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Faster Forward: April 25, 2010 - May 1, 2010

As Facebook privacy settings change, company's execs defend the changes

You can tell that last week's changes at Facebook have been neither as understood nor as popular as planned from the length of the Q&A posted on the social network's blog Monday. The funny thing is, Facebook's most ambitious new feature--the "instant personalization" that allows partner sites Docs.com, Pandora and...

By Rob Pegoraro  |  April 30, 2010; 6:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Privacy , Social media  
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Microsoft endorses a Flash video replacement

The issue of what Web video format might replace Adobe's Flash got a little clearer -- but not clear enough -- with a brief post on Microsoft's Internet Explorer blog. Under the headline, "HTML5 Video," IE general manager Dean Hachamovitch wrote that the next version of this browser "will support...

By Rob Pegoraro  |  April 30, 2010; 11:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  The Web , Video , Windows  
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Steve Jobs doesn't like Adobe Flash

Apple's Web site features the latest open letter from company founder and chief executive Steve Jobs -- this time, an extended critique of Adobe Flash, which Apple refuses to allow on its iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Jobs's "Thoughts on Flash" makes some good points but also has a few...

By Rob Pegoraro  |  April 29, 2010; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (65)
Categories:  Mobile , The Web  
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HP buys Palm for $1.2 billion

Palm users, you can stop worrying about your smartphone vendor's imminent demise: Hewlett-Packard just announced a deal to acquire the company for $1.2 billion. The move, briefly heralded on Palm's blog and announced in an HP press release, surprised a lot of people in the tech business. It's not the...

By Rob Pegoraro  |  April 28, 2010; 4:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Gadgets , Mobile  
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HTC, Microsoft wade deeper into patent thickets

The story reads like a joke or a misprint: Smartphone manufacturer HTC inked a patent agreement with Microsoft ... covering devices running Google's Android software? (In other news, I've just signed a patent licensing deal with IBM covering cranky, sarcastic blog posts!) But it's right there in yesterday's press release:...

By Rob Pegoraro  |  April 28, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Mobile , Policy and politics  
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Research In Motion previews BlackBerry 6 software

BlackBerry manufacturer Research In Motion gave a peek of the next major version of its smartphone operating system this morning--an upgrade that looks to bring the traditionally keyboard-centric BlackBerry much closer to Apple and Google's touch-oriented mobile software. I use language like "peek" and "looks to" because RIM has yet...

By Rob Pegoraro  |  April 27, 2010; 5:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Mobile  
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Sony move confirms floppy disk's death, but its icon lives on

We're seeing yet another round of "the floppy disk is dead" stories this week after Sony announced that it would stop selling the things in Japan next March. Sony's move was a formality, as it had already ceased sales of 3.5-inch floppy disks in most other markets. Years earlier, most...

By Rob Pegoraro  |  April 27, 2010; 2:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Computers , Digital culture  
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PostPoints tip: Pare down landline phone service

There are respectable reasons to keep a landline phone number in service: too many family members call you there, you won't pay extra for time spent on hold at tech-support lines; you have an alarm system or fax machine. But that doesn't mean you need to keep paying for the...

By Rob Pegoraro  |  April 27, 2010; 9:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tips  
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Another twist in the lost-iPhone saga

The already-odd tale of the iPhone prototype accidentally left in a bar by a hapless Apple engineer before being displayed and dissected by the Gizmodo tech-news blog just got upgraded to the next level of weirdness. As explained in a Monday-afternoon post on Gizmodo, a team of police officers on...

By Rob Pegoraro  |  April 26, 2010; 8:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  Mobile , The business we have chosen  
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Comcast 'wins' Consumerist worst-company tournament

The votes are in, and Comcast has won Consumerist's uncoveted "Worst Company in America" award. The Philadelphia telecom firm beat runner-up Ticketmaster in the last round of voting by a margin of 59 to 41 percent -- ending a two-year losing streak that saw it crushed by AIG in 2009...

By Rob Pegoraro  |  April 26, 2010; 2:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  Recommended reading , Telecom , The business we have chosen  
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Bizarre calls from Wyoming puzzle, perturb Virginians

Over the past few days, message forums and mailing lists in Northern Virginia neighborhoods have lit up with versions of the same complaint: Who is this nutcase calling from 307-459-1039 and why won't he/she/it ever say anything when I pick up? The first detailed report of these calls seems to...

By Rob Pegoraro  |  April 26, 2010; 10:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Telecom  
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