12/15/2005

Google, Microsoft to Fund New Internet Lab

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are setting aside their bitter animosity to back a new Internet research laboratory aimed at helping entrepreneurs introduce more groundbreaking ideas to a mass audience.

Sun Microsystems Inc. also is joining the $7.5 million project at the University of California, Berkeley. The Reliable, Adaptive and Distributed Systems, or RAD, lab was scheduled to open Thursday and will dole out $1.5 million annually over five years, with each company contributing equally.

Staffed initially by six UC Berkeley faculty members and 10 computer science graduates, the lab plans to develop an array of Web-based software services that will be given away to anyone who wants it.

Conceivably, the lab’s services could help launch another revolutionary company like online auctioneer eBay Inc. or even Google, which has emerged as one of the world’s most valuable companies just seven years after its inception in a Silicon Valley garage.

Source: AP

Google to Launch Music Content Feature

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Online search engine leader Google Inc. will begin giving some musical artists the star treatment by spotlighting links to their songs, lyrics and other related material at the top of the results page.

The music section, scheduled to debut Thursday, is designed to provide a more direct route to the content that most music fans want to see when they inquire about a singer or band, said Marissa Mayer, Google’s director of Web products. “We are addressing a deficiency in our Web search,” she said.

The music section is similar in concept and placement to other special sections Google has created to make it easier to find information about airline flights, express freight shipments, news stories, movies and weather.

Among other things, Google’s music section will provide lists of all the songs recorded on a specific album and also will point to places where the music can be legally downloaded. Google is working with several online libraries to make sure its song list remains up to date.

Unlike Yahoo Inc., Mountain View, Calif.-based Google has no plans to create a music library of its own, Mayer said. Google also won’t collect a referral fee if its visitors click on the new music section and go on to buy songs from one of the linked libraries.

Source: AP

Anti-spyware Battles Rootkits with Rootkit Tactics

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Anti-spyware software companies are adding features to their products that spot rootkits and other malicious programs that operate at the Windows “kernel,” or core processing center.

The new kernel-mode features are a response to new, sophisticated spyware.

However, they have raised warnings from security analysts about instability in Windows and conflicts with anti-virus programs that also work at the kernel level.

Aluria Software of Lake Mary, Fla., became the latest anti-spyware vendor to add kernel-mode features.

The company, which is owned by EarthLink Inc., announced Active Defense Shield on Monday.

The technology installs a kernel driver that hooks into a computer’s system driver, which controls the processes executing on that machine, Aluria said in a statement.

The software can spot malicious code, no matter how it enters a computer, and can stop programs before they install, said Rick Carlson, a vice president for sales and marketing at Aluria.

“We’re hooking into the OS and monitoring every read and write command given to the file system by the operating system,” he said.

Aluria is responding to a new generation of spyware that uses kernel rootkit features to avoid detection.

Source: eWeek

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