9/16/2005

Dell Offers Linux Laptop in France

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

While Dell Inc. recommends the use of Windows XP Professional, in France Dell and Mandriva S.A. have announced the availability of a Dell laptop preloaded with Mandriva Linux.

This is the first time any Dell laptop with pre-installed Linux has been sold or supported by Dell. Previously, only Dell N-Series Precision Workstations with Red Hat Linux were available from Dell.

The Linux-powered notebook is Dell’s Latitude 110L. It comes in a variety of configurations ranging from a 1.4GHz to 1.7GHz mobile Celeron or Pentium M CPU, and 256MB to 1,280MB of RAM. The system also includes a DVD Drive and 802.11g Wi-Fi.

Mandriva worked with Dell to integrate the laptop with its Mandriva Linux Limited Edition 2005.

New Worm Spoofs Google

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

PandaLabs has recently registered the appearance of a worm called P2Load.A. This malware specimen has adware functions and its main aim is to spoof Google.

P2Load.A spreads via P2P networks, or to be more precise, the P2P programs Shareaza and Imesh. It does this by copying itself to the shared directory of these programs as an executable file called Knights of the Old Republic 2, referring to a computer game related to the Star Wars saga. When it is run, it displays an error message informing the user that a file does not exist and offering to download it. If this happens, the computer has been infected and the worm makes two main modifications: it modifies the start page, showing advertising; and spoofs the identity of the Google.

To do this, the worm modified the HOSTS file on the computer so that when users try to access Google, they are redirected to a page that is exactly the same as Google, but not controlled by the company, which is hosted in a server in Germany. The page is an exact copy of Google and supports both the 17 languages of Google and redirects users even if they make a mistake when entering the address, such as ‘wwwgoogle.com’, ‘www.gogle.com’ or ‘www.googel.com’, and therefore users are not aware of the change.

When users run a search, the results are shown correctly or with slight variations in the order in which they would be shown in Google. However, the sponsored links, which are usually shown at the top of the search results and correspond to companies that pay for this service, are different. For certain searches, other links appear which have been specified by the creator of this malware, resulting in increased traffic to these websites.

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Canadians To Get National Wireless Broadband Network

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Rogers Communications and Bell Canada today announced an agreement to jointly build and manage a Canada-wide wireless broadband network expected to initially reach more than two-thirds of Canadians in less than three years.

The companies will jointly and equally fund the initial network deployment costs estimated at $200 million over a three-year period,completing a network footprint that will cover over 40 cities and approximately 50 unserved rural and remote communities across Canada.

US Banks Lose $50Bn To Fraudsters

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Avivah Litan, research director at Gartner, explained that because US banks are so keen to recruit new customers they will open up accounts on the basis of identification from only a pay-as-you-go mobile phone bill (a type of account that is even easier to open) without checks on the validity of supplied social security numbers. Once a bank account is open crooks will pay bills religiously, eventually earning enough trust to obtain credit cards with higher and higher limits. After around 18 months fraudsters will obtain cash advances on these cards and disappear, a process know as busting out. Losses of around $50K are typical, according to Litan.

Source: The Register

Record Labels Sue Baidu For Copyright Infringement

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The four largest record companies have sued Baidu.com Inc. for copyright infringement, alleging the Chinese Internet search engine has been illegally providing links to free digital music downloads, according to a trade group the represents the music industry.

Universal Music Group, EMI Group Plc and Warner Music Group Corp. filed their suits in July in Beijing to stop Baidu from providing those links, a spokesman for the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry said. Sony BMG Music Entertainment filed its suit earlier this month.

Source: Reuters

IE Flaw Puts Windows XP SP2 At Risk

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A flaw has been discovered in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer that could launch a remote attack on systems running Windows XP with Service Pack 2, according to an advisory issued Thursday by security firm eEye Digital Security.

The flaw, which also affects systems running Windows XP, is found in the default installations of IE, according to eEye’s advisory.

“The flaw is not wormable but allows for the remote execution (of code) with some level of end-user intervention,” said Mike Puterbaugh, eEye’s senior director of product marketing.

Source: News.com

Software That Helps Decipher EULA

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

End User License Agreements (EULAs) — do you read them? You know you should but if you are like most people, you probably read the first paragraph or two, skim the rest, then your eyes glaze over and you click “I agree” to end the pain.

Now there is help to analyze those complex, tedious, mystifying, verbose EULAs. Javacool Software has released EULAlyzer 1.0, a free tool which looks for “potentially interesting words and phrases” such as pop-up, unique identifiers, personally identifiable information. EULAlyzer works in seconds and provides the user with needed details that could otherwise be overlooked.

Why is understanding EULAs important? If you knew the screensaver you were about to download was going to include software that would spawn pop-ups on your desktop every few minutes, track your online behavior, record sites you surf and send information, possibly even personally identifying information, back to its home server, you might think twice about installing it.

Source: ZDNet

IBM to Encourage Employees to Be Teachers

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

International Business Machines Corp., worried the United States is losing its competitive edge, will financially back employees who want to leave the company to become math and science teachers.

The new program, being announced Friday in concert with city and state education officials, reflects tech industry fears that U.S. students are falling behind peers from Bangalore to Beijing in the sciences.

Up to 100 IBM employees will be eligible for the program in its trial phase. Eventually, Big Blue hopes many more of its tech savvy employees - and those in other companies - will follow suit.

The goal is to help fill shortfalls in the nation’s teaching ranks, a problem expected to grow with the retirement of today’s educators.

The company expects older workers nearing retirement to be the most likely candidates, partly because they would have more financial wherewithal to take the pay cut that becoming a teacher likely would entail.

The workers would have to get approval from their managers to participate. If selected, the employees would be allowed to take a leave of absence from the company, which includes full benefits and up to half their salary, depending on length of service.

In addition, the employees could get up to $15,000 in tuition reimbursements and stipends while they seek teaching credentials and begin student-teaching.

Source: AP

Nintendo Produces New Control

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Nintendo Revolution ControlNintendo unveiled the controller for its next home video game console, code-named Revolution, on Friday at the Tokyo Game Show. The one-handed wireless controller, seen in the right hand, senses motion, depth, positioning and targeting, and controls characters on the television screen with controller movements. The controller can be joined to a second analog unit, seen in the left hand, for more traditional control, and to give gamers an unprecedented sense of immersion, particularly in 3-D environments.

Nintendo breaks with more than 20 years of video game history by abandoning the traditional controller held with two hands and introducing an all-new freehand-style unit held with one hand.

The intuitive, pioneering interface allows players to run, jump, spin, slide, shoot, steer, accelerate, bank, dive, kick, throw and score in a way never experienced in the history of gaming.

“The feeling is so natural and real, as soon as players use the controller, their minds will spin with the possibilities of how this will change gaming as we know it today,” explains Satoru Iwata, Nintendo president. “This is an extremely exciting innovation — one that will thrill current players and entice new ones.”

When picked up and pointed at the screen, the controller gives a lightning-quick element of interaction, sensing motion, depth, positioning and targeting dictated by movement of the controller itself.

The controller also allows for a variety of expansions, including a “nunchuk” style analog unit offering the enhanced game-play control hard-core gamers demand.

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