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Sunday, 13 March 2011  |  Rabiʻ II 8, 1432  | Last updated at 14:13
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Science & Technology
Workers inspect a caved-in section of a road in Satte, Saitama Prefecture, after one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded in Japan slammed its eastern coast on Friday. (AP)
WASHINGTON: The massive earthquake that struck off the coast of Japan Friday was the strongest quake in the area in nearly 1,200 years. It was also calculated to have caused the day to get a tiny bit shorter.
The readers of Arab News share bizarre stuff with me all the time. It wasn’t out of the ordinary that Firas sent me his telephone bill. But the STC invoice was definitely strange. It seems that STC has been having billing problems with customers who are on special unlimited network access plans.
For a few years it seemed that video games would take over as playtime favorites and each year game developers introduce new gaming technology to fascinate young and old alike. But now, traditional recreation brands are fighting back with technology to bring excitement and relevance to the games we’ve known and loved for decades. There are also entirely new products hoping to be considered a ton of e-fun. So let’s show you some of the newest ways to put a smile on your face — while making a dent in your wallet.
Every week, Arab News in conjunction with I.Zone — Apple Premium Resellers in Saudi Arabia — will highlight amazing apps in various categories. Apart from the chance to explore the world of apps, viewers will have the opportunity to rate and comment on the featured apps of the week.
• Catch all the action
• Overcome the 2TB barrier
• A deal each day
• These displays recline
• Algebra? No problem
WASHINGTON: Elephants quickly learned to cooperate to solve a problem, researchers report in Monday’s edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Bahrain conference schedule hit
Regional IT professionals, engineers and scientists face disappointment, inconvenience and expense as conferences and educational events planned for Bahrain this year are being canceled or rescheduled due to the recent unrest.
Strange life signs found on meteorites — NASA scientist
WASHINGTON: A NASA scientist reports detecting tiny fossilized bacteria on three meteorites, and maintains these microscopic life forms are not native to Earth.
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Where next for NASA? Scientists draw up wish list
LOS ANGELES: Land a rover on Mars to collect rocks and soil samples that could later be returned to Earth. If that’s a budget-buster, then orbit Jupiter’s moon Europa, which may have a liquid ocean beneath its frozen surface, or study Uranus’ atmosphere.
How Apple’s iPad 2 compares to rivals
NEW YORK: Here’s how Apple Inc.’s iPad 2, unveiled on Wednesday, stacks up against competing tablets.
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Apple to unveil new iPad, with or without Jobs
SAN FRANCISCO: More than a year after igniting the tablet computing craze, Apple Inc. prepares to unveil the second version of its blockbuster iPad — possibly minus lead showman Steve Jobs. Plenty has changed over the course of the year.
Israel: new weapon downed Gaza anti-tank rocket
JERUSALEM: A new Israeli weapons system knocked down a Palestinian anti-tank rocket in its first combat test Tuesday, the military said, showing off technology that could protect the heavy vehicles that have been the mainstay of the world’s ground forces for decades.
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Tiny spy planes could mimic birds, insects
SAN DIEGO: The Pentagon has poured millions of dollars into the development of tiny drones inspired by biology — including the hummingbird — each equipped with video and audio equipment that can record sights and sounds. They could be used to spy, but also to locate people inside earthquake-crumpled buildings and detect hazardous chemical leaks. The smaller, the better. Besides the hummingbird, engineers in the growing unmanned aircraft industry are working on drones that look like insects and the helicopter-like maple leaf seed.
Space station gets much-needed storage room
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida: The International Space Station got a sorely needed storage room Tuesday, a 21-foot(6.4-meter)-long supply closet packed with goods and a humanoid robot that will remain boxed up for another two months.
Androids to run in world’s 1st robot marathon
TOKYO: A technology company is organizing the world’s first marathon for robots in Japan, a country known for its love of gizmos.
Monarch butterfly count bounces back from bad year
MEXICO CITY: Monarch butterfly colonies in Mexico more than doubled in size this winter after bad storms devastated their numbers a year ago, conservationists said on Monday although the migrating insect remains under threat.
Microsoft switch means billions for Nokia, says CEO
BARCELONA, Spain: Nokia Corp. will get billions of dollars from Microsoft Corp. to ditch its current smart-phone software in favor of Windows Phone 7, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said Sunday, in a defense of the deal.
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Scientists look to stem cells to mend broken hearts
LONDON: Britain’s leading heart charity launched a 50 million pound ($80 million) research project on Tuesday into the potential of stem cells to regenerate heart tissue and “mend broken hearts.”
Cellphone security threats rise sharply - McAfee
LONDON: Cellphone security threats rose sharply last year as a proliferation of Internet-enabled mobile devices like smartphones and tablets provided new opportunities for cybercriminals, security software maker McAfee said. San Antonio Spurs guard George Hill, right, drives past Detroit Pistons guard Will Bynum during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Auburn Hills, Michigan, on Tuesday. (Reuters)
Google launches Twitter workaround for Egypt
SAN FRANCISCO: Google Inc.  launched a special service to allow people in Egypt to send Twitter messages by dialing a phone number and leaving a voice-mail, as Internet access remains cut off in the country amid anti-government protests.
Google, Microsoft spar over search results quality
SEATTLE: Google is accusing Microsoft Corp. of cheating to make its Bing search engine better. Microsoft says the way it is improving results isn't copying. Matt Cutts, head of Google's Web spam team, said Tuesday that Bing was returning search results that seem a little too close to Google's own. That was especially the case for obscure searches.
US pilots new airport scans after privacy concerns
ARLINGTON, Virginia: US aviation security authorities on Tuesday unveiled a new pilot program aimed at quelling an uproar about full-body scanners used to screen air travelers — the new software will no longer produce an image of the actual person.
Tracks of two prehistoric birds found in Alaska
ANCHORAGE, Alaska: Fossilized tracks from two newly discovered prehistoric birds have been found in Alaska’s Denali National Park, according to findings released by an expert in Arctic paleontology.
Beijing faces longest wait for snow in 60 years
BEIJING: China’s capital is facing its longest wait for winter snowfall in 60 years as drought in the northern part of the country affects millions of people.
China blocks ‘Egypt’ on top Twitter-like service
BEIJING: China has blocked the word “Egypt” from the country’s wildly popular Twitter-like service, while coverage of the political turmoil has been tightly restricted in state media.
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Tiny Borneo bats roost in carnivorous pitcher plants
TOKYO: Tiny bats, no bigger than a car key, have been discovered roosting in carnivorous pitcher plants in Borneo — with their droppings a vital nutrient for the plants.
Cholera has undergone mutations, causing more deaths
HONG KONG: The cholera bacterium has undergone important mutations in recent years, causing longer outbreaks of the disease with increased fatalities, researchers reported on Wednesday.
Tiny Borneo bats roost in carnivorous pitcher plants
TOKYO: Tiny bats, no bigger than a car key, have been discovered roosting in carnivorous pitcher plants in Borneo — with their droppings a vital nutrient for the plants.
It’s all about the image
The development engineers at Canon must believe they are in a technological paradise — when they can get round to separating reality from the virtual reality they create.
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Digital books with a difference
The web has changed publishing enormously. The first eBooks were simply text in a digital format. But now e-books feature audio, video and text files, plus hyperlinks to other content outside the book. The publishing industry itself has changed dramatically, too. That has left many established publishers searching for new ways to compete. Houghton Mifflin Company traces its history to 1832. Famous authors such as Longfellow, Emerson, Hawthorne, Twain and Thoreau were published by the company.
Unmanned US spacecraft returns after 7-month trip
California: The US Air Force’s secrecy-shrouded X-37B unmanned spaceplane returned to Earth early Friday after more than seven months in orbit on a classified mission, officials said.
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Gift Guide: Tech gadgets for frequent travelers
NEW YORK: If you have people on your gift list who travel a lot, you may want to think about giving them something to keep them comfortable and entertained while on the go, even if they’re not as nomadic as George Clooney’s road warrior character in the movie “Up in the Air.” We can’t do anything about delays, cramped seating, jetlag, traffic jams and noisy passengers, but these gadgets could make it easier to tune them out:
Scientists trick cells into switching identities
NEW YORK: Suppose you could repair tissue damaged by a heart attack by magically turning other cells into heart muscle, so the organ could pump effectively again.
Kaspar the friendly robot helps autistic kids
STEVENAGE, England: Eden Sawczenko used to recoil when other little girls held her hand and turned stiff when they hugged her. This year, the 4-year-old autistic girl began playing with a robot that teaches about emotions and physical contact — and now she hugs everyone. The robot, named Kaspar, is programmed to do things like smile, frown, laugh, blink and wave his arms. There are several versions of Kaspar, including one advanced enough to play Nintendo Wii.
The apps do tell
A few months back Acer announced their Alive content store. At the press conference held for the launch there was a good amount of grumbling from journalists because Acer wasn’t very clear about how it would be protecting user’s privacy — particularly concerning the sharing of information about content downloads. New research from Professor Trevor Pinch reveals that there is good reason to be concerned about such data collection and sharing because some personality traits can be revealed through people’s app downloads and use habits.
The Rich List: iPhone’s highest-grossing game apps for 2010
Every week, Arab News in conjunction with I.Zone — Apple Premium Resellers in Saudi Arabia — will highlight amazing apps in various categories. Apart from the chance to explore the world of apps, viewers will have the opportunity to rate and comment on the featured apps of the week.
1 comments
Apple's iPad 2: thinner and twice faster
SAN FRANCISCO: Apple CEO Steve Jobs briefly emerged from his medical leave and walked on stage to a standing ovation Wednesday to unveil the second generation of the popular iPad. It comes with two cameras and will go on sale worldwide later this month.
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How Apple’s iPad 2 compares to rivals
Carmakers bet on green tech to offset costly fuel
GENEVA: Mass-market automakers like Toyota, Fiat and Ford say green technologies on display at the Geneva Auto Show will help them weather the impact of skyrocketing fuel prices — while less humble sportscar makers like Lamborghini flaunted their gas guzzlers.
Battery life 30+
Poor battery life has long been an issue for business users of mobile computers. A business day can stretch 12 hours or more and business laptops generally offer batteries lasting nine hours or less. Those hours start to lessen further within just a few months of purchasing a new notebook. The battery issue creates bizarre behavior where road warriors are on the lookout for any opportunity to plug in and charge up. Constantly charging the battery before it runs down diminishes battery performance in the long run, but the quest to keep a battery pack at full power is an obsession for many business people who depend on a mobile computer.
Cool Tools - March 2, 2011
• Take shots almost anywhere
• Made of plants
• Focus on women
• For the style conscious
• Shopping Mall on Facebook
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Communicating the written word
Typefaces are an area that has generally been overlooked, but without Arabic typefaces that can be used digitally, the Arab world wouldn’t be able to move forward in this Internet Age,” remarked Mourad Boutros from his headquarters in London.
Night Dragon devours energy data
The Internet is such an incredible enabler for business that companies can hardly imagine how work ever got done without it. Unfortunately, the Internet is also a great enabler for industrial espionage. In 2009, and possibly earlier, the Night Dragon came after global oil, energy and petrochemical companies. It’s only now that those firms are discovering what data the beast ripped out of their networks.
Coming mobile attractions
Last week’s GSMA Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona was attended by more than more than 60,000 visitors from 200 countries— a new record. The star of the show of course was the Android mobile operating system, which featured in most of the 24 new phones introduced at MWC. If you’re an Android app developer, the future looks very bright.
LATEST MOST READ MOST COMMENTED
  1. Japan quake-tsunami death toll likely over 10,000
  2. 83 rescued from US eatery that floated downstream
  3. Battered Japan faces a new threat: nuclear meltdown
  4. US Muslims find defending themselves exhausting
  5. Qaddafi troops defect near rebel-held Misrata
LATEST COMMENTS
‘Most women inmates are expats’
I wonder just how many ex patriate women are behind bars in Saudi Arabia, some under penalty of
Manel Fonseka at Mar 13, 2011 16:09
4 comments
Bomb blast kills 3, wounds 9 in south Philippines
This is what we called " Game of the General "...military can't secure the small island of sulu
Abu Sayaf at Mar 13, 2011 16:08
2 comments
Saudis are loyal people, says Naif
King Abdullah is a great leader, anyone who thinks otherwise is just ranting about things they
Faisal at Mar 13, 2011 16:08
26 comments
Saudis are loyal people, says Naif
It seems the instigators are just illiterates and uncivilised, they couldnt even look and under
Mohammed A. Faheem at Mar 13, 2011 16:08
26 comments
Saudis are loyal people, says Naif
Saudis are Loyal or Fearfull nation?
Jasem at Mar 13, 2011 16:07
26 comments
Saudis are loyal people, says Naif
@Najjar, I must agree with this point of yours. KSA must never allow the kuffar forces inside t
Rasheed at Mar 13, 2011 16:07
26 comments
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