Day: June 26, 2011

For Apple, another misfire in video editing, pros say

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Apple released Final Cut Pro X, the new version of its widely-used video-editing software, on Tuesday to a furor from critics.

(CNN) — The latest version of Apple’s widely-used Final Cut Pro high-end video-editing software may not be ready for its closeup.

Apple “rebuilt from the ground up” the new Final Cut Pro X, the company said in a statement, rather than adding a few features to the familiar interface from Final Cut Pro 7.

For the digital-only release on Tuesday via the new Mac App Store, Apple reduced the price to $300 from $1,000. An Apple statement described the new version, in its signature grandiose marketing style, as “revolutionary.”

But some outspoken video producers, who rely on the Apple program in their daily work, are staging a revolt. The backlash is not unlike what was seen when Apple released another retooled video-editing program, iMovie ’08.

In a flood of online postings, people who took an early dive into the program griped about the lack of important features from Final Cut’s predecessors. For example, users can’t easily edit multi-camera shots, layered audio tracks or projects started on older Final Cut versions, they say.

An Apple spokeswoman says the company plans to eventually add multi-camera and more advanced audio features.

The goal for Final Cut Pro X, it seems, is to make the complex editing software more accessible to “prosumers,” or folks who fall somewhere between casual hobbyists and working professionals.

Apple hit the same stumbling blocks when it rewrote its introductory iMovie software. iMovie ’08 was slammed by reviewers for oversimplifying and leaving out basic features, such as the ability to add multiple tracks. Apple added these features in later versions.

Some customers are having iMovie flashbacks.

“This is no longer a professional application,” read one popular Final Cut review on the App Store. “This is just an upgrade of iMovie.”

Conan O’Brien and his editors chimed in with a comedy sketch taking jabs at the program. The segment, from Thursday’s episode of “Conan,” is available for viewing online. “Conan” airs on the TBS network, which, like CNN, is owned by Time Warner.

When Apple makes a change as drastic as it did with Final Cut, the company perhaps shouldn’t be surprised by some criticism. Especially after going through something similar once before with its other line of video-editing applications.

The new Final Cut product is getting flogged by customers in its App Store listing. Many customers have doled out 1-star ratings for it and and the app is currently carrying a “C” grade.

“The oversimplification of the interface makes me feel like I’ve somehow lost a lot of precision and control,” wrote App Store user Fraize in a review that hundreds of shoppers marked as “helpful.” “I get the impression that folks at Apple that design software don’t actually run a production environment, and don’t understand our needs at all.”

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on the criticism.

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London 2012 Olympics: Fears about fake websites

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Swimmer Janet Evans

Sports fans are being urged to be aware of the risk of scams that could take advantage of people’s disappointment at missing out on Olympics tickets.

Some will be unable to secure tickets, even following the second wave of sales.

Trading standards officers fear that some fake websites will be set up promising to supply tickets.

Websites that take people’s money and disappear have been set up prior to other major events and festivals.

Popular

About 1.8 million people applied for 20 million tickets, but only 6.6 million tickets were available for the London 2012 Games.

Only approved resellers are allowed to sell the tickets, all of which are listed on the official London 2012 website.

website checker is also in place to help people cross-reference whether the website is legitimate.

Other tips for major sporting events in general include checking contact details and terms and conditions before applying for tickets online and being suspicious of tickets sold in bulk and temporary websites.

Caught out

Nicola Schofield, team manager at Nottinghamshire Trading Standards, said they were expecting some issues in the run-up to the Games.

“People should keep to genuine sources of tickets, otherwise tickets might fail to turn up or people may be denied entry,” she said.

Ahead of the last Olympics in Beijing, the parents of gold medallist swimmer Rebecca Adlington, who is from Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, spent nearly £1,100 on tickets they ordered from a website, which turned out to be a scam.

Any tickets unsold by organisers for the 2012 Olympics will be made available in further ballots, along with the possibility of additional tickets for higher-profile events being released as venues are tested and capacities finalised.

Ebay, the internet auction site, has said it will not allow the resale of Olympic tickets.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Podium, which deals with Olympics-related fraud, says it is continuing to monitor the internet for ticket touts.

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Hacking suspect Ryan Cleary ‘has Asperger’s syndrome’

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Ryan Cleary

A 19-year-old charged with hacking the website of the UK Serious Organised Crime Agency has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a court has heard.

Ryan Cleary, from Wickford, Essex, was arrested as part of a Scotland Yard and FBI probe into online hacking group LulzSec.

His counsel told City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court he suffers from the form of autism, along with agoraphobia.

He was granted bail, but remains in custody after prosecutors objected.

Ben Cooper, defending Mr Cleary, said he was concerned the alleged hacker would have to remain in custody over the weekend.

The court was told he is of high intelligence but has difficulty interacting with other people.

But prosecutors refused to reconsider their bail appeal.

Mr Cleary is alleged to have set up a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack on the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) on 20 June.

A DDOS attack typically involves flooding a target website with data, in an attempt to overwhelm it so it cannot serve its legitimate users.

‘Botnet conspiracy’

He has been accused of attacking the website of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry in November 2010.

And Mr Cleary also allegedly attacked the British Phonographic Industry’s website in October.

He was charged under the Criminal Law Act and Computer Misuse Act by the Met Police’s e-crime unit.

The charges against Mr Cleary include conspiring with other unknown people on or before 20 June to construct a botnet – a collection of hijacked home computers – to conduct distributed denial of service attacks.

He is also charged with making, adapting, supplying or offering to supply a botnet, intending that it should be used to commit, or to assist in the commission of a distributed denial of service attack.

The bail appeal will go to a Plea and Case Management Hearing at Southwark Crown Court on 30 August.

If Mr Cleary wins bail he will be banned from having any possession which can access the internet.

No internet access will be allowed at his home, which he will be prohibited from leaving without his mother, Rita Cleary.

Mr Cleary has not entered a plea to any of the charges.

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Winklevoss twins file another lawsuit against Facebook

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Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss

The Winklevoss brothers have re-started their long-running legal dispute with Facebook and its boss Mark Zuckerberg.

Just days after dropping a supreme court action, the twins filed a fresh lawsuit against the company.

It claims that Facebook “intentionally or inadvertently suppressed evidence” during their previous litigation.

Originally, Tyler and Cameron accused Mr Zuckerberg of stealing their idea to create the site.

The story of the feud formed the core of the 2010 film “The Social Network”.

The row dates from 2003 when the Winklevosses hired Mr Zuckerberg to write code for their ConnectU site while at Harvard.

He never did, but instead set up Facebook, which quickly became a success around the world.

A court case over who did what was resolved in 2008 when the parties agreed on a financial settlement, reportedly worth around $65m (£41m).

In January 2011 the Winklevosses tried to reopen the case, seeking more money. However, a US appeals court ruled in April that they would have to accept the settlement.

The twins initially said they would appeal against the settlement, but decided this week not to pursue that legal avenue.

New lawsuit

In the most recent suit filed on Thursday with the US District Court of Massachusetts, the Winklevosses and their business partner Divya Narendra said that Facebook hid some crucial information from them during settlement proceedings.

The twins said that Mr Zuckerberg did not disclose some important documents in regards to the relationship between him and the brothers while they were at Harvard.

Facebook’s outside counsel Neel Chatterjee said in a statement: “These are old and baseless allegations that have been considered and rejected previously by the courts.”

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Facebook membership crosses 750 million

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The world’s top social networking site Facebook has apparently attained 750 million members, reports Jason Kincaid of TechCrunch. Mr. Kincaid claims that he had the information from a source associated with the company.

In fact, Facebook has not revealed anything on its members’ count after the celebrated 500 million members of last year.

There have been rumors over the escalating number of members of Facebook over last several months. Some Facebook gossip blogs reported when it reached 600 million and 700 million and so on. However, it is now for the first time we hear the fastest growing social network site has received 750 million users.

Maybe, Facebook, which celebrated the 500 million count last year, will be waiting to reach at one billion mark for an official announcement. Indeed, it is certain that Facebook is growing unlike any other social networking or online communities.

Facebook started operation in February 2004. As of January 2011, the platform has 600 million users. The massive growth of Facebook in just seven years is indeed an unparallel one when compared with any other online communities.

A Harvard University graduate Mark Zuckerberg is the brain behind Facebook. Mr. Zuckerberg is now looking ahead to issue IPO for his company from 2012 onwards.

It will bring around millions more bucks to the already million-dollar-worth company.

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10 Hidden Features in Facebook

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Hidden Facebook Features

Facebook is the category-killing social network, makes up a quarter of the earth’s Web traffic, and can claim nearly three-quarters of a billion users. But many of them don’t dig beneath the skin of what the social network can do. There’s a ton of hidden Facebook functionality, most of which the average user will never find. PCMag readers, however, want to go deeper.

Facebook has come a long way since its dorm-room beginnings as portrayed in the fictional hit movie, The Social Network. Along the way, the site has beefed up its messaging, added more photo and video capability, and changed the way groups work. They’ve also taken some hits along the way, most often for privacy concerns. The latest of these is the sites new use of face-detection to identify people in photos for tagging. We’ve offered tips in the past for how to protect yourself while using the social network. And we’ve offered tips on safe social networking in general (in the wake of a local congressman’s indiscretions). We’ve shown you how to use Facebook Places, we’ve even shown you how you can get the best local deals on mobile Facebook.

This time, we wanted to simply uncover some of the lesser-known fun stuff on Facebook to enhance your interactions. We cover everything from messaging to movies, with some other nifty interface and community features along the way. Read our slideshow to find out Ten cool things you might not know how to do in Facebook. None of them are earth-shattering, but if you spend as much time on Facebook as the average person does, even a little extra knowledge can go a long way.

Click here to See 10 Hidden Features in Facebook Slideshow >

UK hacking suspect remains in custody

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UK hacking suspect remains in custody

Ryan Cleary was arrested this week in FBI / Scotland Yard LulzSec probe.
The 19 year old was granted bail, but remains in custody after objections from the prosecution. Ben Cooper, defending Mr Cleary, said he was concerned about him remaining in custody. The court had been told that Cleary suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, being highly intelligent but with social interaction difficulties.

The prosecution, which refused to reconsider the bail appeal, accuse Cleary of setting up a DDoS attack on the Serious Organised Crime Agency on June 20, and attacked the websites of the International Federation of the Phonographgic Industrytwice in late 2010.

He has also been accused of making, adapting, supplying or offering to supply a botnet to carry out distributed denial of service attacks against web targets.

If Cleary is released on bail, he will be banned from having possession of any device that can access the Internet. No Internet access will be permitted at his home, and he will be prohibited from leaving his home without his mother.

Ryan Dunn’s last words lead to a Facebook scam

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Ryan Dunn, a star of the TV show Jackass, died last week after a high speed car crash. And within hours, ghoulish scammers were taking advantage of the daredevil’s demise by claiming to have exclusive videos of the accident in links that spread via Facebook.

Ryan Dunn Crash Video [Exclusive]

Ryan Dunn Crash Video [Exclusive]
[LINK]

In addition, we have also seen bogus videos being promoted via viral links which claim to show Ryan Dunn’s last words.

Ryan Dunn's LAST WORDS - EXCLUSIVE!!

Ryan Dunn's LAST WORDS - EXCLUSIVE!!
[LINK]
WARNING: For mature audiences only.

Clicking on such links, however, is playing directly into the scammers’ hands. A bogus Facebook page appears, and you are tricked into “Sharing” the page with your Facebook friends in the belief that you are really passing an age verification process.

Ryan Dunn scam

Once you’ve helped the scammers spread their promotion across Facebook, you are tricked into taking an online survey which earns commission for whoever is the mastermind of the scam operation.

Survey scam

If you’re a fan of Ryan Dunn, it seems to me that the very last thing you should be doing is helping someone who is exploiting the TV star’s death make money.

If you got hit by this scam, make sure you have removed the entries from your news feed (to stop them being shared amongst your friends) and check your profile has not any unwanted “Likes” under your “Likes and interests”.

If you use Facebook and want to get an early warning about the latest attacks, you should join the Sophos Facebook page where we have a thriving community of over 90,000 people.