redletterdave writes "Mercedes-Benz unveiled plans on Monday to use Siri, Apple's AI personal assistant exclusive to the iPhone 4S, to power its electronics system called 'Drive Kit Plus,' which will essentially let drivers access their iPhone apps while driving using voice commands. With Siri, Mercedes drivers will have a hands-free solution to listen to music, change channels on the radio, send texts, or make calls. 'Drive Kit Plus' will also come pre-installed with a number of social networks, so drivers will even be able to update their Twitter accounts and post messages to Facebook. Siri will also be integrated with Garmin's GPS system, so drivers can navigate and get directions with simple voice commands. With this move, Mercedes-Benz earns the distinction of being the first carmaker to integrate Apple technology into its vehicles' in-car systems."
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An anonymous reader writes "PC Magazine reports that even while Amazon was building their Kindle Fire tablet, it was already planning on a much larger model that 'will be its marquee product and the hopeful cornerstone of its tablet strategy.' Amazon's already begun offering $30 discounts on refurbished 7-inch Kindle Fire tablets, matching last week's new aggressive pricing from Barnes and Noble on their color touchscreen Nook. But PCMag argues that the 7-inch color Kindle was simply a 'beta' release of the larger device to come. 'In no way was Amazon being dishonest with its customers... To be truly fair, many people may never want a screen larger than seven inches because of the associated weight and bulk.' But the author argues that its real purpose may have been as a test run to gather important real-world data for their ultimate war with the iPad. 'After all, as industry insiders joke, all first-generation products, whether hardware or software, are really "beta" programs disguised as initial launches.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Just when you thought the Apple knockoff trade in China couldn't get any more ridiculous, Chinese Police recently seized 681 "Apple iPhone" branded gas stoves in the city of Wuhan. Yep, that's right, some folks are peddling gas grills and are trying to made the product more appealing by stamping an Apple logo alongside the 'iPhone' moniker on the front."
Hugh Pickens writes "AP reports that last week during a question-and-answer session at the company's annual shareholders' meeting CEO Tim Cook said he believes Apple has more money than it needs and his next challenge is to figure out whether Apple should break from the cash-hoarding ways of his predecessor, the late Steve Jobs, and dip into its $98 billion bank account to pay shareholders a dividend this year. 'Frankly speaking, it's more than we need to run the company.' The question of how to handle Apple's cash stockpile is a touchy one, partly because company co-founder Jobs had steadfastly brushed aside suggestions that the company restore its quarterly dividend which Jobs suspended in 1995 when it was in such deep trouble that it needed to hold on to every cent to keep from going bankrupt. Marketwatch analyst Mark Hulbert writes that a compelling case can be made that a huge cash hoard actually represents grave danger for Apple. That's because too much cash often burns a hole in managers' pockets, and they end up doing a poor job of investing that cash—engaging instead in foolish pursuits like empire building. Hulbert adds that a good strategy for ensuring that Apple remains a hungry, growth-oriented entrepreneurial company might be for it to distribute much of its cash to shareholders."
wiredmikey writes with this extract from Security Week: "On Friday, researchers from security firm Intego reported that a new variant of Flashback is targeting passwords and as a byproduct of infection, Flashback is crashing several notable applications. Flashback was first discovered by Intego in September of 2011. It targets Java vulnerabilities on OS X, two of them to be exact, in order to infect the system. Should Flashback find that Java is fully updated, it will attempt to social engineer the malware's installation, by presenting an applet with a self-signed certificate. The certificate claims to be signed by Apple, but is clearly marked as invalid. However, users are known to skip such warnings, thus allowing the malware to be installed. ... The newest variant will render programs such as Safari and Skype unstable, causing them to crash. Interestingly enough, normally these are stable programs, so if they start suddenly crashing might be a sign of larger issues."
New submitter adycarter writes "Steve Perlman, the man responsilbe for QuickTime and WebTV, has recently launched OnLive Desktop which now offers a 'plus' service enabling iPad users to use Flash, Microsoft Office and the ability to use a Gigabit-speed version of Internet Explorer. The service runs on the same basic technology as their game streaming service in that you're using your iPad as client to access a machine located in the cloud."
judgecorp writes "The Chinese company Proview is taking its trademark case against Apple's iPad to the Californian Courts. The company acknowledges it sold the IPAD name to Apple, but denies Apple has rights in China, and has accused Apple of underhand tactics." Says the article: "Any kind of ban in China would obviously be a major headache for Apple, since that is where most of the iPads are manufactured. If Proview is successful, it would effectively stop worldwide distribution of the tablet, and delay the launch of the iPad 3."
An anonymous reader writes "Foxconn is insisting that it has done no wrong. But it has hired Burson-Marsteller to deal with the press failout from recent child labour allegations. Burson-Masteller is a PR heavy hitter called in when outfits have big image problems. It handled Tylenol poisonings, and, according to Corporate Watch, the Bhopal disaster, and Three Mile Island. It represented the private military group Blackwater after Baghdad allegations. Its clients have included the Argentinian military junta led by General Jorge Videla and Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu and Saudi Arabia after it was pointed out that most of the September 11 attackers were from that country."
New submitter elashish14 tips this news, snipped from Ars Technica: "Apple has been forced to disable push e-mail delivery for iCloud and MobileMe users in Germany this week. The move is thanks to a recent injunction awarded to Motorola as part of the ongoing patent dispute between the two smartphone makers.... The patent at issue relates to older pager designs, but Motorola was able to convince a German court that it applied to Apple's implementation of push e-mail that syncs across devices via iCloud. The injunction went into effect on Thursday of this week, requiring Apple to disable push e-mail syncing in Germany."
AZA43 writes "Everybody knows that BlackBerry-maker RIM is hurting these days. But is it hurting enough to try to attract new customers with the promise of porn and/or gambling apps? A new rating system added to RIM's BlackBerry App World store suggests that it just may be that desperate. The new 'Adult' rating covers, 'graphic sexual content, graphic nudity,' 'graphic violence,' and gambling apps 'as permitted by law.' And that suggests RIM will allow this kind of content into App World, in stark contrast to Apple's no-porn-on-the-iPhone stand."
An anonymous reader writes "Matt Spaccarelli has won a judgement of $850 from AT&T for data throttling. From the article: 'Nadel's ruling could pave the way for others to follow suit. AT&T has some 17 million customers with "unlimited data" plans that can be subject to throttling, representing just under half of the company's smartphone users. AT&T stopped signing up new customers for those plans in 2010, and warned last year that it would start slowing speeds for people who consume the most data. In the last few months, subscribers have been surprised by how little data use it takes for throttling to kick in —often less than AT&T provides to those on limited or "tiered" plans. Spaccarelli said his phone is being throttled after he's used 1.5 gigabytes to 2 gigabytes of data within a new billing cycle. Meanwhile, AT&T provides 3 gigabytes of data to subscribers on a tiered plan that costs the same — $30 per month.'"
DeviceGuru writes "It's looking like 2012 will be a watershed year for cord-cutters wanting to replace expensive cable TV services with low-cost gadgets that stream movies and TV shows from the Internet via free, subscription, and pay-per-view services. Accordingly, this DeviceGuru smackdown pits five popular streaming media player devices against each other. The smackdown compares Roku, Google TV, Apple TV, the Boxee Box, and Netgear's NeoTV, tabulating their key features, functions, specs, supported multimedia formats, and other characteristics, and listing the main advantages and disadvantages of each device. Then, it provides a summary chart that attempts to quantify the whole thing, so you (theoretically) can pick the best one based on what characteristics are most important to you. Of course, the market's evolving so quickly that the entire process will need to be redone in 6 months, but what else is new."
theodp writes "The WSJ reports that a coalition of Internet giants including Google has agreed to support a do-not-track button to be embedded in most Web browsers — a move that the industry had been resisting for more than a year. The new do-not-track button isn't going to stop all Web tracking. The companies have agreed to stop using the data about people's Web browsing habits to customize ads, and have agreed not to use the data for employment, credit, health-care or insurance purposes. But the data can still be used for some purposes such as 'market research' and 'product development' and can still be obtained by law enforcement officers. Meanwhile, after Google got caught last week bypassing privacy settings on Safari, and was accused of also circumventing IE's P3P Privacy Protection feature, CBS MoneyWatch contacted Mozilla to see if it had noticed Google bypassing Firefox's privacy controls. After reports that Google ponied up close to a billion dollars to Mozilla to beat out a Microsoft bid, this seems to be one of those have-you-stopped-beating-your-wife type questions that has no good answer. Anyway, according to a statement attributed to Alex Fowler, global privacy and public policy lead for Mozilla: 'Our testing did not reveal any instances of Google bypassing user privacy settings.'"
CUPS is the popular open-source printing system that many projects have used successfully as a core, for desktop printing and as the basis of dedicated print servers. Reader donadony writes with word that Apple "has chosen to abandon certain Linux exclusive features, [while] continuing with popular Mac OS X features. The changeover is being attempted by Apple to set new printing standards that will not require 'drivers' in the future." However, as this message from Tim Waugh at Red Hat points out, all is not lost: "Where they are of use for the Linux environment, those orphaned features will continue to be maintained at OpenPrinting as a separate project."
zacharye writes "A lawyer representing Proview International on Monday announced that the Intermediate People's Court in Huizhou, a city in southern China, ruled that distributors should stop selling iPads in China. From the article: 'The ruling, which was also reported widely in China's state media, may not have a far-reaching effect. In its battle with Apple, Proview is utilizing lawsuits in several places and also requesting commercial authorities in 40 cities to block iPad sales. Apple Inc. said in a statement Monday that its case is still pending in mainland China. The company has appealed to Guangdong's High Court against an earlier ruling in Proview's favor.'"