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Ratings of Japan PM, ruling party fall on scandal

Ratings of Japan PM, ruling party fallonscandal

TOKYO (Reuters) – Voter support for Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and his party has fallen due to a funding scandal linked to his powerful No.2 party executive, two media surveys showed on Monday, raising the risk of a policy stalemate.

Opposition parties have threatened to boycott parliamentary debate on an extra budget to prop up the economy if the ruling Democratic Party dodges questions about the scandal ensnaring its secretary-general, Ichiro Ozawa.

The scandal could also threaten the Democrats’ chances of gaining a majority in a mid-year election for parliament’s upper house that they need to win to pass legislation smoothly.

Support for Hatoyama’s cabinet, which had already slid since he took office four months ago due to voters’ doubts about his leadership, fell to 42 percent in an Asahi newspaper poll from 48 the previous month. That was down from initial highs above 70 percent after Hatoyama took power last September.

A Yomiuri newspaper survey showed a steeper drop to 45 percent from 56 percent earlier this month.

Prosecutors have arrested three current and former Ozawa aides. Japanese media say they are probing the source of funds improperly reported by Ozawa’s funding group, and suspect construction firms seeking government contracts were involved.

Hatoyama said on Saturday he would back Ozawa’s decision to stay on in his key post and urged him to fight on.

That stance has drawn fire from Japanese media and the opposition as suggesting bias against the prosecutors, but Kyodo news agency said the premier repeated his position on Monday.

PRESSURE TO RESIGN

Equally disturbing for the government, the percentage of those planning to vote for the ruling party in the upper house election fell to 28 percent from 35 percent in the Yomiuri poll.

That compared to 21 percent who said they would opt for the opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), little changed.

But 70 percent of respondents to the Yomiuri survey said Ozawa, who stepped down as party leader last year over a separate scandal, should resign from his No. 2 post.

“We must accept the figures from the polls sincerely,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano told a news conference.

“Parliament opens today and our mission is to enact the extra budget as quickly as possible … and by so doing, realise policies that put priority on the people’s livelihoods.”

The Democrats and their allies could ignore any opposition boycott but doing so could further erode voter support.

The Democrats swept to power in an August election that ended more than half a century of nearly unbroken LDP rule, pledging to refocus spending on consumers and cut wasteful spending to help rein in Japan’s ballooning public debt.

But they need to win an outright majority in parliament’s less powerful upper chamber to break free of two small allies who often disagree on policy and ensure smooth passage of laws.

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Apple turns up heat in Nokia battle

Apple turns up heat in Nokia battle

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Nokia said it would defend itself vigorously against Apple’s new complaint to the United States International Trade Commission.

The two phone giants are in the midst of a major legal battle, which started last October when Nokia charged Apple for using its patented technologies without paying for them.

Apple filed the new ITC complaint on Friday.

“Nokia will study the complaint when it is received and continue to defend itself vigorously,” said a company spokesman.

“However, this does not alter the fact that Apple has failed to agree appropriate terms for using Nokia technology and has been seeking a free ride on Nokia’s innovation since it shipped the first iPhone in 2007,” he said.

In late December Nokia also filed a claim with the ITC, alleging Apple infringed seven of its patents in “virtually all of its mobile phones, portable music players, and computers” sold.

“The fact that two such prominent companies have now filed complaints will likely mean the ITC will seek to deal with this as a matter of urgency,” said Ben Wood, head of research at British consultancy CCS Insight.

“That said, a lengthy legal battle is almost inevitable irrespective of a decision from the trade commission,” he said.

The ITC can ban selling products in the United States — a market crucial for Apple, but Nokia makes only a fraction of its sales there.

Analysts say it could take years to solve the legal battle.

“This dispute is still in its infancy. I don’t think Nokia is finished with evaluating the infringements by Apple, it might be just the surface,” said Steven Nathasingh, chief executive of U.S. research firm Vaxa Inc.

Nokia, along with Ericsson and Qualcomm, holds many key patents for making mobile phones.

Nokia has stumbled badly in the fast-growing smartphone sector and relative newcomer Apple has gained ground against the market leader thanks to the iPhone, but still trails Nokia in smartphones sales.

The legal dispute, potentially involving hundreds of millions of dollars in annual royalties, reflects the shifting balance of power in the mobile industry as cellphones morph into handheld computers that can play video games and surf the Web.

Apple, which entered the industry in mid-2007, overtook Nokia in the September quarter as the cellphone maker generating the highest total operating profit.

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Nokia N900

Nokia N900

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The Nokia N900 is a mobile Internet device and smartphone, from Nokia based on the Maemo platform, superseding the N810. It runs Maemo 5 Linux as its default operating system and is the first Nokia device based upon the TI OMAP3 microprocessor with the ARM Cortex-A8 core.

Unlike the Internet Tablets preceding it, the Nokia N900 is the first Maemo device to include phone functionality (quad-band GSM and 3G UMTS). It functions as a 5 mega pixel camera, a portable media player, and a mobile Internet device with email and full web browsing.

It was launched at Nokia World on September 2, 2009 and was released on November 11, 2009 in the United States and 9 European countries.

The N900 was launched alongside Maemo 5, giving the device an overall more touch-friendly interface than its predecessors and a customizable home screen which mixes application icons with shortcuts and widgets.

Maemo 5 supports Adobe Flash Player 9.4, and includes many applications designed specifically for the mobile platform such as a new touch-friendly media player

Manufacturer

Nokia

Type

Mobile Internet device and smartphone

Media

microSD/microSDHC card

Operating system

Maemo 5 Linux

Power

BL-5J 1320 mAh battery
USB Battery Charger

CPU

TI OMAP 3430 SoC
600 MHz ARM Cortex-A8 CPU
430MHz C64x+ DSP

Storage

capacity

256 MB NAND flash
32 GB eMMC flash

Memory

256 MB SDRAM
768 MB virtual memory

Display

TFT 800 × 480 resolution
89 mm (3.5 in) diagonally
105 pixels/cm, 267 ppi

Graphics

PowerVR SGX 530 GPU supporting OpenGL ES 2.0

Input

Resistive touchscreen
Localized backlit keyboard with variations for English, Italian, French, German, Russian, and Scandinavian

Camera

5.0MP (2584×1938), f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Tessar lens (rear camera)
0.3MP (640×480) f/2.8 (front camera)

Connectivity

GSM 850/900/1800/1900
GPRS 107/64 kbps DL/UL
EDGE 296/178 kbps DL/UL
UMTS 900/1700/2100
WCDMA 384/384 kbps DL/UL
HSPA 10/2 Mbps DL/UL
WLAN IEEE 802.11 b/g
Bluetooth 2.1
Integrated GPS with A-GPS
FM receiver
FM transmitter
Infrared transceiver

Dimensions

110.9 mm (4.37 in) (h)
59.8 mm (2.35 in) (w)
18 mm (0.71 in) (d)
19.55 mm at thickest part

Weight

181g approximately (0.4 lb)

Predecessor

Nokia N810

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