Worst of all, the reporting has put the focus entirely on the Fukushima nuclear plant. As worrisome as the issue is, it has been completely blown out of proportion, with talk of meltdown and massive destruction. The tragedy is that the victims of the earthquake and tsunami are all but forgotten at times. While the world turns away to ponder its own nuclear policies — which, for better or for worse, are far from urgent — people are starving and dying after having survived the disaster itself.

The nuclear plant story is exciting and dramatic and is easy to exaggerate, but it will quickly wear thin as the plant cools and the international public realizes that the fears were deliberately whipped up. By then, it could be far too late for many survivors.

If you want to remove the outer casing on your iPhone 4 to replace the battery or a broken screen, it won't be easy anymore. In the past, you could use a Phillip screwdriver to remove two tiny screws at the base of the phone and then simply slide off the back cover.

But Apple is replacing the outer screw with a mysterious tamper-resistant screw across its most popular product lines, reports iFixit, a Web site that provides free repair manuals and advice forums mostly aimed at Apple products. Apple calls them "Pentalobular" screws.

New MacBook Pros, iPhone 4s and MacBook Airs will have the Pentalobular screw, making it harder for do-it-yourselfers to make repairs. What about existing products in the field? Pentalobular screws might find their way into them, too.

"They know how fast you read because you have to click to turn the page," says Cindy Cohn, legal director at the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation. "It knows if you skip to the end to read how it turns out."

...

Cohn says this kind of page-view tracking may seem innocuous, but if the company keeps the data long-term, the information could be subpoenaed to check someone's alibi, or as evidence in a lawsuit.

And it's not just what pages you read; it may also monitor where you read them. Kindles, iPads and other e-readers have geo-location abilities; using GPS or data from Wi-Fi and cell phone towers, it wouldn't be difficult for the devices to track their own locations in the physical world.

DRM is used by Apple to restrict users' freedom in a variety of ways, including blocking installation of software that comes from anywhere except the official Application Store, and regulating every use of movies downloaded from iTunes. Apple furthermore claims that circumventing these restrictions is a criminal offense, even for purposes that are permitted by copyright law.

Apple (AAPL) is in talks with Microsoft (MSFT) to replace Google (GOOG) as the default search engine on its iPhone, according to two people familiar with the matter. The talks have been under way for weeks, say the people, who asked not to be named because the details have not been made public.

Independent warranty provider SquareTrade has released a study of more than 30,000 notebooks tracked through its extended warranty plans—and the results are a little surprising. Computer makers Asus and Toshiba led the pack in terms of notebook system reliability, with fewer than 10 percent of their systems needing repair after two years, with three-year failure rate projections of about 15.6 and 15.7 percent (respectively). And who’s in last place? Top computer maker Hewlett-Packard, with more than 15 percent of its systems failing after two years, and a three-year projection forecasting over a quarter of them will fail in three years.

But the experience taught Kaplan and Braunstein a lesson: Customers would sacrifice lots of quality for a cheap, convenient device. To keep the price down, Pure Digital had made significant trade-offs. It used inexpensive lenses and other components and limited the number of image-processing chips. The pictures were OK but not great. Yet Pure Digital sold 3 million cameras anyway.

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