2/2/2006

Google Rolls Out New Search Infrastructure

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google Inc. has begun a steady rollout of “Bigdaddy,” a new infrastructure for Google Web search that will eventually be in all of the company’s data centers.

The Mountain View, Calif., search engine recently converted a third data center to Bigdaddy, and hopes to switch over a new one every 10 days or so, Google senior engineer Matt Cutts wrote in his blog.

The biggest problems Google plans to fix with Bigdaddy are hijacking redirects of URLs and what Google calls “canonicalization.”

The latter refers to a search engine determining the preferred domain name of a site. Web sites regularly have multiple domain names, but only one is the actual name. For example, www.techweb.com or just techweb.com will get you to the CMP Media tech site. However, the former is the actual domain name.

Because it’s difficult for search engines to figure out that multiple names are for the same site, results often include multiple listings, when only one would do.

Hijacking refers to someone redirecting to his Web site, a request for another site. URLs for sites constantly change for a variety of reasons, including people getting new domain names, a site reorganization or a new content delivery system. Because many visitors will continue to use the old URL, Webmasters will set up a server-side redirect so the old URL points to the new one. Hijackers are sometimes able to intervene, and steer the traffic to their own sites.

Bigdaddy is also expected to help reduce Webspam, which are pages comprised of advertisements and links to other sites that contain mostly ads. The pages, which often appear in search results, pretend to provide assistance or facts about a particular subject.

Source: informationweek

Sun closing one Silicon Valley campus

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sun Microsystems will close most of its campus in Sunnyvale, Calif., the server and software company said Wednesday.

Most of the 1,400 employees at the site will be transferred Sun’s campus in Santa Clara, Calif., where Sun has its headquarters, or to campuses in Newark and Menlo Park, spokeswoman Stephanie Von Allmen said. However, Sun Labs employees in Sunnyvale will stay at their facility, she added.

“The main reason this campus was selected is because Sun leases the Sunnyvale buildings, whereas we own the buildings on the other three campuses,” Von Allmen said in a statement.

Source: News.com

IEEE Proposes New Class of Patents

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The IEEE Spectrum proposes a new type of patent that wouldn’t require formal examination, would cost significantly less than traditional patents, would last only 4 years from date of first commercial product, and which wouldn’t carry a presumption of validity. These ‘limited patents’ would be attractive to innovators in the fast-moving high-tech industry that can’t wait 18-24 months for patent approval, and would help improve patent quality by populating the USPTO’s prior-art database more efficiently.

Source: Slashdot

US shuts down Australian-based computer piracy ring

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The United States Department of Justice has shut down an Australian-based computer piracy ring that it said was used to swap software, games and movies.

The underground “warez” group was charged with pirating more than 6.5 million dollars in copyrighted material including the movies “Sin City,” “Closer” and “Meet the Fockers,” the games “Super Streetfighter II,” “NASCAR Simracing” and “Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005,” and software from Microsoft, Intel and Hewlett-Packard.

One server recorded uploads and downloads of over 19,000 gigabytes, or enough material to fit on 23,000 CD ROMs, according to a 15-count indictment unsealed in Chicago Wednesday.

The indictment alleges that a man living in Perth, Australia who went by the handle of “chucky” was the defacto leader and set policy for the group, decided who could have access to the servers and uploaded copyrighted material from remote sites.

The group, which called itself RISCO - an acronym for Rise in Superior Couriering - used sophisticated security measures to conceal their activities, communications and identities and block unauthorized access to the material stored on its servers, the indictment alleges.

The FBI said they managed to infiltrate the group through the aid of an informant who maintained one of the main servers.

Source: AFP

BLOCKBUSTER Online Doubles Free Rents

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Effective immediately, BLOCKBUSTER Online has doubled the number of free in-store rentals subscribers receive each month.

BLOCKBUSTER Online subscribers now get one free in-store movie rental every week, an increase over the two per month currently offered, along with unlimited online rentals, with subscription programs starting as low as $9.99 per month for the one-movie-out at a time plan.

“We know BLOCKBUSTER Online customers love the value and flexibility the free in-store movie rentals offer, so we decided to give them even more,” said Shane Evangelist, senior vice president and general manager of BLOCKBUSTER Online. “Now, if subscribers use all four free monthly in-store rentals, the value they receive almost equals the $17.99 monthly fee for our three-out movie plan.”

Sun Announces Release of Open Source NetBeans 5 IDE

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) today announced the general availability of the Java based open-source NetBeans Integrated Development Environment (IDE) software tools via download at http://www.netbeans.org. NetBeans 5.0 IDE provides comprehensive support for building Java SE, Java EE, and Java ME applications and includes a variety of unique new features and significant enhancements such as NetBeans GUI Builder (formerly Project Matisse), that differentiates it from all other developer tools.

Other features of the release include: completely redesigned support for CVS; support for the Sun Java System AppServer 8.2; BEA WebLogic 9 and JBoss 4 application servers; Struts and Java Server Faces support and new types of re-factoring and editor enhancements that make writing code even easier than before.

New Symantec shield aims to repel Microsoft

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Symantec plans to introduce a security product later this year that will take on Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows OneCare and Vista security technology.

The software, code-named “Genesis,” will integrate components of Symantec’s current security, PC optimization and backup products, the security company said. It will be sold on a subscription basis and will require an initial one-year agreement. Pricing has not yet been determined.

“Genesis is not a suite or a bundle of tools, but a single integrated software application delivered to consumers as a service,” Tom Powledge, the director of product management at Symantec, said in an interview Wednesday. The company plans to officially announce Genesis next week, he said.

Source: News.com

Microsoft to require signed drivers for 64-bit Vista

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Bill Gates has argued as early as 1997 that the operating system should only allow approved, digitally “signed” device drivers to be installed. Now it has been confirmed that the 64-bit version of Windows Vista will indeed have this restriction built-in. Even administrators will not be allowed to install unsigned kernel-mode drivers on 64-bit systems. Unsigned drivers that do not run in kernel mode can still be installed by administrators, but not by regular users.

To be signed, each driver must obtain and use a Publisher Identity Certificate (PIC) from Microsoft. Unlike the more lengthy and costly WHQL driver certification process, the PIC is given out for free and does not involve any quality checking of the driver code by Microsoft. It simply establishes the identity of the software publisher with a digital certificate. In addition to the free PIC, software publishers are required to purchase a VeriSign Class 3 Commercial Software Publisher Certificate, which costs US$500 for a one-year license.

Source: arstechnica

Game over for hundreds of EA employees

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Electronic Arts, the world’s largest video game publisher, on Wednesday confirmed reports that it is laying off 5 percent of its work force, or between 325 and 350 people.

The move, first reported by GameSpot, comes a day ahead of EA’s release of its third-quarter earnings.

In late December, EA said its holiday sales were disappointing and that it would likely not meet its third-quarter sales and earning guidance.

But Wednesday, EA corporate communications manager Trudy Muller told CNET News.com that the layoffs were not related to holiday sales but were instead about realigning the company’s resources as it grapples with the transition from current-generation to next-generation consoles.

Source: News.com

Mapping veins as a human ‘bar code’

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

In Memphis, Tenn., a small medical supply company called Luminetx has developed a new method of palm-reading that it hopes will rival fingerprinting or retinal scans as a way to perfectly identify individuals.

The technology is based on an infrared scan of the blood cells running through veins, which is then analyzed by a computer.

Luminetx originally developed the technique as a way to help doctors and nurses find veins in patients needing injections. But now, through a new division called Snowflake Technologies, the company is marketing it to banks, credit card companies and even homeland-security officials as a high-tech biometric identification tool.

“Our vein structures are completely different, especially when you look at the palm,” said Luminetx Chief Executive Officer Jim Phillips, speaking at The Entertainment Gathering conference here Wednesday. “In a way, it’s like looking at a bar code. We convert your veins to a bar code.”

Source: News.com

Microsoft ships Windows Server update

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft said on Wednesday that it has shipped Windows Server 2003 R2, a new version of its server operating system.

The software is shipping on servers from Dell, IBM and HP, the company said. In addition, Microsoft customers under the company’s Enterprise Software Assurance licensing plan will also soon have access to the product.

Source: News.com

Verizon Wireless wins injunction in spam case

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Verizon Wireless, the No. 2 U.S. mobile phone service, said on Wednesday it had won a permanent injunction to prevent a Florida company from sending unsolicited text messages to its customers phones.

Verizon Wireless said it filed a lawsuit against Passport Holidays of Ormond Beach, Florida in October after 98,000 spam text messages were sent to its customers phones on behalf of Passport, which will pay $10,000 in damages.

Source: Reuters

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