Ed Oswald

Mars Rover Curiosity camera isn't as good as your cell phone's

Mars Surface from Curiosity

NASA's Curiosity rover landed on the surface of Mars on Sunday night, and almost immediately began transferring back to Earth the first images of the Martian surface. But for its reported $2.5 billion price tag, the images have a little less clarity than you might expect.

Curiosity's cameras have a maximum resolution of two megapixels. For perspective's sake, modern smartphones typically are 8MP or more. The result will be images that are sharper than those of Martian rovers past, yet lack the clarity that would be expected of a modern research craft.

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YouTube app disappears from latest iOS 6 beta, Apple says license has 'ended'

youtube big

Apple's divorce from Google is nearly complete: say goodbye to the native YouTube app. The change came within iOS 6 Beta 4 which released to testers on Monday. The reasons for the move are unclear: little was said other than the license to carry YouTube in iOS had expired.

Monday's news follows Apple's decision to dump Google Maps in favor of its own in-house solution. As competition heated up in the smartphone sector and Google's Android gained more market share, the two companies have begun to distance themselves from one another.

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Apple's dock connector update may trigger refresh of entire product line

Apple Store

While the focus on Apple's next big thing has surrounded the likely release of the iPhone 5 next month, the Cupertino, Calif. company's decision to change the dock connector may affect its entire product line, a new report claims.

Rene Ritchie at iMore says sources told the publication that the entire iOS device lineup will receive a refresh when the iPhone 5 launches, rumored to occur on September 12. The report claims that date will see a refreshed iPad, new iPod nano and iPod touches, the iPhone 5, and even the debut of the 7-inch iPad.

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What's in a name? Metro becomes a bad word at Microsoft

Windows 8 Metro

Microsoft isn't known for its ability in picking catchy names, so it was somewhat shocking when the Redmond, Wash. company began referring to its clean, typography-first interface as "Metro". It was beautifully simple, and just seemed to fit.

Not anymore.

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Dead Trigger is now free on iOS too, but is piracy really to blame?

Dead Trigger

A week after Madfinger Games made much to-do about piracy driving its decision to make first-person zombie shooting game Dead Trigger free on the Android platform, the game developer has now done the same for the iOS version.

Those who purchased the game while it was 99 cents will be given in-game currency 25 gold and ten casino chips in the 1.1.2 update. Unlike last time however, there is no grandstanding from CEO Marek Rabas on a privacy problem on Apple's mobile platform. All we know is that Madfinger is moving to a "freemium" model with Dead Trigger, and in one case, blamed it on piracy.

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Why aren't you mobilizing your business in the cloud?

businessman cloud

Is your business cloud-ready? More importantly, are you using the cloud to mobilize your business? Mobile connectivity has become crucial to businesses, and in many cases a necessity. While on the road, it's important for your employees to have access to their email, mission-critical business applications, and the Web itself.

A recent study by research firm SMB Group showed that small-and-medium businesses are looking to mobilize, not only increase productivity but save money. Forty-four percent of all respondents said the ability to work from the field was a driving force in their mobile business strategy, while one-quarter say the ability to make decisions faster was a key factor.

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Twitter admits it acted inappropriately in suspending journalist's account

guilty guilt culpable

The controversy over the suspension of a Twitter account belonging to a journalist critical of NBC's Olympics coverage deepened Tuesday. UK daily The Telegraph reports that NBC officials say Twitter alerted the network first about The Independent correspondent's tweets, which Twitter later confirmed.

Twitter's move will likely upset those already complaining that Twitter's actions were an affront to free speech even more: the social network actually informed NBC's social media department how to use its complaint system, which resulted in the suspension.

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NBC pressures Twitter to shutter account of journalist critical of Olympics coverage

twitter bird

As criticism over NBC's coverage of the 2012 Olympics in London grows, the network now finds itself at the center of a controversy surrounding its apparent involvement in the suspension of the Twitter account of an American journalist.

Guy Adams, the Independent's Los Angeles bureau chief, has been extremely critical of NBC's coverage of the games. In a series of tweets, Adams takes on NBC's decision to run almost no major event live, and Matt Lauer's sometimes inane banter during the Opening Ceremony coverage. Adams even went so far as to criticize NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel.

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Apple scoops up security firm AuthenTec for $356 million

attack mac keyboard security malware virus

Apple has agreed to purchase security firm AuthenTec for $356 million, a Thursday SEC filing from the Melbourne, Fla.-based company indicates. Apple is likely looking to bolster the security credentials of its products, and with the recent focus by hackers on Apple's products, that might be a good idea.

AuthenTec produces a variety of software and hardware-based security solutions, including fingerprint sensors. Its VPN security software is already included in smartphones and tablets from Samsung, and its DRM platform is used to protect streaming content within the HBO GO application.

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Google's Kansas City ultra-fast fiber network set to debut

ethernet fiber optic cable wire

Residents of the Kansas City metropolitan area are close to having access to super-fast Internet as Google unveiled its fiber-to-the-home service on Thursday. For as little as $70 per month, Google will provide 1 Gigabit Internet service to customers in both Kansas City, Mo. and Kansas City, Kan.

The service will also include a television component for an additional $50 per month. Deployment depends on the number of consumers that pre-register in a specific area: Google will only complete runs of fiber-optic cable to where the demand is highest.

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Yes, Twitter was down (And Google Talk was too).


It has not been a good day for messaging services.

Both Twitter and Google Talk experienced service problems Thursday, with Google Talk down for much of the morning and Twitter until early this afternoon. As of press time, neither Twitter nor Google had given specific reasons for the downtime.

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Malware infects three-quarters of the world's top banks

security malware trojan map world

File this story in the "Who do you trust with your money?" category.

Eighteen of the top 24 banks in the world have malware problems, security firm Lookingglass says on Wednesday. Even three-year old worms that have long had patches and fixes to address them continue to infect the PCs of banks, including Conficker, found (gasp) in the IT deployments of 10 of the top 24.

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VMware acquires virtual networking software company Nicira for $1.05 billion

invisible man cloud network

On the same day as reporting strong second-quarter results, virtualization software developer VMware said Monday that it has entered into an agreement to purchase network software Nicira for $1.05 billion. The company's software is used to manage network deployments and create virtualized network infrastructure. VMware expects the deal to close in the second half of the year.

"The acquisition of Nicira adds to our portfolio of networking assets and positions VMware to be the industry leader in software-defined networking", VMware CEO Paul Maritz says. Others called it a major move which positions VMware well in the fast-growing cloud computing sector.

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Is there really 'unprecedented' demand for iPhone 5?

Apple Store San Diego

Demand ahead of the launch of Apple's iPhone 5 is "unprecedented", with a third of all potential smartphone buyers planning to purchase the device. The data comes courtesy of a new survey of 4,000 consumers carried out by research firm ChangeWave.

Fourteen percent of those polled say they are "very likely" to purchase an iPhone 5, with an additional 17 percent saying they are "somewhat likely" to do the same. Combined, that represents the highest number for those planning to purchase a new iPhone model.

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DirecTV the apparent winner in new deal with Viacom, 10-day blackout ends


A 10-day dispute between Viacom and satellite provider DirecTV ended Friday as the two sides consented to a new long-term agreement that put Viacom channels back on the air.

DirecTV customers lost access to 26 channels on July 10 after the company walked away from negotiations, claiming Viacom wanted a 30-percent increase in carriage rates. While the two sides did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, both Bloomberg and Reuters report that it is worth about $600 million, or a 20 percent increase over current rates.

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