Posts Tagged ‘Camera

11
Aug
10

Google Street View throws light on web privacy

NEWS
Google Street View throws light on web privacy

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Google’s online map feature has become a flash point for people worried about the erosion of privacy in the Internet Age.

Street View images at Google Maps sparked controversy from the outset of the project three years ago.

Google dispatched cars and tricycles rigged with cameras and satellite positioning gear to take pictures of what one might see on streets around the world and synched the images to its free online mapping service.

Some people complained that faces could be recognised in pictures, raising the potential that people caught in compromising situations, perhaps stepping out of an adult video store, would have such moments memorialised online.

Others expressed fears that numbers from licence plates could be used to figure out who parks or lives on certain streets.

People were soon accusing Street View vehicles of straying onto private roads or yards to snap pictures in violation of the California-based internet giant’s policies.

Google adapted to ameliorate concerns. It began blurring faces and car licence plate numbers in images.

This year the Street View controversy rocketed to a new level with the revelation by Google that electronics in its picture-taking vehicles captured data from wireless internet systems not secured by passwords.

Google basically had access to unencrypted email, video downloads, web browsing or other digital information passing through wireless routers in homes or businesses as its Street View vans went by, said John Verdi, senior counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Centre.

Google has apologised repeatedly for what it called an accidental data grab, but authorities in more than a dozen countries are investigating whether the company broke privacy laws.

South Korean police on Tuesday searched the offices of Google Korea as part of its probe, an officer said.

Police seized computer hard discs and other material. After analysing the material they plan to summon the company’s staff for questioning.

Efforts by governments to get the Street View data threaten to multiply damage to people’s privacy even if Google is true to its word that it has done nothing with the information.

‘Simply handing over the data to governments can be a very bad idea,’ said Electronic Frontier Foundation international rights director Katitza Rodriguez.

‘In some cases, the remedy can be worse than the disease.’

Countries could use the pretext of investigating Street View to mine Google data in ways that ‘might create risky situations for human rights activists, dissidents, or bloggers fighting for their rights,’ she added.

Silicon Valley analyst Rob Enderle theorised that Google might have intended to map locations of open wireless ‘hot spots’ as a potential service to users.

‘Telling people where they can get on the internet for free while they are out and about sounds to me like a typical Google thing to do,’ Enderle said. ‘It wouldn’t surprise me.’

Identity thieves might view a roster of open wireless zones the way burglars might look at a list of homes left unlocked, according to the analyst.

Google said it would allow Germans to block out their homes on Street View ahead of its launch in the country this year but privacy watchdogs were still not happy.

‘Google Street View is a great tool, for instance, for tourists to scope out the location that he or she wants to visit,’ Rodriguez said.

‘However, Google’s technology is too invasive, and goes too far. We expect some degree of anonymity while we are walking on the streets.’
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24
Mar
10

Sprint launches first WiMax Android smartphone HTC EVO 4G

NEWS
Sprint launches first WiMax Android smartphone HTC EVO™ 4G

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sprint and HTC Corporation today announced summer availability of the world’s first 3G/4G Android handset, HTC EVO™ 4G exclusively from Sprint. HTC EVO™ 4G delivers a multimedia experience at 4G speeds that is second to none, making it possible to download music, pictures, files, or videos in seconds – not minutes – and watch streaming video on the go with one of the largest pinch-to-zoom displays, at 4.3 inches, in the wireless industry.
Sprint 4G offers a faster wireless experience than any other U.S. national wireless carrier, and Sprint is the only national carrier offering wireless 4G service today in 27 markets. Sprint 4G delivers download speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G1, giving HTC EVO™ 4G the fastest data speeds of any U.S. wireless device available today.

“Sprint continues to lead the 4G revolution as we introduce HTC EVO™ 4G to give our customers an experience that is unlike anything available in wireless to date,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO. “Not only is this feature-rich device incredible on our Sprint 3G network, but Sprint 4G speeds will take mobile multimedia, including live video streaming, gaming and picture downloads, to a whole new level.”

Customers will be able to purchase HTC EVO™ 4G through all Sprint channels and through national retail partners, RadioShack, Best Buy and Walmart, this summer. Pricing will be announced at a later date. Pre-registration begins today at http://www.sprint.com/evo.
A device beyond compare
HTC EVO™ 4G delivers a robust list of features, including a 1GHz Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processor ensuring a smooth and quick user experience. With dual cameras – an 8.0 megapixel auto-focus camera with HD-capable video camcorder and a forward-facing 1.3 megapixel camera – HTC EVO™ 4G unleashes the ability to create, stream and watch video that far surpasses expectations of what is possible on a phone today.

With built-in mobile hotspot functionality, HTC EVO™ 4G allows up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices to share the 4G experience. Users can easily share an Internet connection on the go with a laptop, camera, music player, game unit, video player, or any other Wi-Fi enabled device.

With integrated HD video capture and 4G speeds, HTC EVO™ 4G makes slow uploads and grainy video a thing of the past. Now, it is possible to post high-quality video to YouTube™ or Facebook, or share moments in real time over the Internet live, via Qik. After these videos have been captured, it is easy to share them on an HDTV via an HDMI cable (sold separately).

The custom Web browser is optimized for HTC EVO™ 4G’s large display and Sprint 4G speeds to deliver a full, no-compromise Internet experience. Adobe Flash technology ensures that rich Internet content, such as embedded video and animation, are displayed the way they are meant to be seen. Pinch-to-zoom and automatic text reflowing provide easy Web page views.

HTC EVO 4G features the newest version of the highly acclaimed HTC Sense user experience. Along with all of the HTC Sense features first introduced on HTC Hero™, HTC EVO™ 4G adds a number of new features, including Friend Stream, which aggregates multiple social communication channels including Facebook™ and Twitter™ into one organized flow of updates; a “Leap” thumbnail view to easily switch between home screen “panels;” the ability to download new, interactive widgets; and a “polite” ringer, which quiets the ringing phone once lifted up.

“HTC and Sprint have a strong history of working together to bring consumers technologies and advancements that make their lives easier,” said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC. “We believe that the HTC EVO™ 4G represents the best of Sprint and the best of HTC working together to bring an unmatched device to the U.S. This combination of HTC and Sprint innovation will allow people to do even more while on the go, faster than ever on the Sprint 4G network.”

Experience Android at 4G
HTC EVO™ 4G, the world’s first 3G/4G Android handset, features the latest iteration of the increasingly popular Android platform. Leveraging the Android 2.1 platform, HTC EVO™ 4G can deliver a wide array of useful new features:

  • Android 2.1 enables a new way to search with pictures instead of words. Google Goggles™ works with everything from books, DVDs and barcodes to landmarks, logos, artwork and even wine labels. A picture taken of the Golden Gate Bridge returns all of the information anyone would need to know about the structure. By just taking a picture of several restaurant options, HTC EVO™ 4G will provide restaurant reviews to ensure the best choice.
  • Text messaging and email composition feature built-in voice-to-text technology. By simply pressing a microphone button on the screen, messages can be composed by just speaking, making keeping in touch faster and easier than ever.
  • Through Android Market™, HTC EVO™ 4G users have access to thousands of useful applications, widgets and games to download and install on their phone, with many more to come.

In addition to today’s Android apps, the performance of which will be enhanced by 4G speed, application developers will be introducing new apps that take advantage of 4G power in new ways – games and communications tools and other apps that bring together video, presence and location simultaneously, and capabilities that haven’t yet been imagined. For example, an application developer might create an app that allows a customer to simultaneously watch a streaming sporting event while pulling down stats and conducting a video chat with a friend.

A Sprint 4G developer guide is available today from the Sprint ADP Web site http://developer.sprint.com. The Sprint 4G developer guide explains how to develop on an Android 2.1 handset and how to take advantage of 4G and unique hardware/software capabilities, including how to use a forward-facing camera in an app; how to use HDMI output; and how to build in network detection (3G, 4G or Wi-Fi) to optimize quality of data in an app. The Sprint 4G developer also will include sample apps and source code that highlight these features. It will supplement the Android 2.1 SDK.  As a charter member of the Open Handset Alliance™, Sprint is actively engaged with the Android community. Sprint has employed an open Internet approach, and the Sprint Application Developer Program has been providing tools for third-party developers since Sprint first launched the Wireless Web on its phones in 2001.

“Sprint and HTC have come together to propel the Android platform into the 4G world with the introduction of HTC EVO™ 4G,” said Andy Rubin, vice president, mobile platforms at Google. “The Android platform was developed to give people unmatched mobile connectivity to the Internet. By combining this vision with the promise of Sprint’s first-to-market 4G technology, HTC EVO™ 4G makes accessing thousands of applications from Android Market, using Google™ services like Google Goggles, Google Earth™ and the all-new Gesture Search, or simply browsing the Web faster, easier and more enjoyable than ever before.”

Blazing trails with Sprint 4G
As the first national wireless carrier to test, launch and market 4G technology, Sprint made history by launching 4G in Baltimore in September 2008. Today, Sprint 4G covers more than 30 million people and expects to have up to 120 million people covered by the end of 2010.

Sprint currently offers 4G service in 27 markets, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Portland, Ore., San Antonio and Seattle. Following is a comprehensive list of markets by state where Sprint 4G is currently offered: Georgia – Atlanta, Milledgeville; Hawaii – Honolulu, Maui; Idaho – Boise; Illinois – Chicago; Maryland – Baltimore; Nevada – Las Vegas; North Carolina – Charlotte, Greensboro, (along with High Point and Winston-Salem), Raleigh (along with Cary, Chapel Hill and Durham); Oregon – Portland, Salem; Pennsylvania – Philadelphia; Texas – Abilene, Amarillo, Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Killeen/Temple, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, San Antonio, Waco, Wichita Falls; Washington – Bellingham, Seattle. For more information, visit www.sprint.com/4G.

In 2010, Sprint expects to launch service in multiple markets, including but not limited to, Boston, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Minneapolis, New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.  Sprint is harnessing the power of 4G as the majority shareholder of Clearwire, the independent company that is building the WiMAX network. Sprint is the only national wireless carrier to offer 4G services on the Clearwire WiMAX network.

About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including two wireless networks serving more than 48 million customers at the end of the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; industry-leading mobile data services; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The company’s customer-focused strategy has led to improved first call resolution and customer care satisfaction scores. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.

About HTC
HTC Corporation (HTC) is one of the fastest growing companies in the mobile phone industry. By putting people at the center of everything it does, HTC creates innovative smartphones that better serve the lives and needs of individuals. The company is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange under ticker 2498. For more information about HTC, please visit www.htc.com.

• Source(s): Sprint, HTC & cnet
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