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We present the latest IT news and tips, and information about our IT courses. Brought to you by Dr. Daniel Wong and Mr. Jude How
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May 2012
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Archive for May, 2012

Google launched its own computers last year, calling them Chromebooks because they ran an upgraded version of the popular Chrome web browser. Although schools in 41 American states have adopted them, sales have not been good. Sold solely online until late last year, when Google opened a small number of shops within PC World, the Chromebook is struggling to account for one in every hundred computers sold.

This week, however, Google and the apparently unstoppable Samsung are back with a new Chromebook. The appeal is that these new devices, one a laptop and the other a box to plug in to a monitor or TV, are faster, lighter and more capable than their predecessors.

Read more HERE

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Bringing your favorite Astro channels and shows outside the constraints of your television set – that is what the new Astro On-The-Go service is all about. Using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets as well as computers, the service was officially launched and made available to the members of public yesterday.

Based on one’s Astro package subscription, a user is able to access up to 11 channels on Astro On-The-Go service for now which includes CNN, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, One HD, Astro Awani, Astro Xiao Tai Yang, Astro TVIQ, Astro Warna, Astro AEC, Astro Ria Plus and Astro Shuang Xing. In addition to that, there is alsoCatch Up TV which offers access to previously aired programs that consisted of local and international drama series, reality shows, sports highlights, news, and education programs as well as Nadi Arena.

The web interface of Astro On-The-Go service on Apple Safari browser.

The Astro On-The-Go service also offers channels specifically for live event and for starter, it will be featuring the upcoming UEFA Euro 2012 with all 31 matches will be shown live on the service as well as access to UEFA Catch Up TV videos and Video-On-Demand (VOD) titles. Speaking of VOD, this particular portion of the serviceallows users to access a library of local and international movies but then, there is a catch – before a user is able to view VOD contents on their mobile devices, the selected contents from the VOD library must be downloaded via Astro decoder before they can be viewed on one’s devices.

Through the launch event yesterday, it also marked the Phase I (out of three phases) of Astro On-The-Go deployment to the market. This particular phase which will last till 31st August 2012 acts as a preview period for all Astro subscribers to enjoy. Once Phase II kicks in from 1st September onwards which marks the start of commercial phase for Astro On-The-Go, the service will then be limited to only Astro B.yond IPTV subscribers and customers that own more than one decoder.

The service will be open again to all Astro subscribers as well as non-subscribers in Phase III which is said to take place by the end of 2012. Non-subscribers are actually able to enjoy Astro On-The-Go right now but they are limited to only selected VOD titles.

One of the nifty feature of the service is that a user is able to pause the show that he or she is watching on one device and then resume it on another device.

The Astro On-The-Go service is currently accessible via Apple iPad with Apple iPhone support coming soon and Android devices in Phase II of the service’s deployment timeline. It can also be accessed on computers viaonthego.astro.com.my which officially supports the four main Internet browsers; namely the Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox. The service is currently available free of charge.

We have two video demonstration of Astro On-The-Go mobile service coming up, so stay tuned for them. For the meantime, head on to www.astro.com.my/onthego for more information on the service.

Read more HERE




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Ellison: Is planning to send out his first tweet to announce Oracle’s new suite of cloud-based software products and computing services. – Reuters

REDWOOD (California): Larry Ellison, the billionaire chief executive of software maker Oracle Corp, said his company will launch a new suite of cloud-based software products and computing services the first week of June.

Also, he plans to send out his first tweet to announce the event.

Oracle, which gets most of its revenue by selling software that companies install in their own datacentres, is far behind smaller software vendor Salesforce.com Inc in the business of distributing its products via the Internet.

Oracle generates about US$1bil (RM3bil) in annual revenue from web-based software, Ellison said on Wednesday at a conference organised by All Things Digital. That is about a third what Salesforce.com projects it will pull in during the current year.

The new cloud, or web-based, products include a platform for building and running applications, databases and business management software, Ellison said.

He is scheduled to provide more details at an event for customers and analysts on June 6 at Oracle’s headquarters here.

Read more HERE

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Today: Facebook hits new lows amid rumors of interest in Opera, Face.com, but options traders bet that the stock will descend even more. Also: Wall Street has a nice day, minus social media stocks, but the economy is a mixed bag.

Facebook’s fall reaches new depths as acquisition rumors abound

Facebook reached new lows Tuesday on Wall Street, as the stock fell below $30 a share for the first time, then kept falling to lower than $29, as traders bet that the declines would continue and reports said the company would keep spending its cash on acquisitions.

After a report last week declared that Facebook was interested in acquiring Opera — a Norwegian company that offers a Web browser popular on mobile devices, especially in developing nations — analysts began parsing the possible deal Tuesday.

Analysts at Norwegian banks said Facebook would likely have to pay at least $1 billion — the same amount it promised to shell out for Instagram, though that.

Read more HERE

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Research In Motion has hired bankers for a far-reaching strategic review and to look for partnerships as the BlackBerry-maker warned it would likely report a shock fiscal first-quarter operating loss.

RIM virtually invented the concept of on-your-hip email with its first BlackBerry devices, but now finds itself struggling badly in the smartphone market as it trails far behind Apple and other rivals such as Samsung that use Google Android software.

RIM said it would also cut a “significant” number of jobs, although it did not say how many.

Two sources with close connections to RIM have said it plans to slash its workforce closer to 10,000 by early next year from 16,500 currently.

The lack of details about the size of the loss and the job losses disappointed some analysts.

“They’re clearly moving in the wrong direction right now, so I found it a little frustrating that there wasn’t more detail,” said Alex Gauna, an analyst at JMP Securities.

“That is a disaster. It’s really bad. We did not expect an operating loss this quickly,” said Peter Misek, an analyst at Jefferies & Co.

Read more HERE

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Researchers at Kaspersky Lab have reported discovering the most sophisticated piece of malware to date. The program, detected as Worm.Win32.Flame appears to be designed to conduct cyber espionage and is extremely complex; to the point that it actually operates on several modules that can be remotely uploaded by an operator.

Preliminary findings indicate that this malware has been in the wild for about two years now, since March 2010. The complexity of the malware, and the targeted nature of its attacks allowed it to go undetected for a very long time.

Read more HERE

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The Evidence (Amendment) (No.2) Act 2012 will come into operation on June 1. The impact of this hastily and stealthily rushed legislation could be devastating.

De facto law minister Nazri Abdul Aziz denies that amendments to the Evidence Act were a means for the government to curb online dissent by making Internet anonymity more difficult to maintain or ignorance to be used as an excuse.

Instead Nazri claims that the law was tightened because “we don’t want [anonymous or pseudonymous] people to slander or threaten others,” according to a report in the Sunday Star.

However opposition leaders such as DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng are unconvinced.

Lim said that the amendment which was passed during the last sitting of the Dewan Rakyat and the Dewan Negara “will make it easier for the government to launch selective prosecutions of members of the opposition and civil society”.

Read more HERE

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Blackberry maker's Research in Motion RIM campus in Waterloo.

Blackberry maker’s Research in Motion RIM campus in Waterloo.

Photograph by: Mark Blinch / Reuters , Mark Blinch / Reuters

TORONTO — Research In Motion is losing another senior executive as its chief legal officer is retiring amid reports RIM may announce a major restructuring this week, a move that could result in thousands of job cuts.

RIM said Monday that Karima Bawa had been in discussions about her retirement for some time and plans to stay on to help with the transition once a replacement has been hired.

“Karima has been a tireless advocate for RIM’s business during more than a decade of hyper growth and she continues to actively support our business in her chief legal officer role on a daily basis,” RIM president and chief executive Thorsten Heins said in a statement.

Read more  HERE

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NEW YORK – Facebook hopes to release its own smartphone by next year, as the newly public social networking giant looks to boost its revenue in the mobile Internet market, the New York Times reported Monday.
The company has hired more than half a dozen software and hardware engineers who have worked on Apple’s bestselling iPhone and one engineer who has iPad experience, the paper said, citing employees and other unnamed sources.
It has also expanded a group working on a partnership with Taiwan’s HTC to create a smartphone codenamed “Buffy”—a project first revealed last year by technology blog All Things Digital.
One former Apple engineer who worked on the iPhone and was recruited said he had met with Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg “who then peppered him with questions about the inner workings of smartphones,” the report said.
Read more HERE

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Malaysia has decided the best way to stop cyber bullies is to turn the justice system on its head.

Instead of making the victims prove who were their attackers, they just have to make an allegation and the accused has to prove it was not them.

Apparently cops are fed up with the defence that it was not them when a hate or threatening message is traced to their Facebook or Twitter or any other Internet account.

According to the Star, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission says it is almost legally impossible to take action if all that a person has to do is to deny any responsibility.

Commission chairman Datuk Mohamed Sharil Mohamed Tarmizi said cyber bullies and stalkers who often use “the cloak of anonymity” have got away because of lack of evidence.

He has just made an interview on the amendment to the Evidence Act passed by the Dewan Rakyat which pushes the burden of proof to the accused.

He said that owners of Internet accounts where hate messages had originated could easily rebut charges against them if they were innocent.

Read more HERE

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