12/6/2005

Radio Industry to Roll Out Digital Radio

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The radio industry, in a move to take on growing competition from satellite radio, iPods and the Internet, has formed an alliance to step up the rollout of digital radio.

The group’s goal is to offer new and compelling content using “high-definition” digital radio technology, which produces CD-quality sound and eliminates the static, hiss and fades associated with analog signals, top radio executives said Tuesday at a press briefing unveiling the alliance.

So far, about 600 out of more than 10,000 radio stations across the United States have started digital broadcasts. HD radio is free, but consumers need to purchase pricey digital radio receivers to listen to broadcasts.

The alliance - which has at least seven radio companies on board including giants Clear Channel Communications Inc. and Viacom Inc.’s Infinity - hopes its efforts will drive down the cost of digital receivers as they catch on with more consumers.

Source: AP

iTunes Sold 3 Million Videos

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple has sold over three million videos since October 12, the company confirmed today.

“Customers have purchased and downloaded more than three million videos since their debut on October 12, making the iTunes Music Store the world’s most popular video download store,” Apple said.

iTunes now offers more than 300 episodes of 16 popular TV shows for viewing on a computer or iPod.

Source: Macworld

Gates birthday gift is the kind that will keep on giving

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

t’s the sort of gift that Bill Gates Sr. wanted from his son.

Nothing gaudy or flashy, nothing stylish or sleek. In fact, nothing for himself at all. Instead, something to inspire public service in others, something to give back. Something he has insisted on long before his son became the world’s richest man.

So when Bill Gates Sr. turned 80 Wednesday, his son surprised him with this: an 80-year scholarship program for the University of Washington School of Law in the elder Gates’ name.

The length of the scholarship is a nod to Bill Gates Sr.’s age; the law school is his alma mater.

The cost: $33.3 million. The deal: Five students get a full-ride scholarship each year. In exchange, they commit to working seven years in public service after graduation — for instance, for a legal aid or advocacy agency, a nonprofit, as a public defender or prosecutor.

The idea behind the scholarship is to encourage young lawyers to pursue public-service careers without the burden of huge student debt. The scholarship is unusual in that it goes beyond paying tuition and also covers room and board, academic supplies and internship costs. It’s estimated that the scholarship will be worth about $100,000 over three years of study for students entering the school next year.

Source: The Seattle Times

November breaks all malware records

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

November was the worst month for malware since records began in the mid-1980s, according to antivirus firm Sophos.

The company detected 1,940 new pieces of malware in the past month, and has seen a 48 per cent increase in threats over the year.

The bulk of the new threats are not self-propagating viruses such as worms, but Trojan software that either logs the user’s behaviour or allows remote control of their PC.

“A worm affects too many people these days,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. “It draws attention to them and encourages antivirus firms to take action. It also brings in a flood of information that the hacker cannot cope with.”

Cluley explained that the recent figures also show the extent to which organised criminals have started using malware for financial gain.

Source: vnunet

Microsoft Releases Windows Server 2003 R2

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. today announced the release to manufacturing of Windows Server 2003 R2. Based on Microsoft Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1, Windows Server 2003 R2 delivers new capabilities and value for customers in the areas of branch-office management, identity and access management, virtualization, data storage and Web platform technologies. The product will be generally available to customers within 60 days.

“Windows Server 2003 R2 builds on the proven reliability and security of Windows Server 2003 and introduces new functionality and benefits in key workloads and scenarios,? said Bob Muglia, senior vice president of Server and Tools at Microsoft. “R2 presents our customers with an array of new ways to reduce cost and complexity, boost end-user productivity, and increase the strategic value of their IT systems.?

With a Windows Server 2003 R2 license, you can upgrade to Windows Server 2003 R2 if your computer is running one of the following operating systems: Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 without SP1, Windows 2000 Server, Windows NT Server 4.0 with Service Pack 5 or later, Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition, with Service Pack 5 or later

Time Warner, Microsoft Near Ad Deal: WSJ

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Time Warner Inc. is closing in on a deal with Microsoft Corp. to team up on an online advertising service to compete with Google Inc., the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the talks.

The paper said the two companies were now focusing on a deal that would combine their advertising-related assets, with little or no money changing hands.

It said they expected to reach an agreement before the end of the year, but that it was still possible that Time Warner ’s America Online unit could strike a deal with competitor Google instead.

Time Warner has been holding talks with both Microsoft and Google over AOL, sources familiar with the situation have told Reuters and other media.

Sources familiar with the matter had said that Time Warner ’s initial discussions included the possible sale of a stake in the Internet unit, but recent media reports said that the two likely buyers may be backing away from such an investment in favor of smaller-scale partnerships with AOL.

Source: eWeek

NBC teams up with iTunes

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

NBC Universal is the latest network to tap into Apple Computer’s iTunes, offering up nearly a dozen of its TV shows for download onto iPods and PCs, the two companies said Tuesday.

The iTunes store will offer 11 shows from NBC, USA Network and the Sci Fi Channel that range from oldies such as the 1950s cop show “Dragnet” to current shows such as “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”

Apple is charging $1.99 per episode for the television downloads, as well as for music videos and short films. The newly produced shows will be available for download a day after they air on TV.

Source: News.com

Phony E-Mail Tricks eBay

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A sophisticated phishing attack has proven so successful, it has tricked eBay’s own fraud investigations team into endorsing it as legitimate, according to an independent security consultant who reported the attack to eBay.

In late November, Richi Jennings received a fraudulent e-mail message containing the subject line “Christmas is Coming on ebay.co.uk.” Offering him “great tips for successful Christmas selling,” the message directed him to the Web site ebaychristmas.net, which then asked Jennings to enter his eBay user name and password, as well as the name and password for his e-mail account.

Jennings reported the site to eBay on November 25, and four days later he got a note back from the company’s investigations team claiming that the e-mail message was, in fact, “an official e-mail message sent to you on behalf of e-Bay.”

Jennings was dumfounded. He immediately wrote back to eBay pointing out that the Web site being used was clearly fraudulent, but his e-mail went unanswered.
eBay Changes Tune

On Monday, an eBay spokesperson confirmed that the e-mail message was indeed part of a fraud, but she could not explain why it had initially been identified as legitimate.

“I don’t know the answer to that,” said spokesperson Amanda Pires. “I’m assuming right now it was just an error.”

From their initial response, it appeared that eBay’s investigators did not take his concerns seriously, Jennings said

“They never actually used the word idiot, but I felt like they were calling me an idiot,” he said. He believes that the e-mail message in question bore such a close resemblance to a legitimate eBay message that the company’s investigators were simply tricked by the scam.

Pires said that eBay had, in fact, been working to take down the phishing site since November 8, weeks before Jennings even contacted the company.

Both Jennings and eBay agreed that the phony Web site has been set up in such a way that it is extremely difficult to shut it down. The Web site’s server software is being hosted on a variety of different PCs that appear to have been taken over by malicious “bot” software. Whenever eBay succeeds in getting one of these servers shut down, a new one pops up to take its place, Pires said.

“This is one of the cleverest [phishing attacks] I’ve seen in a while,” Jennings said.

Source: PC World

Microsoft: Stealth Rootkits Are Bombarding XP SP2 Boxes

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

More than 20 percent of all malware removed from Windows XP SP2 (Service Pack 2) systems are stealth rootkits, according to senior official in Microsoft Corp.’s security unit.

Jason Garms, architect and group program manager in Microsoft’s Anti-Malware Technology Team, said the open-source FU rootkit ranks high on the list of malicious software programs deleted by the free Windows worm zapping utility.

“I can tell you that FU is the fifth most removed piece of malware. We’re finding the FU rootkit in many different versions of Rbot,” Garms said, referring to the IRC controlled backdoor used to illegally infect Windows PCs with spyware.

In addition to the FU rootkit, Garms said the WinNT/Ispro family of kernel mode rootkits features in the top-five list every month.

WinNT/Ispro, like FU, is often bundled with illegally installed spyware to allow an attacker to modify certain files and registry keys to avoid detection on an infected machine.

“Hacker Defender,” another rootkit program that is available for sale on the Internet, has also been detected and deleted regularly.

Source: eWeek

Aussie Kazaa users told to stop using Kazaa

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Australian Kazaa fans can now no longer use or download the P2P application.

As an apparent deadline for the addition of copyright filtering technology came and went yesterday without such a change apparently being made, Kazaa owner Sharman Networks was forced to stop distributing its software to local users.

Anyone accessing the Kazaa website was told: “To comply with the orders of the Federal Court… use of the Kazaa Media Desktop is not permitted by persons in Australia. If you are in Australia, you must not download or use the Kazaa Media Desktop.”

The 5 December deadline was much touted by the Australian music industry, but it remains open to interpretation as to whether Sydney-based Federal Court Judge Murray Wilcox meant that Sharman must implement anti-infringement filtering technology by that date or risk being shut down.

Certainly, the music industry has latched onto that date, and is now looking to have the court declare Sharman in breach of Judge Wilcox’s order.

Source: The Register

Firm Allegedly Hiding Cisco Bugs

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The computer security researcher who revealed a serious vulnerability in the operating system for Cisco Systems routers this year says he discovered 15 additional flaws in the software that have gone unreported until now, one of which is more serious than the bug he made public last summer.

Mike Lynn, a former security researcher with Internet Security Systems, or ISS, said three of the flaws can give an attacker remote control of Cisco’s routing and gateway hardware, essentially allowing an intruder to run malicious code on the hardware. The most serious of the three would affect nearly every configuration of a Cisco router, he said.

Lynn, who now works for Cisco competitor Juniper Networks, told Wired News that ISS has known about additional flaws in the Cisco software for months but hasn’t told Cisco about them. This is serious, Lynn said, because attackers may already be developing exploits for the vulnerabilities. Cisco’s source code was reportedly stolen in 2004 and, while doing research on the IOS software, Lynn found information on a Chinese-language website that indicated to him that Chinese attackers were aware of the security flaws in IOS and could be exploiting them.

Source: Wired

New bundles mark Adobe’s Macromedia merger

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Having completed the takeover of Macromedia, Adobe has now started the job of mixing its product portfolio

Application developer Adobe completed its takeover of Macromedia on Monday, and promptly unveiled three software bundles for graphics designers.

The Adobe Design bundle contains Adobe’s Creative Suite 2 Premium and Macromedia’s Flash Professional 8.

The Web bundle contains Creative Suite 2 Premium and Macromedia Studio 8.

At third bundle, called the Adobe video bundle, has also been promised. Few details are available, though, apart that it will contain Macromedia Flash Professional and will ship in 2006.

Source: ZDNet

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