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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Web addresses to exend to non English languages

Since the very start of web addresses being introduced, only Latin-script (English) based web addresses would work. With the ever increasing number of web addresses in use, the regulatory body assigning domain name details has approved the use of non-English addresses.

ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, have approved a number of internationalised domain names which could be rolled out as soon as next year.

At the moment, only the standard 26 letter English alphabet from A-Z and including 0-9 can be used. This new process will allow in theory any language using any symbol to enter web addresses.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Windows 7 Draws Praise, Putdowns

Most early adopters appear pleased with Microsoft's new OS, but some are griping about installation bugs. Numerous would be Windows 7 users are having difficulty installing or upgrading to Microsoft's newest operating system. Other users however, showed that they are happy with the software.

Several users indicated that attempts to upgrade from Windows Vista caused their computers to enter what they described as an endless cycle of reboots. Judging from customer reports on Amazon and other online retail sites, most Windows 7 users have installed the software without a hitch and are pleased with its performance.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Google to Launch Music Service and Phone

Google is reportedly set to unveil its own music service and is also working with a smartphone manufacturer on an own-brand Android phone.

Two separate reports from TechCrunch and The Street say that the search giant is developing a music service, dubbed as Google Audio, and a smartphone that will not be sold through traditional wireless carriers. Google Audio would be available for U.S. users, but it is unclear whether it will be a download or streaming service.

Google is also working to develop its own Google-branded smartphone, which will be sold through retailers and not through wireless carriers by the end of this year.

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

LG Portable Mobile DTV Due Early 2010

After three years of waiting, Mobile Digital Television -offering free, live streaming digital TV to portables came closer to reaching the market. LG Electronics assigned an early 2010 release date for one of the first products to use the standard, a portable DVD player/personal digital TV combo.

Mobile DTV uses the same digital spectrum as local TV stations for HD programming and allows the broadcast of the same programs to portable devices. Broadcasters are already testing or airing the service in 29 markets, expected to grow to 70 by the end of the year.

The ATSC Mobile DTV standard allows broadcasters to use a portion of the existing 19.3Mbps DTV channel capacity to transmit data with very robust characteristics suitable for mobile, pedestrian and handheld products, said LG.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Microsoft Fixes 34 Bugs In Record 13-Patch Update

Microsoft released a record patch for its Patch Tuesday release, fixing 34 vulnerabilities in 13 updates, including two zero-day flaws which open the door for hackers to launch malicious attacks on users' PCs.

Altogether, 8 of the 13 patches repaired critical errors in every version of Windows and Internet Explorer, including critical bugs which allow hackers to attack vulnerable systems remotely with malicious code, typically to steal information.

The patches address a total of 34 vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer, Office, SQL Server, Microsoft Forefront, Silverlight and Microsoft Developer Tools, as well as third-party ActiveX components, among others.

Security experts said that one of Microsoft's most far-reaching and serious patches is a cumulative fix for IE, plugging four security holes that could pave the way for hackers to launch attacks by luring victims to a maliciously crafted Web site, typically through some kind of social engineering scheme delivered via e-mail or social networking site.

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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Hotmail and Gmail Nailed by Phishing Attacks

Over this past weekend the credentials for several thousand Microsoft Hotmail accounts were posted online. Microsoft has confirmed the list was authentic, worked to get it taken down and deactivated the accounts. If your account was affected you can fill out this form to reclaim account access.

Then today Google told the BBC that Gmail had been similarly targeted. The BBC reported that they had seen a list with more than 30,000 names and passwords.

Microsoft says that the Hotmail accounts appear to have been compromised through "a likely phishing scheme," not through any problem in Hotmail. Google's response was similar: "We recently became aware of an industry-wide phishing scheme through which hackers gained user credentials for web-based mail accounts including GMail accounts...As soon as we learned of the attack, we forced password resets on the affected accounts. We will continue to force password resets on additional accounts when we become aware of them."

Users need to be able to recognize illicit attempts to elicit their account information. The Microsoft blog linked to above has some good, general advice on recognizing phishing scams.

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Monday, October 05, 2009

Free Windows 7 Upgrades Are Not Free

The free Windows 7 upgrades that Microsoft has promised buyers of new PCs powered by Vista are not always free, a consumer watchdog Web site says.

"To me, whether it's $12.99 or $17.03, the charges are all outrageous," said Edgar Dworsky, the editor of and "It's just a single disc they're sending, and with media mail rates, it costs just over a dollar to mail."

Microsoft kicked off a marketing campaign dubbed "Windows 7 Upgrade Option Program" which gives people who buy a PC equipped with Windows Vista Home Premium, Business or Ultimate a free or nearly free upgrade to Windows 7. While some computer makers are giving away Windows 7 upgrades, others are charging fees as high as $17 for what's characterized as "shipping, handling, and fulfillment fees."

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