1/12/2006

Verizon Prevents Treo Use As 3G Modem

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

So you just bought a Windows Mobile Treo with EV-DO service and you want to use it as a modem for your laptop? Forget it. Verizon Wireless says you must buy a second 3G subscription and they have the technology to back it up.

Specifically, while the device, which has well-reviewed, comes with Bluetooth, Verizon has disabled the Bluetooth dial-up networking capability that would enable the Treo 700w to act as a modem for laptops. That means subscribers who buy the Treo 700w and a $50 monthly subscription for EV-DO service on that device must purchase a second subscription for $60 monthly, plus an EV-DO card to access the Web using a laptop.

According to Verizon, the Treo doesn’t currently meet requirements they specify for their network. Russ Brankley, director of data network services for the cellular operator, said that the company hopes to enable modem functionality for the Treo in the third quarter of 2006 and expects, but would not commit, to the fix being backward compatible with existing units.

“We have a history of taking care of our customers,” Brankley said.

Brankley also added that, while the capability might be enabled in the future, users will still have to pay more for the capability, although it likely will be less than the $60 monthly fee for EV-DO service. He said the specific fee will depend on the service plan the user selects.

Source: personaltechpipeline.com

Windows support program bent to fit

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft’s Windows maintenance program is in the spotlight as the company has admitted to bending its support rules over security while cutting support to users of Windows XP Home Edition early.

The company has said it will, in future, release security updates for products that would normally not receive updates as they’d exceed Microsoft’s stated support lifecycle.
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Microsoft said it is now matching the date that a product support cycle ends with its regular monthly security update release cycle, known as “Black Tuesday”.

The change comes four years after Microsoft standardized its Windows support policy, introducing three phases called “mainstream”, “extended” and “self help” that last five, five and up to eight years after a product’s introduction.

Mainstream support delivers free security and hot fixes, while extended support maintains security fixes but ends hot fixes and free support. After that, users are on their own and must search Microsoft’s knowledge base and web casts for answers.

Microsoft said the change provided “greater consistency and predictability for customers”.

Meanwhile, millions of consumers running Windows XP Home Edition will see an end to all support three-years ahead of those running Windows XP Professional despite both operating systems becoming generally available at the same time.

While Microsoft is pushing out mainstream support for Windows XP Home Edition to two years after the shipment of successor Windows Vista, due in the second half of 2006, Windows XP Home Edition will not receive extended support.

That potentially means an end to all support for Window XP Home Edition at the end of 2008, while Windows XP Professional edition should continue until the end of 2013.

Source: The Register

MasterCard kicks off data security push

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

MasterCard International launched an initiative on Wednesday to help credit card-accepting merchants tighten up their protection of sensitive consumer data.

The credit card association is working with merchants to provide them with information, tools and support to help safeguard consumer data, Chris Thom, MasterCard’s chief risk officer, said in a statement. It is part of a broader effort by MasterCard to safeguard payment systems and to improve security in commerce.

“This is a critical part of our strategy for ensuring security in the payments system,” Thom said.

The effort is designed to combat credit card fraud amid increasing concerns about identity theft.

A main component of the new initiative focuses on online transactions. MasterCard is providing lower rates to sellers who adopt MasterCard SecureCode, a program that allows cardholders to enter a security code similar to a PIN when they make online purchases.

Online merchants that support SecureCode will be eligible for rates comparable to those for face-to-face transactions, up to a 16 percent reduction, MasterCard said. Typically credit card companies charge merchants more for online transactions.

Source: News.com

802.11n Wi-Fi Groups Vote For Single Spec

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The battle over the future of the next generation of the Wi-Fi standard appears to be over. The group formed by the original three contending specifications has agreed to adopt the fourth, later specification.

The upshot? A final 802.11n proposal will now be submitted to the IEEE standards-setting organisation, possibly as early as next week.

802.11n is predicated on MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) techniques to boost bandwidth by an order of magnitude above the standard of today’s Wi-Fi networks. The technique makes use of “multi-path” interference that might once have been minimised to drive up the network’s range.

With a final proposal submitted by the IEEE Task Group, the specification should become a draft standard under the auspices of an IEEE Working Group before being finally ratified as a standard by the organisation.

Related: 802.11n (MIMO) Will Revolutionize Wireless Networking

Source: The Register

Symantec Provides Hiding Place For Rootkit

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Symantec has released an update to its popular Norton SystemWorks to fix a security problem that could be abused by cybercriminals to hide malicious software.

In the PC-tuning application, a feature called the Norton Protected Recycle Bin creates a hidden directory on Windows systems. The feature is meant to help people restore modified or deleted files, but the hidden folder might not be scanned during scheduled or manual virus scans, Symantec said in an advisory released Tuesday.

“This could potentially provide a location for an attacker to hide a malicious file on a computer,” Symantec said. The Cupertino, Calif., security provider is not aware of any attempts by hackers to conceal malicious code in the folder. “This update is provided proactively to eliminate the possibility of that type of activity,” it said.

Source: News.com

Nikon to stop making most film cameras

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Nikon, the Japanese camera maker, said Thursday that it would stop making most of its film cameras and lenses in order to focus on digital cameras.

The company, based in Tokyo, is the latest to join an industrywide shift toward digital photography, which has exploded in popularity. Rivals like Kodak and Canon have already shifted most of their camera production into digital products.

Nikon said it would halt production of all but two of its seven film cameras and would also stop making most lenses for those cameras. The company will halt production of the film camera models “one by one,” though it refused to specify when.

A company spokesman said Nikon made the decision because sales of film cameras have plunged. In the most recent fiscal year ended March 2005, Nikon said that film camera bodies accounted for 3 percent of the 180 billion yen ($1.5 billion) in sales at the company’s camera and imaging division. That is down from 16 percent the previous year.

Source: News.com

BlackBerry to support Google messaging

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

BlackBerry handheld devices will soon support the Google Talk instant-messaging and Google Local mapping programs, the maker of the devices said Thursday, as the Internet titan continues its push to put its services on mobile devices.

Financial details for the deal between Waterloo, Ontario-based Research in Motion Ltd. and search-engine leader Google Inc. were not disclosed.

Google Talk for BlackBerry will allow users to send and receive instant text messages with other Google Talk members while Google Local will let users view maps and satellite images, find local businesses and get driving directions on their handsets.

The instant-messaging service is expected to be available in the spring, and requires a Gmail e-mail account, but Google Local is available now. Both applications will be free, subject to any data-service rates.

Source: AP

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