Opera Mini 7 stretches to Android

Opera ports its WebGL hardware acceleration from Opera Mobile to the Android version of Opera Mini 7, which first debuted last month at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Opera Mini 7 for Android (download) improves the lightweight browser's compressed browsing feature called Turbo with hardware acceleration, and expands the Speed Dial landing page beyond nine Web sites.

It does not include the new home screen that is coming to Opera Mini 7 for feature phones, which will bring interactive social-networking to people who have those lower-powered phones.

Phillip Gronvold, Opera's product manager for mobile, told CNET before … Read more

iPhone passcode cracking is easier than you think

A report came out last fall suggesting that repeating one number in the iPhone's four-digit security PIN made for better protection than using all unique numbers. However, that little trick doesn't seem to go very far with Micro Systemation, a Swedish security firm that helps police and military around the world crack digital security systems.

The company released a video last week that shows just how easy it is to break into a passcode-protected iPhone or Android device.

The video, "Recovering the Passcode from an iPhone," tapes a demonstration where a company spokesman uses an application … Read more

Anti-SOPA Internet Society under fire for hiring MPAA executive

The Internet Society is hardly a fan of the Stop Online Piracy Act or the Protect IP Act. The venerable non-profit, which acts as the umbrella organization for the Internet's key standards bodies, bluntly warns that the pair of copyright laws would end the "viability of the Internet."

Which is why ISOC's decision this month to hire a senior executive from the Motion Picture Association of America -- a lawyer who has championed the wildly controversial legislation that would blacklist Web sites that supposedly violate copyright -- is raising eyebrows.

ISOC announced last week that it had hired Paul Brigner, … Read more

Ten worst Internet laws of 2012?

The latest list of the 10 worst proposed Internet laws is out, and topping it are efforts by state legislators to derail disruptive business models such as and

NetChoice, a Washington, D.C., coalition that includes Facebook, eBay, VeriSign, and Yahoo as members, today plans to release its updated "iAWFUL" list of misguided, nutty, or simply counterproductive laws. On NetChoice's worst-of-the-worst list:

•, an online and mobile-device service for finding a car service, has been curbed by city taxi commissions who cite "hack" laws to preserve their monopolies.

•, … Read more

Standards leader blasts HTML5 video copy protection

Microsoft, Google, and Netflix have proposed a standard for copy-protected Web video, but HTML editor Ian Hickson has dealt it a serious blow by calling it impractical and "unethical."

"I believe this proposal is unethical and that we should not pursue it," Hickson said in a mailing list message this week. "The proposal...does not provide robust content protection, so it would not address this use case even if it wasn't unethical," he added.

The Web video DRM debate--and this one isn't the first--shows the difficulties of reconciling open standards with the … Read more

How to install a BodyGuardz skin on an iPhone 4S

BodyGuardz has been around for a while, providing customers with an extra layer of protection for their device. In the past, the installation methods were cumbersome, if not impossible. The new application gel used when applying a BodyGuardz protective film makes installation a breeze.

Watch the video above as I apply the protective skin to my iPhone 4S. The entire process took less than 10 minutes, including talking throughout the entire process. In each kit you get two sets of skins, should you need to reapply a skin down the road. You will also get skins for the side of … Read more

Netflix pays $9 million to settle privacy violation lawsuit

Netflix experienced a bumpy year in 2011. Its shares spiked and plummeted, it lost thousands of subscribers then gained them back, it faced growing competition, and a class action lawsuit was filed against it alleging that the video subscription service violated consumer's privacy.

But things seem to be looking up for Netflix--not only did it do better than expected in the fourth quarter and now has more subscribers than ever, it also settled the lawsuit.

On Friday, Netflix filed an agreement to pay $9 million to settle the class action suit, which was originally submitted in January 2011.

The … Read more

Hollywood's gentler post-SOPA strategy: A charm offensive

Hollywood is responding to the defeat of a pair of controversial copyright bills last month with a new strategy: a charm offensive.

Paramount Pictures sent letters last week to universities saying the company was "humbled" by last month's online protests that involved millions of Internet users--and that it now wants to "exchange ideas about content theft" and the best way to thwart it.

The letters were signed by Alfred Perry, Paramount's vice president for worldwide content and outreach. Paramount is a subsidiary of Viacom and one of the members of the Motion Picture Association of America, … Read more

How Republican opposition derailed SOPA and Protect IP

Ever since GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole claimed that Hollywood produced "nightmares of depravity" that coarsened American culture and made "deviancy" mainstream, movie studios and record labels have enjoyed a spectacularly uneasy relationship with the Republican Party.

Copyright has been the exception to that strife: since the late 1990s, Hollywood-backed proposals to expand copyright law--the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Induce Act, the Pro-IP Act--have all been embraced, or at least not opposed, by Republicans.

The controversy over the Protect IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, has finally splintered that alliance. … Read more

Apple takes PC crown from HP

Voters chat with Obama on Google+ Hangouts, Apple surpasses Hewlett-Packard in PC shipments (if you count iPads, that is), and almost everyone would take your call while on the toilet.

Links from Tuesday's episode of Loaded:

Apple takes top PC spot New Apple retail chief Obama video chats on Google+ Obama campaign using Square T-Mobile limits data roaming Wash your hands Subscribe:  iTunes (MP3)iTunes (320x180)iTunes (HD)RSS (MP3)RSS (320x180)RSS HD