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CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, has just passed the House by a vote of 248 to 168. This is not good news, at least in my opinion. The vote ran largely along partisan lines, with the occasional switch. The bill has passed with several amendments that it collected along its way to the vote today.
The future of the bill isn't certain law, at least not yet. First the bill has to make it through the Senate, which is controlled by the opposite party of the House. Next, the bill would go before President Obama who yesterday made a veto threat of the Act, due to unhappiness with its potential lack of privacy controls.
Many citizens are concerned about the broad language contained within the bill which would allow the government to use the mandates and powers contained within in ways that would be antithetical to privacy and could be too intrusive. As a US citizen, I join with the people who fear the bill and I will be watching the progress closely. Stay tuned for more.
Apple announced its financial earnings today and, of course, some incredible numbers are the results. Apple made a whopping $11.6 billion in profit from $39.2 billion revenue. In Q1 2011, they made $5.99 billion profit from $24.67 billion revenue. That is over a 25% profit margin. Wow.
Apple had some massive sales numbers. The company sold 35.1 million iPhones. They also sold an incredible 11.8 million iPads, 4 million Macs, and 7.7 million iPods. It will be curious to see if the FlashBack malware has an effect on Mac sales in Q2.
BREAKING NEWS: An 8.9-magnitude, then downgraded to 8.7-magnitude by the USGS (United States Geological Survey) has struck off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The earthquake struck 308 miles (500km) southwest of the city of Banda Aceh, on the northern tip of Sumatra Island, at a depth of 20.5 miles (33km).
The quake was so severe it was felt as far away as the Thai capital, Bangkok, and as well as southern India. Because the earthquake was a strike-slip, it means there is less chance of a devastating tsunami. A strike-slip earthquake happen vertically, and the water dispersement is not as bad as a reverse fault, or normal fault, where the normal fault sends the crust up horizontally, where tsunamis usually happen, especially at this magnitude.
Just two hours later, and only moments ago, an 8.2-magnitude earthquake has struck in the same region. This was at a depth of 10.2 miles, so much closer to the ground itself. We'll try to update as news is out, but for now the first earthquake isn't said to create a tsunami worth worrying about, but the second one has just happened, so we'll report back when we have news.
We would advise you to take caution, don't panic and stay as calm as you can. Of course, if you want to leave to feel safer, please do so. We'll keep the news coming as it happens.
Well, that got out of control fast. Reports are flying out onto the Internet that there's been at least one stabbing victim at a BBM party RIM was hosting in London. Those at the party aren't allowed to leave. There are multiple tweets on the event, below:
- George Eason (@mrgeorgeeason) April 3, 2012
There's been an incident at the Blackberry party and no one is currently allowed to leave #bbmparty #OMG
- Edward Gleave (@Ed_StarOnSunday) April 3, 2012
So I can't leave the #BBMparty cos some1 got shanked in the neck #ThisCantBeLife lockerz.com/s/198284823
- Joe (@NotUrAverageJ0) April 4, 2012
OhmyGOD someones been stabbed with a broken bottle at the #bbmparty !? That's awful. How absolutely horrific.
- Jennifer-Rosellen (@JRosellenM) April 4, 2012
According to a reporter at the Daily Telegraph, the police department have actually made an arrest:
Met: Man in serious condition in hospital after incident shortly after midnight at #bbmparty in SE1. One arrest. Guests still held.
- Matthew Holehouse (@mattholehouse) April 4, 2012
UPDATE - Happy April Fools :)
This Sunday leaked documents just witnessed by TweakTown staff state that AMD is set to start producing Intel processors and potentially chipsets and other IC in an upcoming London, England based fab which is set to be complete and operational by the end of 2014.
With AMD recently selling its stake in Global Foundries and relatively cashed up, it seems the time is right for AMD to invest in the land of the Commonwealth queen. AMD's brand new 18nm-capable manufacturing facility is set to be built in a reserved part of the Queen's gardens, just a few minutes' walk from Buckingham Palace.
Reasoning behind Intel's motives here suggest that it may relax judges around the world considering Intel's issues with anti-competitive behavior in the past and it's only going to be a good thing to stack AMD's pockets with loads of mulah.
AMD President and CEO Rory P. Read was quoted as being very excited about what this Intel partnership will offer its investors and he also said that he couldn't wait to travel to England more regularly and enjoy a serve of bangers and mash at every chance he had. Talking about food during such important business? Anyway, we'll let it pass...
Rovio Entertainment, the people behind Angry Birds, acquire Futuremark Games Studio, the people behind 3DMark
Finnish-based Rovio Entertainment, the people behind the immensely popular Angry Birds games, have just acquired Futuremark Games Studio. You may remember Futuremark, as they're only the company behind the super-popular and great benchmarking tool, 3DMark, and more.
Within the acquisition, Futuremark Games Studio keeps some of their IP such as Shattered Horizon, Hungribles, and Unstoppable Gorg. Futuremark will now renew their focus on making great benchmarks and performance measurement software for gamers, home users, small businesses, and the IT industry. 2012 will see the release of a new 3DMark from the company, where for the first time ever, which will allow a direct comparison of gaming performance across operating systems and form factors, as well as a new version of PCMark for Windows 8.
You know what I want to see? A 3DMark featuring super-detailed versions of the Angry Bird universe, now that would be cool.
Our friends over at The Verge have stumbled upon a guide for the employees running the "Smoked by Windows Phone" contest. It shows that Microsoft knew where Windows Phone had weaknesses and steered employees to choose challenges that had a lower risk of them losing. Some quotes from the The Verge explain further.
Some of the weaknesses identified by Microsoft include the widgets that Sahas Katta used to win the contest that he was told he lost. Later, Microsoft made good on the offer. Microsoft offered several challenges to its employees so that they would be able to steer clear of the weaknesses identified and win nearly all the time.
It's here! Samsung have just announced through their Facebook page that the upgrade for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is now available for their flagship Galaxy S II smartphone. Samsung have announced it will be served up in European countries first.
The first to get it are Poland, Hungary, and Sweden, as well as Korea. It should roll out around the world over the coming days. Samsung have also said that the ICS-based upgrade should roll out to other Galaxy-branded phones soon, with the Note, Galaxy S II LTE, Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1 all getting the delicious upgrade.
On top of this, Samsung will offer Android 2.3 Gingerbread firmware upgrades to Galaxy S, Galaxy Tab 7-inch, Galaxy S Plus, Galaxy S SCL (Super Clear LCD) and Galaxy W from the end of March. The new firmware upgrades for Galaxy S sport features such as Facebook Unlock, Snapshot, Photo Editor, and more.
I can't wait for Australia to get it, or for the ROM to hit the tubes!
[UPDATE] Telstra's Facebook page has been updated with:
All - Telstra lost connectivity with the international data network around 1:40pm this afternoon, which resulted in an overload on domestic sites, causing issues with internet access.
The vast majority of customers are back online, but our engineers continue to monitor the network.
Call volumes are high to our customer service channels because of this outage and we appreciate your patience.
We'll keep you updated as soon as we can.
BREAKING: Telstra are experiencing a massive outage to their services, which seems to be affecting not just normal ADSL customers, but Cable-based, Next-G, Satellite and more. The outage started about an hour ago and has been quickly spreading.
Telstra's own Facebook page has been updated with the following message:
A service outage has been identified which is resulting in intermittent internet access. This is being treated as a matter of high priority. Thanks for your patience.
You may remember the various antenna/reception-related issues that the iPhone 4 had at launch, and the whole "Antennagate" that surrounded it. Apple said it was the way users were holding it, then as more people were experiencing the issue, the more it became mainstream. Bumper cases were given out to sort out the obvious problem, and in the end, we now have a class-action lawsuit where iPhone 4 owners can get $15 back, or a free bumper case.
The settlement was reached in a class-action lawsuit which targeted the antenna performance in the iPhone 4. U.S. residents who purchased an iPhone 4 will be entitled to $15 in cash, or a free bumper case from Apple. There were 18 different lawsuits that were all consolidated into a class-action lawsuit, and all share the same claim that Apple was:
Misrepresenting and concealing material information in the marketing, advertising, sale, and servicing of its iPhone 4--particularly as it relates to the quality of the mobile phone antenna and reception and related software.