11/18/2005

Sony Completes First Full-Length Blu-ray Disc

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) president Benjamin S. Feingold today announced that authoring has been completed on the first Blu-ray Disc (BD) to contain a full-length, high-definition feature film. Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle was compressed and authored in MPEG 2 full high-definition (1920 x 1080) by Sony Pictures’ Digital Authoring Center (DAC) and is now being shipped to BD hardware companies for player testing.

Utilizing Blu-ray’s unprecedented storage capacity, the Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle disc features dynamic menus with full resolution graphics and animation, superior audio and unparalleled picture quality. “We are confident this achievement will help everyone understand that Blu-ray is real and poised to enter the marketplace,” said Mr. Feingold. “Blu-ray will bring the highest quality HD experience possible to the home.”

“We are extremely proud to deliver on the promise of Blu-ray. This is an important step for our industry in order to begin mass production of high-definition movies in the Blu-ray format in the near future,” said Don Eklund, Senior Vice President, Advanced Technologies, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Harry Potter Flies Onto All Time Best-Selling List

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Even before Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire flew into theaters, the film landed on MovieTickets.com best-selling list which tracks the company’s largest number of tickets sold in advance of a movie opening. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire opens in theaters nationwide today.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is also on track to rank in MovieTickets.com’s top five overall best-selling list of all time, a final compilation of most tickets sold for a single film. This list is tallied after a film has been in release for a significant time.

“Exhibitors and studios can breathe a sigh of relief that current releases are still breaking records. Momentum of online ticket sales serves as a key consumer indicator, tracking how popular a movie will be on opening weekend and through its lifespan. As evidenced by its high volume of advance ticket sales, Goblet is sure to be another blockbuster,” said Walt Borchers, vice president, sales & marketing, MovieTickets.com.

The following are MovieTickets.com’s top 10 pre-sale best sellers:
#1 Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
#2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
#3 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
#4 The Matrix Reloaded
#5 Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
#6 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
#7 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
#8 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
#9 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
#10 The Passion of the Christ

Online Daters Sue Matchmaking Sites

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

It’s not easy finding love in cyberspace, and now some frustrated online daters say they were victims of fraud by two top Internet matchmaking services and have taken their complaints to court.

Match.com is accused in a federal lawsuit of goading members into renewing their subscriptions through bogus romantic e-mails sent out by company employees. In some instances, the suit contends, people on the Match payroll even went on sham dates with subscribers as a marketing ploy.

“This is a grossly fraudulent practice that Match.com is engaged in,” said H. Scott Leviant, a lawyer at Los Angeles law firm Arias, Ozzello & Gignac LLP, which brought the suit.

Match “promotes the policies of integrity to protect members, and yet they themselves, we allege, are misleading their entire customer base,” he said.

The company said it does not comment on pending litigation. But Match spokeswoman Kristin Kelly said the company “absolutely does not” employ people to go on dates with subscribers or to send members misleading e-mails professing romantic interest. The company has about 15 million members worldwide and 250 employees, she said.

In a separate suit, Yahoo Inc.’s personals service is accused of posting profiles of fictitious potential dating partners on its Web site to make it look as though many more singles subscribe to the service than actually do.

Yahoo spokeswoman Rochelle Adams said the company had no comment on the lawsuit.

Source: Reuters

Google Fixes Gmail Security Flaw

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google said Wednesday it has fixed a problem in its widely used email program that allowed hackers to break into people’s Gmail accounts to read messages and pose as legitimate email users.

Security researchers in Spain exposed a flaw in the way Google authenticates its users, allowing the breach in the system that counts more than 5 million users.

The process for exploiting Gmail was posted to a hacker web site

The site says Google fixed the problem on October 18, four days after a security researcher called ANELKAOS alerted the company to the problem.

Google didn’t make a public announcement about the problem. Companies such as Microsoft typically alert their users to security flaws in their software.

Source: Red Herring

IBM May Offer Free DB2 Database

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

IBM could release a free version of its DB2 database next year, according to a company executive.

Teo Wan Ping, IBM Singapore’s brand manager for information management, told ZDNet Asia that IBM could “potentially offer” a free starter edition of DB2, as part of the company’s strategy to win over developers to its database product.

Although Big Blue’s existing entry-level DB2 database–the DB2 Universal Database Express Edition–is not free, Teo pointed out that IBM already has a free product in its veins: the Java-based Cloudscape database, which the company contributed to the open-source community last year. Also, earlier this year IBM released a package called Zend Core for IBM, a PHP development package which includes a free DB2 license.

While Teo acknowledged that the database engine used by Cloudscape is different from the one used by DB2, businesses can migrate to the DB2 easily, he asserted.

Commenting on IBM’s impending move, Gartner Vice President Donald Feinberg told ZDNet Asia in a phone interview that it had been just a matter of time before IBM released a free version of DB2.

Source: News.com

Apple iTunes security flaw discovered

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A critical vulnerability has been found in some versions of Apple’s popular iTunes that could allow attackers to remotely take over a user’s computer, according to a warning issued Thursday by a security research firm.

The latest iTunes flaw, runs on all operating systems from Windows XP to Mac OS X, according to a security warning issued by eEye Digital Security.

This flaw allows malicious hackers to launch arbitrary code remotely, which in turn can take control of a user’s computer.

eEye, does not provide extensive details on the flaws it finds until a vendor releases a patch to resolve the security flaw.

Source: News.com

Google Adds Aggregated Info To Google Map

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usGoogle maps in conjunction with local search added a detail tab in the popup window. When you search for businesses on the local map, once you click on the location icon, a popup tooltip is opened. In addition to the address tab, Google adds a detail tab which will display aggregated information and links from related websites.

For instance looking for flower shops in NY will show in addition to the address also payment information, product information and links to NYMetro.com, Superpages.com, Citysearch.com and other related sites, so you can learn more about the business. For Hotels, you might find hotel reviews, virtual tour at the hotel (link to vfmii.com), check in and check out time, hotel rating, number of rooms and more.

FEC Rules Bloggers Are Journalists

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Federal Election Commission today issued an advisory opinion that finds the Fired Up network of blogs qualifies for the ‘press exemption’ to federal campaign finance laws. The press exemption, as defined by Congress, is meant to assure ‘the unfettered right of the newspapers, TV networks, and other media to cover and comment on political campaigns.’ The full ruling is available at the FEC site. A noteworthy passage: ‘…an entity otherwise eligible for the press exception would not lose its eligibility merely because of a lack of objectivity…’

Source: Slashdot

6 Plead Guilty for Role in Identity Theft

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Six more people pleaded guilty Thursday to operating a Web site that investigators claimed was one of the largest online centers for trafficking in stolen identity information and credit cards.

With others who pleaded guilty in recent weeks, that brings to 12 people who acknowledged roles with the site, http://www.shadowcrew.com, which had about 4,000 members who dealt with at least 1.5 million stolen credit card numbers and caused more than $4 million in losses, federal prosecutors said.

Source: AP

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