11/13/2005

Google Offers Free Wi-Fi To Mountain View, CA

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Search engine giant Google Inc. on Thursday sent a letter to the mayor of its home city of Mountain View, Calif., proposing to bring free Wi-Fi service to the city.

“Google is in a unique position to offer free access to the Internet, since we have the ability to subsidize and earn revenue indirectly when these Wi-Fi users get on the Internet and access our and our partner sites,” Minnie Ingersoll, a product manager at Google, said in the letter.

“We would like to work with a city that is close to our headquarters and supportive of this intent.”

Source: eWeek

Tip: Disable Autorun In Windows XP / 2000

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

When you insert a new CD into your CD-ROM drive windows is configured by default to automatically search and run a file called autorun.ini in your disc. This file contains instructions of what to do when this disc is inserted in your drive. Usually this file starts a setup program, or some sort of a menu.

Although most of the times this will benefit you, since you don’t have to browse the CD and manually start the application, sometimes this behavior can cause problem or even misuse.

A recent example of this being misused is in the case of Sony’s DRM rootkit, which installed itself without you knowing, taking advantage of the auto run feature.

Fortunately we can easily disable this option, so nothing will run automatically when we insert a CD into the drive, hence no suspicious DRM application or other software running without our explicit consent.

To disable autorun follow these steps:

  • Open the Registry Editor (REGEDIT.EXE).
  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Cdrom.
  • Double-click on the Autorun value, and set the value to 0.

You may need to restart your machine in order for this to take effect.

Gartner: Ignore Vista until 2008

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Companies shouldn’t rush to upgrade to Microsoft Windows Vista, according to analysts at Gartner, who believe most could safely hold back until 2008.

The majority of improvements in Vista, the update scheduled to arrive in 2006, will be security-related and most of this functionality “is available via third-party products today,” Gartner analysts said in a research note published on Friday.

While Vista will “offer incremental, evolutionary improvements” over its predecessors, Windows XP users should “pursue a strategy of managed diversity,” the analysts recommended. That means they should only bring in Vista on new machines and that not until 2008.

Source: ZDNet

Internet Holds Only Future For Newspapers

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Newspapers have no future without online and digital services, media executives heard at a World Association of Newspapers meeting in Madrid.

“We are getting the whole organisation ready for a digital future,” said Simon Waldman, director of digital publishing at Guardian Newspapers, whose Guardian Unlimited site is by far the most popular British newspaper online site, ahead of The Sun, The Times and The Telegraph.

Within “six to seven years”, the group planned to dedicate 80 percent of its time to digital activities, compared to 20 percent at present, Waldman told the conference, entitled “Beyond the Printed Word”.

The Guardian’s 15 Internet sites, which became profitable this year and are funded almost solely from advertising, command similar numbers of readers in the United States and in Britain.

Source: AFP

Russian Scientist Turns Turtle Into Spy

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Russian scientists have devised a way to recruit tortoises to serve the intelligence services, the NTV channel reported Wednesday. A professor from Rostov-on-Don says he can turn the animals into biological robots and train them for defense purposes.

Aleksei Burikov, head of the biology department at Rostov-on-Don State Pedagogical University, attaches special devices to the tortoise’s shell. The device makes the animal move in one or another direction or stop for a while through vibrations, thus forcing the tortoise to follow orders from humans.

Adding a small camera fixed to the tortoise’s shell allows the scientist to watch on the monitor what is happening around the tortoise’s location.

Source: mosnews.com

Broadband Over Gas Pipes ?

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Imagine accessing the Internet over the same pipe that provides you with natural gas for cooking.

It may sound nuts today, but a San Diego company called Nethercomm is developing a way to use ultra wideband wireless signals to transmit data at broadband speeds through natural-gas pipes. The company claims its technology will be able to offer 100 megabits per second to every home, which is more than enough to provide voice, video and high-speed Internet access.

Needless to say, there’s a big caveat here: These claims have yet to be tested. Nethercomm has no working products and has not tried the technology in the field.

So how does broadband in gas pipes work? Nethercomm is adapting ultra wideband radio transmitters and receivers to send wireless signals through the natural-gas pipe at the same time the pipe is delivering gas fuel. Ultra wideband, or UWB, is a developing communication technology that delivers very high-speed network data rates, but at higher power levels it can interfere with other wireless signals.

That’s not usually a problem when ultra wideband signals are transmitted in pipes buried underground. As a result, tremendous amounts of data could be transmitted through a gas line without causing problems. At least, that’s the idea.

Source: News.com

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