10/31/2005

Sony, Rootkits and DRM Gone Too Far

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A very interesting article by Mark Russinovich, who found that Sony installs poorly written DRM software when you try to listen to a copy protected CD. Sony’s DRM software hides itself, provides no means to remove it and might harm your system.

From the article: “Not only had Sony put software on my system that uses techniques commonly used by malware to mask its presence, the software is poorly written and provides no means for uninstall. Worse, most users that stumble across the cloaked files with a RKR scan will cripple their computer if they attempt the obvious step of deleting the cloaked files.

1UP.com Giving Away an Xbox 360 Every Day in November

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

1UP.com, Ziff Davis Media Game Group’s online home for gamers, today announced that it is giving away an Xbox 360 every day through November 2005. 2K Sports is sponsoring the giveaway and including several of their hottest new games with the prize package. All members of 1UP.com are eligible to win, and anyone can become a member of 1UP.com for free. A new winner will be chosen each day by random drawing.

“We’re proud to have such a large and enthusiastic audience on 1UP.com blogging and messaging each other about all of the new consoles and games, particularly the hotly anticipated Xbox 360,” said Sam Kennedy, Editor-in- Chief of 1UP.com. “Everyone is excited about the next-gen gaming systems, and now with 2K Sports’ help, we can fulfill a number of 1UP.com members’ wishes by giving them a dream opportunity to win a full-featured Xbox 360 when the system launches.”

1UP.com is giving away 30 Microsoft Xbox 360 systems, each valued at $399.99 MSRP. Sponsor 2K Sports is adding two of its next-gen Xbox 360 titles, NBA 2K6 and NHL 2K6, to each prize package.

Gamers can enter the giveaway by registering for free on 1UP.com and signing up for the sweepstakes via http://Xbox360.1UP.com/. The giveaway begins on November 1, 2005 at 12:00am PST and ends on November 30, 2005 at 11:59 pm PST.

Supreme Court Rejects MS Appeal In Eolas Case

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider an appeal by Microsoft Corp. in a case involving claims by a privately held California software firm and the University of California that Microsoft infringed their patents with its Internet Explorer browser.

Without comment, the high court rejected an appeal by Microsoft that it said involved more than 64 percent of the $521 million patent infringement ruling against the software giant.

Patent number 5,838,906 is owned by the University of California, but licensed by tiny tech firm Eolas Technologies, and covers the use of external applications from within a browser. In 1999, both the school and company won $521 million after a federal court ruled that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer infringed on the patent. Microsoft has been fighting the ruling in courts ever-since, trying to suggest the patent was in the public domain and therefore invalid. That battle was just made considerably more difficult: after reviewing the patent since 2003, the patent office has ruled that it is in fact valid.

iTunes Store Counts 1 Million Video Downloads

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple Computer has sold a million video downloads through its iTunes store since the launch of the service on Oct. 12, the company announced Monday.

Among the popular downloads such as Pixar Animation Studios’ “For the Birds” and “Boundin” are music videos from Michael Jackson, Fatboy Slim and Kanye West.

About 2000 music videos, animated short films and popular television shows are on offer for $1.99 per download.

“Selling 1 million videos in less than 20 days strongly suggests there is a market for legal video downloads,” Steve Jobs, Apple chief executive, said in a statement. “Our next challenge is to broaden our content offerings so that customers can enjoy watching more videos on their computers and new iPods.”

Source: News.com

SBC: We Own The Internet, So Google Should Pay Up

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

CEO of SBC, Ed Whitacre, in an interview suggest that it’s only a matter of time before they start going after any of the services that make the internet useful to try to make them pay up to remain reachable? When asked about companies like Google, Yahoo and Vonage, he says: “Now what they would like to do is use my pipes free, but I ain’t going to let them do that because we have spent this capital and we have to have a return on it. So there’s going to have to be some mechanism for these people who use these pipes to pay for the portion they’re using. Why should they be allowed to use my pipes? The Internet can’t be free in that sense, because we and the cable companies have made an investment and for a Google or Yahoo! or Vonage or anybody to expect to use these pipes [for] free is nuts!

In other words, he’s talking about going well beyond blocking some ports like BellSouth, to actually blocking out websites and services unless they first pay SBC a fee.

Source: Techdirt

Google To Help Improve OpenOffice.org

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google plans to hire programmers to improve OpenOffice.org, a demonstration of its affinity for open source initiatives and one the company believes also shows sound practical sense.

Now Google believes it can help OpenOffice–perhaps working to pare down the software’s memory requirements or its mammoth 80MB download size, said Chris DiBona, manager for open-source programs at the search company.

“We want to hire a couple of folks to help make OpenOffice better,” DiBona said.

“We use a fair amount of open-source software at Google. We want to make sure that’s a healthy community. And we want to make sure open source preserves competitiveness within the industry,” he said.

Source: News.com

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