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Friday, April 29, 2011

Mozilla patches Firefox 3 & 4

Mozilla has patched Firefox 4 for the first time, fixing eight flaws, including a major programming oversight that left the browser as vulnerable to attack on Windows 7 as on Windows XP. The company also plugged 15 holes in the still-supported Firefox 3.6, and issued its last security update for Firefox 3. Mozilla patched a total of 20 bugs in all versions of Firefox, 17 of them rated critical.

"The WebGLES libraries could potentially be used to bypass a security feature of r Windows versions," Mozilla acknowledged. "WebGL was introduced in Firefox 4; older versions are not affected by these issues."

"This is the last planned security and stability release for Firefox 3.5," said Christian Legnitto, who overseas Firefox releases. "All users are encouraged to upgrade to Firefox 4."

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

YouTube to launch movie rental service

YouTube is launching a movie rental service in a partnership with Hollywood film giants including Sony and Warner Brothers, to rival Netflix and Apple's iTunes. Under the premium movie on demand service, film lovers will be able to stream new releases for as little as $2.

Three of the six major film studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Brothers and Universal have reportedly agreed licensing terms with the Google owned video giant. In the US, Netflix dominates the nascent online movie streaming market. With 6 million subscribers. YouTube has signed up a number of high profile media executives, including former Netflix boss Robert Kyncl, in recent months as the site tries to move away from its user-generated video image.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Microsoft Office 365 Beta

Microsoft has launched the public beta of the highly-anticipated Office 365. There is a lot to like about the cloud-based suite, but one of the most compelling features of the service might just be the price. Starting at $6 per seat per month, Office 365 is almost a no-brainer for small and medium companies. Organizations with fewer than 50 users typically don't have a dedicated IT administrator. For $72 per user per year, these companies get the benefit of Exchange e-mail, Lync instant messaging, SharePoint collaboration, and the Office Web Apps productivity suite. Even the largest organizations could operate more efficiently, and cut costs at the same time by adopting Office 365.

Office 365 Enterprise offers a range of service plans from $4 per user per month, up to $27 per user per month. Assuming a company of 1000 users, you are talking about an investment of $27,000 per month for the top-of-the-line Office 365 Enterprise service--or nearly $325,000 a year. It looks like a big number by itself, but if you stack it against the math from the last paragraph, suddenly it seems like Microsoft is giving Office 365 away, or even paying you to use it.

You get all of the productivity benefits of the Microsoft productivity and communications tools, while leaving the backend headaches and tedium to Microsoft. Microsoft will deliver Office 365 from geographically disperse, fully redundant sites providing reliable availability and resiliency that Microsoft guarantees with a financially-backed 99.9 uptime Service Level Agreement (SLA).

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

FBI Busts Coreflood Botnet

The Department of Justice and the FBI announced that they have obtained a temporary restraining order enabling them to disable the Coreflood botnet and respond to infected PCs. Authorities also obtained search warrants allowing them to seize five command and control servers located in Arizona, Georgia, Texas, Ohio, and California, and a seizure warrant for 29 domain names used by the botnet.

A related civil complaint, filed by the government alleged that they have engaged in "wire fraud, bank fraud, and unauthorized interception of electronic communications" by using the botnet, which installed key-logging software to steal people's personal financial information.

Thanks to the temporary restraining order, authorities can swap out the servers powering Coreflood for their own, replacing them with substitute C&C servers run by the government. Computers infected by Coreflood regularly attempt to phone home to the C&C server. When they do so, the government's substitute C&C servers will return a command to disable the malware.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Intel Hints at Another New Tablet Chip, Called Cloverview

Intel has hinted that is developing another next-generation chip for tablets, called "Cloverview," as part of its ongoing strategy to make its Atom processors more power-efficient.

The chip will be built using a 32 nanometer manufacturing process, which will lower power consumption. Cloverview will join two other 32 nm Atom based chips that Intel is developing. The company's "Cedar Trail chip" is being built for netbooks, while another chip known as Medfield is meant to be used in low end smartphones and tablets.

Intel's Atom processors are designed to function as low-power chips for netbooks and tablets. But they still lag behind low-power processors from Intel's rival ARM, which are considered more power efficient and are more widely used in tablet devices.

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Thursday, April 07, 2011

Malware Detection Will Be Added To Chrome Browser

Users of Google's Chrome browser will soon receive alerts telling them that files they're about to download may contain malicious software. This new feature, available first to developers, will work with its Safe Browsing Application Programming Interface, which enables client applications to check URLs against Google's blacklists of suspected phishing and malware pages. That list is regularly updated.

Growing detection methods may be turning the tables on spammers and hackers. Madrid-based cloud Relevant Products/Services-security company Panda last month reported a decrease in infected computers detected by its online ActiveScan, from 50 percent in January to 39 percent the following month.

Google's update will begin small, as an experiment for certain users who subscribe to the Chrome development release channel, with later inclusion planned for the next stable release of Google Chrome.

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Monday, April 04, 2011

Microsoft is testing a ribbon interface in Windows 8

Microsoft's ribbon user interface made its debut in Office 2007 and has polarised user opinion ever since. Microsoft has used the ribbon interface in a growing number of applications and judging from leaked Windows 8 screenshots, it is going to integrate the ribbon motif in Internet Explorer.

Microsoft has been doling out early beta releases of Windows 8 to its employees, though a glut of screenshots have appeared on the web. A newfangled start screen that takes cues from Windows Phone 7 also tipped up, and while that is unlikely to draw much criticism, the ribbon user interface is somewhat more questionable.

Microsoft is well known for demonstrating features in Windows beta releases that disappear by the time the final product is released to manufacturing.

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