MediaFile

Cisco tries to free up internet traffic jam

There is nothing more infuriating than a slow mobile connection. With people bringing their own devices to  workand everywhere else, wireless networks will be working hard to accommodate the mobile traffic flood.  

Here’s where Cisco comes in: On Tuesday, it unveiled a wireless access point called the Aironet 3600 Series, which can increase the speed of connection by up to 30 percent on any kind of mobile device no matter how weak or strong the network is. 

According to Cisco, it is the first company to offer access points with four antennas and three spatial streams. What does it mean?  Essentially more people have more range to use their devices, even if there is more traffic.

The device make changing lanes on the wireless freeway easier so your device can find a faster lane and congestion never gets very dense.

But it isn’t cheap–$1,495 for an internal Aironet 3600 and $1,595 for an outdoor one. .

LinkedIn “alert” shows users still on edge about privacy

By Gerry Shih and Himank Sharma

Looks like social media users are getting twitchy about their online privacy rights.

Days after Google made known its decision to establish a common privacy policy across  its scores of products,  a chain-message of uncertain origin began circling on the Internet, claiming LinkedIn had quietly changed its own policy on the treatment of user data.

The chain message — which contained step-by-step instructions on how to opt out of this supposed new policy — took on a life of its own, ricocheting across Twitter and spawning numerous discussion and email threads. It suggested LinkedIn had given itself the right to use personal information and photos in ads — without notification .

Legendary Cosmo editor gives $30 million to Columbia, Stanford

Helen Gurley Brown, the 89-year-old former editor of Cosmopolitan magazine and author of “Sex and the Single Girl” is donating $30 million to Columbia University and Stanford to fund a media and technology institute.

Columbia will pocket $18 million while Stanford’s Engineering School will net $12 million. Columbia will use $6 million to build a “highly visible signature space” at the journalism school’s building in New York. This marks a record donation for the journalism school.  

Apple board-member Bill Campbell will advise the new center along with Hearst Corp CEO Frank A. Bennack, Jr. The donation is in honor of Gurley Brown’s late husband David, the famous producer of classic movies such as ”Jaws” and attended both schools. Gurley Brown, who was dubbed “the original Carrie Bradshaw” by the New York Times. edited Cosmo for more than three decades.

CORRECTED-Neeson’s ‘Grey’ wins box office weekend

(Corrects spelling of Ortenberg paragraph 5)

Survival story “The Grey” starring Liam Neeson in a battle against weather and wolves led the box office pack with a better-than-expected $20 million in ticket sales over the weekend.  

“The Grey” knocked last weekend’s winner, “Underworld: Awakening,” to second place. The vampire and werewolf sequel starring Kate Beckinsale brought in $12.5 million from Friday through Sunday at domestic theaters, according to studio estimates compiled by Reuters on Sunday. 

In “The Grey,” Neeson returns to an action role as a man who leads a team of plane crash survivors who must fight harsh weather and a fierce pack of wolves in the Alaskan wilderness.  

from Paul Smalera:

Twitter’s censorship is a gray box of shame, but not for Twitter

Twitter’s announcement this week that it was going to enable country-specific censorship of posts is arousing fury around the Internet. Commentators, activists, protesters and netizens have said it’s “very bad news” and claim to be “#outraged”. Bianca Jagger, for one, asked how to go about boycotting Twitter, on Twitter, according to the New York Times. (Step one might be... well, never mind.) The critics have settled on #TwitterBlackout: all day on Saturday the 28th, they promised to not tweet, as a show of protest and solidarity with those who might be censored.

Here’s the thing: Like Twitter itself, it’s time for the Internet, and its chirping classes, to grow up. Twitter’s policy and its transparency pledge with the censorship watchdog Chilling Effects is the most thoughtful, honest and realistic policy to come out of a technology company in a long time. Even an unsympathetic reading of the new censorship policy bears that out.

To understand why, let’s unpack the policy a bit: First, Twitter has strongly implied it will not remove content under this policy. If that doesn’t sound like a crucial distinction from outright censorship, it is. Taking the new policy with existing ones, the only time Twitter says it will ever remove a tweet altogether is in response to a DMCA request. The DMCA may have its own flaws, but it is a form of censorship that lives separately from the process Twitter has outlined in this recent announcement. Where the DMCA process demands a deletion of copyright-infringing content, Twitter’s censorship policy promises no such takedown: it promises instead only to withhold censored content from the country where the content has been censored. Nothing else.

Tech wrap: Apple cares, says CEO Tim Cook

Apple has never turned “a blind eye” to the problems in its supply chain and any suggestion it does not care about the plight of workers is “patently false,” Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said in an email to employees. Cook was responding to a report in The New York Times about working conditions at Apple’s main contract manufacturer, Foxconn, in China, an issue that for years has been a thorn in the company’s side.

Facebook plans to file documents as early as Wednesday for a highly anticipated IPO that will value the world’s largest social network at between $75 billion and $100 billion, the Wall Street Journal cited unidentified sources as saying on Friday.

Jon Rubinstein, who was instrumental in crafting Apple’s iPod music player, has left Hewlett Packard after two years on the job there. Rubinstein was CEO of smartphone maker Palm when that company was acquired by HP in 2010. He last held a product-innovation role within HP’s Personal Systems Group headed by Todd Bradley.

Fear not Google’s bid to rock ‘n’ rule your world

 

Stop me if you’ve heard this one:

Big social media company changes its privacy rules. The Internet goes nuts. The tech press fuels the flames. Much hand-wringing and shouts of promises not kept ensue.

Sound familiar?

This time it’s not Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg who’s losing sleep. It’s Google’s Larry Page. The search giant changed its rules mid-game, and it’s getting an earful.

Google’s privacy changes are both less and more than meets the eye. The less: Google has been collecting all the data in question already, most for a long time. The more: It’s one thing to collect data, quite another to change how you use it without giving your customers any flexibility. Google should be lauded for über transparency, but it’s hard to like ”Our Way or the Highway.”

Weekend box office forecast: Stormy and ‘Grey’

Liam Neeson battles weather and wolves in Alaskan wilderness survival tale “The Grey,” a thriller that hits movie theaters this weekend. Box-office watchers predict the film will lead the pack of newcomers that includes crime drama “Man on a Ledge” and Katherine Heigl comedy “One for the Money.”“Grey” distributor Open Road Films forecasts a domestic opening in the neighborhood of $10 million to $12 million from Friday through Sunday, while outside predictions reach the $14 million range. “Man on a Ledge” and “One for the Money” are expected to ring up less than $10 million each. In “Ledge,” Sam Worthington plays an ex-con who threatens to jump from a hotel ledge. Book adaptation “One for the Money” features Heigl as a woman who joins her cousin’s bail-bond business and must track down a wanted man who happens to be an ex-boyfriend. Lions Gate Entertainment is distributing “Money” the same weekend as “Ledge,” from the company’s newly acquired Summit Entertainment division. Release dates and marketing plans for both were set long before the companies combined earlier this month. Also this weekend, a crop of films look to capitalize on Oscar nominations including “The Descendants,” “The Artist,” “Hugo,” “The Iron Lady,” and “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.”

Photo Credit: Reuters/Kieran Doherty

Tech wrap: Earnings hit as Apple reigns

Quarterly earnings suffered at major technology and telecoms companies in part because of demand for gadgets made by Apple, one day after core suppliers to Apple savored strong earnings results posted by the iPhone and iPad maker on Tuesday.

AT&T posted a $6.7 billion quarterly loss as it was weighed down by a hefty break-up fee for its failed T-Mobile USA merger and other big charges on top of costly subsidies for smartphones such as Apple’s iPhone. While the wireless provider beat analysts’ expectations for subscriber additions, the growth came at a massive cost as its wireless service margins plummeted. On top of the $4 billion break-up package charge, AT&T also took a big impairment charge for its telephone directory business, which it said it was considering selling.

Nokia reported a 73 percent fall in fourth-quarter earnings as sales of its new Windows Phones failed to dent the dominance of Apple’s iPhone or compensate for diving sales of its own old smartphones. Apple reported earlier this week sales of 37 million iPhones for the December quarter. Nokia has sold over 1 million Windows “Lumia” smartphones since its launch in mid-November. Nokia said it expected its phone business’ underlying earnings to be around breakeven in the first quarter, well below analysts’ forecasts, with sales falling more than usual in the seasonally weaker quarter.

AT&T CEO spoils for fresh fight with FCC

In case you had any illusions about the state of relations between  Randall Stephenson and Federal Communications Chairman Julius Genachowski, the AT&T CEO should have put them to rest by now.

Still smarting from his December withdrawal from a $39 billion plan to buy smaller rival T-Mobile USA,  Stephenson seems to be gearing up for another big fight with Genachowski, who opposed the deal. The executive wants Genachowski to be banned from setting bidding rules in the next wireless spectrum auction and spent the company’s quarterly earnings call complaining that the FCC’s spectrum ownership policy is inconsistent.

“My interpretation is these rules are so fluid you could drink out of them with a straw right now,” Stephenson told investors.