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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Research In Motion Still Hiring

According to the Financial Post, Research in Motion (RIM) has more than 1,250 positions that it needs to fill even with the economy tanking. "Right now, for every engineer who is promoted, RIM is hiring two or three to replace them. Probably in a few more years RIM could do some restructuring but not now." according to an unnamed company insider. "A good technology company will continue to innovate even in bad economic times to take advantage of the rebound," said Joe Campeau, of Richard Ivey School of Business. "If they don't, then everyone else will go past them and they'll burn cash to prevent that from happening." The jobs appear to be spread around the globe but the majority are at the companies head offices in Waterloo, Ontario.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Federal Trade Commission Target Scareware Dealers

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has gone to the courts in an attempt to stop two companies, Innovative Marketing, Inc. and ByteHosting Internet Services, LLC. from distributing software that they've dubbed "scareware". The companies operate webpages that run a fake "scan" proportedly looking for security problems. The scan returns many ficticious results and prompt the users to pay for removal software that affectively does nothing. Typically the scans report evidence of viruses, spyware and/or illegal pornography. "However," said the FTC, "the scans were entirely false." Yuval Ben-Itzhak, chief technology officer at security firm Finjan says "People are paying 40-60 dollars for bogus software which does nothing,"

A US District court has granted an injunction which stops the companies from advertising their software, and has also asked firms hosting the websites to block customers from accessing them. It has also frozen the assets of the companies so the cash can be reclaimed and refunds given to those caught in the scam.

BBC story here.

Voip Enable Your iPod Touch

It may not be an iPhone but with the addition of a freeware application called truphone and a clip on microphone you can turn your iPod Touch into a Wi-Fi powered Voip phone. "There are a slew of new features we're rolling out for the iPod Touch that will let users call landlines, Skype users or send instant messages. We're talking weeks, not months, before these go live." said Geraldine Wilson - Truphone's CEO. You won't be able to make calls from anywhere like you can on the iPhone, you'll have to be in range of a Wi-Fi hotspot, but then again you won't be locked into a rediculously high priced cell phone contract either... cool!

BBC Story here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hobbyist Creates Humanoid Robot, Looks For Investment

Le Trung, a 33 year old inventor living in his parents basement is building a humanoid companion named "Aiko" and is seeking investment to get the job done. "She can recognize faces, she can identify medication, she can even butter your toast," he says. "Her fingertips are still made of cardboard, see. I don't have money for titanium," With about $24,000 invested and his credit cards run up, the unemployed inventor continues to work on a shoestring budget hoping to attract the money he needs to finish the job. "I'm attached to it, but do I sleep with it? No," he says. "It was just less threatening to develop a female robot."

Trung's vision is for Aiko to be humanoid helper for hospitals, retirement homes or airports.

Globe and Mail story.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Compound Found In Red Wine Improves Metabolism Fights Aging

In yet another study of the benefits of red wine, Harvard Medical School researchers have reported that increasing the levels of sirtuin genes protects against aging by similar mechanisms in both very simple organisms like yeast, and in mammals. “This is the first potentially fundamental, root cause of aging that we’ve found,” said professor of pathology David Sinclair in a Harvard press release. “There may very well be others, but our finding that aging in a simple yeast cell is directly relevant to aging in mammals comes as a surprise.” When stimulated by the red wine chemical resveratrol, or by caloric restriction, sirtuins seem to have positive effects on aging and health, according to Sinclair’s research. Sirtris Pharmaceuticals is working with these results to create a pill that targets Diabetis and other diseases related to aging, as discussed in the following ScienCentral clip.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Mumbai Terrorists Relied On Tech

The Terrorists that laid siege to a Jewish Center and several Luxury hotels in India last month navigated across the Arabian Sea to Mumbai from Karachi, Pakistan, using a global positioning system (gps), communicating with corroborators via satellite phone and apparently studied satellite photos from Google Earth in preparation for their attacks. Their Pakistani-based handlers apparently communicated with them using Internet phones that complicate efforts to trace and intercept calls. The handlers reportedly relayed what they were seeing on television, via a voice over Internet Protocol service, to the terrorists providing them with intel and encouragement as the siege played out. Seems as though the level of suffistication is growing within these organizations.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Pentagon Tests Missile Shield

The Pentagon is calling their test of the missile defense shield on Friday, a "smashing success,". A long-range ballistic missile launched from Kodiak, Alaska was successfully intercepted by a ground-based interceptor missile, launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The test was however not a complete success as a decoy failed to deploy. "Countermeasures are very difficult to deploy. We have had trouble deploying them in the past," said Lt. Gen. Patrick J. O'Reilly, director for the Missile Defense Agency. But O'Reilly said that the interceptor did differentiate between the actual missile target and the upper stage of the missile it had detached from.

CNN story.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Google Makes Unlocked G1 Available To Developers

Google has announced the availability of an unlocked G1 phone for developers in 18 international markets, including the U.S., U.K., Germany, Japan, India, Canada, France, Taiwan, Spain, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Poland, and Hungary. To purchase an Android Dev Phone 1 device, you must first register as an Android developer on the Android Market site and there is a limit of 1 device per developer account, for now. The device currently costs $399 (USD) (including free shipping in the US) and there is a one time $25 setup fee to register as an Android developer. So get your Androids running and head out on the info highway...