1/19/2006

802.11n standard gets draft approval

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A faster Wi-Fi standard appears to be about a year away, after a task group unanimously approved a proposal for an update to the 802.11g standard.

The 802.11n task group of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers approved the first draft of the new standard at a meeting in Hawaii on Thursday. Passage of the draft required 75 percent of the group to approve, but the final vote was 184 to 0, with four abstentions. Final ratification of the standard is not expected until next year, and several revisions are expected to take place before that final standard is ratified.

802.11n will allow notebook users to connect to wireless access points at much faster speeds than currently available with 802.11g technology. It will use a technology called MIMO (multiple-in, multiple-out), which allows the chips to use multiple antennas that can each handle more than one data signal at a time. This is expected to improve the range and throughput of 802.11n products to the point where they should be able to send video content around a house without interrupted playback. Products with 802.11n chips will be able to work with older 802.11a/b/g products at their slower speeds.

Source: News.com

Disney in talks to buy Pixar Animation Studios

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Walt Disney Co. is in serious talks to buy Pixar Animation Studios Inc., the maker of the hit movies 鈥淭oy Story鈥? and 鈥淔inding Nemo鈥? among others, following months of exploring how to continue their profitable film distribution partnership, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Citing unnamed people familiar with the plan, the Journal said Disney would pay a nominal premium to Pixar鈥檚 current market value of $6.7 billion under the deal being discussed in a stock transaction that would make Pixar chief executive Steve Jobs the largest individual shareholder in Disney.

The Journal said the outcome of the talks isn鈥檛 certain, and that other options are possible.

Source: msnbc

PC virus celebrates 20th birthday

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Today, 19 January is the 20th anniversary for the appearance of the first PC virus. Brain, a boot sector virus, was let loose in January 1986. Brain spread via infected floppy disks and was a relatively innocuous nuisance in contrast with modern Trojan, rootkits and other malware. The appearance of the first Windows malware nonetheless set in train a chain of events that led up to today’s computer virus landscape.

Boot sector viruses ceased to appear when floppy discs went out of fashion but they continued to be a nuisance between 1986 to 1995, when internet technology started to penetrate the consumer market. These types of viruses relied on people to exchange infected discs and virus outbreaks often took months to spread.

Source: The Register

Israeli pilotless chopper takes to the sky

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Israel is known for its unmanned aircrafts and recently also its unmanned vehicles. A little less known is the attempt to develop an unmanned mini-helicopter that has been going on over the past seven years and has only recently become commercially available.

Developing an unmanned helicopter is a complex task; the main problems are maintaining the craft stable even in rough weather conditions and creating a simple interface for controlling the helicopter that will not require a long training period. Although pilotless helicopters have been in development for the last several years in the U.S. and around the world, the craft developed by the Israeli company Steadicopter is the cheapest, simplest and most versatile of its kind. The unique craft uses GPS, gyroscopes and various other “off-the-shelf” instrumentation to guide and control the helicopter. The craft can come in a variety of configurations that can fit military and security applications such as: mine detection, stealth scouting, border patrol and police surveillance, as well as civilian applications such as high voltage line inspection, media coverage and agriculture purposes.

Source: isracast

New open-source license targets DRM

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The new version of the most widely used open-source license takes a “highly aggressive” stance against the digital rights management software that’s widely favored in the entertainment industry, said Eben Moglen, general counsel for the Free Software Foundation.

At a two-day event here to launch the General Public License version 3, which governs use of countless free and open-source programs, Moglen said the license includes anti-DRM provisions that could put it in conflict with movie studios and even digital video recorder maker TiVo.

The draft states that GPL software cannot use “digital restrictions” on copyright material unless users can control them.

Source: ZDNet

Microsoft Releases SQL Server 2005 Java Driver

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday released a JDBC (Java DataBase Connectivity) Driver that allows developers to link Java applications to its SQL Server databases.

The driver is available free of charge to all SQL Server users. It hooks into both SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2000 from any Java application, application server or Java-enabled applet.

Source: eWeek

Intel loses market share to AMD

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Intel lost significant share to Advanced Micro Devices in the U.S. retail market in the fourth quarter, according to figures released Wednesday by Current Analysis.

Sales of Intel-based desktop PCs fell 22.3 percent during the fourth quarter, according to Current Analysis. As a result, sales of AMD-based desktops took the lead during the pivotal fourth-quarter holiday shopping season. AMD chips were found in 52.5 percent of desktop PCs sold in U.S. retail stores during that period.

Source: News.com

First Component of Office Live: A Web Mail Client?

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A Web-based e-mail client, tentatively called Office Live Mail, could be a key piece of Microsoft’s forthcoming Office Live software-as-a-service offering, according to a published report.

“Office Live Mail provides users with the ability to read and receive emails from any Internet-connected computer in the world. Ideal for those on the move, Office Live Mail can be accessed from either a web browser or Outlook 2000/2003. Here are some things to expect upon the release of the beta,” according to the LiveSide description.

Office Live Mail will be offered in two flavors, the posting on LiveSide said. Free accounts will provide users with 250 MB of storage, while paid, subscriber accounts will offer 2 GB of storage. Office Live mail will provide Outlook 2000 and Outlook 2003 access via HTTP as a “trial service,” the report said, and will allow users to read messages from their MSN Plus, MSN Premium and other POP accounts.

The new service also will allow users to assign up to 100 “favorite contact” or “Quickname” designations to e-mail buddies, the LiveSide said.

Source: microsoft watch

FBI publishes 2005 computer crime survey

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

he FBI has published their 2005 computer crime survey, with responses from over 2,000 public and private organizations located across four U.S. states.

The survey, published today and freely available as a PDF, provides some startling statistics on the state of computer security attacks and defense technologies used by all sizes of organizations.

Among the findings, nearly nine out of ten organizations experienced security incidents in the past year. Over 64% of respondents incurred a financial loss as a result of computer crime - yet only 9% reported these incidents to law enforcement. The United States and China top of the list as by far the worst offenders, together accounting as the source of more than half of all external intrusion attempts.

Source: Security Focus

Feds Want Google Search Logs

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Bush administration on Wednesday asked a federal judge to order Google to turn over a broad range of material from its closely guarded databases.

The move is part of a government effort to revive an Internet child protection law struck down two years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court. The law was meant to punish online pornography sites that make their content accessible to minors. The government contends it needs the Google data to determine how often pornography shows up in online searches.

In court papers filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Justice Department lawyers revealed that Google has refused to comply with a subpoena issued last year for the records, which include a request for 1 million random Web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period.

The Mountain View-based search and advertising giant opposes releasing the information on a variety of grounds, saying it would violate the privacy rights of its users and reveal company trade secrets, according to court documents.

Source: siliconvalley.com

South Korea To Develop Army Of Robots and RoboCops

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

South Korea is planning on developing an advanced line of robots for military and police use by the 2010 decade. A $34 million USD infusion of cash will spur development and result in robotic applications like security watchmen and eight-legged autonomous combat vehicles.

By the 2010s, Korea is expecting to see robots assisting police and the military, patrolling the neighborhoods and going on recon missions on the battlefield.

Source: Slashdot

Europe overtakes US as top PC market

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Global shipments of personal computers rose 15.3 percent in 2005 with Dell extending its lead over Hewlett-Packard and Europe overtaking the United States as the largest market, a survey showed on Thursday.

Worldwide sales of personal computers (PCs) rose to 218.5 million units in 2005 from 189.5 million in 2004, according to preliminary data from market research group Gartner.

Shipments in Europe, Middle East and Africa grew 17.1 percent to 72.7 million units, overtaking the United States which grew 7.5 percent to 67 million. In 2004, the United States still slightly exceeded Europe, both regions taking about 62 million units.

The fastest growth in 2005 was in Asia Pacific and Latin America where units sales increased 26 percent to 42.8 million and 14.7 million respectively.

Dell continued to grow more than the industry average, as its worldwide PC shipments grew 18.6 percent in 2005. Its global market share ended at 16.8 percent, up from 16.4 percent.

“However, Dell’s worldwide growth rate started to slow down in the second half of 2005. During the fourth quarter, Dell’s growth slightly exceeded the worldwide average, and it gained more from overseas markets,” Gartner said in a statement.

Global number two Hewlett-Packard lost a little bit of ground to its closest rivals as its market share slipped to 14.5 percent in 2005 from 14.6 percent in 2004.

Third placed Lenovo from China, which took over IBM’s PC operations, increased its market share to 6.9 percent from 6.8 percent, and Acer from Taiwan expanded to 4.6 percent market share from 3.4 percent in 2004.

Fujitsu and Fujitsu-Siemens remained steady at 3.8 percent, and were overtaken by Acer.

Source: Yahoo

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