Wireless Entrepreneur Sees Opportunity In Haiti

March 25, 2010

The devastating earthquake that shook Haiti in January destroyed the country’s already weak phone network. Now, some entrepreneurs see an opportunity rising out of the rubble. John Stanton — whose company owns the second-largest mobile carrier in Haiti — thinks Haiti should go copper-wire-free. He says the country should forget rebuilding the old system, and instead build a more robust cell phone network. Robert Siegel talks to Stanton about his idea to leapfrog land-line technology.

Read or listen to the full interview at HERE at NPR.org

Adobe’s new Photoshop Lightroom 3 better than predecessors

By Jefferson Graham

Adobe this week released an updated, free beta version of its Photoshop Lightroom software, and it’s substantially improved from the last version, released in September.

Lightroom is the go-to program for many pro and aspiring photographers to manage their large collections, process uncompressed RAW images and do quick edits. The new version has three important new improvements: video, better noise reduction and tethered shooting.  It also seems less buggy.

Shooting video on digital SLR cameras is one of the hottest trends in photography. The opening credits of NBC’sSaturday Night Live and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, for instance, were both made with Canon 7D still cameras. So it was a big omission that Lightroom refused to recognize video. (Competitor Aperture, from Apple, can process video.) No more. Now clips can be imported along with JPGs right into Lightroom, and managed along with the ever-growing photo collection.

Read more at USA Today’s Technology Live

Suspected Twitter infiltrator: ‘I’m a nice hacker’

By ANGELA DOLAND The Associated Press
Thursday, March 25, 2010; 5:56 PM

PARIS — He’s unemployed and isn’t much of a computer expert. The Frenchman accused of infiltrating Twitter and peeping at the accounts of President Barack Obama and singers Britney Spears and Lily Allen says he wanted to reveal just how vulnerable online data systems are to break-ins – and he says he didn’t mean any harm.

“I’m a nice hacker,” suspect Francois Cousteix told France 3 television Thursday, a day after he was released from police questioning, adding that his goal was to warn Internet users about data security.

“Hacker Croll,” as he was known online, is accused of breaking into Twitter administrators’ accounts and copying confidential data – as well as peeping at Obama’s and the singers’ accounts, though he didn’t have access to sensitive information about them, a French prosecutor said.

Read more at the Washington Post

Cisco Buys Into WiMax for Smart Grid, Acquires Stake in Grid Ne


Published: March 25, 2010

Cisco Systems has been scouting for major plays in the Smart Grid infrastructure arena for about a year — some analysts even speculated that it would buy wireless networking providerSilver Spring Networks. But today, it announced its decision to go with Grid Net, one of the first and only companies to trumpet WiMAX as the ultimate solution for transmitting data between utilities and smart meters.

Most utilities and meter makers rely on cellular networks or proprietary broadband networks to get the job done, arguing that WiMAX is still too expensive for broad deployment. But Grid Net says price won’t be an issue for long. Not only does WiMAX offer higher speeds and more bandwidth, but it will be extremely cheap in the future because it’s an open standard, says Grid Net CEO Ray Bell.

So far, it’s unclear exactly what Cisco wants with the company’s WiMAX expertise. It’s made a lot of noise about being a major force in the Smart Grid market, appointing Laura Ipsen to head up a dedicated program, and announcing that it would dedicate unlimited budget to the cause.

Read more at the New York Time’s VentureBeat

Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview Shuns Windows XP

If you’re thinking about running the IE9 Platform Preview, don’t try installing it on any nearly-decade-old operating systems (I’m looking at you, XP): If you do, you’ll get to a dialog stating “Windows Internet Explorer Platform Preview does not support any operating system earlier than Windows Vista SP2.” And of course, don’t even think about versions for non-Windows operating systems. IE General Manager Dean Hachamovitch told me that Mac and Linux versions weren’t currently in the company’s plans.

The reason IE9 doesn’t work in XP is that the browser uses the Direct2D feature of DirectX when accessing the graphics hardware to accelerate image creation and drawing. Direct2D was introduced in Windows 7 and then added to Windows Vista SP2 and Windows Server 2008 R2. But not to WIndows XP.

Read more at PC Mag’s AppScout

Pwn2Own winner tells Apple, Microsoft to find their own bugs

Charlie Miller won’t hand over 20 flaws he found by fuzzing Mac OS, Office, Adobe Reader

By Gregg Keizer

March 25, 2010 03:13 PM ET

Computerworld – The only researcher to “three-peat” at the Pwn2Own hacking contest said today that security is such a “broken record” that he won’t hand over 20 vulnerabilities he’s found in Apple’s, Adobe’s and Microsoft’s software.

Instead Charlie Miller will show the vendors how to find the bugs themselves.

Miller, who yesterday exploited Safari on a MacBook Pro notebook running Snow Leopard to win $10,000 in the hacking challenge, said he’s tired of the lack of progress in security. “We find a bug, they patch it,” said Miller. “We find another bug, they patch it. That doesn’t improve the security of the product. True, [the software] gets incrementally better, but they actually need to make big improvements. But I can’t make them do that.”

Read the full article at ComputerWorld.com

UK police asks Internet cafes to monitor customers

By RAPHAEL G. SATTER, Associated Press Writer – Thu Mar 25, 1:28 pm ET

LONDON – Internet cafe users in the British capital may want to watch what they download. Scotland Yard is advising administrators of public Web spaces to periodically poke through their customers’ files and keep an eye out for suspicious activity.

The Metropolitan Police said Thursday that the initiative — which has been rolled out over the past weeks under the auspices of the government’s counterterrorism strategy — is aimed at reminding cafe owners that authorities are ready to hear from them if they have concerns about their Internet users.

Posters and computer desktop images emblazoned with Scotland Yard’s logo are also being distributed.

Read more at Yahoo! News.

Web traffic redirected to China in mystery mix-up

by Elinor Mills March 25, 2010 8:25 PM PDT

Workers at Internet network operation centers around the world are trying to figure out why traffic to sites such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook was redirected to servers in China this week, giving Web surfers around the globe a glimpse of what Chinese Internet users see when they try to access those blocked sites.

On Wednesday, someone at Chile’s Domain Name System (DNS) registry, the Internet Protocol (IP) address lookup system, said a local Internet service provider had noticed strange behavior and asked his counterparts in other parts of the world about it on an industry e-mail list.

Specifically, one of the main DNS root servers, called the I Root Server and operated in Sweden, was directing visitors trying to go to those sites instead to servers in China. This effectively sent people behind the Great Firewall of China, a strictly controlled network of servers and routers the People’s Republic of China uses to filter the Internet and block its citizens from accessing content deemed politically sensitive.

Read more at news.cnet.com

The CIO Agenda 2010

By Divina Paredes on Thu, March 25, 2010

IDG News Service — What will be the standout business and technology challenges in the post-recessionary environment? We canvass a panel of executives and analysts on what to do now for the organisation, the ICT team and your career. Deliver customer valueJonathan Iles, CIO, Carter Holt HarveyDuring the financial crisis that saw enterprises pulling the plug or holding off on key programmes, Jonathan Iles and his team were working on “fairly major projects”.”In fact, there will be more this year,” says the chief information officer of Carter Holt Harvey. As he tells his team, “We are sailing into the perfect storm. So let us batten down the hatches, get those ships ready so that when we go into this, we are highly motivated, we know what we are doing, and we manage to hold everything together.”He says with the past year the focus of ICT at CHH was delivering customer value, and this will continue in the next 12 months.

Read the full story at CIO.com

Intuit Customer Manager

Reviews – March 2010 • Vol.21 Issue 3 – Page(s) 21 in print issue

Track Contacts
Intuit Customer Manager

$9.95 per month
(650) 944-6000

If you run a small or home business—especially if you use QuickBooks—and are looking for an inexpensive business contact manager, Intuit’s new Customer Manager may fill the bill. Intuit offers a 30-day free trial to let you see if it’s a keeper

Getting Set Up

Getting started with Customer Manager is straightforward, although it requires creating an Intuit account and providing credit card information (you won’t be billed until after the free trial). Once you sign up and click the link to start, you are presented with three options: Sync (sync with QuickBooks for contacts and financials), Import (contacts only), and Share (invite your team to use the product). Select Sync, and Customer Manager will point you in the direction of QuickBooks, where the sync actually takes place. Select the Share option, and Customer Manager will transport you to its Manage Users interface, where you can add new users (up to five total) or change the roles of existing ones.

Select the Import option and then click Import Contacts Now, and Customer Manager downloads an import applet. (Note where you save the download, as you’ll need to run it anytime you import contacts.) The applet gives you an automated—if somewhat limited—means of importing your Outlook contacts. To import contacts from other sources (including Outlook if you want more control over the import process), you’ll need to export a .CSV (comma separated values) file from your data source. (Tip: If your contacts don’t show up after import, click the Refresh button on your browser.

Read more at SmartComputing.com