11/30/2005

Google Shares Drop, Biggest Fall in a Year

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Shares in Web-search leader Google Inc. slid 4.7 percent on Tuesday, their biggest decline in a year, on concern that the outlook for holiday sales may not be as strong as investors had hoped.

Expectations that U.S. retail sales activity following the Thanksgiving holiday may not be as strong as some analysts had predicted knocked Google down $19.94 to $403.54 in brisk turnover of 21.4 million.

Shares in Google, which makes money by selling online advertising and referring shoppers to sites of retailers, had gained almost 40 percent in two months on expectations that a strong holiday season would lead a surge in revenue.

Turnover on Tuesday was nearly three times the 90-day daily average of 8.3 million.

In recent years, the Monday after Thanksgiving has been seen as an indicator of the holiday sales outlook for Internet businesses, and investors didn’t like what they saw, said Herb Kurlan, president of Vtrader LLC, an online trading firm.

Source: eWeek

Trojan horse rides on unpatched IE flaw

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Attackers are taking advantage of an unpatched vulnerability in Internet Explorer to target users of the ubiquitous Web browser, Microsoft warned late Tuesday.

Malicious software that exploits the security flaw to download a Trojan horse to vulnerable computers has been found on the Internet, according to Microsoft. Detection and removal capabilities for the “TrojanDownloader:Win32/Delf.DH” have been added to Microsoft’s recently launched online security-scanning tool.

The security bug, exploited by the Trojan downloader, was originally reported in May. The bug was thought to only allow for a denial-of-service attack, which would cause IE to close. However, experts last week raised an alarm on the issue because it was discovered that it could be used to remotely run code on a vulnerable computer.

Microsoft has yet to provide a fix for the vulnerability, but is working on a patch, according to the security advisory. Security-monitoring company Secunia deems the problem “extremely critical,” its rarely given highest rating.

Source: News.com

BlackBerry Shutdown Nearer After Ruling

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. on Wednesday was pushed closer to a possible shutdown of its U.S. mobile e-mail service after a judge refused to delay a patent infringement case and rejected a disputed settlement with patent holder NTP Inc.

U.S. District Judge James Spencer said he would request briefs and set a hearing date to deal with the remaining issues of injunctive relief and appropriate damages against RIM.

“Valid patents would be rendered meaningless if an infringing party were allowed to circumvent the patents’ enforcement by incessantly delaying and prolonging court proceedings, which have already resulted in a finding of infringement,” Spencer said in his ruling.

Still pending before Spencer is a request by NTP to move forward with an injunction that would halt U.S. sales of the BlackBerry and shut its service.

Spencer granted an injunction in 2003 after the patent-holding company successfully sued RIM in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Virginia, but the ruling was stayed pending appeal.

Source: eWeek

Digg Users Take Revenge At Bad Online Store

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Thomas Hawk is a photographer which photography is a passionate hobby of his. For weeks he has been waiting for a price drop on a camera that he wanted, and when it finally reached his price range he decided to buy it, after checking for the best price.

As it turns out the best price was found at PriceRitePhoto so he went out and made the purchase. After completing the order thing started to go south.

“I will make sure you will never be able to place an order on the internet again.” “I’m an attorney, I will sue you.” “I will call the CEO of your company and play him the tape of this phone call.” “I’m going to call your local police and have two officers come over and arrest you.” “You’d better get this through your thick skull.” “You have no idea who you are dealing with.”

These are all direct threats that I received today from an individual who identified himself as Steve Phillips, the manager of PriceRitePhoto in Brooklyn, New York when he called to inquire about his order with them. This abuse came after telling them that he planned to write an article about the unfortunate experience with this company regarding the camera order.

After Hawk wrote the article on his blog, he published it on Digg.com and the response from Digg users was tremendous.

Beside the usual advice (always check seller ratings etc’) dig users decided to take action and posted the store’s aliases, phone number and address. Users then started to flood PriceRitePhoto 800 number with phone calls, writing scripts using Skype to call and disconnect, making prank calls (http://danny.st/tmp/pricerite.mp3 , http://danny.st/tmp/pricerite2.mp3), launching DOS attacks against the site, posting bad reviews on web sites, posting links to Hawk’s blog on internet forums, flooding PriceRitePhoto with email messages, posted complaints to the better business bureau , sending fax messages and succeeded to bring down their live chat feature.

After this kind of attack maybe merchants will try harder to provide a better customer service, well at least one has definitely learned his lesson.

Thanks to KilleRabbit from the forum for the heads up

Related: PriceRitePhoto Apologises
Customer Service Sucks! A Letter to the CEOs of America

Intel to ‘drop Pentium name’ with Merom, Conroe debut

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

When Intel debuts its ‘Intel Core’ brand-name in July 2006, it will mark the end of the familiar Pentium name. Out too goes any distinction between mobile and desktop versions.

So claims Japanese-language website PCWatch.

It’s not an unreasonable claim, however. According to the latest roadmaps to leak out of the chip giant, Q3 2006 will see the debut of ‘Merom’ and ‘Conroe’, two 65nm, dual-core processors pitched at mobile and desktop roles, respectively. Both are derived from Intel’s next-generation architecture, which essentially takes key elements of today’s Pentium M and combines it with features introduced with the Pentium 4’s NetBurst architecture.

The new architecture, with is focus on performance per Watt, rather than raw horsepower, warrants new, distinct branding, and ‘Intel Core’ is it, the report suggests. Merom and Conroe are both likely to be made available in single-core variants, so their debut also provides a good launch point for Intel’s upcoming Solo and Duo branding scheme.

Source: The Register

Clinton And Lieberman To Legislate Video Game Violence

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Senator Hillary Clinton, who called for a federal investigation into the so-called “hot coffee” scandal, and Senator Joseph Lieberman, a longtime proponent of entertainment regulation, have promised to introduce legislation to restrict the sale of video games to minors when the Congress reconvenes in two weeks.

The proposed legislation is known as the Family Entertainment Protection Act and a summary of its contents can be perused here. It cites as its inspiration the Media-wise Report Card put together by The National Institute on Media and the Family.

Source: 1UP

Intel’s Mobile-Chip Play in Israel

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A key government approval for a chip plant in Kiryat Gat could give Intel a leg up in efforts to grab market share from Texas Instruments.

Intel’s plans for making chips that run cell phones just got a big shot in the arm: Israel’s Knesset Finance Committee on Nov. 28 gave the final green light for a $3.5 billion Intel investment in a new semiconductor plant in southern Israel.

Only days earlier, the committee had put off a vote on the project, fueling concern that the decision would be delayed until after Israel’s general elections in late March. The new plant in Kiryat Gat is the largest foreign investment ever undertaken in Israel. Israeli taxpayers will be subsidizing the project over the next decade to the tune of $525 million.

A TOUGH MARKET. But government officials believe the cost is well worth it. “The new plant will create thousands of new jobs and lead to sales of over $3 billion annually once the plant is fully operational,” said Raanan Dinur, director general of Israel’s Industry and Trade Ministry. Israel beat out India and Ireland for the plant, which will produce the next generation of Intel chips.

Source: Business Week

No Vista Beta 2 this year

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The second beta of Windows Vista will not come until next year, Microsoft said Tuesday.

The software maker did not give a time frame for the release of Beta 2 of the operating system, and said only that it would have more to say next year. Microsoft had not said when Beta 2 will come, but some had expected it might come in December or January.

Microsoft did say it still plans to release the final version of Vista in the second half of next year.

“First and foremost, we are still on track for general availability in the second half of calendar year 2006,” said Amitabh Srivastava, a corporate vice president in Microsoft’s Windows unit.

Microsoft also said Tuesday that it will end the monthly schedule for interim Community Technology Preview updates of the Vista code. The third CTP release, planned for November, now will not happen until December, it said.

Source: News.com

Apple Security Update Fixes 13 Mac OS X Vulnerabilities

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple has released security updates to address thirteen vulnerabilities identified in Mac OS X. These flaws could be exploited by remote or local attackers to execute arbitrary commands, bypass security restrictions and conduct cross site scripting attacks.

French Security Incident Response Team rates these vulnerabilities as critical.

The affected components that were fixed are: Apache 2 web server, SSLVerifyClient, CoreFoundation, PCRE library, JavaScript dialog boxes, WebKit and other OS related components.

You can download the security update from apple’s web site

Microsoft offers security test drive

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

As promised, Microsoft has opened up the test for its forthcoming OneCare Live security subscription product to the general public.

OneCare marks Microsoft’s long-anticipated entry into the consumer antivirus space, which has been the domain of specialized vendors such as Symantec, McAfee and Trend Micro. Two years ago, Microsoft announced its intent to offer antivirus products when it bought Romanian antivirus software developer GeCad Software.

Microsoft unveiled its plans for OneCare in May. Select testers have been invited to try it since July, and Microsoft recently added features to the beta. The product is now available for testing by anyone with a U.S. English version of Windows XP with Service Pack 2, a Microsoft representative said Tuesday. Final release is expected in 2006.

OneCare is meant for consumers and combines anti-spyware software–which Microsoft is also publicly testing–with antivirus software, firewall software and several tune-up tools for Windows PCs. Microsoft has not announced pricing for OneCare but has said the final package will be offered as a subscription service.

The OneCare beta can be downloaded from ideas.live.com. As the number of testers increases, Microsoft may delay access to the service for some users, the company said.

Source: News.com

Yahoo Unveils RSS E-Mail Folder

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Looking to gain another edge on its rivals, Internet powerhouse Yahoo Inc. on Wednesday will begin testing a new e-mail folder designed to make it easier for people to track the latest information posted on their favorite Web sites.

The free feature relies on Really Simple Syndication, an increasingly popular technology that can compile content from a wide array of Web sites catering to a user’s personal tastes.

Millions of people have signed up to receive automatic feeds on everything from the international news to family recipes since Yahoo first began providing its RSS service last year, said Scott Gatz, the Sunnyvale, Calif-based company’s senior director of personalization products.

Until Wednesday, Yahoo relied on Web pages as its RSS hub. RSS feeds will still be accessible through Yahoo’s Web site.

Source: AP

Intel to Partner With TiVo on PC Platform

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Looking to boost the number of computers whirring away in living rooms, Intel Corp. on Wednesday unveiled its first list of companies whose products are expected to work with the chip maker’s upcoming Viiv entertainment PC platform.

So far, about 40 companies that develop TV, movie, music, gaming and photo-editing products are testing and verifying services, programs and gadgets that will interact with the Intel technology, said Kevin Corbett, an Intel vice president in charge of content services.

The goal of the Viiv label, he said, is to avoid consumer confusion and questions over interoperability. It also will ensure the products will work when the PC is being controlled from a distance via a remote control.

Source: AP

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