A small Canadian wireless company is threatening to take a huge chunk of the technology industry to court.
Ottawa-based Wi-LAN, which patents wireless products, is suing around 18 of the tech industry's largest players over what it claims are patent violations of Bluetooth technology. More specifically, Wi-LAN is alleging that these companies--which include Acer, Apple, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Motorola, Sony, and Toshiba--have all infringed on one of its U.S. patents for selling PCs and mobile phones equipped with Bluetooth.
Most people develop acne when they become socially aware. Firefox just gets an add-on. Mozilla Contacts is an experimental new add-on for the browser that provides one-click access to your address books, provided that you've synchronized them.
Right now, the add-on has fairly limited features and functionality. It can sync contacts from Gmail, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Plaxo. Mac users can also sync with with local address books, and there are plans to incorporate Thunderbird, locally stored contacts in Windows and other social-networking systems.
Once installed, Contacts can be accessed only from your Tools menu. It opens up a new … Read more
Best Buy has sold out of the iPad at all 673 of its U.S. stores with Apple shops. In contrast, Apple stores are maintaining stock.
"We expect to have iPad inventory replenished at these locations by Sunday," said company spokeswoman Paula Baldwin.
Six Best Buy stores contacted in the San Diego and Los Angeles area said they sold out of the iPad on Saturday, the day iPad sales began. Ditto for Best Buy stores contacted on the East Coast; stores in suburban Philadelphia and Boston also sold out on Saturday. A New York store, however, said it … Read more
Though cloud computing is often touted as a cost-saver for companies, IT pros still have lingering doubts about the safety and security of working in the cloud.
Around 45 percent of IT professionals recently surveyed by the ISACA (formerly known as the Information Systems Audit and Control Association) said the risks involved in cloud computing outshine any benefits. A global organization focused on the auditing and security of information systems, the ISACA conducted its first annual IT Risk/Reward Barometer survey (PDF) in March.
Questioning more than 1,800 IT professionals in the U.S. who are members of the … Read more
Apple's touch-screen iPad tablet has only been out for a few days. But a study has found that by 2015, the majority of kids under age 15 will be using computers that feature a touch-screen display.
According to market-research firm Gartner, the younger generation could lead the way in touch-screen computing. The firm said it believes about 50 percent of the computers that will be bought for kids aged 15 or younger in 2015 will feature a touch screen. In 2009, that figure stood at just 2 percent of PCs.
Gartner also predicts that the enterprise will see an … Read more
USB 3.0 will not see widespread adoption until at least late 2011 because of lack of direct support from Intel. As a result, the new standard may not become as prevalent this decade as USB 2.0 has been through most of the past decade.
The current USB standard, which is found on almost all mainstream gadgets today, has been around a long time. USB 2.0 was first available as far back as 2001 and Intel laid the groundwork for widespread use on PCs and devices in spring 2002 when it put the technology in its silicon.
Eight years later, the advantages of moving to a faster standard, USB 3.0, are clear (for devices like digital cameras, camcorders, and hard drives): transfer rates jump from 480 megabits per second to 5 gigabits per second--which is more than a 10-fold increase in speed. And as this CNET Review of a USB 3.0 Seagate external hard disk indicates, it can make a big difference: the Seagate drive was the "fastest USB external hard drive to date," according to CNET Labs.
But without direct support in Intel's silicon, it's a chicken-and-egg dilemma. The result: mass adoption of USB 3.0 by PC makers is unlikely.
"The real sweet spot of a new version of USB comes when it is integrated into the chipset of the PC," said Brian O'Rourke, an analyst at In-Stat. "That's when USB becomes mainstream...By integrating it into its chipsets, Intel essentially allows PC OEMs to offer that new flavor of USB for free," he said.
But Intel is not expected to put USB 3.0 in its silicon until 2011, according to O'Rourke. That means the interval between the initial introduction of USB 3.0 by NEC in May 2009 and Intel's adoption will be much longer than the transition was in 2001-2002. "In this go-round, it's going to be about two and a half years instead of a year," said O'Rourke, who also writes about this in a blog entitled "Transition to SuperSpeed USB Will Be Slow."
Developers who use Amazon's cloud-based Web services should now have an easier way to send out messages to their users.
A new messaging feature called Amazon Simple Notification Service will let developers with Amazon Web Services accounts push out notifications to subscribers from their cloud-based applications, the company said Wednesday. Currently in beta, Amazon SNS will offer developers a Web-based interface in which they can create different topics of interest, subscribe people to those topics, and then automatically send out messages to subscribers via e-mail, HTTP, or other means.
Developers can use Amazon SNS to update subscribers on the … Read more
Two related projects from Mozilla and Google, each with the similar goal of bringing hardware-accelerated 3D graphics to the Web, appear to be joining forces after a change in Google tactics.
The two projects emerged at nearly the same time in 2009: the O3D browser plug-in from Google and the proposed WebGL standard from Mozilla and the Khronos Group, which standardizes the OpenGL graphics interface on which WebGL is based. O3D is a higher-level technology, whereas WebGL is more concerned with the nuts and bolts of 3D graphics.
In recent months, though, O3D has become dormant. But it's not … Read more
Adobe Systems has announced that the latest version of the Flash plug-in, required to run most video content on the Web, is now available as a release candidate. Users of the Flash 10.1 Release Candidate for Windows, Mac, and Linux should see significant resource reduction while watching H.264 video and playing Flash-based games. Along with performance improvements, Adobe claims that the new version will drain your battery less.
Although smartphone support is anticipated this year in Flash 10.1, it won't be shipping just yet. The full list of changes to Flash made between the last beta … Read more
Though the market for tech companies is supposedly starting to improve, at least one software developer is still struggling.
Business software maker CA is planning to cut 1,000 jobs, about 8 percent of its staff, in an effort to trim costs and become leaner, according to a filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Formerly known as Computer Associates, Islandia, N.Y.-based CA will also close, consolidate, and merge certain offices as part of its cost savings strategy.
As a result, the company expects to spend around $47 million before taxes in the fourth quarter on severance … Read more