Google Proposes Free Wi-Fi for San Francisco

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Marking its biggest step into the wireless communications market to date, Google Inc. said Friday it has proposed to provide free wireless Internet services across the city of San Francisco.

The Web search company said it has responded to a request for information by the City of San Francisco to test local Internet services via Wi-Fi, the short-range wireless technology built into most new laptop computers.

“Google has submitted a proposal to offer free, wireless Internet access (Wi-Fi) to the entire city of San Francisco,” Google said in a statement.

The Wi-Fi access could be funded through online advertising, a Google spokesman said.

The service aims to test a range of new services and applications around the hilly city, which is home to more than 700,000 residents.

Offering free wireless communications could thrust Google into competition with entrenched local suppliers of broadband Internet access, including telephone network SBC Communications Inc. and local cable operator Comcast Corp.

Source: eWeek

Dell to Stop Free Home Delivery of Computers

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Dell Inc. will stop its practice of sending low-end computers to customers homes without charge in order to cut costs, the company said on Thursday.

Starting on October 10, Dell’s free shipping offer on basic models will apply only to people willing to pick up their computers at the post office, said Jennifer Davis, spokeswoman for Dell’s U.S. consumer business. Customers will have to pay extra for home delivery.

Dell’s direct sales model helped it become one of the lowest-cost computer makers as it bypassed retailers. But aggressive price-cutting caused the Round Rock, Texas-based company to miss analysts’ revenue-growth forecasts last quarter.

Source: eWeek

Politicians want to raise broadcast flag

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Twenty members of Congress are calling for the reinstatement of the “broadcast flag,” a controversial form of copy prevention technology for digital TV broadcasts.

In a letter Thursday, the politicians called for rapid approval of a federal law adopting the broadcast flag, which would outlaw over-the-air digital TV receivers and computer tuner cards that don’t follow strict anticopying standards.

“Program producers will naturally be reluctant to license their high value programs for digital distribution without protection from widespread acts of infringement over the Internet,” said the letter, sent to Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House of Representatives panel on Internet and commerce.

In a 3-0 ruling in May, a federal appeals court rejected the FCC’s regulations adopting the broadcast flag. But the ruling was a limited one: the judges said that though the FCC lacked the authority to outlaw TV tuners, Congress could choose to enact a law allowing it.

Since then, the Motion Picture Association of America has been lobbying Congress to reinstate the scheme.

Source: News.com

Malicious code could trick ZoneAlarm firewall

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Malicious code masquerading as a trusted application could trick a ZoneAlarm firewall into letting it connect to the Internet, security experts have warned.

The issue affects the popular free ZoneAlarm firewall and default installations of version 5.5 and earlier of the paid product, maker Zone Labs said in a security advisory on Thursday. Default installations of the Check Point Integrity Client are also affected, but the paid ZoneAlarm 6.0 products, released in July, are not, Zone Labs said.

“If successfully exploited, a malicious program may be able to access the network via a trusted program,” Zone Labs, which is part of Check Point Software, said in its advisory. If the malicious program attempted a direct connection to the Internet, it would be blocked by the firewall.

Source: News.com

Trojan rides in on unpatched Office flaw

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A new Trojan horse exploits an unpatched flaw in Microsoft Office and could let an attacker commandeer vulnerable computers, security experts have warned.

The malicious code takes advantage of a flaw in Microsoft’s Jet Database Engine, a lightweight database used in the company’s Office productivity software. The security hole was reported to Microsoft in April, but the company has yet to provide a fix for the problem.

“Microsoft is aware that a Trojan recently released into the wild may be exploiting a publicly reported vulnerability in Microsoft Office,” a company representative said in a statement sent via e-mail on Friday. The software maker is investigating the issue and will take “appropriate action,” the representative said.

The Trojan horse arrives in the guise of a Microsoft Access file, security software maker Symantec said in an advisory. When run on a vulnerable system, it would give a remote attacker full access to a compromised computer, Symantec said. The company calls the pest “Backdoor.Hesive” and notes that it is not widespread.

Source: News.com

AMD’s low cost PC headed for RadioShack

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

RadioShack plans to start selling a bare-bones $299 computer designed by chipmaker AMD, the San Jose Mercury News reported on Friday.

Source: News.com

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