11/2/2005

Novell To Cut 600 Jobs

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Novell announced a major restructuring Wednesday, under which it will cut 600 jobs, switch its focus to Linux and digital identity software, and take action to split off its Celerant consulting group.

More than 10 percent of the server software maker’s 5,800 work force is affected, but the total is less than the 20 percent some expected. Further jobs could be lost as the Waltham, Mass.-based company sells Celerant, which has more than 400 employees, Novell said.

The move should reduce annual expenses by about $110 million but will require a charge of $30 million to $35 million for the company’s fiscal fourth quarter, which ended Oct. 31, Novell said.

Source: News.com

Boy Tracks His Sperm Donor Father

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A 15-year-old boy has tracked down his anonymous sperm donor father using a swab test and the internet.

He sent off his own cheek swab to an online genealogy DNA-testing service.

This case has serious implications for men who have donated sperm in the past with promises of anonymity, says New Scientist Magazine.

Bryan Sykes, a geneticist at Oxford University and chairman of the family tree tracing service OxfordAncesters.com, said the case raised serious questions about whether past promises of anonymity could be honoured.

Source: BBC

Sony To Patch Copy-Protected CD

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sony BMG Music Entertainment and a technology partner are working with antivirus companies on a fix for a potential security problem in some copy-protected CDs.

Earlier in the week, security experts said that anticopying technology used by Sony BMG could be adapted by virus writers to hide malicious software on the hard drives of computers that have played one of the CDs. The antipiracy tool is included on many of Sony BMG’s latest music releases, from Van Zant to My Morning Jacket.

Sony BMG’s technology partner First 4 Internet, a British company, said Wednesday that it has released a patch to antivirus companies that will eliminate the copy-protection software’s ability to hide. In consequence, it will also prevent virus writers from cloaking their work using the copy-protection tools.

The record label and First 4 Internet will post a similar patch on Sony BMG’s Web site for consumers to download directly, the companies said.

Source: News.com

Denial-Of-Service Attacks Are Not Outlawed By The U.K

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A British teenager has been cleared of launching a denial-of-service attack against his former employer, in a ruling that delivers another blow to the U.K’s Computer Misuse Act.

At Wimbledon Magistrates Court in London, District Judge Kenneth Grant ruled Wednesday that the teenager had not broken the CMA, under which he was charged. The defendant, who can’t be named for legal reasons, was accused of sending five million e-mail messages to his ex-employer that caused the company’s e-mail server to crash.

The teenager greeted the news with relief, although an appeal by the prosecution is still possible. “I feel very happy. This has been going on for two years. At the moment, this is no longer hanging over my head,” the teenager told ZDNet UK.

The CMA, which was introduced in 1990, does not specifically include a denial-of-service attack as a criminal offense, something some members of the U.K. parliament want changed. However, it does explicitly outlaw the “unauthorized access” and “unauthorized modification” of computer material. Section 3 of the act, under which the defendant was charged, concerns unauthorized data modification and tampering with systems.

Source: News.com

Hollywood To Embed Anti-Piracy Audio Signals In HD DVD

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Pirate DVDs made by copying movies in cinemas could become a thing of the past in the HD era, if technology presented to the DVD Forum proves successful.

The system requires film distributors to embed an inaudible watermark in film soundtracks. HD DVD players will contain a sensor that listens out for the watermark in the soundtracks of any disc being played.

Since official HD DVDs will not contain the watermark, its presence on the disc reveals the disc to be a pirate copy.

The watermark comprises digital data encoded in subtle shifts in the audio waveform that makes up the soundtrack, New Scientist reports this week. Human ears can’t detect the fluctuations.

Whether the pirates digitise a movie print directly, or simply point a camcorder at the cinema screen, they will still capture the audio and the watermark with it.

If the technique wins the approval of the DVD Forum, the presence of the watermark detector could be mandated in any player stamped with the official HD DVD brand. Of course, there will be plenty of machines out there whose manufacturers use the HD DVD logo without permission, or don’t use it at all, and in either case may ship machines without the sensor.

Source: The Register

Firefox 1.5 RC1 Released

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Firefox team took another step towards version 1.5 this morning as it made public release candidate 1 of it’s popular browser. Users running 1.5 beta should have already received notice via an automated update dialogue box. New features include improved Pop-up blocking, enhanced automated update, better OS X support and faster back and forward page navigation buttons. A full list of features can be found in the release notes as well as the downloaded page.”

Source: Slashdot

Grandpa Is Sued Over Grandson’s Downloads

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A 67-year-old man who says he doesn’t even like watching movies has been sued by the film industry for copyright infringement after a grandson of his downloaded four movies on their home computer.

The Motion Picture Association of America filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against Fred Lawrence of Racine, seeking as much as $600,000 in damages for downloading four movies over the Internet file-sharing service iMesh.

The suit was filed after Lawrence refused a March offer to settle the matter by paying $4,000.

Source: AP

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