Category: Technology

Bill Gates Suggests Microsoft Tablet Projects in Works

Bill Gates, Microsoft’s former CEO, suggested during an interview with Fox Business Network that Microsoft was at work on a number of different tablet projects, at least some of which will focus on stylus-based input.
The Gates comments come days after Microsoft acknowledged the death of its long-rumored Courier project, which focused on developing a device with two touch-screens, and as rumors abounded that Hewlett-Packard had eliminated its plans for a Windows 7-powered tablet PC.
Microsoft, Google and other companies face some fierce competition in the space with Apple’s iPad, which sold one million units during its first 28 days of release.

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Car Hackers Can Kill Brakes, Engine, and More

University researchers have taken a close look at the computer systems used to run today’s cars and discovered new ways to hack into them, sometimes with frightening results.

In a paper set to be presented at a security conference in Oakland, California, next week, the security researchers say that by connecting to a standard diagnostic computer port included in late-model cars, they were able to do some nasty things, such as turning off the brakes, changing the speedometer reading, blasting hot air or music on the radio, and locking passengers in the car. (See a slide show of the researchers’ methods and results.)

In a late 2009 demonstration at a decommissioned airfield in Blaine Washington, they hacked into a test car’s electronic braking system and prevented a test driver from braking a moving car — no matter how hard he pressed on the brakes. In other tests, they were able to kill the engine, falsify the speedometer reading, and automatically lock the car’s brakes unevenly, a maneuver that could destabilize the car traveling high speeds. They ran their test by plugging a laptop into the car’s diagnostic system and then controlling that computer wirelessly, from a laptop in a vehicle riding next to the car.

BT to launch tablet computer to rival iPad

BT has unveiled plans to launch its own touch-screen, tablet style computer, which will go head-to-head with Apple’s iPad.

The as yet unnamed device was demoed at BT’s annual strategy day in London. BT did not reveal details about the specifications of the tablet, but it is believed to have a screen that is larger than the 3.5in display found on the iPhone, but smaller than the 9.7in screen on the iPad. It will be used to make and receive phone calls through a Bluetooth headset or through an integrated speaker, and it features email, web browsing and text messaging capabilities.

BT said it was like a cross between “a mini PC” and “the telephone of the future”. Ian Livingston, chief executive of BT, said the company’s tablet device was designed for use around the home, and was not meant as a mobile computer, like the iPad.

“Some people have called it an ‘iPad killer’, but not us,” he said. “We see it as is a new device that would be in the kitchen or the lounge, so that you have all your communications in one place – your email, your voicemail, your text messages.

“You can even have little applications that will tell you the weather, or have a rolling stream of news. It’s for when you don’t want to have to turn on the computer to look something up. We’ve talked to a lot of customers about it – it’s not just something we’ve dreamed up. We’ve designed something around what the customers have said rather than around what technologists have said.”

BT also announced plans for an on-demand gaming service that would allow people to play the latest titles without the need for a games console. Games will be streamed over the internet via the customer’s broadband collection, allowing them to play online.

Mobilicity launches service in Toronto: all plans unlimited, no contracts to speak of

My, talk about a breath of fresh air. Canadian wireless subscribers have long since dealt with inhumane three-year contracts on mainstays like Rogers and Bell, signing over their cellular soul on a whim in order to get a marginally subsidized phone and a guaranteed bill for 36 months. We’ve heard for awhile now that Mobilicity was jonesing to change things up in the Great White North, and change it has. Shortly after receiving an all-important green light from the CRTC, the company has gone live with mobile service in Toronto, with a number of other large Canadian cities to follow in the months ahead. What’s most unique about the service, however, is that every single plan it sells is unlimited in nature, and there’s nary a contract to be found — you simply pick the phone you want, the plan you want, and then you pay upfront. It’s most akin to the various prepaid options here in the States (Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile, etc.), but still — it’s a lovely alternative to have if you’re a Canuck. Unlimited calling and texting can be had for just $35 per month, while $65 per month nets you unlimited everything (including global texting, US long distance calling and data usage). The phone selection ain’t half bad either, with the only major “gotcha” being that extra roaming fees can apply if you use your mobile outside of metro Toronto (or in the future, away from the carrier’s specific coverage cities). Hit up the source link to get the facts straight from the horse’s moose’s mouth.

Source: Engadget