Recent stories in the press about teenage cyberbullying and real-world bullying are sickening. It's hard to know how much cyberbullying contributed to her decision to kill herself, but the case of Phoebe Prince brings tears to my eyes. The South Hadley, Mass., 15-year-old was reportedly the brunt of repeated cruelty at the hands of classmates (six of whom are now facing criminal charges) until she put an end to her life.
There was quite a privacy backlash after Google announced Buzz in February. The day it was announced, I was one of many who raised questions about both the privacy and safety implications of the service, including the fact that it is possible to use Buzz to disclose your location from a GPS-enabled mobile device. CNET's Molly Wood was less charitable, calling Buzz a "privacy nightmare."
The collective groan caused Google to almost immediately apologize for it missteps and quickly tweak its privacy settings.
Driven by the iPad, the tablet market will see dramatic gains this year, taking market share away from clamshell-style Netbooks, says DisplaySearch's "Quarterly Notebook PC Shipment and Forecast Report."
Most of the growth, especially for the iPad, will come from North America and Western Europe, where Apple has set up key distribution lines and created agreements with content providers. Overall, consumers are expected to pick up around 5 million tablets this year, forecasts DisplaySearch.
But don't count out the Netbook just yet. Traditional clamshell type Netbooks, or mininotes, are expected to continue to entice customers as their average selling prices have dropped from $400 to slightly less than $300. The Apple iPad, which will account for most tablet shipments this year, starts at a price of $499 and moves up to more than $800. The low prices of Netbooks will remain appealing to people looking for a second or third PC and help lure in first-time PC buyers in emerging markets.
Ironically, though, the low prices of Netbooks will continue to result in thinner margins and lower sales numbers for their manufacturers, component suppliers, and retailers, says DisplaySearch.… Read more
It's hard to think of a more anticipated piece of technology in the last few years than the iPad--excluding the iPhone, of course.
Initial reports have listed the number of preorders in the "hundreds of thousands," and tech industry analysts are forecasting that Apple could sell 6 million iPads within a year.
The iPad goes on sale in the U.S. at 9 a.m. Saturday in all time zones at Apple Stores and most Best Buy stores. If you're thinking about buying one, here are a few things you should know ahead of time--from … Read more
Customer satisfaction is greater among users of smartphones and handsets sporting touch screens than among those whose wireless phones require other input methods, according to two new J.D. Power surveys released Thursday.
The survey measuring customer satisfaction among smartphone owners in the U.S. found that smartphones with touch screens ranked 771 out of 1,000 points, a full 40 points higher than smartphones without a touch screen. A little more than half of owners said their smartphone has a touch screen. Though touch screens aren't as prevalent on traditional mobile phones, satisfaction with those devices reached 756 points on the scale, 53 points higher than the industry average, the survey of traditional-handset owners showed.
Smartphones were ranked for ease of operation, operating system, physical design, features, and battery power. Traditional handsets were graded for their operation, overall design, features, and battery life. Individual scores in each category were added up to create a total grade for each different brand of popular phones.
Among smartphone manufacturers, Apple hit the No. 1 spot for overall satisfaction with a score of 810, followed by BlackBerry maker Research In Motion with a grade of 741. Among companies who make traditional handsets, LG won the top spot by scoring 729, following by Sanyo at 712 and Samsung at 703.… Read more
In response to past cyberattacks against the Federal Aviation Administration, IBM is teaming up with the agency to try to create a security system to protect commercial and private aviation networks from future threats.
IBM announced on Tuesday that the new security system will move beyond the typical methods of encryption, firewalls, and antivirus software to guard against hackers, botnets, and malware. Instead, the new system for civil aviation will need to be more intelligent and analytical.
Through a series of sensors and monitors, the system will keep tabs on all network traffic and user activity in real time, said … Read more
The United Kingdom's Security Service has introduced a redundancy program for staff who lack IT skills, according to the Intelligence and Security Committee's annual report (PDF).
In the report, which was laid before parliament on March 18, Security Service Director General Jonathan Evans is quoted as saying the service--commonly known as MI5--was instituting voluntary and compulsory reduncancies--that is, layoffs--after a review of its staff profile.
"I think some of the staff perhaps aren't quite the ones that we will want for the future," Evans said, according to the report.
Most of the time you hear of iPhone applications being squelched, it's some developer who ran afoul of Apple's developer requirements. But in the case of apps to view BBC content, it was the BBC's own governing body that stepped in.
The BBC put its iPhone applications on hold after its overseers, the BBC Trust, decided to assess the applications in light of objections from competing media outlets, according to the BBC and others.
The BBC had planned to launch a news application this April and a sports application in time for the World Cup soccer tournament. … Read more
Femtocells, network widgets that ease the problems that many suffer trying to use their mobile phone at home, are going to be selling like hotcakes soon.
But here's what I'm thinking. You shouldn't have to buy yourself a $150 femtocell. They should be coming with your next-generation mobile phone--for free.
Let me explain.
Don't feel bad if you haven't heard of a femtocell. But don't be surprised if you hear more about them soon, because they're a hot item. Market research firm iSuppli forecasts unit shipments to grow from 571,000 in 2009 to 1.9 million in 2010--and to continue surging to 39.6 million by 2013.
Femtocells are small, lower-power radio transmission stations that provide a 3G network connection to your phone. They plug into your home broadband network. AT&T has begun selling them in the United States, Vodafone is doing so in the United Kingdom.… Read more
Amid a sea of praise for Google's recent decision to stop censoring search results in China, Paul Thurrott wrote a piece on how we shouldn't celebrate Google's China decisions at all, calling its move "a cold-hearted business decision, like so many other decisions made by this faceless, mathematically minded behemoth." Ouch. I respectfully disagree.
Pardon me for repeating myself (you can hear a similar version of this post in Thursday's Buzz Out Loud, starting around 29:30), but I think Thurrott is placing an unfair expectation of perfection on Google, and I don't … Read more