RIM updates BlackBerry Desktop Software for Mac, brings iTunes integration

blackberry-desktop-macThe Waterloo-based mobile tech giant, Research In Motion (RIM), just released an updated version of its BlackBerry Desktop Software for Mac computers.

The latest version 2.0 of the software brings features to the Mac platform that were already previously available in RIM’s Windows version of the software.

One of the most notable new features in the application is the ability to sync media over a WiFi network.

Additionally, users can now easily sync media through iTunes, and even from their iPhone to their BlackBerry smartphone by simply right clicking on a playlist and choosing their BlackBerry smartphone from the menu list, or by simply dragging and dropping files or playlists.

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Google Latitude Now Available for iPhone

google-latitude-iphoneThe world’s largest online search company, Google, today made available its Google Latitude application for Apple iOS devices [iTunes], after the app was approved by Apple for use in its iOS powered devices like the company’s hugely successful iPhone smartphone.

Google Latitude is a social location sharing service that allows friends to show their current location in real-time through their mobile device, which is displayed in Google Maps, for all of their approved friends to see.

The service is entirely opt-in; with privacy features that ensure not just any person could see your location.

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IE9 and Microsoft’s Shrewd Play to Become Privacy Leader

microsoftEditor’s note: This is a guest post by Mark Stanley from the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), a non-profit public interest organization based in Washington, D.C. For more on online privacy, visit CDT’s Take Back Your Privacy page.

For online privacy, the pressure is mounting in Washington, D.C. Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a highly anticipated privacy report. The 122-page report was the subject of much discussion, with particular interest focused on the endorsement of an online “Do Not Track” mechanism.

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Microsoft Bringing Silverlight to Xbox 360 in 2011

Microsoft Corporation will bring its popular web platform, Silverlight, to its Xbox 360 gaming console, according to a high-level positioned person at the company who is familiar with the matter that spoke on condition of anonymity because the details were not made public.

The company is building a team of developers who could develop a Silverlight version for the Xbox 360, which could be released some time around the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the source.

Our source says the reasoning behind the move is to better strategically position the gaming console from a possibly significant threat from Google’s Android powered TV set-top-box which will include various applications, including streaming movies, e-mail, the Google Chrome web browser, among other applications developed for Android.

The Silverlight platform, which could already be used by developers to create applications for the company’s new Windows Phone 7 operating system, would bring familiar applications already found on other platforms that use Silverlight, including your regular PC browser, to the Xbox 360 platform.

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Google Cloud Connect syncs Google Docs with Microsoft Office

google logoMany people have their own unique preferences when it comes to using software, and historically that has presented various challenges such as compatibility issues across different platforms, and formatting inconsistencies when opening documents in different versions of word processing applications, among other challenges.

Google today announced the availability of a new product, Google Cloud Connect, in beta, that will make it easier for people using Google Docs and Microsoft Office to collaborate on working with documents.

The application seamlessly works between Google Docs and Microsoft Office to synchronize changes to documents made by different editors in close to real-time.

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Apple iPad Availability Extends to South Korea This Month

The South Korean mobile telecom operator, KT, says the company will offer the Apple iPad to consumers in the country starting on November 30.

In anticipation of strong demand, the company started accepting preorders on November 17, and has already secured about 50,000 unit sales directly from the pre-orders.

With over a week until the hot tablet becomes available for in-store purchase, pre-sales could top 100,000 units.

KT offers the iPad for 218,000 won (USD $192) with a term, or up to 850,000 won (USD $748) contract-free.

Since the company launched the tablet about 11 months ago, demand has remained very strong, with over 7-million units sold to date.

Rival Research In Motion (RIM) has already unveiled its iPad competitor, the PlayBook, which is slated for a first quarter launch next year, at a price tag below $500, according to company executives.

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The Negative Economic Impacts of China’s Data Protectionism

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Erica Newland from the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), a non-profit public interest organization based in Washington, DC.

Google’s recent whitepaper on censorship as a trade barrier has brought renewed attention to the global economic impact of policies that curtail the free flow of information, especially policies that have emanated from China. But reports on China’s censorship regime have failed to mention an important gear in its machine of information control, one that has huge implications for governments and business and that strikes at the heart of our notion of free flows of information: For many university students in China, information from abroad is, quite literally, not free.

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New Legislation Could Clear Way for Tiered Internet in the UK

The British government could pass new legislation allowing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the United Kingdom to regulate the flow of web data provided to consumers, businesses, and government, according to new comments made by the country’s Communications Minister, Ed Vaizey, who said today at a technology conference that he favors tiered Internet traffic in the country.

The UK could become the first major economy to implement such a plan, essentially going against keeping the Internet neutral for all users.

Proponents of net neutrality argue ensuring equitable access to the Internet for all users fosters freedom of speech, innovation, and free-access.

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Microsoft unveils Lync, business telephone/video conferencing system

The world’s largest software vendor, Microsoft Corporation, today is readying the launch of its new telecommunications system called Lync.

Lync is a fully featured web communications platform that aims to have businesses replace existing telephone systems with the more cost efficient Lync system that aggregates various communication mediums including e-mail, instant messaging, voice and video conferencing all into one application.

The system integrates with other Microsoft applications and services, including SharePoint and Exchange support, including integration with the company’s latest version of Office.

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Facebook unveils social messaging system, with Facebook email addresses

facebookFacebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, today unveiled a new social messaging feature on Facebook (official blog post) at the company’s headquarters that aims to consolidate different communication medias into one primary place.

Users will be able to manage different e-mail addresses, their text messages, and Facebook messages directly from one application.

The Messages application would display conversations with friends, and friends of friends, with other non-personal messages being kept separate in another view.

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