10/6/2005

Army Tries Water From Vehicle Exhaust Fumes

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Using technologies developed for the space program, the U.S. Army is conducting an experiment that could convert the exhaust pipes of military vehicles into water fountains.

Later this month, United Technologies Corp.’s Hamilton Sundstrand unit will deliver two military Humvees to the Army for three months of testing at the Aberdeen Proving Ground outside Baltimore. Built into each vehicle’s truck bed is a complex system that can recover water from engine exhaust, purifying as much as half the liquid volume from a tank of fuel.

“This is one of those things where, when you first hear about it, you think the scientists have gone out of their minds,” says Robert Leduc, president of Hamilton Sundstrand’s flight systems business, which includes the water-recovery program. “But once you taste the water, you realize the potential.”

Source: military.com

Court Rules in Favor of Anonymous Blogger

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

In a decision hailed by free-speech advocates, the Delaware Supreme Court on Wednesday reversed a lower court decision requiring an Internet service provider to disclose the identity of an anonymous blogger who targeted a local elected official.

In a 34-page opinion, the justices said a Superior Court judge should have required Smyrna town councilman Patrick Cahill to make a stronger case that he and his wife, Julia, had been defamed before ordering Comcast Cable Communications to disclose the identities of four anonymous posters to a blog site operated by Independent Newspapers Inc., publisher of the Delaware State News.

In a series of obscenity-laced tirades, the bloggers, among other things, pointed to Cahill’s “obvious mental deterioration,” and made several sexual references about him and his wife, including using the name “Gahill” to suggest that Cahill, who has publicly feuded with Smyrna Mayor Mark Schaeffer, is homosexual.

In June, the lower court judge ruled that the Cahills had established a “good faith basis” for contending that they were victims of defamation and affirmed a previous order for Comcast to disclose the bloggers’ identities.

One of the bloggers, referred to in court papers only as John Doe No. 1 and his blog name, “Proud Citizen,” challenged the ruling, arguing that the Cahills should have been required to establish a prima facie case of defamation before seeking disclosure of the defendants’ identities.

The Supreme Court agreed, reversing and remanding the case to Superior Court with an order to dismiss the Cahills’ claims.

Source: AP

Trojan sucks life from PSPs

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A new Trojan horse claims to help make PlayStation Portable run homegrown software, but instead the malicious code turns Sony’s game player into a useless “brick.”

The circulating program, dubbed “Trojan.PSPBrick” by security company Symantec, is aimed at a crowd of “modders,” or people who seek to hack the portable device so it can run custom code as well as official game cartridges.

The new Trojan claims to be software that can roll back a Sony upgrade that has made the device harder to hack. When people install it, the malicious software actually deletes key files and renders the PSP inoperable.

Source: News.com

Clothes Designer Chooses Virtual Fashion Show

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

When the clothes designer Tali Rokni wanted to show her new winter collection she chose a virtual model for her fashion show.

The virtual model that will wear the new collection designed with the inspiration of the famous virtual character, Lara Croft, although this one will not jump and shoot anyone.


Virtual model (source)

The virtual model was created by an Israeli startup company named Browzwear, which Provide 3D apparel design tools and a virtual fitting service based on a 3D representation of the user’s image.

Source: Walla

Macromedia Preps Eclipse-Based Flash Builder

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Macromedia later this month will release an early version of a tool that ties Flash authoring to the Eclipse open-source development tool.

Formerly code-named Zorn, Macromedia’s Flex Builder 2 will let a programmer use Eclipse, a popular open-source product, to build Flash applications. Until now, the software maker provided only its own development tool.

The change is significant because developers will not have to become familiar with Macromedia-specific tool features, said Kevin Lynch, the chief software architect at Macromedia.

Source: News.com

Streets & Trips 2006 With GPS Locator Announced

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of Microsoft® Streets & Trips 2006 with GPS Locator, the latest version of the mapping and travel planning software for the United States and Canada. Microsoft Streets & Trips 2006 with GPS Locator introduces Voice-Prompted Directions, a hands-free option that reassures travelers with turn-by-turn directional information so everyone in the car can enjoy the ride without the stress of getting lost.

“With fuel costs on the rise, it’s never been more expensive to make a wrong turn,? said Helen Chiang, product manager for Microsoft Streets & Trips. “New features such as voice-prompted directions and advanced GPS options make Microsoft Streets & Trips 2006 with GPS Locator the travel companion that always knows the way, saving valuable time and money.?

Microsoft Streets & Trips 2006 with GPS Locator includes the following new features:

  • Voice-Prompted Directions work with the GPS Locator to provide an easy-to-use, hands-free option that delivers turn-by-turn directional information to the desired destination.
  • Driving Guidance Pane prominently displays text-prompted turn-by-turn directions, enlarged arrows indicating where to turn, and distance measurement by miles and yards as drivers get closer to the destination.
  • Dynamic Turn View automatically zooms in to travelers’ current position, allowing them to see where they are and upcoming directional changes.
  • Night Map Style enhances views of maps and directions for easy reading when consumers are traveling at night or on dark roadways.
  • Locate Me technology helps lost travelers who don’t have their GPS Locator on hand determine where they are by utilizing Wi-Fi hot spots to estimate their location to help them get back on track or find nearby points of interest. Consumers can also go online to cross-reference MSN® Virtual Earth™ for greater trip-planning accuracy through additional maps and aerial imagery.

Record Labels aim Its Legal Guns At Satellite Radio

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The record industry may next aim its legal guns at satellite radio due to a dispute involving new portable players which let listeners record and store songs, an analyst and industry sources said on Wednesday.

The record industry, led by major labels, such as Vivendi Universal’,> Warner Music Group Corp, EMI Group Plc and Sony BMG, believe the recording capability is a clear copyright violation and could take revenue away from paid download music services.

Illegal song trading has been blamed by the record industry for declines in sales, and labels have become increasingly aggressive in their legal battles to defend their product. Now that focus includes portable players.

“There are genuine issues here but it is our continuing hope that we can resolve this on a business to business basis,” said an RIAA spokesman.

Two music industry sources said that the two sides were in talks to resolve the issue and could go to court over the matter.

Source: Reuters

Al Qaeda Puts Job Ads On Internet

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Al Qaeda has put job advertisements on the Internet asking for supporters to help put together its Web statements and video montages, an Arabic newspaper reported.

The London-based Asharq al-Awsat said on its Web site this week that al Qaeda had “vacant positions” for video production and editing statements, footage and international media coverage about militants in
Iraq, the Palestinian territories, Chechnya and other conflict zones where militants are active.

The paper said the Global Islamic Media Front, an al Qaeda-linked Web-based organization, would “follow up with members interested in joining and contact them via email.”

The paper did not say how applicants should contact the Global Islamic Media Front.

Al Qaeda supporters widely use the Internet to spread the group’s statements through dozens of Islamist sites where anyone can post messages. Al Qaeda-linked groups also set up their own sites, which frequently have to move after being shut by Internet service providers.

The advertisements, however, could not be found on mainstream Islamist Web sites where al Qaeda and other affiliate groups post their statements.

Source: Reuters

Worm ID scheme gets under way

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

As expected, the Common Malware Enumeration initiative got its official launch with the introduction of its supporting Web site on Wednesday. The effort, headed up by the U.S. Computer Emergency and Response Team, aims to make it easier to identify security threats that are given different names by separate security companies by assigning a unique ID to each high-profile pest. The CME Web site will include a list of identifiers, a brief profile for each threat and alias information.

Source: News.com

Google Localizes Online Maps Service

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google Inc. is combining its popular online maps with its local search features, continuing a quest to increase its already rapidly rising advertising revenue.

The new features are expected to be available Thursday at either http://maps.google.com and http://local.google.com .

With the change, Google’s local search tools for the United States and Canada are being taken out of the “beta,” or testing, phase, said Bret Taylor, the product’s manager. The company’s local search engines for the United Kingdom, Japan and China remain in beta - a label that technology companies attach to products that don’t have all the bugs worked out.

The hybrid service blends addresses, phone numbers, maps, driving directions and other details, like user reviews and credit card information, on the same Web page. Google also offers a satellite-mapping option that provides an aerial view.

Source: AP

Australian Court Rules ‘Mod Chips’ Legal

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Australia’s High Court ruled unanimously Thursday that modifying Sony PlayStation consoles so that they can play cheaper overseas versions of the company’s games does not violate Australian copyright laws.

The decision ends a four-year legal battle between entertainment and Japanese electronics giant Sony Corp. and Sydney-based business owner Eddy Stevens, who supplied and installed “mod chips” in PlayStation devices.

The High Court ruled that while making a pirated copy of a game is illegal, playing a game using a mod chip is not.

Source: AP

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