FBI To Get Veto Power Over PC Software?

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Federal Communications Commission thinks you have the right to use software on your computer only if the FBI approves.

No, really. In an obscure “policy” document released around 9 p.m. ET last Friday, the FCC announced this remarkable decision.

According to the three-page document, to preserve the openness that characterizes today’s Internet, “consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement.” Read the last seven words again.

The FCC didn’t offer much in the way of clarification. But the clearest reading of the pronouncement is that some unelected bureaucrats at the commission have decreeed that Americans don’t have the right to use software such as Skype or PGPfone if it doesn’t support mandatory backdoors for wiretapping. (That interpretation was confirmed by an FCC spokesman on Monday, who asked not to be identified by name. Also, the announcement came at the same time as the FCC posted its wiretapping rules for Internet telephony.)

Source: News.com

Microsoft Released Office 2003 Service Pack 2

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft® Office 2003 Service Pack 2 contains significant security enhancements, in addition to stability and performance improvements. Some of the fixes included with SP2 have been previously released as separate updates. This service pack combines them into one update.

In addition to the office service pack, Microsoft also released OneNote 2003 Service Pack 2 and Viso 2003 Service Pack 2

Download: Microsoft® Office 2003 Service Pack 2

Adobe Introduces New Elements

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced two new products for digital photo and digital video enthusiasts. Adobe® Photoshop® Elements 4.0 for Windows®, a new version of Adobe’s photo editing software, adds powerful and intuitive ways to organize, edit and share photos. For video hobbyists, Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 software for Windows brings unparalleled control, ease of use and more options for creative digital video editing with a self-adjusting workspace, support for all video types and DVD customization.

Photoshop Elements 4.0 delivers more editing power with the new Magic Selection Brush that allows consumers to select specific parts of photos for easy color, lighting and contrast adjustments. The Magic Extractor easily extracts subjects from photos, with advanced edge defringing, for great composites. Smart technology behind new features means effortless photo enhancement with automatic red eye removal across a batch of photos, one-click skin tone correction and Face Tagging, which allows consumers to keep photos at their fingertips with new ways to find and view them. They can show off their creativity in countless ways, from exciting dynamic slide shows to Shared Collections, one-click online printing, and enhanced Photo Mail.

Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 offers the combination of control, new self-adjusting workspace ease and reliability to help automate tedious video editing tasks so that consumers can be creative more quickly. Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 makes it easy to import video clips from all digital video devices, experiment with hundreds of professional transitions and effects, and burn videos to DVD. Consumers can create professional-looking DVDs with customizable menus, or transfer their home movies to portable video players to delight friends and family anytime, anywhere.

Sun Introduces New Version of StarOffice Software

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW), today announced the availability of StarOffice 8 software, the latest version of desktop productivity suite. StarOffice 8 software is the first commercial office suite using the Open Document Format for Office Applications, the OASIS open standard that makes sharing files easier. Sun also announced today new relationships with leading software publishers Encore Software, Avanquest Software and a continuing relationship with SourceNext to make StarOffice 8 software available to consumers and businesses worldwide.

StarOffice 8 software is an easy to use office productivity suite with word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing and database capabilities. Based on open source technology, OpenOffice.org, StarOffice 8 runs on Windows, Linux and Solaris operating systems. The suite is comprised of five key components: StarOffice Writer, Impress, Calc, Base and Draw.

StarOffice software provides excellent compatibility with Microsoft Office. StarOffice 8 software further improves import and export of Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, even password-protected MS Word and MS Excel files and presentations with complex animations, autoshapes and slide transitions. StarOffice 8 software also provides features that look more familiar to Microsoft Office users. The Format Paintbrush allows simple transfer of styles from one section of a document to another, and the Impress multi-pane user interface simplifies creation of high-impact presentations.

Education organizations can continue to obtain StarOffice 8 software at no-charge. StarOffice 8 software downloads are available immediately at http://www.sun.com/software/star/staroffice/get.jsp and packaged configurations will be available starting in October.

BitTorrent Gets $8.75M From Venture-Capital Firm

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

BitTorrent, developer of one of the most popular software programs for acquiring free video and other large files on the Internet, has raised $8.75 million from a venture-capital firm.

BitTorrent says it will use the funds from DCM-Doll Capital Management to improve its infrastructure and make it more appealing to Hollywood.

The company is meeting with movie studios and other copyright holders to negotiate use of BitTorrent to distribute content.

Source: USAToday

Happy 7th Birthday Google

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

In the latest round of the search-index size contest, Google unveiled an updated index it said is more than three times larger than that of any of its search engine competitors.

“We’re celebrating our seventh birthday…. We had a pretty strong year,” Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said in a phone interview with CNET News.com, as he listed the launch of new products including Google Talk, Google Earth, Google Video and Google Desktop Search. “And we’ve sort of been struggling here with respect to the index. It has always been much larger than the others.”

“We’re announcing tonight that in terms of unduplicated pages our index is now three times larger than any other search engine,” he said, without saying how many pages are in the index.

Google will stop providing on its search page a quantity of pages indexed, which previously was listed as 8 billion, “because people don’t necessarily agree on how to count it,” Schmidt said.

In addition, the company will encourage users to test out the search engines using a specialized query to see which provides the most results, he said.

“We want end users to derive the number to their satisfaction. They will discover that ours is larger,” he said.

Source: News.com

Intel, Microsoft To Back HD-DVD

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp., the leading suppliers of chips and software for most of the world’s personal computers, are throwing their support behind the next-generation DVD standard known as HD DVD.

After taking a neutral stance for months in the battle between the competing HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc formats, the companies said Tuesday they have joined the HD DVD Promotion Group that includes Toshiba Corp., Universal Studios and others.

The move means upcoming PCs running Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Vista operating system or Intel’s ViiV entertainment technology will come with support for HD DVD drives.

Source: AP

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