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Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

Cellphones

The Coming Wave of In-Dash Auto System Obsolescence 445

Posted by timothy
from the new-din-standard-called-for dept.
jfruh writes "Automakers are striving mightily to bring their in-dash systems into the modern age, providing integration with smartphones and other advanced features. The problem: while smartphones go in and out of vogue every few years, modern cars have lifespans of a decade or more. Add in the fact that many (though not all) manufacturers have no plans to allow software upgrades to their systems, and you might end up driving a car with a fancy in-dash computer system that's completely useless for much of the time you own it."
Education

Virus Eats School District's Homework 321

Posted by samzenpus
from the will-this-be-on-the-test? dept.
theodp writes "Forget about 'snow days' — the kids in the Lake Washington School District could probably use a few 'virus days.' Laptops issued to each student in grades 6-12 were supposed to accelerate learning ('Schools that piloted the laptops found that students stayed engaged nad [sic] organized whiel [sic] boosting creativity,' according to the district's Success Stories), but GeekWire reports that a computer virus caused havoc for the district as it worked its way through the Windows 7 computers, disrupting class and costing the district money — five temporary IT staff members were hired to help contain the virus. Among the reasons cited for the school district's choice of PCs over Macs were the proximity to Microsoft HQ (Redmond is in the district), Microsoft's involvement in supporting local and national education, and last but not least, cost. In the past, the Lake Washington School District served as a Poster Child of sorts for Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group."
Patents

Nokia Asks Court To Block RIM Products For Violating Patent Agreement 52

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the elop's-last-stand dept.
itwbennett writes "The ITworld article reads: 'Nokia has asked a California court to enforce an arbitration award that would prevent Research In Motion from selling products with wireless LAN capabilities until the companies can agree on patent royalty rates. Nokia and RIM both declined to comment on Nokia's request, a copy of which was obtained by IDG News Service, but such a filing is typically made after two parties settle a dispute through arbitration but one party does not follow through on the agreement.'" Also from the article: "The patents in question are U.S. patents 5,479,476, which covers user-adjustable modes for phones; 5,845,219, which covers call alert during silent mode; 6,049,796, which covers real-time search on a personal digital assistant; 6,055,439, which covers a cellphone user interface; 6,253,075, which covers call rejection; and 6,427,078, which covers a small, handheld workstation."
Cellphones

Dual Interface Mobile Devices To Address BYOD Issue 116

Posted by Soulskill
from the dr.-jekyll-and-mr.-angry-birds dept.
Lucas123 writes "Next year, smart phones will begin shipping with the ability to have dual identities: one for private use and the other for corporate. Hypervisor developers, such as VMware and Red Bend, are working with system manufacturers to embed their virtualization software in the phones, while IC makers, such as Intel, are developing more powerful and secure mobile device processors. The combination will enable mobile platforms that afford end users their own user interface, secure from IT's prying eyes, while in turn allowing a company to secure its data using mobile device management software. One of the biggest benefits dual-identity phones will offer is enabling admins to wipe corporate data from phones without erasing end users profiles and personal information."
Handhelds

Slashdot Mobile: Now For Tablets As Well As Phones 123

Posted by timothy
from the ensmallening dept.
Gaurav Kuchhal (Head of Product, Slashdot) writes "Slashdot Mobile has finally made it out of the gates for tablets as well as phones. The Mobile site for phones launched some weeks back, but now you can take advantage of the changes we've made to read Slashdot easier to read through touch-screen devices on tablets as well as phones. That includes features we've folded in to the mobile version from the desktop-browser view of the site, so you can scan user profiles, sip from the Firehose, and keep up with notifications. See this blog post for more details, and keep the feedback coming. If you see a problem, please tell us about it!"
Canada

The Wii Mini Is Real, Arrives December 7 — In Canada 139

Posted by timothy
from the tora-tora-tora dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Yesterday there was a rumor doing the rounds that Nintendo was set to release a brand new version of the Wii console called the Wii Mini. The new machine would be significantly smaller than the current Wii, is expected to ship with a Wii Remote Plus, Nunchuk, and Sensor Bar, and hopefully carries a much lower (sub-$100) price. Well, it looks as though this wasn't just a rumor. Best Buy Canada has it listed with an image on its front page and a December 7 release date." Also at PC Mag.
Cellphones

NYC Police Gathering Cellphone Logs 122

Posted by timothy
from the for-a-nice-toasty-fire dept.
Dupple writes "When a cellphone is reported stolen in New York, the Police Department routinely subpoenas the phone's call records, from the day of the theft onward. The logic is simple: If a thief uses the phone, a list of incoming and outgoing calls could lead to the suspect. But in the process, the Police Department has quietly amassed a trove of telephone logs, all obtained without a court order, that could conceivably be used for any investigative purpose. The call records from the stolen cellphones are integrated into a database known as the Enterprise Case Management System, according to Police Department documents from the detective bureau. Each phone number is hyperlinked, enabling detectives to cross-reference it against phone numbers in other files."
Cellphones

Nexus 4 Includes Support For LTE 83

Posted by Soulskill
from the also-supports-other-letters-of-the-alphabet dept.
slashchuck writes "One of the drawbacks of Google's Nexus 4 was its lack of support for 4G LTE. Now comes a report from AnandTech that it's possible to enable partial LTE support on the device. It seems that a simple software update can allow the Nexus 4 smartphone to run on LTE Band 4. All users have to do is dial *#*#4636#*#* (INFO) or launch the Phone Info app. After that, choosing to connect to AWS networks should allow the Nexus 4 to run on LTE networks on Band 4. The AnandTech report states explicitly that the LG Nexus 4 only works on LTE Band 4, on 1700/2100MHz frequencies, and supports bandwidths of 5,10, and 20MHz."
Blackberry

BlackBerry 10 Preview Looks Positive 122

Posted by Soulskill
from the better-hope-so dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Register has a BlackBerry 10 preview up. They say, 'BlackBerry users have a love-hate relationship with their phones. The devices were often forced upon users rather than chosen. At the same time, the handhelds were the most usable and useful communications gadgets you could put in your pocket.' The preview is surprisingly positive, and it goes on to look at BB10's Hub/notifications feature, which they call 'utilitarian' and efficient compared to Windows Phones, which are more about 'style and novelty' whilst being 'a bit limiting.' BlackBerry's implementation may actually improve the system, rather than detracting from it. With BlackBerry providing a QT environment (compatible with Sailfish, which we discussed earlier) and RIM having managed to maintain BB's 3rd place in the mobile OS market, there may a chance for real three-way competition between QT, Android and iOS in the mobile market."
Open Source

A Wi-Fi Wardriving Motorbike — With Plans Available 36

Posted by timothy
from the but-not-on-the-autobahn dept.
mask.of.sanity writes "This custom Yamaha TRX 850 has been outfitted with wireless sniffing and attack tools, routers, a laptop, Raspberry Pi and even a heads up display integrated within the bike helmet. It was built from open source kit and cheap hardware by a security penetration tester who wanted to make his love of wardriving more nimble. The plans are detailed in a diagram and a video."
Communications

Pakistan To Cut Phone Services To Prevent Muharram Attacks 119

Posted by timothy
from the this-interruption-brought-to-you-by dept.
SternisheFan writes with this news from the Indian Express: "Pakistan's interior minister Friday said the government will suspend cell phone services in most parts of the country over the next two days to prevent attacks against Shia Muslims during a key religious commemoration. Militants often detonate bombs using cell phones and this is the first time the government has implemented such a wide-scale suspension. Saturday and Sunday are the most important days of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, especially important to Shias. Pakistani Shias Sunday observe Ashoura, commemorating the 7th century death of Imam Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson. Different parts of the Muslim world mark Ashoura on different days —neighbouring Afghanistan, for example, observes it on Saturday. 'The suspension of cell phone services will begin at 6 am Saturday and run through the next day,' Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad. He said 90 per cent of the bombs set off by militants in Pakistan have been detonated using cell phones. Some criticized the government for suspending services, saying it was a huge inconvenience."
Businesses

US Judge Orders Apple To Share HTC Deal Details With Samsung 106

Posted by timothy
from the mandatory-transparency dept.
another random user writes with this news from the BBC: "A U.S. judge has ordered Apple to disclose details of its patent-sharing deal with HTC to its rival, Samsung. Apple and HTC signed a 10-year licence agreement earlier this month, but did not make the details public. Samsung, which is also involved in various patent disputes with Apple, asked the courts to tell Apple to furnish the information. It said it was 'almost certain' the deal covered some of the patents at the centre of its dispute with Apple. The court ordered Apple to produce a full copy of the settlement agreement 'without delay,' subject to an 'attorneys' eyes only' designation, meaning it will not be made public."
Cellphones

Jolla Mobile Set To Launch Its Sailfish OS Today, Signs Deal with Finnish Telco 74

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the getting-crowded-in-here dept.
New submitter zzats writes "The Finnish mobile phone manufacturer Jolla, started by ex-Nokia Meego engineers, is showing it's Linux-based Sailfish OS for the public for the first time today. The first keynote speech aired at 9:15 GMT, with an UI-focused presentation starting later, 15:00 GMT. In addition to using the OS on their own devices, Jolla is planning to license it to third party manufacturers. The company has previously stated their initial focus for creating an ecosystem is in the Chinese market." sfcrazy adds: "Jolla has signed a deal with Finland's 3rd largest mobile operator DNA to market the MeeGo based smartphones in the Finnish market."
Patents

USPTO Head: Current Patent Litigation Is 'Reasonable' 153

Posted by Soulskill
from the patent-lawyers-everywhere-agree dept.
elashish14 writes "David Kappos, head of the USPTO, today provided a strong defense of the patent system, particularly in the mobile industry. In his address, he implored critics, 'Give the [America Invents Act] a chance to work.' He then went on to proclaim the 'absolutely breakneck pace' of innovation in the smartphone industry and that the U.S. patent system is 'the envy of the world,' though he was likely only referring to the envy of the world's lawyers. Perhaps the most laughable quote from his address: 'The explosion of litigation we are seeing is a reflection of how the patent system wires us for innovation.'"
Firefox

Mozilla Makes Prototype of Firefox OS Available 101

Posted by timothy
from the more-than-a-concept dept.
Thinkcloud writes "Even though the operating system hasn't arrived in a version for smartphones and tablets just yet, Firefox OS is available as a prototype module that you can run on Windows, Mac or Linux computers (download page). The initial Firefox OS phones are expected to arrive in 2013, and it's been reported that Alcatel and ZTE are the first manufacturers on board."

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten

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