2/28/2006

Google Calendar Is Near

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Philipp Lenssen has found an article which contains some great sleuthing done by Paul Stone. He has uncovered a link that clearly states a calendar is on the way — and at the same time found a brand new feature Google has been working on. His discovery takes us to a page called “Google Links” where you can personalize a small bar containing links to popular Google services.

Source: ZDNet

Google Announced News For Mobile Devices

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Today, Google announced the availability of Google News for mobile devices, further demonstrating Google’s focus on making the mobile phone a more convenient and reliable device for accessing useful and relevant information while on the go. Whether waiting in the doctor’s office, riding the train to work or standing in line at the local market, mobile phone users will now be able to search and read the latest headlines quickly and easily on their web-enabled mobile devices.

Google News offers quick headline updates, the ability to search current news and browse categories that enable quick and easy access to the news that matters most to individual users. To access Google News, users simply visit google.com on their mobile phone’s web browser, and click the link to Google News. Users will then be directed to links and headlines for the top news stories.

Once an article has been selected, users are sent directly to the news source. Google News also provides users with the option to browse through quick links to specific news categories such as Business, Science/Tech, Sports, Health, and Entertainment. Only sources whose content has been designed specifically for viewing on mobile devices are displayed, ensuring that users can quickly and easily read the news they want.

Google News is currently available in the U.S., and we are exploring opportunities to make the service available in other international markets.

Microsoft Ships IE (Eolas) Update

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft has shipped a new version of its Internet Explorer browser to permanently change the way multimedia content is rendered on Web pages.

The cumulative non-security IE update was released Feb. 28 as an optional download for IE6 on Windows XP and Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and is a direct result of the multimillion-dollar patent spat with Chicago-based Eolas Technologies.

The modifications mean that IE users won’t be able to directly interact with Microsoft ActiveX controls loaded by the APPLET, EMBED, or OBJECT elements without first activating the user interface with an extra mouse click.

Some widely deployed programs that use ActiveX controls within the browser include Adobe’s Reader and Flash, Apple’s QuickTime Player, Microsoft’s Windows Media Player, RealNetworks’ RealPlayer and Sun’s JVM (Java Virtual Machine).

A Microsoft spokesperson said the changes will have “little to no impact on customer experience and partner applications” except for an extra mouse click in certain cases.

Source: eWeek

Answers.com Doubles Content Over Previous Six Months

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Answers.com, reported this week a substantial increase in the number of available topics over the previous six months, to more than three million. The growth was driven by the licensing of new brand-name titles and an expanded focus on the creation of original, topical content.

“This rapid increase to three million topics shows that we are expanding our collection of AnswerPages in order to provide our users with the trusted, reliable, and comprehensive information they are looking for,” explained Jeff Cutler, Answers’ chief revenue officer. “At the same time, we’re continuing to add monetizable elements to our AnswerPages, such as advertising and price comparisons, in order to deliver this compelling, premium content for free. Overall usage has increased significantly over the previous six months, in part due to an increase from search engines that find our content valuable,” Cutler said. “We have identified a key scalable technique for increasing traffic and revenues: As we add new content titles, we see traffic and revenues rise as more people find what they are looking for. We have an aggressive plan for 2006 to add quality content at a rapid pace. We’re especially looking forward to offering authoritative, name-brand content not typically available on any other free site.”

Among the new titles that were recently added are a leading legal encyclopedia, and the Gale Encyclopedia of Cancer, both licensed from Thomson Gale, as well as several other titles covering such diverse topics as word origins, gardening, geology, pop performers’ biographies, and ornithology. Answers Corporation has also extended its long-term agreements with some of
its key content partners, such as Houghton Mifflin Company - the source of more than a dozen titles integrated into Answers.com - and the Computer Language Company, publisher of the Computer Desktop Encyclopedia.

First HD-DVD player Will Be Released In March 28

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A Toshiba Entertainment representative told CNET Japan that the company plans to release titles in the HD-DVD format on March 28. This supports the company’s assertion during January’s Consumer Electronics Show that it would release an HD-DVD player in March. At the time, Toshiba said the first players would cost $499 and $799.

Jiji-tsushin, a news outlet in Japan, reported that Toshiba will release a HD-DVD drive for PCs in April and an HD-DVD recorder in May. Toshiba earlier said they would release a notebook with an HD-DVD drive and discuss the specs this quarter.

Related: May 23 Launch of First Blu-Ray Disc Titles

Source: News.com

Apple Unveils iPod Speaker System

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Reaching further into living rooms, Apple Computer Inc. on Tuesday introduced a speaker system for its iPod music players and a revamped Mac Mini computer that will let users access music, video and photos across their home networks.

iPod Speakers

With the iPod Hi-Fi system — priced at $349 — users can dock their portable players into the speakers and use a remote control to operate it from afar. That means there’s no longer a need for a cabinet full of CDs, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said during a presentation at company headquarters.

“It’s home stereo reinvented for the iPod age,” he said.

Source: AP

Oracle Launches Free Database Version

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The ranks of free databases gained another recruit Tuesday with the general availability of Oracle 10g XE.

Available as a 150-Mbyte download via Oracle’s Web site, 10g XE is compatible with the bigger-iron Oracle databases, the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based company has said.

Like competitive offerings from Microsoft and IBM, 10g XE has hardware and memory constraints. It’s designed for use on one-processor machines and handles up to 4 Gbytes of user data and up to 1 Gbyte of memory.

Developers are the target audience for 10g XE, according to Mark Townshend, senior director of database product management at Oracle.

Source: InformationWeek

Apple rolls out new Mac mini with Intel chip

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple Computer Inc. on Tuesday introduced a new Mac mini powered by an Intel chip that the company said was nearly five times faster than the previous version.

Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said the new Mac mini with a single core Intel chip was as much as three times faster than the previous version. He also said the Mac mini with an even more powerful dual core Intel chip was nearly five times as fast as the previous version.

Source: Reuters

New Microsoft Maps Combine Photos, Directions

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft unveiled a preview version of its Windows Live Local Technology, which will allow users to view a “street-side” perspective of local neighborhoods.

The “street-side” technology, according to Microsoft, will be used for its upcoming consumer local search and mapping site, according to a note sent to reporters Monday evening. “As an additional navigational tool, the street-side feature offers a vantage point similar to driving behind the wheel of a car for a close-up, street-level view,” the company said.

Only two neighborhoods will be supported in the technology’s initial release: the downtown “cores” of Seattle and San Francisco, as a way to provoke feedback from users. The street-side view will supplement aerial, road and bird’s eye views currently available in Windows Live Local, the company said.

The technology is being supplied by Facet Technology Corp., whose SightMap technology has already compiled 700 million high-resolution images — a total of 200 terabytes of data — of geomapped images.

Think satellite and birds-eye imagery was cool? Wait until you see streetlevel! Seattle alone is 10 million images.

Source: extremetech

Windows Live Expo Now Available

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. today will release a beta version of Windows Live Expo (http://expo.live.com) nationwide. Previously in closed beta, Windows Live Expo is now accessible to all U.S. customers and expands the traditional classified ad concept by providing social networking and community features through a trustworthy, convenient and free online service.

“We’ve been watching our own Microsoft internal marketplace service for the past couple of years and were inspired by employee behaviors. Regardless of the transaction, we noticed that trust and convenience are the key factors to closing a deal,? said Garry Wiseman, product unit manager for Windows Live Expo at Microsoft. “What sets Windows Live Expo apart is that people can set their own search parameters for goods and services. They can define their own marketplace universe.?

Most classified advertising services generalize product location by a pre-defined city location, regardless of where in the city the product is located. However, all products and services listed in Windows Live Expo are geographically identified, or geo-tagged, by ZIP code, not city, which specifically defines where the product is located. Windows Live Expo customers also have the option to search for items within a radius as small as 25 miles or as large as the entire United States, making it easier to define a search. Windows Live Expo listings are also integrated with MSN’s satellite-image-based Windows Live Local so customers can view maps and aerial imagery of neighborhoods they may want to live in or see exactly where this weekend’s garage sale is.

Unlike other classified services, Windows Live Expo allows customers to choose to view only listings specific to their MSN Messenger Contact List or personal e-mail groups, helping to add a level of trust in transactions. With MSN Messenger integration, sales can now take mere minutes, as buyer and seller discuss, negotiate and clinch a deal via instant messaging. Also, new with today’s beta rollout, when someone sends a message about their listing, an alert can be sent to customers via e-mail, instant messaging or mobile phone* via the MSN Alerts service. With upcoming Windows Live Expo releases, listings will be accessible via MSN Spaces blogs.

IBM Debuts Floating-Point Unit For PowerPC

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

BM Corp. has announced the availability of a 90-nm version of its floating-point unit (FPU) for its PowerPC processor line.

The product, dubbed the 440 Power Core Floating Point Unit, is designed to provide high-performance, low-power consumption for embedded applications in the PowerPC RISC processor line. This includes graphics generation for printing and medical imaging, pattern matching for data mining, and risk analysis for financial services.

“There is a significant demand for floating point performance in today’s printing, imaging and data mining applications,” said Ron Martino, director of PowerPC Products at IBM’s Microelectronics Group, in a statement.

Source: Information Week

Password-Stealing Trojan Mass Mailed

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Several million copies of a password-stealing Trojan horse were spammed to Internet users late last week, a security company said Monday, and workers returning to the office who open the attachment risk a computer kidnapping.

U.K.-based BlackSpider Technologies said that it had already intercepted more than 3.2 million messages with an attached Trojan, and claimed that it took 52 hours for the first anti-virus vendor to issue a signature that detected and deleted the malware.

Clagger.h, as Sophos dubbed it (Symantec named it “PWSteal.Tarno.s”), comes with the subject head of “Notification: Your Account Temporally Limited,” and targets PayPal users. The associated e-mail claims that PayPal has detected unusual activity on the recipient’s PayPal account. If the user opens the attached file, Clagger.h silently installs.

Not only does Clagger.h set a backdoor so the attacker can later add more malicious code to the PC, but it lurks in the background and nabs usernames and passwords from any window or Web page with text strings ranging from “cash” and “bank” to “log” and “id.”

“This Trojan horse has been aggressively seeded, using spam technology, to distribute malicious code to as many vulnerable computers as possible, in the shortest amount of time,” said Graham Cluley, a Sophos senior technology consultant, in a statement.

Source: InformationWeek

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