Sex.com Sold For $14M

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The infamous and controversial domain Sex.com has officially been sold to Boston-based Escom LLC for a reported $14 million, XBiz has learned.

Sex.com owner Gary Kremen was unavailable for comment, but a source from Kremen’s company, Grant Media, told XBiz that sales for the famous domain name will still be handled through Grant Media’s San Francisco offices.

While other terms of the acquisition remain unknown, XBiz was able to locate information on the deal through a company called InternetRealEstate.com, which shares office space in Boston with Domain Name Acquisition Group (DNAG), a company that was involved in a lawsuit surrounding the Sex.com domain in September.

Source: xbiz

EBay plans instant-buying service

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

EBay Inc. on Wednesday said it had unveiled a new instant-purchase service to supplement its bid-and-wait online auctions, pitting the company directly against conventional e-commerce retailers.

Bill Cobb, president of eBay North America, said in a memo to eBay users on Wednesday that the new service — to be called eBay Express when launched this spring — aims to broaden the range of products shoppers can expect to buy on eBay.

EBay also disclosed changes to the fees it charges in the United States for listing items on eBay.com, raising by around 8 percent the percentage transaction fee that it charges on the value of goods between $25 and $975 in value. It said it would cut prices on low-priced items and other seller features.

Source: Reuters

Microsoft to offer production-ready Vista technologies

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Setting the stage for its planned Windows Vista desktop OS, Microsoft on Wednesday will release production-ready versions of Web services and workflow technologies slated for inclusion in Vista.

The vendor will offer “Go-Live” versions of Windows Communication Foundation, which is Microsoft’s Web services technology, and Windows Workflow Foundation, which provides a workflow engine. Windows Communication Foundation formerly was known by the code name Indigo.

These two technologies and the Windows Presentation Foundation technology for building rich client interfaces are part of Microsoft’s WinFX managed code framework. The Go-Live licenses will be included as part of a January Community Technology Preview of WinFX on the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN).

Although the two technologies are still classified as being in an early release phase, they can be used in production environments, said Ari Bixhorn, director of Web services strategy at Microsoft.

Source: infoworld

Firefox ’s Ping Attribute: Useful or Spyware?

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Mozilla Team has quietly enabled a new feature in Firefox that parses ‘ping’ attributes to anchor tags in HTML. Now links can have a ‘ping’ attribute that contains a list of servers to notify when you click on a link. Although link tracking has been done using redirects and Javascript, this new “feature” allows notification of an unlimited and uncontrollable number of servers for every click, and it is not noticeable without examining the source code for a link before clicking it.

Source: Slashdot

Universal Music opens vaults for digital downloads

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Universal Music, the world’s biggest record label, is digging deep into its vaults to release download-only recordings from its vast back catalog.

The company said on Wednesday it is embarking on a program to digitise 100,000 out of print 1European recordings, beginning with 3,000 British, French and German albums from artists such as Marianne Faithfull, Brian Auger and Brigitte Bardot.

“Over the next three to four years, we aim to reissue perhaps as many as 10,000 albums for downloading, which amounts to more than 100,000 tracks,” said Barney Wragg, senior vice president of Universal Music Group International’s eLabs division. “This program will offer material that, in some cases, goes back to the early days of recorded music.”

The digitised songs, many of which have only been published on vinyl LPs, will then go to Universal’s online music partners such as Apple’s iTunes Music Store.

Source: Reuters

McAfee Granted Patent for Verifying the Installations

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

McAfee, Inc., (NYSE: MFE) today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted the company U.S. Patent No. 6,978,454 entitled “Checking Computer Program Installation,” which covers various structures, programs and processes for detecting characteristics indicative of proper installation of a computer program. Specifically, the invention reviews registry entries or files to verify that the computer program is properly installed.

According to a specific example of the patented technology, predetermined data characterizing correct installation of a computer program is first identified and then a detection operation is carried out. Such a detection operation produces a detection result that describes registry entries or files which were made or stored, respectively, in conjunction with the installation of the computer program. To this end, the predetermined data may be compared with the detection result to verify the correct installation of the computer program. To facilitate proper checking, the predetermined data may further specify a relationship between registry entries that corresponds to the correct installation of the computer program.

Oracle Plugs 82 Database, Server Holes

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Oracle Corp. has released a “moderately critical” batch of patches to plug a total of 82 security vulnerabilities in several database and server products.

As part of its quarterly critical patch update release cycle, the Redwood City, Calif.-based vendor shipped fixes that could put customers at risk of data manipulation, system exposure and SQL injection attacks.

The bulk of the patches address flaws in the flagship Oracle Database, Oracle Collaboration Suite and the Oracle Application Server. A large number of vulnerabilities were also fixed in the Oracle Developer Suite, Oracle Enterprise Manage, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and PeopleSoft Enterprise Portal.

Source: eWeek

Adult Studio Picks Blu-ray

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

You knew it was going to happen. There were already been pornographic titles announced for HD-DVD at CES, but Xbiz reports Digital Playground is the first adult film studio to publicly align itself with one of the next-generation disc formats - and they’ve picked Blu-ray.

Digital Playground, like many companies, realizes Blu-ray and HD-DVD are so similar and choosing between them hasn’t been simple. Ultimately, though, the promised install base from PlayStation 3 and Blu-ray’s security functions won them over. “They’e pretty similar in every other way,” Digital Playground co-founder Joone said. “We went with Blu-ray because storage and security are the main issues for us.”

Source: 1Up

Lockheed Martin Awarded $18 Million for Israeli F-16 Flight Trainer

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Israeli Ministry of Defense has awarded Lockheed Martin an $18 million Foreign Military Funds (FMF) commercial contract to provide a Flight and Systems Trainer (FST) for Israeli F-16I pilot training. This trainer will be used to familiarize Israeli aircrews with the performance of the latest F-16 Block 50 aircraft.

The F-16 FST provides flight, emergency procedures, aircraft systems operation, and tactical and weapon systems training. Lockheed Martin will provide hardware and software to simulate the F-16I aircraft systems, sensors, weapons and flight dynamics. In addition, Lockheed Martin will provide an Instructor Operator Station, debrief capability and synthetic environment. A software development capability is also being provided by Lockheed Martin to enable the Government of Israel to update the FST after it is delivered.

The Government of Israel has separately procured the avionics simulation, cockpit and visual system, which will be provided to Lockheed Martin as Government of Israel furnished equipment. Lockheed Martin will integrate and test all subsystems before shipping the complete FST to Israel for installation.

“The realism of the FST will provide Israeli Air Force pilots training that builds skills and instincts required of combat pilots,” said Bill Baginski, Lockheed Martin F-16I FST program manager.

Successfully fielded in 2003 by Lockheed Martin, the FST for the F-15I has been in continuous operation and providing superb training capability meeting the needs of the Israeli Air Force. The F-16I FST, when delivered, will be co-located with the F15I FST at an Israel Air Force Base.

Consumer group calls for anti-DRM laws

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A UK-based consumer rights group has called for MPs to introduce new laws to ensure consumers’ rights to use digital content are protected. The use of digital rights management technology on CDs, DVDs and music downloads to control or restrict the use of copyrighted digital works shows that the current regime of self-regulation is failing to protect consumers’ rights, according to the National Consumer Council (NCC).

In a submission to an All Party Internet Group (APIG) inquiry into the subject, the NCC highlights the controversial use of rootkit-style DRM technology by Sony/BMG in arguing that industry can’t be trusted to act alone. The NCC reckons DRM constrains the legitimate consumer use of digital content, for example, by preventing consumers from playing DVDs they’ve bought abroad or in making compilations of material they have purchased for their own use. These restrictions undermine consumers’ existing rights under consumer protection and data protection laws.

Source: The Register

MS says no to Xbox 360 Blu-ray support

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft may not offer an external Blu-ray Disc drive for the Xbox 360 after all. The software giant this week said it remains “fully committed” to HD DVD and has “absolutely no plans to support other optical formats”.

The company’s stance is detailed in an official statement made this week in response to comments earlier this month by Peter Moore, head of Microsoft’s entertainment division. Moore indicated that if Microsoft could add an external HD DVD drive to the console, it could just as easily offer an external Blu-ray box.

Source: Reuters

Satellite radio goes far out in US

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

With its lack of adverts and abundance of profanity, satellite radio in the United States has transformed in four short years from novelty product to mainstream phenomenon.

The rise of satellite radio is most obviously reflected in the dramatic subscriber figures of the two US companies that pioneered the service in 2001, XM and Sirius.

By the end of 2003, they enjoyed a combined total of just over one million subscribers. That figure ballooned to more than four million in 2004 and nine million last year, with an estimate for 2006 of 15 million.

One of the greatest spurs to growth was the 2004 coup when Sirius lured frank-talking radio host Howard Stern away from terrestrial radio giant CBS.

Since signing Stern, who was infuriated by corporate pressure over the more graphic — and usually sexual — content of his show, Sirius has seen its base grow from 600,000 to 3.3 million people.

Source: AFP

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