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Mobile Manufacturers Torture Phones So You Don’t Have To

June 22nd, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in News

If you have ever wondered why you can get your mobile carrier to honor the warranty on your cell phone for some types of damage but not others, you might want to plan a trip to Shenzhen, China. Before a smart phone manufacturer will release a new phone on the market, it will have conducted hundreds of ‘torture tests’ to ensure the highest possible standard of quality. So what exactly do they do to smart phones in Shenzhen? Well, that question can be summed up in one word – everything.

The effects of the elements are tested on smart phones so that you don’t have to worry about having your device break when you drop it in freezing temperatures, or have the glass on your screen crack in hot weather. If you have ever kept your mobile phone in the bathroom with you while taking a shower, your smart phone manufacturer already knows what type of damage is consistent with steam versus how your phone will react when it is dumped in a shower stall.

Mobile phone manufacturers need to know how durable their products are in order to avoid having to recall them, but they also need to make sure that they are not creating ‘throw away’ products. In addition, offering extended warranties can become expensive if you are constantly having to replace phones because of the same reasons. In Shenzen, scientists torture phones because they have to, which hopefully will help you to avoid inadvertently breaking your mobile device.

Microsoft Loses i4i Patent Lawsuit

June 10th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in News

The recent ruling concerning technology firm i4i and its legal case against Microsoft proves that science can be far more convincing than a solid defense. After a lengthy case, i4i was able to prove that Microsoft Word infringed on its copyrights. The lawsuit, which was originally filed in 2007 made its way all the way up to the Supreme Court. The popular word processing software Microsoft Word uses Extensible Markup Language, which i4i says that it has patented. Microsoft does not deny that i4i might have created the technology, but the company also believes that it had the right to develop the Word Suite while utilizing XML.

Other companies such as Facebook backed Microsoft. The idea that patents can prevent companies from innovating new technologies was Microsoft’s main area of contention. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of i4i. As a result, Microsoft will pay i4i a staggering $290 million settlement.

Although i4i is a small firm based out of Canada, it was able to come up with a good enough offense to beat Microsoft in court. Technology experts believe that the i4i case will be beneficial to independent developers and small businesses that want to protect their copyrights. Understandably, Microsoft is not happy with the ruling. Some believe that Microsoft even tried to get members of the US government to sponsor new copyright laws in order to beat the i4i case. The owners of i4i made a public statement expressing their happiness with the outcome of the case.

Turkey Power Plant Combines Wind Solar And Natural Gas For Clean Electricity

June 7th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in News

General Electric announced it will be the supplier for the new power plant that will be located in Karaman,Turkey. The plant will be 508-megawatts and will utilize energy from the wind, sun and natural gas to deliver around the clock electricity to more than 600,000 homes. The project is expected to be completed by 2015. The unique factor of this project is that one facility will pull from three sources to deliver the power needed to meet the continuous energy demand for the area; this type of power is called ‘Baseload.’ GE says that this plant’s overall efficiency will be approximately 66% higher than the average natural gas plant.

GE also sees this project as a showcase for its Flex Efficiency power plant system which is based around a natural gas turbine that combines wind and solar power. The other components to generate power are GE wind turbines which produces 22 megawatts of energy and a 50-megawatt eSolar concentration solar thermal plant. ESolar plants generate heat by using thousands of sun-tracking mirrors that produce steam; the steam is driven through a turbine which creates electricity.

GE, a pioneer in the energy industry was chosen by MetCap Energy Investments due to GE’s outstanding reputation for clean sourced energy. “In addition to record-setting fuel efficiency, this power plant will have zero liquid discharge, low emissions and a rapid-response, 28-minute start capability,” said Met Cap Energy chairman Celal Metin. GE said it should see more interest in renewable energy plants in the near future. If all goes as planned, renewable energy will be even more powerful.

Verizon Wireless Suing ‘Premium’ Text Messaging Companies

April 5th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in News

Ever since cell phone companies began to allow their customers to pay for premium text messaging services simply by sending a short numerical code, thousands of oblivious consumers have been complaining about phantom charges. While some people may prefer to order ring tones, wallpaper and even physic readings through their mobile phones it seems that these companies are getting the majority of their sign-ups through dubious means. The Texas attorney general as well as Verizon Wireless have filed suit against these third party premium text messaging companies in order to get them shut down. The fact is, most of the services provided by companies like Jawa are available through cell phone carriers at a lower price. Most victims sign-up thinking that they will only be charged once but what they do not see is that they are automatically agreeing to monthly billing.

As a result, Jawa, one of the third party premium text messaging companies in question has decided to file a counter lawsuit against Verizon Wireless, claiming that the cell phone carrier has purposefully damaged its reputation. The owners of Jawa believe that the judge will rule in their favor because of their refund policy as well as their double opt-in policy. What Jawa may not want to talk about is the fact that they frequently used colorful images and text against the same color background in order to confuse users. Although these lawsuits won’t be settle for awhile consumers are becoming more aware of the negative aspect of using premium text messaging services.

Is The Rustock Botnet Really Gone Forever?

April 2nd, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in News

The Rustock botnet, which was terminated a few weeks ago with the help of Microsoft, may forever cease to exist but there are plenty of other spam companies waiting to take its place. The latest reports indicate that spam is down by more than 30% worldwide. By itself, this statistic is impressive, but when it is compared with spam levels from the same time last year it is apparent that the Internet is nowhere near close to getting rid of spammers for good.

The fact is, there are no international Internet laws, which makes it easy for spammers to setup servers in countries with few restrictions. Although most people end up ignoring messages from unknown users altogether, technology is getting more advanced. From spoofing to cloaking, spammers are using advanced methods to trick recipients into opening their emails and mail servers have not been able to keep up with the changes.

Microsoft has created an entire department, named the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, to help law enforcement agencies both locate and understand exactly how web spam works. Because spammers focus on different kinds of messages, from the ever popular erectile dysfunction medication emails to malicious threat warnings, it will be difficult to completely eliminate this type of nuisance because it functions as a hydra. While Microsoft is confident that it will be able to one day eradicate web spam, it is important to remember that it has been around almost as long as the Internet has been in existence. Since the Rustock botnet has been down for several weeks investigators believes that it will not be coming back.