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U.S. ‘Perfect Citizen’ program defends against hackers

The U.S. National Security Agency confirmed the existence of a controversial program aimed at protecting the country’s critical infrastructure Thursday, but disputed claims that the program would monitor network traffic on critical infrastructure networks. The program, called Perfect Citizen, was first disclosed Thursday in a Wall Street Journal article that said the NSA “would rely on a set of sensors deployed in computer networks for critical infrastructure that would be triggered by unusual activity.” In a statement released late Thursday, the NSA confirmed that Perfect Citizen exists. But the spy agency called the newspaper’s description “inaccurate,” saying that the program is “purely a vulnerabilities-assessment and capabilities-development contract.”

Google’s Android becoming more popular amonst mobile users

Android is gaining on all the major smartphone platforms in the U.S., though it was only the fourth-most-used mobile operating system in May, market data firm comScore reported on Thursday. The market share of Google’s open-source OS grew to 13 percent of all U.S. smartphone users in May, from just 9 percent in February, according to comScore’s MobiLens service. Meanwhile, Research In Motion’s leading BlackBerry platform inched down 41.7 percent from 42.1 percent and the Apple iPhone lost a full percent of the market, ending with a 24.4 percent share in May. Microsoft barely held on to third place as it fell to 13.2 percent.

Amazon to deliver groceries in UK

Amazon.com has launched a grocery delivery service in the U.K., following the recent kickoff of a similar service in Germany. The online retailer said it has 22,000 product lines ranging from cleaning products to fresh fruit to beer and pet food. Amazon is entering a crowded market in the U.K. Stores such as Tesco, Sainsburys and Waitrose have delivery services that can often deliver items the next day during a specific time range. Items that Amazon directly fulfills will be delivered in the mail.

OLPC adds multi-touch screen

Nonprofit organization One Laptop Per Child on Thursday said it is adding a multitouch screen to the upcoming XO-1.75 laptop and is modifying software to take advantage of the new hardware. The XO-1.75 with a touch-sensitive 8.9-inch screen will start shipping next year. The laptop will run on an Arm processor and is the successor to the current XO-1.5 laptop, which runs on a Via x86 processor. OLPC will also add a multitouch screen on the next-generation XO-3 tablet, which is due to ship in 2012.

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