Google Adds Conditions To Adsense Referral

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google silently changed the AdSense referral program and added a limitation on what counts as successful referral. Before the change any sign-up to the Adsense program would entitle the referrer to a $100 fee, but now Google changed the rules and now the site that you referred has to earn $100 in 90 days in order for you to get your referral fee.

This limitation is a blow to websites that refer bloggers, since blogs usually don’t make a lot of money at first and it usually takes them more than 90 to earn the first $100.

In the referral page (at the bottom of the page) Google added:

An AdSense referral is counted when a publisher, who has never previously enrolled in AdSense, creates an account and earns at least $100.00 within 90 days of sign-up. The referred publisher must be eligible for payment to qualify as a successful referral.

This change might come in order to help Google fight fraud by users who sign for a bogus account, but 90 days is too short especially for new sites that need time to get noticed and draw users.

Source: Shaveh (In Hebrew)

Cingular Patents the Emoticon On Cell Phones

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The USA based mobile operator, Cingular Wireless has managed to get a patent on the concept of using emoticon on mobile phones. While the aim of the patent is to enable the displaying of MSN style graphics on handsets, they also managed to patent the delivery of text based emoticon - so presumably sending :) via an SMS - if selected via a dedicated or softkey, would be a breach of the patent in future.

Source: cellular-news.com

ChoicePoint Hit With Large Fine For Data Theft

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has fined ChoicePoint $10 million for a data breach that allowed identity thieves posing as legitimate businesses to steal social security numbers, credit reports, and other data from nearly 140,000 people. This is the largest fine ever levied by the FTC

Source: Slashdot

Microsoft Reports Record Revenue

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. today announced revenue of $11.84 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2005, a 9% increase over the same period of the prior year, marking the highest quarterly revenue in the company’s history. Net income for the quarter was $3.65 billion, which grew 5% from $3.46 billion for the same quarter of the previous year. Diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $0.34. Net results included $108 million, or $0.01 per share, in tax benefits.

Operating income for the quarter was $4.66 billion, a 2% decline from the same period in the prior year reflecting in part the impact of significant sales, marketing and product development expenses associated with major product launches.

“The growth in our core businesses was healthy during the quarter driven by strength in Server and Tools and the success of our Windows Client products in a robust PC market,? said Chris Liddell, chief financial officer of Microsoft. “The quarter also marked the beginning of an important product cycle for Microsoft with the launches of Xbox 360™, SQL Server™ 2005, Visual Studio® 2005 and Microsoft Dynamics™ CRM 3.0, all of which were extremely successful and well received by our customers.?

Server and Tools revenue grew 14% over the prior year on strength across the product line. The growth of SQL Server was robust with over 20% year over year revenue growth.

Researchers: Rootkits headed for BIOS

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Insider attacks and industrial espionage could become more stealthy by hiding malicious code in the core system functions available in a motherboard’s flash memory, researchers said on Wednesday at the Black Hat Federal conference.

A collection of functions for power management, known as the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI), has its own high-level interpreted language that could be used to code a rootkit and store key attack functions in the Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) in flash memory, according to John Heasman, principal security consultant for U.K.-based Next-Generation Security Software.

The researcher tested basic features, such as elevating privileges and reading physical memory, using malicious procedures that replaced legitimate functions stored in flash memory.

“Rootkits are becoming more of a threat in general–BIOS is just the next step,” Heasman said during a presentation at the conference. “While this is not a threat now, it is a warning to people to look out.”

Source: securityfocus

Nintendo unveils DS Lite

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

It looks as if the rumors were true after all. Nintendo today announced that the DS Lite will be released in Japan on March 2, 2006. The portable is a slimmed down version of the existing DS, measuring 133mm wide by 73.9 high by 21.5 deep and tipping the scales at just 218 grams–that’s about 39 percent smaller and 21 percent lighter than the standard DS, which has been available in the U.S. since November 2004. Pricing and availability for the DS Lite outside of Japan has yet to be announced, but it’s a safe bet that it won’t take it long to hit U.S. shores.

Source: cnet

AMD To Demo Quad-Core Processors On Current Platform

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Advanced Micro Devices is promising that no platform change will be required to move to its next-generation quad-core processors. And to prove it, AMD plans to demonstrate the technology in the middle of this year.

When AMD rolls out dual-core processors with built-in virtualization hooks midyear, the company also aims to demo quad-core processors running on its current server platform, said Marty Seyer, senior vice president of AMD’s Commercial Business and Performance Computing, Microprocessor Solutions Sector unit. AMD’s quad-core processors are due out in early 2007, but some industry analysts have said AMD could release them by the end of this year.

Source: informationweek

Uncle Sam gives tips on outsmarting ID crooks

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Treasury Department on Thursday released a DVD entitled “Identity Theft: Outsmarting the Crooks” that explains the topic and includes ways to protect against the fraud as well as what to do when victimized.

The DVD features experts from the government and the private sector. Viewers see how a typical victim of identity theft resolves her situation by working with law enforcement officials, credit reporting agencies, and financial institutions, according to The Treasury Department.

Source: News.com

Vonage Lets Europe Call US For A Local Price

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Vonage Marketing, a subsidiary of Vonage Holdings Corp., a leading provider of broadband phone service, today announced the availability of Virtual Numbers with area codes from Austria, France, Ireland, Italy and Spain. European friends, family and business associates residing and working within these nations can now call U.S.-based Vonage customers for the price of a local call.

Vonage Virtual Phone Numbers are inexpensive secondary numbers that ring to your primary Vonage line. These numbers are available to Vonage subscribers in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. for $9.99 USD, $11.99 CAD and pounds Sterling 5.99 GBP per month respectively. These numbers receive incoming calls only. U.S.-based customers can select Western European numbers, allowing their friends, family and business associates the ability to dial them locally.

“Whether you live in Vienna, Dublin, Paris, Madrid or Rome, Vonage now allows you to call the U.S. for the price of a local call,” said Michael Tribolet, president of Vonage America. “More importantly, this is a tremendous gain for the broadband telephony industry, as Vonage is making the world smaller. We are now able to bring friends, families and business associates from around the globe closer together.”

Yahoo, Linksys offer link for digital music

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Linksys and Yahoo! Music, today announced an agreement focused on making it easier for consumers to move digital music legally from their computer to other devices around their home. The agreement enables Linksys and Yahoo! to work together to develop ways to enhance the customers’ Yahoo! Music and wireless home networking experience. The integration of Yahoo! Music with the Linksys Wireless-G Music Bridge (WMB54G) is the first product resulting from this relationship.

Linksys and Yahoo! have developed a new plug-in for the Yahoo! Music Engine to work directly with the Linksys Wireless-G Music Bridge. This plug-in is integrated into both the Linksys Wireless-G Music Bridge and the Yahoo! Music Engine so users can stream music directly to a home stereo with the click of a button on the Yahoo! Music Engine interface. The free Yahoo! Music Engine provides users the ability to play and save songs, share music using Yahoo! Messenger, transfer music to compatible portable devices, access pre-programmed radio stations, burn CDs, create playlists and more. With the addition of the Yahoo! Music Unlimited subscription service, Yahoo! Music Engine users can build music libraries from a catalog of over a million songs, access personalized music recommendations, and over 100 customizable and commercial free radio stations.

The Wireless-G Music Bridge sits by your home stereo and connects to it using standard consumer electronics cables. Then it connects to your home network by Wireless-G wireless networking, or if you prefer, it can be connected via standard 10/100 Ethernet cabling. The included software creates a virtual sound system in your PC, which sends the audio output of any application to the Music Bridge and the stereo system. Use your favorite media player to play your music, and listen in the comfort of the living room.

Sony and AOL Co-Branded AOL.com Portal for VAIO Users

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

To bring robust and relevant Internet content directly to VAIO PC users, Sony Electronics has teamed with AOL to introduce a Sony co-branded version of the AOL.com Web portal.

The Sony-branded AOL.com portal will be set as the default web homepage on VAIO consumer PCs manufactured in 2006. Through this portal, AOL.com content — including music, movies, TV shows, videos and more — will be easily accessible. VAIO PC users will enjoy a rich array of information and high quality entertainment to enhance their overall multimedia experience.

AOL’s Web products and services will also be highlighted on all new consumer versions of VAIO desktop and notebook computers. The VAIO 2006 spring line will include the AOL Explorer browser, the AOL Instant Messenger service (AIM), the AOL Toolbar and other AOL products.

FTC: Identity Thieves Targeting Children

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Identity thieves are increasingly targeting children. Identity theft complaints involving youngsters under 18 have nearly doubled since 2003, up from 6,512 to more than 11,600 last year, the Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday.

While they make up a small percentage - about 5 percent - of the total ID theft complaints, the FTC’s Jay Miller says young people are attractive to cons because they may not be as savvy about safeguarding personal information and could easily fall prey while surfing the Internet.

Source: AP

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