Microsoft Can’t Charge Fees For Source Code: EU

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

To comply with the European Union’s antitrust rules, Microsoft says it will allow access to some source code–for a fee. But the EU now says the company can’t charge for the look-see unless the code is ‘innovative.’

The European Union’s antitrust boss said Tuesday that Microsoft can’t charge licensing fees for its source code unless it proves the programming is “innovative,” the latest to-do in the long-running hullabaloo between Europe’s governing body and the American developer.

Last week, Microsoft said it would license the source code to some portions of its Windows Server Workgroup software to competitors as a way of meeting the European Union’s (EU) demand for more and clearer documentation on the protocols covered by the EU’s 2004 antitrust decision. Brad Smith, Microsoft’s chief lawyer, said last Wednesday that the source code “is the ultimate documentation” and should satisfy the EU.

Not so fast said the EU. Not only did the body’s European Commission not request source code, but according to the Wall Street Journal, it had expressly warned Microsoft in December that access to the source code wouldn’t solve its problems.

Source: informationweek

Firefox Officially Released

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Firefox is a stability and security update that is part of our ongoing program to provide a safe Internet experience.

Here’s what’s new in Firefox

  • Improved stability.
  • Improved support for Mac OS X.
  • International Domain Name support for Iceland (.is) is now enabled.
  • Fixes for several memory leaks.
  • Several security enhancements.

Download Firefox

GoDaddy.com Locked in Super Bowl Showdown

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

GoDaddy.com is in a standoff, stuck waiting for approval to advertise during America’s big game. After 14 revisions and weeks of intense negotiations, the ABC Television network is withholding approval for the Internet powerhouse to broadcast a “GoDaddy-Esque” commercial in Super Bowl XL.

“It’s a good thing I can handle rejection,” said Bob Parsons, founder and president of GoDaddy.com. “From the beginning, all I ever wanted was to get our ad approved and on the air. GoDaddy’s commercial may not appeal to everyone, but I guarantee it will be FUN, edgy and just a touch inappropriate — that is the definition of ‘GoDaddy-Esque.

GoDaddy.com spent months of time and more than $1 million developing 14 different spots in an effort to produce a commercial that would be acceptable to both Go Daddy and ABC TV. Go Daddy agreed to buy a 30-second ad in the February 5 Super Bowl, but is struggling to win creative approval from the ABC Television network’s “Standards and Practices” division.

Last year, GoDaddy.com’s edgy commercial, a parody on censorship, was pulled before it aired a scheduled second time during the Super Bowl.

Update: As of 2/2/06 GoDaddy.com Approved for Super Bowl Commercial. After 14 revisions and weeks of intense negotiations, the ABC Television network today gave its approval for the Internet powerhouse to broadcast a “GoDaddy-Esque” commercial in the big game.

US accuses cyber-piracy group of “massive” theft

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A secretive group of cyber-pirates stole copyrighted software, games and movies in what law enforcement authorities on Wednesday termed a “massive” theft for their own pleasure, not profit.

The indictments were announced by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald in Chicago against 19 members of the underground piracy group known as “RISCISO,” led by Sean O’Toole, 26, of Perth, Australia.

Another member of the group implicated in the FBI’s investigation, dubbed “Operation Jolly Roger,” was Linda Waldron, 57, of Barbados. Extradition will be sought for both.

As many as 60 members of the group, many of whom work in the computer field and live across the United States, tapped into their tightly controlled computer servers loaded with stolen merchandise that would fill 23,000 compact discs and was valued at $6.5 million, prosecutors said. Initially, the stolen software was sent to servers set up overseas.

Source: Reuters

BEA Launches Workshop 3.0

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

BEA Systems Feb. 1 announced the latest version of its BEA Workshop Studio application development platform.

BEA Workshop Studio 3.0 is an Eclipse-based Java development environment that provides EJB3 (Enterprise JavaBeans 3.0) support, the company said. Although the EJB3 spec has not been finalized, the new version of Workshop targets the latest, nearly completed version of the technology. EJB3 supports POJO- (Plain Old Java Objects) based persistence APIs for object/relational mapping.

Moreover, BEA provides persistence support via both open-source and proprietary options. BEA supports EJB3 persistence via the open-source Hibernate platform and via BEA Kodo, the object/relational mapping solution BEA inherited in its acquisition of SolarMetric.

In addition, BEA officials said the company will bundle the open-source Spring development framework with BEA Workshop Studio.

Source: eWeek

AT&T Sued Over U.S. Wiretapping Program

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A civil liberties organization filed a class-action lawsuit against AT&T this week for collaborating with a U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) program to intercept Internet and telephone communications of U.S. citizens without authorization from a court of law.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), based in San Francisco, filed the suit against AT&T for giving the NSA direct access to its databases of communications records, including whom their customers had phoned or sent e-mail to in the past. The suit was filed Tuesday in the United States District Court of the Northern District of California.

Source: PCWorld

IBM spearheads AJAX tools at Eclipse

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

IBM and several other software companies have proposed an open-source project to simplify development tools for AJAX-style Web development.

Called Open Ajax, the proposed open-source project will be based on IBM-donated code designed to let software developers use the Eclipse development tool to write Web applications using AJAX.

Several toolkits, or frameworks, designed to simplify AJAX development have emerged. The goal of the Open AJAX project is to allow developers to pick an AJAX framework and use it with the Eclipse software, said Rod Smith, vice president of advanced technolgy at IBM.

Currently, the Open Ajax software allows two toolkits to run with Eclipse: the Dojo Toolkit and a recently proposed Apache project called Kabuki.

Source: News.com

File-swapping leaders nearing D-Day

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The young chief executive of MetaMachine, distributor of eDonkey file-sharing software, appeared six months ago before a U.S. Senate committee and said his network–the world’s most popular–was ready to turn over a new leaf.

Now Sam Yagan and his company are nearing the point when they’ll have to deliver on that promise.

Music industry insiders say that pressure is building for eDonkey’s makers and other peer-to-peer software companies to reach a final deal with record labels, turning off the free music and movie swapping that has gone on long after Yagan said it would stop. Yagan himself declined to give details on negotiations, but says he’s hoping to have a final deal soon.

Source: News.com

Microsoft’s OneCare firewall draws fire

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The firewall component in Microsoft’s Windows OneCare security bundle has holes, experts have warned.

The security software, available in a public beta version, by default allows applications that use the Java Virtual Machine or have a digital signature to connect to the Internet.

Like any blanket security-bypass rule, these default settings are a bad idea, said Mark Curphey, vice president at vulnerability management specialist Foundstone, a part of McAfee.

“Any firewall, any security device should have a default deny,” Curphey said in an interview Tuesday. “Any door should always be closed.”

Source: News.com

Newspapers want search engines to pay

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Internet has undercut the businesses of newspapers, book publishers and magazines for years and now these medium are looking for ways to fight back.

Web search engines, such as Google and Yahoo, collect headlines and photos for their users without compensating the publishers a cent, according to the World Association of Newspapers (WAN), which announced Tuesday that it intends to “challenge the exploitation of content” by the Googles and MSNs of the Web.

The Paris-based group, which represents 18,000 newspapers, isn’t discussing what action it may take. WAN executives said in a statement that they want to explore their options and added that they understand search engines help them in one way: aggregating content and packaging it for consumers. But WAN noted that Web companies also “built their business models in large part on taking content for free.”

Agence France Presse has already filed suit again Google, alleging that Google News offers its photos and stories without permission.

Source: News.com

Honeywell investigates security breach

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Honeywell International is offering credit monitoring and identity theft insurance to approximately 19,000 current and former employees whose personal information - including Social Security numbers and bank account information - was posted on an Internet Web site.

The company notified employees about the breach within a day of learning of it on Jan. 20, according to spokesman Robert C. Ferris.

“The company immediately contacted the relevant service provider, had the page removed from the Internet and is continuously monitoring the Internet to ensure that the Web page and any copies of it remain taken down,” said Ferris.

He said the company was working with federal and state investigators to determine who posted the data. Ferris said he didn’t know whether the posting was the work of a disgruntled employee or resulted from an administrative error or other cause.

“Honeywell will aggressively pursue those responsible for this breach,” Ferris said.

Source: AP

Sony to launch “full-on-assault” on Xbox Live

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The rumors that Sony has been considering an Xbox Live-type service for the Playstation 3 have now been confirmed. According to the independent print-only magazine PSM, a unified online service run by Sony is definitely a go for the PS3:

Sony has just delivered final development hardware to US game developers. We can confirm that developers have already begun meetings with Sony’s support teams to make sure their games are compatible with the as-yet-unnamed PS3 online service. “It’s very real,” one source tells us. “They are dead serious about it. They’ve declared, and I quote, a ‘full-on-assault’ on Xbox Live.”

Source: arstechnica

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