Technology News Gallery, Week of Nov. 7, 2011

  • The spectrum wars move south

    The U.S. Congress and Federal Communications Commission shouldn’t forget unlicensed uses of spectrum as policymakers debate ways to open up more mobile spectrum for broadband and voice services, a group of wireless advocates said last week, including Assaf Eilat, a senior economist at economic consulting firm Compass Lexecon.

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  • First look at Boot to Gecko

    Mozilla developers hope to start testing phones running its new mobile operating system this quarter, with product demos slated for the first quarter next year and “productization” set for before June 2012, according to a road map on the project’s website. Mozilla announced the project, called Boot to Gecko (B2G), in July, describing it as an operating system for mobile devices that would run applications primarily on the Web.

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  • We know what we like

    What if traditional forms of art could be more interactive? That’s exactly what Jose Torres, better known artistically as Tony Taj, wondered. Jose, a painter and mobile designer, mainly paints intricate cityscapes on canvas, and is inspired by imagining the lives of the people who live and work on each floor and in each building he paints. So he came up with a way of sharing the stories he created around each character with you as you view the painting–all you would need is your smartphone and a QR code.

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  • Meet HP’s new CIO

    After a couple of high-profile departures, HP last week announced some executive appointments, including a new CIO. John Hinshaw is now executive vice president of Global Technology and Business Processes, the company said. Craig Flower, an HP veteran since 1984, will take on the role of senior vice president and CIO. He’ll report to Hinshaw. Flower once reported to former HP CIO Randy Mott, who left the company in June as part of a restructuring instituted by short-lived CEO Leo Apotheker. Mott was known for his restructuring of HP’s IT, including a massive reduction in data centres.

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  • Tough luck, Julian

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange lost an appeal in the U.K.’s High Court last week that sought to block his extradition to Sweden on potential charges of rape and molestation.

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  • ARMed but not dangerous

    Hewlett-Packard is developing servers based on a low-power microprocessor design from ARM Holdings, and claims it can slash power and space requirements by as much as 90 percent for companies running certain Web-based applications. The servers use a 32-bit processor from ARM licensee Calxeda, and are aimed at web giants such as Yahoo and Facebook, as well as other companies running large-scale cloud applications for tasks like data analysis, web serving and content delivery.

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  • Vendors hungry for Ice Cream Sandwich

    At the Open Mobile Summit in San Francisco last week, device makers and carriers said they have customized Android for their own purposes and that Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest version, will ease fragmentation. The new OS takes Android “dramatically forward,” said Kevin Packingham, senior vice president of product innovation at Samsung. Among other things, it requires no physical buttons and includes a feature for swiping applications off the screen.

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  • A Small but powerful open source platform

    An open-source hardware group announced a US$89 credit-card sized motherboard based on an ARM processor that could be used for robotics, gaming and medical devices. BeagleBoard’s BeagleBone development board is targeted at the open-source hardware community, which includes hobbyists and engineers writing code for hardware with open-source specifications. Some BeagleBoard projects include bringing Linux-based Android and Ubuntu operating systems to its hardware.

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