9/23/2005

Iran To Launch Spy Satellite

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Tehran says it intends to launch its first military spy satellite within the next few days. The announcement was made during a rare television interview by the country’s defense minister. Iran will be the second nation to have its own surveillance satellite after Israel.

I guess this is one satellite the U.S. electronic-warfare unit capable of jamming enemy satellites will target.

Take-Two To Resume Sales Of Grand Theft Auto

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. on Friday said it would resume sales of “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” in October, two months after the violent game was pulled from store shelves because of hidden sex scenes.

Take-Two’s Rockstar Games publishing house said that starting October 18, it would sell a special-edition of “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” for Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 2 console system. It will include a DVD with a backstory to the game and a documentary film called “Sunday Driver.”

Take-Two also will release a bundle of “Grand Theft Auto 3,” “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City” and “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” for Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox system.

Take-Two was forced to pull the blockbuster “San Andreas” off retail shelves this summer after people tinkering with the game’s code found a hidden segment that let the player’s character simulate sex with a female character.

Take-Two did not disclose the segment, dubbed “Hot Coffee,” to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board, which revoked the game’s “mature” classification and termed it “adults only” due to the newly found material.

The reissued games are again rated “M” for mature.

Source: Reuters

iPod Nano Owners In Screen Scratch Trauma

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

People slavering to get Apple’s “impossibly small” iPod Nano into their sticky hands may want to pause a moment: those ahead of them in the queue have discovered that it’s also unbelievably easy to scratch the screen, nixing its photo-displaying abilities.

Apple’s discussion forums are already host to a 188-post thread on the topic, where people have spotted that the plastic used for the screen and front of the product is as sensitive as a Kate Moss sponsor.

Trouble is that a few scratches will quickly make the colour screen all but useless for viewing album art and photos stored on the machine. In which case you might as well have bought the cheaper, screenless iPod shuffle, hmm?

When the point was put to the head of Apple’s iPod division, Jon Rubenstein - who in the past oversaw the development of the Titanium PowerBook - the one that killed off Wi-Fi reception, because metal cages do that - he replied: “Nah, you don’t really think that? It’s made of the hardest polycarbonate… You keep it in a pocket with your keys?”

Related article: Apple Responds To iPod Nano Screen Concerns

Source: The Register

U.S. Deploys Unit To Jam Enemy Satellites

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The U.S. military is bracing for future attacks in space, and the Air Force has deployed an electronic-warfare unit capable of jamming enemy satellites, the general in charge of space defenses says.

“You can’t go to war and win without space,” said Gen. Lance Lord, the four-star general in charge of the Colorado-based Air Force Space Command.

The top priorities of the space command are monitoring space and knowing the threats. Two other missions are defending satellites and conducting offensive operations against enemy spacecraft or ground signals that threaten U.S. satellites.

Source: Washington Times

Microsoft’s Nightmare Inches Closer To Reality

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

As early as May 1995, three months before Netscape Communications’ initial public offering sparked the dot-com boom, Microsoft executives were worried that the nascent World Wide Web could one day become a significant threat to the Windows franchise.

In an extensive memo called “The Web is the Next Platform” that was introduced as evidence in Microsoft’s antitrust trial five years ago, Microsoft engineer Ben Slivka described a “nightmare” scenario for the software giant.

“The Web…exists today as a collection of technologies that deliver some interesting solutions today, and will grow rapidly in the coming years into a full-fledged platform (underlined for emphasis in the original memo) that will rival–and even surpass–Microsoft’s Windows,” Slivka wrote.

Fast-forward 10 years: The nightmare is inching closer to reality and Microsoft execs are apparently paying attention to the decade-old alert. As part of a management shuffle, Microsoft said Tuesday it would make hosted services a more strategic part of the company and fold its MSN Web portal business into its platform product development group, where Windows is developed.

Another memo, called “Google–The Winner Takes All (And Not Just Search),” is also making the rounds. This internal memo, written in 2005, argues that Google threatens Microsoft and the company’s crown jewel, Windows.

Just about the only thing that’s changed over the last decade is that Microsoft’s amorphous nightmare has a name: Google.

Does Google Help Fighting Child Pornography ?

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

From time to time I look at the site’s log to make sure everything runs smoothly. Well in the past few days, I’ve noticed that every day Google sends multiple requests to retrieve one particular page.

This post titled “More than 1 million child porn websites on internet?, is talking about the fact that shocking statistics revealed that more than a million websites containing child pornography are in existence on the net.

I was very surprised by Google’s fascination with that page. I must also note that these entries did not come from Googlebot but from an unknown client on Google’s network.

Web server log
Web log showing Google’s request (Click image for full size)

I tried to contact Google and ask them about this special interest they have with an article about child pornography, but up to now I did not get any response.

My guess is that Google is running a special application that tries to find child pornography sites, a noble act indeed, helping eradicate this sick phenomenal.
What do you think ?

Apple posts OS X security, iPod Shuffle updates

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple has posted its latest Mac OS X security patch, geared toward versions 10.3.9 and 10.4.2 of the operating system, including its Server incarnation.

The fix, dubbed Security Update 2005-008, is available for download here (Mac OS X 10.39), here (Mac OS X 10.4.2) or can be grabbed using the Software Update pane in the System Preferences utility.

The patch adjusts a number of core systems and applications, protecting Macs against deliberately corrupted GIF and PICT images, and maliciously crafted web page archives. It also tweaks Mail and other components so they don’t expose potentially sensitive information to prying eyes. Similarly some system software elements are modified to prevent untrusted code from being executed.

Source: The Register

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