Ads Reach Google’s Front Page

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Advertisements now appear on the home page of a Google Inc. Internet search engine, thus ending the company’s nearly decade-long tradition of an ad-free front page.

Google’s Web site in Belarusian, has three sponsored links taking up an inch-wide column of the right-hand side of the Web browser.

This is a sign of the new era for Google, one in which a portion of its once-pristine front page will be sold to advertisers a pixel at a time, as Internet search competitors Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp.’s MSN now do.

There are more advertising-related changes to come, Google indicates, including small-size ads with images that are also expected to appear soon. Banner and other kinds of larger-scale ads may soon also appear on the Web sites hosting Google’s video and picture search.

The new look of Google’s front pages may be attributed, in part, to compromises Google is rumored to have made recently in order to keep America Online Inc. from defecting to rival Microsoft Corp.

Google PR responded to this article, saying that:

This site (http://google.by) is not owned, operated or controlled by Google.
We are aware of this site and our legal counsel is investigating the matter.

Source: eWeek

The Antispyware Consipiracy

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Since the release of the first antivirus products many people have believed in a conspiracy theory where antivirus companies generate their own market by paying virus writers to develop and release viruses. I don’t subscribe to that theory and trust the major security vendors, but recent trends show that there’s a fuzzy line between second-tier antispyware vendors and the malware they clean.

The most innocuous of malware-like antimalware behaviors is to advertise with web site banners and popups that mislead average users into thinking that they have a malware problem. Most of the advertisements look like Windows error dialogs complete with Yes and No buttons, and although the word “advertisement? sometimes appears on the dialog background, the notice is usually small, faded and far from the area where users focus their attention. Even more unlike Windows dialogs, however, is the fact that clicking anywhere on the image, even the part that looks like a No button, results in the browser following the underlying link to the target page.

Mark Russinovich from Sysinternals has a very interesting look on the subject Read more.

Sony Announces EverQuest Prophecy of Ro

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sony Online Entertainment Inc. today announced EverQuest Prophecy of Ro, a new expansion for the incredibly popular PC Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG), EverQuest. EverQuest Prophecy of Ro is scheduled to be available at retail and for digital download from Sony Online Entertainment in February.

“EverQuest Prophecy of Ro will give players the opportunity to interact with and transform the online world of Norrath like never before,” said Chris Sturr, Sr. Brand Manager, Sony Online Entertainment. “In addition to a variety of new features, EverQuest Prophecy of Ro continues the fascinating storyline as new and old players alike explore, battle and adventure through EverQuest on more than 30 new missions encountering new creatures and environments throughout the journey.”

Players will be able to interact with the world thanks to three new features. The first, spheres of influence, can be used to thwart your enemies or aid allies. The second feature is a trap system that will let players deceive opponents with player-set traps. And for the first time in EverQuest, players will be able to destroy objects in the world; doors can be bashed in, walls can be toppled and towers can be destroyed, leading to a new level of interactivity within the game and opening up a new realm of design.

Disney adds more shows for Apple’s iTunes

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Walt Disney Co. is adding content from its ESPN channel and ABC sports to the shows it already sells on Apple Computer Inc.’s market-leading iTunes online music and video store.

Walt Disney said on Tuesday that the content will include condensed versions of all four U.S. Bowl Championship Series college football games this season, as well as content from ABC Entertainment, Touchstone Television, ABC Family, ABC News, Buena Vista Television, the Disney Channel and SOAPnet.

Also, free ad-supported video podcasts from ABC News will be available, including daily segments from “Good Morning America” and the “World News Tonight” webcast, Disney said.

Source: Reuters

Internet Fraudsters To Pay $2.3m

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Two internet geeks who made a fortune by misleading net users must pay $2.3million, after a court found they flagrantly broke copyright laws in an elaborate scam.

Brad Norrish and Chesley Rafferty were the brains behind a massive operation to copy personal information from 2.2million websites on a UK domain-name register in January 2003.

They used the information to send authentic-looking notices to 50,000 website owners, telling them to pay a fee or risk losing their domain name.

Source: The Australian

Kodak’s New Digital Camera Offers Two Views

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Eastman Kodak announced Tuesday that its new V570 digital camera, with both an optical zoom and a wide angle lens, will be available this month for $400.

Kodak is billing the V570 as the world’s first dual-lens camera. The V570, capable of 5-megapixel shots, will be on display this week at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, according to a company news release.

The V570 has a 39-millimeter to 120-mm optical zoom and a 23-mm wide angle lens, part of its Retina Dual Lens technology.

Using what it calls the “ultra-wide view” in panorama scene mode, the V570 will automatically compile a 180-degree photo by combining three separate ones, Kodak says.

The V570 is less than an inch thick, and photos are viewable through a 2.5 inch LCD. The V570 will also record TV-quality video at up to 30 frames per second using MPEG-4 compression, Kodak says.

Source: PC World

D-Link and Skype Enable Internet Calls Using Reg Phones

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

D-Link and Skype today introduced the D-Link Skype USB phone adapter that allows consumers to use their existing corded or cordless telephone to take advantage of Skype’s free calling features.

The D-Link Skype USB phone adapter (DPH-50U) lets users accept both regular telephone and Skype calls from the same phone for added flexibility. When consumers are talking on a traditional telephone line and receive an incoming Skype call, they can easily switch lines to take the Skype call or vice versa, just like a typical call-waiting feature.

Conference calls can also be connected between ordinary telephone lines and Skype. For added convenience, the D-Link Skype USB phone adapter includes a lighted display to indicate whether an incoming call is from a traditional telephone or from a Skype user.

The D-Link Skype USB phone adapter is PC compatible, and includes two RJ-11 ports and a USB port to conveniently connect an ordinary phone line, telephone and computer. Since the adapter receives power from the computer through the USB cable, it does not require an additional power supply. The included software installs in minutes and allows users to easily and completely manage their Skype contact list and calling features. The D-Link Skype USB phone adapter can be configured to forward incoming Skype calls to another destination such as a cell phone so that users never miss a call while away from their PC.

The D-Link Skype USB phone adapter (DPH-50) will be available globally at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $69.99.

Microsoft To Release WMF Fix On Jan 10′th

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft has completed development of the security update for the vulnerability. The security update is now being localized and tested to ensure quality and application compatibility. Microsoft’s goal is to release the update on Tuesday, January 10, 2006, as part of its monthly release of security bulletins. This release is predicated on successful completion of quality testing.

The update will be released worldwide simultaneously in 23 languages for all affected versions of Windows once it passes a series of rigorous testing procedures. It will be available on Microsoft’s Download Center, as well as through Microsoft Update and Windows Update. Customers who use Windows’ Automatic Updates feature will be delivered the fix automatically.

Roam Freely Between Home and Wireless Phone

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) today broke down the barrier between traditional home and wireless phone service. The innovative new Motorola Residential Seamless Mobility Gateway (RSG) lets consumers use the same mobile device – and the same number – as they roam in and out of their homes.

The Motorola RSG family of products packs powerful communication features for your home. The product includes an 802.11b/g wireless access point, a four-port router, and a built-in Voice-over-IP adapter. This technology allows the RSG to run your home network, power standard telephones, and act as a hotspot for your mobile phone.

Further, the Motorola RSG can seamlessly transfer voice calls between the home wireless network (WLAN) and the cellular network without interrupting the call, when paired with a dual-mode handset (DMH) and connected to a network and service that supports this feature. Dual-mode handsets are mobile devices that can access both cellular and in-home wireless networks.

Motorola RSG products give consumers freedom for personal communications: The products eliminate the hassle of finding a good reception zone in the home, and of managing separate bills, individual calling plans, or “bonus? minutes. Consumers can simply dial a number, and the intelligence in the gateway will automatically route the call to the best available network or service option.

Google PC to Hit Walmart?

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

According to latimes.com Google is set to launch the Google PC which will run Google’s own operating system. From the article: ‘Sources say Google has been in negotiations with Wal-Mart Stores Inc., among other retailers, to sell a Google PC. The machine would run an operating system created by Google, not Microsoft’s Windows, which is one reason it would be so cheap — perhaps as little as a couple of hundred dollars.

Source: Slashdot

Starz to launch movie downloads service

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Cable network Starz Entertainment Group LLC said it plans to launch an Internet movie download service on Tuesday, backed by partnerships with Microsoft and Sony, amid a race to offer more videos over high-speed Internet connections.

The service, called Vongo, follows the debut of Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes video service, which ignited interest across the media sector to make more video programming available at any time and anywhere outside of the living room.

Vongo is not the first movie download service — CinemaNow Inc. and the Hollywood studios-backed Movielink have been around for about five years.

But it is one of the first to offer a rotating slate of feature films, which currently play on its cable channel, on PCs and portable media devices for a monthly fee.

Collectively, these services remain a tiny portion of all movie viewing and it remains to be seen whether media consumers will take to watching feature-length programming on tiny portable screens, one media analyst said.

Source: Reuters

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