Around the IT Industry 5/28-6/1

by Modis on June 1, 2012

Technology vs. the Government – Who Has Your Back?

With all the legislative warfare going on with regards to Internet privacy and which companies are and are not willing to share their data with government entities, sometimes it is good to know which companies put their customers’ interests first. This article from the Electronic Frontier Foundation tells you exactly that.

Google ‘LOL’s at Internet Expansion

Recently, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced the intention of expanding the Internet’s system of domain naming convention beyond the well-known .com, .org, .gov, etc. that we’ve grown used to. One such domain suffix, .lol, has been claimed by Internet search giant Google. What the corporation intends to do with the domain is anyone’s guess.

QR Codes to Save Lives

Most of us have seen QR codes before, those strange square barcode-looking decals often found in magazines or on the drinking cups at a fast food restaurant. Many modern smartphones are equipped with the capability to scan these codes, which usually prompts the phone’s browser to navigate to a particular webpage or download some piece of music or software. A company called Lifesquare in Marin County, CA, however, has started to use these quick-reference codes for something other than advertising: Saving lives. The QR decals contain the patient’s personal medical information and are designed to be attached to conspicuous locations for quick access by medical personnel in an emergency. The codes contain everything from blood type to known allergies and current medications the patient is on, allowing medical professionals to get a full picture of the patient’s medical factoids in an instant without the patient even needing to be conscious.

FBI Concerned About IPv6 Transition

As the date approaches where much of the Internet backbone will officially switch over from the nearly-exhausted IPv4 addressing format to the newer IPv6 format, the Federal Bureau of Investigations is concerned what the transition may mean for cyber-surveillance. By altering the fundamental way in which the Internet interprets addresses, many systems, particularly older ones, may be unable to adapt to the new format or may require considerable tweaking to retain functionality.

The Next Step in Touch Screens

Japanese wireless carrier NTT DoCoMo and technology developer Fujitsu unveiled the prototype for a new type of touch screen cell phone at the 2012 Wireless Japan expo that features a transparent screen which responds to touch on both sides of the pane. This allows users to scroll the screen vertically and horizontally without having to put their finger in front like current touch screens. This enables users to view the screen without the obstruction of their own finger as they scroll. NTT DoCoMo also suggested that the technology might be adapted to gaming, allowing two players to play a game from opposite sides of the screen.

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