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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Apple Boss Had Liver Transplant

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Steve Jobs underwent a liver transplant two months ago in Tennessee. An Apple spokesperson told the Journal that Jobs "continues to look forward to returning at the end of June, and there's nothing further to say." In January Jobs announced he was taking a 6 month medical leave of absence and according to CNet Jobs moved from California to Tennessee earlier this year, apparently because the State has a shorter waiting list for patients seeking organs.

Source: CNet

Friday, June 19, 2009

New Bill To Give Police Access To Personal Data Without Warrant

At a news conference in Ottawa yesterday, Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson and Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan announced new bills aimed at providing law enforcement virtually unrestricted access to information gathered by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) regarding their customers and their activities online.

According to this CBC article:

"One bill, announced by Van Loan, would require telecommunications and internet service providers to:

  • Install and maintain "intercept-capable" equipment on their networks.
  • Provide police with "timely access" to personal information about subscribers, including names, address and internet addresses, without the need for a warrant.

Van Loan said the bill won't provide new interception powers to police, but simply update the legal framework designed "in the era of the rotary telephone."

He noted that police can already get the authority to intercept communications, but the network is often incapable of allowing such interception."

In addition a second bill introduced would:

  • Allow law enforcement officials to obtain transmission data that is sent or received via telephone or internet if authorized by a production order or warrant
  • Require telecommunications companies to keep data related to specific communications or subscribers if that information is needed in an investigation and requested via a preservation order.
  • Make it a criminal offence for two or more people to agree to or arrange child sexual exploitation by means of telecommunications.
  • Modernize the system for tracking warrants.
I'm all for police getting the tools they need to combat crime, however, "without the need for a warrant." seems a little scary to me...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

iPhone 3.0 Upgrade Causing Some Owners Issues

The reports seem to be mixed over the newest version of the iPhone Operating System. Some users are excited and have reported no issues while others are frustrated after many failed attempts, dubbing the upgrade "iFail". According to the NYTimes Bit Blog "Reports are flooding Twitter and the Web that attempts to upgrade their devices to the latest version of the iPhone operating system are being hit with an error message stating that the “iPhone activation server is unavailable.”" Sounds to me like an indication of just how many iPhones are in the wild, Apple likely didn't expect all of you iPhone users to upgrade at once...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

MySpace Lays Off 400

After the dust settles at MySpace the social networking site will be 400 employees fewer, leaving about 1000 in an attempt by Owen Van Natta (former Facebook executive who recently became CEO of the company) to return to a “start-up culture.” In a statement Van Natta said “Simply put, our staffing levels were bloated and hindered our ability to be an efficient and nimble team-oriented company. I understand these changes are painful for many. They are also necessary for the long-term health and culture of MySpace. Our intent is to return to an environment of innovation that is centered on our user and our product.” The onetime leader in social networking sites, MySpace has taken a bit of a backseat to Facebook of late and it would appear is feeling the pinch.

Source: NYTimes

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"Weird Al" Yankovic Pays Homage To The Doors And Craigslist

Weird Al is still making his parody music into an art form and this Doors / Craigslist tribute is no exception, perhaps my new all time favourites from Weird Al...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dell Finding Sales Via Twitter

Dell seams to have found the right formula for making money via Twitter, attributing $3 million in sales to posts on the social networking site. According to PCWorld, "Dell Outlet uses Twitter to promote clearance sales, coupons, and other discount-related fodder... It also may provide a much-needed business model for Twitter by giving the social networking site a valid reason to charge for corporate accounts." Of course $3 million is not a huge sum where Dell is concerned but in these trying economic times it's nothing to sneeze at either. With some simple math we can deduce that @DellOutlet, which has some 600,000 followers, can place a value of $5 on each follower. Interesting...