IM worm speaks your language

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A new MSN Messenger worm often talks to people in their own tongue as it hunts for new victims, security experts have warned.

The worm, dubbed Kelvir.HI, tailors the language of its attack message to the compromised system, said David Jaros, the director of product marketing at security vendor Akonix Systems, on Wednesday. It can send messages in English, Dutch, French, German, Greek (English alphabet), Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Spanish and Turkish, he noted.

“It appears to check which language the Windows client is configured to use,” he said. “This is the first time that we have seen a worm that checks the system settings and then sends a specific message.”

When it hits an English system, the worm sends out the following message: “haha i found your picture!” The message is sent to everybody on a user’s contacts list. The message includes a Web link that when clicked on will download malicious software that installs a backdoor and furthers the spread of the worm, Jaros said.

The worm spreads via Microsoft’s MSN Messenger instant-messaging service and affects computers running Windows 2000, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT, Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP, according to a Symantec advisory.

Playboy to hit Internet with digital edition

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Playboy magazine, losing money in the face of depressed advertising, will go digital later this year in hopes of winning new subscribers and advertisers.

The first digital magazine — which will mirror the print version — will be available in September after months of testing the technology, Playboy Enterprises Inc. said on Wednesday.

The move comes as Playboy Enterprises is increasingly dependent on revenue from its licensing and entertainment businesses rather than the publishing division, where it posted a second-quarter loss of $2.3 million. The media company’s overall profit totaled $4.6 million.

“I think we’re all cognizant of the fact that there are two macro trends going on here that this product is designed to respond to,” Playboy Enterprises Chief Executive Christie Hefner said in an interview.

“One is more and more consumers are getting information and entertainment online and the other is more and more advertising dollars are going online.”

With the digital service, readers can buy either a subscription or single copy that can then be downloaded. The company launched the service in conjunction with digital marketing and publishing company Zinio Systems Inc.

Hefner described the start-up costs as “very modest” and said individual digital issues would be priced at the same rate as newsstand copies, while subscriptions would be slightly higher than the lowest introductory price for print editions.

Source: Reuters

Apple to buy 40% of Samsung’s flash chips-analysts

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple Computer Inc. plans to buy as much as 40 percent of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.’s flash memory output in the second half for its new flash-based iPod Mini MP3 player, iSuppli and Deutsche Bank analysts said on Wednesday.

Apple , known for its wildly popular iPod digital music player, is expected to introduce a 4-gigabyte version of the iPod Mini that uses NAND flash memory instead of a hard disk drive for the Christmas season.

“To support production of its flash memory-based iPods, Apple has booked as much as 40 percent of the NAND output of Samsung for the second half of 2005, according to our industry sources,” said iSuppli Corp. analyst Nam Hyung Kim.

Source: Reuters

Intel announces VIIV

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A new kind of personal computer (PC) will premiere in homes early next year when Intel Corporation introduces Intel® Viiv™ technology designed to enrich consumers’ enjoyment of digital entertainment.

Working together with a variety of Intel-verified consumer electronics devices, online services and software — including movies, music, photos and games — Intel Viiv (pronounced “vīv” and rhymes with “five”) technology, disclosed for the first time at the Intel Developer Forum today, will help usher in a new era of entertainment choices for consumers. PCs based on Intel Viiv technology will be easy to use with a remote control and will be powered by a suite of Intel technologies, including a dual-core processor, chipset, platform software and wired networking capabilities.

“Intel Viiv technology is our first platform designed from the ground up for the digital home, where consumers are passionate about the idea of accessing their content anytime, anywhere in their home on a number of devices,” said Don MacDonald, vice president and general manager, Intel Digital Home Group. “Following the success of Intel® Centrino™ mobile technology, we are applying a similar branding strategy to our new digital home platform composed of Intel’s latest PC technologies. Intel Viiv technology marks the intersection point where innovation, a multitude of digital devices, first-class entertainment and state of the art technology converge to put consumers in more control of experiencing digital entertainment on their own terms.”

Sneak Preview of Intel Branded Platform for Digital Home PCs Consumers will be able to get Intel Viiv technology-based systems in a variety of form factors — from small, sleek consumer electronic-type designs (similar to a stereo component or DVD player), to more traditional desktop or tower designs.

All PCs based on Intel Viiv technology will ship with a remote control, the Microsoft Windows* Media Center Edition operating system and media software that lets consumers interact with their PC in the same way they operate a TV. Consumers are enabled to watch a movie or play a game while also downloading the latest music, all from one integrated system using a remote control.

Google Finance Next On Google List ?

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Whispering in Silicon Valley is that Google hopes to launch Google Finance sometime in September. SiliconBeat haven’t confirmed this, but the word is that Google wants to replicate Yahoo Finance, but do it even better. It is in talks with data vendor Revere Data, a San Francisco company — which will provide the data and analytics on U.S. public companies for the service.

Source: SiliconBeat

Gmail Opened To US Residents

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google opened its free mail service Gmail to US residents who have a mobile phone with text message capabilities. In order to register to the service you need to receive and enter a special invitation code in order to create an account. Currently, Google are only sending these codes as text messages to US mobile phones.

One of the reasons Google are offering this new way to sign up for Gmail is to help protect users and combat spam and abuse.

Of course you can always register to Gmail using the regular invite from a friend (or get it at Aviran’s Place forum)

Intel confirms Yonah, Sossaman will offer virtualisation

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Intel today confirmed that ‘Yonah’, its 65nm dual-core mobile processor and the basis for the ‘Sossaman’ low-power Xeon chip, will support Virtualisation Technology.

The chip will also feature a dynamically allocated ’smart’ L2 cache shared between the two processing cores. Dubbed ‘Smart Cache’, the system gives both cores access to the full 2MB of the eight-way associative L2 cache, dynamically adjusting the area allotted to each core. The reason: to minimise the performance hit from single-thread apps. Data can be shared efficiently between threads.

When the processor load falls, Yonah gradually flushes the L2 cache, synchronising it with main memory. The unused cache is turned off, physically as well as logically, to reduce power consumption.

Intel also said Yonah has an Enhanced Deeper Sleep mode, which kicks in when the cache is empty so the cache voltage can be lowered beyond that needed to sustain data within it - ie. the level of the standard Deeper Sleep mode.

Yonah has a new instruction to allow the host OS to shut down each core separately, to reduce power consumption when the load is low.

Source: The Register

Zotob worm hole also affects Windows XP

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The plug-and-play vulnerability that caused havoc for Windows 2000 users last week also holds a serious risk for some Windows XP users, Microsoft said Tuesday.

Computers running Windows XP with Service Pack 1 in a specific configuration are vulnerable to worm attacks similar to the ones that hit Windows 2000 systems, Microsoft said in a security advisory published Tuesday.

It was previously thought that only Windows 2000 machines were vulnerable to remote attack using the plug-and-play flaw. However, Microsoft in its security advisory on Tuesday specified one scenario that also exposes select Windows XP users.

Also vulnerable are systems that run Windows XP with SP1 with file and printer sharing and the Windows guest user account enabled, according to Microsoft. This would likely be home users, because PCs are not vulnerable if connected to a network domain, which is common in business environments, Microsoft said.

Source: News.com

Security Analysts Still Leery About Google Desktop 2

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

In spite of Google’s efforts to placate the concerns of its enterprise audience, some security experts are still leery about opening the door to the powerful desktop search capabilities packed into the company’s release of Google Desktop 2 on Monday.

“This is a very powerful tool, potentially with a bidirectional metaphor,” said James Governor, principal analyst and founder of the analyst firm RedMonk. “It’s indexing all this stuff on your desktop and doing something on the Web. Who’s to say that’s not a potential breach?

Source: eWeek

Skype releases IM developer tools

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Internet telephone giant Skype is now letting lets Web sites and others Internet applications tap into the untold millions of people using Skype’s instant message feature.

The Luxemburg-based company on Wednesday unleashed its SkypeWeb and SkypeNet developer tools. By doing so, Skype says it’s opening up its platform to anyone who wants to integrate Skype Instant Messaging–a lesser-known feature of Skype–with most other versions of voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) software.

Skype believes it can be a significant threat to instant messaging giants Yahoo, MSN and America Online. With 51 million registered usernames, Skype IM is potentially twice the size of Yahoo’s instant messaging community, and six times that of America Online, according to figures provided by Skype.

Source: News.com

Google unveils instant-messaging entry

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google has launched an instant-messaging program that allows text chat and computer-to-computer voice connections, a move that highlights the search giant’s increasing competition with Yahoo, Microsoft and America Online.

Google’s Web site late Tuesday provided a link to download Google Talk and stated that the software “enables you to call or send instant messages to your friends for free-–anytime, anywhere in the world.” Google’s messaging program is linked to the company’s Web-based e-mail program, Gmail, and both are in a beta, or test, phase.

While Google Talk was expected, some industry observers questioned what innovation Google could add to lure loyal users and their millions of buddies away from established instant-messaging applications.

One advantage to Google Talk could be its ability to connect with users of competing services. The service is based on the Jabber open-source standard, which allows consumers to connect with other messaging systems that work with Jabber, such as Apple Computer’s iChat, GAIM, Adium, Trillian Pro and Psi.

Google Talk currently works only on Windows, according to Google’s Web site. Users need a microphone and a speaker to take advantage of the voice capabilities.

Source: News.com

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