Friday, April 29, 2011

Software helps parents oversee children on Facebook

Internet security firm Check Point on Tuesday launched software that lets parents watch over offspring on Facebook without being "friends" at the online social network.

ZoneAlarm SocialGuard alerts parents to signs of trouble in a child's Facebook account without them being privy to all posts, comments, pictures, videos or other digital content shared between friends at the website.

The program scans Facebook profiles, communications and "friend" requests and uses algorithms to identify potential bullying, sexual overtures, or talk of drugs, violence or suicide.

SocialGuard software runs unseen in the background, flagging suspicious activity and sending alerts to parents, according to its Redwood City, California-based creators.

"It's about protecting your kids from the social threats out there, while still respecting their privacy and fostering open communication," said Check Point vice president of consumer sales Bari Abdul.

"We are offering Facebook users a simple way to embrace social networking safely," he continued.

SocialGuard is crafted to detect hacked accounts, malicious links, online predators, and cyber-bullies, according to Check Point.

The software also checks to determine whether people contacting children online are being deceptive about their ages or if a stranger is trying to become a Facebook "friend."

"Parents are increasingly concerned, and rightfully so, about the dramatically increasing trend of criminals, predators and bullies targeting children over social networks," said analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group in Silicon Valley.

"SocialGuard provides a strong suite of tools that can effectively protect children from these types of social threats that are keeping parents awake at night."

Check Point cited a survey indicating that 38 percent of teenagers have ignored requests from parents to be friends on Facebook, and that 16 percent of children have only done so as a condition of using the social network.

SocialGuard was available online at for $2 monthly or $20 annually.

tech : Jobs says Apple made mistakes with iPhone data

Hoping to put to rest a growing controversy over privacy, Steven P. Jobs, Apple's chief executive, took the unusual step of personally explaining that while Apple had made mistakes in how it handled location data on its mobile devices, it had not used the iPhone and iPad to keep tabs on the whereabouts of its customers.

"We haven't been tracking anybody," Mr. Jobs said in an interview on Wednesday. "Never have. Never will."

Mr. Jobs said that Apple would fix the mistakes in a free software update that it would release in the next few weeks.

Mr. Jobs, who is currently on medical leave, addressed the issue along with two Apple executives -- Philip W. Schiller, the senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, and Scott Forstall, the senior vice president of iPhone software. A week ago, two researchers reported that they had discovered a file in Apple's devices containing what appeared to be data of the locations visited by users over the previous 12 months. The discovery raised fears that Apple was tracking its users and prompted investigations by various European governments and demands for explanations from United States lawmakers.

Earlier on Wednesday, Apple posted a statement on its Web site explaining how its system used the file to pinpoint a phone's location.

Mr. Jobs defended the timing of Apple's response to the controversy, saying that "rather than run to the P.R. department," it set out to determine exactly what happened.

"The first thing we always do when a problem is brought to us is we try to isolate it and find out if it is real," he said. "It took us about a week to do an investigation and write a response, which is fairly quick for something this technically complicated."

He added, "Scott and Phil and myself were all involved in writing the response because we think it is that important."

Some privacy advocates who were harshly critical of Apple last week praised the company's response, saying it was a step in the right direction.

"Apple acknowledged a mistake and they fixed it," Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said in an interview. "That's a good thing."

Confirming speculation from some security researchers, Apple said in the statement posted on its Web site that the file in people's iPhones was not a log of their locations but rather "the locations of Wi-Fi hot spots and cell towers surrounding the iPhone's location, which can be more than one hundred miles away from the iPhone."

Apple said it used the data, which it called a cache, to calculate a device's location more quickly than through GPS satellites.

But Apple acknowledged that it had made mistakes, which it attributed to programming errors, in storing the data for a long time, keeping the file unencrypted and storing the data even when users had chosen to turn off location services.

"The system is incredibly complex," Mr. Forstall said. "We test this carefully but in such a complex system there are sometimes places where we could do better."

Apple said it would reduce the location cache on the iPhone to no more than seven days. The company also said it would stop backing up the cache onto people's computers and would delete the cache entirely when users turned off location services.

Apple also said that it updated its database of Wi-Fi hot spots and cell towers by using its customers' phones as sensors. But it said that it could not locate users based on the file on the phone, and that it collected the information in an anonymous and encrypted form. The company cannot identify the phone user from the data, it said.

While some security experts have known about the existence of the file for some time, the issue made headlines last week after the researchers reported their findings at a technology conference in San Francisco. Apple came under heavy criticism for its silence after the discovery.

The location report attracted attention from some government officials, including Senator Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, who sent a stern letter to Apple asking why it was "secretly compiling" the data and what it would be used for. Congressman Edward Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, and Lisa Madigan, the Illinois attorney general, also sent letters to Apple asking for an explanation of the issue.

Google acknowledged last week that it, too, collected data about the location of Wi-Fi hot spots and cell towers from its users.

Apple's statement contained a tidbit about possible future product plans. The company said it also was collecting traffic data from its phones and tablets to build a crowd-sourced traffic database. That would enable Apple to provide real-time traffic information along with navigation advice. Google already uses Android phones to collect real-time traffic information.
Mr. Jobs declined to answer questions about his health or about any plans to return to Apple. Last week, during the company's quarterly financial report, Timothy D. Cook, the chief operating officer, said, "He continues to be involved in major strategic decisions, and I know he wants to be back full time."

White iPhone finally goes on sale

The long-awaited white model of the iPhone 4 is finally available, nearly a year behind schedule.

Apple said Wednesday that white iPhone 4s can be bought through Apple's online store starting Thursday or at Apple stores and authorized retailers.

Apple planned to begin selling the white iPhone along with the black model in June of last year but its release was repeatedly delayed by manufacturing challenges in a rare setback for the California gadget-maker.

"The white iPhone 4 has finally arrived and it's beautiful," Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing Philip Schiller said Wednesday.

"We appreciate everyone who has waited patiently while we've worked to get every detail right," Schiller said in a statement.

Apple said the white iPhone 4 will be available on Thursday in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Macau, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States.

Apple sold 18.65 million iPhones last quarter, up 113 percent over a year ago.

Sony sued over PlayStation Network hack

Sony is being sued in US court by gamers irked by news that a hacker cracked PlayStation Network defenses and pilfered data that could potentially be used for fraud or identity theft.
Separate cases filed in different district courts in California on Wednesday accused Sony of being negligent and breaching its contracts with PlayStation Network users.

Both suits seek damages and class action status.

Sony did not comment on the lawsuits Thursday, but said it was working with investigators and would restore services only when it was confident it was secure.

The PlayStation Network and Qriocity streaming music service were turned off on April 20 in the wake of an "external intrusion," according to Sony spokesman Patrick Seybold.

"We are currently working with law enforcement on this matter as well as a recognized technology security firm to conduct a complete investigation," Seybold said in a blog posted Thursday on the PlayStation website.

"This malicious attack against our system and against our customers is a criminal act and we are proceeding aggressively to find those responsible."

Launched in November 2006, the PlayStation Network allows PlayStation console users to play games online, challenge others on the Internet, stream movies, or get other services.
The Japanese electronics giant said it was possible hackers had taken users' credit card data
"While all credit card information stored in our systems is encrypted and there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility," Seybold said, warning that "...we are advising you that your credit card number and expiration date may have been obtained."

Sony said it had emailed all 77 million PlayStation Network users worldwide to warn them that their data may have been stolen.

The lawsuit filed in Southern California on behalf of a Michigan PlayStation Network user contended that the security breach resulted from Sony's "failure to use reasonable care and maintain appropriate security procedures."

The lawsuits also faulted Sony for not alerting PlayStation Network users until April 26th about the hack, which the company reportedly discovered between April 17 and 19.

Stolen data included people's passwords, birthdates, and other personal information that could be used to hack into online accounts or impersonate them on the Internet.

tech : Samsung challenges Apple with new smartphone

South Korea's Samsung Electronics on Thursday showcased an updated version of its Galaxy S smartphone designed to compete against rivals such as Apple amid a legal battle with the US giant.

The world's second-largest mobile phone maker aims to sell at least 10 million Galaxy S2 smartphones after its international debut in early May, said Shin Jong-Kyun, president of the mobile business unit.

"We expect the sales to be as good as Galaxy S," Shin told reporters. The original model has sold 14 million units worldwide since July 2010.

The new phone is slimmer, faster and consumes less energy, Shin said.

It will be sold by more than 140 vendors in some 120 countries from early May, and by all three wireless network operators in South Korea from Thursday.

Despite the updated features, Samsung has cut the price of the S2 in South Korea in apparent recognition of the intensifying competition.

It will cost a maximum 847,000 won ($786) through domestic mobile operators, about 100,000 won less than the Galaxy S.

Shin said the firm would also unveil the new version of its Galaxy Tab tablet computer in July, predicting its overall tablet computer sales would be five times bigger this year than in 2010.

The Suwon-based firm is embroiled in a legal battle with Apple, which in a US lawsuit has accused Samsung of "slavishly" copying the design and technologies of its market-leading iPhone and iPad.

Samsung denied the accusation and days later filed lawsuits against Apple in South Korea, Japan and Germany alleging 10 patent infringements.

Shin vowed to "respond resolutely" to Apple's charges and said the company would "deal with the matter more actively".

"Apple not only is our competitor in mobile phone sales but also our client in device component sales," he said.

"We will respond resolutely not only to safeguard our pride and status... but also to protect our customers and business partners."

Apple was Samsung's second-largest client in 2010 after Japan's Sony Corp., accounting for four percent of the South Korean firm's 155 trillion won ($142 billion) annual revenue.

SK Telecom and KT, respectively the number one and two wireless operators in South Korea, said Thursday they will start selling Apple's iPad2 on Friday.

tech : Apple should've addressed concerns sooner

Apple should have responded much sooner to concerns about location data stored on its iPhones, even if the company didn't have all the answers ready, marketing and crisis-management experts say.

The company took a week to deny that the phones track the precise location of their owners, as some users and privacy watchdogs had feared.

As soon as it started selling the devices, Apple should have said how it uses, or doesn't use, location data, said Joe Marconi, a DePaul University marketing professor and author of "Crisis Marketing: When Bad Things Happen to Good Companies."

"The whole problem could have been a non-problem if Apple had done some kind of disclosure of this in some kind of a privacy statement," he said. "Apple customers are fiercely loyal in a way we can say few (others) are today. With that comes a responsibility."

In a list of 10 questions and answers published Wednesday, the company explained that a data file publicized last week by security researchers doesn't store iPhone users' physical locations -- just a list of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers surrounding them.

Apple said the data help phones figure out their location without having to listen for faint signals from GPS satellites.

The company did acknowledge that the data are stored for up to a year because of a software bug. It promised a fix in the coming weeks to reduce the duration of the storage.

Larry L. Smith, president of the Institute for Crisis Management, a public relations company, said Apple should have said something sooner in some form, even if it didn't have all the details right away.

"To me there is no excuse to stonewall, to put off facing your customers, your partners, your shareholders, your employees," he said. "When there is a problem, or an issue has been raised, it's so counterproductive to put off responding."

Even a response of "I don't know; I will get back to you" is better than none, he said. "You are not always going to have immediate answers."

Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris would not comment on why the company waited to respond.

Speaking to The New York Times, CEO Steve Jobs defended the timing of Apple's response, saying that the company wanted to determine exactly what happened rather than rush to its public relations department.

"The first thing we always do when a problem is brought to us is we try to isolate it and find out if it is real," he said. "It took us about a week to do an investigation and write a response, which is fairly quick for something this technically complicated."

Jobs, who went on medical leave in January, said he was personally involved in writing Wednesday's response, as were other top executives, "because we think it is that important."

Despite all the hoopla, Smith said he doesn't expect Apple's latest blunder to hurt the company in the long run.

Apple quickly recovered from "antennagate," a problem with the iPhone 4's antenna design. It caused reception issues when people covered a certain spot with a bare hand.

Jobs apologized last July to people who were not completely satisfied with the iPhone 4, but denied there was an antenna problem that needed fixing. Even so, the company gave out free protective cases. "Antennagate" didn't seem to make a dent in the iPhone's popularity or sour Apple's devoted fan base.

And, Smith said, the "flap over data won't do the harm today that it might have done a few years ago when our attention span was a little longer. Somebody else will do something stupid tomorrow."

Companies that handle public relations crises well are not remembered long -- that's the whole point. But Apple might learn from fast food companies such as Domino's Pizza and Taco Bell.

When video of a Domino's employee appearing to do disgusting things to food appeared on YouTube, Domino's responded by firing that person and the co-worker who recorded him. Later, CEO Patrick Doyle posted a video in response, saying the store had been sanitized "top to bottom" and that the company is re-examining how it hires workers "to make sure that people like this don't make it into our stores."

Taco Bell, meanwhile, spent millions of dollars on ads to counter a lawsuit that questioned whether the filling in its tacos was actually beef. The lawsuit has been dropped.

Smith said Taco Bell realized their taco customers were mostly men who bought it for the taste and price, not for its nutritional value.

Similarly, Apple might find that many users don't mind their location being tracked because this allows them to get directions, find nearby restaurants and use a slew of other apps and features of the iPhone. In Wednesday's statement, Apple said the data file in question helps speed location-based services.

tech : Sony's New Anti-iPad Arsenal

It's official: Sony is going to launch two Android 3.0 Honeycomb based tablets, the S1 and S2.
The S1 will possibly have a 9.4-inch display with front and back cameras and will be powered by NVidia's Tegra 2 dual–core processor.
Interestingly, the S2 will feature dual 5.4 inch displays in a clamshell casing and will also run NVidia's Tegra 2 processor.
The Dual Display design is useful for reading digital books whose content is displayed on screen
as two pages side-by side
 Both the tablets will come preloaded with the PlayStation Suite and the Reader Store, which will provide a lot of digital content.
 The tablets will be enabled with Sony's Qriocity platform, which will connect the device to many of Sony's online services such as the PlayStation Network.
Both the tablets will be DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) enabled which will allow them to stream music wirelessly and access videos on large displays.
 The tablets will offer remote AV functionality as well, especially the S1 will come with a built in universal remote functionality through a special infrared sensor
Both tablets will have Wi-Fi and 3G/4G versions depending on which market they release in.
 Sony plans to release the tablets in Q3 of 2011.

Snart giler....cun abiss!!

Libyan Forces Clash with Tunisian Soldiers

Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi clashed with Tunisian soldiers Friday, after crossing the border while pursuing rebel fighters.

Witnesses say Tunisian forces fought back, pushing the pro-Gadhafi soldiers back into Libya.

Libyan forces have been trying to reclaim the border crossing, in the western Wazin region, which was seized by rebels last week.

Tunisian officials say thousands of Libyans have fled to Tunisia during the past few days to escape the fighting.

Heavy fighting was also reported around the airport in the city of Misrata Friday, one of the few areas of the Mediterranean port town still controlled by pro-government forces.

In an earlier development, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations said Thursday that some pro-government fighters have been issued the anti-impotency drug Viagra, encouraging them to rape civilians.

Diplomats say U.S. ambassador Susan Rice brought up the shocking allegation during a closed-door meeting of the U.N. Security Council. They say Rice did not give any sources for the claim, and that it was brought up to highlight the brutality of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's government.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

Syrians Plan 'Day of Rage' Despite Crackdown

Syrian opposition protesters are planning to take to the streets again in defiance of an intense and deadly government crackdown on their demonstrations.

Another "Day of Rage" is planned after Friday prayers, in what has become a weekly outpouring of anger and dissent against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Syria's banned Muslim Brotherhood has for the first time directly joined the call for protests. The group urged citizens to take to the streets in a statement saying "do not let the tyrant enslave you."

In Geneva, the U.N. Human Rights Council has opened debate on a U.S. resolution calling for the creation of an independent commission to probe allegations of rights abuses in Syria.

The U.N. Security Council failed earlier this week to agree on a statement condemning Syria's violence against protesters following resistance to the move by Syria's allies on the council - Russia, China and Lebanon.

Hundreds of people have been killed in Syria since pro-democracy demonstrations first erupted six weeks ago. Much of the violence has taken place in the southern city of Daraa, which has become the center of the protest movement.

The government has sent soldiers into Daraa in the past week, backed by tanks and snipers, keeping residents off the streets.

There are also reports that Syrian army units have clashed with each other in Daraa, because soldiers from one unit refused orders to fire on civilians. The military released a statement Wednesday denying any splits within its ranks.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

Britain's Prince William Marries Catherine Middleton

VOA News April 29, 2011

The newly married Prince William and his bride Catherine, now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have appeared on a balcony at Buckingham Palace and shared a public kiss.

Crowds gathered in the traffic circle in front of the palace as soon as the gates were opened. When the newlyweds appeared on the balcony, the crowds roared their approval.

Catherine appeared to say "wow" to her new husband as they emerged and waved to the well-wishers below. The couple looked relieved and happy as they gave each other a brief peck on the lips. After a few moments of cheers from the crowd, they leaned in for a longer kiss.

They were joined on the balcony by Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla, Catherine's parents, and some of their youngest attendants.

Aircraft from the Royal Air Force and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight staged a "flyover" of the palace just minutes later. Catherine pointed out the planes to the smallest flower girl, who had her hands over her ears.

After the rest of the bridal party left the balcony, William and Catherine lingered for a final moment, waving, before going inside.

Earlier in the day, William and Catherine took their wedding vows in an elaborate and regal ceremony at Westminster Abbey. It was the most spectacular wedding Britain has seen since the 1981 wedding of William's parents, Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana.

The young couple appeared solemn and slightly nervous as they said "I will" in front of 1,900 guests and an estimated two billion viewers on television, the Internet, or other media. Hundreds of thousands of people filled the streets and parks of London for a glimpse of the royal couple on video screens.

Among the guests were Australian swimming champion Ian Thorpe, British football (soccer) star David Beckham, and British music icon Elton John. Former Prime Minister John Major also attended. However, former prime minister's Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were not invited to the wedding.

Five thousand police officers have been deployed in London to handle the massive crowds.

The couple have said they are "incredibly moved" by the outpouring of affection toward them since their engagement last November, and have thanked the public for joining in the celebration of what they hope will be one of the happiest days of their lives.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Video mirip muka tokoh politik


Japan's Emperor, Empress, Visit Quake's Hardest-Hit Areas

Japan's emperor and empress were in devastated Miyagi prefecture Wednesday to view earthquake damage and comfort survivors.

It was the first visit to the hardest-hit areas by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, though they have visited evacuation centers closer to Tokyo. The couple flew early Wednesday to an air base in Miyagi. The prefecture suffered thousands of people killed and about $80 billion in property damage, according to a new estimate by the Development Bank of Japan.

At the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, which has been leaking radiation since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, workers continue efforts to remove highly radioactive water from the basements and utility tunnels at the six reactors.

National NHK television said the latest concern is a possible leak of water from a pool where spent fuel rods are stored at the number four reactor. It said workers have been pouring from 140 to 210 tons of water into the tank in each of the last few days, but water levels remain 10 to 40 centimeters lower than expected.

The fuel rods must be kept covered with water to prevent them from becoming overheated and emitting dangerous radiation.

On Tuesday, about 200 farmers from Fukushima prefecture demonstrated outside the Tokyo offices of the plant's operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company. They were demanding that TEPCO get control of the plant and quickly compensate them for their economic losses.

About 70 of the nation's most successful sumo wrestlers, meanwhile, agreed at a meeting Tuesday that each will donate about $120 every month for the next 10 years to support children in quake-stricken areas.

Afghan Military Pilot Opens Fire on Foreign Troops, Killing 9

NATO says an Afghan military pilot has opened fire on foreign troops in Kabul, killing eight coalition service members and a contractor.

The Afghan Defense Ministry said the shooting happened Wednesday inside a facility used by the Afghan Air Force, after an argument at the airport in the capital.

NATO did not give the nationalities of the troops who were killed.

There have been a number of attacks on coalition forces either by a member of the Afghan military or someone wearing one of their uniforms.

Earlier this month, an Afghan border guard shot and killed two U.S. soldiers in northern Faryab province. In February, a person wearing an Afghan army uniform killed three German soldiers and wounded six others in Baghlan province.

Meanwhile, Afghan officials say troops have recaptured 71 of the 488 inmates who used a 300-meter-long tunnel to escape from a prison in southern Kandahar province on Sunday.

Security has been tightened along Kandahar's border with Pakistan, and officials say biometric data on each prisoner will help identify and capture the remaining inmates, most of them Taliban militants.

But Interpol said Wednesday Afghan authorities have not been trained to take photographs and DNA of prisoners, or to share the information with international law enforcement. The group said a lack of training is "an unacceptable gap in global security."

Afghanistan's Justice Minister Abibullah Ghalab said the jailbreak must have involved inside collaborators, but he added that Afghan and international forces should have detected the plot.

The Taliban claimed responsibility. It said the prison break was five months in the making, with diggers starting the tunnel from under a nearby house.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

65 Escaped Prisoners Recaptured in Afghanistan

Officials say Afghan and international forces have recaptured 65 of nearly 500 inmates who escaped from a jail in southern Afghanistan, in a massive security breach claimed by the Taliban.

The prisoners, mostly Taliban militants, streamed out of Kandahar province's Sarposa prison overnight Sunday through a 300-meter long tunnel built over a five-month period.

On Tuesday, local officials said a joint Afghan and NATO force recaptured some of the escapees. Afghanistan's justice minister, Abibullah Ghalab, said it was likely that the prisoners escaped with help from guards or officials inside the jail.

Meanwhile, NATO announced Tuesday that its forces have killed the second most wanted insurgent in Afghanistan.

The coalition says that an April 13 airstrike in Kunar province killed Abu Hafs al-Najdi, also known as Abdul Ghani. NATO says Nadji's death "marks a significant milestone" in its efforts to disrupt al-Qaida.

NATO says the Saudi man was responsible for coordinating numerous high-profile attacks and used a network of insurgents to target security forces in the eastern province.
The coalition says Nadji also trained fighters to make explosive devices and organized al-Qaida finances.

The airstrike killed several other insurgents, including another al-Qaida leader whom NATO says frequently worked with Nadji to coordinate attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.

Elsewhere in the east, officials say the governor of Paktia province, Juma Khan Hamdard, narrowly escaped an assassination attempt when a roadside bomb exploded near his convoy. Three police officers and a civilian were wounded in the blast.

Syria Steps Up Crackdown; International Outcry Grows

Syria has intensified its bloody military crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators, as international criticism against the government's action mounts.

Gunfire continued Tuesday in the flashpoint city of Daraa, where an armed assault to end anti-government protests was in its second day.

Human rights activists say at least 34 people have been killed and dozens more arrested since Syrian troops and tanks entered the city at dawn Monday to crush the demonstrations.

Residents were said to be too afraid to venture out in Daraa. Electricity, water and telecommunications to the city remain cut.

Also Tuesday, thousands of riot police deployed near the coastal city of Banias and in two areas on the outskirts of the Syrian capital. Activists say clashes have been especially brutal near the town of Douma. Demonstrators who attempted to enter Damascus from there during the last two weeks were met with bullets.

More than 400 people have been killed since pro-democracy protests erupted last month. The Syrian rights organization Sawasiah said Tuesday the government has arrested at least 500 people during the ensuing crackdown.

Also Tuesday, the international response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's brutal crackdown intensified.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations accused the Syrian leader of "disingenuously blaming outsiders" for the protests.

Susan Rice also reiterated that Washington has evidence of active Iranian support for what she called Syria's "abhorrent and deplorable" crackdown on peaceful demonstrators. She said the "outrageous use of violence to quell protests" must end now.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also condemned "the continuing violence against peaceful demonstrators," including the use of tanks and live fire that have "killed and injured hundreds of people." The U.N. chief has called for an independent inquiry into the violence.

But Syria's U.N. envoy said Damascus is capable of undertaking its own transparent investigation into the deaths of anti-government protesters, rejecting outside assistance.

Bashar Ja'afari also said the U.N. Security Council "should not rely on media reports" when making its decisions. Britain, France, Germany and Portugal asked the council to condemn Syria's crackdown in a draft statement circulated on Tuesday.

Ja'afari told reporters Syria regrets civilian casualties, but said the unrest has "hidden agendas," adding that some foreign governments are attempting to destabilize the country.

Earlier Tuesday, ltalian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged Syria to "show moderation" and halt the "violent repression" of peaceful demonstrations.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan telephoned Mr. Assad and urged him to show restraint. British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the European Union is exploring possibilities for action against Syria, including asset freezes and targeted travel bans on the country's leadership.

While U.S. officials have condemned the violence against Syrian citizens, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and his British counterpart, Liam Fox, played down the likelihood of a Libya-style intervention in Syria.

At a joint news conference in Washington Tuesday, Fox said the world's response to popular revolts across the Middle East and North Africa must reflect the circumstances in each country. Gates made a similar point, saying that although the U.S. applies its values to all countries in the region, its actions will not always be the same.

A U.S. State Department official said Tuesday that, for now, Washington will limit its response to diplomacy and possible sanctions.

UN Chief Condemns Violence in Syria

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the continuing violence against anti-government protesters in Syria, specifically the use of tanks and live fire that have killed and injured hundreds.

The U.N. chief called for an independent inquiry into the violence. Members of the U.N. Security Council are expected to meet Wednesday to discuss a joint statement condemning the crackdown.

U.S. State Department official Jacob Sullivan has said that, for now, Washington will limit its response to diplomacy and possible sanctions.

Truckloads of troops deployed early Wednesday into a suburb near the capital, Damascus, while soldiers bolstered their positions in the flashpoint town Daraa.

More than 400 people have been killed since pro-democracy protests erupted last month. The Syrian rights organization Sawasiah says at least 500 people have also been arrested.

President Bashar al-Assad last week ended the country's 48-year-old emergency law - a key demand of protesters - and abolished a state security court. But the government then took other steps to crush demonstrations.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

White iPhone 5 image leaked

There has been a lot of rumor on the net regarding the design and the spec of the Apple iPhone 5. Here is another rumored white iPhone 5 picture published at the MIC Gadget. Although it was not certain whether it was a real iPhone 5 or a mockup, it was certainly not a white iPhone 4 that appeared in the UK last week.

Read more: White iPhone 5 image leaked | GadgetLite - Latest gadgets and technology news
Brought to you by

tech : Rumor reminder: White iPhone 4s will be available this Wednesday

Read more: Rumor reminder: White iPhone 4s will be available this Wednesday | GadgetLite - Latest gadgets and technology news

Brought to you by

This is just a quick reminder plus rumor roundup of what’s been happening with regards to the likely launch of iPhone 4 white version this week. The word is that Best Buy and Apple stores have been receiving new shipments of white iPhone 4s for the product launch this week. MacRumors has said the white models will be available as early as 27 April 2011. This comes after many speculated the the 27 April release was for the European market. 9to5mac has obtained screenshots from a Best Buy inventory control system showing clearly that they have in fact been receiving the new white models of the iPhone already. AppleInsider has also been reporting shipments of white iPhone 4s being received at Apple stores this week.

tech : Samsung bites back at Apple with lawsuit

Samsung Electronics said it has filed a lawsuit against Apple alleging patent infringements, days after the US technology firm took the South Korean company to court on similar grounds.

Samsung said it filed suit Thursday in a Seoul court alleging five patent infringements by Apple. Separate suits were filed in Tokyo citing two patent infringements and in the German city of Mannheim citing three.

"Samsung is responding actively to the legal action taken against us in order to protect our intellectual property and to ensure our continued innovation and growth in the mobile communications business," the company said in a statement which gave no details of the alleged infringements.

The announcement came a week after Apple filed suit against Samsung in San Francisco claiming that the South Korean giant copied its smartphones and tablet computers.

Apple's lawsuit says Samsung's mobile phones and Galaxy Tab imitated the iPhone and the iPad. Samsung vowed at the time to "respond actively".

The Galaxy Tab has been the best-selling rival to the iPad, which has dominated the growing market for the touchscreen devices.

Despite their prickly competition in finished products, the two firms have a close business relationship.

Apple was Samsung's second-largest client in 2010 after Japan's Sony Corp, accounting for four percent of the South Korean firm's 155 trillion won ($142 billion) annual revenue.

"We are Samsung's largest customer (for liquid crystal display panels and semiconductors) and Samsung is a very valued component supplier to us," Apple chief operating officer Tim Cook said Wednesday in the United States.

But Apple filed its lawsuit because the Korean company had "crossed the line", he said.

In comments Thursday, Samsung's chairman Lee Kun-Hee said Apple was trying to keep his company in check.

"It's like the proverbial nail that sticks out gets hammered down," Lee told reporters, according to Yonhap news agency.

"Not only Apple, but also unrelated companies that do not produce electronics products are increasingly trying to keep Samsung in check."

Q-and-A: Smartphone location tracking

The revelation this past week that Apple Inc.'s popular iPhone and iPad devices keep files of users' location data raises legal and ethical questions.

The company has not commented on the controversy, but has said that the only location data the company collects is kept anonymous and not able to be tied back to specific users. Google Inc. has said the same about location data that is stored on smartphones that run its Android software. Both companies have maintained that the practice is clearly outlined in their privacy policies.

Here's a look at what the issue means for you, and what you can do to protect your location data, as well as the trade-offs in convenience that that entails.

Q: What is Apple collecting?

A: Technically, Apple itself is collecting very little. According to a letter that the company sent Congress last year, Apple only collects information on the location of nearby cell towers and Wi-Fi networks. It says that data is anonymized so that it isn't tied to a particular user's phone. However, security researchers have discovered that iPhones and iPads do store individuals' geographic coordinates -- and have been for at least a year.

Q: What's happens to that information?

A: The information appears to stay on the devices themselves, but is also transferred to any computers that the devices are synced to. That concerns security experts because the information is transferred in an unencrypted form, which makes it a target for hackers. Those who specialize in breaking in to Apple's products say it would be very difficult to steal the file remotely because of security changes that Apple has recently made to its software. However, anyone with physical access to the phone -- including devices lost or stolen -- could easily see the data.

Q: What can I do to prevent this information from being collected?

A: Fortunately, it's easy to turn off the tracking capability through the settings menus. The same goes for phones built on Google Inc.'s Android operating software. Unfortunately, doing so cripples a lot of applications that make smartphones "smart" in the first place, such as maps and the Foursquare social media service. Turning off tracking means those applications won't have access to your GPS locations either, making them useless.

Q: What are lawmakers doing about such tracking?

A: For now, few rules apply. The Federal Communications Commission prohibits telephone companies from sharing customer data, including location information, with outside parties without customer consent. Yet those rules do not apply to Apple and other device makers or to the new ecosystem of mobile apps made by third-party developers. What's more, because those rules were written for old-fashioned telephone service, it's unclear whether they apply to mobile broadband service at all -- even for wireless carriers like AT&T and Verizon. The FCC and the Federal Trade Commission say they are looking into the issue.

tech : Your Phone, Yourself: When is tracking too much?

If you're worried about privacy, you can turn off the function on your smartphone that tracks where you go. But that means giving up the services that probably made you want a smartphone in the first place. After all, how smart is an iPhone or an Android if you can't use it to map your car trip or scan reviews of nearby restaurants?

The debate over digital privacy flamed higher this week with news that Apple Inc.'s popular iPhones and iPads store users' GPS coordinates for a year or more. Phones that run Google Inc.'s Android software also store users' location data. And not only is the data stored -- allowing anyone who can get their hands on the device to piece together a chillingly accurate profile of where you've been -- but it's also transmitted back to the companies to use for their own research.

Now, cellphone service providers have had customers' location data for almost as long as there have been cellphones. That's how they make sure to route calls and Internet traffic to the right place. Law enforcement analyzes location data on iPhones for criminal evidence -- a practice that Alex Levinson, technical lead for firm Katana Forensics, said has helped lead to convictions. And both Apple and Google have said that the location data that they collect from the phones is anonymous and not able to be tied back to specific users.

But lawmakers and many users say storing the data creates an opportunity for one's private information to be misused. Levinson, who raised the iPhone tracking issue last year, agrees that people should start thinking about location data as just as valuable and worth protecting as a wallet or bank account number.

"We don't know what they're going to do with that information," said Dawn Anderson, a creative director and Web developer in Glen Mills, Pa., who turned off the GPS feature on her Android-based phone even before the latest debate about location data. She said she doesn't miss any of the location-based services in the phone. She uses the GPS unit in her car instead.

"With any technology, there are security risks and breaches," she added. "How do we know that it can't be compromised in some way and used for criminal things?"

Privacy watchdogs note that location data opens a big window into very private details of a person's life, including the doctors they see, the friends they have and the places where they like to spend their time. Besides hackers, databases filled with such information could become inviting targets for stalkers, even divorce lawyers.

Do you sync your iPhone to your computer? Well, all it would take to find out where you've been is simple, free software that pulls information from the computer. Voila! Your comings and goings, clandestine or otherwise, helpfully pinpointed on a map.

One could make the case that privacy isn't all that prized these days. People knowingly trade it away each day, checking in to restaurants and stores via social media sites like Foursquare, uploading party photos to Facebook to be seen by friends of friends of friends, and freely tweeting the minutiae of their lives on Twitter.

More than 500 million people have shared their personal information with Facebook to connect with friends on the social networking service. Billions of people search Google and Yahoo each month, accepting their tracking "cookies" in exchange for access to the world's digital information. And with about 5 billion people now using cellphones, a person's location has become just another data point to be used for marketing, the same way that advertisers now use records of Web searches to show you online ads tailored to your interest in the Red Sox, or dancing, or certain stores.

Autumn Bradfish, a sophomore at the University of Iowa, said she doesn't see a problem with phone companies using her location to produce targeted ads, as long as they deliver relevant offers to her. She said she would not disable the tracking feature on her iPhone because she enjoys using a mapping app that helps her find new restaurants.

"I'm terrible with maps," she said.

The very fact that your location is a moving target makes it that much more alluring for advertisers. Every new place you go represents a new selling opportunity. In that sense, smartphone technology is the ultimate matchmaker for marketers looking to assemble profiles on prospective customers.

That profiling is what makes some users uneasy.

At a technology conference in San Francisco this past week, security researchers disclosed that iPhones and iPads keep a small file of location data on their users. That file -- which is not encrypted and thus vulnerable to hacking -- is transferred when you sync your phone to your computer to back up information. Security firm F-Secure Corp. said the iPhone sends users' location data to Apple twice a day to improve its database of known Wi-Fi networks.

The data that is available goes back to last year's launch of Apple's new iOS 4 operating software. Researchers say the tracking was going on before that, though the file was in a different format and wasn't easy to find until the new system came out. In June, Apple added a section to its privacy policy to note that it would collect some real-time location data from iPhone users in order to improve its features.

While Apple has been silent about the latest findings, it has noted that its practice is clearly spelled out in user agreements. Other phone makers say the same. Google acknowledged this past week that it does store some location data directly on phones for a short time from users who have chosen to use GPS services, "in order to provide a better mobile experience on Android devices." It too stressed that any location sharing on Android is done with the user's permission.

But consumer advocates warn that too many people click right through privacy notifications and breeze over or ignore such legalese. Case in point _some iPhone users who found about this past week about the data storage say they didn't know anything about Apple's tracking.

"It's like being stalked by a secret organization. Outrageous!" said Jill Kuraitis, 54, a freelance journalist in Boise, Idaho. "To be actively tracking millions of people without notification? It's beyond unacceptable."

It's easy to tell smartphone users that turning off tracking is as easy as finding their way to the settings menu. But to opt out of GPS service means preventing the software on your phone from using any information about where you are. That means cutting yourself off from the vast array of mobile apps that offer discounts and ads, allow you to connect more easily with friends who use social media, and simplify your life with map directions. Not a great trade-off.

And if you thought there were laws that curbed tracking, think again.

The government prohibits telephone companies from sharing customer data, including location information, with outside parties without first getting the customer's consent. But those rules don't apply to Apple and other phone makers. Nor do they apply to the new ecosystem of mobile services offered through those apps made by third-party developers.

What's more, because those rules were written for old-fashioned telephone service, it's unclear whether they apply to mobile broadband service at all -- even for wireless carriers that are also traditional phone companies, like AT&T Inc. and Verizon.

Both the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission have said they are looking into the issue. But for now, it's up to smartphone users to decide: Is it privacy they are most concerned about, or convenience?

tech : Facebook adds 'Send' button

Facebook on Monday began letting members of cozy cliques formed at the social networking service share website links or photo albums without all their friends knowing about it.

A "Send" button that lets people share website links with selected cadres instead of all Facebook friends was among enhancements being rolled out to a "Groups" feature launched in October of last year.

More than 50 million groups have been created at Facebook since the option became available.

"A year ago, we launched the 'Like' button, which gives you a quick way to share the things you find on the Web with all your friends," Groups team engineer Elliot Lynde said in a blog post.

"But there are times when you find something that you only want to share with a few specific people."

New Send buttons, which were at 50 popular websites and expected to spread to others, let Facebook users share links to pages with fellow members of specific groups or individual friends at the online social network.

For example, someone could send a link to information about a rock concert to roommates and a link to an interesting business journal article to workplace peers.

The Groups feature lets Facebook members set up private online havens for clusters of co-workers, family, teammates, or others.

Enhancements to Groups included being able to poll members on topics ranging from timing of upcoming meetings to locations for social outings.

Group members are also being given the option of uploading entire photo albums for sharing.

An added control feature prevents new members from being added without approval of group administrators.

Iran Threatens Retaliation for Bahrain’s Expulsion of Diplomat

Iran says Bahrain's decision to expel an Iranian diplomat allegedly linked to a spy ring in Kuwait is “not based on realities” and that Tehran may take retaliatory measures.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast made the comments Tuesday, a day after Bahrain gave Iranian diplomat Hojjatullah Rahmani 72 hours to leave the country.

The state-run Bahrain News Agency announced the expulsion. It also said the Bahraini government had urged Iran to end actions that it considers a violation of standards of international relations and a threat to regional security and stability.

Mehmanparast responded saying that “hasty” comments from “regional authorities” would not help resolve the region's problems.

Tensions between Bahrain and Iran have risen recently over Iranian criticism of Bahrain's crackdown on anti-government protests, and Bahrain's allegations of Iranian support for the demonstrators.

Earlier this month, Kuwait expelled three Iranian diplomats for alleged links to a spy ring operating in the country, prompting Iran to expel three Kuwaiti diplomats in retaliation.

A Kuwaiti court in March handed down death sentences for one Kuwaiti and two Iranians suspected of carrying out espionage on behalf of Iran.

Gunfire Reported in Flashpoint Syrian City

Gunfire was reported Tuesday in the flashpoint Syrian town of Daraa, as a military siege there to end pro-democracy protests entered its second day.

The crackdown with tanks and troops showed no signs of easing amid an international outcry over violence against demonstrators. Residents are reportedly too afraid to venture out in Daraa. Human rights groups also report dozens of people are being detained by Syrian forces nationwide.

Witnesses and human rights activists say at least 20 people were killed Monday when hundreds of Syrian troops and tanks entered Daraa to quell demonstrations.

Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague is urging Syria to end the crackdown, adding that his country is working with its international partners to persuade Syrian authorities to respect basic and universal human rights.

The United States has condemned the violence against Syrian citizens, calling it "completely deplorable."

The State Department has issued a travel warning advising U.S. citizens and non-emergency embassy personnel to leave Syria while commercial transportation is still available.

More than 350 people have been killed during Syria's crackdown since pro-democracy protests erupted last month.

President Bashar al-Assad last week ended the country's 48-year-old emergency law - a key demand of protesters - and abolished a state security court. But the government then took other steps to crush demonstrations.

Libya Describes NATO Airstrikes Targeting Gadhafi Compound as Assassination Attempt

Libya has described the latest NATO airstrike on Moammar Gadhafi’s compound as an assassination attempt that violates international law. The Gadhafi government and rebel representatives are holding separate talks on an African Union peace proposal.

Libya’s Foreign Minister Abdelati al Obeidi Monday accused NATO of deliberately aiming missiles at Mr. Gadhafi’s house in an attempt to kill him.

"This is an attempt to assassinate the leader. It is quite clear. This is against international law. They have tried this before in 1986. I think everybody should condemn this kind of raids. And stop it. Not only on the house of the leader but all over Libya," Obeidi said.

The United States has denied that the NATO strike early Monday was specifically intended to kill the Libyan leader. A White House spokesman said it is not U.S. policy to bring about regime change in Libya.

At the same time, however, the United States, France and Britain have made clear there can be no political solution until Mr. Gadhafi leaves power.

Foreign Minister Obeidi dismissed the U.S.-British-French position, saying only Libyans can settle the leadership question.

"They can say what they like, but as far as we know, in their democracy, leaders are accepted or rejected by their own people. So this is a Libyan internal matter, it has nothing to do with them. They are not authorized to say this regime is legal or not legal," he said.

The Libyan official was speaking at African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, where he is attending two days of meetings on an AU peace proposal. Representatives of the rebel Transitional National Council also are attending, but the two sides are not expected to meet face-to-face.

The so-called AU road map calls for a cease-fire leading to a negotiated settlement of the Libyan conflict. The rebels earlier rejected the proposal because it does not require Mr. Gadhafi’s ouster.

But in an apparent about face, one of two rebel representatives at the Addis Ababa talks, Abdalla al Zubedi, suggested that the AU road map might serve as the basis for further discussion.

"It is a good proposal, of course. It is under study," he said.

But Zubedi bristled at a reporter’s question about conditions under which the rebels might agree to a cease-fire.

"This should be addressed to the regime, not to us," Zubedi said.

Monday’s session included members of an African Union ad hoc committee formed last month to seek a negotiated settlement to the Libyan conflict. Tuesday’s gathering is to be a ministerial-level meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council.

Russia Warns Against New UN Resolution on Libya

Russia says it will not support a new United Nations Security Council resolution on Libya which may further escalate the conflict.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted by Interfax news agency saying Moscow will not be able to support any resolution that leads to a further escalation of a civil war by any means, including outside intervention.

Last month, Russia abstained from voting on a resolution authorizing force to protect civilians in Libya by enforcing a no-fly zone in the country.

On Monday, Libyan state television says NATO warplanes bombed civilian and military targets in the capital, Tripoli, and in Bir al-Ghanam, located 100 kilometers southwest of Tripoli.

One of the airstrikes destroyed a building in the complex where leader longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi lives. NATO says it targeted a communications headquarters used to coordinate attacks against civilians.

Monday's attack came as fighting continued in the western rebel-held city of Misrata, where Gadhafi's forces unleashed a new artillery bombardment which left at least 10 people dead.

­­­­­­Also Monday, Italy said for the first time it will begin bombing selected military targets in Libya. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said he told U.S. President Barack Obama about the decision and would call other European leaders to personally inform them as well.

Italy previously said it would not participate in airstrikes against its former colony. The two countries have close economic ties and Rome had been one of Gadhafi's closest European allies until his violent suppression of an uprising prompted the U.N. Security Council to authorize the use of force to protect civilians.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates will hold talks on the Libyan conflict in Washington Tuesday with his British counterpart, Liam Fox.

The Financial Times, quoting a senior British official, says one agenda item will be whether action can be taken to cut fuel supplies to the Libyan leader’s armed forces on the ground.

Anak Obesiti-Siapa Yang Salah?


Sunday, April 24, 2011

tech : iPhone secretly records your every move

Apple faced questions on Wednesday about the security of its iPhone and iPad after a report that the devices regularly record their locations in a hidden file.

The report came from a technology conference in San Francisco, where two computer programmers presented research showing that the iPhone and 3G versions of the iPad began logging users' locations a year ago, when Apple updated its mobile operating system.

After customers upgraded the software, a new hidden file began periodically storing location data, apparently gleaned from nearby cellphone towers and Wi-Fi networks, along with the time.

The data is stored on a person's phone or iPad, but when the device is synced to a computer, the file is copied over to the hard drive, the programmers said. The data is not normally encrypted; although users can encrypt their information when they sync their devices, few do.

To some privacy advocates, the storing of the data was a clear breach. "The secretive collection of location data crosses the privacy line," said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a privacy policy organization based in Washington.

"Apple should know better than to track iPhone users in this way."
Others said the discovery of the hidden file was unlikely to have a major practical impact on privacy and security.

"It is more symbolic than anything else," said Tim O'Reilly, a longtime technology pundit and founder of O'Reilly Media. "It is one more sign of how devices are collecting data about us and potentially sharing it with others. This is the future. We have to figure out how to deal with it."

Law enforcement officials can already get this type of location information from cellphone companies, Mr. O'Reilly said; there are, however, conflicting rulings in federal courts about whether they need a search warrant.

But sitting on a home computer, the data could now be more vulnerable to access by hackers or others, he said. And information about a person's locations over time could be accessible to strangers if a phone or iPad was lost or if it was attacked by malware.

The news of what appeared to be a security problem immediately ricocheted across the Internet as bloggers on technology and Apple-centered sites debated the many questions left unanswered by the report.

It is unclear, for example, whether Apple is gaining access to the information in any way. It is also unclear how precise the location data is and why it is being stored at all.

The programmers said they had asked Apple's product security team about their findings but did not receive a response. Apple also did not respond to a request for comment from The New York Times.

The report even attracted attention from political figures, like Senator Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, who sent Apple's chief executive, Steven P. Jobs, a letter asking why Apple was "secretly compiling" the data and what it would be used for.

Some privacy experts said the issue was not the legality of storing this information but whether Apple was playing fair with its customers.

"Collecting this data is not illegal, but it does matter whether or not this is explicitly spelled out in Apple's terms of use," said Christina Gagnier, a lawyer specializing in privacy and copyright. "Apple constantly changes their privacy policy, and it's questionable whether most users are aware this is happening."

Apple has an obligation to its customers to allow them to opt out of being tracked, said Ian Glazer of Gartner Research, who is a director in the company's identity and privacy group. "There is no way to really turn this tracking off," he said. "It needs to be visually obvious, or in the settings, to see that this is happening on your phone."

Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden presented the paper at the O'Reilly Where 2.0 conference, a gathering of experts on location technology. Mr. Allan said in a blog post that beyond the issue of storing the information is the question of "how Apple intends to use it -- or not."

Mr. Allan, who has written books that teach people how to program, also said that the data being collected would be transferred to a new product when customers buy a new phone or iPad, and then sync it.

Mr. Warden, a former Apple employee, posted a free downloadable application on his Web site for Mac computers that allows users to see their stored location data on a map.

Whatever the privacy implications, the report was a burst of bad publicity for Apple on a day when it again reported stellar earnings results.

"It doesn't matter how Apple explains its way out of this, just the fact that consumers know that their phone is being tracked is a very big deal," said Chenxi Wang, a vice president of Forrester Research who specializes in security and risk.

Following is the video of Mr. Warden's application that shows how the locations are being tracked on the iPhone.