Berlin (AFP) Sept 11, 2010
Some 7,500 people demonstrated Saturday in Berlin to express their concerns about personal data privacy as the German government and private companies amass giant databases, organisers said.
Called out by numerous civic organisations and political parties under the banner of "Liberty Instead of Fear!", the protestors denounced a government database which will collect information on wages, taxes and social payments.
They also protested against electronic passports, electronic health insurance cards, and an accord allowing the United States to access EU banking information as part of anti-terror efforts.
Personal and data privacy are sensitive issues for many Germans given their experiences under Nazi and Communist dictatorships.
Google's Streetview, which lets users view panoramic street scenes, ran into strong opposition in Germany, where many found it too intrusive.
Eventually the company allowed Germans to block publication of images of their residences, the only country out of over 30 where the service is available where users have such an option.
Germany's consumer minister, Ilse Aigner, in June deleted her Facebook account in protest at the networking site's inadequate privacy policies.
earlier related report
The technology firm Gartner said Symbian and Android will account for 59.8 percent of mobile operating system (OS) sales by 2014.
"Symbian will remain at the top of Gartner's worldwide OS ranking due to Nokia's volume and the push into more mass market price points," Gartner said.
"However, by the end of the forecast period, the number one spot will be contested with Android, which will be at a very similar share level," it said.
According to Gartner, Symbian will hold a 40.1 percent OS market share at the end of 2010 followed by Android with 17.7 percent, Research in Motion's BlackBerry with 17.5 percent, Apple with 15.4 percent for the iOS used by the iPhone and Windows Mobile from Microsoft with 4.7 percent.
By 2014, Symbian's share will fall to 30.2 percent while Android's will rise to 29.6 percent followed by Apple with 14.9 percent, Blackberry with 11.7 percent and Windows with 3.9 percent, Gartner forecast.
Symbian last year had a 46.9 percent share of the OS market followed by Blackberry with 19.9 percent, Apple with 14.4 percent, Windows with 8.7 percent and Android with 3.9 percent, Gartner said.
Gartner said it expected handset manufacturers such as Samsung to launch a number of budget devices in the second half of the year using Android and for other players such as Sony Ericsson, LG and Motorola to follow suit.
"This trend should help Android become the top OS in North America by the end of 2010," Gartner said.
Nokia on Friday named Stephen Elop, a former Microsoft executive, to head the Finnish telecom giant as it battles slumping profits and an eroding market share in the smartphone segment.
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Japan rapid scanning system can digitise book in one minute
Tokyo (AFP) Sept 10, 2010
Japanese researchers said Friday they had developed technology to scan a book as fast as a person can flip through it. A prototype ultra-speed scanner capable of digitising a book in one minute will be built within two years, said the chief researcher of the team at the University of Tokyo's Graduate School of Information Science and Technology. The "book-flipping scanning" system works ... read more
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