China Removes 'Green Dam'

In a very unexpected move, the Chinese authorities have indefinitely postponed their order that all PCs sold in the country must come with software, called Green Dam Youth Escort, that blocks certain websites.

According to Reuters, Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei, who had previously organized a protest against the Green Dam initiative, has also called on the people of China to celebrate its demise. About 200 Beijing residents, dressed in t-shirts mocking Green Dam, have arrived at a trendy art zone cafe to party all day in celebration of this victory in a war against censorship.

The Chinese authorities were under a great deal of pressure from various trade groups, American, European and Japanese chambers of commerce, and the U.S. National Association of Manufacturers, which sent a letter of protest against the measure, claiming it “raises significant questions of security, privacy, system reliability, the free flow of information and user choice.”

The combination of a huge public outcry against Green Dam and the reluctance of PC sellers to comply probably wouldn’t have been enough to convince the Chinese government to give up on Green Dam, but the fact that this measure was obviously undertaken in haste, with Green Dam itself having some serious issues (it doesn’t, for example, support 64-bit operating systems), was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back. In a word, Green Dam was not only unpopular; it was nearly impossible to implement.

Unfortunately, however important, this victory is a minor one. The Green Dam initiative was only postponed by the The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology; it could be reinstated at a later date. Even more importantly, Chinese Internet users are still behind the iron veil of the Great Firewall of China, which blocks them from visiting certain websites, with the blockade often spreading to the most popular internet destinations. I hope that the Chinese authorities have really softened up when it comes to censorship, but I fear that this might only be a minor drawback in their quest for total control of the Chinese Internet.

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Search Options now in Google Images

A few months ago when we announced the Search Options panel, we promised that you would soon see similar functionality across our other search properties. Today we are rolling out Search Options for Google Images.

This new feature offers quick access to existing tools, including search by color and image type. Color search will find images that are only in color or only in black and white, or even images that contain a specific color, such as red, pink, or green. Type search is a great way to narrow down your results if you are looking for a specific kind of image, such as a photo, clip art, line drawing or face.

We've also revamped our size search. In addition to choosing from commonly searched-for sizes, now you can search for an exact image size or any image larger than a certain size. You can find images of practically any size, including 70 megapixels or more.

The new layout makes it faster and easier to combine and toggle between options. It also makes it easier for us to add additional image search options in the future, so keep your eyes peeled. Just click "Show options..." in the blue bar on the search results page to try out any of these tools.

Source:Google Blog

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Lock your Pen drive

Data protection is a function of both deletion and encryption:
Deleting data does not necessarily remove the information from your drive. Usually, when deleting files only the pointer to the file in the file allocation table is deleted, leaving the files actual data untouched. This enables hackers to undelete files using special utilities.

In order to encrypt your data, it has to be read, encrypted and then replaced by the new encrypted data. This means that your original file is deleted and replaced by an encrypted version of the same file. Therefore the deleted original can be retrieved as explained above. Encryption alone is not completely safe.

In order to protect your data, it must be encrypted, in addition to physically wiping any trace of your original un-encrypted files. This is exactly what Lockngo Professional does.

Military Grade 256bit AES Encryption (FIPS 140-2 Certified)
Lockngo encrypts your files in extra strong ecryption making sure your data can't be compromised.

No software installation required
Lockngo runs directly from your removable media - does not require installation on any PC.

Fast encryption
Ultra-fast encryption optimization to reduce lock/unlock time.

Hides your files
Data is not only encrypted, but also hidden so it is completely impossible to retrieve.

Rich file-system support
Lockngo Professional now supports NTFS (New), FAT32 and FAT file systems.

New! Instant Lock
Lockngo Professional now provides a new, even quicker workflow, enabling you to lock the drive in one simple click.

Command Line control, advaced administration
Lockngo Professional offers control and configuration of its features right from the command line, enabling access to functionality and settings not available to the common user. The command line enables system administrators to permanently modify the software's settings and make the lock operation faster (removing the need to enter password each time). Command line access also assists system administrators seeking to manage multiple portable drives in their organization.

Remembers your password
Lockngo Professional remembers your password which makes your next use even easier.

Download Lockngo

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Mobile Manufacturers agree on standard phone charger

Some of the world's biggest mobile phone manufacturers have agreed to adopt a new universal standard of phone charger in an effort to be more environmentally friendly.

Until now, most mobile phones have used proprietary chargers that will only work on one kind of device, leading to cupboards full of unwanted chargers in homes across the country.

But now, according to a report in The Telegraph, ten companies, including Apple, LG, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson, have submitted a Memorandum of Understanding to the European Commission pledging to start making phones that can be charged using a single charger.

The manufacturers will adopt the Micro USB connector across all their devices from next year, meaning that dozens of different handsets can be charged using a single plug.

The European Commission has been putting pressure on mobile phone makers to reach an agreement on a universal charging standard in an effort to cut down on the thousands of tons of waste generated each year by the inclusion of unwanted chargers with every new handset.

The GSMA, the trade organisation that represents the mobile phone industry, said that the new universal chargers will consume half as much energy when on standby as today's charging cables.

Technology experts have welcomed the announcement.

Source: Yahoo News

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Microsoft releases Silverlight 3

Microsoft has released the latest version of its Silverlight player.

The release of Silverlight 3 arrived late Thursday night. The company’s presentation technology for graphics and video on the web was supposed to be released to the public on Friday morning, July 10 — there’s even a lavish launch event scheduled at a San Francisco hotel — but Microsoft decided to push Silverlight out a day early.

Silverlight 3 is a small, free plug-in download from Microsoft. It’s cross-browser and cross-platform, so it runs on Windows, Mac (the newest versions are Intel only) and Linux computers. The open-source Linux version is called Moonlight, and it ships with Novell distributions. If you’re running Ubuntu or some other non-Novell distribution, you can download it and install it manually.

Silverlight is Microsoft’s plug-in based player for streaming video and audio content, handling rich internet apps and displaying animated user interfaces in the browser — Redmond’s answer to Adobe Flash and open-source technologies like those promised by HTML 5. When Silverlight first arrived in 2007, it didn’t run too well on non-Windows desktops. Worse, with very little content available on the web for Silverlight to play, there wasn’t much of a reason to bother with it.

But quite a bit has changed in two years. Most notably, the compelling content finally arrived. Microsoft streamed live video and highlight clips on NBC’s official Beijing Olympics website in the summer of 2008 using Silverlight. The company released version 2 in September of 2008, an upgrade which improved Silverlight’s performance on Macs and improved the video playback quality overall. Silverlight was used again to stream coverage of the 2008 Democratic National Convention and all of the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament games in 2009, serving to raise Silverlight’s profile — and it’s install base — even more.

By now, Silverlight is installed on around 30% of web-connected PCs and devices like Windows Mobile smartphones. It’s a far cry from Adobe Flash’s install base (which is over 90%) but it’s a significant gain in a short period of time nonetheless. Also, Microsoft claims there are over 300,000 developers actively building web sites, apps and animated user interfaces in Silverlight right now.

Silverlight’s video capabilities have always been impressive when compared to Flash, and the new version boasts some new features that should keep the competition with Flash hot. It uses a media broadcasting technology Microsoft calls Smooth Streaming, an adaptive technology for playing the same H.264 video stream at the highest bitrate the device and its bandwidth limitations will allow. So if you’ve got a fast computer with an HD monitor and a wide open pipe, you’ll see super high quality video at up to full 1080p HD. If you’ve got a dinky smartphone with mid-level data service, you’ll see a constrained version of the same video.

The new version of Silverlight also has better 3-D graphics support and the ability to offload graphics work to a GPU for a smoother, hardware-accelerated user experience.

On the rich internet apps front, Silverlight 3 includes the ability for developers to create apps that run outside of the browser on a PC desktop, or on a mobile phone — yet another place where Silverlight 3 is catching up to competing technologies like AIR, Adobe’s Flash-based runtime for running webapps outside of the browser.

Also due to be released Friday (but not showing up yet, as of this writing late Thursday night) is Expression Studio 3, Microsoft’s set of tools for building Silverlight apps, standards-based websites and vector graphics for the web. The current version, Expression Studio 2, costs $700, or $350 for an upgrade from previous versions.

As mentioned previously, the Silverlight browser plug-in is free.
Silverlight Update Aims for Greater Adoption Through Developers
Mozilla Brings Webapps to the Desktop, Challenges AIR, Silverlight
Microsoft Launches Silverlight With Full Linux Support

Source: Webmonkey

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