Feb 24, 2012

Parent Training Key To Tackling Behavior, Study Finds

 

Children with developmental disabilities who have severe behavior issues respond better to medication if it is paired with training for their parents, researchers say.

Parent Training Key To Tackling Behavior, Study Finds
Shaun Heasley
Fri, 24 Feb 2012 18:02:32 GMT

Funding For Down Syndrome Research Shrinks

 

New data shows that federal funding for Down syndrome research dropped last year, despite already lagging behind other conditions, and that's leaving advocates none too pleased.

Funding For Down Syndrome Research Shrinks
Michelle Diament
Fri, 24 Feb 2012 17:49:48 GMT

HUD & National Fair Housing Alliance Launch Campaign to Fight Housing Discrimination

 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) have launched a new series of radio and print public service advertisements (PSA). The advertisements teach people about discrimination in housing because of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, familial status and disability. The campaign includes print ads in English, Spanish and Chinese. The PSAs are available at HUD.gov/fairhousing and www.nationalfairhousing.org. Learn more about what to do if you think you've been a victim of housing discrimination.

HUD & National Fair Housing Alliance Launch Campaign to Fight Housing Discrimination
disability@dol.gov (Disability.gov)
Fri, 24 Feb 2012 05:00:00 GMT

Tyson Foods Settles EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

 

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has charged Tyson Foods, Inc. with violating the Americans with Disabilities Act when it refused to hire a former employee because he had epilepsy. Tysons will pay $35,000 to the former employee and has implemented a new medical assessment procedure.

Tyson Foods Settles EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit
disability@dol.gov (Disability.gov)
Thu, 23 Feb 2012 05:00:00 GMT

Webinar - 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design - March 1

 

The ADA National Network will hold a webinar on March 1, 2012 from 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards. Learn about the new standards that must be used for all new construction or changes to existing facilities covered under the ADA starting March 15, 2012. Submit questions that you’d like answered during the session and register online.

Webinar - 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design - March 1
disability@dol.gov (Disability.gov)
Tue, 21 Feb 2012 05:00:00 GMT

Speedy surgery lessens chance of paralysis in spinal cord injuries

 

Neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Fehlings was asleep in bed at his High Park home late one night two years ago when his pager went off.

Speedy surgery lessens chance of paralysis in spinal cord injuries
Thu, 23 Feb 2012 22:31:40 GMT

NAD Comments on Accessibility of Airline/Airport Websites and Kiosks

 

AIrline KioskOn January 9, 2012, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) took the lead, and was joined by other consumer groups, in submitting comments in response to a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on proposed rules concerning accessibility of air travel web sites and kiosks at U.S. airports to provide greater accommodations for individuals with disabilities in air travel.

read more

NAD Comments on Accessibility of Airline/Airport Websites and Kiosks
admin
Mon, 20 Feb 2012 13:39:10 GMT

Learning Ally National Record-A-Thon Celebrates "Different Ways to Read Across America"

 

Authors and celebrities join thousands of Learning Ally volunteers to create audiobooks for people with reading disabilities, visual impairment, dyslexia, and learning differences.

(PRWeb February 24, 2012)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/2/prweb9222496.htm

Learning Ally National Record-A-Thon Celebrates "Different Ways to Read Across America"
Fri, 24 Feb 2012 16:06:36 GMT

New Flashback Trojan variant found for OS X

 

This year has been relatively silent with regard to malware in OS X, but today security and antivirus firm Intego reported that the criminals behind the Flashback Trojan have been hard at work releasing new variants to their malware package. The seventh variant of Flashback has been identified, which shows it is using new and unique techniques for infecting Macs.

Flashback is a Trojan horse attack that, according to Intego, now uses numerous methods for infecting Mac systems. First it will try to take advantage of Java security holes to install itself, but if you do not have Java installed (OS X 10.7 and later are shipped without a Java runtime), then it will try to use various social engineering methods to trick users, such as disguising itself as a legitimate Adobe Flash installer and displaying certificates that appear to be from Apple in order to coerce people to run the Trojan installers.

Flashback now tries using false Apple certificates to trick users into installing it.

(Credit: Intego)

Once installed, the Trojan will inject code into Web browsers and other specifie... [Read more]

New Flashback Trojan variant found for OS X
Topher Kessler
Fri, 24 Feb 2012 00:05:05 GMT

Google adds Do Not Track button to Chrome

 

Google's Chrome browser has added a Do Not Track option that will prevent websites using your browser history to target ads at you.…

Google adds Do Not Track button to Chrome
Fri, 24 Feb 2012 16:02:07 GMT

Mozilla Partners Up With LG To Combat Apple and Google

 

MrSeb writes "At Mobile World Congress, which begins in three days, Mozilla will finally take the wraps off the Mozilla Marketplace and allow developers to submit their open web technology (HTML5, JavaScript, CSS) apps. While the Marketplace will play an important role in keeping Firefox in step with Chrome, these apps will actually play a far more important role: Boot to Gecko (B2G), Mozilla's upcoming smartphone and tablet OS, will also use the Marketplace. For B2G to succeed it must have apps, and to create apps you need developers. That's why, at MWC, according to a source close to the matter, Mozilla will also be announcing that it has partnered up with LG to make a developer-oriented B2G-powered mobile device. Even more interestingly, Brendan Eich, Mozilla's Chief Technology Officer, says that it will unveil other partners at MWC as well — probably carriers, who are eager to use the open B2G and its Marketplace to escape the huge control that Apple and Google currently exert in the smartphone space."

 Read more of this story at Slashdot.

 

Mozilla Partners Up With LG To Combat Apple and Google
Soulskill
Fri, 24 Feb 2012 15:19:00 GMT

Velodyne WiConnect Wireless Subwoofer Connection System - Product of the Week

 

Velodyne is a well-known maker of Subwoofers. In addition, Velodyne also makes a practical accessory, the WiConnect Wireless Subwoofer Connection System, that brings more flexibility in the way you set up and use the subwoofer in your home theater system.

This WiConnect system allows users to make a wireless connection between any home theater receiver with subwoofer preamp or LFE outputs with powered subwoofer with LFE or line inputs. By plugging the Velodyne WiConnect transmitter to your home theater receiver and the wireless receiver to your subwoofer, you can eliminate the long, and unsightly, subwoofer audio cable that is normally needed, giving users more freedom in placing a subwoofer in the best location for optimum low frequency response - as long as you have an AC outlet nearby to access power for your subwoofer and the WiConnect wireless receiver.

Also, the WiConnect transmitter can be used with up to four wireless WiConnect receivers, providing wireless connection of up to four subwoofers for your system (this is handy if you have a large room). The WiConnect Wireless System has a 50 foot transmission range via 2.4GHz band. The suggested price for the system, that includes one transmitter and one reciever, is $199.00. Manufacturer's Site. Photo (c) Robert Silva

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Velodyne WiConnect Wireless Subwoofer Connection System - Product of the Week originally appeared on About.com Home Theater on Friday, February 24th, 2012 at 08:00:12.

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Velodyne WiConnect Wireless Subwoofer Connection System - Product of the Week
Fri, 24 Feb 2012 08:00:12 GMT

Bang & Olufsen’s 65 Inch Ultra-Slim 3D Plasma Comes to the US

 

The BeoVision 12-65 isn't cheap, but it sure is pretty looking. Bang & Olufsen aren't what you'd call a bargain brand. You won't find their TVs at Best Buy or Walmart, and unless you're making a really...

Bang & Olufsen's 65 Inch Ultra-Slim 3D Plasma Comes to the US
Fri, 24 Feb 2012 18:00:00 GMT

Comcast Will Launch Xfinity Streampix to Compete with Other Streaming Services

 

It's a $4.99 monthly charge, but it's only for Comcast customers, so add that on top of your current monthly charges. Comcast has announced they'll be launching a streaming service known as Xfinity Streampix...

Comcast Will Launch Xfinity Streampix to Compete with Other Streaming Services
Thu, 23 Feb 2012 22:00:00 GMT

How to Make Hibernation Work Better on Your PC

 

Many of us hibernate our PCs instead of turning them off. This provides a quick way to restart while using less power than the "Sleep" mode. This is particularly useful in laptops.
Most people just accept hibernation as a it comes when in reality it is actually configurable. In this article our Tips Editor Vic Laurie shown you some tricks to allow you to take control and make hibernation work better.
http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/how-make-hibernation-work-better-your-pc.htm

How to Make Hibernation Work Better on Your PC
Fri, 24 Feb 2012 07:12:58 GMT

Feb 23, 2012

Humanware releases new Victor Reader Stream software and firmware

 

Humanware recently released new versions of the Victor Reader Stream firmware and the Humanware Companion software.

Victor Reader Stream users can get version 3.4.6 of the Stream software, and 3.5.6 of the Stream Companion program, using the Check for Update feature of the Companion. The upgrade provides navigational enhancements in DAISY and text books and improvements in handling Russian documents.

Software Support page: http://visit.humanware.com/e/3332/tream-software/sct19/375428668 

Note: Instead of downloading software from this page you can use the HumanWare Companion version 3.4 or later to update both your Companion or Stream. To learn more, listen or watch Audio/Video on How to Install and Use HumanWare Companion.

To be informed on future software releases and other Stream news please Register to Stream News Wire

The update software download is in a zip file which Windows will unzip. You do not need special unzip software.

For a complete list of the new features and installation instructions please read the Release Notes.

You can also review the Release Notes for prior versions (Previous Release Notes). You can also download the previous software version

KeySoft 8.1 Now Available

 

For the dedicated mPower users who's BrailleNotes are currently meeting their daily needs, Humanware is pleased to announce KeySoft version 8.1 for the BrailleNote and VoiceNote mPower. Version 8.1 offers the capability to work with the portable document format (PDF) that has become a standard in today's electronic communications. To learn more about accessing PDF files using the BrailleNote MPower, and other features, visit our web page at: KeySoft 8.1 download page. By simplifying the way documents are handled, and adding additional support in the Word processor and Book Reader, KeySoft 8.1 helps increase productivity at work, school, or leisure.

Source: Braille Note & KeySoft

Free Seminars On Summer Social Skills Training For Children With Disabilities

 

Summer can be a very difficult time for children with Asperger's Syndrome, High Functioning Autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, anxiety and other conditions, many of whom cannot participate in typical summer programs or camps because of poor social skills.

Free Seminars On Summer Social Skills Training For Children With Disabilities
Thu, 23 Feb 2012 03:52:56 GMT

Tongue Drives Wheelchair

 

Some who suffer from spinal cord injuries are able to control their wheelchairs with joysticks because they still have use their hands.

Tongue Drives Wheelchair
Wed, 22 Feb 2012 18:29:21 GMT

iHealth: blood pressure and weight monitoring system for iPhone, iTouch and iPad

 



Courtesy of Google Images

Because of apps, iOS devices like iPhones and iPads can become virtually anything we need them to be; from color identifiers to detailed maps, iOS devices have many uses. Blood pressure cuff and monitoring system can now be added to that list.

For the first time ever, you can use your iPhone, iTouch or iPad to test, track, graph and share your blood pressure results. iHealth measures both systolic (the blood pressure when the heart is contracting) and diastolic (when the heart is relaxed) blood pressure, as well as heart rate, pulse and measurement time.
The system allows for previous results to be stored and tracked for reference. This way, you can monitor your blood pressure from the comfort of your own home and save a trip to the doctor’s office.

The iHealth system includes a dock and a blood pressure cuff, connect cable and user guide. The cuffs come in two sizes: standard and large. When purchased together, the system is $99. The dock itself acts as a charging station and will not the drain the battery of your phone or iPad. The battery in the dock lasts for up to a month or 100 tests.

In addition to the blood pressure cuff and monitoring system, the iHealth system also offers a digital scale that works in conjunction with the iHealth Digital Scale app, which is available free at the App Store. This system allows you to easily record and track daily weight measurements on any mobile device with wireless Bluetooth connection, even when you’re on the move.

Much like the blood pressure system, the scale makes it easy to track and manage your progress over time and even set target goals using the Milestone feature. The app makes it easy to transfer data and email personal data to healthcare providers.

The iHealth app is great because you can visualize, track, manage and share the results of your tests quickly and efficiently. You can see your testing in progress, track blood pressure changes (or weight changes) via graphs and summarize statistics by time and date. The management feature allows you to compare graphs and average calculations.

Because there is no need to venture to the doctor’s office with this app, iHealth is great for those with mobility issues and even visually impaired users because of the built in accessibility of the iPhone, iPad and iTouch.

Check out this video that describes how to use the blood pressure monitoring system: iHealth Demo.

 

iHealth: blood pressure and weight monitoring system for iPhone, iTouch and iPad
Anne
Thu, 23 Feb 2012 15:03:34 GMT

Now There's Help for Parents Who Can’t Get Their ADHD Child Motivated

 

Many parents of teens and young adults with ADHD have given up trying to motivate their child to take action. Interventions such as ADHD coaching have been proven to work but require the cooperation of the student. Edge Foundation has coaches available to work with parents through this challenging time to provide the support and guidance that they need.

(PRWeb February 23, 2012)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/2/prweb9220870.htm

Now There's Help for Parents Who Can’t Get Their ADHD Child Motivated
Thu, 23 Feb 2012 14:50:05 GMT

Get Eye Exams During Low Vision Awareness Month, Chicago Disability Claims Lawyer Says

 

People with vision loss could be entitled to monthly Social Security benefits, according to Illinois disability claims attorney Lawrence Disparti of the Disparti Law Group, P.A.

(PRWeb February 23, 2012)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/chicago-disability-lawyer/blindness-prevention/prweb9221450.htm

Get Eye Exams During Low Vision Awareness Month, Chicago Disability Claims Lawyer Says
Thu, 23 Feb 2012 10:13:15 GMT

Diabetic Educators Urge Everyone to ‘Take the Test’ on March 27th for Diabetes Alert Day

 

The American Diabetes Association has announced March 27, 2012 as Alert Day. It is a one-day "wake-up call” asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. In addition to making a commitment to regular physical activity, diabetic educators, podiatrists and other foot care experts caution diabetics to become knowledgeable about foot care when exercising.

(PRWeb February 23, 2012)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/2/prweb9217356.htm

Diabetic Educators Urge Everyone to ‘Take the Test’ on March 27th for Diabetes Alert Day
Thu, 23 Feb 2012 08:11:04 GMT

Rock Your Firefox: Lazarus = Lifesaver

 

Recover lost email text, blog posts, comments and other web forms instantly and securely.

Take the Lazarus add-on for a brief spin, and you’ll be of two minds: Thrilled that it exists and frustrated that you didn’t know about it earlier.

It’s a powerless feeling when a system timeout, accidental page refresh or some such hiccup delivers an epic email, comment or blog post into the void. And it’s a tedious exercise to fill in duplicate forms across different web pages or recall naming conventions for a multitude of saved files. Forum moderators, content managers, social network junkies and online shoppers have all suffered these frustrations, but until now there hasn’t been a truly secure and manageable form-recovery application.Just right click to restore a form

With Lazarus installed, whatever you type is being stored, sorted and immediately accessible.

Here’s how it works: Say you’ve been writing text in a web form or comment box and you lose it. Instead of “losing it” in another sense, just right-click inside the form.

Not only has Lazarus been saving the text as you type, it has stored your forms from the past several months, based on your preferences. Restore the lost text, and you’re back on track.

The Lazarus ankh icon at the bottom-right of your browser pulls up a status bar with links and options. Here you can adjust general settings and delete unwanted forms.

Lazarus security features allow you to determine how long your information is saved, set form-restoring passwords and disable text search options (another great feature, allowing you to search for missing text when you can’t recall the original form). Lazarus also encrypts your information so no one else can access or view it.

Lazarus is a lifesaver after accidental page refreshes and closes, but it also scores during data entry tasks: entering the same text across multiple forms (like credit card billing info), sending duplicate emails to alternate addresses or accessing your written content across different pages, like if you maintain several blogs or forums.

You don’t truly miss something until it’s gone. With Lazarus installed on your Firefox, you won’t have to learn that lesson the hard way.


Get It Now

Lazarus: Form Recovery has been tested and approved by Mozilla. learn more

Developed by The Interclue Team

Visit this Add-on's Home Page


Brandon Barker wrote this post

Rock Your Firefox: Lazarus = Lifesaver
bbrandonbarker
Thu, 23 Feb 2012 16:54:51 GMT

Apple Safari 5.1.2 for Windows

 

A Reading List, along with moderate increases in speed and standards support make this a good browser choice, but Chrome still leads the pack by those measures.

Apple Safari 5.1.2 for Windows
Thu, 23 Feb 2012 15:53:51 GMT

Chrome to support Do Not Track privacy feature

 

Google found Do Not Track "interesting" but too vague, but now says the technology for blocking behavioral ad targeting is mature enough to use.

Chrome to support Do Not Track privacy feature
Thu, 23 Feb 2012 08:29:00 GMT

Storify Comes To The iPad

 

Storify Comes To The iPad

Storify by Storify icon

Storify (Free) by Storify is a social media app based on the popular website of the same name that lets you sit in the reporter seat. Instead of consuming stories, you can write and publish them with a few simple steps.

Storify by Storify screenshot

Upon opening the app for the first time, users will be asked to sign in to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Once the accounts have been authorized, the creation process can begin.

Users can select tweets from their own account, or search for general posts. For example, if you want to create a story about iPad news, type it into the Twitter search engine and see what comes up. Tap and drag tweets right onto the page and watch the story develop. In addition to quoted tweets, users can add Twitter images by dragging and dropping them.

On Facebook, users can only add images from their “Photos of You” album, which is really useless. Especially considering most people exchange news information through Facebook. From the developers’ own Facebook page they are working on a way to allow users to do more. But for now, that’s all you can do.

Don’t let the lack of Facebook stop the creative inspiration. From Instagram, users can upload their own personal pictures, their friends photos, or search from Instagram’s entire collection of images.

YouTube and Flickr don’t need account verification. Users can add images and videos from searches on both social media sites with no effort at all. Unfortunately, if you were hoping to create a photomontage from your own Flickr account, you may have trouble finding it through the app.

To round out the final draft, add stories from Internet sources for additional reading. Just type the key words into the search engine and see what comes up. One problem with the Web browser is that whenever you leave it, it forces you to restart the search.

Once the story is complete, publish it to Storify.com. After it is published, it can be sent to Facebook and Twitter and quoted tweeters can be notified of your creation.

This app needs a bit of polishing, but it is well designed and a decent first attempt. I’d like to see the option to access personal YouTube and Flickr accounts, and more Facebook features. Also, the browser should not revert back to the Google Search every time, but other than that, it is great. Download it for free in the App Store and start your own social reporting today.

Storify Comes To The iPad is a story by AppAdvice.com

AppAdvice - iPhone, iPad, iPod, App Reviews + News

 

Storify Comes To The iPad
Lory Gil
Thu, 23 Feb 2012 14:20:18 GMT

Updated AppGuide: Best iPad Task Management Apps

 

Updated AppGuide: Best iPad Task Management Apps

Task Management is such an essential part of everyday life that Apple included its own version– Reminders– in iOS 5.  Although Reminders has its strengths, there are many other apps available in the appstore to help you manage your tasks more effectively and completely.  However, finding the app with the right price, feature set, and syncing options can be a challenge.  For this AppGuide, we’ve investigated apps designed specifically as task or to-do list managers to find the most feature-rich yet straight-forward apps available for the iPad, so that you can get an app you will actually use– because that’s the whole point of a task manager, after all!

Best iPad Task Management Apps

Updated AppGuide: Best iPad Task Management Apps is a story by AppAdvice.com

AppAdvice - iPhone, iPad, iPod, App Reviews + News

 

Updated AppGuide: Best iPad Task Management Apps
Elizabeth Woodard
Thu, 23 Feb 2012 13:24:39 GMT

Apple Confirms Plans To Build Oregon Data Center

 

Apple Confirms Plans To Build Oregon Data Center

While officials in Prinevlle, Ore. worked hard to convince Apple to build a data center in the town, they also had help from a little company called Facebook.

Yesterday Apple confirmed plans to build a data center in the town after purchasing a 160-acre plot of land from Crook County for a cool $5.6 million.

And, in an interview with a local TV station, Crook County Judge Mike McCabe said that Facebook, who has a data center near the purchased property, helped lobby Apple:

“Facebook kind of helped recruit (Apple), saying, ‘You’ve got to come up and look at this community.’”

Speaking to the TV station, Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet was only able to confirm the company purchased land for a data center.

The announcement comes after legislation passed by both the Oregon House and Senate that assures data centers in enterprise zones would not be assessed state property taxes.

When the Oregon data center is complete, it will join Apple’s data center (pictured above) in Maiden, North Carolina. That center went live in mid-2011 and currently supports services like iCloud, which is currently used by more than 100 million users on the iPhone, iPad and Mac.

The North Carolina center is also notable because of the green technology used in the building. According to Apple, the center has earned coveted LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council and uses the largest end-user owned solar array in the country. Also in the works are plans to build the largest non-utility fuel cell installation in the United States.

With iCloud playing a larger part in the next version of OS X, Mountain Lion, and possibly in the mythical Apple TV/iTV that is rumored to be introduced in 2012, the new data center may be Apple’s continuing way of saying that the future is in the cloud, and the data centers that power it.

Apple Confirms Plans To Build Oregon Data Center is a story by AppAdvice.com

AppAdvice - iPhone, iPad, iPod, App Reviews + News

 

Apple Confirms Plans To Build Oregon Data Center
Brent Dirks
Thu, 23 Feb 2012 00:10:45 GMT

FCC Pushes ISPs to Fight Botnets, Other Cyber-Security Threats - PC Magazine

 


Washington Times

FCC Pushes ISPs to Fight Botnets, Other Cyber-Security Threats
PC Magazine
By Chloe Albanesius From data leaks and DDoS attacks to website takedowns and mobile malware, cyber-security issues have been making plenty of headlines lately. Whether it's Anonymous or a sneaky app, there are endless ways to lose control of your ...
FCC Asks Internet Providers to Strengthen Network SecurityBusinessWeek
FCC Chairman Calls on ISPs to Adopt New Security MeasuresPCWorld
FCC chairman calls on ISPs to help fight cyber attacksCNET (blog)
ZDNet (blog)
all 49 news articles »

FCC Pushes ISPs to Fight Botnets, Other Cyber-Security Threats - PC Magazine
Wed, 22 Feb 2012 22:11:44 GMT

Top 10 Productivity iPhone Apps

 

Top 10 Productivity iPhone Apps

Mobile productivity is on the rise and mobile phones are starting to turn into mobile offices. Productivity apps keep getting better and making our lives easier. For example, I have a remote morning meeting that I have to attend every day; sometimes I can’t get on my computer to attend it, so I use the [...]

by Craighton Miller for LockerGnome.

Top 10 Productivity iPhone Apps
Craighton Miller
Wed, 22 Feb 2012 22:47:02 GMT

Foxconn and Apple Respond to ABC Report

 

Bill Weir at Foxconn NIGHTLINE (image courtesy of ABC News Nightline)

Although it didn’t unearth any atrocities in the factories of Foxconn – the Chinese company that manufactures goods for several electronic giants, including AppleABC’s recent report did raise a lot of questions about the conditions there.

The report suggested that many workers complain they’re underpaid, while others work very long hours. Now, Foxconn, Apple and the Fair Labor Association have responded to the report, shedding new light on some important details about the working conditions at Foxconn.

Responding to one worker’s claim that she etches logos into 6,000 iPads during one shift, Apple claims this is not possible. “In manufacturing parlance this is called deburring. Her line processes 3,000 units per shift, with two shifts per day for a total of 6,000. A single operator at Ms. Zhou’s station would deburr 3,000 iPads in a shift,” Apple told ABC, adding that Zhou Xiao Ying probably misunderstood the question.

Auret van Heerden, president and CEO of the Fair Labor Association, wanted to clarify its five-year talks with Apple, mentioned in the report.

“The discussions began in April 2007 but stalled in March 2008. We then resumed them in April 2009 and decided to do a small pilot survey so that Apple could get an idea of how our tools might add value to their program. That pilot led to a second activity that I believe contributed to the decision to join the FLA at the end of 2011,” he said.

Apple is the first technology company to join the FLA, and it did so mere days before the New York Times published several articles that look into Apple’s labor practices. Van Heerden says this could be a mere coincidence.

“I, of course, cannot speak for Apple but I do believe that the decision to join was probably taken some months before (and therefore well before) the New York Times articles,” said van Heerden.

Finally, Foxconn claims the starting salary for employees is not as low as the report suggested.

“We have over 75% of the employees in the category of earning at least 2,200 RMB ($349/month) basic compensation standard. That means they are earning 13.75 RMB ($2.18) per hour. If they work overtime on the weekend, they will earn 27 RMB ($4.28) per hour. In order to reach 3500 to be taxable, they will have to work 47 OT hours to reach 3,500,” said Foxconn, adding that ABC’s claims are only true when applied to “entry-level workers.”

What do you think: Do these details change the overall picture of the working conditions and pay at Foxconn factories? If you trust these corrections to be accurate, do you feel the working conditions at Foxconn are poor, acceptable or good? Share your opinions in the comments.


The slideshow below shares some of the staggering facts revealed in ABC’s report.
1. Hourly Wages

Foxconn workers get paid $1.78 an hour.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: apple, Fair Labor Association, Foxconn

 

Foxconn and Apple Respond to ABC Report
Stan Schroeder
Thu, 23 Feb 2012 15:33:34 GMT

10 Free Android Apps You’ll Use Every Day

 

1. Alarm Clock Plus

You can start every morning with this alarm clock app. If waking up is tough for you, this app lets you set several alarms, each with its own ring tone.

Are you the type that sub-consciously turns your alarm off in your sleep? There's a math feature that makes you solve a simple equation to dismiss it. This way, you know when it's really time to get out of bed.

For $.99 more, you can also get the app with no ads.

Click here to view this gallery.

From the moment you wake up in the morning to the second you close your eyes at night, your smartphone is probably the first and last thing you touch. Mobile tech helps you stay organized, productive and entertained.

Because Android works seamlessly with Google products, you already have Gmail, Google Reader, Google Maps and your calendar installed when you activate the device. These services are great for managing your daily routine, and there are a number of apps you can grab to supplement them.

SEE ALSO: Did You Get a New Android Phone? Do These 5 Things Immediately

Here are ten free Android apps that will make your life easier. You can download them from your phone or through the Android Market on the web.


10 Free Android Apps You’ll Use Every Day
Christine Erickson
Thu, 23 Feb 2012 04:56:34 GMT

How to Use Google+ Better

 

How to Use Google+ Better

Are you a Google+ user? If so, you’re likely fairly new to Google’s latest attempt at a social network — or at least comparatively new to the beta users who joined Google+ when it first launched in June, 2011. Many of these early adopters have now had a chance to explore Google+ and discover the [...]

by Kelly Clay for LockerGnome.

How to Use Google+ Better
Kelly Clay
Wed, 22 Feb 2012 19:56:56 GMT

6 great smartphones that won’t cost you one single penny

 

Smartphones are here to stay, and it's no surprise why. They connect us to Facebook, help us find directions to the office, take pictures, and can even let us connect our laptops to the internet from the side of the road. But they're just so darned expensive... or so you think.

6 great smartphones that won’t cost you one single penny
Wed, 22 Feb 2012 17:20:16 GMT

Adobe lays out the future for Flash: a platform for the next 5-10 years

 

Adobe has published its roadmap for its Flash browser plugin and its AIR desktop application counterpart. More releases, more features, and more performance, are all planned, but on fewer platforms: Adobe is giving up entirely on supporting smartphone browsers, sticking to the core desktop platforms for its plugin—and with a big question mark when it comes to Windows 8.

The company sees Flash as having two main markets that will resist the onslaught of HTML5: game development, and premium (read: encrypted) video. To that end, the features it has planned for future updates focus on making Flash faster, with greater hardware acceleration and improved script performance, and more application-like, with keyboard input in full-screen applications, and support for middle- and right-mouse buttons.

Read the rest of this article...

 

Adobe lays out the future for Flash: a platform for the next 5-10 years
peter.bright@arstechnica.com (Peter Bright)
Thu, 23 Feb 2012 03:55:50 GMT

Implantable device propels itself through bloodstream

 

An artist's rendering of the chip, driven by magnetic currents, in an artery.

(Credit: StrongBox3d,Carlos Suarez)

As implantable medical devices become smaller and less power hungry, they are taking on a variety of new roles. What began as largely stationary objects, such as pacemakers and cochlear implants, are becoming small enough to actually pass through our bodies (i.e. in the form of pills) to deliver drugs and perform diagnostics.

Now, a new class of medical devices is emerging that adds a twist to the traditional implant: the devices are so small that they can travel through our bloodstream, not to mention are powered wirelessly via electromagnetic radio waves, according to Stanford electrical engineer Ada Poon.

By moving through the bloodstream, these tiny implants will be able to perform minor surgeries such as removing blood clots, Poon told an audience at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week.

Related stories

Implantable device propels itself through bloodstream
Elizabeth Armstrong Moore
Wed, 22 Feb 2012 23:20:08 GMT

11 ways to make Gmail smarter

 

Gmail comes packed with plenty of smart, sleek features, and smart users are discovering (or building) new ones every day. Here are some of our favorites:

Use keyboard shortcuts. Once you start using shortcuts to access commonly used Gmail tasks, you'll find them hard to give up. Ed Rhee covers some of the most useful ones, and includes a bonus shortcut that lets you add hypertext links to your messages.

Add hypertext to Gmail.

(Credit: Screenshot by Ed Rhee)

Sign in to multiple accounts simultaneously. Many users need more than one account. Maybe it's for work, maybe it's for juggling separate boy- or girlfriends, but it can be hard to remember which account you're using. This post lays out exactly how to keep multiple Gmail accounts open simultaneously on the same machine.

Access Gmail offline. Webmail has had one significant disadvantage over the years: limited offline access. Google rolled out full offline access for Gmail last year, though it's limited to the Chrome browser. Sharon Vaknin wrote a great guide ... [Read more]

11 ways to make Gmail smarter
Rob Lightner
Wed, 22 Feb 2012 23:43:12 GMT

How to track your tax refund from your iPhone, Android

 

It's that time of year again: tax season. For many of us, the constant visits to the IRS Where's My Refund site are in full swing, checking to see when our refund is going to be deposited into our bank account.

Early last year the IRS released a mobile app, allowing people to track their refund status while on the go.

(Credit: Screenshot by Jason Cipriani)

From the mobile app users can track the status of their refund, view videos on the IRS YouTube channel, request old tax records, and contact the IRS directly with any questions.

(Credit: Screenshot by Jason Cipriani)

To track the status of your refund, you will need to provide your social security number, filing status, and exact refund amount.

After entering the required information, and as long as the IRS has had enough time to process your return, you should then see your estimated deposit date. If there are issues with the information you provided, the app will walk you through troubleshooting.

While sitting down at a computer to track your refund may not be all that convenient, being able to track your refund wherever you are certainly is. Just don't let it become an obsession.

You can download the ... [Read more]

How to track your tax refund from your iPhone, Android
Jason Cipriani
Wed, 22 Feb 2012 21:54:45 GMT

How to remove your Google Web History

 

Do you know if Google is tracking your Web activity? If you have a Google account (for, say, Gmail) and have not specifically located and paused the Web History setting, then the search giant is keeping track of your searches and the sites you visited. This data has been separated from other Google products, but on March 1 it will be shared across all of the Google products you use when Google's new privacy policy goes into effect.

If you'd like to prevent Google from combining this potentially sensitive data with the information it has collected from your YouTube, Google+, and other Google accounts, you can remove your Web History and stop it from being recorded moving forward.

You can remove all of your Web History with the press of a button.

(Credit: Matt Elliott/CNET)

After signing into your Google account, type https://www.google.com/history into your browser. (Alternatively, you can choose Account Settings from the pull-down menu in the upper-right corner of a Google product such as Gmail, Google+, or Google.com. From the Account Settings page, scroll down to the Services header and click on the "Go to web history" link.) If your Web History is enabled, you'll see a list of recent searches and sites visited. Click the gray Remove all Web History button at the top of the page ... [Read more]

How to remove your Google Web History
Matt Elliott
Wed, 22 Feb 2012 20:32:25 GMT

Five ways to put a stop to online impulse shopping

 

(Credit: Adam Balatoni/iStockPhoto)

Without a doubt, one of the Internet's most gracious gifts is instant gratification. Its magic is everywhere--it happens when you Google a topic, post a status on Facebook, and (worst of all) purchase a product online.

For the most part, the instant gratification is beneficial, but when its crack-like qualities start taking a toll on your wallet, it may be time for an intervention.

If "Add to cart" is an all-too-familiar phrase, and you're getting a little too popular with the mailman, you might be an impulsive online shopper. That is, you don't consider your purchases thoroughly before mindlessly offering up your credit card digits.

First, admit you have a problem. And now, follow these tips:

1. Never store your credit cards on Web sites Do not make the mistake of opting-in to save your credit card information on a retailer's Web site. They offer this "For your convenience!" and "Faster check-outs!" Well, duh.

Instead, choose to enter your credit card and billing information each time you make a purchase. The extra time required to take your credit card out of your wallet and manually enter the information will add some mindfulness to the purchase process.

Take a few minutes now to remove your credit card info from your most frequented sites.

Tip: Tape a sticky note to your credit card with something like "Sleep on it." Or, check ... [Read more]

Five ways to put a stop to online impulse shopping
Sharon Vaknin
Wed, 22 Feb 2012 17:51:54 GMT

Samsung Spins Off LCD TV Division - Sees OLED Future

 

In a very interesting strategic move, Samsung has announced that it is spinning off its LCD TV division into an independent subsidiary corporation to be named "Samsung Display Company".

Although Samsung has not seen the company-wide financial woes that Sony, Panasonic, and Sharp are experiencing, downward price pressure and competition in the LCD TV market has resulted in a loss this past year for many TV makers and Samsung, even though it is the world's largest manufacturer of TVs, and has the largest Worldwide sales market share, also saw a loss in its TV division.

However, Samsung hopes to re-invigorate its TV offerings and profit margins by devoting more resources to OLED TV technology. For more details and perspective on this developing story, read the official disclosure statement form Samsung, as well as reports from Bloomberg Business Week and CNET

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Samsung Spins Off LCD TV Division - Sees OLED Future originally appeared on About.com Home Theater on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 at 14:00:04.

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Samsung Spins Off LCD TV Division - Sees OLED Future
Wed, 22 Feb 2012 14:00:04 GMT

Home Theater Term of the Week: Dynamic Compression

 

Dynamic Compression is a term applied to a feature on many Home Theater Receivers, DVD players, and some televisions that enables the consumer to change the relationship between the loudest parts of the soundtrack and the quieter parts of the soundtrack when you are playing a DVD or TV program. In other words,...read more.

For additional terms and definitions, check out my Home Theater Glossary

Follow Me On Twitter and Facebook

Home Theater Term of the Week: Dynamic Compression originally appeared on About.com Home Theater on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 at 17:00:34.

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Home Theater Term of the Week: Dynamic Compression
Wed, 22 Feb 2012 17:00:34 GMT

Updated: Best Free PDF Tools

 

Why spend money on Adobe's outrageously expensive Acrobat Suite in order to manipulate PDF files when there are freebies available that will do just about anything you want?
Whether you want to annotate PDF pages, edit pages, extract pages, append pages, merge pages or whatever there is free tool available to do it. And you can find them all here in this one huge annotated list. - Gizmo
http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/best-free-pdf-tools.htm

Updated: Best Free PDF Tools
Thu, 23 Feb 2012 07:15:03 GMT

UT researchers announce neurological breakthrough

 

University of Texas researchers say they are encouraged by the results of experiments into repairing damaged nerves in rats.

UT researchers announce neurological breakthrough
Wed, 22 Feb 2012 04:00:28 GMT

Able to Travel Hosts Accessible Travel Workshop at Abilities Expo

 

Our accessible travel program Able to Travel hosts workshop for travelers with disabilities at Abilities Expo-Atlanta. Able to Travel will be presenting at all the remaining Abilities Expo this year!

Able to Travel Hosts Accessible Travel Workshop at Abilities Expo
Administrator
Wed, 22 Feb 2012 18:31:26 GMT

Online CGI Videos Explaining Eye Disease Introduced During February for Low ... - MarketWatch (press release)

 

Online CGI Videos Explaining Eye Disease Introduced During February for Low ...
MarketWatch (press release)
The February launch is timed to help improve public understanding of eye disease in conjunction with Age-related Macular Degeneration Month and Low Vision Awareness Month. The animations were created by Eyemaginations, Inc., a healthcare media company ...
and more »

Online CGI Videos Explaining Eye Disease Introduced During February for Low ... - MarketWatch (press release)
Wed, 22 Feb 2012 13:22:24 GMT

Audio TV trial for vision impaired - The Australian

 

Audio TV trial for vision impaired
The Australian
The contract commenced in December and will run until April 27. Blind Citizens Australia today welcomed the audio description trial. "This is a major step forward for people who are blind or vision impaired", said BCA president Cheryl Pascual.
and more »

Audio TV trial for vision impaired - The Australian
Wed, 22 Feb 2012 05:20:28 GMT

Irvine autism center holding open house

 

A private autism center that offers everything from occupational therapy to appointments with a neurologist to a hair salon is inviting the public to see its new 50,000-square-foot facility during an open house Thursday.

Irvine autism center holding open house
Wed, 22 Feb 2012 15:14:19 GMT

A guide to autism support in Hampton Roads

 

Hampton Roads has a wonderful support network for families dealing with autism, but parents are often puzzled by where to look.

A guide to autism support in Hampton Roads
Tue, 21 Feb 2012 23:26:04 GMT

Las Vegas Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome Conference

 

Future Horizons, Inc. is holding a Las Vegas Autsim & Asperger's Syndrome Conference in our area on March 9, 2012.

Las Vegas Autism & Asperger's Syndrome Conference
Tue, 21 Feb 2012 22:26:04 GMT

A Mechanism To Improve Learning And Memory

 

There are a number of drugs and experimental conditions that can block cognitive function and impair learning and memory. However, scientists have recently shown that some drugs can actually improve cognitive function, which may have implications for our understanding of cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's disease...

A Mechanism To Improve Learning And Memory
Wed, 22 Feb 2012 09:00:00 GMT

SeroTalk Podcast 96: We’re A Tween

 

Listen to SeroTalk Podcast 96: We’re A Tween

Happy Tenth Birthday To Serotek!

Wikipedia entry on the origins of the song “Happy Birthday”

You asked and we delivered! Serotek makes DocuScan Plus available on a monthly installment plan.

Egypt Revisited by Mike Calvo

Apple

Apple Mac OS X ‘Mountain Lion’ takes more bites out of iOS

Apple sold more iOS devices in 2011 than it sold Macs in 28 years

Apple responds to iOS contact data sharing: ‘It’s a violation’

Apple iTunes chief accepts Steve Jobs’ Grammy

Apple to announce the iPad 3 on Wednesday, March 7?

Apple’s Android nightmare: Google’s Motorola purchase gets EU OK

Google

DOJ approves Google, Motorola Mobility merger

Google’s grand vision: what the Motorola deal means for Android

General Tech

Windows 8: Enabling accessibility

Road To CSUN

Microsoft Anti Virus blocks google.com

Norton gets personal with One

AT

Hope 1.0 is now available

ChromeVox version 1.18.0 is now available

How to Add an Attachment in Outlook with Window-Eyes

Internet Explorer 9 with Jaws and Window-Eyes textbooks $75 each.

Braille Under Siege As Blind Turn To SmartPhones

Braille is spreading but who’s using it?

Round About

new TechTalk show details online

Medical ‘miracle’ as doctors recover blind woman’s sight by putting a tooth in her eye

 

SeroTalk Podcast 96: We’re A Tween
jpauls
Tue, 21 Feb 2012 20:55:41 GMT

Dolphin release SaySo: Reading, writing AND accessible eBooks

 

Image of SaySo CD and packagingSaySo is an easy to use toolbar, offering a collection of features to empower people with dyslexia to be able to read and write with confidence.

SaySo was designed off the back of the Department for Education funded Accessible Resources Pilot Project. SaySo Product Manager Simon Kitchen explains the inspiration for Dolphin's latest release:

"Dolphin was thrilled to take a leading role in the DfE Accessible Resources Pilot Project. We saw firsthand the approaches that worked best for students with dyslexia. The result is a tool which is incredibly easy to use and provides all the essential support that a student, employee or general computer user with dyslexia needs."

To assist with reading, SaySo includes human sounding voices to read back documents, emails and web pages. As well as reading back text, SaySo also provides options to save text as MP3 to listen to on a smartphone or MP3 player, and scan in paper documents to have them read back.

In addition to the support offered for reading on a computer, SaySo also has a few approaches to supporting people with dyslexia with their writing, as Simon explains:

Image of quotation marksSpelling can be a real headache, and a simple spell checker often fails to help people with dyslexia. SaySo can help in a number of ways. Firstly, by reading back every word that is typed, SaySo allows you to hear if you've made a mistake and instantly check it. But what happens if you have spelt the word how it sounds? Take the word 'knowledge'. If you spell this word phonetically ('nolij'), a traditional spell checker might not make an appropriate suggestion. SaySo's spell checking also offers suggestions based on phonetic spelling. Further to this, if this or any spelling error is a mistake you make frequently, you can even add it to your personal list of AutoCorrects so that the error instantly corrects itself next time around."

As well as the spelling options outlined above, SaySo also checks documents for homophones, or tricky "Soundalike" words. These are words which are spelt correctly, sound the same as other words but mean completely different things. To help users pick the correct word, all suggested words have simple dictionary definitions next to them.

Image of quotation marksThe reading and writing support that SaySo offers enables users to become much more confident and productive, whether in a classroom, at work, or at home. SaySo empowers users to focus on learning and living, and not get tripped over by processing words and untangling spellings."

Access to eBooks through SaySo

The Accessible Resources Pilot Project demonstrated that the combination of reading and writing support and the provision of accessible learning materials improved reading levels in 56% of cases and writing levels in 70% of cases. However, these fantastic results cannot be realised without access to relevant reading and learning materials.

Identifying this requirement, SaySo also includes its own Bookshelf, enabling users to search for, download and instantly read accessible eBooks.

Image of quotation marksIt's all well and good providing talking software for people with dyslexia, but none of this matters if users cannot find and read the books they want to read. It's like giving someone a car, but not making any roads to drive on. Using SaySo, a dyslexic student can listen to, read and learn from the same book alongside everyone else in the class. This is a remarkable step forward."

A free 30-day trial, along with additional information about SaySo is available on the Dolphin website www.YourDolphin.com.SaySo .

SaySo is also included as part of Dolphin's "My Accessible School". Launched at the BETT show in January earlier this year, My Accessible School is a new proven approach to raising student achievement, focusing on learners with dyslexia. As well as providing SaySo for students to use at school, My Accessible School provides students with access to SaySo @ home, and provides teachers with the tools and training needed to quickly create their own accessible learning materials. To find out more, visit www.YourDolphin.com/MyAccessibleSchool.

Related links:

Dolphin release SaySo: Reading, writing AND accessible eBooks
Wed, 22 Feb 2012 11:33:36 GMT

Feb 22, 2012

Independent Living Products from Maxi-Aids for the Blind, Deaf and Physically Challenged Now Offered by Rehabmart.com

 

The products they offer are specifically designed for independent living assistance for people who are blind or suffer with low vision, for people who are deaf or suffer with hearing loss, and for people who are disabled or physically challenged in various ways.

(PRWeb February 22, 2012)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/independent_living/talking_watch/prweb9215715.htm

Independent Living Products from Maxi-Aids for the Blind, Deaf and Physically Challenged Now Offered by Rehabmart.com
Wed, 22 Feb 2012 08:21:44 GMT

DrawBraille handset concept

 

We do know that there has been advances made to accommodate the blind when it comes to the world of smartphones, but those efforts are simply inadequate when you talk about it being implemented across a large scale. Here is a concept that we would love to see turn into reality – the ultimate Braille phone, known as the DrawBraille. This particular concept design places a heavy emphasis and focus on letting the visually impaired use a phone as though it was second nature to them. This is made possible because the whole user interface as well as input keys are in Braille, and to streamline things further, the touch panel also reflects a similar system. It goes without saying that while the blind do not really need a drop dead gorgeous handset, it is still nice to see designer Shikun Sun go all the way with his effort on this concept to make it look delicious enough for a normal person to pick this up – heck, it can even be a catalyst to pick up Braille for some of us who identify with the language!

By Ubergizmo. Related articles: Eating pizza had never been this neat, Medical future looks bright with new concept,

 

DrawBraille handset concept
Edwin Kee
Tue, 21 Feb 2012 13:26:31 GMT

MobilityWorks Expands to Twenty Locations in Twelve States with the Acquisition of Handicapped Driver Services (HDS Vans & Mobility)

 

North America’s largest mobility van provider adds southeast showroom locations displaying wheelchair vans in Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee

(PRWeb February 22, 2012)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/2/prweb9216132.htm

MobilityWorks Expands to Twenty Locations in Twelve States with the Acquisition of Handicapped Driver Services (HDS Vans & Mobility)
Wed, 22 Feb 2012 13:17:35 GMT

Now your tongue can secretly operate a computer, wheelchair

 

The iPhone-friendly Tongue Drive System employs a retainer embedded with sensors that track a tiny magnet attached to the user's tongue. [Read more]

Now your tongue can secretly operate a computer, wheelchair
Elizabeth Armstrong Moore
Tue, 21 Feb 2012 23:50:49 GMT

Google and Adobe team up to make Flash Player for Linux

 

Google and Adobe team up to make Flash Player for LinuxLinux may no longer be getting any more fresh Air, but it's going to get a heaping helping of Flash thanks to a partnership between Adobe and Google. You see, Adobe's been developing a new browser API for Flash, code-named "Pepper," which can provide Flash Player 11.2 in Chrome on any x86/64 platform -- including Linux. From now on, Linux users will get new versions of Flash directly through the Pepper API in Chrome (as opposed to a download from Adobe), but Adobe promises to provide security updates for five years after its release. Don't believe us? Get the good news direct from Adobe at the source below.

Google and Adobe team up to make Flash Player for Linux originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 22 Feb 2012 12:19:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Google and Adobe team up to make Flash Player for Linux
Michael Gorman
Wed, 22 Feb 2012 16:19:00 GMT

Today’s Top Stories: Google Glasses, EU and ACTA, Samsung Galaxy S II

 

Social Media News

Welcome to this morning’s edition of “First To Know,” a series in which we keep you in the know on what’s happening in the digital world. Today, we’re looking at three particularly interesting stories.

Google’s Heads-Up Display Glasses

Google plans to launch glasses with a tiny heads-up display that will stream real-time information about the surroundings into the wearer’s field of vision, the New York Times reports. The glasses will cost approximately as much as a typical smartphone, and we could see them on the market by the end of 2012.

EU Court to Rule on ACTA

The European Commission has asked the European Court of Justice to rule on the controversial anti-piracy agreement ACTA, the BBC reports. Though the agreement has already been signed by the U.S., UK, Japan and several EU countries, Germany, Denmark and Bulgaria have postponed the signing, fearing the document might be detrimental for their citizens.

The European Commission said it “decided today to ask the European Court of Justice for a legal opinion to clarify that the ACTA agreement and its implementation must be fully compatible with freedom of expression and freedom of the Internet.”

Samsung Galaxy S II Coming to US Cellular

Samsung’s flagship Android smartphone, the Galaxy S II, will be coming to US Cellular “soon” for a price of $239 on a two-year contract and after a $100 mail-in rebate. The 4.5-inch device sports a 1.2 GHz dual-core CPU, an 8-megapixel shooter and 16 GB of storage.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, DNY59

More About: ACTA, eu, first to know series, Galaxy S II, Google, Google glasses, samsung

For more Mobile coverage:

Today’s Top Stories: Google Glasses, EU and ACTA, Samsung Galaxy S II
Stan Schroeder
Wed, 22 Feb 2012 13:55:51 GMT

Google Sued Over Safari Privacy Debacle [Google]

 

Click here to read Google Sued Over Safari Privacy Debacle

Last week, it came out that Google has been bypassing privacy settings in Safari, and installing cookies to track the browsing habits of millions of users who didn't know about the tracking. Now Google is being sued and could be on the hook for millions. More »

 

Google Sued Over Safari Privacy Debacle [Google]
Mario Aguilar
Tue, 21 Feb 2012 17:57:32 GMT

Google+ iOS app updated with Instant Upload

 

Google updated its Google+ app for iOS-based devices. The main new thing is Instant Upload, which once enabled will automatically upload all your photos and videos to a private album on Google+ from where you can easily share them with your circles, or the world.

 

Google+ iOS app updated with Instant Upload
Tue, 21 Feb 2012 15:11:20 GMT

Microsoft Files EU Antitrust Claim Against Motorola Mobility

 

Microsoft Corp. filed a complaint with European Union antitrust regulators saying Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. is attempting to block sales of personal computers and game consoles that run its software.

Microsoft Files EU Antitrust Claim Against Motorola Mobility
Wed, 22 Feb 2012 15:09:03 GMT

Google, Microsoft butt heads over IE privacy skirting

 

Google has countered Microsoft's contention that it's skirting Internet Explorer's privacy protection, saying it's 'impractical' to comply with IE's rules.

Google, Microsoft butt heads over IE privacy skirting
gkeizer@computerworld.com (Gregg Keizer)
Tue, 21 Feb 2012 19:34:00 GMT

Microsoft says Office for iPad story is based on 'inaccurate rumors and speculation' (updated)

 

The Daily got a lot of folks hopes up earlier today with a rumor that Office would soon be making an appearance on the iPad, but Microsoft is now throwing a bit of cold water on that news. While it's not exactly an outright denial that such an app is coming, a Microsoft spokesperson has now told The New York Times' Bits website that "The Daily story is based on inaccurate rumors and speculation," adding only that it has "no further comment" at this time. ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, however, is further reporting that Microsoft is specifically saying that the screenshot accompanying The Daily's story is not a real picture of a Microsoft product.
Update: For its part, The Daily is standing by its story. Editor Peter Ha posted a reply to Foley on Twitter, stating that "we did not fabricate either image. A working version of the app was demoed to us by someone at Microsoft."
Update 2: Microsoft has chimed in yet again on the matter, this time in the form of a tweet that reads: "Great respect for The Daily but regrettably someone is giving them bad info, and that'll be clear in the 'coming weeks.'" Yes, they put "coming weeks" in quotes themselves.

Microsoft says Office for iPad story is based on 'inaccurate rumors and speculation' (updated) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 21 Feb 2012 14:45:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Microsoft says Office for iPad story is based on 'inaccurate rumors and speculation' (updated)
Donald Melanson
Tue, 21 Feb 2012 18:45:00 GMT

LibreOffice Productivity Suite 3.5.0 review

 

There aren’t many things in life that you can say are completely free. In the case of free software, you often find that you must make some sort of compromise, whether it be putting up with a limited version of a commercial application, enduring advertisements, or simply having to work with something that is less than impressive in terms of standards. Almost every computer user has need for an office suite, or at least some component of it, at some point, if not every day of their lives.

Microsoft Office may be the most widely-installed suite, but for the average user it is expensive and unless a copy came pre-installed on your computer, you may not feel inclined to part with that amount of money. This explains the increased interest in free alternatives, and one such suite is LibreOffice Productivity Suite, which has just hit the milestone release number of 3.5.0.

It is fair to say that an office suite is not the most exciting piece of software anyone is going to install, but it is something vital to so many people and it is important that it does its job well. One of the reasons Microsoft Office is so popular: It's feature-packed and caters to almost any requirements you may have. When you start to look at free alternatives, you’ll often find that quality starts to slip and important features get dropped.

These are not charges that can be leveled at LibreOffice, which is just about as riddled with features as you could possibly hope. Should you be unfamiliar with the suite, this particular set of office programs comprises a word processor, spreadsheet, drawing tool, presentation application, a database and an equation editor.

Fully-loaded Suite

It is impressive to see that a database tool has been included, and while this is not something that everyone will need no corners have been cut. For many people, the cornerstone of any office suite is the word processor, and LibreOffice’s offering is suitably adorned with everything you would expect. On-the-fly spell checking has become a fairly standard feature of modern word processors and while grammar checking is sometimes available, it is often slow and unreliable. The latest version of LibreOffice  introduces a faster checker and improved handling of errors to help make it clearer what issues have been detected. Recent changes to the handling of headers and footers make these document components even easier to work with.

But an office suite is about more than the word processor, and the spreadsheet tool is just as important. Calc is an extremely competent program that is Excel compatible and now boasts support for documents that contain up to 10,000 sheets.

Elsewhere in the suite you’ll also find the presentation tool Impress, drawing and logo creation app Draw, and Math the equation and formulae editor. Each of these programs has very much the same look, so once you have spent time using any of them, you’ll immediately feel at home in any of the others.

Speedy Development

This is an office suite that has come a long way in a relatively short space of time. Breaking away from OpenOffice has led to a faster development cycle, which in turn has mean that it has been possible to address issues long causing problems for users in different ways.

Something that has long deterred serious writers from making the switch to LibreOffice was the lack of a live word count. This might seem like a minor point, but when you need to write to a word count, you want to be able to focus on getting the words down on the page rather than having to keep checking through menus to see how many more words you have left to work with. The addition of a live word count to the latest version is a small but important change, and just goes to demonstrate that such a little thing makes such as big difference, and is an excellent example of listening to the target audience.

In the past, if you wanted to keep up to date with the latest version of the suite, it meant performing a manual check online to see if anything new had been released. Arguably one of the most useful additions to the software is the update availability notifier; when a new release hits the servers, the program will let you know so you can update your program straight away.

LibreOffice does fall down slightly in terms of looks. The toolbars are a little cluttered and the design of some of the buttons a too busy, and the aforementioned live word count, while useful, has been oddly implemented so a separate window needs to be kept open to monitor a changing word count.

The way the installer works is interestingly different to other apps and recognizes the fact that making the switch from one office suite to another is a big step. On the one hand, the installer informs you that it could be used as the default handler for Word, Excel and PowerPoint document -- but importantly, does not steal file associations by default -- and also points out the fact that if you are only trying out the suite you might want to leave this option disabled. This is a small touch, but it irons out an annoyance that has plagued too many other programs in the past.

Cross-platform Compatibility

A big plus point for LibreOffice: it is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Cost-conscious computer users may have opted to go down the Linux route to save money on hardware and software, and this suite is available for users of this operating system. But if you are working in a multi-platform office environment, or want a reliable way to collaborate on projects with people using different systems, this is a great way of ensuring a level playing field on which everyone has access to the same tools and options and does not have to worry about incompatibility issues.

Overall, this is an office suite that comes highly recommended. The decision to break away from the main OpenOffice product has led to a faster development cycle and this has resulted in the impressive product we now see before us.

Choosing an office suite is quite a personal affair, and it is not possible for one suite to cater to the needs of every user. LibreOffice Productivity Suite 3.5.0 achieves an excellent balance of everyday features that are intuitive and more powerful options that will be welcomed by businesses and power users.

Whether you are currently in the market for a new office suite or not, this is well worth taking a look at as you may just be swayed. However, it is worth noting that this release (version 3.5.0) is recommended for power users. The Document Foundation recommends that less technically minded users and businesses hold off updating for the time being.

Photo Credit: Liv friis-larsen/Shutterstock

 

LibreOffice Productivity Suite 3.5.0 review
Mark Wilson
Tue, 21 Feb 2012 17:03:45 GMT