12/28/2005

Dead or Alive 4 Goes Live Dec. 29

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Tecmo confirms that its Xbox 360 fighting game will be in major retailers nationwide just in time for New Year’s.

Tecmo always said that Dead or Alive 4 would be in stores during the 2005 holiday season, and now it’s official: The company today announced that the game will ship to major retailers nationwide on Thursday, December 29.

Source: gamespot

European satellite launch challenges GPS

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The European Union launched its first Galileo navigation satellite on Wednesday, moving to challenge the United States’ Global Positioning System (GPS).

Russian space agency Roskosmos said the 600 kg (1,300 lb) satellite named Giove-A (Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element) went into its orbit 23,000 km (15,000 miles) from the earth after its launch on a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in the middle of Kazakhstan’s steppe.

“The launch of Giove is the proof that Europe can deliver ambitious projects to the benefit of its citizens and companies,” said EU Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot in a statement.

The 3.6 billion-euro ($4.27-billion) Galileo programme, due to go into service in 2008 and eventually deploy 30 satellites, may end Europe’s reliance on the GPS and offer a commercial alternative to the GPS system run by the U.S. military.

“Radio-navigation based on Galileo will be a feature of everyday life, helping to avoid traffic jams and tracking dangerous cargos,” Barrot said.

The GPS is currently the only worldwide system offering services ranging from driver assistance to search-and-rescue help. Critics say its services for civilians offer less precision than those for military or intelligence purposes.

Galileo’s accuracy in positioning is to be one meter (3 feet) or less, while the GPS’s precision is more than 5 metres.

EU officials also say Galileo would never be switched off for strategic reasons, which might be the case with the GPS.

Source: Reuters

Marriott Lost 206,000 Personal Records With Financial Info

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Marriott Vacation Club International (MVCI) this week admitted that data relating to 206,000 of its partners, employees and customers has disappeared. The missing tape storage holds individuals’ credit card account information and Social Security numbers. The likes of Citibank, Bank of America and Time Warner all confessed this year to losing tape drives with crucial data as well.

鈥淲e regret this situation has occurred and realize this may cause concern for our associates and customers,鈥? said Stephen Weisz, MVCI’s president. 鈥淲e have recently mailed notifications to associates, timeshare owners and timeshare customers and are available to answer any questions they may have.鈥?

MVCI has told the affected that it will pay for a credit monitoring service.

Source: The Register

Hacker Pleads Guilty To Infecting 20,000 Computers With A Worm

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

An Oregon man pleaded guilty to using a “worm” program to take control of 20,000 computers via the Internet and launch an attack on auction website eBay in 2003, US prosecutors said.

Anthony Clark, 21, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of at least 250,000 dollars, according to Luke Macaulay of the US Attorney’s Office.

Clark and accomplices unleashed a “worm” program that burrowed into computers with Microsoft Windows operating systems and turned the machines into obedient “bots”, Macaulay said.

When Clark gave the commands, the bots launched online attacks on eBay and other websites, according to prosecutors.

The drone computers jammed the websites with requests, overloading them in what is called a denial-of-service attack, because it results in legitimate users being shut out, according to prosecutors.

Clark was arrested as part of a “Botnet” investigation by the US Secret Service and the US Attorney’s Office, Macaulay said.

Clark pleaded guilty in a federal court in the Silicon Valley city of San Jose on Tuesday, prosecutors said.

Source: AFP

Microsoft, Softbank in Japanese VoIP deal

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft, Softbank BB and Japan Telecom announced a partnership Wednesday to develop communication services that combine Internet telephony, e-mail, Internet access, instant messaging and other services.

The companies said they plan to begin trials of the integrated services in the spring of 2006 and eventually offer them to business customers.

Source: News.com

Massachusetts CIO Resigns Over OpenDocument

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Peter Quinn, the man responsible for bringing OpenDocument to the state of Massachusetts as CIO, will resign on Jan. 9, citing the controversy around the decision as well as personal attacks aimed at him as reasons for his departure.

No announcement has been made as to a replacement. However, Quinn did stress to employees of the state’s Information Technology Division (ITD) that just because he was leaving, it did not mean that Massachusetts’ progress towards ODF was ending.

The move to standardize on the OpenDocument format for all electronic documents in Massachusetts began on Sept. 1, when the proposal was first approved. The plan was quickly attacked by Microsoft, which called it “inconsistent and discriminatory.”

Microsoft has since submitted its new Office Open XML formats to Ecma International for standardization.

Source: eWeek

Google Clamps Down on Its Classifieds Feature

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sometime last week, search giant Google Inc. did something that seems rather innocuous to Google Base, its free feature for searching classified ads, event notices and other content contributed by Google’s registered users.

But like just about anything Google does, simple upgrades seem to have profound impacts and contain big hints of Google’s next big thing.

The Mountain View, Calif., Internet giant recently unveiled a Google Base self-reporting feature for bad sites, one that mimics those used by Craigslist and other pioneering online searchable references that are based entirely on contributions from the public at-large.

It also added a new step in the Google Base process. When clicking on a Google Base search result, users now travel to a Web site under Google’s control, which has a version of the listing Google generated. Users have the option of clicking on a link to visit the listing’s originating site.

Source: eWeek

Trump, “Penis Patch” in list of top 2005 junk mail

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Ads mentioning real estate tycoon Donald Trump and those hawking “Penis Patch” body enhancements were among the top 10 junk e-mails in 2005, according to America Online.

Noticeably absent? Porn.

“Porn is passe when it comes to spam,” Nicholas Graham, an AOL spokesman said.

Sexually suggestive e-mails took another tumble this year after slipping in popularity last year.

More than a half-trillion junk e-mails, known as spam, were blocked by AOL filters, slightly above 2004 levels, the company said. The number of junk e-mails reported by AOL’s 26 million members worldwide has declined about 75 percent since 2003.

Source: Reuters

Xbox 360 Powers All-New Nissan URGE Concept Car

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Nissan North America Inc. (NNA) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) have merged automobile design and gaming technology to create the first-ever fully integrated gaming system within a vehicle. Conceived by Nissan Design America Inc. (NDA) and equipped with the Xbox 360 next-generation video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the Nissan URGE concept car allows drivers (while parked) to play “Project Gotham Racing 3″ using the car’s own steering wheel, gas pedal and brake pedal while viewing the game on a flip-down seven-inch LCD screen. “PGR(R) 3″ is developed exclusively for Xbox 360 by Bizarre Creations Ltd. for Microsoft Game Studios.

Extremely critical Flaw In Windows WMF And IE

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A vulnerability has been discovered in Microsoft Windows, which can be exploited by malicious people to compromise a vulnerable system.

Security web site Secunia rates this flaw as Extremely Critical, the highest rating possible.

The vulnerability is caused due to an error in the handling of corrupted Windows Metafile files (”.wmf”). This can be exploited to execute arbitrary code by tricking a user into opening a malicious “.wmf” file in “Windows Picture and Fax Viewer” or previewing a malicious “.wmf” file in explorer (i.e. selecting the file). This can also be exploited automatically when a user visits a malicious web site using Microsoft Internet Explorer.

The vulnerability has been confirmed on a fully patched system running Microsoft Windows XP SP2. Microsoft Windows XP SP1 and Microsoft Windows Server 2003 SP0 / SP1 are reportedly also affected. Other platforms may also be affected.

French Security Incident Response Team published the exploit code and is being exploited in the wild.

To protect yourself from this flaw, do not open or preview untrusted “.wmf” files and set security level to “High” in Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Google Faces Patent Infringement Lawsuit Over Google Talk

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District of New York.

The suit includes two causes of action for patent infringement against Google.

Rates Technology says that two patents they hold (awarded in 1995, 2001) for minimizing the cost of long distance calls using the Internet are being infringed upon by Google Talk. Copies of these two patents along with one more mentioned in the filing are included in the complaint.

Rates Technology is asking for a jury trial along with: Enforcement of the patents, Damages including the loss of profits so provide a royalty, A preliminary injuction against Google and Attorney’s fees

Source: search engine watch

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