3/23/2005

Mozilla fixes risky Firefox flaw

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Mozilla Foundation issued a patch for a major security flaw in its Firefox browser on Wednesday and advised people to update their software.

The problem is caused by a buffer overflow in legacy Netscape code still included in the browser for animating GIF images, Chris Hofmann, director of engineering for Mozilla, said. Similar memory problems have affected Mozilla’s browsers and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer in the past. A malicious attacker could exploit them by creating carefully crafted image files that, when viewed by a victim in a browser, execute a program and compromise the system.

The Mozilla Foundation released version 1.02 of Firefox on Wednesday to fix the problem and asked that all users to download and apply the patch.

Source: News.com

Microsoft Begins Beta Of Unified Update

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft late Tuesday began a public beta test of its new Microsoft Update, a substitute for Windows Update that will keep users current with security patches and other updates for not only the OS, but also Office and other products from the Redmond, Wash.-based developer.

The new service, which is being tested by more than 25,000 users, most of them from the group which previewed ver. 5 of Windows Update last year prior to the release of Windows XP SP2, has been delayed several times, and now should debut mid-year.

According to Microsoft, each group of users — consumers, small businesses, and enterprises — will use its own interface to the all-in-one update center. Consumers and individual users, for instance, will access Microsoft Update either by using Automatic Update or manually going to the new service’s site, where they can pick and choose which updates to apply, as well as review already-installed updates.

Source: Tech Web

Japanese enable Human Area Network

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

RedTraconJapanese company Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) claims to have developed the first viable Human Area Network (HAN) device, enabling fast data transfer between devices using the human body as a conduit.

NTT reckons this latest advance on the wireless Personal Area Network concept - dubbed RedTacton - can transmit data over the surface of the skin at up to 2Mbps. Where it differs, though, from previous offerings, is that a RedTacton-enabled device does not have to be in direct contact with the skin - only within about 20cm. NTT explains the technical background:

Instead of relying on electromagnetic waves or light waves to carry data, RedTacton uses weak electric fields on the surface of the body as a transmission medium. A RedTacton transmitter couples with extremely weak electric fields on the surface of the body. The weak electric fields pass through the body to a RedTacton receiver, where the weak electric fields affects the optical properties of an electro-optic crystal. The extent to which the optical properties are changed is detected by laser light which is then converted to an electrical signal by a detector circuit.

Source: The Register

Faster XML In The Works

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Net’s top standards body is getting closer to speeding up XML-based software, a move that could benefit everyone from cell phone carriers to television broadcasters to the military.

But critics say the group’s favored approach could cause major compatibility problems, among other things.

XML is fast becoming a widely used way of formatting and saving business documents such as purchase orders. But for certain applications–sending data to set-top boxes, for instance, and offering interactive programs on cell phones–representing data using XML is simply too bulky, say proponents for more efficient XML.

“XML has been a victim of its success,” said Robin Berjon, of standards group the World Wide Web Consortium, “We’ve started using it in all kinds of situations that it wasn’t designed for.”

If XML were zippier, say some, cell phone companies, for example, could meet consumer demand for more complex programs. The Air Force, too, has expressed interest in using speedier XML formats for embedded computing applications, such as those found in fighter jets.

A W3C committee recently recommended that the group address the problem by moving away from the traditional way of saving XML data–in text format–and instead create a standard for a binary format. W3C working group recommendations are generally taken up as formal standards efforts, which means the group is one step closer to a major change in the XML standard.

The recommendation still has to be approved by the W3C’s Advisory Committee and the W3C’s director. But a vote to move forward with a binary XML standard could happen late this summer, said Liam Quin, the XML activity lead at the W3C.

Source: News.com

Yahoo Ups Free Email Storage to 1 GB

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Yahoo Inc. said on Wednesday it will soon begin giving users of its free Web e-mail service 1 gigabyte of storage, four times more than it now offers, amid intense competition.

Consumers are increasingly using their Web e-mail inboxes as a repository for e-mail as well as digital photos and documents. Web e-mail providers have been responding with offers of ever more free storage.

Yahoo said the global storage upgrade will begin in late April and take about two weeks to complete.

The Internet media company also said it is beefing up antivirus protection for free e-mail users, giving them the ability to remove viruses from attachments — a feature that had only been available to paying users.

Yahoo Mail is available in 15 languages in almost two dozen countries around the world.

Source: Reuters

‘DVD Jon’ reopens iTunes back door

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A group of underground programmers has posted code online they say will reopen a back door in Apple Computer’s iTunes store, allowing Linux computer users to purchase music free of copy protection.

The release comes just a day after Apple blocked a previous version of the program, called PyMusique, in part by requiring all iTunes customers to use the latest version of Apple’s software.

In a blog posting, Norwegian programmer Jon Johansen, who was previously responsible for releasing software used to copy DVDs online, said he had been successful at reverse engineering the latest iTunes encryption.

Cody Brocious, a Pennsylvania high school student working with Johansen, said they saw the project as “necessary for the Linux community,” despite Apple’s opposition.

Source: News.com

MSN And Sprite To Play New Music

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

MSN and Sprite have joined forces to launch The Scenario, an exclusive, branded, online entertainment experience designed for teens. The Scenario is a unique place on the Web where teens can experience 10 of the hottest hip-hop DJs in the country, connect with each other through new MSN(R) Messenger functionality and connect with the Sprite brand in groundbreaking. Sprite and the MSN Branded Entertainment and Experiences Team collaborated to create this music platform that brings Sprite-obsessed spokesperson Miles Thirst and his straightforward attitude and style to life in the digital world.

The Scenario includes three distinct experiences through which teens can discover new music, connect with each other, and interact with Miles Thirst and the Sprite brand.

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