Archive for April, 2010

Symantec Will Centralize Encryption with Acquisitions (NewsFactor)

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Symantec Will Centralize Encryption with Acquisitions

Symantec said Thursday it will pay $370 million in cash to acquire encryption technology providers PGP and GuardianEdge Technologies, with the deals expected to close during the company's June quarter. Symantec sees its acquisition of standards-based encryption capabilities from the two firms as a natural extension of its strategy for securing and managing information on any device — across both the enterprise and consumer segments as well as in the cloud, said Symantec CEO Enrique Salem.

"With PGP and GuardianEdge's encryption solutions for full-disk, removable media, e-mail, file, folder and smartphones, Symantec will have the broadest set of integrated data-protection capabilities," Salem said. "We will be able to address the encryption needs of all customer segments from the largest enterprises and governments to small businesses and individuals."

Expanded Opportunities

Together, PGP and GuardianEdge are expected to significantly expand the addressable security market that Symantec can serve, Salem told investors during a Thursday conference call. "State and national governments are enacting more stringent mandates, driving the need to encrypt sensitive information and protect an individual's privacy," Salem said. "Also, the increased costs and frequency of data breaches are driving the adoption of encryption as companies strive to mitigate risk and protect their critical information from cybercriminals."

Symantec said PGP's key management platform and product portfolio of hard disk, file, folder, e-mail and mobile and removable media encryption will be integrated into the Symantec Protection Center to further enhance the management of endpoint security, data loss prevention and gateway security products. "PGP has more than 110,000 enterprise customers and more than one million SMB and individual customers worldwide," Salem said.

Forrester Research Vice President Jonathan Penn said the PGP acquisition was quite a surprise, and a pleasant one since PGP offers unique value to Symantec.

"They will have to support PGP encryption in e-mail and on the desktop, given the technology's established and loyal customer base," Penn said. "But with PGP, they're also likely looking at extending that encryption platform beyond e-mail, files and SharePoint" into "other places where Symantec plays: Databases, backup, archiving and storage management." And there are "some interesting possibilities in offering encryption to consumers as well," he added.

A Transformational Component

The addition of PGP's key management is the transformational component that can provide Symantec with a competitive advantage, noted IDC Research Vice President Charles Kolodgy. "They can build a full enterprise key management system that will tie together GuardianEdge FDE, PGP file/folder and e-mail encryption, and NetBackup encryption," he said.

Kolodgy noted that 52 percent of the respondents to an IDC survey said in 2007 that their organizations would be more inclined to deploy multiple encryption solutions if all components could be managed.

"The use of central, manageable key management has been what many people are looking for because they do not like all of the different encryption key silos," Kolodgy said. Furthermore, PGP's earlier purchase of TC TrustCenter and ChosenSecurity provides Symantec "with the tools required to provide a platform for managing trusted identities used for encryption, authentication and secure collaboration," Kolodgy added.

The GuardianEdge acquisition is expected to strengthen Symantec's efforts to serve U.S. government agencies — especially those which are seeking to conduct business with fewer vendors. Symantec had "an established partnership" with GuardianEdge, and has "followed up on its modus operandi here of partnering before acquiring," Penn said.

"GuardianEdge brings a set of encryption applications that are desktop oriented," Penn added. Symantec's plan for GuardianEdge "would likely be deeper integration into Symantec Endpoint Protection" (SEP) and "I'm sure Symantec will take a good look at PGP's endpoint solution and migrate functionality" to SEP "as well," he said.

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Apple shutting Lala; `Cloud' music on horizon?

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Apple shutting Lala; `Cloud' music on horizon?

LOS ANGELES – Apple Inc. is shutting down its newly bought Lala online music service amid speculation it is creating a way for iTunes customers to listen to songs stored on distant computers.

The move comes just weeks before an annual conference for developers in San Francisco on June 7 at which the secretive company tends to announce big news. Last year, it used the conference to unveil the latest version of its popular iPhone, the 3GS.

With Apple continuing to build a $1 billion data center in Maiden, N.C., that rivals the largest such facilities in the world, some executives in the online music industry believe that Apple is poised to announce an Internet-powered version of iTunes that would do away with the need to download songs.

Such a move would pit Apple, the largest online music retailer, against smaller companies that offer ways to deliver music to mobile devices using "cloud computing," a remote-storage system that potentially challenges iTunes and its reliance on downloads and personal storage space.

"Whatever they bought Lala for, it is likely to be integrated into iTunes," said Michael Gartenberg, a partner at technology consulting firm Altimeter Group. "It’s no surprise they’re shutting this down."

But one factor against a big announcement soon is that Apple has not approached music executives about its plans since a few months ago, and new licenses that would be required have not been set up, according to two people at different major recording companies with knowledge of the discussions. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions are meant to be confidential.

Customers of iTunes currently pay up to $1.29 per song. Because it takes several minutes to download songs to a phone over cell networks, most users download songs to their computers before transferring them to their phones with a physical cord.

A cloud system would let users access the songs right away.

And because storage space wouldn’t be an issue, a user could listen to a wider variety of music on the go.

Several months before Apple bought Lala in December, Lala co-founder Bill Nguyen demonstrated for The Associated Press a working, but unapproved iPhone application that streamed songs instantly to the phone after a user spent 10 cents per song to house them in a digital locker on a distant server. The 10 cents are credited back to buyers who went on to buy a higher-quality, permanent download.

Nguyen called the technology "the end of the MP3," the dominant format for song downloads. After Apple bought Lala, that iPhone application was never launched.

Since then, several companies have launched similar streaming music functions that do away with downloads and need only be connected to the Internet via the cell phone network.

On Monday, Rhapsody unveiled an update to its iPhone application to allow users to play such music even when they lack cell phone coverage. For a $10 monthly fee, users could save any song from a catalog of 9.5 million to their device.

Although users can only play the songs for as long as they keep paying, the system still challenges the iTunes model by making it easier to get songs to the phone, without the need for cords and synching with a regular computer.

The ability to quickly save songs on a phone for offline playback was "a huge milestone," Rhapsody International Inc. President Jon Irwin said Friday. "So in a way, the battle’s already begun."

Apple declined to comment Friday on its plans.

Visitors to Lala’s home page have been told since late Thursday that the service isn’t accepting new users and will shut down at the end of May. Songs that were bought from Lala for download are still playable, and people who bought 10-cent songs that can only be played online will get 10 cents credited to their iTunes accounts or a check in the mail, the site said. Other credits and gift cards are also transferable for a limited time.

Apple has been hiring staff for its North Carolina data center, and in early April advertised on its website for a chief operating engineer.

Only about a dozen data centers in the world are larger than the 500,000-square-foot facility Apple has under construction, said Rich Miller, editor of Data Center Knowledge, a website that tracks such centers.

Other companies that have built structures of the same size are "major cloud computing players" such as Microsoft Corp. and Google Inc., he said. Apple currently has one data center in Newark, Calif. That facility covers about 150,000 square feet and is believed to power its MobileMe service of pushing e-mail and calendar events to devices.

"It certainly looks like their ambition is to house a lot of data," Miller said. That would then let Apple deliver greater amounts of content over the Internet than the company’s current offerings.


AP Technology Writer Jessica Mintz in Seattle contributed to this report.

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3G iPad goes on sale: Everything you need to know (Ben Patterson)

Friday, April 30th, 2010

3G iPad goes on sale: Everything you need to know
(Ben Patterson)

Get Ready for the Next iPad

Been waiting patiently to snap up an iPad with built-in support for 3G? Then today’s your lucky day. If you’re a newcomer to all the iPad hoopla, however, make sure to check out these basic tips before heading out to the Apple Store.

When exactly does the 3G iPad go on sale?
Apple Stores across the U.S. are closing between 4 and 5 p.m. local time Friday to prep for the 3G iPad launch, AppleInsider reports, with the starting gun set to go off at 5 p.m. sharp, so expect to wait in line if you arrive any earlier than 5 o’clock. The first iPad launch on April 3 went off pretty much without a hitch, so I’m guessing there’s no need to arrive super-early to guarantee getting a 3G iPad today.

What’s the difference between the iPad that’s already on sale and the new iPad 3G?
Simple: the Wi-Fi-only iPad (which debuted on April 3) connects to local Wi-Fi networks only, while the 3G iPad (on sale starting today, April 30) comes embedded with support for speedy 3G cellular networks (meaning AT&T here in the U.S.), perfect for getting Internet access even when you’re not in range of a Wi-Fi network. (You’ll need to be within AT&T’s 3G coverage area, though.)

How much does it cost?
The 3G iPad sells for a $130 premium over the regular iPad, which comes out to $629 for the 16GB 3G iPad, $729 for the 32GB model, and $829 for the 64GB version.

OK, so which iPad should I get: the regular one or the 3G verison?
Naturally, that depends on how you see yourself using the iPad. If you think it’s something you’ll use mainly, say, at home on your living room couch, the cheaper Wi-Fi iPad might be all you need. But if you see yourself taking the iPad with you everywhere you go — and let’s face it, using the iPad is a lot more fun when you can surf the Web, tweet, and check your email — you should seriously consider ponying up for the 3G version. (Another option is using the regular iPad with a portable Wi-Fi hotspot like the MiFi — that’s what I do — but keep in mind that you’ll have to pay hefty monthly data charges in the bargain, in my case $60 a month.)

Will I have to buy a data plan?
Yep, you will, and here in the U.S. you only have one carrier to choose from: AT&T. That said, AT&T’s 3G iPad plans are month-to-month, so you won’t need to sign a contract. The plans: $30 a month for unlimited data, or $15 a month for 250MB, and you’ll be able to buy or change your plan directly on the iPad —no in-store activation needed. (Click here for more details on AT&T’s 3G iPad plans.)

Any physical differences?
The measurements for the standard iPad and the 3G version are precisely the same; the 3G iPad, though, is 1.6 ounces heavier than its one-and-a-half-pound Wi-Fi-only counterpart. Another small difference: The 3G iPad has a black plastic stripe across the back, near the top, to boost 3G reception.

What about battery life?
Apple says the standard iPad will deliver a solid 10 hours of battery life between charges (a figure that’s been backed up by real-life tests), but as we all know, receiving and transmitting data via 3G puts added strain on mobile batteries. For its part, Apple claims that the 3G iPad’s battery will hold up well, to the tune of nine hours; that said, I’m curious to see battery-life reports from users in the real world.

Can I order the 3G iPad online?
You sure can, but according to the iPad product page on the Apple Store, your 3G iPad will arrive "by" May 7, so you might have to wait a few days. Already pre-ordered the 3G iPad? Then you should see the UPS truck rolling up any minute now.

I don’t live in the U.S.; when can I get a 3G iPad in my country?
Apple previously announced that it would be delaying the international launch of the iPad a month due to "surprisingly strong" demand here in the U.S. Apple says it’ll announce exact international launch dates on May 10, the day when it begins taking orders for iPads overseas.

— Ben Patterson is a technology writer for Yahoo! News.

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Has HP 'killed off' its Windows 7–powered Slate tablet? (Ben Patterson)

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Has HP 'killed off' its Windows 7–powered Slate tablet?
(Ben Patterson)

Just hours after the news broke that Microsoft has spiked its innovative, dual-screen Courier tablet comes word that HP may have spiked its upcoming Slate, the as-yet unreleased Windows 7–powered tablet that was poised to do battle with the iPad.

HP, which made big headlines on Wednesday by agreeing to gobble up Palm, has yet to make any definitive announcements about the fate of the Slate, which first appeared in the hands of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at CES. That said, eyebrows were raised during a conference call Wednesday when HP boss Todd Bradley dodged a question about the much-hyped tablet, saying only that "we haven’t made roadmap announcements" and that more details would come once the Palm deal is finalized, which may take several weeks, if not months.

That led Business Insider’s Jay Yarow to wonder whether HP had decided to "scrap its plans for a Windows tablet," and indeed, here comes Michael Arrington at TechCrunch, who claims that HP has indeed "killed off" the Windows 7–powered Slate.

So, why is the Slate going bye-bye — or supposedly bye-bye, anyway? Blame Windows 7, according to Arrington’s anonymous source (who has "been briefed on the matter"). Somehow, that doesn’t come as a huge surprise, assuming the story is true. Windows 7 is designed for a PC with a keyboard and a mouse, and despite HP’s earlier promises that it would come with a "touch-optimized UI," I can’t imagine users would have an easy time tapping and swiping through a thicket of Windows contextual menus on a touchscreen tablet. Even Ballmer had trouble firing up Windows Media Player with his fingers during his Slate demo.

And assuming HP managed to lick the inherent difficulties of navigating Windows 7 on a touchscreen tablet, there are also the issues of performance (running Windows 7 on a mobile-optimized Intel Atom processor would be a challenge, and early reports were not promising) and power; in a leaked marketing flyer, a chart listed the Slate as having just five hours of battery life, versus 10 for the iPad.

All right then, so if the Windows 7 HP Slate is dead — and don’t forget, we’re still in rumorville, folks — what are the alternatives? Think Android, says TechCrunch, and the New York Times reported earlier this month that HP does indeed have a six-inch Android tablet in the works (dubbed the "half-pint"). Or what about WebOS, the spiffy new operating system owned by the just-acquired Palm? That’s another enticing possibility — although as Business Insider points out, it could be a year or more before HP can manage to develop and ship a WebOS-based version of the Slate.

So, what do you think: Would HP be wise to kill off the Windows 7 version of the Slate in favor of a mobile operating system, like Android or WebOS? Or should HP plow ahead and ship the W7-powered tablet on schedule?

TechCrunch: Hewlett-Packard To Kill Windows 7 Tablet Project
Business Insider: Apple Doesn’t Have To Worry About The HP Slate Anymore

— Ben Patterson is a technology writer for Yahoo! News.

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Symantec Embraces Encryption with New Acquisitions

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Symantec Embraces Encryption with New Acquisitions

Symantec announced two new acquisitions–PGP Corporation for approximately $300 million, and GuardianEdge Technologies for around $70 million. Purchasing these two established encryption providers will enable Symantec to take a more comprehensive approach to protecting data.

Symantec's press release announcing the acquisitions states "Encryption technology is an important element of an information-centric security solution, as critical information is increasingly on mobile devices and in the cloud. State and national governments are enacting more stringent and costly compliance mandates, such as the HITECH and UK Data Protection Acts, which are driving the need to encrypt sensitive information and protect an individual's privacy. Also, the increased costs and frequency of data breaches are driving the adoption of encryption as companies strive to mitigate risk and protect their critical information from cybercriminals."

"As information becomes increasingly mobile, it's essential to take an information-centric approach to security. Our market-leading data protection solutions provide the intelligence for customers to better understand what data is important, who owns it and who accesses it,"" said Francis deSouza, senior vice president, Enterprise Security Group, Symantec in the press release. "With these acquisitions we can further protect information by using encryption in an intelligent and policy-driven way to give the right users access to the right information, enabling the trust that individuals and organizations need to operate confidently in an information-driven world. We're now able to offer the industry's most comprehensive solution across encryption and data loss prevention for protecting confidential data on endpoints, networks, storage systems and in the cloud."

With PGP and GuardianEdge, Symantec can expand the scope of the security services it offers–providing customers with critical data encryption. Lost or stolen laptops, or servers are breached by unauthorized access do not also have to lead to compromised information if the data stored on them is encrypted.

Cloud data storage also requires encryption. Not only should the data be encrypted to protect it from unauthorized access, and as an additional layer of defense in the event that the third-party cloud storage provider's network is breached, but encrypting data implies an expectation of privacy and could be crucial in establishing Fourth Amendment protection for your data in the event that the cloud storage provider's assets are seized.

While Massachusetts and Nevada are unique in actually requiring sensitive information to be encrypted, almost every state has some form of data breach disclosure law in place. In many cases, encryption of data is at least implied in the requirements under the data breach disclosure laws, and even where not implied having encrypted data may obviate the need to disclose a data breach occurrence.

"What I really like about these acquisitions is that they go well beyond PC full-disk encryption alone," said Jon Oltsik, Principal Analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group–quoted in the Symantec press release. "With PGP and GuardianEdge, Symantec gets a geographically-dispersed install base, a leading standards-based key management platform, a PKI SaaS offering, a strong government presence, and encryption coverage from mobile devices to mainframes. Yesterday, Symantec was lagging in encryption and key management and today, with PGP and GuardianEdge, it is now able to provide leading solutions worldwide."

Symantec has built its security software and services empire on a foundation of mergers and acquisitions. Acquiring established entities can be a shortcut to providing new technologies for customers, but the integration doesn't always go as smoothly as initially envisioned.

Reinventing the wheel and building an in-house solution from the ground up ensures a more seamless fit with the existing inventory, but it can take a substantial amount of time and money to invest in R&D to develop something similar to what an existing provider is already delivering. There are certainly pros and cons to both in-house R&D, and to mergers and acquisitions.

The Symantec acquisitions have to go through the standard shareholder and regulatory approvals before becoming official. Symantec expects the deals to be finalized during the June quarter.

Tony Bradley is co-author of Unified Communications for Dummies
. He tweets as @Tony_BradleyPCW
. You can follow him on his Facebook page
, or contact him by email at

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Microsoft reportedly cancels Courier tablet prototype

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Microsoft reportedly cancels Courier tablet prototype

A prototype Microsoft tablet that raised eyebrows last year will reportedly not make it onto store shelves, according to gadget blog Gizmodo. Despite all the talk that a leaked demo video generated, Gizmodo now says that Microsoft has axed the project.

The intriguing tablet, dubbed “Courier,” was introduced in September 2009 by a promotional video that leaked from Microsoft’s Entertainment & Devices division (the same one responsible for the Xbox 360 and Zune). It was pitched as a journal-like device, something that you would carry with you throughout the day to jot down notes, save images; almost a 21st century, literal re-imagining of the “personal digital assistant” ideal. It had a two-tone interface of touch and stylus actions, and ran software that looked absolutely nothing like Windows—arguably the best idea Microsoft had with the device.

Microsoft never officially confirmed existence of the device, but if you were holding your breath for its delivery, you can resume your regularly scheduled respirations. Gizmodo’s Thursday report of Courier’s demise quotes Microsoft corporate vice president of communications Frank Shaw:

At any given time, we’re looking at new ideas, investigating, testing, incubating them. It’s in our DNA to develop new form factors and natural user interfaces to foster productivity and creativity. The Courier project is an example of this type of effort. It will be evaluated for use in future offerings, but we have no plans to build such a device at this time.

Maybe Courier was never anything more than an internal concept video that was never intended to see the light of day. But just from that initial video, fans and pundits seemed genuinely excited, or at least interested, in the Courier, perhaps because of its radical departure from Microsoft’s “just put Windows on it” tablet strategy that has so far failed since “tablet PCs” became the stuff of myths and punchlines.

In fact, Courier seemed to be the first Microsoft gadget that people spoke about positively since the Zune’s unfortunate stumble from what momentum it had. It was far along enough for Microsoft to put some decent money into a promotional video, and at least "on paper," Courier looked like it had potential. It's too bad that Shaw didn’t actually answer why the product was shelved.

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Symantec Buys Encryption Specialist PGP for $300M

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Symantec Buys Encryption Specialist PGP for $300M

Symantec will acquire encryption specialist PGP and endpoint security vendor GuardianEdge Technologies for US$300 million and $70 million respectively, the company said on Thursday.

Both are privately held companies. Symantec said the deals are subject to regulatory approval but are expected to close by June.

Symantec said the companies' combined specialties in standards-based encryption for e-mail, file systems, removable media and smartphones will complement its security offerings, such as its gateway, endpoint security and data-loss prevention software.

Encrypting information offers a higher level of security in case data is lost or stolen. Earlier this month, the U.K. increased the fine under the Data Protection Act for organizations that lose data to a maximum of £500,000 (US$765,000).

Symantec said it will standardize its products on PGP's key management platform, which allows administrators to centrally manage encryption tasks. That platform will be integrated into the Symantec Protection Center, a management console for its products.

GuardianEdge, which specializes in security for laptops, portable storage devices and smartphones, is already a partner of Symantec for its Endpoint Encryption product. The company has particular strength in the government market, Symantec said.

The two companies will become part of Symantec's Enterprise Security Group, headed by Francis deSouza, senior vice president.

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Apple chief makes case against Adobe Flash software

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Apple chief makes case against Adobe Flash software

Apple chief makes case against Adobe Flash software

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs took his case against Adobe's Flash software public on Thursday, arguing that the product is a flop on touchscreen gadgets such as the iPhone and iPad.

"Flash was created during the PC (personal computer) era for PCs and mice," Jobs said in an open letter posted at the Cupertino, California-based firm's website.

"But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open Web standards — all areas where Flash falls short," Jobs said.

Online videos and games are commonly based on Flash, and Apple's adamant refusal to allow Flash on its iPod, iPhone and iPad devices has been a sore point with Adobe.

Lack of Adobe support has also been among top criticisms of Apple gadgets, which have been global hits nonetheless.

Jobs contended that most online video is available in formats other than Flash and therefore "iPhone, iPod, and iPad users aren't missing much video."

He conceded that Apple mobile gadgets don't play Flash-based online games but noted that thousands of games, many of them free, are available at the firm's App Store on the Internet.

"We have routinely asked Adobe to show us Flash performing well on a mobile device, any mobile device, for a few years now," Jobs said. "We have never seen it."

Apple's relationship with Adobe dates back to when the software company's founders were in their "proverbial garage," according to Jobs.

He described Apple as Adobe's first big customer and said Apple had a 20-percent stake in Adobe for many years.

"Since that golden era, the companies have grown apart," Jobs said. "Apple went through its near death experience, and Adobe was drawn to the corporate market with their Acrobat products."

Apple's decision to bar Flash from its gadgets is technology-based, not a business decision aimed at safeguarding the App Store, as Adobe has insinuated, according to Jobs.

Apple devices instead support video built using HTML5, a fledgling software format created by a group of technology firms including Google and Apple.

Jobs also cited security concerns, saying Flash has a record when it comes to hackers exploiting the software and that Apple deems Flash the prime cause for Macintosh computer crashes.

"We don?t want to reduce the reliability and security of our iPhones, iPods and iPads by adding Flash," Jobs said.

Video done in Flash also devours power, cutting precious battery life in mobile devices, according to Apple.

"Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind," Jobs said.

Adobe did not return AFP requests for comment.

Early this month, Adobe "platform evangelist" Lee Brimelow wrote in his personal blog that Apple snubbing Flash was "a slap in the faces" of developers.

"This is a frightening move that has no rational defense other than wanting tyrannical control over developers and more importantly, wanting to use developers as pawns in their crusade against Adobe," Brimelow said.

"Speaking purely for myself, I would look to make it clear what is going through my mind at the moment. Go screw yourself Apple."

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Europe Considers New Cybercrime Agency

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Europe Considers New Cybercrime Agency

European ministers are considering establishing a new agency that would tie together law enforcement agencies and other entities dedicated to fighting cybercrime.

The Council of the European Union, composed of ministers from 27 countries, issued a document earlier this week calling for the European Commission to draw up a feasibility study on the idea.

The ministers released a set of goals they'd like to achieve over time. One of those is to gain more ratifications of the Council of Europe's Cybercrime Convention, the only international treaty covering computer crime.

The treaty requires countries to adopt cybercrime laws, have contacts available 24 hours a day for fast-breaking investigations and other measures.

Another medium-term goal focuses on revocation of domain names and IP (Internet protocol) addresses. The document doesn't spell out exactly the ministers' objectives there, as it is already standard procedure for many ISPs to shut down Web sites linked with bad behavior.

The new agency would also be tasked with forging stronger bonds between various law enforcement and other organizations that deal with cybercrime, including Europol, Eurojust, Interpol and others.

"The centre might also evaluate and monitor the preventive and investigative measures to be carried out," the document reads. "This feasibility study should consider, in particular, the aim, scope and possible financing of the centre and whether it should be located at Europol."

A focus would also be placed on helping police, judges and prosecutors help meet standards for carry out "technological investigations as well as those needed by trainers in this field."

Other tasks would include generating annual reports about cybercrime in Europe and advising the Commission and Council of Ministers in "drafting of recommendations or rules designed to fight cybercrime globally."

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Steve Jobs attacks Adobe Flash as unfit for iPhone

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Steve Jobs attacks Adobe Flash as unfit for iPhone

NEW YORK – Apple CEO Steve Jobs is going on the offensive against Adobe’s Flash technology. He says it’s too buggy, battery-draining and PC-oriented to work on the iPhone and iPad.

In a statement Thursday, Jobs laid out his reasons for excluding Flash — the most popular vehicle for videos and games on the Internet — from Apple’s blockbuster handheld devices.

Apple has been criticized for the omission of Flash, which limits the usefulness of the iPhone. In his rebuttal, Jobs said the most important reason for excluding Flash is that it puts a third party between Apple and software developers. That means developers can take advantage of improvements from Apple only if Adobe chose to upgrade its own software, Jobs wrote.

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