Saturday, December 10, 2011

Etisalat announces iPhone 4S data plan and prices

Etisalat has finally come out with data plan prices and handset prices for the eagerly anticipated iPhone 4S.

The basic gist is that any iPhone 4S purchased from Etisalat will get free 500MB data for the first three months, after which the data plan can be had for AED 50 per month. The iPhone 4S will sell for AED 2,749 for 16GB, AED 3,149 for 32GB and AED 3,549 for 64 GB devices. No word yet on whether both black and white will be sold at launch, but given the launch of both models in other countries we believe that the white iPhone 4S will also be available in UAE.



Full Press Release

The new iPhone 4S available for pre-order in the UAE

10 December, Abu Dhabi, UAE â€" Etisalat today announced that the highly-anticipated iPhone 4S is now available for pre-order from Etisalat’s ‘MORE’ rewards website Etisalat offers prepaid-package options on all three new iPhone 4S devices â€" 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. In addition, customers will receive free 500MB data per month for the first three months. From the fourth month onward, the data will be available for as low as AED50.

iPhone 4S supports twice the download speed with HSDPA of up to 14.4 Mbps. Etisalat’s iPhone 4S customers will enjoy the Etisalat HSPA+ network and the widest 3G network covering over 99% of the country’s populated area. It will enhance their experience while using the applications on iPhone 4S device anywhere in the country.

iPhone 4S, the most amazing iPhone yet, is packed with incredible new features including Apple’s dual-core A5 chip for blazing fast performance and stunning graphics; an all new camera with advanced optics; full 1080p HD resolution video recording; and Siri(TM), an intelligent assistant that helps you get things done just by asking. With the launch of iPhone 4S also comes the launch of iOS 5, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system with over 200 new features; and iCloud(R), a breakthrough set of free cloud services that work with your iPhone, iPad(R), iPod touch(R), Mac(R) or PC to automatically and wirelessly store your content in iCloud and push it to all your devices.

iPhone 4S has the same beautifully thin glass and stainless steel design and is first phone to intelligently switch between two antennas to send and receive. Apple’s dual-core A5 chip delivers up to twice the processing power and up to seven times faster graphics than iPhone 4, all while maintaining incredible battery life–now up to 8 hours of 3G talk time.

From today, customers can pre-book the iPhone 4S using their credit card by logging on to Etisalat’s ‘MORE’ rewards website ‘’. The new iPhone 4S is priced at AED 2,749 for 16GB, AED 3,149 for 32GB and AED 3,549 for 64 GB devices. In addition to the free 500MB data offer for first three months, customers purchasing the device at an extra charge of AED150 will also receive 10,000 ‘MORE’ reward points, equivalent to AED 100 talk time, a car charger and phone case. Customers will enjoy free shipping & delivery to their own location at their own convenience. The iPhone 4S postpaid packages will be available at the official commercial launch during December 2011.

Salesforce Announces Radian6 Social Marketing Cloud

Having acquired the social-media monitoring firm Radian6 earlier this year, is now rolling out the Radian6 Social Marketing Cloud. The company said the new offering, integrated into Salesforce's platform and apps Relevant Products/Services, will help companies to fundamentally change how they do business Relevant Products/Services in the era of social media, by transforming social conversations into "meaningful engagements."

To accomplish this, the Social Marketing Cloud offers key functions of Social Monitoring, Social Insights, Social Engagement, Social Workflow and Social Web sites. Linking this platform to existing customer Relevant Products/Services information Relevant Products/Services creates what Salesforce describes as "a social hub."

Volume, Analysis, Engagement

One of the biggest challenges of using social media is the sheer volume of conversations. Salesforce said Radian6's Social Monitoring technology allows companies to capture 150 million sources of social media, in 17 languages, across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, blogs, other online communities and other sources.

After volume, of course, there's the need for cutting through the chatter to find useful information. The Social Insights component uses intelligent dashboards and sophisticated analytics to find relevant conversations and conduct analysis. Social Insights is designed to accommodate third-party tools from Klout, OpenAmplify and OpenCalais, as well as provide additional data Relevant Products/Services about demographics, influence, geolocation, sentiment and topic categorization.

To engage with customers and potential customers, the Social Engagement Console also uses outside data, including Trending Topics from Twitter, stats about shared links and other information. The Social Workflow component helps to organize the massive traffic via analysis and rules, including the ability to create social-media campaigns based on customer interests.

And, to create Web sites for more extensive information and contact, Social Web sites provides drag-and-drop tools for developing, editing, and managing sites without bothering the IT Relevant Products/Services people. The content management system enables the addition of social features, such as Twitter streams.

'Social Enterprises'

In recent years, Salesforce has been positioning itself as a leader in cloud Relevant Products/Services-based, socially enhanced services. At the Dreamforce 2011 annual event in the summer, for instance, the company said that "companies are completely changing the way they collaborate, communicate and share information with customers and employees in the cloud -- transforming themselves into social enterprises."

This transformation, the company said, leverages social, mobile Relevant Products/Services, and open cloud computing. The key components of transforming a company into a social enterprise Relevant Products/Services, according to CEO Marc Benioff, are socially oriented customer profiles in order to follow what customers are looking for, a social network Relevant Products/Services for employees, and a social network for customers and the dissemination of products.

In addition to the $300 million acquisition of Radian6 in May, Salesforce has been busy acquiring or announcing other social media assets. In September, for instance, it bought Assistly for $50 million, in order to allow corporate customers to quickly provision socially-based customer service as needed.

Salesforce said that Radian6, started in 2006, has a customer base of more than 2500 companies, including AAA, GE, GEICO, PepsiCo, Southwest Airlines, and others.

Live-tweeting office antics gets congressional aides canned

By Helen A.S. Popkin

A congressional aide working in the Washington, D.C. office of Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., should've listened to his mother in September, when she told him to cool it on Twitter. Instead, he and two of his co-workers carried on into December, upping their office antics with tweets about drinking at work, watching Nirvana videos on YouTube and slamming their boss — Stevens — all on that slammed boss's dime.a

Since mom's words went unheeded, however, lucky us! We now have the tweeted evidence of the allegedly alcohol-fueled tweets of legislative assistants Seth Burroughs (@therocketship1) and Elizabeth Robblee (@betsybites) and legislative correspondent Ben Byers (@Byers_Remorse).a

"The Capitol Hill staff culture has always resembled a fraternity party for the just out of college professionals who dominate the offices," Politico reports. "In this case, staffers clearly crossed the line, Larsen’s office says."a

I'll say!a

Here's just a few of the tweets sent during work hours from the personal Twitter accounts of the three now-fired aids chronicling "December to Remember," (hashtag #D2R) a phrase "coined by the trio of staffers to define their attempt to spend the final month of the year in a state of perpetual debauchery," as first reported by Northwest Daily Marker.a

@TheRocketship1: @Byers_Remorse I destroyed my work blackberry. Twitter will have to suffice as our mode of communication. D2R is making its marka

@TheRocketship1: My D2D teasm showed up this morning at 9:00am with shots of Jack. What a glorious and frightening way to kick off the month.a

@betsybites: @TheRocketship1 were you just drinking jack and coffee during your meeting?a

@TheRocketship1: Dear taxpayers - I hope you don't mind that I'm watching YouTube clips of Nirvana at my government job. Thanks, you're the best.a

@TheRocketship1: @betsysbites It was a nice touch when you referred to the boss as a p****y at the end of the day #ilikethenewbetsya

@TheRocketship1: I really like DC, but I could have used another day away. The silver lining is that I don't have to see my idiot boss. #smallvictorya

While the staffers were fired eight days into #D2R, the ill-advised tweets revealing bad behavior during office hours dated back to the summer. Perhaps their jobs could've been saved, if @Rocketship1 heeded his mothers words of warning, which he tweeted in September:a

@Rocketship1: Mom just yelled at me, so I'm on Twitter probation until further notice.a

To be fair, Twitter and politics have had a stormy relationship from the beginning.a

It took another perturbed mom to point out to Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., that tweeting through the president’s first speech to Congress is simply rude.a

In 2009, Jeff Frederick, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, thwarted his own party’s coup with this tweet:a

Big news coming out of Senate: Apparently one dem is either switching or leaving the dem caucus. Negotiations for power sharing underway.a

And what's a few drunken tweets on the taxpayer's dime compared to compromising the security of a congressional delegation in Iraq via Twitter, as accomplished by Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., who tweeted this as-it-happens update regarding his group’s location and destination:a

"Moved into green zone by helicopter Iraqi flag now over palace. Headed to new US embassy Appears calmer less chaotic than previous herea

So all in all, recently fired congressional aids, this is going to look great on your resumes!a

More on the annoying way we live now:a

'Planking spree' ends in $303 fine, shame Why 'Community' is the only Internet crossover that matters Why PayPal's bad reputation is bigger than Regretsy Helen A.S. Popkin goes blah blah blah about the Internet. Tell her to get a real job on Twitter and/or Facebook. Also, Google+. a

It’s official: iPhone 4S releasing in UAE on 16th December

Everyone has been anticipating the UAE release of the iPhone 4S through official channels while the grey market ones have been relishing in the inflated prices they can demand during that period. That should go on no more, as Etisalat has now announced that they will release the hot new Apple phone on 16th of December.

Etisalat announced this on Twitter through their official page:

Dear customers: you’ve been requesting the iPhone 4S, Etisalat is happy to announce we’re launching it on December 16th. Details to follow.

But those who wish to buy it through Apple’s newly opened store in UAE itself can also do so on the same exact date looking at this message from the store today:

And predictably, here’s Du’s announcement to round it off:

It’s taken a while but the release is much faster than some of the previous versions of the iPhone which took criminally long to release here.

Are you looking forward to buying the iPhone 4S officially or have you already got yours?

Daily Targeted Attacks Up Fourfold Since January, Symantec Says

Daily targeted attacks are ramping up rapidly -- and the public sector is seeing the brunt of the onslaught. So says the November Symantec Intelligence Report.

On average, Symantec blocked 94 targeted attacks each day during the month of November, with at least one attack blocked in the U.S. every day. The public sector saw more than 20 of those targeted attacks, followed closely by the chemical and pharmaceutical industry with an average 18.6. The manufacturing sector ranked third with 13.6 a day. Many of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry attacks surfaced later in the year, and fit the Nitro profile.

"While the amount of global spam is at its lowest level since the McColo take-down in November 2008, the latest Symantec intelligence report shows a fourfold increase in the number of daily targeted attacks since January 2011," said Paul Wood, senior intelligence analyst at Symantec. "This is the greatest increase over a 12-month period ever recorded by Symantec."

Serious Damage Possible

Wood went on to explain that the aim of these targeted attacks is to establish persistent access Relevant Products/Services to the targeted organization's network Relevant Products/Services, in many cases with the aim of providing remote Relevant Products/Services access to confidential data Relevant Products/Services. In his assessment, these attacks have the potential to cause serious damage to an organization and in the long term represent a significant threat against the economic prosperity of many countries.

"Many attacks include elements of social engineering and are based on information Relevant Products/Services we make available ourselves through social networking and social-media sites," Wood said. "Once the attackers are able to understand our interests or hobbies, with whom we socialize and who else may be in our networks, they are often able to construct more believable and convincing attacks against us."

Good News, Bad News

As Wood mentioned, there's good news on the spam front. Just three years ago, spam accounted for 68 percent of all e-mail. Pharmaceutical spam is now at the lowest it has been since Symantec started tracking it, accounting for 32.5 percent of spam, compared with 64.2 percent at the end of 2010. Part of the reason for the decline is a move by spammers to target social media instead of e-mail.

That doesn't mean your e-mail is totally safe, though. In November, the global phishing rate increased slightly. South Africa once again became the country most targeted for phishing attacks in November, with one in 96.2 e-mails identified as phishing. Meanwhile, Web-based malware threats have increased 47.8 percent since 2011.

A Future Stuxnet

What should enterprises expect in 2012? Following on the theme of targeted attacks, Wood said, 2011 really laid the groundwork for the successor of the infamous Stuxnet. When combined with recent revelations around the Duqu threat, he said, the findings in a recent Symantec Critical Infrastructure Protection Survey are particularly troubling.

"Duqu's purpose was to gather intelligence data and assets from organizations such as manufacturers of components commonly found in industrial control Relevant Products/Services environments," Wood said. "The attackers behind Duqu were looking for information such as design documents that could help them mount a future attack on an industrial control facility. Since Duqu is essentially the precursor to a future Stuxnet and it is likely other similar reconnaissance-type threats exist, it's quite likely that 2011 saw the foundation for the next Stuxnet-like attack being laid."

Nintendo's Miyamoto scuttles 'retirement' talk

By Kyle Orlanda

Legendary Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto — creator of long-running series including Donkey Kong, Mario and The Legend of Zelda — set off a bit of a firestorm Wednesday evening when a Wired report quoted him as saying he was planning on giving up his current, executive oversight role with the company in favor of a more hands-on approach to developing smaller, more pesonal games.a

“Inside our office, I’ve been recently declaring, ‘I’m going to retire, I’m going to retire,’” Miyamoto said in the Wired report, referring to his current position at the company.a

Nintendo’s Japanese stock dropped 2 percent on the news before Nintendo put out an official retraction, stressing in part that “Shigeru Miyamoto's role at Nintendo is not changing” and that his future priorities are “inclusive of overseeing all video game development and ensuring the quality of all products.”a

Now, in an interview with’s In-Game, Miyamoto has repeated that assurance and clarified how he says his statements were misinterpreted.a

“There is no plan to retire. I have no intention to retire,” he said through an interpreter. “And probably they won’t allow me to retire,” he continued, before quickly noting that this last part was a joke.a

But what about that Wired quote that has him saying “I’m going to retire, I’m going to retire”?a

“What I really meant by this was that people have to retire someday, sometime, and I am not the exception at all,” Miyamoto said. “The company really has to get prepared for that kind of thing.”a

Miyamoto added that he’s long used mentions of his eventual retirement as a sort of motivational tool for his staff.a

“It’s not just quite recently, actually, but for many years now I’ve been repeatedly telling this to the team at Nintendo so they can be more responsible,” he said. “So they can take on more important assignments and take the initiative to make quality games to finalize and commercialize for the company.”a

“In that process, I say ‘You’ve got to be prepared for the time I’m going to retire,’” he continued. “In other words, I was spurring the younger developers to take on more important assignments.”a


“As a matter of fact, when we look at the most recent work from the teams I’m supervising, games like Super Mario 3D Land and Skyward Sword, they were shaping up quite nicely, so I think they are coming very very close to what I want these teams to be. This is the thing I was trying to tell,” he said.a

Looking ahead to that future retirement, which Miyamoto again stressed was not coming anytime soon, the designer said he was confident his team would continue to create the kind of experience Nintendo is known for.a

“That is a feeling (I have) that they are growing up so that sometime, someday, if I needed to retire, they are going to carry on the ultimate responsibilities — they are going to make Nintendo-quality games,” he said.a

“After all, a game is not made by one single person,” he continued. ”It is the result that reflects on the entire ability of the team. Now I think I have some meaning being involved in any development team.”a

“The question is, if I’m out of there, what sort of ability will the entire team be able to exercise? My impression is they are growing up today so that they are going to be able to make something really great without me,” he said.a

More from In Game’s wide-ranging interview with Miyamoto will appear here sometime next week.a

More video games newsa

'Star Wars: The Old Republic' launches Dec. 13th Haunting Skyrim cover song goes viral 'Gears of War 3: RAAM's Shadow' grinds up more action

Spotify gets makeover, Pandora-like radio stations

By Rosa Golijan Follow @rosaSpotifya

Did you just hear a loud smack? That was the sound of Spotify nearly knocking out Pandora — a competing music screaming service — by matching its radio-style music discovery tools.a

According to a post on the official Spotify blog, the service has completely overhauled the Spotify Radio feature.a

It is now possible to create stations based on artists or tracks — rather than just genres — and receive endless playlists full of similar tunes. Unlike with Pandora, there is no limit on how many of the recommended tracks can be skipped each hour, so don't worry if you don't like something. (Oh, and there's no limit on how many stations you can make either.)a

While those improvements are incredible and turn Spotify into a serious threat for Pandora — which is popular for its music recommendation engine — they still miss one of the older streaming service's key features: The chance for users to "like" and "dislike" songs in order to teach the tool to make better personal recommendations.a

The new Spotify features will be rolling out in a few days — along with Spotify apps — but you can already check out a preview by peeking into Spotify's "secret labs" section.a

Related stories:a

How to stop Spotify from embarrassing you on Facebook No Facebook account? No Spotify! Apps are coming to Spotify

Want more tech news, silly puns, or amusing links? You'll get plenty of all three if you keep up with Rosa Golijan, the writer of this post, by following her on Twitter, subscribing to her Facebook posts, or circling her on Google+.a

Friday, December 9, 2011

Microsoft will make customers pay for business Skype features

Just some time ago, Microsoft went ahead and made the $8.5 billion dollar acquisition of the very popular service Skype. And pretty much everyone knew that Microsoft would make their heft investment back in some way or another. Now, Microsoft has hinted at one way it will make its customers pay for particular services.

In an investor meeting in London earlier this week, ZDNet reports on some of the things that harles Songhurst, the General Manager for Corporate Strategy at Microsoft said when asked about how they plan to make back their investment. And most people would be happy to know that he believes this: “It’s a product that is free, and it’s likely to stay free.” He continues that it’s just like e-mail and Outlook which continue to be a profitable business for Microsoft.

However, that doesn’t mean that Microsoft won’t charge for more premium business services that companies will likely not mind to do:

“In the enterprise you’ve got a very compelling opportunity around archiving and authentication. There’s a stat that’s approximately 29 percent of Fortune 500 employees use Skype without it being installed from their CIO. So, if you think about giving the CIO the ability to archive those conversations, to authenticate them, to have the same controls over that conversation that they do over their e-mail, that the employees have, you’d have a very compelling proposition.”

Developing these features and charging for them makes sense and this is usually the business model for most companies – charging enterprise users for premium security services. Let’s see whether Microsoft remains true to its words, since the word ‘likely’ doesn’t seem too certain.

What do you think?

Twitter Rolls Out Its New Self

Twitter has unveiled a new design that changes how those 140-character bursts of insight and information Relevant Products/Services are used, discovered, and monetized for consumers and businesses. The new approaches are also intended to make the experience relatively uniform across the various devices on which Twitter is used, whether computers or mobile Relevant Products/Services devices.

The service calls the changes "a faster, simpler way to stay close to everything you care about," contained in five main sections -- Home, Connect, Discover, Me, and Tweet. Among other things, the redesign is an attempt by Twitter to give users a reason to use the service through its Web sites or apps Relevant Products/Services, rather than through third-party apps.

'Get in the Conversation'

Home is your personal collection of tweets, of the people you have chosen to follow. In Home, tweets can now be expanded to include information such as replies, retweets, and embedded photos and videos. All users will now have the ability to expand a tweet to see this kind of information.

The Connect section, the company said, is "where you get in the conversation." In this section, you can see who has followed or mentioned you, retweeted you, or favorited your tweets. Interactions show all the actions other people have taken resulting from your tweets.

In Discover, a user sees results reflecting his or her interests, based on current location, what the user follows, and what's going on in the real world. The more Twitter is used, the company said, the better the Discover section learns about what content might be of interest.

Discover includes subsections of Made for You, Find More, Who to Follow, Find Friends, and Browse Interests. When a user finds a #hashtag of interest, it can be searched in this section for related stories, conversation and content.

'Invitation to Learn More'

All About You contains your lists, favorites, followers, photos, and other info, and the Me tab allows a user to stay on top of direct message conversations. And, by clicking on the new Tweet button, a user can immediately send out a message, wherever one is on Twitter.

Along with changes for users of the service is a new approach for companies interested in marketing their wares via Twitter. The company is launching revitalized brand pages, with new features.

Chief Revenue Officer Adam Bain told news media that brand pages are "an invitation to learn more" than what is offered in a tweet's 140 characters.

Included in the new brand pages are company-customized header images, with a logo and tag line featured more prominently than previously, and the ability to display replies separately from mentions. A brand page can also have a featured tweet, with an auto-expansion that shows an embedded photo or video Relevant Products/Services.

The company said that the new Twitter will be rolling out over the next few weeks, starting with updated versions for Android Relevant Products/Services devices and the iPhone. This is the newest new design. A little over a year ago, Twitter similarly announced a major redesign of its Web site, which was designed to make the service easier and faster.

'Star Wars: The Old Republic' launches Dec. 13th

The massively mulitplayer online game by Bioware is set begin December 13th for those that pre-ordered. In-Game's Todd Kenreck reports.a

Attackers Actively Exploiting Adobe Flaw

Adobe is under a zero-day attack yet again. The attack this time targets a vulnerability that leaves room for a hacker to crash Adobe Reader and Acrobat and take control Relevant Products/Services of the victim's machine. Adobe announced plans to issue an out-of-band patch for Windows Relevant Products/Services-based computers by next week.

"The reason for addressing this issue quickly for Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.4.6 for Windows is simple: This is the version and platform currently being targeted," said Brad Arkin, senior director of product security Relevant Products/Services and privacy for Adobe, in a blog post.

"All real-world attack activity, both in this instance and historically, is limited to Adobe Reader on Windows. We have not received any reports to date of malicious PDFs being used to exploit Adobe Reader or Acrobat for Macintosh or UNIX for this [common vulnerability and exposure] (or any other CVE)."

Adobe: Upgrade Now

Adobe said the risk to Macintosh and UNIX users is significantly lower than for Windows users. The company will address the flaw in Adobe Reader and Acrobat X and earlier versions for Macintosh as part of the next quarterly update on Jan. 10,. An update to address this issue in Adobe Reader 9.x for UNIX is also planned for Jan. 10.

"Focusing this release on just Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.x for Windows also allows us to ship the update much earlier," Arkin said. "We are conscious of the upcoming holidays and are working to get this patch out as soon as possible to allow time to deploy the update before users and staff begin time off. Ultimately the decision comes down to what we can do to best mitigate threats to our customers."

Arkin went on to encourage any remaining users still running Adobe Reader or Acrobat 9.x -- as well as older unsupported versions -- to upgrade to Adobe Reader or Acrobat X. Arkin said Adobe put a tremendous amount of work into securing Adobe Reader and Acrobat X and noted there has not been any malware identified that is effective against a version X install.

Mac Users Not Safe

How serious is the threat? Paul Henry, a forensic and security analyst at Lumension, said it is serious indeed. He has been seeing attackers actively exploiting the vulnerability using spear phishing e-mails, reportedly to government and military.

"For a Windows platform, corporate IT Relevant Products/Services can mitigate this threat by installing the patch that's coming out from Adobe. They may also consider using an alternate product," Henry said. "Cyber criminals will take advantage of this vulnerability where it exists in all platforms, though Microsoft Relevant Products/Services users are more numerous. You can't say it's not a threat to Mac and Linux users. It is, especially for targeted malware."

Based on his research, Henry reports that Adobe continues to be a favorite threat vector for cyber criminals. Of course, he said, Java is very rapidly emerging as a serious vector as well.

"That has arisen due to the same problem that caused Adobe to become such a favored attack vector," he said, "which is simply that users are not patching their outdated code."

Why 'Community' is the only Internet crossover that matters


By Helen A.S. Popkin

"Community" creator Dan Harmon likes to get into it on Twitter.a

We're talking 3 p.m.-after-school-behind-the-gym into it. What's more, the rocket surgeon of popular culture doesn't need an invitation to throw down.a

Take, for example, Harmon's Twitter badness from last November, stemming from a tweet that didn't address @danharmon directly, and only came to his attention via the hashtag #Community:a

@ILNY83: I just got done watching the Halloween episode of #Community. It had a lot of laughs, but I'm over the parody episodes. I miss season one.a

@danharmon: @ILNY83 I'm over your poop face.a

If you don't get why that's awesome, then you probably don't get "Community," which is why the critically acclaimed, modestly-rated NBC sitcom — currently in its third season — goes into indefinite hiatus following Thursday night's holiday episode. And that's too bad — not just for TV, but for the Internet as well.  (FYI: is powered by, which is a joint venture between Microsoft and NBC Universal.)a

Described by Wired (A story about a sitcom in WIRED MAGAZINE!) as a "nimble, anarchic aesthetic of cheapo online comedy and the comforting structure of a mainstream sitcom," "Community" is also the very first TV  show that does what television marketing execs only dream of – engage the Internet in a meaningful way. Wired notes:a

Fittingly for a show with so much Internet-friendly comedy—pop-culture allusions, sight-gag Easter eggs, and hyperaware self-commentary — Community has attracted a spazzily enthusiastic online following. After every episode, the web is besieged with tributes and exegeses in the form of recaps, animated GIFs, and arcana-packed Tumblr pages. (One site ran a 1,300-word oral history on a character named Magnitude, whose total screen time amounts to less than 10 minutes.)a

That's right geeks and geek fetishists — Dan Harmon gets us because he is us.a

Meanwhile, on the medicore side of things, ABC Family's "Pretty Little Liars" is the top TV topic on Twitter for 2011. It's a title earned via its heavily managed Twitter marketing campaign that takes full advantage of the fact that ever since the Age of Bieber, adolescent girls rule much of the microblogging platform. Take it from TV by the Numbers:a

Show talent and producers often live tweet the episodes and evil doer,"A," known in the show for sending mysterious and revealing text messages, will sometimes "take over" the shows Twitter handle," TV by the Numbers describes. "ABC Family also often runs promotions like the #PrettyLittleShhh photo contest where users were asked to tweet pictures of themselves posing in the iconic "shhh" pose from the show key art.a

That's what the industry calls a "successful social media campaign." Whatevs.a


Canned maybe be OK for teenage girls — I'd like to think even at that age I was too jaded to buy in — but Harmon's Twitter interactions with his audience are authentic and awesome. a

"I do try many times a season to put Alison [Brie — who plays Annie] in a situation, wardrobe-wise, that I know is going to end up as an animated GIF file," Harmon told Digital Spy. "I observe that stuff and the way people are consuming it, because I'm a nerd too and I love to obsess about my favorite TV shows."a

"Community" is loaded with countless meta references that (happily) require multiple viewings and a laptop open to Wikipedia to catch because Harmon respects his audience enough to expect us to get the joke. Same goes for his scatological responses to less-than-positive #Community tweets. He messes with us because he knows we can take it.  a

Off putting? Fighting is what you do with your family. Pleasantries are what you do with people you don't give a poop about.a

Even Harmon's most venomous anti-fan gets plenty of Harmon "love." a

"Since before the first season of 'Community,' Harmon has been enmeshed in a public feud with Twitter user Gwynth Alcopoz, a.k.a. "Gwynnifer," the Daily Beast reports. "Despite the virulence of Alcopoz’s attacks against the show, Harmon, and even Gwynnifer’s name was mentioned on-air during the November 11, 2010 episode of 'Community,' where it was used as the name of a woman with whom Joel McHale’s Jeff canceled a date.":a

"I don’t like making up names and I was imagining this person on the other end of the phone being disappointed in Joel’s character and I pulled that name out of my head because it has something to do with disappointment," said Harmon. Or as McHale’s character says to the unseen Gwynnifer, upon abruptly breaking their date, "Tell your disappointment to suck it."a

Other such shout outs are more loving — especially Harmon's homage to a YouTube fan video set to the song "Gravity," which cobbled together "Community" clips imply the Annie character's growing love affair with Jeff, as her interest in Troy fades. In the episode "Paradigm of Human Memory," the video was recreated with similar scene edits, right down to a black and white shot of Troy, even using "Gravity" as the soundtrack, the royalty for which no doubt came out of "Community's" budget. a

What's more, Harmon gave the video creator a heads up on the episode for a very special surprise, assuring her that it wasn't an insult —even though for some insane reason, some YouTube commenters think it is.a

Harmon "explicitly stated that it wasn't an insult, so please don't leave gleeful comments about how much the writers must hate me," the video creator points out on her YouTube page.a

Harmon's fans are fiercely dedicated in part because we have buy-in. Each episode reinforces the fact that we have real influence over the show.a

via UpRoxxa

No amount of algorithms or statistics will ever create an organic social media relationship between the audience and a TV show that comes close to what we have with "Community." Harmon is a True Believer — and to follow him on Twitter, to read his blog, is to know that "Community" and its audience is not a job, it's his life. Viewers respect that.a

Alas, just not enough.a

More on the annoying way we live now:a

Why TV needs a sense of 'Community' Bieber fans go on Grammy-fueled Wikipedia rampage Why PayPal's bad reputation is bigger than Regretsy

Helen A.S. Popkin goes blah blah blah about the Internet. Tell her to get a real job on Twitter and/or Facebook. Also, Google+.a

Songza replaces your mixtape with streaming playlists


By Athima Chansanchai

For those who struggle with music playlists, Songza offers instant, streaming relief in the form of curated playlists made by a network of experts and submitted by the public.    a

Some people are into serendipity (radio people). Some must make a playlist for every occasion, mood and especially for friends (mixtape people). I would have to say I'm more the latter. I started with actual cassette tapes back in the day, then progressed to CDs and now, send Spotify playlists to a select few. For myself, I like having playlists for road trips, workouts and long plane rides without Virgin America's Red music selection. But honestly, I don't have the time I used to have to make such compilations. a

Songza gives people like me plenty to play around with, even if I have to let go of that control instinct and trust others' (strangers, even!) choices. (But if I don't like something, that's what the forward button is for.) The free service even compiled holiday song lists (including Hanukkah!) for folks who need to entertain others at all the soirees that typically pop up this time of year.a

Playlists can be shared via Facebook and Twitter, and saved, for later listening. It's also available as an app on iPhones, Android devices and Kindle Fire.a


Screenshot of Songza tabsa

I plunged into Songza this morning by choosing the "Motivational" section (under the "Moods" tab), to get my day started on the right notes. (Songza allows users to start browsing by genre, activities, moods, decades, culture and record-store clerk and then drill down from there.) a

"Code Your Face Off" features music with this description: "Work your Wget magic while listening to these motivational electro-bangers." I clicked play and "Genesis" by Justice started playing. Catchy, electronic, slightly annoying but ok enough for me to hit forward. The next song, "& Down" by Boys Noize, made me feel like I was trapped in a Tron movie, but that's not the worst thing in the world. If I was some stereotypical code head trapped in my dark, caffeine-infused abode, this may do it for me.a


Screenshot of a Songza playlista

But alas, I am not, so I moved on to another playlist: "Late Era Classic Rock." Oh yeah, you know what I'm talking about. First song: "Sister Christian" by Night Ranger. Yes! I'm motoring now, baby! And then the follow-up showed up they knew what they were doing: "I can't go for that (No can do)" by Hall & Oates. Then "Tough Guys" by REO Speedwagon. If you can't appreciate this kind of cheese shredding to get you started at 6 a.m., well, I don't know what to say. For me, it's a great way to wake up and work.a

Last night, I came back late from the airport, still a little wired but needing sleep, so I perused the "Soothing" selections under "Moods" and found the "Sunday Morning" playlist. I should have stuck to something more new agey, because this kind of playlist is also meant for that transition from evening to morning. But still, it was good.a

Beginnings are key. If you can't catch me with that, I'm moving on. But this Sunday Morning playlist kicked it off with "Phone Song" by Les Mange-Tout and moved onto picks like "We almost had a baby" by Emmy the Great.a

Here's what Songza told us about who makes these playlists:a

Every playlist in Songza's browse-able library was handmade by a music expert. Songza employs an extensive network of specialized experts (including critics, journalists and musicians) to serve as playlist curators. Sometimes Songza's users submit expert-quality playlists directly to the site; after a careful vetting process, they can be approved for inclusion in the library.a

You know that saying, there's something for everyone? I think Songza may do that, with its range of playlists. And if you're just the most wee bit adventurous (or homicidal) you'll try out something like "Murder Ballads": "A disturbed sibling of traditional folk ballads, murder ballads detail the motivation, execution, and aftermath of killings," that begins with "Mary Hamilton" by Joan Baez. Such pretty music for such violent subject matter.a

To clear the palate, I wandered over to the "Decades" tab and found the "'90s Party" playlists (because I went to a lot of parties in the 90s) and chose "At a '90s School Dance" and happily bobbed along to "Gettin' Jiggy Wit it" by Will Smith and then "Around the Way Girl" by LL Cool J.a


Screenshot from Songza based on playlists recently listened toa

There's also a tab called "Record-store Clerk" under which you find playlists under even more specific parameters: "Dance Music That's Not Assaultive" and "When You're Over Being a Music Snob" caught my eye. Under the latter, I chose "Anglo-Fidelity": "UK sophisti-pop featuring either glossy '80s-style production or an overt American soul and jazz influence." Whatever. It started with ABC's "Be Near Me." Good enough for me. "Town Called Malice" by The Jam followed, and after one flub (Level 42's utterly forgettable "The Chinese Way"), it bounced back with "When Love Breaks Down" by Prefab Sprout. (Later, Level 42 is redeemed with "Something About You.")a

Of course, when you're a mixtape person, the urge to create is strong, so there is an option to contribute a playlist. I may have to do this, although it comes with this caveat: "Due to licensing restrictions, playlist contributors cannot listen to their own playlists, but everyone else can."a

More stories:a

Apps are coming to Spotify Cyber Monday: $2 albums on Google Music 'Chocolate Rain' guy sings for the 99 percent Site suggests cocktails based on your taste in music

Check out Technolog on Facebook, and on Twitter, follow Athima Chansanchai, who is also trying to keep her head above water in the Google+ stream.a

Thursday, December 8, 2011

GE, Microsoft to Launch Joint Venture Aimed at Global Healthcare System Transformation

Press Release:

General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), through its healthcare IT business, and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) today announced plans to create a joint venture aimed at helping healthcare organizations and professionals use real-time, system-wide intelligence to improve healthcare quality and the patient experience. Upon formation, the new company will develop and market an open, interoperable technology platform and innovative clinical applications focused on enabling better population health management to improve outcomes and the overall economics of health and wellness.

As healthcare providers and payers around the globe shift from episodic single-patient care to continuous population management, new requirements have emerged for integrated care processes, greater insight and engaging patient experiences. These delivery system reforms, including a shift toward new payment models, require healthcare providers to address gaps and integrate data across silos of care delivery to help enable better care coordination and performance improvement.

This new venture will combine Microsoft’s deep expertise in building platforms and ecosystems with GE Healthcare’s experience in clinical and administrative workflow solutions, empowering healthcare professionals and organizations with the intelligence and capabilities to respond to the rapidly evolving and complex healthcare landscape.

“The complementary nature of GE Healthcare’s and Microsoft’s individual expertise will drive new insights, solutions and efficiencies to further advance the two companies’ shared vision of a connected, patient-centric healthcare system, ” said Jeffrey R. Immelt, Chairman and CEO of GE. “ The global healthcare challenges of access, cost and quality of care delivery are creating a new focus on the performance and accountability of healthcare delivery systems â€" in every country, at every level of care. This venture will demonstrate what is possible when leading companies with complementary capabilities work together to meet a common goal.”

The new company will deliver a distinctive, open platform that will give healthcare providers and independent software vendors the ability to develop a new generation of clinical applications. The venture will develop healthcare applications on the platform using in-house developers and the platform will connect with a wide range of healthcare IT products. GE Healthcare IT will immediately be able to connect existing products to the platform, helping current customers to derive new insights.

“High quality affordable healthcare is one of the biggest challenges facing every nation, but it’s also an area where technology can make a huge difference,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. “Combining Microsoft’s open, interoperable health platforms and software expertise with GE’s experience and healthcare solutions will create exciting opportunities for patients and healthcare providers alike. Working together, GE and Microsoft can help make healthcare systems more intelligent and cost efficient while improving patient care.”

The two parent companies bring complementary expertise to this new venture and will contribute substantial intellectual property, including:

• Microsoft Amalga, an enterprise health intelligence platform • Microsoft Vergence, a single sign-on and context management solution • Microsoft expreSSO, an enterprise single sign-on solution • GE Healthcare eHealth, a Health Information Exchange • GE Healthcare Qualibria, a clinical knowledge application environment being developed in cooperation with Intermountain Healthcare (Salt Lake City, Utah) and Mayo Clinic

The long-term vision of the venture is to create new value by offering a healthcare performance management suite that includes many of these products.

In addition to the new joint venture, GE Healthcare and Microsoft will each maintain a strong presence in the healthcare IT industry, as both parent organizations will continue to sell other products and services to healthcare organizations around the globe.

“Improving the quality of healthcare through innovative collaboration is a goal that we share with GE Healthcare and Microsoft. Working together with others to identify new ways to improve health outcomes and drive down cost is a hallmark of our patient-care philosophy,” said C. Michel Harper, M.D., Executive Dean for Practice, Mayo Clinic. “We’re pleased to see healthcare IT companies embrace this same idea and come together in new ways. We look forward to seeing the progress this new endeavor will bring in medicine.”

“Intermountain Healthcare and GE have a strong history and partnership in developing and advancing transformational healthcare information technologies,” stated Charles S. Sorenson, MD, president and chief executive officer of Intermountain Healthcare. “Our common vision is driving powerful advancements in healthcare and improving the clinical work process by making real-time information available at the point of care. We look forward to continuing our efforts to further these principles, achieving our combined objectives, and putting these important technologies into practice.”

The new company’s products and services will provide the information and insight required to help address many critical problems in the healthcare system today, including:

Healthcare Associated Infections â€" In the US alone, an estimated 1.7 million healthcare associated infections occur annually, resulting in $35 billion in additional healthcare costs and the loss of nearly 100,000 lives. By pulling together data from disparate IT systems, identifying those patients most at risk for a given HAI, and surfacing guidelines and protocols within provider workflow, the solutions will enable healthcare organizations to more effectively deploy their resources and deliver better care at lower costs.

Chronic Disease Management â€" According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 133 million Americans (nearly half of all adults) live with at least one chronic illness and most chronic diseases require a lifetime of ongoing care.2,3 To help patients and their physicians work together more efficiently to manage chronic conditions, the platform and applications will support the sharing of data from at-home medical devices (such as blood pressure cuffs, scales, glucometers) with caregivers to facilitate better tracking of chronic conditions, coordination of treatment schedules, management of medication regimens and timely interventions.

The new venture complements the existing offerings from both parent companies and is expected to yield job growth in its first five years of existence. It will operate globally, offering interoperability platforms and application solutions targeting both healthcare providers and payers. Michael J. Simpson, vice president and general manager at GE Healthcare IT, will serve as the company’s CEO.

The new company, which has yet to be named, will be headquartered near the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Wash., with significant presence in Salt Lake City, Utah and additional cities around the world.

Launch of the new joint venture is subject to customary conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected in the first half of 2012.

Kingston Digital Launches its Fastest USB Flash Drive

Press Release: 

Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced the Kingston DataTraveler® HyperX® 3.0. The DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 is designed for enthusiasts, gamers, early adopters and high end consumers; it features the fastest speeds and largest capacities that Kingston has to offer in a USB Flash drive. Faster speeds and higher capacities enable users to quickly store their digital files and keep it with them at all times, in HyperX style.

Its high-speed eight-channel architecture provides USB 3.0 data transfer rates of up to 225MB/s read and 135MB/s write. Users can save time associated with opening, editing and copying large files and applications between devices. The fast write speeds also allow users to work on large files or applications directly from the USB 3.0 drive without performance lag. “Enthusiasts have long known HyperX as the memory of choice for overclockers and power users who need the most performance from system memory,” said , Antoine Harb, Business Development Manager – MEA, Kingston Technology. “The new DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 USB Flash drive continues this tradition. With the fastest speeds and largest capacity, this storage device is the perfect solution for users who require high performance whilst carrying their digital library”. The DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 is available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities. The 256GB capacity can store approximately 10 Blu-ray Discsâ„¢ (25GB each), 54 DVDs (4.7GB each), 48,640 MP3s (4MB each) or 13,473,684 Microsoft® Word files pages with various formatting and basic graphics.

With a durable and sleek design the DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 features a metal and rubberized casing with a reinforced key ring hole for daily use. It allows users to keep it with them at all times, as it can be easily attached to a key ring or lanyard. A video of the device can be found here. DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 is backed by a five-year warranty, 24/7 tech support and legendary Kingston reliability. For more information visit

Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 Features and Specifications: • Capacities*: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB • Speed**: o USB 3.0: up to 225MB/s read and 135MB/s write o USB 2.0: up to 30 MB/s read/write • 8-Channel Architecture • Backwards Compatible: with USB 2.0 and USB 1.1 ports • Solid/rugged design: durable metal and rubberized casing provides increased protection • ReadyBoostïƒ" Support • Dimensions: 2.952″ x 0.916″ x 0.626″ (74.99mm x 23.29mm x 15.9mm) • Operating Temperature: 32°F to 140°F (0°C to 60°C) • Storage Temperature: -4°F to 185°F (-20°C to 85°C) • Simple: just plug into any USB port • Practical: durable casing with a solid lanyard loop • Warranty: 5 Years

Facebook on Android receives UI tweaks

Facebook has brought its Android app up-to-speed with the iOS and mobile version with new bells and whistles that should make sharing your personal life with the public a lot more easier.

There is a new navigation bar on the top that makes checking messages, friend request and notifications quicker and faster, without having to leave the space you are currently on.

A new side-menu is also in place, giving you access to your news feeds, events, friends, apps, etc, without moving to a completely new page.

Photos and albums have also been super charged, which are now two times faster than before.

The app is now available on the Android market.

AT&T On Track To Break Smartphone Sales Record

AT&T Relevant Products/Services Chief Financial Officer John Stephens said Wednesday that the U.S. wireless Relevant Products/Services carrier is on track to break its all-time quarterly smartphone Relevant Products/Services sales record, thanks in major part to strong demand for Apple's new iPhone 4S.

Speaking at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York City, Stephens said that AT&T already has sold a total of 6 million smartphones during the months of October and November.

AT&T said in a statement Wednesday that the carrier's iPhone 4S sales remain strong. December is traditionally one of the strongest sales months of the year, so AT&T will have no problem surpassing the company's previous single-quarter smartphone record of 6.1 million units.

At the end of June, "about half of our postpaid customers had smartphones -- more than any other wireless provider," said David Christopher, the chief marketing officer at AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "And this trend shows no signs of slowing down."

A Good Indication

According to industry observers, Apple's red-hot iPhone 4S was also the best-selling smartphone at Verizon Wireless and Sprint during the months of October and November. Earlier this month, J.P. Morgan raised its December quarter iPhone forecast to 28 million units -- up from the financial firm's prior estimate of 25 million handsets.

The financial firm's recent research suggests "that there had been no plateau effect since the initial 4S sales launch," noted J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz. "In our view, the iPhone sales momentum is not tapering off," Moskowitz wrote in an investor note.

During a meeting with J.P. Morgan analysts last week, Apple executives pointed to ongoing supply constraints related to the iPhone as a good indication of the new device Relevant Products/Services's success. None of Apple's current supply constraints existed prior to the iconic device maker's iPhone 4S launch, Apple told the analysts.

"The company also stated that the free iPhone 3GS is a good dynamic for the iPhone family," Moskowitz wrote. "While the 3GS is not the top seller in the iPhone family, according to management, it is introducing Apple's products to a wider audience of customers."

Robust iPhone Upgrades

According to Stephens, AT&T's strong smartphone sales thus far in the quarter under way can be attributed in part to the huge number of upgrades made by customers who were waiting for Apple to launch a new iPhone. AT&T previously announced that it activated more than 1 million iPhone 4S smartphones during the mobile Relevant Products/Services device's first five days of availability. (continued...)

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Microsoft: Windows Store Lebih Luwes dari Apple Store

Microsoft: Windows Store Lebih Luwes dari Apple Store

Jakarta - Microsoft mulai memperkenalkan Windows Store, toko aplikasi yang akan diluncurkan berbarengan dengan perilisan versi beta Windows 8. Windows Store disebut-sebut akan menjadi fitur utama bagi sistem operasi Windows 8.

Raksasa software ini menyebutkan toko aplikasinya tersebut akan menyediakan berbagai konten mulai dari bacaan digital hingga game. Dikatakan pula, pihaknya mengatur Windows Store agar bisa memungkinkan developer populer bisa lebih banyak mendapat keuntungan dari penjualan aplikasi mereka.

Dikutip detikINET dari TechCrunch, Kamis (8/12/2011), seperti Apple, Microsoft akan mengambil keuntungan sebesar 30 persen. Diklaim Microsoft, toko aplikasinya ini akan lebih luwes ketimbang App Store milik Apple.

"Beberapa toko aplikasi memaksa Anda memasuki model bisnis yang bagus bagi mereka. Kami membuatnya mudah bagi Anda untuk berinovasi, tak hanya dengan aplikasi tetapi juga dengan bisnis model Anda," kata juru bicara Microsoft Antoine Leblond.

Promosi gencar dilakukan Micorosft untuk toko aplikasi ini. Microsoft juga meluncurkan blog khusus Windows Store yang menjelaskan dengan detail dan dalam mengenai Windows Store.

( rns / rou )

Sumber detik com

$99 Chinese Tablet Runs Ice Cream Sandwich

The first tablet Relevant Products/Services to run Google's Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 version of Android Relevant Products/Services is headed for the U.S., with a lightweight price tag of $99.

But the Chinese-made device Relevant Products/Services is no bargain-basement entry into the space. Manufacturer Ainovo -- with partners MIPS Technologies and Ingenic, who made the processor and semiconductors -- is getting favorable buzz for the Novo 7. The tablet has a 7-inch, 800x480-pixel display, 1 GHz XBurst processor and will support Wi-Fi Relevant Products/Services and 3G Relevant Products/Services connectivity Relevant Products/Services.

Long Battery Life Promised

The Ainovo Web site boasts that the Novo 7 has 1080p video Relevant Products/Services decoding and an HDMI port, with 2.0 megapixel back camera but does not specify the resolution of the front camera. The company promises the tablet has 300 hours of standby battery life and can handle six hours of game play, 25 hours of music, eight hours of video watching or seven hours of Web browsing between recharges.

"The Novo 7 is interesting on a few fronts," said Jeff Orr, a senior analyst specializing in tablets for ABI Research, who had a chance to see the device hands-on this week courtesy of MIPS Technology. "The first is that it's using Ice Cream Sandwich and it works quite well. There is no feeling that it's slow or sluggish." Previously released low-cost Relevant Products/Services tablets, he noted, have run older versions of Android, not even 3.0 (Honeycomb), the first to be optimized for tablets and not smartphones.

Orr said it was impressive that MIPS took just 20 days to incorporate Android into its architecture. "That in itself is pretty good, and it does have all the advantages of Android, such as access Relevant Products/Services to Android Market and Google Mobile services."

Cheap Thrill

In a statement, Google's senior vice president for mobile Relevant Products/Services said he was "thrilled to see the entrance of MIPS-Based Android 4.0 tablets into the market. Low cost, high performance Relevant Products/Services tablets are a big win for mobile consumers and a strong illustration of how Android's openness drives innovation and competition for the benefit of consumers around the world." (continued...)

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3-D model of rat brain circuit created

Getty Images filea

In this file photo, a worker holds a white rat in a lab. Scientists have developed a 3-D model of a rat brain research, they report in a new study. a

By John Roach

After six years and several million dollars, scientists have created a 3-D model of a rat brain circuit.a

The accomplishment is a first step toward creating a complete computer model of the brain that will allow a deeper understanding of how our noggins work — and what causes them to malfunction, according to the scientists behind the feat.a

For a starting point, researchers at the Max Planck Florida Institute are focused on how the rat brain processes information gathered by a single whisker.a

They did so because studies in their lab and elsewhere have shown that a single whisker is able to detect, in complete darkness, whether a gap is safe to jump over and, if so, trigger the order to jump. a

What's more, there's a specific region of the brain "that is dedicated to processing information from a dedicated whisker," Marcel Oberlaender, a researcher at the institute and the first author of a paper explaining the research in the journal Cerebral Cortex, told me today.a

That region is called the cortical column, a vertically-organized series of connected neurons that form a brain circuit and an elementary building block of the cortex. a

The cortex is the part of the brain responsible for many of the higher functions, such as memory and consciousness.a

To build the model, the researchers studied the cortical column in awake and anesthetized rats as well as brain slices and then used computer software and other tools to reconstruct it.a

"The model we built is really based on a complete reconstruction of these nerve cells," Oberlaender said. "So how the model looks in the end resembles how it would look in the real animal."a

It is composed of 16,000 neurons, each of which can be divided into one of nine different cell types that has characteristic functional, structural and connectivity properties, he added.a

The model can now be used to run computer simulations that show, in realistic detail, how signals flow within the brain. So, they can begin to understand, for example, what neurons fire as the rat detects the gap and decides whether or not to jump.a

Until now, researchers have only been able to see how a single neuron or a small group of neurons interact during such a process. "We can now, in simulation experiments, mimic what is really going on in these circuits," Oberlaender said.a

Going forward, the researchers should be able to use the methodology developed to build this model to add more parts to it, thus incorporating other brain functions such as the motor system that sends a signal down the spinal cord and makes the limbs move so that rat can jump over the gap.a

More on brain science and technology:a

3-D brain model could revolutionize neurology Test-tube brain aces 'plop' quiz 'Brain in a dish' may lead to stroke recovery Cat brain inspires computer of the future IBM unveils brain-like chip Breakthrough chip mimics human brain function

John Roach is a contributing writer for To learn more about him, check out his website. For more of our Future of Technology series, watch the featured video below.a

Kids' play has moved to tablets and PCs. In this new age, toy makers and researchers alike are sorting out the benefits â€" and detriments â€" of playful educational interaction in virtual space.a


Facebook glitch reveals private photos -- including Zuckerberg's

By Rosa Golijan

A glitch in the system used to report inappropriate images on Facebook briefly allowed users to view others' private photos. No one's pictures were safe — not even those belonging to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.a

Members of the forums were among the first to discover the glitch and they quickly put together detailed instructions on how it could be exploited by those wishing to view private images of friends and strangers.a

It didn't take long for a link to those instructions to make its way around the Internet and for folks to start snooping on their former lovers, enemies, teachers, bosses, employees ... and on Facebook's own Mark Zuckerberg.a


Private photos belonging to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg were revealed as a result of a recent glitch in the system used to report inappropriate images on the social network. They got attention after being uploaded to an album on photo-sharing service Imgur.a

At some point someone even posted a small collection of the social network founder's private photos to image-sharing service Imgur with a caption proclaiming that "it's time to fix those security flaws Facebook." (Those once hidden images have now been viewed nearly half a million times.)a


Private photos belonging to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg were revealed as a result of a recent glitch in the system used to report inappropriate images on the social network. They got attention after being uploaded to photo-sharing service Imgur.a

The method used to acquire those — and other private photos — was pretty simple, as explained by forum member ThePoz:a


All someone needed to do is pick a target, click the "report/block" button on his or her profile and then select "inappropriate profile photo" when asked why the profile is being reported.a


On the next prompt, the snooping user would have to claim that the image is inappropriate because it contains "nudity or pornography." After that, he or she would check a box to "report [the image] to Facebook."a


The final step is to helpfully offer to "help [Facebook] take action by selecting additional photos to include with [the] report." And tada! Suddenly a selection of the reported users photos appears — including the ones which are private.a

We reached out to Facebook for an explanation of what happened when we first heard about this privacy glitch. The company replied as it issued a fix:a

Earlier today, we discovered a bug in one of our reporting flows that allows people to report multiple instances of inappropriate content simultaneously. The bug allowed anyone to view a limited number of another user's most recently uploaded photos irrespective of the privacy settings for these photos.  This was the result of one of our recent code pushes and was live for a limited period of time. Upon discovering the bug, we immediately disabled the system, and will only return functionality once we can confirm the bug has been fixed.a

The privacy of our user's data is a top priority for us, and we invest significant resources in protecting our site and the people who use it. We hire the most qualified and highly-skilled engineers and security professionals at Facebook, and with the recent launch of our Security Bug Bounty Program (, we continue to work with the industry to identify and resolve legitimate threats to help us keep the site safe and secure for everyone. a

Long story short? Your private Facebook photos are private once again — or as private as anything uploaded to the Internet could be.a

Related stories:a

Facedrink: Caffeine with a 'taste of friendship' Facebook: 6 degrees of separation? More like 4 Woman fights to put Effin on Facebook

Want more tech news, silly puns, or amusing links? You'll get plenty of all three if you keep up with Rosa Golijan, the writer of this post, by following her on Twitter, subscribing to her Facebook posts, or circling her on Google+.a

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Plus7 launches Middle East’s first premium mobile ad network in Dubai

Plus7, the Middle East’s first premium mobile advertising network has been launched in Dubai today, with an initial focus to help mobilize and monetize content from Arabic publishers and app developers in the region.

Launched by Dubai based digital media company Clique Media, Plus7 has met a gap in the Middle East market for a mobile ad network that brings ad inventory from regional publishers – especially Arabic – and local app developers, international publishers and all major mobile ad networks.

Its customized platform enables advertisers and agencies to specifically reach target consumer groups via mobile internet advertising. It also helps publishers and app developers monetize their ad inventory by offering them ad serving, targeting, analytics and access to top advertisers and agencies. In addition, the Plus7 platform will measure the performance and ROI for mobile advertising campaigns.

Co-founders of Clique Media, Sagar Shetty and Ashwin Salian, are also currently heading up Plus7. Speaking on the launch, Sagar Shetty said: “Although there are several mobile ad networks globally, there is still a gap in the Middle East for a mobile ad network that brings ad inventory from regional publishers, especially Arabic, and app developers. Presently, most ad networks carry mobile inventory from international publishers and apps – accessed from the region – which although attractive to advertisers still do not command a premium that regional mobile ad inventory does.

“Plus7 will help traditional web publishers adapt their content to mobile, and give entrepreneurs the opportunity to build on their app ideas by offering the services of our development team. And, more importantly, we help monetize them. “

Ashwin Salian also commented: “We’d like to think that Plus7 is the first of its kind in the market. Our full-service model is very different from the self-serve model prevalent amongst ad networks. We take the hassle of campaign setup, tracking, optimization, and reporting from the agencies we work with and manage it ourselves.”

Flying into Dubai to join the Plus7 team for the launch is high profile industry expert Paul Berney, MD EMEA and global CMO at Mobile Marketing Association, who said on the occasion: “This launch shows further evidence of the growth of mobile advertising in the Middle East. It is significant that there is a focus on Arabic media, a sure sign that mobile growth is being driven by uptake among both local and international brands. I was delighted to be invited to the launch and to get the opportunity to meet so many leading figures in Dubai agency world.

Plus7 is registered in Dubai Media City, with the proprietary ad server technology developed in-house at Clique Media’s offshore development centre in Mumbai, India.

Having already established working relationship with over 12 global mobile ad networks, Plus7 can serve ads on their network through its customized ad server.

For further information on Plus7 please visit

Seluruh Frekuensi akan Ditata Ulang

Seluruh Frekuensi akan Ditata Ulang

Jakarta - Pemerintah akan menata ulang seluruh frekuensi untuk akses data secara keseluruhan agar pemiliknya memiliki sumber daya alam terbatas itu secara efisien dan berdampingan (contigious).

Menurut Direktur Penataan Sumber Daya dan Perangkat Pos dan Informatika Kemenkominfo Titon Dutono, penataan frekuensi akan terjadi di pita spektrum 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2,1 GHz, 2,3 GHz, hingga 2,5 GHz.

"Hal ini karena kita menginginkan teknologi Wimax, 3G, dan LTE sebagai andalan untuk level akses bagi jasa data. Caranya dengan menata ulang semua frekuensi," ungkapnya di sela diskusi akhir tahun di Hotel JW Marriott, Jakarta, Rabu (7/12/2011).

Sementara itu, praktisi senior telekomunikasi Rudiantara, mengingatkan hukum paretto telah terjadi di jasa data dimana 2%-3% pengguna menguasai 40 persen trafik yang ada.

"Trafik itu naik 50% sementara pertumbuhan omzet hanya 10%. Ini tantangan bagi operator karena biaya operasional menyelenggarakan data itu tidak murah," katanya.

Diperkirakannya, ke depan akan ada pergeseran model bisnis di operator telekomunikasi, dimana pemain yang kuat dengan infrastruktur backbone akan menyewakan sebagian kapasitasnya kepada pemain lainnya.

"Di Indonesia ini ada isu keterbatasan backbone dalam menyelenggarakan jasa data. Hanya operator yang memiliki komitmen kuat untuk berinvestasi bisa mengembangkan backbone," papar Rudi.

"Tidak semua operator akan dibiarkan oleh investornya berinvestasi di backbone karena ada target EBITDA (Earning Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation, and Amortization) yang ingin dijaga," pungkasnya.

( rou / ash )

Sumber detik com