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IBM disables Siri on employee iPhones in the name of security

IBM Siri disabled

In an interview with MIT publication Technology Review, IBM CIO Jeanette Horan admitted that the company disables the use of Siri on employee iPhone smartphones. Why is that? Well, since anything spoken to Siri is sent and stored on Apple servers, the thinking is that employees may speak things that shouldn't be in the hands of anyone but IBM--and certainly not in the hands of one of its toughest competitors.

It's not just Siri that's not allowed. Cloud sharing tools like Dropbox and iCloud are also disabled, and employees aren't even allowed to forward internal IBM email message to external non-IBM addresses.

Read More | MIT Technology Review

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HP axing 525 WebOS developers in massive layoff

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Corporate News, Software

HP webOS layoffs

HP will carry out a massive round of layoffs in its Palm division this week, All Things D is reporting.

The layoffs will affect as many as 525 employees and are a direct result of the closure of webOS. HP announced in August that it would kill off its webOS operating system and end development of webOS devices like the TouchPad tablet and the Palm Pre line of smartphones.

HP confirmed the layoffs but would not delve into details about the numbers.

Click to continue reading HP axing 525 WebOS developers in massive layoff


AT&T Buys T-Mobile: Good for AT&T, Bad for Customers

AT&T T-Mobile Merger

AT&T just announced it will buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion. If the transaction gets approved by the government and closes in a year as planned, it will create the nation's largest wireless carrier by far.

While this is great news for both companies, it's an awful idea for consumers - and I desperately hope the US antitrust authorities rake this merger over the coals.

An AT&T/T-Mobile merger at least makes more sense than the silly T-Mobile/Sprint idea which was being bandied about. Both carriers use the same technologies: GSM, HSPA+ and LTE. While they're on different frequency bands, radios which use all of the relevant bands are becoming easier to build.

The merger neatly solves T-Mobile's long-term problem of not having enough spectrum for LTE, the 4G technology which will soon be a global standard. It gives T-Mobile's struggling parent, Deutsche Telekom, a gigantic cash infusion. And it lets AT&T once again position itself as the number-one carrier against Verizon Wireless, which leapfrogged AT&T technologically this year with Verizon's 4G LTE launch.

AT&T is ahead of T-Mobile on building LTE. T-Mobile is far ahead of AT&T on building HSPA+, a intermediate 4G technology that fits right between the carriers' existing 3G networks and LTE. Together, they could have a smooth and powerful nationwide network.

AT&T's press release for the merger backs this up. The combined carrier will be able to build out much more LTE Than AT&T could alone, by combining AT&T's 700 Mhz spectrum with T-Mobile's AWS spectrum.

For stockholders, this all sounds great. With reduced competition and the efficiencies of a combined network, the new company will probably be quite profitable.

For phone owners, tech lovers, and American consumers, this is a total disaster.

Click to continue reading AT&T Buys T-Mobile: Good for AT&T, Bad for Customers


Forbes Magazine calls Rock Band “Shameless Knockoff” of Guitar Hero, Alex Rigopulos’ Head Asplodes

Description

Hay fanboys, listen up! And before you read anything, the following was from FORBES, not Bobby Kotick, for the sake of / wars everywhere.

In a recent profile of CEO and industry provocateur Bobby Kotick, Forbes decided to talk about a number of Activision bread and butter franchises, such as Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (whose empty, frail husk now litters that halls of Activision, milked clean of its sweet, sweet nectar). Somewhere around the end, though, is an interesting little snippet of text:

“EA also teamed with MTV to sell Rock Band, a shameless knockoff of Guitar Hero that added drums, bass and a microphone to the world of make-believe rock stars. EA says it is returning to an “auteur model” of designing games, taking bigger chances on fewer ideas.”

Look, we should all see this kind of writing for what it really is: Unresearched and inflammatory. Even if you didn’t know that the Rock Band guys are the guys who made Guitar Hero in the first place, it’s a wee bit unprofessional to take sides. I’ve worked for Activision, and they’ve said some crazy things regarding the music game timeline, but don’t confuse the quote as coming from Kotick.

Funny how they don’t mention Guitar Hero: World Tour anywhere.

Read More | Forbes

Acer TravelMate Notebooks

TravelMate 6593Acer has 2 new TravelMate notebooks geared for the corporate and small business user. The 6493 features a 14.1-inch display with 1280x800 resolution, an Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T8400, 3GB DDR3, WiFi, DVD burner, Vista Business and a price that starts at $1099.00. The 6593 has a standard 15.4-inch screen with 1280x800 resolution, an Intel Centrino 2 CPU with vPro, 4GB DDR3, 250GB HDD, WiFi, a DVD burner and Vista Business. It carries a MSRP of $1499.00.

Read More | I4U News

Matsushita Undergoes Name Change

Matsushita/PanasonicMatsushita has finally decided to become known by what it mostly was all along, Panasonic. The name change will become final this October 1 if the shareholders agree in June. The Osaka company was founded 90 years ago by Konosuke Matsushita, and even current President Fumio Ohtsubo feels a bit sad but commented, “We must create more than what we are giving up.”

Matsushita/Panasonic will also be dropping its local brand name National for large and small appliances by March 2010 to avoid confusion. Our only comment: It’s about time.

Read More | Post-Bulletin

MTV to Invest $500 Million in Games Division

Posted by Steve Van Neil Categories: Corporate News, Culture, Music

MTV logoLook no further for proof that the video game business is big business indeed.  Media giant has announced that it is sinking over a half billion dollars into the video game industry over the next two years.

“As we take our brands narrow and deep to serve our targeted, niche audiences, we’re putting well over $500 million behind building our games business across all of the brands in our portfolio,” explained MTV chairman and chief executive Judy McGrath.

MTV is set to make a big splash this fall when Rock Band is released.  MTV/Viacom recently purchased and developer Harmonix, so the success of the game will greatly impact any of the network’s future gaming endeavors.  In addition to the Harmonix acquisition, MTV/Viacom has snapped up Xfire and GameTrailers, quietly making itself a major player in the gaming scene.

Read More | GameDaily

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