HTML5 remains on track

The rapidly evolving HTML5 may still be a work in progress, but a recently conducted survey indicates software developers are already committed to the new standard. 

According to Evans Data, current HTML5 use stands at 43% in North America, 39% in EMEA and an impressive 58% in the APAC region. Adding in planned use brought the totals to over three-quarters across the regions.

HTML5 remains on track“There isn’t any question about the adoption of HTML5, it’s already the de facto standard,” Evans Data CEO Janel Garvin told TG Daily in an e-mailed statement. 

“There is especial strength in HTML5 for mobile and cross-platform mobile apps, which is the direction the industry is moving for client devices, and that has made it extremely attractive to developers everywhere in the world.”

Garvin also noted that developers were more likely to use a standalone HTML5 editor in APAC and EMEA, though North Americans prefer to use the editor in their IDE.

In addition, when asked about importance in the development cycle, HTML5 came in 20% higher on average across regions than either Flash or Silverlight.

Originally proposed by Opera Software, HTML5 is the fifth revision of the HTML standard first created in 1990. The latest iteration is designed to improve the language with support for advanced multimedia options, while keeping it easily accessible for all.

As such, HTML5 adds a number of new syntactical features, including <video>, <audio>, <header> and <canvas> elements, as well as the integration of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) content that effectively replaces the uses of generic <object> tags.

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Posted by on January 19, 2012 in Software


China now has 500+ million online users

There has been an enormous explosion in the number of Chinese citizens who now have access to the Internet.

In fact, the country now boasts more than half a billion connected users, according to the China Internet Network Information Center, a state-run organization.

As of December 2010, the number of online users in China was a little more than 450 million. That represents an astounding 12% growth in 2011, a growth rate that outpaces the US and nearly every other highly populated country.

But this story isn’t just about abstract numbers. It is a symbol of the importance of the Internet in the lives of people in countries like China, where many have lived under oppression for most of their life.

With access to the Internet, including social networks, blogs, global news, and worldwide communications, people in China are more empowered than ever.

Among the structural changes to the Chinese government that have resulted from increased cyber activism are better reporting on air pollution and exposing a government cover-up surrounding a deadly train crash in the city of Wenzhou.

In a translated quotation from the China Media Project in Hong Kong, journalist Hu Yong summarized the importance of the explosion of Internet use in the region by saying, “The Internet cannot usher in dramatic change to political life in China, but it can promote the creation of social capital on the basis of citizen rights and duties, giving rise to and strengthening social forces independent of the Chinese state.”

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Posted by on January 19, 2012 in Hacking


Two new Blackberry Playbooks in 2012

Although the flagship Playbook tablet has been a commercial flop, RIM wants to keep the brand alive.

Leaked internal documents from Research in Motion, reportedly received by the, show that the new Playbook tablets is the company’s priority right now. Two new models will launch before the new Blackberry 10 operating system.

A new 7-inch model will apparently be heading out in April, while an iPad-size 10-inch version will be available by the end of the year. The current Playbook model has a 7-inch display.

Among the enhancements with the upgraded 7-inch device is the addition of mobile network connectivity. Specifically, it will be able to connect to an HSPA+ network, which is what T-Mobile uses for its ‘4G’ network. AT&T also has an HSPA+ infrastructure but has been upgrading its 4G system to the much more powerful LTE (Long Term Evolution) standard.

So the new Playbook could be compatible with either T-Mobile or AT&T; our money would be on AT&T, one of RIM’s strongest supporters.

Meanwhile, it seems that the new Blackberry phone operating system could be coming out even later than expected. Originally due out early this year, Blackberry 10 was recently pushed back to the second half of 2012, and now it seems the new platform won’t be available until September at the earliest.

These are all moves that many believe are only pronlonging the inevitable. The Blackberry brand is dying and incremental hardware and software updates cannot really bring it back to life at this point.

In the end, a much more likely scenario will be along the lines of Nokia, which used to have its own proprietary OS but is now making phones powered by Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform.

But we’ll see if RIM can somehow manage to stay afloat.

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Posted by on January 19, 2012 in Mobile


Saudi and Abu Dhabi stock exchanges downed in cyber attack

    Israeli hackers have claimed credit for downing websites run by the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX).

The digital operation was apparently conducted in retaliation for the hacking of two prominent Israeli sites on Monday: the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) and El Al (Israel Airlines). 

Saudi and Abu Dhabi stock exchanges downed in cyber attack
The hackers – who called themselves “IDF-Team” – also warned that if attacks against Israeli sites continued, they would “move to the next stage and paralyze websites for a period of two weeks to a month.”

As the Israeli daily Ha’aretz notes, another pro-Israel hacker known as “Hannibal” has published a list of 30,000 e-mail addresses and Facebook passwords purportedly belonging to residents residing in a number of Middle Eastern countries.

According to Hannibal, the hack and extract operation kicked off Friday as a “counter-attack” in response to a Saudi hacker who compromised the details of thousands of Israeli credit cards.

“I noticed that poor intelligence of 0x omar and his friends. State of Israel, not to worry, you’re in the hands of the world’s best hacker that I am. I have about 30 million e-mails of Arabs with passwords I’ll post them throughout my life – and my personal list is growing every day [with] hundreds of thousands of emails,” Hannibal claimed on Pastebin.

“Also, I received hundreds of emails of senior politicians from France and other countries, who asked me not to publish the list of the 10 million my bank accounts. In addition I also have about 4 million credit cards. Just give a command and I will [leak them].”

It should be noted that various forms of cyber warfare have been waged by civilians in the Middle East for a number of years – and can be traced back to the early days of IRC (Internet Relay Chat) when rival parties battled each other with channel takeovers, scripts, automated bots and flooding attacks.

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Posted by on January 19, 2012 in Hacking


Windows 8 likely to come in October

   Apparently the next major evolution in Microsoft operating systems is about nine months away. quoted a Microsoft spokesperson during CES when asked about the potential Windows 8 launch window.

“Windows releases come round about every three years and this year will be three years in October since we launched Windows 7. So I think that’s a good guideline to consider,” the company rep reportedly said.

Windows 8 will arguably bring more changes to the operating system than any other iteration.

All the changes revolve around what Microsoft is calling the “Metro UI,” which allows users to have complete customization on their home page, including widgets, RSS readers, weather information, date/time, etc.

Metro UI will also have deep multitasking chops, giving users the ability to easily toggle back and forth between different apps and websites. The prototype unit shown at BUILD looks similar to an iPad, with virtually no buttons on the device itself. Microsoft wants touch input to be the main control mechanism, but in a way that’s new and different – not just tapping, but swiping and gesturing.

When the beta launches, so will the Windows Store – the recently announced digital storefront that will allow users to pay for software and download it right away. The idea is that users will no longer need to jump around to third-party download sites and can get all their content from one central platform.

The Windows Store will launch with only free content at first, but premium downloads will be available in the following months.

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Posted by on January 19, 2012 in Technology


Facebook intros 60 new Open Graph partners, opens to all

  SAN FRANCISCO–Facebook’s making its Open Graph initiative a little more open.

At an event here, this evening the company announced a crop of 60 new partners that have integrated their applications with Open Graph, as well as promising to approve new applications that make use of it.

The feature lets Facebook developers add real world actions to their applications, taking Facebook’s sharing features beyond links and liking items to sharing what exactly that application does. Some of the early demo products that came with that introduction were Spotify, Netflix, and RDIO, with user actions in those apps showing up as “listened” or “watched.”

Joining those tonight are some 60 companies including TripAdvisor, Ticketmaster, Digg, Kobo, Zynga, Rotten Tomatoes, and Buzzfeed. The company says these extend into categories Facebook did not originally include in its launch announcement.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Carl Sjogreen, Facebook’s director of platform products. “Our vision for Timeline and the application platform is that whatever app you’re using, you can add it to your timeline.”

The new Open Graph features these apps make use of were first introduced at the company’s F8 conference last September, an annual event where the company shares new features aimed at developers.

At F8, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg–who was not in attendance this evening–pitched Open Graph actions as something that could deliver a “frictionless” experience across the Web, and create “a completely new class of social apps than what was ever possible before.”

News of the additional Open Graph apps going live tonight were first reported by All Things Digital earlier this week.

Timeline–which is tied to the Open Graph features as it appears on user profiles– continues to be an opt-in feature for users. It was introduced alongside the latest additions to Open Graph at F8. The feature is a visual and functional redesign of user profiles, putting activity into a page that covers the entirety of someone’s use of the site, and third-party services that are connected to Facebook through the Open Graph.

Following F8, Facebook only made Timeline available to developers before beginning to roll it out slowly to users as an opt-in service. Over the weekend the feature became available to all Facebook users worldwide. The company made no mention tonight about if or when it would become the new default view.

Here’s a full list of companies that are a part of the launch:


•  Gogobot

•  Airbnb

•  TripAdvisor

•  Wipolo

•  Where I’ve Been


•  Foodspotting

•  Cookpad

•  Snooth (wine)

•  Urbanspoon

•  Yummly

•  Foodily


•  Pose

•  Pinterest

•  Polyvore

•  Oodle


•  eBay

•  Giftrocket

•  Payvment

•  Livingsocial


•  MapMyRun

•  Runkeeper


•  Rotten Tomatoes

•  Dailymotion (French video site)

•  Cinemur (French video site)

•  Metacafe (videos)

•  Ford (game)

•  Wooga (Bubble Island, Diamond Dash)

•  OMGPOP (Draw My Thing)

•  Zynga (Words with Friends, Castleville


•  Causes

•  Fundrazr



•  BranchOut (job search)

•  Monster (job search)

•  Color (photo and video sharing)

•  Courserank (education)

•  Grockit (education)

•  Foursquare (location)

•  Goodreads (books)

•  Kobo (books)

•  StubHub (ticketing)

•  Ticketmaster (ticketing)

•  Ticketfly (ticketing)

•  ScoreBig (ticketing)

•  Appsfire (app discovery)

•  Artfinder (art)

•  Autotrader (cars)

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Posted by on January 19, 2012 in Socail Networking


‘Nightmare’ Hackers Take Swipe at Israeli Stock Exchange, Airline

   Hackers believed to belong to the pro-Palestinian group “Nightmare” struck at the websites of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and Israeli airline El Al on Monday in what appears to be an escalation of cyberbattles between Israelis and pro-Palestinian hackers.

Three Israeli banks were also attacked.

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) reportedly stated its site was slowed down by the attacks, while El Al reportedly took down its site as a precaution.

The attacks constitute the latest round of cyberbattles between Israel and Palestinians.

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange “was hit with a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which apparently rendered it unusable,” said Neil Roiter, research director at Corero Network Security.

A DDoS attack is where the victim’s servers or network connections are hit with a flood of requests within a short span of time. This overloads and shuts down the system.

While it’s not clear how the El Al site was hit, “the disruption would suggest DDoS as well,” Corero told TechNewsWorld.

Both sites were up and running again “in a few hours,” Corero added.


Starting the Week Wrong

Monday’s attack reportedly saw hits on the First International Bank of Israel and two subsidiaries, Massad and Otzar Hahayal, in addition to El Al and TASE.

The websites of both El Al and the TASE were down early on Monday. TASE later put its site up again and said it had experienced heavy traffic.

The banks said their marketing sites had been hacked, but client services were not impacted.

“Marketing sites are likely to have less focus on security than the financial servers themselves,” IT security expert Randy Abrams told TechNewsWorld.

However, “it’s unlikely the media is going to be given all of the details of what was affected,” Abrams continued.

Swapping Cyberslaps

Shortly after the attacks on Monday, a Saudi hacker calling himself “0xOmar” said he’d teamed up with the “Nightmare” group and warned of more attacks, Ynetnews reported. He also demanded Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon retract what he described as a death threat.

Ayalon had previously stated that Israel will view cyberattacks as acts of terror and warned that the country would retaliate forcefully against hackers, Ynetnews reported.

Over the weekend, Hamas had called for an escalation of hacking attacks against Israel.

That followed the publication by an Israeli hacker of details of more than 200 credit cards that he claimed were owned by Saudis. However, he declined to expose the cards’ security codes because his aim was just to alert people. This hacker used the handle “0xOmer” — that is, Omer with an “e” instead of an “a.”

On Jan. 11, Anonymous tweeted that it had posted data about Israel’s SCADA systems on the Web. However, clicking on the URL provided for the data turned up a blank page.

SCADA, or supervisory control and data acquisition, systems monitor and control industrial, and infrastructure process. They’re used in critical infrastructure such as electric grids and power utility plants.

The previous week, the Saudi hacker, 0xOmar, posted details of credit cards owned by Israelis online in two separate incidents. The first incident involved 400,000 cards. Three days later, he released details of another 11,000 cards, but these were infected with a Trojan. Omar’s reportedly a member of Saudi hacker community “Group-xp.”

This isn’t the first time Israel’s websites have come under attack. Back in November, the sites for the Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency was taken down by hackers suspected to have been members of Anonymous. Meanwhile, attacks targeting Middle Eastern countries such as Iran have aroused suspicion of Israeli involvement.

The Madness Never Stops

Expect the cyberbattle to escalate even further.

“There’s no reason to believe the attacks on Israeli organizations won’t continue and even escalate, as long as the attackers feel their tactics are having an effect and they don’t get caught and arrested,” Corero’s Roiter pointed out.

Israel’s banking system is said to be considering blocking online access for overseas users over the recent series of cyberattacks on financial websites. First International Bank of Israel (Fibi) and Israel’s Discount Bank have reportedly already applied the limitation as a precautionary measure.

Israel’s Ayalon has reportedly urged lawmakers to convene an emergency session to consider setting up an elite cyber unit.

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Posted by on January 19, 2012 in Hacking