10/19/2005

America Online to Lay Off 700 Employees

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

America Online is laying off more than 700 employees, mainly in call centers, as its base of dial-up subscribers continues to slump.

AOL is closing its Orlando, Fla. call center and laying off the 450 employees that work there, spokesman Nicholas Graham said Wednesday. It is also cutting positions in centers in Jacksonville, Fla., Tucson, Ariz., and at its headquarters in Dulles, in northern Virginia.

Graham attributed the cuts to a decline in members and an increased base of “computer-savvy” users that do a lot of their own troubleshooting.

The cuts amount to about 4 percent of the Time Warner Inc. unit’s 20,000 employees worldwide — the largest layoff since December 2004, Graham said.

Source: AP

Sun Releases Jini With Open-Source License

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sun Microsystems on Wednesday released its latest Jini development toolkit under the Apache open-source license.

Jini was originally released in 1999 as a way to link together consumer devices with Sun’s Java software. But companies using the Jini software have been using it mainly for corporate computing jobs, such as grid computing and clustered servers, according to Sun executives

The software is specifically designed for building Java applications that rely on widely distributed components. For example, Sun uses Jini as part of its radio-frequency ID software, where the software runs in small RFID readers in warehouses.

The development of the Jini software is done through the Jini Community, an independent forum where companies other than Sun contribute changes to the software.

Source: News.com

Apple Unveils Photo Software, Power Mac

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple Computer on introduced new high-end photo processing software and upgraded its Power Mac desktop and PowerBook laptops.

The new Power Mac G5 Quad has two 2.5GHz dual-core PowerPC G5 processors. Apple said all Power Macs will now feature dual-core chips and improved graphics cards.

Apple’s PowerBook notebooks are getting higher-resolution displays and improved batteries on the 15-inch and 17-inch models. All PowerBooks also will include a DVD-burning SuperDrive.

Apple described the photo software, called Aperture, as being built for professional photographers. Its features include speedy manipulation of higher-quality RAW files.

Source: News.com

ZoneLabs Announces ZoneAlarm Anti-Spyware

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Zone Labs, launched the new ZoneAlarm Anti-Spyware.

ZoneAlarm Anti-Spyware offers consumers complete PC protection from Internet-based attacks such as spyware, Trojans, keyloggers, and rootkits. It includes the company’s vanguard OSFirewall™ to beat hackers and repel destructive programs intended to steal personal information for criminal purposes. Going beyond traditional scanning and removal techniques, ZoneAlarm Anti-Spyware stops spyware from gaining a foothold on a PC at the kernel level, rather than merely treating it after the damage is done.

“The basic foundation of any spyware prevention solution has to be the firewall, because it goes beyond reactive signature-based technologies,? said Gregor Freund, chief technology officer at Check Point. “Currently, only Zone Labs offers customers a new type of firewall that monitors the operating system in addition to the more typical Internet communications. This is particularly important because if you can stop spyware from executing its malicious intent, you can surf the Internet confident that your personal information is safe.?

ZoneAlarm Anti-Spyware also features Automatic Kill Control function. This enhanced firewall capability disables over 50,000 malicious or dangerous programs, offering customers real-time protection from new and emerging threats.

ZoneAlarm Anti-Spyware is available to customers around the world in six languages including English, Japanese, German, Spanish, Italian and French at www.zonelabs.com.

Tracking Codes In Xerox Printers Cracked

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Electronic Frontier Foundation said this week that it had cracked the code used in Xerox printers to embed details about the printer, including serial number, along with time and date information.

Laser printer manufacturers include the codes–which appear as small yellow dots visible under blue light–to help the Secret Service reduce counterfeiting.

The EFF reported the existence of the watermarks this summer, and this week published source code of a Xerox decoding program.

Source: News.com

Email Spammers Face Jail Under New Nigerian Law

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Nigeria, home to some of the world’s most notorious cyber crimes, has proposed a law making spamming a criminal offence for which senders of unsolicited emails could be jailed for at least three years.

The draft law identifies the use of computers for fraud, spamming, identity theft, child pornography and terrorism as criminal offences punishable by jail terms of between six months and five years, and fines of 10,000 naira to 1 million naira.

Under the bill, which has to be approved by the National Assembly to become law, convicted spammers face jail terms of three to five years and could also be made to hand the proceeds of crime to the government.

“Any person spamming electronic messages to recipients with whom he has no previous relationship commits an offence,” said a section of the draft law obtained by Reuters on Wednesday.

Under the proposed law, service providers who aid and abet cyber crimes and fail to cooperate with law enforcement agents could be fined between 500,000 and 10 million naira.

The draft law empowers law enforcement agents to enter and search any premises or computer and arrest any person in connection with an offence.

Source: Reuters

Microsoft Creates Virtual Wi-Fi

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft has developed a technique to allow people to access multiple Wi-Fi networks with a single Wi-Fi card.

Virtual Wi-Fi is designed to improve multitasking, save money on hardware and reduce the power needed for Wi-Fi communications. The software is designed to run with Windows XP.

The Microsoft team cited several uses for the technology, including linking with a Wi-Fi gaming device such as the Xbox while simultaneously connecting to the internet.

Source: vnunet.com

MS Announces First Cross-Platform Gaming Controller

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. today announced the retail availability of its first cross-platform game controller and the latest addition to the Microsoft Game Precision Series.

“This controller is a great example of one of the many areas where the Xbox 360 and Windows platforms complement each other,? said J Allard, Microsoft corporate vice president and chief XNA officer. “The Xbox 360 Controller for Windows is an important step in making it easier for consumers to enjoy gaming on both platforms.?

The Xbox 360 Controller for Windows works with Windows XP-based PCs and the Xbox 360 system, with a comfortable, enhanced ergonomic design, force feedback vibration support and a familiar button layout across both platforms.

“For the first time, gamers can simply unplug their controller from their Xbox 360 system and plug it into their Windows XP-based PC,? said Chris Donahue, director of the Windows gaming and graphics team at Microsoft. “This is a great breakthrough for the gaming industry as we make it easier for developers to create multiplatform titles.?

The Xbox 360 Controller for Windows retail product will include a driver for Windows XP-based PCs. The wired Xbox 360 Controller, which comes with the core Xbox 360 system, will also work on Windows XP-based computers after users download the available driver from Microsoft. The Controller has a 9-foot breakaway controller cable that plugs into a standard USB port.

The Xbox 360 Controller for Windows is widely available in North America for an estimated retail price of $39.99 (U.S.)* and will be released soon in Europe and Asia. The driver will also be available via download from Windows Update at http://www.windowsupdate.com and the Microsoft Hardware Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/hardware.

Google Loses The Name Gmail In UK

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A trademark dispute has forced Google to re-brand its Gmail web mail service in the UK. Existing users get to retain their Gmail address (at least for now) but from Wednesday onwards new UK users will be given a Googlemail email address instead.

UK-based financial services firm Independent International Investment Research (IIIR) said its subsidiary ProNet Analytics has been using the Gmail name for a web-mail application since the middle of 2002, two years before Google began offering Gmail accounts to consumers. The email service offered by ProNet, by contrast, is used mainly by investors in currency derivatives.

The two companies entered talks into the right to use the Gmail brand but the negotiations broke down several months ago after they failed to agree a financial settlement. An IIR-commissioned assessment put a minimum value on the Gmail brand of £25m ($46m), a figure Nigel Jones, Google’s senior European counsel, described as “exorbitant”. Google continues to dispute IIIR’s trademark claim.

Source: The Register

DVD Jon Lands Dream Job Stateside

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Jon Lech Johansen, the 21-year-old Norwegian media hacker nicknamed DVD Jon, is moving to San Diego to work for maverick tech entrepreneur Michael Robertson in what can only be described as the most portentous team-up since Butch met Sundance.

“I have no idea what I’ll be doing, but I know it will be reverse engineering, and I’m sure it will be interesting,” Johansen told Wired News during a Friday stopover in San Francisco.

A world-famous reverse engineer by the time he was 16, the soft-spoken tinkerer outraged the motion picture industry in 1999 for his work on DeCSS, a successful project to crack the encryption on DVDs that led to Hollywood’s first lawsuits under the United States’ controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Since then, Johansen’s hacks for Apple Computer’s iTunes software and Microsoft’s Media Player have made headlines, and his blog — titled “So Sue Me” — has become must-see surfing for digital media geeks and, one suspects, entertainment company lawyers.

In a posting to his website late Tuesday, Robertson said he’d snapped up Johansen to work on a “significant new project” called Obeo at his digital music company MP3tunes. Obeo will “bring digital music into the 21st century,” Robertson wrote.

Source: Wired

Oracle Patches 23 Critical Vulnerabilities

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Oracle Corp. on Tuesday released its quarterly Critical Patch Update, closing 23 security vulnerabilities in its databases, servers and enterprise applications.

Oracle describes “critical patch update” as “a collection of patches for multiple security vulnerabilities. It also includes non-security fixes that are required (because of interdependencies) by those security patches.”

Seven of the 23 patches involve aspects of the company’s flagship database, Oracle 10g, including fixes for the main server itself, Grid Control, Application Server, Collaboration Suite and Database Control products.

Patches are also included for the Oracle 9i and Oracle 8i database servers.

PeopleSoft Enterprise Tools and PeopleSoft CRM also have new patches, as does JD Edwards EnterpriseOne/OneWorld XE.

The Oracle Database Server, Enterprise Manager, Oracle Application Server and Oracle Collaboration Suite patches in the Updates are cumulative, the company said.

Each successive Critical Patch Update contains the fixes from the previous updates.

Oracle E-Business Suite/Applications patches are not cumulative, so E-Business Suite/Applications customers should refer to previous Critical Patch Updates to identify previous fixes they wish to apply, the company said. ‘

Source: eWeek

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