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It would be inappropriate to prevent mobile network Everything Everywhere from providing 4G LTE technology to UK customers, according to the network’s senior adviser, Kip Meek.

According to Three, one of Everything Everywhere’s rival networks, Everything Everywhere has the biggest (43 per cent) spectrum share in the market, while Vodafone (25 per cent), O2 (22 per cent) and Three (10 per cent) are lagging behind.

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This has allowed Everything Everywhere to apply to use its existing 2G spectrum to deliver 4G services, potentially by the end of the year, while other operators have to wait until the outcome of the 4G spectrum auction, which is also set to take place at the end of 2012.

Speaking at an event in Westminster this week, Meek said that when T-Mobile and Orange merged to create Everything Everywhere, it gave up a quarter of its spectrum and it would therefore be unfair for regulator Ofcom to stop the network launching 4G LTE technology this year.

“It would not be fair for Ofcom to say 4G should not be launched in the final quarter of 2012 and instead to be launched in the first quarter of 2013.

“In the interest of consumers, we are already behind globally in LTE technology and it would be inappropriate to deny customers the technology when it could be available,” he said.

The CEO of rival network Three, David Dyson, said that an early 4G launch for Everything Everywhere would give it an unfair advantage.

“If Everything Everywhere got their spectrum liberated, it would use it to its advantage. Customers would have to pay a reasonable premium for the service and it wouldn’t be a broad proposition but a niche one. This will give them marketing power,” he said.

Dyson believes that Ofcom should prevent Everything Everywhere from launching 4G before any of the other operators.

“They should not be able to use spectrum for 4G services. Ofcom should have waited until after the auction [to consider this]. A lot of spectrum should be available [to all operators] next year, which is when Everything Everywhere should be able to use 4G LTE technology,” he said.

Head of spectrum at Telefonica O2, Nicholas Blades, said O2 shared the concerns of Three but also had concerns about Three.

Blades questioned Dyson on reports that Three and Virgin Media had signed a contract to provide 4G services six months after Everything Everywhere.

Dyson said that there were on-going discussions taking place.

Earlier this month, Everything Everywhere submitted an application to Ofcom to use its existing 2G spectrum to deliver 4G services that give mobile networks a more efficient capacity at higher speeds.

At the time, Ofcom said that it had “provisionally concluded that [Everything Everywhere delivering 4G services] would not” distort competition.

However, the communications regulator has bowed to pressure from rival networks and has since extended the consultation period until 8 May 2012.

“We have decided to extend this period following requests from stakeholders for more time to respond,” it said in a statement.

via Ofcom must play fair over 4G, says Everything Everywhere – 29 Mar 2012 – Computing News.

Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4 has reportedly started rolling out to the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S devices

Published on Mar 29, 2012

The Android ICE Cream Sandwich update (version 4.0.4) is now rolling out across SIM free Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S devices in Europe.

Google announced the milestone on its own Google+ page.

The exact announcement read:

‘We’ve started rolling out Android 4.0.4, Ice Cream Sandwich, to UMTS/GSM Nexus S, Xoom Wi-Fi, and HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus devices, and we’ll be rolling it out to more devices in the coming weeks. Some of you will be receiving Ice Cream Sandwich for the first time, while others will be receiving an update to your existing Ice Cream Sandwich experience with stability improvements, better camera performance, smoother screen rotation, improved phone number recognition and more.’

Followed by a load of predictable comments asking when it will be released for other devices, including the HTC Desire HD, Xperia-branded devices, Galaxy Note and Galaxy S2 (network-branded devices).

Google declined to comment when all these other updates would be coming, but everyday we’re hearing about more devices benefiting from the update.

If you do have the Galaxy Nexus or Nexus S, it may be a good idea to check whether the update has arrived. For those with network-branded devices, you may have to wait a little longer for your network to properly test the update before rolling it out.

via Android ICS 4.0.4 rolling out to Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S? – News – Know Your Mobile.

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The computer world has a rich history of hackers who steered the progress of computer science and gave shape to computers, the internet and networking as we see it today — in some cases single-handedly.

And while yes, there are the Black Hat hackers behind internet mayhem, thievery, and chaos, there are also White Hat hackers who use their computer savvy for good. There’s also a different kind of hacker entirely: the tinkerer. They all played parts, big and small, in creating the computer world as it exists today. Here are 10 of the greatest:

Konrad Zuse

It all begins with Konrad Zuse, arguably the very first computer hacker. He may not have been a hacker in the modern sense of the word, but none of it would have been possible without him. You see, Zuse made the world’s very first fully programmable (Turing-complete as they say) computer, known as the Z3. It began, of course, as the Z1, and while it wasn’t built in a cave with a box of scraps, Zuse did build it himself in his parents’ apartment, completing it in 1938. Zuse eventually gained some backing by the German government, leading to the evolution from the Z1 to the Z3, which, complete in 1941, is considered the mother of modern computing.

John “Captain Crunch” Draper

John Draper was hacking computers long before computers were even common place. Draper’s hacking heyday was back in the early 1970s, when the largest computer network to which the general public had any access was the telephone system. At the time, telephones were managed by an automated system using specific analogue frequencies which could be exploited to make free long distance or even international calls. It was called “Phreaking”, and one of the most well-known Phreaking tools was a toy whistle that came in a box of Cap’n Crunch cereal. With this whistle, Draper created another popular Phreaking tool known as the Blue Box, a device that could produce many other tones used by the phone companies.

Steve Wozniak

A contemporary to John Draper, Wozniak was no stranger to Phreaking. In fact, after Draper shared the details of his Blue Box design during a Homebrew Computer Club meeting, Wozniak built a version of his own. Steve Jobs saw the marketing potential in the device, and the two Steves began their first joint venture together. Wozniak’s hacking days weren’t all spent on projects of questionable legality, though. With the proceeds from their blue boxes as well as selling Wozniak’s cherished HP calculator and Jobs’ VW van, Wozniak created the Apple I. With the other Steve’s marketing prowess, their company became the industry leader it is today.

Robert Tappan Morris

As a graduate student at Cornell University, Robert Morris created his claim to fame: the computer worm. According to Morris, he created the worm as an attempt to gauge the size of the internet at the time. After its release on November 2, 1988, the Morris Worm went on to infect approximately 6000 systems (about 10 per cent of the internet attached computers at the time). The worm was intended to be unobtrusive, but due to a flaw in its replication algorithm, it copied itself excessively, causing heaving system loads and ultimately leading back to Morris. In 1989, Morris became the first person indicted and later convicted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986.

Mark “Phiber Optik” Abene

Here’s a name you may not be familiar with: Mark Abene. He never hacked into the D.O.D. nor did he steal millions of dollars in some Swordfish-style bank heist. What he did do was piss off AT&T. As a member of the hacker group Masters of Destruction, Abene was often poking around on AT&T’s systems. When AT&T’s telephone system crashed, leaving 60,000 customers without phone service for over nine hours, they quickly blamed Abene. The Secret Service paid him a rather aggressive visit, confiscating his equipment, and while AT&T eventually admitted that the crash was a mistake on its part, Abene was charged with computer tampering and computer trespassing in the first degree. Later, he would face more charges and ultimately serve a year in federal prison, making him the first hacker to do so.

Kevin “Dark Dante” Poulsen

Poulsen holds claim to one of the more amusing hacks of all time. A radio contest held by KIIS-FM promised a shiny new Porsche 944 S2 to the 102nd person to call into the station. Rather than try his luck among the multitude of Los Angeles listeners, Poulsen took over all of the telephone lines to the station to ensure he’d be the 102nd caller. He eventually had to disappear once he became a fugitive of the FBI. This landed him a spot on the popular TV show Unsolved Mysteries. The show’s hotlines crashed when the episode aired. Coincidence? In 1991, Poulsen was arrested and eventually pleaded guilty to various counts of computer fraud, money laundering, and obstruction of justice. Interestingly, since his incarceration, Poulsen made a complete 180, helping in cyber crime cases, and even capturing sexual predators on MySpace.

Kevin Mitnick

Kevin Mitnick is perhaps the most famous hacker in computer history, likely due to his being the first hacker to make the FBI’s Most Wanted list. As a master of social engineering, Mitnick didn’t just hack computers; he hacked the human mind. In 1979, at the age of 16, he hacked his way into his first computer system and copied proprietary software. He would often engage with admin personnel, such as in phone calls and email messages, and trick them into giving up passwords and other security information. After a two and a half year pursuit, Mitnick was finally arrested and served five years in prison. He now runs his own computer security consultancy, Mitnick Security Consulting.

Tsutomu Shimomura

Not all hackers fall under the Black-Hat umbrella. Tsutomu Shimomura is a White-Hat hacker credited with capturing Kevin Mitnick. In 1994, Mitnick stole some of Shimomura’s personal files and distributed them online. Motivated by revenge, Shimomura came up with a trace-dialling technique to back-hack his way in to locating Mitnick. With Shimomura’s information, the FBI was able to pinpoint and arrest Mitnick.

Richard Stallman

In his early years, Stallman was a graduate student and programmer at MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Labs where he would constantly engage with MIT’s rich hacking culture. As an advocate for just about everything Open Source, Stallman fought back when MIT installed a password system in its Computer Science department. He would decrypt users’ passwords (not an easy task given the processing power of the 1970s) and send them a message with their password in plaintext, suggesting they leave the password blank in order to re-enable anonymous use. Going into the 1980′s, Stallman didn’t like the proprietary stance many manufacturers were taking on their software. This eventually led Stallman to create the GNU General Public licence and GNU operating system, a completely free Unix-like OS that is completely Unix-compatible.

Linus Torvalds

Following Stallman’s lead, Linus Torvalds is another White-Hat hacker. His hacking days began with an old Commodore VIC-20 and eventually a Sinclair QL, both of which he modified considerably. On the QL in particular, he programmed his own Text Editor and even a Pac-Man clone he dubbed Cool Man. In 1991, he got an Intel 80386 powered PC and began creating Linux, first under its own limited licence but eventually merged it into the GNU Project under the GNU GPL. Torvalds hadn’t originally intended on continued support for his Linux Kernel, but due to the nature of the Open Source project, it grew into one of the most hacker friendly (and secure) operating systems available.

10 Hackers Who Made History | Infostruction.

How to Fix Facebook‘s New Broken Chat System (YES!)  By Jesus Diaz, Jul 22, 2011 9:31 AM
Gizmodo reader Tal Ater agreed that Facebook’s new chat system is a clusterzuck of confusion, so he created a little program to fix it! It will take off the list anyone who’s offline. Here’s how to do it:  • Go to his download page. • If you use Windows, download the program on top. After running it, your Facebook chat will forever only show the people who are online (green icon) or recently online (with the away icon). • If you use Mac or Linux, add the bookmarklet “Fix Chat” to your browser bookmarks bar. You will need to click on the bookmarket in every new Facebook window (I keep mine open most of the time, so this is ok).  That’s it. It works great but, as always, run this software at your own risk.  Tal says that he’s working on a version that would fix the Facebook chat permanently on Mac and Linux machines. And again, remember that there are still plenty of reasons for quitting Facebook and going to Google+.

http://m.gizmodo.com/5823757/how-to-fix-facebooks-new-broken-chat-system-yes

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Facebook has revamped its popular chat feature by adding free video calling that can be launched inside the social network’s website. What was most striking about the launch event, held in Palo Alto, was how much CEO Mark Zuckerberg tried to distance his company from those seeking to slow its momentum, Google in particular.

The video-calling service is provided in partnership with Skype, which recently agreed to be sold to Microsoft, a Facebook partner and investor. Skype already provides Internet phone and video services, but users need to install a sizable program, and can only make video calls to other Skype members. With the new service, Facebook members can click on a “call” button on a friend’s profile page or in a chat window and connect, after installing a small software plug-in.

“It’s a total natural for them,” says Greg Sterling, founding principal of market research company Sterling Market Intelligence. “A lot of people will use it.”

At the same time, the launch, which included a new group text chat feature and an easy-to-access chat buddy list, appears to expose Facebook’s increasing trepidation about Google. Last week, the search giant introduced a preliminary version of its Google+ social network. The new service, yet to be rolled out widely, has garnered considerable positive reaction from early users, though it remains to be seen whether it will take off once it’s released more widely. “Now it really looks like Facebook is nervous about Google,” says Danny Sullivan, editor in chief of the website Search Engine Land.

Among Google+’s features, in particular, is a group video chat service called Hangouts. Facebook’s Skype service is strictly one-to-one calling, which Skype CEO Tony Bates implied make up the vast majority of video calls. But group video calls are also something Skype charges money for, and Zuckerberg brushed away questions on when group video chat might come to Facebook.

One-to-one video calls fit more neatly with Facebook’s emphasis on providing ways for people to connect with real-world friends. Other social services such as Twitter and Google+, allow for less personal relationships. “Google’s design approach emphasizes loose connections, while Facebook emphasizes closer, more intimate connections,” says Ray Valdes, a research director with Gartner Research.

For his part, Zuckerberg portrayed the Skype video calling feature as a harbinger of a new era in social networking. The next five years, he contends, will go beyond the sheer numbers of people connecting on social networks. Indeed, he downplayed user counts, despite the fact that he said Facebook now has 750 million active users, the first time the company has officially announced a new active-user count since last year, when it said there were more than 500 million.

Instead, Zuckerberg said, the key point going forward will be providing ultimately billions of social network users more to do on those networks. “The driving narrative for the next five years is what cool stuff you’re going to be able to build, what apps you can build, now that you have this infrastructure in place,” he said.

In a jab at Google, Zuckerberg also positioned Facebook as the friendlier platform for outside software developers. “We want to leave apps to developers who are best in class,” he said. “That’s in contrast to other Internet companies out there who try to do everything themselves.”

In particular, Zuckerberg said sharing of news, photos, and videos is exploding, reaching some four billion items a day. The growth, he says, is exponential, similar to Moore’s Law, which describes a doubling of transistors that can be placed on an integrated circuit every 18 months. “People are sharing twice as much today as a year ago,” he said. He expects that trend to continue for years to come.

Zuckerberg also suggested that Facebook is years ahead of other companies looking to create social networks of various kinds. Asked what he thinks of Google+’s Circles features, which allows people to drop their various kinds of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances into specific buckets with which they can then share specific posts or other material, Zuckerberg declined to talk about Google. But in an implicit dismissal of Circles, he noted that Facebook’s research indicated that “people don’t want to take a lot of time to add people to groups.”

The day’s announcements, coupled with the thinly veiled references to Google, indicated to several observers at the event that Facebook views Google as a serious competitor. “The polarization between Google and Facebook continues to gain strength,” says Gartner’s Valdes.

via Facebook Lets Its 750 Million Users Video Chat, but Not in Groups – Technology Review.