2 million Internet domains registered with ‘false’ data

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

An estimated 2.31 million Internet domain names have been registered with “patently false” data, a US congressional report concluded.

The report by the Government Accountability Office suggested that a large number of Internet sites may have been created by persons seeking to hide their identities, possibly to avoid detection by law enforcement.

Based on test results, GAO estimated that 2.31 million domain names, or 5.14 percent of the overall total, were registered with data “that appeared obviously and intentionally false without verification against any reference data” in one or more contact information fields.

GAO also found that 1.64 million domain names or 3.65 percent were registered with incomplete data.

The report suggested significant problems with the “Whois” directory that is supposed to show the owners of the millions of websites and Internet domains. This directory is used by law enforcement officials to investigate piracy, spam, fraud or other problems in cyberspace.

Source: AFP

Microsoft Offers Enhanced Maps

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft on Thursday will unveil a beta version of Windows Live Local, which is based on its Virtual Earth aerial image application and integrates local search, mapping, driving directions and yellow pages with a bird’s-eye view of major U.S. cities.

The service will offer a 45-degree bird’s-eye view of about one-quarter of the country, including cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle and Las Vegas.

The bird’s-eye images, captured by Pictometry International using low-flying planes, are integrated with road and satellite maps to simulate 360-degree panoramas that can be viewed from several directions. Users can choose between directional views or zoom closer using on-screen navigation tools and preview tiles.

The new service also enables users to create customized maps by adding user-created pushpins, as well as annotate maps and share local search information with others. Users don’t need to know the address or name of a place to locate its whereabouts, but can simply point and click to get directions.

Driving directions can be enhanced to include information on construction areas and other helpful data. The service also includes enhanced printing options and a location finder for people using Wi-Fi with laptops and tablet PCs.

Source: News.com

Intel Announces Chip Technology Breakthrough

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Intel Corporation today announced development of a new, ultra-fast, yet very low power prototype transistor using new materials that could form the basis of its microprocessors and other logic products beginning in the second half of the next decade.

Intel and QinetiQ researchers have jointly demonstrated an enhancement-mode transistor using indium antimonide (chemical symbol: InSb) to conduct electrical current. Transistors control the flow of information/electrical current inside a chip. The prototype transistor is much faster and consumes less power than previously announced transistors. Intel anticipates using this new material to complement silicon, further extending Moore’s Law.

Significant power reduction at the transistor level, accompanied by a substantial performance increase, could play a crucial role in delivering future platforms to computer users by allowing an increased number of features and capabilities. Considerably less energy used and heat generated could add significant battery life for mobile devices and increase opportunities for building smaller more powerful products.

Yahoo Connects IM To Regular Phones

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Yahoo Inc. is entering a suddenly crowded field, offering Skype-like capabilities through its instant-messaging service that will let people dial regular phone numbers using their computers or receive calls from conventional phones.

The company has not set a firm date for the availability of the new paid features to the mostly free Yahoo Messenger service but indicated the launch was imminent.

Yahoo’s addition of computer-to-phone capabilities follows a similar retooling of the rival AOL Instant Messenger service from Time Warner Inc. in October.

Yahoo’s new “Phone Out” option enables users to call regular and mobile phones for one cent per minute in the United States and two cents a minute to about 30 other countries, including calls to Argentina, Australia, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Korea.

On the flip side, users can sign up for a traditional phone number to receive unlimited calls to their computers from anywhere for a monthly fee of $3 or an annual payment of about $30.

The same services at Skype, which was acquired by Internet auctioneer eBay Inc. for $2.6 billion in October, are 2.3 cents per minute for computer-to-phone calls to about 25 countries including the United States, and about $35 a year for a SkypeIn phone number to receive calls.

Source: AP

Creative Zen Vision M Revealed

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A day before it’s London debut Creative Japan unveiled the much anticipated Creative Zen Vision: M.

The product, which is a bit of a mouthful, if you please, is indeed green and white (though it also comes in black and white as well as all white), has a 30GB hard drive, a 320×240 pixel, 2.5-inch screen with and plays MP3 and WMA-DRM audio files. But, as you may have guessed, it also plays 4 hours of video (or image playback) in MPEG-1/2/4, WMV, Motion JPEG, DivX 4/5 and Xvid formats. And like all the zen players it has FM tuner and voice recorder.

Related: Creative Officially launched Zen Vision:M

Source: Gizmodo

Study: Google Users Have More Money

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The longer people have been using the Internet, the more likely it is that they’ll use Google, study finds

U.S. residents who prefer Google Inc.’s search engine tend to be richer and have more Internet experience than those who primarily use competing search services from Microsoft Corp., Yahoo Inc. and America Online Inc., a new study has found.

The longer people have been using the Internet, the more likely it is that Google will be their search engine of choice, according to a survey of 1,000 U.S. Internet users conducted by investment banking and research firm S.G. Cowen & Co. LLC.

Moreover, people whose primary search engine is Google are more likely to have household incomes above US$60,000 than people who use competing search engines, according to the survey, whose results S.G. Cowen published in a report Monday.

Google also emerged as the search engine of choice, with 52 percent of respondents choosing it as their primary engine for general Web searches. Yahoo came in second with 22 percent, while Microsoft’s MSN and AOL tied for third place with 9 percent. Ask Jeeves Inc. rounded out the top five with 5 percent. (Google powers AOL’s general Web searches.)

If Google users are wealthier and savvier online, and if Google is the search engine of choice for more than half of U.S. Internet users, then these survey results reinforce the notion among many businesses that it is critical for them to appear in Google search results or Google search ads or both, more so than in competing search engines.

Source: InfoWorld

New Sony CD security risk found

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sony BMG Music Entertainment and the Electronic Frontier Foundation digital rights group jointly announced Tuesday that they had found, and fixed, a new computer security risk associated with some of the record label’s CDs.

The danger is associated with copy-protection software included on some Sony discs created by a company called SunnComm Technologies. The vulnerability could allow malicious programmers to gain control of computers that have run the software, which is typically installed automatically when a disc is put in a computer’s CD drive.

The issue affects a different set of CDs than the ones involved in the copy-protection gaffe that led Sony to recall 4.7 million CDs last month, and which has triggered several lawsuits against the record label.

EFF asked computer security company iSec Partners to study the SunnComm copy protection technology, which Sony said has been distributed with 27 of its CDs in the United States. iSec found the hole announced Tuesday and notified Sony, but news of the risk was not released until SunnComm had created a patch.

Sony said another security company, NGS Software, has tested the patch and certified that it addresses the vulnerability.

The patch can be downloaded from Sony’s site. A list of the CDs affected in the United States, and a slightly different list in Canada, is also posted on the site.

Source: ZDNet

180solutions upgrades security

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Fewer people will unwittingly download advertising software from adware maker 180solutions, the company said Tuesday as it launched a new software product that detects fraud more effectively than earlier offerings.

For years, critics have accused Bellevue, Wash.-based 180solutions, which pays people to distribute ad-supported software that displays advertisements, of making it easy for hackers to download the software without a computer user’s knowledge. While the company has argued that the fault rested with the lawbreakers and not the software, it has continued to bolster security in recent months.

“Today’s announcement is the culmination of many months of hard work focused on building technology that is more resistant to unauthorized, nonconsensual installations of our software,” Keith Smith, CEO and co-founder of 180solutions, said in a statement.

In addition to launching the new Seekmo Search Assistant, which will notify 180solutions of fraudulent downloads, the company announced that it will do away with 180search Assistant, one of its more controversial products.

Source: News.com

South Korea Watchdog Fines Microsoft $32M

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

South Korean antitrust regulators on Wednesday ruled that Microsoft Corp. abused its market dominance, fined it $32 million, and ordered the software giant to offer alternative versions of Windows. Microsoft said it will fight the decision in court.

The Korea Fair Trade Commission found Microsoft’s practice of tying certain software to Windows constitutes an “abuse of market dominant position and unfair trade practices,” Kang Chul-kyu, the commission’s chairman, told reporters.

The ruling comes after the U.S. software giant reached separate settlements with companies that then withdrew the complaints that led to the investigation. The companies had complained that Microsoft violated trade rules by tying its instant messenger software to Windows.

The commission ordered Microsoft to offer two versions of Windows in South Korea within 180 days.

One version must be stripped of the Windows Media Player and Windows Messenger software, while the other version must come with links to Web pages that allow consumers to download competing versions of such software, the commission said.

Source: AP

New IM worm chats with its intended victims

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A new worm that targets users of America Online’s AOL Instant Messenger is believed to be the first that actually chats with the intended victim to dupe the target into activating a malicious payload, IM security vendor IMlogic warned Tuesday.

According to IMlogic, the worm, dubbed IM.Myspace04.AIM, has arrived in instant messages that state: “lol thats cool” and included a URL to a malicious file “clarissa17.pif.” When unsuspecting users have responded, perhaps asking if the attachment contained a virus, the worm has replied: “lol no its not its a virus”, IMlogic said.

The malicious file disables security software, installs a backdoor and tweaks system files, the company said. Then it starts sending itself to contacts on the victim’s buddy list.

But the worm is programmed so that the infected user cannot see the messages that are being sent out by the worm, according to IMlogic.

Source: News.com

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