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New wireless LAN standard close to approval

The IEEE 802.11n standard is likely to be approved in September, making the high-speed wireless LAN technology official after about seven years of wrangling and refinement.  The 802.11 working group, which has developed all the major wireless LAN standards, voted on Friday to send Draft 2.0 of the 11n standard on to the upper levels of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers for final review and publication, according to a blog entry by Matthew Gast, chief strategist at Trapeze Networks and a member of the task group. There was only one dissenting vote. Final approval will be up to the IEEE Standards Board Review Committee, which examines all standards that come out of the organization. Its next meeting will take place Sept. 11.

Apple escapes recession with iPhone sales

Apple beat analyst expectations and appears nearly untouched by the economic downturn, reporting its best non-holiday quarterly revenue and earnings in the company’s history on Tuesday. One low point in Apple’s report is the declining iPod business, with unit sales dropping 7 percent compared to last year to 10.2 million iPods. But iPhone sales more than make up for that. In the quarter, Apple sold 5.2 million iPhones, 626 percent more than the same period last year. Revenue from iPhones, iPhone accessories and mobile carriers was $1.69 billion, an increase of more than 300 percent over the same quarter last year.

BlackBerry update contained spyware

A BlackBerry firmware update pushed out to subscribers of United Arab Emirates carrier Etisalat  contained spyware, Research in Motion confirmed Tuesday. About a week ago, Blackberry users in the UAE began complaining that an update pushed out to Etisalat subscribers was killing battery life on their phones. The update was supposed to improve Blackberry performance, but after some investigation, technical users reported that it actually contained software that could spy on users’ activities. On Tuesday, Blackberry’s manufacturer, Research in Motion, confirmed that diagnosis and offered a new firmware update, designed to remove the spyware.

Microsoft confrims Windows 7 family pack

Microsoft on Tuesday detailed how its partners and business customers can get their hands on Windows 7 RTM, or release to manufacturing, code, which will be available next month on different days for different sets of users. The company also confirmed in an entry on The Windows Blog that it would release a rumored “family pack” of the Windows 7 Home Premium edition of the OS for households with multiple PCs, allowing for installation of the software on as many as three PCs. Microsoft did not give details on pricing of the pack, however, saying that would be available later.

…And those are the top stories from the IDG Global IT News Update, brought to you by the IDG News Service. I’m Sumner Lemon in Singapore. Join us again later for more news from the world of technology.

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