Bill Gates: With billions ‘it’s the same hamburger’

Microsoft Corporation founder Bill GatesIn a speech at the University of Washington, Gates gave advice to a questioner from Beijing who confided in him that she had wanted to be the richest person in the world when she was growing up.
“I didn’t start out with a dream of being super-rich,” Gates replied, according to a Seattle Times report.
He recalled that after the Intel founders became billionaires, “I thought, ‘Wow, that must be strange.’ ... And so it is.”
Gates said he never set out to make a fortune, but just followed his passion for computers.
“I think most people who have done well have just found something they’re nuts about doing. Then they figure out a system to hire their friends to do it with them,” he said. “If it’s an area of great impact, then sometimes you get financial independence.”
But having many billions is not all great, he revealed.
“Wealth above a certain level, really, it’s a responsibility that you’re going to have to either leave it to your children, which may or may not be good for them, or try to be smart about giving it away,” he said.
"So I can understand about having millions of dollars, because there’s meaningful freedom that comes with that, but once you get much beyond that I have to tell you, it's the same hamburger. ... But being ambitious is good. You just have to pick what you enjoy doing.”

Sony buys out Ericsson for $1.5 billion

In 2001, Sony joined forces with Ericsson, a Swedish mobile phone manufacturer, yielding a joint venture called Sony Ericsson. This week, Sony announced it would take full control of Ericsson, in a deal reportedly worth roughly $1.5 billion. Sony reps positioned the acquisition as a matter of synergy – now the company can more fully integrate its smartphone and consumer electronics lines
"Its the beginning of something which I think is quite magical," Sony CEO Howard Stringer said at a press conference in London, according to Reuters. "We can more rapidly and more widely offer consumers smartphones, laptops, tablets, and televisions that seamlessly connect with one another and open up new worlds of online entertainment".
So what does the takeover say about the smartphone market at large? Well, over at GigaOm, Bobbie Johnson notes that the move "underlines how Europe’s mobile credentials have fallen away in the last few years." He points out that just a couple of years ago, the top four mobile phone makers were in Europe andAsia – Nokia and Sony Ericsson in Europe andSamsung and LG in South Korea.
"Today," Johnson writes, "Nokia’s share is falling so fast it’s been forced into an alliance with Microsoft, whileApple, China’s ZTE, HTC and Research in Motion have all overtaken it – and in smartphones it’s even further off the pace. Europe might be a voracious consumer of mobile, but it’s clinging on by its fingertips in the technology race."
This week, of course, Nokia introduced the Lumia 800 and the Lumia 710, the first Nokia phones to run the Windows Phone OS. They are due on US and European shelves in early November. Speaking to the New York Times, an analyst called the Lumia line "a new start for the company. This helps stop the bleeding and will help Nokia get back in the game."

Google TV: Second time's the charm?

Google TV was still ambitious, but it was also confusing, buggy, and bloated. And the major TV networks (including CBS, CNET's parent company) quickly began blocking Google TV from receiving streaming-video versions of prime-time shows, eliminating one of the platform's major theoretical selling points.
Once it was obvious that Google TV 1.0 was no landmark product, Google stopped talking much about it, except for an occasional acknowledgment that it planned to update it. I began to wonder if it might not survive the pruning of not-so-successful products that Google has undertaken in recent months.
Google TV
The new Google TV
(Credit: Google)
On Friday, Google finally revealed its plans for Google TV in detail. It's releasing a major upgrade that will show up on Google TV-equipped Sony TVs next week, and on the Revue shortly thereafter.
Judging from Google's blog post about the update, it's less about packing in more features--Google TV had plenty of those already--and more about trying to crystallize the basic idea into something a little more refined and coherent. The new version will have what Google says is a simpler interface; it'll play up YouTube more; it's designed to make it easier to find TV shows and movies in both streaming and over-the-air form; and it has a version of the Android Market that will start out with about 50 apps.
The first version of Google TV arrived at a time when a lot of people were all worked up about the notion of cord-cutting: Cancelling cable service and relying entirely on Internet streaming for TV. It also seemed to compete directly with the second-generation Apple TV, which arrived at about the same time and which clearly had ambitions to enable its owners to cut the cord.
But Google TV wasn't ever really about cord-cutting. Actually, one of the most audacious things about it was its search feature, which tried to replace the classic cable-TV programming grid with a search engine that let you Google all the shows on all the channels you were paying for. (The first pass at this feature didn't work all that well, but I still admired the concept.)
With its comments so far on the new update, Google is working harder than it did the first time to explain what Google TV is and isn't--and that it's not about cord cutting. For one thing, it makes the fact that major content providers continue to block their shows from reaching Google TV less catastrophic. For another, it lets the company devote more effort to Google TV's YouTube feature, which won't replace cable anytime soon but has plenty of potential to be a nifty supplement to it, especially as it adds more professional content.
What's more, for every argument in favor of cutting the cord right now, there's at least one against it--such as the fact that live news and sports are plentiful on cable and scarce on the Web.
In short, Google's now-more-clearly-articulated goal of melding conventional TV with the Web rather than rendering TV as we knew it obsolete makes sense. It may not change everything, but you know what? No other living-room Internet product has changed everything either, including Apple TV. And Google says there will be some all-new devices based on its platform next year, which means that this update is less Google TV 2.0 than it is Google TV 1.5.
We may need a few more generations of Google TV, Apple TV, and other competitors before anything comes along that has a shot at being a historic breakthrough of the sort that the iPodwas a decade ago. I'm glad Google seems to understand that--and that it plans to keep plugging away at the challenge rather than filing it away with failed experiments such as Wave and Buzz.

Nikon DSLR Camera Costume Takes Real Photos

Quirky costumes can be mildly amusing, but when you go as a giant banana or a cardboard robot, the novelty wears off quickly. However, this camera costume adds another level of interest by actually being a fully functional camera.Photographer Tyler Card decided to make his Halloween costume a bit closer to home, modeling it after his Nikon DSLR camera. The costume itself looks pretty neat and much like the sort of novelty costume you’d find at a store, but as mentioned, it’s much more than that.
Working Nikon Camera Costume Nikon DSLR Camera Costume Takes Real Photos
The camera body itself is made up of cardboard, but done skillfully enough so that the camera design is quite true to form, even including a raised, on-board flash. For the lens, a plastic 5-gallon barrel is used, and then the detail isadded to the whole thing so it really resembles a camera, complete with writing on the length of the lens. However, housed within the camera body isn’t just the guy wearing the costume. He’s also placed his actual Nikon DSLR camera within, hooked up to the costume so that it can actually take photographs.
Pressing the shutter release on the costume will activate the shutter release on the real camera, triggering the flash as well (which is presumably housed up in the large flash of the costume). That alone is pretty awesome, but the best part is that he also took apart a laptop, using the LCD display as the display on the back of the costume. No doubt something like this would be a big hit at parties. Not only would you be easily able to photograph your friends while showing off the amazing costume, they’d even get to see the finished photos displayed right there on your back! For some other creative and unconventional costume ideas, check out this Hello Kitty Ghostbusters Costume or perhaps show off a Working Iron Man Repulsor Ray.

Battlefield 3 - Living up to the hype!

After the trailers, the trash talking and the rather controversial multiplayer beta, DICE’s highly awaited first-person shooter, Battlefield 3 has finally arrived. It carries with it the expectations of millions or at least thousands of gamers, who’ve been looking for their next online fix. And thankfully, it does not disappoint.

Now, the Battlefield series (not to be confused with DICE’s Bad Company games) has always provided players with a deep multiplayer experience, but this time around, DICE strapped on a single player campaign as well. The story puts players in the boots of a US Marine named Sgt Black, who via flash backs during an interrogation sequence, divulges the plot of the game. It seems a fanatical terrorist has stolen some nukes and is hell bent on detonating them in Paris and New York. Black obviously is not a huge fan of his plan and does everything in his power to stop it.
Crash boom bang!
Crash boom bang!

Battlefield’s campaign borrows heavily from other shooters on the block, and to be fair, it does deliver some pretty cinematic set pieces with much aplomb. You’ll co-pilot a jet raining hell fire on ground targets, survive multiple ambushes with your troops, manoeuvre a tank through enemy lines, take control of a turret mounted atop a jeep through a war-torn fictitious Middle Eastern country, survive a catastrophic earthquake, and lots more.

The action, while clich├ęd is frantic enough most of the time, especially during the indoor levels where you’ll be shredding through walls, glass, desks and pretty much anything that comes between you and your target. Unfortunately, the campaign is bogged down heavily by a ‘been there done that’ vibe that never really allows the game to create an identity for itself. Not helping matters is the fact that the AI is completely stupid, some of the missions felt a bit contrived, and the campaign went a tad overboard with its quick time events (QTEs).
Umm that doesn't look too good
Umm that doesn't look too good

Multiplayer is, of course, the main reason most of you will pick up Battlefield 3, and it is without a doubt a freaking ball. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 veterans will feel right at home with the game’s multiplayer modes like Conquest, Rush, Squad and Team Deathmatch. Each of these modes can be played across the game’s nine vast maps. You can start your Battlefield 3 career off by dabbling with some of the more straightforward versus modes like Squad Deathmatch before you jump into the more complex, large scale ones. During Squad/Team Deathmatch, every map is cut down drastically in size, where a sizeable chunk of the map is cordoned off to provide some up close and personal combat.
Top Gun
Top Gun

If you aren’t too good at pulling the trigger, don’t sweat it; you can take up a support role since Battlefield 3 encourages and rewards players for playing as a team. You could chose to be a medic and heal your teammates or go in for a support class and make sure they never run of ammunition. As you level up your respective classes, you’ll unlock better abilities for them. For example, when you start the assault class, you’ll be limited to med packs, but once you level up, you’ll unlock the defib kit that allows you to bring your team/squad mates back from the dead.

The end of remote controls? Apple's TV 'to be voice controlled'

It might spell the end of fiddling around for remote controls in between the sofa cushions.
The upcoming big Apple TV will use iPhone's Siri 'personal assistant' as its main control method - and will use touch control as a back up.
Leaks from Apple's manufacturing chain say that Apple has been working on prototype sets since September - according to a design blueprint laid down by late CEO Steve Jobs. His 'eureka' moment was realising that Siri's voice control could be used to 'talk' to the set.
The voice-controlled Siri 'personal assistant' is designed so you can talk to it like a normal person - the ideal way to change channel and adjust the volume?
The voice-controlled Siri 'personal assistant' is designed so you can talk to it like a normal person - the ideal way to change channel and adjust the volume on Apple's new TV?
The quote 'I finally cracked it,' in the recent biography by Walter Isaacson was misquoted in recent reports, reports the New York Times.
Jobs was referring to the realisation that the television should be voice-controlled - using the natural-language algorithms of Siri so that people talk to the set as they would to someone sitting next to them on the sofa.
Mr Jobs, who died earlier this month, told author Walter Isaacson: 'It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine.'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2053570/Apple-TV-voice-controlled-End-remote-controls.html#ixzz1c5MZlPPe

Suspected US satellite hacking attacks: Reaction

Hackers interfered with two US satellites four times between 2007 and 2008, according to reports.

The Landsat-7 satellite in orbit

The claim is made in a draft paper prepared for the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, according to the Bloomberg news agency.

It said the incidents involved the Landsat-7 and Terra AM-1 earth observation systems which were targeted through a ground station in Norway. The satellites are used to observe the earth's climate and terrain.

The report highlights the risks that would have been posed had the breaches involved satellites with "more sensitive functions".

The draft document notes that previous penetrations have involved individuals linked to the Chinese underground community. The Chinese government has repeatedly denied its role in computer attacks.

The BBC asked three security experts for their views:

Nokia Quietly Announces White N9, MeeGo Software Update

We're happy to see that Nokia isn't really "killing off" MeeGo, a daring, but commercially unsuccessful open source mobile OS, as previous reports suggested.
In between the Windows Phone hubaloo at Nokia World this week, the Finnish manufacturer announced a software update and new color for the Nokia N9, a gorgeous slab phone launched in June.
Along with matte black, magenta, and cyan, you can now get an N9 in glossy white (check out the pic below).
white Nokia n9The phones hits stores in the fourth quarter of the year, starting with a 64 GB version. In the U.S., you can only buy this phone unlocked at the unsubsidized price of $700.
Existing N9 owners will also receive a software update next quarter, Nokia announced. The update focuses on usability improvements, like music controls on the lock screen, closing apps by swiping them down by default, and NFC tag reading. Nokia's NFC tap-to-pair accessories, like the Nokia Play 360 speaker and Nokia Luna Bluetooth headset, lets you do things like tapping your N9 against the speaker and control output through your phone. Scroll down for a video demo.
The N9 features a 3.9-inch AMOLED screen made from scratch-resistant curved glass, an 8-megapixel autofocus camera and HD-quality video capture, a near-field communication (NFC) chip, and no buttons. PCMag lead mobile analyst Sascha Segan said it was "utterly gorgeous" and a "curiosity from an alternate universe." See his review of the Nokia N9 and slideshow below for more.
Meanwhile, MeeGo is a Maemo/Moblin hybrid operating system launched by Intel and Nokia in February 2010. The platform is generally deemed a commercial failure and in June Elop reportedly saidhe plans to kill off MeeGo even if the N9 is popular, in order to focus his efforts on Windows Phone.

Sony buys out Ericsson for $1.5 billion

In 2001, Sony joined forces with Ericsson, a Swedish mobile phone manufacturer, yielding a joint venture called Sony Ericsson. This week, Sony announced it would take full control of Ericsson, in a deal reportedly worth roughly $1.5 billion. Sony reps positioned the acquisition as a matter of synergy – now the company can more fully integrate its smartphone and consumer electronics lines."Its the beginning of something which I think is quite magical," Sony CEO Howard Stringer said at a press conference in London, according to Reuters. "We can more rapidly and more widely offer consumers smartphones, laptops, tablets, and televisions that seamlessly connect with one another and open up new worlds of online entertainment".
So what does the takeover say about the smartphone market at large? Well, over at GigaOm, Bobbie Johnson notes that the move "underlines how Europe’s mobile credentials have fallen away in the last few years." He points out that just a couple of years ago, the top four mobile phone makers were in Europe andAsia – Nokia and Sony Ericsson in Europe andSamsung and LG in South Korea.
"Today," Johnson writes, "Nokia’s share is falling so fast it’s been forced into an alliance with Microsoft, whileApple, China’s ZTE, HTC and Research in Motion have all overtaken it – and in smartphones it’s even further off the pace. Europe might be a voracious consumer of mobile, but it’s clinging on by its fingertips in the technology race."
This week, of course, Nokia introduced the Lumia 800 and the Lumia 710, the first Nokia phones to run the Windows Phone OS. They are due on US and European shelves in early November. Speaking to the New York Times, an analyst called the Lumia line "a new start for the company. This helps stop the bleeding and will help Nokia get back in the game."

BlackBerry 'puts monitoring centre' in India

MUMBAI — Research In Motion (RIM) has set up a facility in Mumbai to help the Indian government conduct surveillance checks on the company's BlackBerry services, the Wall Street Journal said on Friday.

The financial daily quoted unnamed people familiar with the matter who said the Canadian firm opened the centre earlier this year to deal with requests from Indian intelligence agencies.

No one was immediately available for comment at either RIM or India's telecoms ministry when contacted by AFP.

RIM and the Indian government have been embroiled in a row over access to BlackBerry services, in particular encrypted email and instant message facilities that New Delhi fears could be used by extremists to plot attacks.

Multiple deadlines have been issued to the firm to comply with government requests for monitoring.

The Wall Street Journal said RIM was now allowing surveillance of BlackBerry Internet services and the company was no longer facing the prospect of shutdowns.

RIM was complying with intercept requests on suspect individuals once it was satisfied the demand had legal authorisation, it added.

In January, Home Minister P. Chidambaram said RIM had already given India access to its instant messaging service and the government would press for access to the corporate email service.

India's Telecoms Minister Milind Deora was quoted as saying by the daily that the government still wants to "find some middle ground" with RIM.

For its part, RIM said India was "applying its security policy in a consistent manner to all handset makers and service providers in India, which means that RIM should not be singled out any more than any other provider".

India, which has the world's fastest-growing number of mobile users, has also told Google and Skype to set up servers in the country to allow law enforcers to screen traffic.

RIM has faced similar requests from governments in the Middle East and Asia. It has said it cannot give access to corporate email because the security keys are with individual companies.

Apple's next big product may be a TV


(CNN) -- A fully integrated Apple television, one of Steve Jobs' final visions, might be on the way soon, according to multiple reports.
In "Steve Jobs," a biography of the late Apple co-founder released Monday, author Walter Isaacson writes that Jobs told him he'd finally figured out a way to make a TV practical. He said it would wirelessly synch with other Apple devices.
"It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine," he told Isaacson. "I finally cracked it."
On the same day, analyst Brian White of Ticonderoga Securities issued a report titled "A Full-Blown Apple TV Is On The Way."
In it, he says the book confirms what his multiple trips to China have suggested. He said Ticonderoga has seen evidence that early stage prototypes of an "Apple Smart TV" are already making their way through Chinese factories.
"We believe a product could hit the market in the coming quarters, opening up a new growth category for Apple and driving sales of existing products that play into the Apple digital ecosystem," White wrote.
On Tuesday, Bloomberg cited three unnamed sources saying that Jeff Robbin, the software engineer who built iTunes, is in charge of developing the television set.
The news service quoted another analyst, Gene Munster, of Piper Jaffray Cos., saying that the iPhone 4S's Siri voice-command app could be integrated into a TV system.
Apple's Web-TV device has underperformed, but a full TV may be on the way.
Since 2007, the company has made a product called Apple TV, a set-top Web-streaming box that competes with rival Google TV and independent offerings like Roku and Boxee. But compared to hits like the iPhone and iPad, it has largely underperformed, leading Jobs last year to acknowledge that Apple TV has "never been a huge hit."
In September, Apple slashed its price from $299 to $99, but even that hasn't made the service a household name.
In his report, White notes that a refresh of Apple TV set for later this year has been scrapped, potentially signaling the television system's pending arrival.