Thursday, July 15, 2010

Test technology again

US state Connecticut will lead a multi-state investigation into Google's collection of wi-fi data.
It is the latest in a series of global investigations aimed at the firm.
Google has admitted that its Street View cars "accidentally" collected data from unsecured wi-fi networks in 30 countries because of some rogue code in the software used by the service.
The US investigation will attempt to answer how that code ended up being used by Street View.
Google has explained that the data was gathered as it logged wi-fi hotspots to help it develop location-based services. It has since stopped collecting such data.
But it has never gone into details about how the software came to be included in the Street View system, saying just that it was the work of a "single engineer".
The US investigation aims to drill down into Google's working practices.
It will ask the search giant who inserted the code and why, whether the data was extracted and why Google saved it.
In a letter to the search giant, Connecticut's Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has asked for copies of the company's internal procedures regarding Street View and for exact details of how and when Google learned that its cars were capturing sensitive data.
The letter also asks why Google recorded the signal strength and quality of personal and business wireless networks.
Richard Blumenthal Connecticut Attorney General
Mr Blumenthal said he expected a "significant number of states to participate". 30 have so far signed up.
He described the accidental collection of data as a "deeply disturbing invasion of personal privacy".
"Street View cannot mean Complete View - invading home and business computer networks and vacuuming up personal information and communications.
"Consumers have a right and a need to know what personal information - which could include e-mails, web browsing and passwords - Google may have collected and why. Google must come clean," he said.
The French data protection agency CNIL has had an early view of some of the information collected and said it included data such as passwords.
It said it was considering whether to prosecute the firm.
Like many other data protection agencies it had requested Google hand over copies of the data it gathered to find out whether it breached privacy rules.
Investigations are also on-going in Germany, Spain, Italy, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
Google said it was working with all the investigators and offering to delete all the sensitive data.

Iphone 4

The iPhone 4 is finally available, but a good deal of the early buzz surrounding the hot new smartphone has been negative. The first wave of purchasers has complained of reception problems, yellow discolorations on the screen and swapped volume buttons, among other grievances.
Given the relative likelihood of such launch jitters, should savvy consumers wait a few months before plunking down on the latest "it" phone?
Analysts say the buy-now or buy-later decision boils down to the importance of having a phone that works properly from minute one, but in general it's better to wait a few weeks or even months while hardware kinks — the hardest type of fix — are sorted out in the manufacturing process.
"Really, it’s a personal preference," said Tina Teng, a senior analyst for wireless communications at tech firm iSuppli. "If you don’t want to deal with the hassle [of early problems], then maybe wait a few months."
Michael Morgan, a mobile devices industry analyst for ABI Research, agreed. "If you are extremely dependent on being in contact at all times, maybe you want to wait a bit [before buying a new phone]," Morgan said.

Test Phone category

Chancellor George Osborne has confirmed that the 50p a month landline tax ear-marked for next-generation broadband will be scrapped.
Instead the government will leave the majority of super-fast broadband roll-out to private investment.
Some money will be available for rural roll-outs, he said.
The Conservatives opposed the introduction of the broadband tax and it was dropped from the Finance Bill at the end of the last parliament.
Speaking about the decision to scrap the tax, he said: "I am happy to be able to abolish this new duty before it is even introduced. Instead, we will support private broadband investment, including to rural areas, in part with funding from the Digital Switchover under-spend within the TV Licence Fee."
Opening ducts Labour plans to create a rural broadband fund via the new tax were supported by the Liberal Democrats but were heavily criticised by the Tories.
It was dropped from the Finance Bill as a compromise to get the rest of the legislation through before parliament was dissolved.
Despite the lack of new funding, the coalition government has said it is committed to providing broadband improvements.
In a speech at the beginning of June, culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said that it was his goal to provide Britain with the "best superfast broadband network in Europe".
To achieve this, he is considering forcing water, gas and electricity companies to open up their ducts to allow fibre to be laid inside them.
Experts estimate that a large chunk of the cost of offering fi....

Sepak Bola

(CNN) -- Brazil and Portugal played out a disappointing draw as Group G reached its climax but both cruised into the last 16 of the World Cup.
Striker Nilmar came the closest to breaking the deadlock for Brazil, as his shot was diverted onto the crossbar by Portugal goalkeeper Eduardo.
Brazil finish as group winners and will face either Spain, Chile or Switzerland in the second round. Portugal go through as runners up and will face either Spain or Chile.
Ivory Coast comfortably beat North Korea 3-0 in the group's other match but it wasn't enough to give them hope of qualifying in place of Portugal.
Brazil 0-0 Portugal
During a cagey opening in Durban, neither side created any chances of note in the opening 20 minutes of the game, that was dominated by a series of niggly fouls.
Brazil defender Juan was lucky not to see a red card as he hand balled a long pass that would have released Cristiano Ronaldo.
The first real chance came on the half hour mark as Nilmar met striker Luis Fabiano's cross but Portugal goalkeeper Eduardo turned his effort onto the crossbar.
Fabiano then headed narrowly wide of the target as he met Maicon's cross from the right flank.
Ronaldo registered Portugal's first effort on target five minutes before the break but his powerful shot was easily gathered by Brazil goalkeeper Cesar.
A series of fouls disrupted the flow of the game, as the referee produced seven yellow cards before half-time arrived -- including one to Tiago for diving.
Fabiano forced Eduardo into another save with a looping header before Simao tested Cesar at the other end but his shot was right at the 'keeper.
A powerful run from Ronaldo created a chance for Raul Meireles but his flick towards goal brushed the side-netting via a touch from Cesar.
Substitute Ramires brought a superb save out of Eduardo near the end as his shot was deflected towards the top corner but both sides were content to hold out for a point.

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( -- Elizabeth Edwards -- and, for the first time, daughter Cate -- are opening up about John Edwards's infidelity and the breakup of the marriage.

In PEOPLE's edition next week, Cate, 28, who lives in Washington and clerks for a federal judge, and her mother talk candidly about their relationships with John now, Elizabeth's cancer and other issues.

"There are the things she taught without words," Cate writes about her mother in a bonus essay for PEOPLE. Like, "how to continue to live your life on your own terms when it somehow becomes savaged by people you never invited into it."

PEOPLE's extensive interview was Elizabeth's first in more than a year and her first public comments since several tell-all books and interviews about the former presidential candidate's affair called Elizabeth's own character into question earlier this year.

"It's my story and I'm writing it from here on out -- nobody else," Elizabeth says in the interview as the paperback edition of her bestselling book "Resilience," is released.

The paperback includes a new chapter reflecting on the worst of the fallout from husband John's infidelity and on their split at the end of last year.

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Otomotif News

NEW YORK ( -- Toyota is recalling 17,000 Lexus vehicles because they spilled too much gasoline during crash tests, the company said Friday.

The affected vehicles are 2010 model year Lexus HS 250h cars, Toyota said. The company did not immediately return a request for comment.

As part of a yearly testing program, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performed a crash test and found that these cars spilled more gasoline than is allowed by the agency's safety requirements.

But Toyota said it tested the cars in the same manner and found that the fuel spillage met the requirements. The company is working to identify the reason for the different test results.

Lexus has not yet identified a fix for the problem, "but it is working hard to do so promptly and will notify owners as soon as one is developed," the company said in a statement.

Federal law prohibits dealers from selling any of the recalled products until a fix is identified.