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New software cracks Adobe PDF files in seconds, says developer that beat Adobe DMCA case

Almost all password-protected PDF files are vulnerable to new software that can crack them in seconds, developer Elcomsoft announced today. The Russian firm earlier beat legal action prompted by PDF creator, Adobe, after releasing a program to defeat e-book encryption in 2001.

Weak 40-bit encryption, which is used in “most” PDF files, according to Elcomsoft, can usually be broken in a few minutes with the most advanced version of the new software, the company claimed in a press statement released in Moscow today.

Non-profit OLPC 'will be profitable for some'

While the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project has taken on the aura of a charity – if you believe what you read in the mainstream media – the hard numbers tell a different story. Analysts say the component suppliers that have taken a gamble on the project stand a fair chance of coming out winners.

iPhone as popular as Nokia in US, survey shows

Despite being four months away from release, Apple's iPhone is already among the four biggest brands in the high-end cell phone market, according to a new US consumer survey sponsored by Goldman Sachs.

Potential mobile phone buyers ranked Apple almost equal with Nokia, even though they gave their opinions before Apple had even formally announced the iPhone. Nokia is the world's largest mobile phone maker.

Fon gets $13m to continue free wifi giveaway

Free public wireless firm, FON, has received a further 10 million euro ($13.1 million) in funding from investors, the company announced today. The company did not disclose the names of new investors, but noted that existing investors include Google and Skype.

Rumors circulating in Europe's telecom industry have suggested that British Telecom (BT) may be one of the new investors.

Age-detection system to keep kids out of video arcades and liquor stores

A system that can guess a person's age just by looking at their face could be used to keep underage kids and teenagers out of video game arcades and liquor stores, its inventors believe. It could also help detect unwanted adults entering schools.

The Japanese-developed technology takes only 0.2 seconds to put an approximate age to any face picked up by its cameras.

'Revolutionary' new cheap printer to overturn printing industry, analysts claim

Update March 21: Silverbrook has now officially announced the Memjet printing technology. See our latest article for new videos, and news on when products are expected to become available.

After you've read this story, remember to take a look at our more recent articles on Silverbrook and Memjet, for the latest news.

A cheap desktop printer that prints 60 full-color pages per minute? That's among the remarkable claims being made for a new printing technology, dubbed 'MemJet', from one of the world's most mysterious inventors - a man who holds over 1400 patents but hasn't granted an interview in 15 years.

Some industry analysts are believers: “It will have the capacity to turn sector after sector of the printer and imaging consumables market upside down. Without exaggeration, competitors ignore this dynamic upstart at their own peril," warns Steve Hoffenberg, a director of leading printer market research firm, Lyra.

'Robot pigeon' homes in on mind control

Scientists have successfully taken control of a bird's flight by implanting electrodes in its brain. They were able to use radio signals to force a pigeon to fly in any direction they chose, Chinese researchers report.

Triggered by radio waves, the electrodes mimicked natural brain signals that control movement of the bird's wings. The scientists had sufficient control to steer the animal through the air, they said. They also performed a similar experiment on mice in 2005, according to local media reports.

Google's MS Office challenge

Google is about to launch a new office package, Google Apps. It combines existing Google services that provide e-mail, instant messaging, calendars,  web design, word processing, and spreadsheets.

The writing and spreadsheet applications read and edit documents created with Microsoft Word and Excel, key planks in Microsoft's $11 billion-a-year Office suite. The subscription based service for businesses is expected to cost $50 per year for each user. More at NYT

Apple and Cisco to share 'iPhone'

Cisco and Apple have settled their dispute over the iPhone trademark, the two companies have announced in a press release. Both companies will use the name for their products. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed.