RIM Looking to Add Android App Support to PlayBook Tablet

RIM BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer, to launch Q1 2011.

The Waterloo-based maker of the popular BlackBerry smartphone, Research In Motion (RIM) Ltd, is working on adding functionality in its yet-to-be-released BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer that would give the new tablet the capability to run third party applications designed for Google Android devices.

RIM has seen market share trend downwards as consumers (and traditional corporate customers) have shifted to other mobile platforms that offer a superior user experience (like more applications and better Internet browsing) all with comparable communication features.

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Privacy Standards For The TV That Is Watching You

Digital screens that can gather information about consumers are growing more common in stores and other public places. In response to privacy concerns, trade associations have issued privacy standards. Will they be enough?

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Harley Geiger, Policy Counsel at the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), a non-profit public interest organization based in Washington, DC. With expertise in law, technology, and policy, CDT’s mission is to keep the Internet open, innovative, and free. Geiger wrote a paper on digital signage privacy standards for CDT and worked with Digital Signage Federation to adapt the paper into their guidelines.

All too often, it is only after public uproar that companies see the value of privacy and adopt safeguards that should have been present in the first place. For industries seeking to grow in visibility and to attract and retain customers, it is not helpful to be burdened with a reputation for being intrusive or creepy. Consumer mistrust can last long after any public outcry fades. The digital signage industry just took a critical step in the other direction, adopting privacy rules before large-scale controversy.

The Digital Signage Federation, a major industry trade association, announced last week that it is adopting a comprehensive set of digital signage privacy standards for its member companies and their affiliates. The move comes as identification technologies are gaining traction within the digital signage industry. The digital signage trade associations are showing considerable prudence in adopting the standards now, rather than after a backlash over privacy. However, as digital signage transforms the media landscape, it remains to be seen whether the voluntary standards will be enough. That is up to the individual companies deploying and using the technology.

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Sony Seeks Personal Information from Twitter, YouTube Users In PlayStation 3 Hack Case

The notorious 21-year old computer programmer from New Jersey, George Hotz, best known for being the first to crack Apple’s iOS iPhone to run homebrewed applications, is facing legal troubles after releasing a hack variation for Sony’s PlayStation 3 gaming system.

At first believed to be un-crackable, programmers were finally able to crack the firmware of the four-year-old gaming console, allowing gamers to play pirated games, and to run homebrewed third party applications.

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NASDAQ Confirms Part of Its Systems Were Hacked, Repeatedly Accessed

nasdaq-nyc-times-squareThe New York City-based equities index, NASDAQ, confirmed on Saturday that unknown Internet hackers successfully penetrated part of the organization’s sensitive networks, even multiple times, throughout 2010.

Hackers were able to access data from the company’s Directors Desk product, which is a cloud-based service NASDAQ Group offers to companies that have their securities listed on its index, which allows users to securely share documents.

Top-level government agencies, including the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), the FBI, the Secret Service, and the Justice Department, among others, are working together to identify the perpetrators and what information they could have illegally accessed.

Investigators have not reached a motive for the attacks, which could span to include industrial espionage, to financial gain from accessing material nonpublic information.

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Flickr Mistakenly Deletes/Undeletes User’s Account With 4,000 Photos

A long time Flickr user, Bindermichi (his blog post), got a big shock on February 1 when he tried to log in to his Flickr account, only to be asked to create a new account, even though he already had one, for over five years.

Flickr erroneously deleted the man’s account after he reported another Flickr user who was allegedly stealing photos from his stream.

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Facebook Ups Security With HTTPS Connections

facebookThe world’s largest social networking website with over 500-million members, Facebook, has added support to a long requested feature, SSL connection support, which ensures personal data remains private by encrypting data before it is sent or received over the Internet.

Security experts warn users that access Facebook over public networks and unsecured wireless connections are most at risk, as malicious network software could be used by hackers to retrieve Facebook browser cookies that contain unencrypted personal information.

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Google Unveils Android Honeycomb Logo, Schedules Press Event

The world’s largest online search engine, turned mobile OS giant, Google Inc., has unveiled a new logo for its upcoming Google Android 3.0 tablet centric operating system code-named “Honeycomb”.

The original Android logo features a robot figure, which is also incorporated in the new logo.

The company in the past also incorporated the original Android robot figure in other versions of Android, including Android Donut, and Android Cupcake.

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Google to Strengthen Rules on Spammers and Content Farms in 2011

google-search-homepageWith about 66-percent market share of the total U.S. online search market, Google is the largest online search engine in the world.

Google has always been the target of marketers and spammers who create low quality and highly unreliable content across thousands of topics for the sole purpose of generating revenue with CPC advertisements by manipulating content to position articles high up in search results.

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RIM Confirms Cloud Services, Won’t Make BlackBerry Messenger Cross Platform

The Waterloo-based maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, Research In Motion (RIM), has announced the company plans to offer new cloud-based services.

The company is in the process of expanding the capabilities of its BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) to offer a cloud-based version, and to allow partners to offer their own customized BES services.

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RIM Releases New BlackBerry PlayBook Dev Tools, Extends Free PlayBook Offer to Developers


Research In Motion BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer, slated for Q1 2011 launch, likely week of March 15, 2011.

CES might have just wrapped up, but the Waterloo-based maker of the popular BlackBerry smartphone, Research In Motion (RIM), isn’t sitting around.

RIM has announced the availability of new tools and services aimed at the developer community, as the company tries to build a strong inventory of third party applications for its upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer.

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