Posts Tagged ‘Internet



13
Apr
10

Facebook rejects suggested ‘Panic Button’ for pages

NEWS
Facebook rejects suggested ‘Panic Button’ for pages

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Facebook has announced an overhaul of its online safety measures that include the redesign of its abuse reporting system. But British users are concerned the new features still don’t go far enough.

Facebook’s “Safety Center” features new tools for parents, teachers, teens and law enforcement; it’s the first major endeavor from the social networking site and its four-month-old global safety advisory board.

Some new features of the safety center include four times more content on staying safe, such as dealing with bullying online, an interactive portal and a simpler design. But the company has not announced the installation of a panic button on every page as British officials had urged it to do.

Jim Gamble, chief executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, said the social networking giant did not agree to his demands outright at a meeting in Washington but he felt they were moving in the right direction.

Speaking after a four-hour meeting yesterday, Mr. Gamble said Facebook was close to “doing the right thing” but urged the website to turn “words into action”.

“They are one small step away from doing the right thing,” he said.

“I am more optimistic than when I came. They are not saying no, that is very clear.

“There is no doubt they are looking to improve their position around child safety and we recognise that. What I am looking for is turning words into action.”

The showdown came after controversy in Britain over Facebook’s refusal to include a “panic button” on its pages after the conviction of a serial rapist who used the site to lure and murder a teenage girl.

Peter Chapman posed as a young boy to lure 17-year-old Ashleigh Hall to her death in north-east England.

Calls have since grown for the inclusion of the buttons – which allow youngsters who feel threatened online to quickly contact a number of sources of help, such as CEOP or anti-bullying helplines.

Politicians, police and anti-bullying groups have voiced outrage that the online giant will not bow to demands to include the system.

“In our view they are experts at creating a fantastic online environment but they are not experts in law enforcement, the power of deterrents and the reassurance it brings for mums and dads,” Mr. Gamble said.

The other problem with a “panic button” is that it could lead to a false sense of security. If someone truly is aware of an online emergency, they are better off calling 911 or its equivalent in whatever country they are in.

Related: U.K. pressures Facebook to install ‘panic button’ to protect kids GO
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13
Apr
10

GAO piracy report: A deeper look

NEWS
GAO piracy report: A deeper look

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A report released by the Government Accountability Office questions Hollywood’s billion dollar losses claims, citing a lack of evidence as the main reason for the doubts. On the other hand, the Congress-commissioned report emphasizes that piracy may also benefit the entertainment industries and third parties.

The PRO-IP Act is a United Stated law that aims to combat copyright infringement by increasing civil and criminal penalties for offenders. As part of the Act, Congress has instructed the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to quantify the impact of piracy on the economy. The results of this investigation have now been published in a report.

The report puts the claimed ‘massive losses’ by the entertainment industries in a different light. After having interviewed many experts and plowed through the relevant literature, GAO writes that it cannot make any solid conclusions about the financial effect piracy has on the economy as a whole.

“Lack of data hinders efforts to quantify impacts of counterfeiting and piracy,” is one of the main conclusions from the report.

One of the problems signaled by the GAO is that government officials admit that they simply reply on statistics and reports from the entertainment industries without conducting research on their own. These reports naturally lack transparency about the source of the figures and are often written to sell a political agenda through lobbying efforts.

Although the GAO report cannot make any strong conclusions on the financial impact of piracy and counterfeiting on the economy, the writers do note that piracy can have several benefits for consumers and businesses.

“Some authors have argued that companies that experience revenue losses in one line of business—such as movies—may also increase revenues in related or complementary businesses due to increased brand awareness,” the report states.

“For instance, companies may experience increased revenues due to the sales of merchandise that are based on movie characters whose popularity is enhanced by sales of pirated movies.”

Another aspect that was mentioned is the positive impact piracy has on the revenues of third party companies. The example of routers is given in the report, but it is not hard to see that Apple’s iPod might also have benefited from the availability of pirated music.

“One expert also observed that some industries may experience an increase in demand for their products because of piracy in other industries. This expert identified Internet infrastructure manufacturers (e.g., companies that make routers) as possible beneficiaries of digital piracy, because of the bandwidth demands related to the transfer of pirated digital content,” the report reads.

One of the most interesting benefits of piracy mentioned in the report is that it encourages innovation, since this is the exact opposite of what copyright holders always argue. Unfortunately for consumers, this innovation is not always aimed at making a better product.

“While competitive pressure to keep one step ahead of counterfeiters may spur innovation in some cases, some of this innovation may be oriented toward anticounterfeiting and antipiracy efforts, rather than enhancing the product for consumers.”

The overall conclusion of the GAO is that they can’t put a number on what the financial consequences of piracy are for the economy. However, blindly trusting statics and reports from the entertainment industry is probably not a good idea, they say.

It is unclear at this point what impact the report will have on the legislation and anti-piracy measures as proposed by the PRO-IP Act.

Story Highlights:
▪ The development of technologies that enable the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted works is widely recognized as leading to an increase in piracy.

▪ To the extent that counterfeiting and piracy reduce investments in research and development, these companies may hire fewer workers and may contribute less to U.S. economic growth, overall.

▪ The U.S. economy may also experience slower growth due to a decline in trade with countries where widespread counterfeiting hinders the activities of U.S. companies operating overseas.

▪ There is no government agency that systematically collects or tracks data on the extent of digital copyright piracy.

▪ Many of the experts we interviewed identified lost tax revenue as an effect of counterfeiting and piracy on governments. IP owners or producers of legitimate goods who lose revenue because of competition from counterfeiters pay less in taxes. The U.S. government also incurs costs due to IP protection and enforcement efforts.

▪ Some authors (of studies on this issue) have argued that companies that experience revenue losses in one line of business–such as movies–may also increase revenues in related or complementary businesses due to increased brand awareness. For instance, companies may experience increased revenues due to the sales of merchandise that are based on movie characters whose popularity is enhanced by sales of pirated movies.

▪ Commerce and FBI officials told us they rely on industry statistics on counterfeit and pirated goods and do not conduct any original data.

▪ According to experts and government officials, industry associations do not always disclose their proprietary data sources and methods, making it difficult to verify their estimates.

▪ There is no single methodology to collect and analyze data that can be applied across industries to estimate the effects of counterfeiting and piracy on the U.S. economy or industry sectors.

▪ The Business Software Alliance publishes piracy estimates based on a set of annual surveys it conducts in different countries. Based on its survey results, the industry association estimated the U.S. piracy rate at 20 percent for business software, carrying a loss of $9 billion in 2008. This study defined piracy as the difference between total installed software and legitimate software sold, and its scope involved only packaged physical software. While this study has an enviable data set on industries and consumers located around the world from its country surveys, it uses assumptions that have raised concerns among experts we interviewed.

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07
Apr
10

Federal court curbs FCC authority on Web traffic

NEWS
Federal court curbs FCC authority on Web traffic

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Federal Communications Commission lacks the authority to force Internet service providers to keep their networks open to all forms of content, throwing into doubt the agency’s status as the government guardian of the Web.
The FCC has long sought to impose rules requiring Internet providers to offer equal access to all Web sites, a concept known as network neutrality. But in a unanimous decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia found that the agency lacked the power to stop cable giant Comcast from limiting traffic to a popular file-sharing site called BitTorrent.

While the Comcast case centered on the issue of network neutrality, the court’s ruling could hamper other agency initiatives, including an ambitious plan to expand high-speed Internet service nationwide and enforce new rules that hold carriers to promises of certain speeds for consumers.

The decision could spur the FCC or Congress to rewrite rules or laws to more concretely make the agency a regulator of Internet services.

The agency had intentionally kept its authority over broadband services vague, in hopes of spurring growth by keeping the market for Internet services largely deregulated. A reversal of that framework — which consumer groups have urged — would be strongly opposed by companies that operate Internet networks.

“Comcast swung an ax at the FCC to protest the BitTorrent order and they sliced right through the FCC’s arm and plunged the ax into their own back,” said Ben Scott, police director for public interest group Free Press.
The FCC’s predicament stems from Comcast’s challenge of sanctions the FCC issued against it in 2008.

In a 3-2 vote, the agency found that Comcast had violated open-Internet guidelines by slowing traffic to the BitTorrent file-sharing site. Those guidelines were meant to force broadband providers to treat all traffic equally on their networks, so as not to put any application at a disadvantage.

Comcast appealed the FCC sanction, saying the agency’s order was outside its scope. The court on Tuesday agreed.

Sena Fitzmaurice, a Comcast spokeswoman, said the company was “gratified” by the decision.

“Our primary goal was always to clear our name and reputation,” she said.

As a practical matter, the court ruling will not have any immediate impact on Internet users because Comcast and other large Internet providers are not currently restricting specific types of Web content and have no plans to do so.

The decision came as Comcast is pursuing agency approval of its proposed $30 billion merger with NBC Universal.

The cable giant has opposed FCC efforts to impose rules requiring that Internet providers offer equal access to all Web sites. The company argues, as it did in the BitTorrent case, that it needs to be able to limit some users from activities that could slow network operation for many customers, such as downloading massive movie files.

But in hearings on the merger, some lawmakers have said net neutrality rules would ensure that the combined company would not unfairly use its weight against competing Web sites.

Other companies such as Google and Facebook have supported government efforts to push net neutrality. Tuesday’s ruling may encourage the FCC to respond with what Sanford Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett calls the “nuclear option” — moving broadband providers into the same category as phone providers, which would subject them to many more rules.

That “would have sweeping implications far, far beyond net neutrality … and would bring back a raft of regulatory obligations from the days of monopoly telecommunications regulation,” Moffett said.

The decision puts in doubt dozens of policies the FCC hopes to roll out as part of the national broadband plan it released last month. It may complicate some reallocation of $8 billion in phone subsidies to build new broadband networks and hinder creation of a wireless public safety network for first responders, public advocacy groups say.

The FCC did not say specifically how it plans to respond to the court’s decision. Agency spokeswoman Jen Howard said it was important that the FCC’s broadband agenda rest on a “solid legal foundation.”

Michael Copps, a Democratic FCC commissioner, said in a statement: “It is time we stop doing the ‘ancillary authority’ dance and instead rely on the statute Congress gave us to stand on solid legal ground in safeguarding the benefits of the Internet for American consumers.”
• Source(s): Federal Communications Commission and Cisco Systems, Inc.

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06
Apr
10

AOL says to sell or shut down Bebo in 2010

NEWS
AOL says to sell or shut down Bebo in 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Internet company AOL has announced plans to sell Bebo just two years after buying the social networking site for $850 million.

Bebo has been struggling against more popular rivals such as Facebook and AOL said it needed “significant investment” to become competitive.

AOL was not in a position to provide such funding, the company said.

AOL split with Time Warner last year and is itself struggling against rival internet providers.

“Bebo, unfortunately, is a business that been declining and, as a result, would require significant investment in order to compete in the competitive social networking space,” Jon Brod of AOL Ventures told employees in an email.

“AOL is committed to working quickly to determine if there are any interested parties for Bebo and the company’s current expectation is to complete our strategic evaluation by the end of May 2010.”

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01
Apr
10

Topeka: A different kind of company name

NEWS
Topeka: A different kind of company name

Thursday, April 1, 2010

••• Early last month the mayor of Topeka, Kansas stunned the world by announcing that his city was changing its name to Google.
We’ve been wondering ever since how best to honor that moving gesture. Today we are pleased to announce that as of 1AM (Central Daylight Time) April 1st, Google has officially changed our name to Topeka.
We didn’t reach this decision lightly; after all, we had a fair amount of brand equity tied up in our old name. But the more we surfed around (the former) Topeka’s municipal website, the more kinship we felt with this fine city at the edge of the Great Plains.

In fact, Topeka Google Mayor Bill Bunten expressed it best: “Don’t be fooled. Even Google recognizes that all roads lead to Kansas, not just yellow brick ones.”

For 150 years, its fortuitous location at the confluence of the Kansas River and the Oregon Trail has made the city formerly known as Topeka a key jumping-off point to the new world of the West, just as for 150 months the company formerly known as Google has been a key jumping-off point to the new world of the web. When in 1858 a crucial bridge built across the Kansas River was destroyed by flooding mere months later, it was promptly rebuilt — and we too are accustomed to releasing 2.0 versions of software after stormy feedback on our ‘beta’ releases. And just as the town’s nickname is “Top City,” and the word “topeka” itself derives from a term used by the Kansa and Ioway tribes to refer to “a good place to dig for potatoes,” we’d like to think that our website is one of the web’s top places to dig for information.

In the early 20th century, the former Topeka enjoyed a remarkable run of political prominence, gracing the nation with Margaret Hill McCarter, the first woman to address a national political convention (1920, Republican); Charles Curtis, the only Native American ever to serve as vice president (’29 to ‘33, under Herbert Hoover); Carrie Nation, leader of the old temperance movement (and wielder of American history’s most famous hatchet); and, most important, Alfred E. Neuman, arguably the most influential figure to an entire generation of Americans. We couldn’t be happier to add our own chapter to this storied history.

A change this dramatic won’t happen without consequences, perhaps even some disruptions. Here are a few of the thorny issues that we hope everyone in the broader Topeka community will bear in mind as we begin one of the most important transitions in our company’s history:

    • Correspondence to both our corporate headquarters and offices around the world should now be addressed to Topeka Inc., but otherwise can be addressed normally.
    • Google employees once known as “Googlers” should now be referred to as either “Topekers” or “Topekans,” depending on the result of a board meeting that’s ongoing at this hour. Whatever the outcome, the conclusion is clear: we aren’t in Google anymore.
    • Our new product names will take some getting used to. For instance, we’ll have to assure users of Topeka News and Topeka Maps that these services will continue to offer news and local information from across the globe. Topeka Talk, similarly, is an instant messaging product, not, say, a folksy midwestern morning show. And Project Virgle, our co-venture with Richard Branson and Virgin to launch the first permanent human colony on Mars, will henceforth be known as Project Vireka.
    • We don’t really know what to tell Oliver Google Kai’s parents, except that, if you ask us, Oliver Topeka Kai would be a charming name for their little boy.
    • As our lawyers remind us, branded product names can achieve such popularity as to risk losing their trademark status (see cellophane, zippers, trampolines, et al). So we hope all of you will do your best to remember our new name’s proper usage:

Finally, we want to be clear that this initiative is a one-shot deal that will have no bearing on which municipalities are chosen to participate in our experimental ultra-high-speed broadband project, to which Google, Kansas has been just one of many communities to apply.
• Source(s): Eric Schmidt, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Topeka Inc.
• (April Fools!!!)
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31
Mar
10

Google searches turn up empty

NEWS
Google searches turn up empty

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Internet users on the Chinese mainland who tried to conduct a Google search Tuesday most likely failed to obtain results while mobile services users reported partial blocking during the last two days.

Last week, users who attempted to use Google.cn were redirected to the Hong Kong website.

Users found out Tuesday that both the English site, Google.com, and the Chinese version of the search engine failed to return search results, although the homepages popped up.

AFP reported that its Shanghai reporter experienced no problems with the Google search engine.

But an Internet user in Shanghai said no search results came up.

The advanced search icon on both the English and Chinese sites were accessible.

A Google spokeswoman in Beijing told that they were aware of the problem but she was not able to say what caused it.

In the wake of Google’s decision to redirect Google.cn traffic to its Hong Kong website last week, Google also set up a website www.google.com/prc/report.html that was still accessible on the mainland Tuesday.

It provided daily status reports on the availability of its other popular services in China, including Doc, News, Mobile, Gmail, Blogger and Picasa service.

According to that website, Google’s search engine service on the Chinese mainland experienced “no issues” Tuesday but the mobile service was partially blocked on the mainland since Sunday.

The Google search engine on a reporter’s mobile phone, which uses Google’s Android mobile phone system, was working normally after it rerouted to Google’s Hong Kong sites in Wi-fi connections.

But Google search, maps and news service could not be accessed with the same mobile phone when it uses China Mobile GPRS data connection.
• Source(s): Xinhua News Agency & Global Times (China)
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31
Mar
10

Google blames China’s ‘great firewall’ for blocking searches

NEWS
Google blames China’s ‘great firewall’ for blocking searches

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Google’s search sites in China abruptly stopped working yesterday, but the explanation for the outage changed as the day wore on.

The Internet giant first blamed its own engineers, citing a technical glitch, but later reversed course and pointed to the heavy hand of China’s “Great Firewall” – even as service appeared to be back to normal.

The evolving explanation caught Google watchers by surprise and showed how fraught with confusion the relationship between China and Google remains.

The episode risks escalating their battle a week after Google stopped censoring its search engine in China.

Google struggled to discern the cause of the massive disruption, in which users received error messages for Google searches from China on the company’s Hong Kong-based search site, Google.com.hk.

Google began routing Chinese Internet users to its Hong Kong site last week as it said it would no longer comply with China’s censoring policies and wouldn’t run a censored Chinese search engine.

Later in the day, Google reversed itself, saying it had made those changes a week earlier.

“So whatever happened to block Google.com.hk must have been as a result of a change in the Great Firewall,” the company said.

Wang Lijian, spokesman for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, one of China’s main Internet regulators, said he was unaware of any Google disruption.

Any permanent blockage of Google’s searches by China would deal a sharp blow to the company’s hopes of continuing to operate part of its business in the country after dismantling its censored Chinese site.

Google said last week that it hoped to maintain its music search and maps services in China, along with sales and research-and-development operations.

Beijing has expressed anger at Google for publicly flouting its censorship regime, and a decision to block access to Google entirely has always been considered possible.

Many analysts have believed Beijing would stop short of that for fear of infuriating Google’s tens of millions of regular Chinese users, not to mention foreign businesses that require access to information.

Because Google censored its old Chinese site, Google.cn, in accordance with government rules, that site wasn’t filtered by the government’s firewall.

Its international sites, such as the Hong Kong one, have always been subjected to filtering, meaning that Chinese users’ searches of some sensitive terms like those related to the 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protests, the initials RFA, for Radio Free Asia, or even the names of top leaders might trigger an error message from the browser instead of a results page.

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29
Mar
10

Microsoft rushes to patch zero-day IE hole

NEWS
Microsoft rushes to patch zero-day IE hole

Monday, March 29, 2010
Last modification: Tuesday, March 30, 2010: 1:05 p.m. PDT

••• Microsoft is releasing an out-of-band patch to address a vulnerability in Internet Explorer 6 and 7 on Tuesday, which if exploited would allow an attacker to compromise the targeted system. In addition to the patch addressing the widely known flaw, MS10-018 will also correct nine other vulnerabilities.

“We have been monitoring this issue and have determined an out-of-band release is needed to protect customers,” Microsoft said in a statement.

Discovered earlier this month, the flaw in Internet Explorer is caused due to a use-after-free error in iepeers.dll when handling invalid values passed to the “setAttribute” function. If exploited, the attacker would have control over the system at the permissions level of the current user. Considering most users are logged in as an administrator on their systems, the issue quickly gained notoriety.

While Microsoft said that users of Internet Explorer 8 and Windows 7 are not vulnerable, the fact that the majority of their users are open to attack caused them to push the timeline up some for the patch.

“The last time Microsoft issued an out of band patch for IE was in January, and it was for the ‘Aurora’ bug that was used to exploit Google, Adobe and other large enterprises. Given that Microsoft’s regular patch is only 15 days away, an out-of-band patch definitely means there is a serious uptick in attacks against this bug in the wild,” said Andrew Storms, Director of Security Operations for nCircle.

“Microsoft’s turnaround time on this bug was very impressive. Generally, it takes at least 30 days from advisory to bug fix release. Microsoft released the advisory on March 9th, just three weeks ago.”

Each of the ten updates in MS10-018 will be listed as Critical by Redmond, and they expect them to hit systems by 1:00 p.m. PDT on March 30.

• Microsoft Security Bulletin MS10-018 – Critical •
• Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (980182)

▪ Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance Notification for March 2010
▪ Internet Explorer Cumulative Update Releasing Out-of-Band
• Source(s): Microsoft Corporation
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28
Mar
10

Shaoxing City is world’s hacker hub

NEWS
Shaoxing City is world’s hacker hub

Sunday, March 28, 2010

••• An American Internet security company has named the Chinese city of Shaoxing as the world’s cyber-espionage capital.

According to a research by Symantec, almost 30 % of “targeted attacks” were sent from China and 21.3 % originated from Shaoxing in eastern China alone.

The key targets of Chinese hackers were mainly experts in Asian defence policy and human rights activists, researchers, who traced 12 billion emails for the study, said – suggesting state involvement.

Symantec is assisting the investigation into suspected hacking attacks on Google, which closed its website in China last week after refusing to censor itself on the government’s orders.
Cyber-espionage uses emails sent in small volumes with legitimate-looking attachments or documents to fool the user into letting a malicious code infect their computer.

“The ultimate aim is to gain access to sensitive data or internal systems by targeting specific individuals or companies,” the report said.

Previously, hackers in China had been able to camouflage themselves behind servers in Taiwan.

The findings show China was the source of 28.2 % of global targeted attacks.

It was followed by Romania, with 21.1 %, presumed to be mostly attempts at commercial fraud.

The United States came third, followed by Taiwan and then Britain, with 12 % of attacks.

Symantec: Internet Security Treat Report Volume XV

Symantec: RSA 2010 Francis De Souza

Symantec: RSA 2010 Kevin Rowney

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26
Mar
10

Google says 1,100 communities are vying for its broadband network

NEWS
Google says 1,100 communities are vying for its broadband network

Friday, March 26, 2010

••• More than 1,100 communities across (and more than 194,000 responses from individuals) the United States have expressed their interests to be the test sites of Google Inc.’s ultra high-speed broadband networks, the U.S. Internet company said on Friday.

Google announced in February that it plans to test broadband networks in one or more trial locations in the United States, claiming that the networks will deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans are using today.

The company has set March 26 as the deadline for local governments in the country to submit information on their interests to join the Google network trials and about existing facilities and resources in their communities.

Over 1,100 communities have responded by Friday morning, hours before the submission deadline, according to Google.

The enthusiasm by local governments to bring ultra high-speed broadband networks to their communities clearly showed that ” people across the country are hungry for better and faster Internet access,” Google noted in a blog posting.

“We’ve seen cities rename themselves, great YouTube videos, public rallies and hundreds of grassroots Facebook groups come to life, all with the goal of bringing ultra high-speed broadband to their communities,” Google said.

And that proved Google’s point: That Americans are clamoring for faster Internet access.

Antics to draw Google’s attention included the mayor of Duluth, Minn., who jumped into the icy waters of Lake Superior, and the mayor of Topeka, Kan., who renamed the city Google for the month of March. Rancho Cucamonga even got a Web makeover as Rancho Googlemonga. Closer to Google’s Mountain View, Calif., headquarters, folks in Palo Alto boogied to the Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.” in front of City Hall.

“We’re not going to be able to build in every interested community,” said Google, which plans to reach up to 500,000 people with the experiment. “Wherever we decide to build, we hope to learn lessons that will help improve Internet access everywhere. After all, you shouldn’t have to jump into frozen lakes and shark tanks to get ultra high-speed broadband.”

The company said it will announce target community or communities of the network trials by the end of the year.

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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24
Mar
10

Google’s withdrawal from China pushing itself into corner

NEWS
Google’s withdrawal from China pushing itself into corner

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

•••Google’s decision to stop censoring its Chinese search engine and redirect mainland users to its servers in Hong Kong was tantamount to pushing itself into a corner and ruining its image and interests, world media and experts say.

“If Google had hoped to rally rivals to its cause, it failed. If Google was planning to embarrass China by whipping up a global debate on Internet freedom, it failed,” the Financial Times wrote in an article published Monday.

China trade economist Derek Scissors of the U.S. Heritage Foundation called Google’s move to Hong Kong “pretty close to a complete exit” that will provoke Beijing and puts Google outside the firewall with regard to advertisers and other partners.

Russian newspaper Vedomosti said Google has completely burned all of its bridges in China behind it and is unlikely to ever return to the Chinese market.

Google, the world’s top search engine, held only an estimated 30 percent share of China’s search market in 2009, compared with home-grown rival Baidu Inc’s 60 percent. Official statistics put the number of netizens in China at 384 million by the end of 2009.

Michel Riguidel, head of the Department of Computer Science and Networks at Telecom Paris Tech, said all companies pay great attention to building their own images.

Google claimed that its image is based on freedom, information exchange and respecting human rights, but the fact is that it absorbs large amounts of personal information and does research on the information without getting agreements from web users, Riguidel said.

Izumi Harada, chief fellow of the Crisis and Risk Management Society of Japan, told Xinhua that there is no question that multinational companies should follow local laws while running their businesses in other countries.

Google has breached the commitment to observe Chinese laws and regulations that it made when entering China (four years ago), he said.

Jesse Wright, a leading expert of Institute Internet, told a Russian radio station that Google has been working in China since 2005 and knows the requirements of Chinese law.

“Compliance with the requirements of the Chinese was a condition of work in this market,” Wright said. “So, trying to force China to reconsider its own censorship requirements – be it Google or others – it seems to me untenable.”

Alexey Basov, CEO and co-founder of Begun, Russia’s largest contextual ad service, said if Google quits the Chinese market, it will be a major strategic loss for the company.

At about 3 a.m. Tuesday Beijing time, Google’s chief legal officer David Drummond made the “stop censoring” announcement in a blog post, saying “users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where we are offering uncensored searches in simplified Chinese.”

In reaction, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a routine media briefing that: “The Google case is just a business case and will not undermine China-U.S. relations unless someone politicizes the issue.”
• Source(s): Xinhua News Agency (China)
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24
Mar
10

Arguments over Google’s withdraw

NEWS
Arguments over Google’s withdraw

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

••• Google is also citing censorship in its withdrawal from the Chinese mainland market. Some netizens and experts say foreign companies should abide by the laws of the country.

Chinese Internet users and experts say abiding by the laws of the country is an established convention. They say all this applies to all companies, including Google.

A Chinese internet user said, “China has its own system and you have to abide by the laws in China if you want to do business in China. “

Shi Xiangsheng, Deputy Sec’y Gen., Internet Society of China, said, “The foreign Internet companies must promise to respect the local customs and laws when they start business in China. And it’s also the international convention.”

Google says another factor in the pull-out was attacks by hackers.

Shi said, “We are not quite clear about the hacker attack Google mentioned. But it did not appeal to the relevant regulator or ask the Chinese government to carry out investigations on the case. “

Some say it’s debatable that Google has completely withdrawn from China, as it transferred its search business to Hong Kong.
• Source(s): CCTV (China)
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24
Mar
10

Google in hot water

NEWS
Google in hot water

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

••• Google has recently been warned by several foreign authorities over its controversial services including Google news, Google street view, as well as the latest social network service Google buzz.

Last month, the European Union Commission said it had received various requests for anti-monopoly investigations regarding the Internet search giant. They claim Google has been filtering out its competitors on purpose in order to keep more advertisement profits.

In France, the government has formed a special team to investigate lawsuits filed by local media companies against Google. They accuse the company of profiting from their products without reimbursement. Another lawsuit was filed by Louis Vutton.

The luxury bagmaker said it has found links on Google’s website to pirated products. Italian authorities have also launched an anti-trust investigation against Google filed by the country’s print media.

Meanwhile, Google street view, which was introduced in 2007, has challenged privacy laws in Britain and Germany. Though the company has begun to obscure search results for human faces and car license plates, it is still frequently taken to court for violating privacy rights. Its latest social web service, Google Buzz, has also been accused of a privacy breach. The company was ordered by the Canadian government to explain privacy bugs, which have already triggered widespread complaints.

Google’s trouble seems to be everywhere. Recently Spanish telecom operator Telofonica accused the company of using free bandwidth for its own benefit. The company said it is considering charging Google for network use.
• Source(s): CCTV (China)
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24
Mar
10

Who will share the cheese after Google moves?

NEWS
Who will share the cheese after Google moves?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

••• Netizens said Tuesday Google’s withdrawal from the Chinese mainland was only a “publicity stunt” while experts believed the online search giant had abandoned its cheese when no others moved it.

Google announced Tuesday morning that it had stopped censoring its Chinese-language search engine Google.cn and redirected Chinese mainland users to another portal in Hong Kong.

Google’s earlier threats to pull out of China and its latest move to reroute traffic to Hong Kong were just “publicity stunts,” said a netizen named Ding Wei on the Internet industrial network www,sootoo.com.

“Google’s redirecting Google.cn to Google.com.hk is a compromised decision reflecting that the company wants to save its reputation in China,” the netizen said.

Google said in Tuesday’s statement it still intended to continue research and development and maintain a sales staff in the Chinese mainland.

Experts interviewed by Xinhua said they believed Google’s latest move was mainly out of business and market concerns, adding that Baidu and other Internet companies doing business in China would benefit from Google’s withdrawal.

“Google faces censorship in about 25 countries, but why does it only quit the Chinese mainland? Because it can not beat Baidu,” said Dr. Wang Yu, a Nanjing University lecturer.

“Google does not give up its smart phone operating system Android or other partnerships with domestic Internet companies, because unlike Google.cn, they are all promising,” said Wang who specializes in network information studies.

The domestic search giant Baidu would not be the only beneficiary of Google’s exit.

“Google’s about 30 percent market share in search services on the mainland will be absorbed not only by search engine rivals but also companies doing other search-related businesses,” said Li Zhi, a senior analyst with Analysys International, a leading Chinese Internet consulting company.

According to Analysys, Baidu occupies about 60 percent of the market share. Sohu’s Sogou, Tencent’s Soso and other new-comers including Microsoft’s Bing were all eyeing Google’s share of the market, analysts said.

Microsoft’s Beijing office said in an email reply to Xinhua on Tuesday that the company regarded China as the most important online search service market.

“The pull-out is the price to pay for Google’s move of politicizing commercial issues,” Li Zhi said.

Sean Tzou, CEO of Trina Solar Limited, a U.S. joint venture based in Changzhou of Jiangsu Province, said the biggest challenge for many joint ventures in China was their willingness and ability to adapt to the local environment.
• Source(s): Xinhua News Agency (China)

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23
Mar
10

Google case will not affect China – United States relations

NEWS
Google case will not affect China – United States relations
▪ China says Google issue will not affect China – United States ties

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

••• Google’s withdrawal from the Chinese mainland will not affect China-U.S. relations “unless someone politicizes the issue,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Tuesday.

Qin told a regular press conference the Google issue was a commercial matter and would not damage the image of China.

He said moves to tie the issue to the China-U.S. relations were “making a fuss” and “overstating the issue.”

The Chinese government encouraged and pushed for the openness of Internet and its management according to its laws and regulations, which was common practice in all countries, Qin said.

“What China is striving to prevent on the Internet is the flow of information that would pose a danger to national security and the interests of the society and the public,” he said.

“Any foreign company operating in China must abide by Chinese laws and regulations,” Qin said.

China would stick to the strategy of opening-up and the principle of mutual benefits, and welcome foreign entrepreneurs to invest and do business in China within the law.

“We will create a sound environment for them,” he said.

Google’s chief legal officer David Drummond said his company would “stop censoring” in a blog post at about 3 a.m. Tuesday Beijing Time, more than two months after the company said it had been attacked by hackers operating in China and was reconsidering its approach to China.
• Source(s): Xinhua News Agency (China)

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