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Democrats want probe into government Web site hacks

Two lawmakers criticized the Web services company that may have enabled the hacking of almost 50 government Web sites on Wednesday. In a letter, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, and U.S. Representative John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, asked the U.S. House of Representatives’ Chief Administration Officer to immediately assess how hackers managed to deface the Web sites of nearly 50 house members and committees. The attack seemed to predominantly target Democrats and occurred around the same time that President Barack Obama gave his first State of the Union address. The hackers removed the regular content on the sites, replacing it with rude comments toward the president.

Windows 7 boosts Microsoft earnings

Thanks largely to the Windows 7 launch, Microsoft on Thursday reported a strong increase in net income and revenue for its second quarter of fiscal 2010. The company rang up US$6.66 billion in net income, an increase of 60 percent from the same period a year earlier. Revenue totalled $19.02 billion for the quarter ending Dec. 31, a 14 percent increase from the prior year. Part of the boost came from deferred revenue earned earlier this year, from pre-sales of Windows 7 to PC makers and retailers. This revenue amounted to $1.71 billion.

Apple iPad chip could foreshadow iPhone future

Apple’s A4 chip, being used in the iPad, could ultimately provide a speed bump to future versions of the company’s iPhone. The iPad is powered by a chip called A4 that was designed in-house by the company. The system-on-chip includes a processor that runs at 1GHz and a graphics core that is capable of playing 720p high-definition video. The power-efficient chip can also provide 10 hours of battery life on active usage of the device. The iPad shares many characteristics with the iPhone, so the A4 chip itself or its variants could ultimately make it to the iPhone, analysts said. Both use low-power chips and are designed to run the iPhone OS.

Google’s social search can’t tap Facebook information

Google’s recently released Social Search feature, whose raison d’etre is to include content from users’ social-network contacts in search results, can barely tap into the connections people have made on Facebook, the world’s largest social network. Social Search, which graduated from an opt-in Google Labs experiment to a default feature on Google.com for signed-in users on Wednesday, will only access Facebook public profile pages, which at best contain bare-bones member information.. The problem is that only a small amount of information from Facebook member profiles can be published publicly on the Web. To access the rest, people have to log into the site.

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