://www.khaama.com/yahoo-mail-gets-first-major-revamp-in-five-years http://www.khaama.com/yahoo-mail-gets-first-major-revamp-in-five-years#comments Wed, 27 Oct 2010 05:07:10 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=298 Yahoo Mail gets first major revamp in five years
(BBC) – Yahoo Mail is getting its biggest redesign since 2005 to make it a message hub for its 279 million users. At the centre of the revamp is a plan to make the communications system much more compatible with social media. This means users can post updates to Facebook and Twitter without ever leaving Read the full article...]]>
Yahoo Mail gets first major revamp in five years

(BBC) – Yahoo Mail is getting its biggest redesign since 2005 to make it a message hub for its 279 million users.

At the centre of the revamp is a plan to make the communications system much more compatible with social media.

This means users can post updates to Facebook and Twitter without ever leaving Yahoo Mail.

Texting and sending instant messages has been updated. Yahoo said the service will be twice as fast as Google’s Gmail and Microsoft’s Hotmail.

Users will also be able to view photos and videos from Flickr, Picasa and YouTube inside their e-mail inbox.

Priority email

“People spend more than 30 billion minutes a month on Yahoo Mail,” Dave McDowell, Yahoo Mail senior product director told BBC News.

“It is a critically important product to our users and this represents [the] most significant upgrade to Yahoo mail in five years.”

Other upgrades to Yahoo’s service include improved spam filtering, and tools to search through mail that will help better sort and prioritise messages.

By revamping its mail system, Yahoo is mirroring refreshes already pushed through by rivals.

Google introduced its priority inbox feature at the end of the summer to help users grade e-mail into four categories.

Meanwhile Microsoft updated its Hotmail e-mail system in a similar fashion to help people organise messages better.

Cool factor

The Yahoo Mail refresh had been touted back in September as part of an overall product strategy to show the company remains relevant amid increased competition from Google, Microsoft and Facebook.

Last week the early internet pioneer posted mixed financial results, increasing pressure on executives to turn the company around. 

Industry analyst Greg Sterling, of Sterling Market Intelligence, said the upgrades to Yahoo mail are important in showing the firm still has products that can compete.

“Yahoo Mail is a critical product for the company with an enormous user base,” he said. “The challenge for them is to make having a Yahoo Mail address cool.”

“It has lost some of its chic or cachet to GMail among early adopters or the tech savvy so there is a brand issue there,” he added.

“In the past I would have said people don’t want all these functions in their e-mail box but with people now having so many sites to visit this makes sense,” said Mr Sterling. 

“I think if Yahoo Mail performs well, they will win people over,” he said.

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Source: BBC

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Ray Ozzie tells Microsoft to ‘go beyond the PC’ http://www.khaama.com/ray-ozzie-tells-microsoft-to-go-beyond-the-pc http://www.khaama.com/ray-ozzie-tells-microsoft-to-go-beyond-the-pc#comments Wed, 27 Oct 2010 04:59:47 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=295 Ray Ozzie tells Microsoft to ‘go beyond the PC’
(BBC) – Microsoft must think beyond the PC if it is to weather the changes due to hit in the next five years. The warning was given by Microsoft’s chief software architect Ray Ozzie in a memo penned soon after he announced he was leaving the company. In it, Mr Ozzie said that the last Read the full article...]]>
Ray Ozzie tells Microsoft to ‘go beyond the PC’

(BBC) – Microsoft must think beyond the PC if it is to weather the changes due to hit in the next five years.

The warning was given by Microsoft’s chief software architect Ray Ozzie in a memo penned soon after he announced he was leaving the company.

In it, Mr Ozzie said that the last five years had been “breathtaking” and expected the next five to be the same.

But, he said, the strengths that had helped Microsoft grow in the past now risked holding it back.

The memo, called “Dawn of a New Day” mirrors one Mr Ozzie wrote soon after taking over from Bill Gates as the man in charge of charting the development direction of Microsoft’s portfolio of programs.

That first memo imagined a world of seamless computing and kicked off Microsoft’s attempts to get its many different programs working together across lots of different devices.

In Dawn of a New Day, Mr Ozzie praised the work Microsoft had done towards that end, but said rivals had done even better.

“…their execution has surpassed our own in mobile experiences, in the seamless fusion of hardware and software and services, and in social networking and myriad new forms of internet-centric social interaction.”

The reason for this, he suggested, was Microsoft’s legacy of being intimately tied to the PC.

“For the most part, we’ve grown to perceive of “computing” as being equated with specific familiar “artifacts” such as the “computer”, the “program” that’s installed on a computer, and the “files” that are stored on that computer’s “desktop”.

Such thinking, he said, was becoming less and less relevant as the way people used computers and what they did changed.

“…the early adopters among us have decidedly begun to move away from mentally associating our computing activities with the hardware/software artifacts of our past such as PC’s, CD-installed programs, desktops, folders & files,” he wrote.

Connections rather than computers were more important, he suggested, and devices were becoming almost disposable.

“They’re instantly usable, interchangeable, and trivially replaceable without loss,” he said.

To prosper and stay relevant, he said, Microsoft must embrace this change and get to grips with a world that cares about “continuous services” rather than computers.

“Close our eyes and form a realistic picture of what a post-PC world might actually look like, if it were to ever truly occur,” he wrote. “Those who can envision a plausible future that’s brighter than today will earn the opportunity to lead.”

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Source: BBC

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Privacy body to re-examine Google http://www.khaama.com/privacy-body-to-re-examine-google http://www.khaama.com/privacy-body-to-re-examine-google#comments Tue, 26 Oct 2010 05:39:20 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=240 Privacy body to re-examine Google
(BBC) – Google’s Peter Barron: “We’re determined to learn the lessons from this mistake” Britain’s privacy watchdog is to look again at what personal information internet giant Google gathered from private wi-fi networks. The Information Commissioner’s Office had investigated a sample earlier this year after it was revealed that Google had collected personal data during Read the full article...]]>
Privacy body to re-examine Google

(BBC) – Google’s Peter Barron: “We’re determined to learn the lessons from this mistake”

Britain’s privacy watchdog is to look again at what personal information internet giant Google gathered from private wi-fi networks.

The Information Commissioner’s Office had investigated a sample earlier this year after it was revealed that Google had collected personal data during its Street View project.

At the time, it said no “significant” personal details were collected.

But Google has since admitted that e-mails and passwords were copied.

On its official Google blog, senior vice president Alan Eustace wrote that the company was “mortified” to discover, after the initial investigation in May, that personal information had been collected.

Privacy watchdogs in numerous countries, including France, Germany and Canada, had also investigated the information.

“It’s clear from those [external] inspections that while most of the data is fragmentary, in some instances entire e-mails and URLs were captured, as well as passwords,” Mr Eustace wrote.

“We want to delete this data as soon as possible and I would like to apologise again for the fact that we collected it in the first place.

“We are mortified by what happened, but confident that… changes to our processes and structure will significantly improve our internal privacy and security practices for the benefit of all our users.”

A spokesman for the Information Commissioner’s Office said it had kept an eye on international investigations since its own one concluded in July.

That investigation said that the information “did not include meaningful personal details that could be linked to an identifiable person”.

Enforcement powers

However, Google’s admission of more detailed data has prompted further action by the ICO.

“We will be making enquires to see whether this information relates to the data inadvertently captured in the UK, before deciding on the necessary course of action, including a consideration of the need to use our enforcement powers,” a spokesman said.

Google’s director of privacy Alma Whitten said the company would work with the ICO to answer its “further questions and concerns”.

She added that the data “has never been used in any Google product and was never intended to be used by Google in any way”.

Information about the gathering of personal data came to light following a request by data protection authorities in Hamburg, Germany, for more information about the operation of Google’s Street View technology which adds images of locations to maps.

This revealed that Google had “accidentally” grabbed data from unsecured hotspots for years as its Street View cars captured images of street scenes. In total it is thought to have grabbed about 600 gigabytes of data.

It led to many data protection authorities pressing Google for access to the mass of data it grabbed to see whether laws on the protecting of personal information had been broken.

Google said it had since “strengthened” its internal privacy and security practices.

Alex Deane, director of privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch, said Google should launch an immediate investigation into how the breach happened.

“As if building up a database of photographs of millions of people’s private homes wasn’t enough, the news that Google has also harvested e-mail addresses and passwords is nothing short of outrageous,” said Mr Deane.

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Source : BBC

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Apple’s new MacBook Air: As if a laptop ‘hooked up’ with an iPad http://www.khaama.com/139 http://www.khaama.com/139#comments Thu, 21 Oct 2010 04:25:51 +0000 http://www.khushnood.org/?p=139 Apple’s new MacBook Air: As if a laptop ‘hooked up’ with an iPad
(CNN) — While Apple’s Wednesday event was called “Back to the Mac,” much of the undertones harkened back to its popular touch-screen products. Apple released a redesigned line of laptops and offered a peek at new Mac software at a news conference at its Cupertino, California, headquarters. The MacBook Air laptops will be available to Read the full article...]]>
Apple’s new MacBook Air: As if a laptop ‘hooked up’ with an iPad

(CNN) — While Apple’s Wednesday event was called “Back to the Mac,” much of the undertones harkened back to its popular touch-screen products.

Apple released a redesigned line of laptops and offered a peek at new Mac software at a news conference at its Cupertino, California, headquarters.

The MacBook Air laptops will be available to buy Wednesday in 11- and 13-inch-display models. The smaller size costs $999, and the larger costs $1,299.

Neither model includes a hard drive or DVD player.

Instead, the MacBook Air uses what’s called flash storage, a more efficient but pricier technology used in many of the company’s other portable products. That costliness is evident in the base model, which only has 64 gigabytes of space. (It costs an extra $200 to double the storage.)

This flash memory helps the new MacBook Air achieve between five and seven hours of battery life when surfing the Web, and 30 days of standby time. That also allows the computer to turn on almost instantly.

The machines are lighter, at 2.3 to 2.9 pounds, and thinner — the wedge-shaped aluminum gizmos measure just over two-thirds of an inch at the widest edge.

“We really see these as the next generation of MacBooks,” Steve Jobs, the company’s chief executive, said at the event. “We think all notebooks will be like these someday.”

Rather than using DVDs, software will be installed through a new App Store, similar to the digital marketplace on Apple’s iPhone and iPad. This digital store can be downloaded to Macs running the newest version of OS X Snow Leopard sometime in the next 90 days, Jobs said.

For an event centered around Apple’s flagship Mac computers, the focus Wednesday often turned to its mobile-focused iOS software.

“We’ve invented some new things, and we’ve perfected them over the last several years,” Jobs said of iOS. “We’re inspired by some of those innovations. We’d like to bring them back to the Mac.”

Apple also demonstrated it hasn’t run out of jungle-cat names with its new Lion operating system. The software borrows many concepts from iOS, including a similar presentation of software, full-screen use, a focus on touch navigation and, of course, the App Store.

Apps aside, Apple said it would release a Mac version of FaceTime, the video chat program for iPhone and iPod Touch, on its website Wednesday.

A new version of the iLife software, which includes apps such as iPhoto, GarageBand and iMovie, was also released Wednesday, costing $49. It’s included with new Apple computers. These apps can aid struggling musicians or let users craft boilerplate movie trailers.

The new MacBook Air, too, borrows things from Apple’s hand-held products.

“What would happen if a MacBook and an iPad hooked up?” Jobs joked. “This is the result.”

But don’t expect to be able to tap buttons on the laptop’s screen.

“Touch surfaces don’t want to be vertical,” Jobs said onstage. “After a short period of time, you start to fatigue. And after an extended period of time, your arm wants to fall off. It doesn’t work. It’s ergonomically terrible.”

Due to the size of these new computers, some observers may be quick to draw comparisons to netbooks. But those devices are usually cheaper and pack a slower type of processor.

“Netbooks are getting squeezed on all sides,” including pressure from tablets, said Gartner analyst Van Baker. The netbook market “grew very fast, and now they’re shrinking very fast,” he added.

“The question now is: Are full-blown notebooks going to replace netbooks?” Baker said.

Apple is spring-boarding from a record quarter for its computer division, having sold 3.89 million Macs between late June and late September. While the company sold more iPhones, iPods and iPads than Macs, profit margins on desktops and laptops are generally higher, so they make up a crucial part of Apple’s revenue.

Computers made up a third of Apple’s revenue last year, Tim Cook, chief operating officer, said during the news conference.

“If it was a standalone company — and we have no plans to do that,” Cook joked, “it would be 110 in the Fortune 500 list.”

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Source: CNN

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Muslim Scientific Inventions http://www.khaama.com/muslim-scientific-inventions http://www.khaama.com/muslim-scientific-inventions#comments Tue, 20 Apr 2010 06:50:39 +0000 http://www.khushnood.org/?p=92 Muslim Scientific Inventions
The Muslim Scholar Muslims distinguished themselves not only as theoretical scientists and scientific thinkers, but contributed through innumerable inventions to the growth of the modern sciences. Though the mediaeval Muslims had very meagre resources at their command as compared to those of the present age, they achieved a great deal. They replaced the old speculative Read the full article...]]>
Muslim Scientific Inventions

The Muslim Scholar

Muslims distinguished themselves not only as theoretical scientists and scientific thinkers, but contributed through innumerable inventions to the growth of the modern sciences. Though the mediaeval Muslims had very meagre resources at their command as compared to those of the present age, they achieved a great deal. They replaced the old speculative method of the Greeks with an experimental method, which in later periods formed the basis of all scientific investigations.

The Inventions

The Telescope

Abul Hasan is distinguished as the inventor of the Telescope, which he described to be a “Tube, to the extremities of which were attached diopters”.

The Pendulum

The Pendulum was invented by Ibn Yunus, a genius in science who lived in the reign of Aziz Billah and Hakim bi-Amr-illah, the Fatimid monarchs of Egypt. The invention of the Pendulum led to the measurement of time by its oscillations. His outstanding work Sijul Akbar al-Hakimi, named after his celebrated patron Hakim bi-Amr-illah, was acknowledged to be the masterpiece on the subject replacing the work of Ptolemy. It was translated into Persian by Omar Khayyam in 1079.

The Watch

The first watch was made by Kutbi, a renowned watch-maker of his time. During the Abbasid reign the use of a watch became quite common and the famous Harun-ar-Rashid once despatched a watch as a gift to his celebrated contemporary, the French Emperor Charlemagne. At that time a watch was considered a novel thing in Europe and was regarded as an object of wonder.

Mustansariya, the well-known university of Baghdad had a unique clock with a dial blue like the sky and a sun which continually moved over its surface denoting the time. Maulana Shibli, the famous Urdu litterateur, has described a watch of Damascus in the following words:

“The watch was kept in the door of a wall. It contained copper plates and twelve doors. There was an Eagle (Bat) standing in the Ist and the last plate. At the end of each hour, these two eagles lay down on the copper plates and hence a sound was produced to show the time. At twelve all the doors were closed. This system was being repeated continuously”.

The construction of water clocks was also common in Islamic Countries. “The Arabs were skilful in the construction of clepsydras and water clocks with automata,” says a European writer.

The Mariners Compass

The invention of Mariners Compass, which revolutionised sea borne commerce and oceanic shipping and enabled the Arabs to roam over the stormy seas in quest of new lands and additional markets for their commodities, is essentially a contribution of the Muslims to the world of science.

Knowledge about the properties of the needle, can no doubt be traced to Chinese sources, but putting it into working shape, in the form of a mariners’ compass, was the achievement of Muslim scientists. The compass was probably invented for the purpose of finding out the Qibla for Prayers.

Gunpowder

Mir Fatehullah Khan is known to history as the inventor of gun and gunpowder. The presumption that gunpowder was first made by the Chinese does not stand the test of historical research. Writing in his book Arab Civilization, the author says that “gunpowder was a great invention of the Arabs who were already using guns”. Guns were used by Arabs in 1340 A.D. in the defence of Al-Bahsur, when Franzdol besieged it. The statement of Dr. Leabon about the invention of gunpowder by the Arabs is further corroborated by Mr. Scott in his well-known work, History of the Moorish Empire in Spain.

“It has been acknowledged by Joseph Hell in his book, Arab Civilization, that the distinction of inventing photography goes to Ibn al-Hashem, who is not only credited with its invention but also its development. Muhammad Musa, a great scholar of geography, has the unique distinction of being the inventor of an instrument by which the earth could be measured. He also invented the “Astrolabe”. These novel instruments invented by him have been preserved in the Museum of Madrid (Spain).”

Shipping instrument

A unique instrument was invented by Abu Solet Umayyah in 1134 A.D. through which a sunken ship would be raised – which greatly helped in the salvage expeditions of mediaeval times.

Manufacturing Soap, Paper and Cloth

The credit for manufacturing soap goes to Arab chemists, who introduced it to the world. The first paper in Islamic countries was manufactured in 794 A.D. in Baghdad by Yusuf Bin Omar. The paper manufactured in Arab countries was of superior quality than that made in Europe.

A paper mill was established in Baghdad, and soon paper replaced parchment (skin of animals) and papyrus (‘paper’ made from plants). the development of paper made knowledge and learning easier, for more people were able to have access to it.

In the manufacture of cloth, Muslims particularly in Spain exhibited marvellous skill and taste. Their woven cloth captured almost all the big markets of the world and was considered to be the finest as well as extremely durable.

The Windmill

Al-Masudi who died in Cairo in 957 A.D. may be called the “Pliny of the Arabs” In his celebrated work The Meadows of Gold, he has described an earthquake, and the first windmill which was also invented by a Muslim.

Astronomy and Navigation

Giralda or “The Tower of Seville”, was the first observatory in Europe. It was built in 1190 A.D., in the Spanish town of Seville under the supervision of the celebrated Mathematician, Jabir Ibn Afiah. It was meant for the observation of heavenly bodies. It was later turned into a belfry by Christian conquerors, who, after the expulsion of the Moors, did not know how to use it.

The many references to astronomy in the Qur’an and hadith, and the injunctions to learn, inspired the early Muslim scholars to study the heavens. They integrated the earlier works of the Indians, Persians and Greeks into a new synthesis.

Ptolemy (a 2nd Century Greek writer)’s ‘Almagest’ (the title as we know it today is actually Arabic) was translated, studied and criticized. Muslims were inspired to investigate and study the Earth, the features of the land, methods of mapping and so on. Many new stars were discovered, as we see in their Arabic names – Algol, Deneb, Betelgeuse, Rigel, Aldebaran.

Astronomical tables were compiled, among them the Toledan tables, which were used by Copernicus, Tycho Brahe and Kepler.

These works were used to determine the direction of Makkah from various locations, to improve navigation and surveying, and establishing correct time keeping and calanders.

Using longitude and latitude, calculating the circumference of the Earth within a few hundred miles, the Muslim geographers so greatly improved on Ptolemy’s famous ‘Almagest’, that it is not certain how much of the work actually belongs to the famous Greek, and how much was added to successive copies.

Also compiled were almanacs – another Arabic term. Other terms from Arabic are zenith, nadir, Aledo, azimuth.

Muslim astronomers were the first to establish observatories, like the one built at Mugharah by Hulagu, the son of Genghis Khan, in Persia, and they invented instruments such as the quadrant and astrolabe, which led to advances not only in astronomy but in oceanic navigation, contributing to the European age of exploration. Other instruments used by muslim astronomers and navigators were the quadrant and the planisphere, a large, complicated device for plotting stars. Observatories were set up in desert locations where the best observations could be made. Accurate measurement of time used very similar mathematical skills to those needed for

navigation. Al-Biruni, for example, wrote a mathematical treatise on shadows that helped calibrate sundials accurately.

Astrolobe

The Astrolobe is perhaps the most famous of ‘Islamic inventions’. Primitive astrolobes were developed by the Greeks, but the refinements made by the Muslim Mathematicians, and craftsmen made them more accurate and versatile. When the device entered Europe through Spain and Italy, it was the latest in high technology. In the storyteller of ‘The Canterbury Tales’, Geoffery Chaucer, wrote instructions on its use. The well-known romance of Heloise and Abelard resulted in a son they named – Astrolobe! their instruments used by Muslim astronomers and navigators were

Mathematics Bold experiments and unique innovations in the field of mathematics were carried out by Muslim mathematicians who developed this science to an exceptionally high degree. Algebra may be said to have been invented by the Greeks, but according to Oelsner, “it was confined to furnishing amusement for the plays of the goblet” Muslims developed it and applied it to higher purposes.

Thus, The first great Muslim mathematician, Al-Khawarizmi, invented the subject of algebra (al-Jabr), which was further developed by others, most notably Umar Khayyam. Al-Khawarizmi’s work, in Latin translation, brought the Arabic numerals along with the mathematics to Europe, through Spain. The word “algorithm” is derived from his name.

The Muslims invented the symbol for zero (The word “cipher” comes from Arabic sifr), and they organized the numbers into the decimal system – base 10. Additionally, they invented the symbol to express an unknown quantity, i.e. variables like x.

They invented spherical trigonometry, discovered the tangent and were first, “to introduce the sine of arc in Trigonometrical Calculations” Zero is an invaluable addition made to mathematical science by the Muslims. They have also shown remarkable progress in mathematical geography.

Medical Sciences

The Muslims have made a lasting contribution to the development of Medical Science. Razi (Rhazes), Ibn Sina (Avicenna), and Abu Ali al-Hasan (Alhazen) were the greatest medical scholars of mediaeval times.

Al-Razi, known in the West as Rhazes, the famous physician and scientist, (d. 932), was the inventor of “Seton” in Surgery and the author of ‘Al-Judari wal Hasbak’, an authentic book dealing with measles and small pox.

Seen as one of the greatest physicians in the world in the Middle Ages, Razi stressed empirical observation and clinical medicine and was unrivalled as a diagnostician. He also wrote a treatise on hygiene in hospitals.

Kahaf Abul-Qasim Al-Sahabi was a very famous surgeon in the eleventh century, known in Europe for his work, ‘Kitab al-Tasrif’ (Concessio).

Avicenna wrote ‘Al-Qanun Jil Tib known as Cannon’, which was the most widely studied medical work of mediaevel times and was reprinted more than twenty times during the last 30 years of the 15th century in many different languages. The book remained a standard textbook even in Europe, for over 700 years. Alhazen was the world’s greatest authority on “optics”.

The contagious character of the plague and its remedies were discovered by Ibn Katina, a Moorish Physician.

Other significant contributions were made in pharmacology, such as Ibn Sina’s ‘Kitab al-Shifa’ (Book of Healing), and in public health. Every major city in the Islamic world had a number of excellent hospitals, some of them teaching hospitals, and many of them were specialized for particular diseases, including mental and emotional. The Ottomans were particularly noted for their building of hospitals and for the high level of hygiene practiced in them.

Glass Ibn Firnas is credited with making glass from stones. He had constructed his home as a sort df planetarium where one could see stars, clouds and even lightning. Attempts at flight

According to Hitti, “Ibn Firnas was the first man in Arab history to make a scientific attempt at flight. His flying equipment consisted of a suit of feathers with wings, which, we are told carried him a long distance, in the air. When he alighted, however, he hurt himself because his suit was not provided with a tail.”

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