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Tiny $35 Raspberry Pi computer causes big stir on launch day – CNN.com March 2, 2012

Posted by John Ruby in *New Products, CNN, News and politics.
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By Nick Thompson, CNN

updated 8:26 AM EST, Fri March 2, 2012 |

<br/>The $35 credit card-sized Raspberry Pi computer sold out within hours of its debut Wednesday.

(CNN) — The debut of the tiny $35 Raspberry Pi computer crashed its distributors’ websites on the way to selling out within hours of launch.

Looking like little more than a credit card-sized chip of circuit board, the powerful, fully-programmable PC can plug into any TV and can power 3D graphics and Blu-ray video playback.

Its British-based designers at the Raspberry Pi Foundation hope the computer, which has been in the works for six years, will spark new interest in programming among children.

"The primary goal was to build a low cost computer that every child could own, and one where programming was the natural thing to do with it," said co-founder Robert Mullins.

Read More…Tiny $35 Raspberry Pi computer causes big stir on launch day – CNN.com

iOS loophole gives developers access to photos, sources say a fix is coming | The Verge February 29, 2012

Posted by John Ruby in News and politics, Privacy, Security.
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iOS loophole gives developers access to photos, sources say a fix is coming | The Verge


Another day, another iOS security concern. Today’s confidence-defeating news comes from Nick Bilton at the New York Times. Bilton writes at the paper’s Bits blog that a loophole has been discovered in iOS which allows third-party developers access to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch’s photo and video location data… as well as the actual photos and videos themselves. It appears that if an app asks for photo location data on your device (and you approve the request for permission), that application will also be able to slurp down the photos and videos stored on your phone without any further notification. The Times report mirrors an earlier story from 9to5 Mac which detailed security issues on the platform.

We reached out to Apple about the issue, but the company declined to comment.


This story has clear echoes of that controversy, which came to light when a developer discovered that the app Path was downloading all of your device’s contact information to the company’s servers. In a follow-up report, we discovered that Path wasn’t the only app grabbing your info.

The Verge Interview: Stephen Elop ‘more confident than ever’ about Windows Phone | The Verge February 29, 2012

Posted by John Ruby in Microsoft, News and politics, Platforms & EcoSystems, Windows Phone.
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The Verge Interview: Stephen Elop ‘more confident than ever’ about Windows Phone | The Verge

verge interview stephen elop_640

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop is on hand at MWC this week to help spread the company’s message to business partners, carriers, and the press. Ever gregarious and approachable, Elop gave us a few minutes of his time today to discuss the first year of Nokia’s transition, which got started with the announcement of a strategic alliance with Microsoft in February 2011. He was candid about the downsides of this fundamental change in strategy, noting the number of jobs Nokia has had to cut in an effort to streamline operations.

Today, Nokia remains very much in the middle of its transition, says Elop, but a lot has been accomplished in those short twelve months. His present assessment of the decision to move to Windows Phone is no less sanguine than it was a year ago:

"One year later, after making our big decisions about strategy, I am more confident than ever that we made the right decisions."

Nokia’s impact on the development of the Windows Phone OS and ancillary services is only now starting to be felt and there’s a lot more that the company will look to contribute to the effort. Moreover, with Microsoft building up an entire ecosystem around the Metro style UI — with Windows Phone, Windows 8, and Xbox Live — Elop believes there’s great opportunity to expand Nokia’s influence beyond the smartphone but isn’t willing to announce anything quite yet. Needless to say, he’s taking a long hard look at how Nokia can be a player in the tablet space.

Wingspan Bank – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia April 9, 2010

Posted by John Ruby in News and politics.
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Wingspan Bank – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wingspan Bank

Wingspan Bank was a U.S. bank operating solely via the Internet from 1999 to 2000. It was a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank One. The CEO was Jim Stewart, previously of the parent bank’s First USA division.

The bank began operations in June 1999, with the marketing slogan "If your bank could start over, this is what it would be." An aggressive online marketing campaign was carried out to promote the bank, which also received wide coverage in mainstream financial press. The venture also benefited from its parent’s existing marketing agreements with major web portals such as America Online, MSN, and Excite. A marketing agreement was also entered into with then-major search engine/portal Lycos. An additional incentive was the promise of a $100 reward to the first 10,000 customers.

Despite being owned by Bank One, an existing brick and mortar banking institution in the Chicago area, Wingspan was branded wholly separately and with minimal acknowledgment of the relationship. As a result, Wingspan’s online-only operation effectively competed with Bank One’s own online presence, particularly as the online bank’s lack of physical presence allowed it to provide better fees and rates for customers. The bank provided most traditional financial services from interest-bearing checking accounts to credit cards, Individual Retirement Accounts and HELOCs. It also provided bill pay, with on-time payment guarantee, although the payment was physically done via the bank mailing a check to the payee in most cases.

The lack of physical presence was ultimately a negative for the bank. While customers were able to use Bank One ATMs for free, they could not use any physical bank branches. Non-electronic deposits had to be made via postal mail. The bank refunded up to $5 in ATM fees per month for customers not living near Bank One locations.

By September 2000, Bank One discontinued the Wingspan brand and rolled the online bank’s customers into Bank One’s existing online service as regular account holders. The parent company cited the online bank’s inability to attract a sufficient number of customers as the reason for its closure. The reintegration of Bank One’s online venture followed a similar action by Citibank with its Citi/fi brand, and other online banks such as Telebank merged with or entered into service agreements with physical banks.

CEO Jim Stewart left Wingspan in late 1999 to form Juniper Financial.

Google cyber attack highlights threat of malware – San Jose Mercury News January 19, 2010

Posted by John Ruby in News and politics.
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Google cyber attack highlights threat of malware – San Jose Mercury News
Google cyber attack highlights threat of malware

Rather than the relatively simple viruses that once bedeviled computer networks, malicious software has evolved into a sophisticated and potent weapon for corporate espionage, security experts say, so deceptive that even an organization as technologically savvy as Google was vulnerable.

Over the past 18 months, data security experts say they have seen a rapid growth in attacks by malware capable of worming its way through a computer network, lurking undetected as it searches out specific, valuable information that it can then broadcasts back to its creator

FCC Proposes Applying Net Neutrality to Carriers’ Wireless Networks January 14, 2010

Posted by John Ruby in News and politics.
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FCC Proposes Applying Net Neutrality to Carriers’ Wireless Networks
Today, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowsk said that wireless carriers shouldn’t be allowed to block certain types of Internet traffic flowing over their networks. This has huge implications for the VoIP industry, since as I wrote last week, AT&T blocks port 5060 (SIP) on their 3G data network, thus blocking VoIP applications. If the FCC mandates that the wireless carriers can no longer block applications on their data network, this opens up the entire 3G/4G wireless network to game-changing VoIP applications!

This will no doubt cause a firestorm of protests from the wireless industry which has invested billions in their wireless infrastructure and they see VoIP as something that will cannibalize their revenue stream. According to Yahoo, "FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said wireless carriers should be subject to the same "open Internet" rules that the agency has begun to apply to home broadband providers."