Showing posts from October, 2011

CENSORSHIP, INC. - U.S. Firm Acknowledges Syria Uses Its Gear to Block Web

By JENNIFER VALENTINO-DEVRIES, PAUL SONNE and NOUR MALAS A U.S. company that makes Internet-blocking gear acknowledges that Syria has been using at least 13 of its devices to censor Web activity there-an admission that comes as the Syrian government cracks down on its citizens and silences their online activities. Blue Coat Systems Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., says it shipped the Internet "filtering" devices to Dubai late last year, believing they were destined for a department of the Iraqi government. However, the devices-which can block websites or record when people visit them-made their way to Syria, a country subject to strict U.S. trade embargoes. Blue Coat told The Wall Street Journal the appliances were transmitting automatic status messages back to the company as the devices censored the Syrian Web. Blue Coat says it doesn't monitor where such "heartbeat" messages originate from. Computer code reviewed by the Journal indicates that Syrians were also

Samsung Overtakes Apple in Smartphone Sales

By Tim Culpan - Oct 28, 2011 12:10 AM PT Samsung Electronics Co. overtook Apple Inc. (AAPL) in the last quarter to become the world's largest smartphone vendor amid a widening technology and legal battle between the two companies. Samsung shipped 27.8 million smartphones in the last quarter, taking 23.8 percent of the market, Milton Keynes, U.K.- based Strategy Analytics said in an e-mailed statement today. Apple's 17.1 million shipments, comprising 14.6 percent of the market, pushed the Cupertino, California-based company to second place. Nokia Oyj (NOK1V) maintained its third position, it said. Apple, which released its iPhone 4S this month, held the top spot for only one quarter after dislodging Espoo, Finland- based Nokia earlier this year. Samsung, based in Suwon, South Korea, has turned to Google Inc. (GOOG)'s Android software to boost sales of its Galaxy smartphones and tablet computers. "Samsung has come out with products that appeal to all the differen

Netflix takes up 32.7% of Internet bandwidth

(Mashable) -- Despite recent troubles, Netflix is a major force on the Internet, accounting for 32.7% of peak U.S. downstream traffic, according to a new report. Sandvine Intelligent Broadband Networks' report analyzed 200 Internet service providers in 80 countries and found that real-time entertainment apps take up 60% of peak downstream traffic, up from 50% last year. Netflix has more than half of that share. Sandvine considers the hours between 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. to be peak times. Like others, Sandvine has also noticed a shift away from PCs to access such content. The company found 55% of traffic volume in North America is consumed on game consoles, set-top boxes, smart TVs and mobile devices. Only 45% is being accessed by laptops or PCs. Video makes up 32.6% of peak downstream mobile traffic, of which YouTube is the largest contributor. Are Netflix's best days behind it? The report comes as Netflix recently lost 800,000 paid subscribers in its most-recent quarter. The

FCC, CTIA agree on 'bill shock' plan for wireless services

CTIA, FCC agree on 'bill shock' plan CTIA member carriers will send out free alerts to users about to exceed monthly limits By Brad Reed, Network World October 17, 2011 11:24 AM ET   Wireless subscribers should not be shocked if they start receiving text or voicemail alerts telling them when they're about to hit their monthly limits on voice, data and SMS. That's because the FCC and the CTIA Wireless Association have reached an agreement where CTIA member carriers will send out free alerts to subscribers who are about to exceed their monthly service limits and incur overage charges on their accounts. In addition to sending alerts for users about to incur overage charges, the carriers will also issue alerts to users when they are about to incur international roaming charges. The policies are designed to help users avoid "bill shock," a term used by the FCC last year to describe large, unexpected overage charges that appear on users' wireless bills. FC

Problems plague Apple iCloud, iOS launch

By Poornima Gupta and Jim Finkle SAN FRANCISCO | Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:39pm EDT (Reuters) - Apple Inc rolled out its new iCloud service and latest mobile software to a chorus of user complaints this week, after glitches led to email access problems and long delays in installation. Some users reported losing their email access as Apple formally launched iCloud, an online communications, media storage and backup service, on Wednesday. Apple's new operating system for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch -- iOS 5 -- also annoyed many users who encountered hours-long delays in downloading and installation. Investors have high hopes for iCloud, which replaces MobileMe, a collection of Web-based products that have failed to impress critics or generate substantial revenues for a company that has had success in most other ventures over the past decade. "It failed in a very nasty way in that mail sometimes vanished, sometimes appeared then vanished, and often there was a user and/or pa