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Sunday, December 30, 2007

AOL Kills Netscape's Future

AOL on Friday stopped development of the Netscape browser, saying the respected brand that launched the commercial Internet in 1994 had little chance of ever regaining market share against Internet Explorer.

"While internal groups within AOL have invested a great deal of time and energy in attempting to revive Netscape Navigator, these efforts have not been successful in gaining market share from Microsoft's Internet Explorer," said Tom Drapeau, director of development.

While once commanding 90% of the browser market, Netscape Navigator now accounts for less than 1%, and AOL had no interest in spending what it would take to revive the brand. Instead, the company, which was once a subscriber-supported portal, preferred to spend its resources on its transition into an ad-supported Web business.

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Monday, December 24, 2007

US Army guarding its Windows with OSX

Following a report from 2005 by General Steve Boutelle, the Army's chief information officer, the new trend in the military is to have as many Macs around as possible, in order to keep information safe.

Lieutenant Colonel C.J. Wallington, a division chief in the Army's office of enterprise information systems, is convinced that Apple’s Macintosh platform, already renowned for its security and for the fact that it has generally been less of target for hackers than Windows, will protect the Army from intrusions.

There is the inherent security of the UNIX based Mac OSX and the fact that Apple’s smaller install base has generally deflected hackers, which contributes to the Army’s willingness to switch to Mac.

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Windows XP Service Pack 3 Release Candidate Out

Microsoft posted the release candidate of Windows XP Service Pack 3 to its download site but warns that SP3 isn't for everyone. XP SP3 will not be soon added to Windows Update. In fact, SP3 wouldn't be offered to users via Microsoft's update service before the service pack is finished next year.

Microsoft also says Windows XP SP3 does not bring significant portions of Windows Vista functionality to Windows XP. According to a Florida performance testing software developer, XP SP3 is not only 10% faster than XP SP2, but more than twice as fast as Vista SP1.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

FireWire speeds to increase dramatically

FireWire is used as a high speed data interface for linking devices such as external hard drives and camcorders to PCs.

The 1394 Trade Association announced the S3200 specification for FireWire. The specification builds upon the existing IEEE 1394b standard by boosting the maximum speed from 800 megabits per second to 3.2Gbps. The new S3200 specification can use the cables and connectors already in use for FireWire 800 products.

The association hopes to have the S3200 specification ratified by early February, and has used the speed boost to position FireWire as an alternative to other recent interfacing technologies.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Intel introduces tiny hard drive

Intel wants to be the first name to come to mind when dealing with solid state drives. At a press briefing they introduced the Intel Z-P140 PATA SSD, which it claims is the tiniest SSD in the industry.

According to Intel, the Z-P140 PATA SSD is actually targeted for use in hand held mobile devices (think smart phones, GPS devices, and Ultra Mobile PCs). The drive, which measures 12 by 8 by 1.8 mm (HWD) and weighs 0.6 grams, is about the size of a penny.

It will initially be available in 2GB and 4GB capacities (expandable to 16GB by adding up to three additional SSDs). Intel says the drive will have a read throughput of 40MBps and a write throughput of 30MBps.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Vista SP1 to Include More Than 300 Hot Fixes

Microsoft has released a detailed roster of the contents of its service pack for Windows Vista, and the list includes more than 300 hot fixes covering everything from data protection to video performance. Microsoft plans to add more fixes and patches to Windows Vista SP1 before a final version is released to the public early next year.

Microsoft said some of the fixes detailed in the list are already available to the public as individual downloads, while others will only be released as part of the final version of Vista SP1.

Unfortunately for some Vista users especially those running custom business applications the service pack will not fix some application compatibility problems that affect the current version of Vista.

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Airlines offering wireless internet access

There are now at least four airlines with announced plans to experiment with in flight broadband connectivity. American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Virgin America and JetBlue are lining up to offer Wi-Fi to its in flight customers.

Such services could include Nationwide in flight broadband Internet access that extends from the coast to coast or satellite based 802.11b/g Wi-Fi connection for laptops, smart phones and PDAs. These airlines are currently testing or developing these systems and we may see them soon.

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Microsoft Releases New Windows Server 2008 and Vista SP1 Test versions

Microsoft on Wednesday released new test versions of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista Service Pack which are scheduled to be released early next year.

Microsoft also revealed partner resources to prepare customers for the release of the server OS, which the company plans to release to manufacturing on Feb. 27, 2008. Vista SP1 is expected to be available around the same time, but in a 2 part release. Windows Server 2008 (RC1), the follow up to Release Candidate 0 in September can now be downloaded from Microsoft's Web site.

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Facebook Admits Ad Service Tracks Logged Off Users

Facebook has confirmed findings of a CA security researcher that the social-networking site's Beacon ad service is more intrusive and stealthy than previously acknowledged.

Facebook's controversial Beacon ad system tracks users' off-Facebook activities even if those users are logged off from the site.

Beacon is a major part of the Facebook Ads platform that Facebook introduced with much fanfare several weeks ago. Beacon tracks certain activities of Facebook users on more than 40 participating Web sites.

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Friday, November 30, 2007

Google asks for help finding malicious Web sites

Google is asking everyday Web surfers to help with its efforts to stamp out malicious Web sites. They have created an online form designed to make it easy for people to report sites they suspect of hosting malicious code. It's the latest step by Google to expand its database of the bad Web sites it knows about. The simple form has an entry box for the Web site's URL and a space to provide additional information.

Google displays a warning in its search results if it believes a Web site is malicious. But earlier this week researchers noted that some Google searches for relatively mundane topics were producing results loaded with malicious sites, apparently the result of a campaign by hackers.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Digital library project has 1.5 million books online

A technology project launched almost 10 years ago by computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University finally appears to be bearing the fruits of their considerable labor.

The university team has been attempting to transfer the entire published works of mankind into an online digital format library, while also providing completely free access to the wealth of invaluable knowledge spread across its numerous languages.

According to an Associated Press report, the Million Book Project has this week surpassed its content figure with in excess of 1.5 million books now having been scanned into the Universal Digital Library.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Spam emails with .SCR File Attachments being sent with trojans

Security researchers uncovered a spam campaign Nov. 19 targeting senior level executives that utilizes .scr file attachments to spread Trojans. Such file extensions are typically associated with Windows screensavers.

The campaign is one of two reported by MessageLabs. The first wave was aimed at banks and financial institutions and claimed to come from the United States Department of Justice; the second, reported some 3.5 hours later, did not use an .scr file and was aimed at a variety of organizations and posed as an email from the Better Business Bureau, said Paul Wood, an analyst with MessageLabs.

Early analysis suggests the attachment installs a backdoor remote access Trojan of some kind, potentially for stealing data. The originating servers appear to be compromised or under the control of the senders. Almost 60 percent are in the United States, and almost 40 percent are in Japan.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Firefox Exploit can Hack Gmail

There is a new Firefox vulnerability allows malicious code into browsers, revealing users' Google accounts. The vulnerability allows hackers to access Google accounts, including Gmail, with cross site scripting attacks.

A client or server side exploit can be inserted into zip files via open document formats from Microsoft Office 2007 and OpenOffice. According to the Web site, affected platforms range from Web mail clients, collaboration and document sharing systems and other Web 2.0 applications from large software vendors including Google and Microsoft.

While Mozilla has not issued a solution to the problem, application firewalls and proxy servers can be used to block Windows Universal Resource Identifiers (URIs) that contain the JAR protocol.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Malware spreading through GeoCities websites

Storm, the botnet building Trojan horse have been seeded with new spam templates that included links to sites on GeoCities, the free Web hosting service owned by Yahoo Inc.

The GeoCities sites are infected with malicious JavaScript code that redirects the user's browser to secondary URLs hosted in Turkey. The Turkish URLs try to persuade the user to download a bogus codec that's supposedly necessary to view images on the GeoCities sites.

The attacks last week that originated at hacked MySpace pages.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

NBC's answer to iTunes

NBC's new software called NBC Direct offers downloadable versions of NBC shows like The Office and 30 Rock. The release comes after NBC failed to renew its iTunes contract in August. The two sides reportedly could not agree on a pricing scheme for downloads of NBC shows, so the network walked away with its nearly 1,500 hours of programming.

Once downloaded, the program provides users with a list of downloadable content. Users can sign up for subscriptions to have certain shows immediately downloaded to their player as NBC posts them.

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Friday, November 09, 2007

Microsoft program puts new Windows on old PCs

Under a new program large companies that sell refurbished PCs can get a new copy of Windows put on the machines provided they pay Microsoft for the privilege. The initiative, which provides refurbishers with a special version of Windows XP, could help save more machines from heading to the landfill.

This means Microsoft will get paid for Windows twice on one computer because to properly resell a refurbished PC using its original copy of Windows, Microsoft requires that resellers have either the certificate of authenticity that came with the PC or its restore disks which usually get lost along the way.

Microsoft did a study in 2004 and found that 20 million computers a year were being sold through formal refurbishment operations. They estimate today that number has grown to 28 million, with growth in the refurbished market likely outpacing new PC sales growth.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Yahoo social networking service

Yahoo is launching a social networking service designed to help college students get career help, an offering created by a young Yahoo unit charged with advancing product innovation.

The service is called Kickstart and its for college students to use to tap into a network of professionals willing to help them with internships, job prospects and career advice. Yahoo believes Kickstart will be valuable to young people who don't yet have extensive contact lists on professional social networks.

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Mac porn surfers getting malware

The malware is called OSX.RSPlug.A and is a Trojan horse. OSX.RSPlug.A disguises itself as a video codec that you would supposedly install to ensure the movies will play on your Mac.

To get infected with the malware, you have to accept the invitation to download new version of codec, open up the .dmg file, click the installer.pkg file, and enter your administrator's password.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Google pitches Gphones to Verizon

Google is in discussing with Verizon Wireless options to put its mobile "GPhone" software on Verizon phones.

Most people believe that it's not a specific phone, but is more likely an operating system or software that integrates many of Google's mobile services, like Web search, Gmail, Youtube, and Google Maps, onto phones made by existing handset makers.

Google powered phones will be useless unless the company can strike deals with mobile operators to allow them on their networks. The most likely scenario is that Google is offering Verizon the ability to use its operating system to integrate any applications it wants into its phones.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Unlocked iPhones on the rise

Apple Inc. said that almost one out of every six iPhones sold may have been unlocked to run on unauthorized wireless networks. Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook said Monday that 250,000 of the nearly 1.4 million iPhones sold may have been bought by users with the intention of unlocking them.

Some people have been buying five phones at a time at Apple stores in the U.S., modifying the software that locks it to AT&T's service, and then reselling the phones overseas.

Apple released an iPhone software update last month that rendered some unlocked devices inoperable. Apple said Monday that it sold 1.12 million phones in the three months ended Sept. 29.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Windows XP SP3 May Include Some Vista Features

A Web site that leaked details of Windows XP Service Pack 3 over the weekend claimed that the update includes several new features, including some borrowed from Windows Vista.

The service pack is said to include four new features among the 1,000 + individual hot fixes and patches that have been issued since SP2.

Windows XP SP3, which Microsoft has said will be released early in 2008, will be one more move by the developer to extend the lifespan of the 6 year old operating system.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Verizon Unveils iPhone Rival

Verizon Wireless unveiled three new cell phones including a high end handset named Voyager that will compete with Apple's iPhone.

The Voyager trumps the iPhone by offering faster wireless Web access. Butthe iPhone has a large touch screen and full Web browser. Verizon Wireless hopes the new phone will attract customers put off by the iPhone's lack of a traditional keypad. The Voyager hinges open to reveal a small computer keypad and a second screen.

Verizon also introduced Juke, an ultra narrow phone that comes in three colors and is shaped like a chocolate bar as well as the Venus, which comes in black and pink, and has a phone keypad that slides out from under a touch screen.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Microsoft Allows Five More Months of XP Bundling

Microsoft is allowing OEMs and retail outlets to sell computers with Windows XP as customers continue to resist upgrading to Windows Vista.

Microsoft had planned to stop selling XP through OEMs and retailers on 1/31/08, while custom system builders have until 1/31/09 to pre-install XP on machines. But because sales of Vista PCs have not been as strong as expected, OEMs and retailers have asked Microsoft to extend XP's availability. OEMs and retailers will now have until 6/30/08 to sell PCs with Windows XP preinstalled on machines. Retailers also can sell XP out of the box until that time if they choose.

Microsoft had high expectations for customer adoption of Vista, and claimed the launch would be one of the most successful in Windows history. Unfortunately for the company, those predictions so far haven't panned out.

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Microsoft's Stealth Updates Affect XP Repair Installations

The stealth update that Microsoft recently delivered to customers blocks 80 patches and fixes from installing after Windows XP is reinstalled using the repair installation feature.

The problem has been traced to the so called "stealth update" to Windows Update which Microsoft has acknowledged sending to users beginning in July. The updates were delivered and installed without prior notification, even when the PC's owner had told the operating system not to download or install updates without notification and permission.

This problem affects users who restore Windows XP using the setup CD's "repair" option, which reinstalls the operating system files without disturbing the applications and data already on the disk drive. Because a repair is essentially a rollback to Window's original state, XP must be updated with all subsequent patches and hotfixes.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Microsoft Quietly Lets Vista Users Revert to XP

Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Lenovo are just a few of the system manufacturers offering downgrades. Each of these PC makers offer an XP Pro recovery disc to those who request one that can be used to revert a Vista machine to XP Pro.

Customers who already have purchased a Vista-PC can request an XP Pro recovery CD for between $15 to $20 by calling technical support.

Additionally some customers and businesses have complained about Vista's lack of support for software and hardware designed originally for XP.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Alaska Airlines testing wireless Internet service

Alaska Airlines has announced that it will test a high-speed satellite wireless Internet service on its aircraft next year. The airline will be the first carrier in the US to offer such a service, and if the test is successful.

The broadband service is designed to work over water and internationally. Customers will be able to access the service from Wi-Fi hotspots within the aircraft cabin.

American Airlines have also announced plans to test a broadband service, though it will use air to ground technology, rather than satellites.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Microsoft Office 2003 Service Pack 3 to be released

A third service pack for Office 2003, promising improved security and enhanced compatibility with Windows Vista, Office 2007, Internet Explorer 7 and Windows SharePoint Services, will be available on September 18, 2007.

The download will be 120MB for the U.S. version and will be free of charge. SP3 appears to address a variety of generally minor annoyances and bugs across the suite.

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Google Calls for Global Online Privacy Standard

Google proposes that governments and technology companies create a transnational privacy policy to address growing concerns over how personal data is handled across the Internet.

Google envisions the policy to be a product of self regulation by companies, improved laws and possible new ones. Google's increasing power in search, Internet commerce and software services has place its privacy policies under scrutiny. In June, Google Inc. said it would delete the data it stores about end users anonymous in its server logs after 18 months.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Skype Worm Virus Warning

A new worm is sending convincing fake Skype Instant Messenger chats in an attempt to infect victims, the company warned today. The worm affects users of Skype for Windows.

The worm sends chat messages that attempt to trick victims into thinking they were accidentally sent a file with messages tempting the recipient to look at the message. The displayed link attempts to download a file ending with a .scr extention, used for screen savers. If double clicked, the malware known variously as Skipi, Pykspa and Ramex will first attempt to disable securty software, and then install another, data stealing piece of malware.

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Man Arrested in Online ID Theft Scheme

A Seattle man has been arrested in what federal authorities described as their first case against someone accused of using file sharing computer programs to commit identity theft.

Gregory Thomas Kopiloff used peer-to-peer file sharing programs to scan other people's computers for financial information that he then used to open credit cards for an online shopping spree.

Kopiloff bought more than $73,000 worth of goods such as iPods and laptop computers online, then resold those items at half-price and kept the proceeds.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Microsoft's answer to the iPhone?

An executive in Microsoft's entertainment and games division today hinted that Microsoft may be developing its own rival to Apple's iPhone, based on Windows Mobile OS.

Microsoft's idea with Windows Mobile has been to move every day business capabilities, such as accessing email, from the PC to the mobile device.

Microsoft is rumored to be evolving its Zune multimedia player with new features out by the holiday time at the end of the year. Microsoft has already worked with hardware partners to develop Windows Mobile handsets with touchscreen capabilities that are similar to the iPhone's.

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Windows Vista SP1 hopefully released soon

The Microsoft Windows Vista blog reported official news of SP1 last week.

Microsoft product manager Nick White first says out that the company no longer relies on service packs as the sole way of updating Windows. Windows Update makes sure this happens fairly constantly. But with SP1 White says "In addition to updates we’ve previously released, SP1 will contain changes focused on addressing specific reliability and performance issues we’ve identified via customer feedback, supporting new types of hardware, and adding support for several emerging standards."

There is news of a SP1 beta, due in the next few weeks. SP1 itself is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2008.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Microsoft claims only 12,000 PCs affected by validation bug

Around 12,000 Windows Vista customers across the globe were denied access to a range of features in the new operating system as a result of a shut down in Microsoft's ability to validate their systems under its Windows Genuine Advantage program.

By about 11:15 a.m. Pacific on Saturday morning the issue affecting the validation service had been analyzed and resolved such that validations were again being processed properly and that many of the affected computers have already revalidated and are fixed.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Apple's iPhone unlocked by teen

George Hotz, 17, of, New Jersey has managed to unlock the iPhone so it will work with T-mobile instead of just AT&T.With a little soldering, a lot of command line computing and about two hours of time, Hotz was able to switch an iPhone over to T-Mobile. The iPhone runs on GSM networks, which only T-Mobile and AT&T Wireless run in the U.S.

Hotz collaborated online with four other people, two of them in Russia, to develop the unlocking process. Hotz is selling one hacked iPhone on eBay, mostly to recoup costs from his summer long project. He has posted detailed instructions on how to do it on his blog.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Stolen Monster Data Put to Bad Use

The Trojan horse used to steal personal data from sends targeted spam seeking recruits for money laundering jobs. The Trojan responsible for stealing more than 1.6 million personal records from uses that information to build targeted spam that offers recipients lucrative, but illegal, money laundering jobs.

Symantec fingered Infostealer.Monstres for using stolen log-ons to run automated searches that have collected information on hundreds of thousands who have posted their resumes on the job search site. also announced Wednesday that it had found the hacker controlled server used to store the resume data ripped off by Infostealer.Monstres. Monster has identified and shut down a rogue server that was accessing seeker contact information through unauthorized use of compromised legitimate employer client login credentials.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Storm Trojan malware still going strong

The Storm malware, which first appeared in January of this year, is showing no signs of slowing down just this week reinventing itself as a website membership confirmation message. It is designed to infect as many end user systems as possible.

Storm started off attached to junk emails bearing provocative news headlines, later moving on to fake greeting cards notifications and advertisements for salacious photographs.

The scam has the user to log into the site in question to change their temporary login details. When accessed, the site attempts to load malicious code onto the user's system via a WinAmp exploit as well as asking the user to download the Storm Trojan under the name applet.exe

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Yahoo Messenger video attack

McAfee has been able to confirm a report on a Chinese language security forum of a serious vulnerability in the most recent version of the Yahoo chat client. Relying on a heap overflow, it allows hackers to tale over a computer simply by getting an unsuspecting person to accept a webcam invite.

At issue is a buffer-overflow vulnerability in Yahoo Messenger's Webcam ActiveX control. The exploit is put to work when an attacker crafts a malicious site designed to take advantage of the vulnerability. The attacker then lures victims to the site by sending the exploit code via e-mail or hosting it in a remotely accessible location.

A Yahoo representative confirmed the vulnerability and said company software developers are scrambling to fix it. Affected versions range from Yahoo Messenger 5.5.0 on up to 8.0.0 and those versions in between. Yahoo Messenger 8.1 isn't affected. Users should immediately upgrade to the version Yahoo put out to fix the problem late last week: Version, posted at

In the meantime, Yahoo Messenger users may want to block outgoing traffic on port 5100 and don't accept any invites.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Microsoft's Mega Patch Tuesday

Microsoft issued the second largest bunch of fixes this year patching vulnerabilities that will affect anyone using Windows. Microsoft released nine security bulletins, fixing a total of 14 vulnerabilities. Eight of the bugs are critical, four are rated important and two are rated moderate.

The fixes address flaws in Windows, Windows Media Player, Windows Gadgets, Office, Excel, Internet Explorer, Visual Basic, Virtual Sever, and Virtual PC. Symantec rated the Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer as the most critical since two of the vulnerabilities affect Internet Explorer version 6 and version 7.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Rent space from Google

Google will be offering additional online storage space to users who need it for a small fee. The new storage space, which Google took pains to stress is in addition to the free allowance for each service (1GB for Picasa, 2.8GB for Gmail), is priced starting at $20 a year for another 6GB. Other plans provide an extra 25GB for $75 annually, 100GB for $250, and 250GB for $500.

Yahoo announced unlimited storage for its Web mail service. However, Yahoo flags accounts that it thinks are being used for online storage, rather than simply storing e-mails.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Windows Vista service pack rumors abound

Numerous PC testers claim they have received an early build of Microsoft's first Service Pack addition to Windows Vista.

There have been tips from beta testers who claim to have a different build numbers. This implies that the numbers are really codes to track down anyone who spills information.

Microsoft has said that the private beta would begin in mid July, with a public beta soon to follow, and a final release rollout beginning in November.

Monday, August 06, 2007 testing PayPay type web service has announced a limited beta test of Amazon Flexible Payments Service which is a set of new Amazon Web Services APIs for moving money between people or computers. Unlike merchant-oriented services such as PayPal or Google Checkout, FPS is intended for software developers.

FPS can be used to specify transaction amounts, transaction dates, spending limits, recipients, payment methods, and fees.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Laser printers can be hazardous to your health

Laser printers may be hazardous to your health according to a new study. Some laser printers used in home and office environments pollute the air with potentially hazardous toner particles.

The study classified 17 out of 62 printers as high particle emitters because they released so much toner powder into the air.The study included Canon, Hewlett Packard, Ricoh, and Toshiba printers.

The inhalation of ultra-fine particles can affect human health in different ways, depending on the material inhaled and the quantity. But such particles can cause respiratory irritation or more serve conditions including cardiovascular problems or cancer.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Vista Sales Hit $60 Million

Microsoft countered criticism about the uptake of Windows Vista by announcing it now has shipped 60 million copies of the operating system and that Vista eclipsed the entire install base of Apple in the first five weeks of shipment.

A Microsoft representative said there are 42 million PCs covered by volume licensing annuity agreements for Vista and that deployments were being driven by corporate rollouts, governments and mid-market customers.

Microsoft also says the install base of Windows computers this coming 12 months will reach one billion.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

$500 million worth of pirated software found in China

Chinese authorities and the FBI worked together to seize more than 290,000 counterfeit software CDs and certificates of authenticity valued at $500 million. The officials also arrested 25 people. The uncovered pirated software included Symantec and Microsoft products.

Software such as Windows Vista, XP and Server, were among those uncovered. Software piracy deprived the software industry of an estimated $40 billion in 2006.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

iPhone securty hole discovered

Computer security experts have discovered a flaw in the iPhone that lets attackers gain full access to the device, potentially making users' private information available to hackers.

The hack can be activated through a malicious Web site, a wireless access point or a link sent to the phone through e-mail or a text message. After it's activated, an attacker can make the phone transmit files or passwords, run up wireless services or even record audio and relay it back to the attacker.

Apple has already sent details of the hack and a potential solution and a company spokeswoman tells the Times that Apple is on the case.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Latest Firefox Browser Fixes Security Holes

Firefox version fixes at least 7 security vulnerabilities with this release. Patches built into included those meant to address multiple memory corruption bugs, a cross-site scripting vulnerability, and a flaw that could give attackers access to the browser's cache.

Unless you are using a version of Firefox earlier than 1.5.x, you should soon be prompted to upgrade to the latest version. Microsoft sends out a set of patches only once every month, but the virtual Firefox security testing team is helping Mozilla turnaround updates almost as quickly as it receives reports of any flaws.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Microsoft Windows Home Server on its way

Microsoft announced today that Windows Home Server has been released to manufacturing. Users will be able to obtain Windows Home Server from any number of resellers who will offer the server software in "OEM bundles".

Windows Home Server (WHS) is based off of Windows Server 2003 and targeted at users who want an easy way to back up all of the important data in their house. It offers securable file and print sharing that you can centrally manage and supports disaster recovery functions, including scheduled snapshots of client systems that can be fully restored by booting off of a CD that connects to WHS server.

There should be a 120-day evaluation copy available within the next few months.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Logitech introduces its air mouse

Logitech has come up with a laser mouse that works on the desk and in the air, similar to the way people use a remote to control a television. It uses technologies called Freespace motion control, gesture command and wireless which allows users to point, select and play media files with just a flick of the wrist. These combined technologies allow a user to hold the mouse in any orientation and point in any direction.

The rechargeable MX Air mouse uses 2.4 GHz digital cordless technology, which offers a range of up to 30 feet. The Logitech MX Air mouse is expected to be available in the US and Europe beginning in August. Its suggested retail price in the US is $149.99.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Mozilla Delays Firefox 3.0 Beta

Firefox 3.0's first beta has been delayed and it won't appear until the middle of September. The new tests are showing an 18% increase in its memory footprint in addition to other issues.

Several features intended for the Firefox 3.0 final have yet to make it into the code, including an anti-malware tool and application programming interfaces needed to support offline Web software.

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Saturday, July 07, 2007

Scammers give to charities to test stolen credit cards

Scammers using stolen credit cards to make small donations to online charities. Security researchers believe the donations are being made to test whether a stolen card is still active.

According to security company Symantec, bank behavior monitors may be less likely to pick up on donations to charities. Legitimate charitable donations are not daily transactions for anyone with a credit card, and so it would be difficult to determine if they are out of the norm.

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Monday, July 02, 2007

Hackers take advantage of iPhone hype

Hackers were quick to jump on the iPhone hype sending out e-mails that lure users to malicious Web sites that infect their machines and turn them into bots for the hackers.

Researchers at security company Secure Computing discovered a Web site set up to exploit more than ten ActiveX vulnerabilities in an attempt to install a malicious payload. This piece of malware is designed to open up a back door in the computer and turn it into a bot that fills out the hackers' botnet.

Hackers set up the bot to send out spam. Since the malware is rootkit-based, explained researchers, it would be simple for a hacker to update the malware anytime he wants to carry out other malicious tasks, like key logging to capture the user's financial credentials.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Microsoft getting into online storage

Microsoft is testing a system called Windows Live Folders that gives computer users up to 500 megabytes of online storage for their documents and other files.

The service gives users who e-mail documents between home and work computers another way to access their files when away from home or the office. Users can choose to keep files private, share them with others or allow anyone on the web to view them.

Windows Live Folders is an indication of Microsoft's growing focus on providing online services.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Seagate now in the terabyte hard drive club

Seagate is a introducing 1 Terabyte capacity disks with advanced power saving technology. These drives could save up to a quarter of the power consumed by normal drives.

The Barracuda 7200.11 is a 3.5-inch format drive that spins at 7200rpm and has a sustained data rate of 105MB/s. The interface is SATA II running at 3GB/s.

Seagate has added a power saving technology, called PowerTrim, to these drives. Their electronics are managed by new firmware and hardware that monitors what the drive is doing and switches off power to unused parts of the drive electronics.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Homeland Security Has Security Issues

The man in charge of IT security for the US Homeland Security department may lose his job after the revelations that his department’s IT systems have misconfigured firewalls, suspicious botnet activity, Trojans and virus infections.

Homeland Security experienced 844 security related incidents on its computer systems in 2005 and 2006. Those incidents included unauthorized users hooking up personal computers to government networks, unauthorized software installations, classified e-mails traveling over unclassified networks, suspicious botnet activity, Trojans and virus infections, classified data spillages and misconfigured firewalls.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Blockbuster to go with Blu-ray

Blockbuster decided to use Sony's Blu-ray DVD format rather than HD DVD for its high definition format for DVDs. They said it would boost its inventory of the high definition discs to 1,700 stores by mid July. Blu-ray rentals are "significantly outpacing HD DVD rentals," the company said in a statement.

Blu-ray's high-definition digital technology, backed by Sony Corp., offers crisper pictures and more room for special features than current DVDs.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Is your computer working for Botnet?

The US Department of Justice and the FBI have released a statement that they have identified over one million computers who have become part of a "botnet" and have been taken over by malicious software for the purpose of sending out spam and attacking other computers.

In January, Vint Cerf estimated that 1/4 of all computers could be part of a botnet. Google researchers recently said that they looked at 4.5 million web pages and round that over 10% of them contained malware or code that attempted to install malware on a user's system.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Yahoo Messenger security holes

Online attackers are starting to target major security holes in Yahoo Messenger for Windows that can allow an attacker to take over your PC if you view a malicious Web site using Internet Explorer.

Yahoo released an updated version of Yahoo Messenger that closes these security holes. Yahoo Messenger versions downloaded prior to June 8, 2007 are at risk.

Download the fixed version from Yahoo.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

iPhone to be released on June 29

Apple and AT&T stores will begin selling the iPhone on June 29, and lines are expected to be long. The iPhone is a combination iPod, cell phone and Internet device.

Apple has projected sales of 10 million iPhones in its first year and projects potential iPhone sales of 100 million by 2011.

Neither AT&T nor Apple is accepting pre orders for the phone, so it will be first come, first served at more than 1,800 AT&T and nearly 200 Apple stores, plus the Apple Web site.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Dangerous Search Engines

Searches for peer to peer file sharing clients and digital music on major search engines have a good chance of delivering you to a questionable Web site serving up spyware, adware, and spam.

Search categories such as digital music and tech toys produced between 35 to 50 percent risky sites on average when using search engines owned by Google, Yahoo, MSN, and AOL.

McAfee's SiteAdvisor browser toolbar identifies risky sites by flagging them (should you visit one) with a "red" warning or a "yellow" cautionary label that appears in your browser.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Top spammer arrested on multiple charges

Robert Alan Soloway was arrested Wednesday in Seattle on charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, email fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering.

Soloway allegedly spammed the masses in email fraud since 2003 by using hijacked computers from around the world, and covered his tracks using Chinese servers, fabricated websites and stolen identities.

In 2005, Microsoft won a $7.8 million judgment against him for his spoofing of MSN and Hotmail email addresses. Unfortunately, the $7.8 million could never be collected because Soloway’s funds and bank accounts remained elusive.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Google opens up Gmail to everyone

Google has made it possible to send larger attachments using Gmail and opened the service up to anyone who wants an account. The company last week increased to 20MB the size of attachments it is permitting Gmail users to send using its free email service.

Anyone can now sign up for a free Gmail account. Until now, users have required an invitation from a Gmail registered friend.

Google has also begun working to integrate YouTube support into Gmail.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Email Users less bothered by spam despite receiving more

American internet users are reporting increasing volumes of spam but say they are less bothered by it according to recent research. 71% of email users use filters offered by their email provider or employer to block spam.

37% of email users said spam had increased in their personal email accounts, up from 28% of email users who said the same thing two years ago and 24% three years ago.

The researchers suggested several reasons why fewer people say that spam is a big problem for them. First, the volume of the most offensive kinds of spam has decreased and second people are becoming more knowledgeable about how to handle spam.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Norton AV upgrade cripples thousands of Chinese computers

An update issued May 18th disabled several thousand computers across China. The Norton AntiVirus update caused the computers to recognize two Windows XP files as malicious and remove them. The result was a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) error after a system reboot.

The files removed by Norton are lsasrv.dll and netapi32.dll. The security software tags the files as being a malicious backdoor named appropriately Backdoor.Haxdoor Trojan. Only Chinese language versions of Windows appear to be affected so far. The software is listed as Norton 360, which includes the Norton Anti-Virus software.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Google Expands to Universal Search

Google said it is integrating results from a variety of its search engines in an attempt to deliver as comprehensive a result set as possible.

Google and its competitors know that in order to improve the average user's search experience, they need to collate results from their different engines. Google announced it is moving toward what it calls a universal search model. The integrated results will be applied for now to searches conducted on the main Web search engine only.

Google also updated its homepage design and tweaked navigation features to accommodate the collated set of results.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

AMD introduces 4 core processor

AMD has announced it will launch a new line of chips that integrate four computing centres on a single piece of silicon later this year.

The upcoming Phenom line of processors will be able maximize performance by managing energy use more efficiently and minimizing the distance information has to travel to be used.

the four cores, keeping data within a single processor eliminates a bottleneck inherent in other products that are packaging two dual core chips to form quad core processors.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

New Benchmark Tests for Vista

In order to test the true limits of systems equipped with the Vista OS, a new test was required. With this in mind, BAPCo has quietly rolled out SYSmark 2007 Preview, the latest version of its industry leading benchmark test suite. SYSmark is based on programs commonly used in everyday life.

On the desktop side, the more complicated the system, the more its performance falls when you move from Win XP to Vista. Microsoft Office performance suffered the most during the shift.

For laptops, there was also slower performance with Vista. Unlike on desktops, however, the gap between notebooks actually lessened in some cases in higher end products.

Vista is still the slower of the two operating systems, although that should improve over time. Some of the difference can be attributed to the extra features of Vista using more system resources. That can't be helped until faster and more powerful components are developed.

Monday, May 07, 2007

New HP gaming notebook with 20 inch display

Rumor has it that HP will be announcing a new 20 inch gaming laptop, the Pavilion HDX. The 20 inch, 12 pound monster is HPs first step into the gaming notebook market. The inner components are not finalized yet but will have to be to be top notch for gamers.

the Pavilion HDX has four speakers, a subwoofer, webcam and a built in HDTV tuner. It will also have a removable remote next to the keyboard. The launch date is vague, but should be some time in the next few months.

Friday, May 04, 2007

IBM's New Nano Chip

IBM has established a chip assembling process that produces chips that are up to 15% more energy efficient than the most advanced traditional chips.

The process consists of insulating tiny wires by allowing them to assemble themselves around air gaps. This advance could make next generation chips dramatically faster and more energy efficient, IBM said. Electrical signals could also flow up to 35 percent faster, potentially leading to additional advances in computing power and speed.

IBM is hoping to start using the technique as soon as 2009 on its own chips, the company said.

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Monday, April 30, 2007

Google deleting dangerous advertisements

Google has removed ads that appear alongside Google search results that re-directed users to malicious sites. Exploit Prevention Labs reported that malware distributors were using advertisements placed via Google's automated AdWords system to infect unsuspecting end-users with spyware designed to capture bank login user names and passwords.

McAfee's SiteAdvisor division found in a December report that 8 percent of sponsored results from top search engines AOL,, Google, MSN, and Yahoo can often lead to Web sites that contain spyware and scams. By purchasing ads that appear at the top of search results scammers get the visibility they need to drive traffic to their exploited sites.

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Apple QuickTime Bug Could Be Days Away

Researchers say hackers could be a few days away from finding the vulnerable code. The bug, which has been rated highly critical by two different security companies, could open up the millions of people who use an iPod to attacks on their desktops and laptops.

The vulnerability is caused by an error in the way Apple QuickTime handles Java. It can be exploited if a user visits a malicious Web site, running a Java-enabled browser. The bug also affects Windows Vista through Internet Explorer 7.

even if a patch comes out before the exploit hits, a large number of users could still be at risk because it takes weeks, months and sometimes even years for uses to get their systems patched.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Time Warner extending your broadband coverage

FON and Time Warner Cable announced a new partnership on Monday that will allow that latter company's broadband subscribers to also access the FON WiFi network for free.

Time Warner cable subscribers can also become FON community members and create their own access points through their home or business broadband connections.

These community members essentially serve as Hotspot providers who then share their unused bandwidth via a specialized FON router in exchange for free WiFi access when roaming through any other FON access point.

With nearly 60,000 community members so far in the U.S., FON claims that it is now the largest WiFi network in the United States.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Dell offers Windows XP as consumer option

Dell has bowed to pressure from customers and dumped its Vista only policy for consumer PCs by adding Windows XP as an operating option on certain computers. Dell now offers Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional on two Dimension desktops and four Inspiron laptops.

Earlier this month, Dell decided to add Windows XP on systems sold to its small business customers. The new XP option is available only to U.S. customers.

Manufacturers like Dell will be able to pre install Windows XP on new systems until January 31, 2008. Smaller system builders and end users, however, will be able to license Windows XP into early 2009.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Windows DNS Server Exploit

The zero-day bug in the Domain Name System (DNS) Server Service in Windows 2000 Server SP4 and Windows Server 2003 SP1 and SP2 was confirmed by Microsoft late on Thursday.

Symantec Corp. warned Saturday that the Metasploit Project had released a public exploit for the vulnerability. "The release of this exploit greatly increases the chance of widespread exploitation of this issue before a patch is made available," warned Symantec. Although Microsoft seems to be all over this vulnerability, a patch is in the works.

If a bot Trojan horse managed to get onto a client via the patched but still attacked animated cursor bug, for example, the botnet controller could use that compromised PC to hijack the local domain controller.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Blogger code of conduct proposed

A prominent internet writer and the head of Wikipedia have collaborated on a set of rules designed to bring civility to the world of bloggers, which can appear to be a world of endless conversational battle.

The code calls on bloggers which are people who write and post material in online journals called blogs not to post unacceptable content and delete comments that contain abusive, harassing or threatening content.

The code has already generated controversy on the site's discussion group over issues of censorship and enforceability of the rules.

According to blog indexing company Technorati, there are 74.9 million blogs on the internet.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

One TB External Hard Drive now available

The new SimpleDrive USB drive provides easy add-on storage and effortless backup and restore capabilities making it painless to manage your personal or professional content using Hitachi's latest 1TB drive to provide a huge external backup solution.

The drive comes preloaded with One-Click backup software so you can protect selected files or the entire content stored on your computer with a single click or automatically if desired.

Combo models with both USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 are due to go on sale in May.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Microsoft sued over Vista branding

A lawsuit filed against Micrsoft, alleges that the company advertised systems as "Vista capable," when in fact the systems were not able to run Vista properly.

Microsoft has allowed PC vendors to put stickers on their systems saying that they are "Vista ready," when the system could run only Vista Home Basic. The suit maintains that it was unreasonable of Microsoft to assume that every person to whom it was marketing Vista could understand the system requirements.

Microsoft said it had made extensive efforts to inform buyers about the hardware resources needed to run Vista.

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Online news readers pay more attention than newspaper readers

Those who favor online news have a greater attention span than print readers, according to a US study that refutes the idea that web surfers jump around and don't read much.

The EyeTrack07 survey by the Poynter Institute, found online readers read 77% of what they chose to read while newspaper readers read an average of 62%. Nearly two thirds of online readers, once they chose a particular item to read, read all of text.

The study found about 75 per cent of print readers were methodical compared to half of online readers.

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Microsoft tesing Office 2008 for Mac

Microsoft has started private testing of the next version of Office for the Macintosh, which is due out in the second half of the year.

Office 2008 for Mac product is the first version of Office that runs natively on both Intel and Power PC based Macs. The new software also adds support for the XML file formats.

Microsoft has taken longer than its normal 18 to 24 months to come out with a new version of Office for the Mac.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Adobe Announces new CS3 Products

Adobe says its new CS3 line unites the best of Adobe and Macromedia product innovation to provide designers and developers with a broad spectrum of creative options for all facets of print, web, mobile, interactive, film, and video production.

There are six new configurations of Adobe CS3, which include Adobe CS3 Design Premium and Design Standard editions; Adobe CS3 Web Premium and Web Standard editions; and Adobe CS3 Production Premium. Rounding out the product line is Adobe CS3 Master Collection, which combines 12 of Adobe's new design and development applications in a single box.

The majority of Adobe CS 3 editions will be available as Universal applications for both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs and support Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

IBM chip can download a movie in 1 second

IBM has a prototype optical transceiver chipset which they claim will allow instantaneous movie downloads. The transceiver is fast enough to reduce the download time for a typical high definition feature length film to a single second compared to 30 minutes or more that it would normally take.

The chipset is capable of reaching speeds at least eight times faster than optical components available today and has the ability to move information at speeds of 160 Gigabits in a single second. The chip measures only 1/15th the area of a US 10 cent coin and is capable of transmitting the equivalent of 4 million simultaneous telephone conversations.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

China houses largest number of bot infected PCs

China has accounted for 26 percent of the world's bot infected computers, a higher density than any other nation with Beijing as the city with the most bot infected computers in the world.

During the second half of 2006 period, Symantec observed an average of 21,707 new active bot infected computers per day in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The U.S. remains both a center and target of cybercrime. 86% of the credit and debit cards advertised for sale on the digital underground were issued by banks in the U.S.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

SanDisk Introduces 8GB Camera Flash Card

SanDisk introduced an 8GB SD High Capacity version which is twice that of the highest capacity now available in the SD format.

The new card is estimated to hold more than 4,000 high res pictures and as many as 2,000 digital songs or up to 15 hours of MPEG 4 video.

The 8GB SDHC card with USB reader will be available in April in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Should spyware be illegal?

Members of a committee of the US Congress have received much support for a proposed spyware ban. But some who fear the bill, without some modifications, could harm internet advertisers.

The Securely Protect Yourself Against Cyber Trespass Act (Spy Act) would make it unlawful to install software that gathers information, monitors usage, serves up advertisements or modifies browser and other settings on a computer without explicit user consent.

Without some modifications, the bill would "take into account and cover things that are part of the seamless use of the Internet" and which provide advertising-supported content to millions said Jerry Cerasale, senior vice president of government affairs at the Direct Marketing Association.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Google to tighten its privacy

Google said yesterday that it plans to alter its privacy policy and strip certain identifying information from archived Internet searches. The new policy will affect only searches conducted from the Google home page.

Google will continue to store search terms, but after 18 to 24 months it will remove the IP addresses, which can help identify the location of computers that conducted searches. Google will also erase cookies on hard drives after searches are conducted.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Seagate releases super secure hard drive

The 2.5 inch Momentus 5400 FDE.2 (full disk encryption) drive will be on sale at the end of March. The drive features on the fly encryption integrated into the drive itself using chip acceleration. The user has the power to set a password to access the drive during system boot, but is otherwise unaware that all data at rest is being encrypted and unencrypted transparently. Data is never in clear text except when it is being used by an application.

The drive will be a 80 GB version with a 100GB, 120GB and 160GB version coming soon, all based on a 3Gb/sec SATA interface and spinning at 5400 RPM.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Samsung releases hybrid hard drive

Samsung's hybrids mix flash technology with regular magnetic hard disk drives, are specially optimized for Windows Vista.

The drive is a 2.5 inch hard drive suitable for notebooks and is available in 80Gb, 120Gb and 160Gb capacities, coming with either 128Mb or 256Mb of Samsung's OneNAND memory.

The MH80 is optimized for Vista and is designed to work with Microsoft's ReadyDrive, which is meant to deliver 50% faster boot and resume times, 20 to 30 minutes of extra battery life depending on the notebook as the drive users 70-90% less power than regular hard drives, and greater reliability as the physical hard drive itself will be used less often thanks to the flash memory.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Microsoft OneCare not your best bet for protection

When Microsoft launched their anti-virus and Internet Security product OneCare, rival companies were concerned that Microsoft was trying to muscle in on their market. But if the results of both a new test by research firm AV Comparatives and previous tests that ranked Windows Defender relatively lowly are anything to go by.

Microsoft's effort has come last with an average of an 82.4% detection success rate. When the top rated software, G Data Security AntiVirusKit, posts a 99.45% average. Symantec's Norton Anti-Virus came in at 96.8%, GriSoft's AVG was 96.3% and McAfee's VirusScan at 91.6%, meaning that while these big names did much better than OneCare.

The report indicates the methodology of the testing for those wanting the details, which involved a big range of viruses, polymorphic viruses, worms, rootkits, Trojans, scripts, backdoors, spyware and dialers.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Windows Vista gadgets may pose security threats

Symantec Corp is claiming that the Windows SideBar and gadgets in Windows Vista could pose security threats. The gadgets use static HTML and scripting to allow developers to easily create new plug-ins for the Windows desktop, such as clock or calculator applications.

The gadgets do not automatically execute, but Symantec is concerned that they are automatically authorized to communicate over the Internet, making them an attractive target for attackers.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Dell may be offering Linux PCs

Dell considering reintroducing Linux desktops and notebooks, but wants to wait until there is a clear winner among the various distributions of the open source operating system.

Dell currently sells Precision workstations with the option of having Red Hat Linux installed. These computers are used to run industrial applications, such as those used by designers in manufacturing, or in the making of animation or movies. Dell has not offered a mainstream computer with Linux since 2001.

If the market rallies around a couple of Linux distributions, and Dell sees a strong enough demand to make a profit, then the company will start offering Linux computers again.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Google to filter YouTube videos

Due to recent complaints about piracy from various organizations, Google will start filtering videos and other content on YouTube for copyrighted materials.

Google will use technology from Los Gatos based Audible Magic to help them filter material. The system works by comparing the audio fingerprint of a video to a large database of copyrighted material.

Earlier this month, Viacom demanded that YouTube remove more than 100,000 videos, including clips of shows like SpongeBob Squarepants, posted on its site. NBC Universal and News Corp. also have requested that YouTube take down clips.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

No control over the internet

The man widely recognised as the "Father of the Internet" has claimed the Internet has grown too big for anyone to play nurse.

"It is a huge, new democratic opportunity and beyond any one agency's political control," says Vinton Cerf, who is at present the Chief Internet Evangelist at Google. Nations had tried to control portions of the Internet for their own national goals, but the Net is too ubiquitous for any single agency to control.

Cerf believes the jump to the next version of the Internet Protocol IPv6 is "desperately needed if we are to reach the world's 4 billion people, who are now untouched by the Net."

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Virus makers caught in China

Chinese police have arrested a virus maker and five others in connection with the spread of a online virus named Panda Burning Joss Stick that has caused millions of computers in the country to crash.

Internet authorities said Li Jun wrote the virus program and let it loose on the internet last October. Li confessed to selling the virus to 12 people for 100,000 yuan (USD 12,887).

The virus, which infects program files and flashes a picture of a panda holding three joss sticks, has been spreading through the internet since December last year. It has infected millions of computers nationwide, police said.

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Intel unveils 80 Core Chip

Intel is scheduled to unveil details of a research project into large scale multi-core processors, an 80-core chip that will be used to guide further developments.

The CPU is a research project designed to develop an understanding of how a processor with large numbers of cores will handle calculations and, in particular, communications between the various cores.

The chip also contains an interface capability that would make it possible for Intel to package a memory chip stacked directly on top of the microprocessor in the future. Such a design would make it possible to move data back and forth between memory and processor many times faster than today's chips.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Vista users may be out of luck with iTunes

Apple has posted a message on its website warning that computers running Windows Vista may experience compatibility issues with iTunes.

iTunes 7.0.2, the latest version may work with Windows Vista on many typical PCs but Apple advices that customers wait to upgrade Windows until after the next release of iTunes.

Apple has already identified several compatibility issues with iTunes 7.0.2 and earlier versions. These include among others:

iTunes Store purchases may not play when upgrading to Windows Vista from Windows 2000 or XP

Cover Flow animation may be slower than expected;

Contacts and calendars will not sync with iPod.

A Microsoft spokesman commented that more than 1.5 million hardware and software devices currently work with Vista.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Potential Vista speech recognition security issue

There has been a recent discovery that the speech recognition system in Windows Vista could be hijacked to delete files or perform other unauthorised actions to users computers.

Vista contains an updated speech recognition technology which prompted security researchers to see if it was possible to create MP3 files on websites or audio tracks to issue spoken commands which take control of computers running Windows Vista.

Microsoft said the exploit is technically possible but unlikely to be much of a threat in practice even though a number of security researchers have already tested the approach and were able to delete files and visit arbitrary websites even though it was very hard to do so.

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Windows Vista and Office 2007 already being pirated

Cracked copies of Windows Vista and Office 2007 were available via BitTorrent which is a peer to peer file sharing service. As of January, more than 100 individual copies of Office 2007 and more than 350 copies of Windows Vista were available on the Bittorrent service.

The software pirates that cracked early copies of Vista managed to sidestepped Microsoft’s latest anti piracy technology.

6 out of the 25 most widely pirated software packages on BitTorrent and eDonkey, are made by Microsoft.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Dell taking orders for PCs running Windows Vista

Dell announced it will begin taking orders this weekend for computers loaded with the Windows Vista operating system.

Dell said it has spent more than 100,000 engineer hours testing the new operating system.

The initial release of Vista installed computers will be in English, French, German, Spanish and Japanese, with additional languages soon to follow.

Gateway said that it will be announcing new notebook and desktop products related to Vista next week.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Migrating to Office 2007 may take longer than expected

Microsoft's hoping for a quick update to Office 2007 for Office users based on a redesigned and simpler interface. But this new interface could be the reason why companies don't make the switch from older versions of Office.

Most enterprises will wait between three and five years before switching from older editions of Office to Office 2007.

Most business users will need up to three hours formal training, which will be followed by a drop in efficiency for up to four weeks as they adjust to the new interface.

Office 2007 will be released next week.

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Windows Vista vs. Windows XP

With the new Windows Vista starting to make its way into homes and business here is some information on the Vista features to help you decide if Vista is worth the upgrade.

Added Security
Parental Control: There are a number of software applications available nowadays that allow parents to keep a tab on their kids Internet activity.

User Account Control (UAC)
UAC is a new security feature that allows users to operate Windows Vista more as a standard user than as a true administrator, where one has complete access to everything.

Windows Firewall
Vista features two different firewalls: the standard firewall that was available in Windows XP and Windows Firewall with advanced features.

Windows Defender
Windows Defender is the built in spyware blocker bundled in Windows Vista.

Windows Aero
Aero is enabled for use if the system contains a high graphics card that can support DirectX 9.0 and higher. This feature enables one to view the open windows as 3D windows.

Windows Search
One of the most helpful new features in Windows Vista, is the new, vastly improved search for files or applications from almost anywhere.

Live Icons
When Windows Aero starts, users can hover their mouse over open windows in the taskbar and see a live representation of what's running in them.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Internet Explorer 7 on the rise with Firefox on its tail

Microsoft is claiming that IE7 has just passed its 100 millionth download making IE7 the second most used browser after IE6. But it turns out that most of the downloads are upgrades from IE6 and taking away from the total of computers running IE6.

Over the same period the number of Firefox browser installations comprising versions 1.5 and 2.0 had risen from 13.5% to 14%.

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Monday, January 15, 2007

PayPal to enhance its security

PayPal will begin offering customers the option of using a password generating device called a key fob to increase its security.

The key fob will generate a random 6 security code every 30 seconds. In order to log onto their PayPal accounts, users will have to enter the code with their ID and password.

eBay said the PayPal Security Key is now in beta testing, primarily by eBay employees, but should be widely available in the United States and select countries within two months.

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Cisco suing Apple over iPhone name

Cisco Systems started a lawsuit against Apple Wednesday over the trademark of the name iPhone without Cisco's permission. The suit seeks an injunction to stop Apple's use of the name.

Apple's iPhone, is a gadget that combines a cell phone and a video and music player. Cisco obtained the iPhone trademark in 2000. iPhone has been the rumored name for Apple's cell phone effort for years.

Cisco's Linksys division launched a family of iPhone devices, which includes WiFi antennas that allow users to make calls with their home wireless networks.

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Monday, January 08, 2007

The new easier to use Word 2007... or not

The new Microsoft Word 2007 will be released on January 30th. It has been totally redesigned and a lot of the unnecessary stuff you don't need has been removed but that doesn't mean its going to be easy to use. It will take some getting used to.

Word 2007 is lovely to look at and use. But Word's 450 million global users can expect major, unwelcome surprises from the new design. Everything you've learned about Word over the years is now wrong. The familiar menu names such as File, Edit, View, Insert, Format and the rest are gone. They have been replaced by cryptic new headers: Home, Insert, Page Layout, and Reference. Now you get a long horizontal bar called The Ribbon that holds most Word commands.

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

New flash hard drives for laptops

SanDisk has just released a 32 GB drive for notebooks that stores information on flash memory chips rather than the magnetic platters like a traditional hard drive.

Unlike regular hard drives, flash memory drives do not contain moving parts and are less prone to breaking down. Flash drives can also increase battery life by about 10% and retrieve data faster.

The commercial drive from SanDisk contains a controller and other electronics that reduce power consumption and the overall cost of the drive and will add about $600 to the cost of a notebook.

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Wikipedia Search Engine

Wikia, created by Wikipedia Founder, Jimmy Wales, along with financial backing from Amazon is planning to launch a search engine that will leverage the user driven model deployed by Wikipedia.

The search engine will be called Wikiasari deriving its name from Wiki which is Hawaiian for quick plus asari which is Japanese for rummaging search. Wikiasari in intended to compete with the likes of Google and Yahoo. The search engine will also be advertising like Google and Yahoo.

Wikiasari will add human editorial input rather than simply render search results based on popularity and other such algorithms and will be designed to apply the "wisdom of the crowd" to judging a Web page's value.

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